Thursday 31 January 2013

Goth blog challenge: My first concert/festival

It's time for another goth blog challenge =]

17. My first concert/festival

This topic is a little embarrassing for me considering that the first gig I went to was a very long time ago and was for a band that's as far from Goth as possible!

When I was 14, I went to see Simple Plan at the Birmingham Academy. A lot of my friends from school were going and it was the first time my mum agreed to let me go to a gig, probably because they were such a tame band =P I didn't die at the gig and so my mum let me go to most gigs I wanted after that (as long as I brought my own tickets!), she did refuse to let me see a few bands though that she thought were too dangerous; including Lordi, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot and Rammstein!

Between the ages of 14-17 I went to a lot of gigs at the Birmingham Academy, I even went to see bands I didn't really like because I loved the atmosphere so much.

I was the girl at the front on the barrier every week, covered in bruises and drenched in someone else's beer! It was wonderful. I even had a secret handshake with the security guards; they used to bring me extra water!

I was going to post photographic proof, from my old myspace, but myspace has gone all new and deleted all the old content =[ =[

Despite this I didn't see any Goth bands, very few played locally and if they did no one else wanted to go (and I wasn't allowed to go on my own).

When I was 19 I went to my first festival, T in the Park. Which was amazing; I saw Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the last ever performance in Scotland by Nine Inch Nails. Sonisphere got the last ever ever gig, but we got the better set-list apparently =P

The first Goth specific festival I went to was Midlands Goth Festival, you can read about that in this post.

I still harbor dreams of visiting Whitby Goth Weekend one year or maybe even Wave Goth Treffen and of course seeing as many of the Goth bands I love as I can; although of course it's not possible to see them all because many some of my heroes are dead =[

I'm off to mourn the loss of teenage memories, I should have saved another copy of those photos somewhere...

Sunday 27 January 2013

Time for the 2nd Give-away!

I had this plan for when I reached 75 followers, but last week I jumped from 74 to 83 (now 85!!) which rather took me by surprise! Thank you all so much!

As a welcome to my new followers and a thank you to my old ones I'm doing a give-away!

What am I giving away I hear you ask?

Just a few silly things:

A fang ice-cube tray like the one I used to make my chocolate fangs
A skull shaped candle
'Oh my goth' an entirely frivolous novel published by MTV, I was given it as a joke gift and now I'd like to pass on the amusement!
'The little book of Goth' a very tongue in cheek look at the subculture, which was similarly a joke present.

In addition to this I will be including a code which entitles you to a free necklace from my Etsy shop (which I hope to open by the end of Feb). If I cannot get the shop up and running in that time I will contact the winner and arrange to send them a necklace directly. This post will give you some idea of the necklaces I'll be selling.

 'How do I enter' I hear you cry?
(OK, just let me imagine that's what your doing)

It's simple. Comment on this post and you'll be entered into the giveaway.
I'll leave this open for one week then put all of the names into a hat and get someone to pick the winner for me =]

Saturday 26 January 2013

Inspiring Blogger Award

I got nominated for an inspiring blogger award by Laura Morrigan and Ray X! Thank you so much m'dears I'm really flattered and happy!

So here are 5 odd facts about me:

1. My boyfriend is technically only 6 years old. His birthday is the 29th Feb so he only gets a birthday once every 4 years! I'm so totally a cradle snatcher...

2. I'm terrified of blood and needles but still want to get a tattoo. Might also get another set of holes punched through my ears today (I ran away from the piercing lady last time and had to be held still, but now I know it doesn't hurt at all so I should be OK? I hope... My fear is irrational)

3. I'm currently living in the best sort of madhouse. Ash's sister has come to stay with her 5 kids. For someone who grew up as an only child (my brother always lived with his mum) this is a chock to the system, but a fun shock!

4. My balance completely sucks. I'm dsypraxic, so despite being really careful not to fall down on the ice this week, I managed to fall down the stairs instead, whilst carrying Shelby who is nearly 3. She's totally fine. I have a back that is all the colours of the rainbow =P

5. I can type whilst wearing mittens. My office is so cold that this is a totally necessary life skill at the moment. The temperature of my office also explains the total lack of Goth in the Office pictures during the winter. I wear thermals, 3 pairs of socks, jeans, jumpers and a fleece blanket at work.

I don't know how many people I'm supposed to tag or who has already received this award, so anyone who comments on this post is getting tagged up!


Heike of Rising up to Hell
Pixel Pixie of Cuz I Said Sew
Chris Hewson of Not This Time, Nayland Smith
Linnea-Maria of Linnea pa landet

Friday 18 January 2013

A sax in the snow

You may remember that a while ago I ordered a black Gunne Sax dress from Etsy. It arrived just after Christmas but I didn't get around to taking pictures of it until yesterday.

I brought it because of the lace collar (my lace addiction is a serious problem right?) and it's potential for use in Dolly Kei style ensembles, but when I woke up and saw the snow I knew I had to take pictures, and thought it'd keep the outfit simple and warm-ish! I was only outside for 2 minutes and that was enough!

I even persuaded Ash to be my photographer! So a big thank you to him. Unfortunately I had a hard time standing up/walking in the snow which was so deep it covered my Docs right up to my frilly boot covers, so this is the only non-blurry picture!

I was really happy because I'd just found out that my brother's wife gave birth to my second nephew last night!

He was born at 10:01 pm on 17th January, weighing 7 pounds and 15 ounces =]

They have called him Lucas Karim Wall.

This makes me extra happy because I helped them pick the name. My brother is a huge Star Wars fan, as is my older nephew Logan (Ahmed Wall, he is the LAW!), so I said you should name him Luke as a joke! I think Lucas will have his name shortened to Luca though not Luke, which I think is a nicer name anyway! Also avoids the Luke Wall sounding like Luke Warm issue =P We're considerate in our family!

So now I have a nephew named after Star Wars to go with my nephew named after Wolverine =P (my brother denies that's why they chose the name, but they chose it after watching X-Men so he's lying =P)

Expect pictures when I can go and meet him - hopefully next week!
(advance apologies for me going all mushy - I'm reallllly not maternal or broody but my nephews manage to overcome this and make me coo like a mother hen anyway)

Goth blog challenge: Corsets or no?

I'm answering another Goth blog challenge because I've started late and this is already the 3rd week of January.

Once again I used a random number generator to decide what to answer next:

28. Corsets or no?

Hell Yeah! 

I love corsets. 

I think they are beautiful and I love how they give me extra back support when I'm dancing the night away!

Here's a silly picture of me in my black and white pleather under-bust corset. The hat belongs to a guy I know called Rory, his name is Chester the Trilby lol!

These pictures were taken on my friend Beth's birthday a couple of years ago, I picked them because they show how much I like dancing in a corset!

Yup I was quite tipsy. You can tell by the colour of my face - I only go pink when I drink =P
I dance in the exact same way sober though, because if I close my eyes I don't have to see people stare at my idiocy!

Thanks to Meera for the pictures =]

Do you like corsets? If not, why not?

Wednesday 16 January 2013

A goth wearing pastels?

I mentioned in my post about style experiments that I would be customizing a pink jumper I've had languishing in a drawer for years and including it in some outfits - to see if I can get into wearing pastels! Don't worry, I don't intend to drop any of my other style influences (or my mostly monochromatic wardrobe), but Fairy Kei and even Nu-Goth have shown me that pastels can look pretty cool. Not to mention the Lady of the Manners fondness for Black and Pink!

However, can pastels work on me?

You decide:

Once again, ignore my lack of head - It's a very bad skin week.

What I'm wearing:
Jumper - Primark a few years ago £10
Skirts - Black Pinafore dress - Miss Selfridge, Black lace skirt - New Look
Tights - Black Flower Print - Primark, Pink - Primark kids (they are a tiny bit short in the leg but I couldn't find any adult tights in pale pink)
Brooch - Isn't it adorable? And it's vintage. I brought it from SugarPinkMoon on Etsy, a shop run by Beth Leintz of Gathering Dust.
Detachable collar - made by me because I couldn't find a nice black one. It's made from some left over black cotton fabric, with interfacing between the two layers for a bit of rigidity. Then I stitched on lace trim and the ribbon ties. The back fastens with a lobster clasp and has an extender chain to make it a bit more adjustable.

In this close -up you can see that my attempt to customize the jumper was not entirely successful.
I used more of the left over cotton I used for the collar but despite the fact I ironed all the fabric onto fusible interfacing it still frayed quite a bit, so the edges aren't very neat.

If it continues to fray i'll have to make new stars and moons (don't worry I kept my newspaper pattern pieces) from different fabric - probably use an old black t-shirt.

I think it looks like something Hermione would wear to the Library at Christmas, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, right? She's cool =P

What do you guys think? Pastels yay or nay?

Monday 14 January 2013

Goth Blog Challenge: How I first found out about Goth fashion

I just found out about Darkstalker Girl's Goth Blog Challenge, which can be found here. It's based on F Yeah Lolita's Lolita 52 challenge. I liked the idea of participating and like F Yeah Lolita I'll be answering them in a random order. I didn't have a jar to put the slips of paper in so I used a random number generator =]

The first one it picked out was:

How I first found out about Goth fashion

I'm glad this question is specific because the ways I found out about Goth music and Goth fashion were very different. I grew up listening to Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees (Thanks to my dad! His music taste is awesome and eclectic) but I didn't know anything about Goth fashion until I was older.

When I was 10 or 11, and already running around in a black velvet tunic top, purple velvet flares and a purple velvet dog collar, all of which I still own... The flares I don't have a picture of right now (I promise to obtain one, soon!), but here's the dog collar (I was 18 in this picture).

I saw some girls on the bus one day whose style really opened my eyes. They were wearing really cute frilled  blouses, one had a black skirt, the other a red tartan one, both with fishnets and Doc Martens. They looked like china dolls to me, so beautiful and delicate. Then I noticed one of them was carrying a bag like this:

Source: Alchemy Gothic

I thought it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen (I grew up really loving Halloween, witches, vampires, The Addams Family and Harry Potter, all of which may have contributed to the morbid streak...). My mum who was with me on the bus told me the girls were goths. I wanted to dress like that too, even the frills (which considering the Tomboy I'd been when I was younger, surprised even me!)

However it was several years before I really did dress like that, because as beautiful as I thought the girls looked I didn't have the confidence to dress that way (especially in our close-minded little village). In the end I even ditched the velvet in favor of blue jeans and t-shirts for a while (ages 12 to 14), in hopes I wouldn't get bullied when I moved to a new school, I really wanted to 'fit in'. My route to gothdom was a long slow one after that; you can see some of the process in this post.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Military touches

I got these trousers at a charity shop a month or so ago, they are from Old Navy and still had all of the tags on =], quite a bargain too at £4.

I liked them how they were but wanted to add something. because I have several pairs of black jeans already.

To add the stripes I used some grey ribbon I got for 29p because it was a remnant. I didn't realise quite how bad the sun fading was until I'd finished (which serves me right for not sewing in good light). I quite like the effect though so I hope that when I wash them a few times the colour will even out. 

The original buttons were plain black so I swapped them for these pretty silver ones. They were expensive though £7.20 for 8. Which means they cost almost twice as much as the trousers but I like them so never mind =P Next time though I won't buy buttons in John Lewis when the Rag Market is closed!

Not the best picture but at least I cropped out most of my bum =P (I cropped my head out of all the pictures  too because I'm having a bad skin week, I think that I may be allergic to the new face wash I brought too...)

Hopefully this is the last hand-sewn project for a while because I finally took my sewing machine in to be serviced! I've asked them if they can keep it until I get paid again though because it turns out I need a new needle arm and that's an extra £25 on top of the £48 service. I think maybe putting the needle through my finger screwed it up =P

Sunday 6 January 2013

Roses, Lace and Pearls

This is just a quick outfit post I'm afraid because I've been really busy this week writing abstracts for conference papers (deadline is tomorrow and I've already sent them off =]) and trying to get a head start on the next chapter of my thesis (not going so well).

This is what I wore yesterday:

(sorry the watermark on the detail picture is in a stupid place; I'm sure I put it in the corner... still not used to this new editing malarkey)

What I'm wearing:
Jumper : From a discount clothes store for £10; I've spent all autumn and winter trying to find a black cable knit jumper without any 'stuff' on it; I didn't want spiked shoulders or a 'trendy' skull (anyone else feel like they can't wear skulls at the moment because they are so fashionable?) I finally found this jumper just before we went to Cardiff.
Collar: New Look £4.99. Likewise I couldn't find a detachable collar I liked in black (they all had sequins on them!) but I thought this white one was cute and I don't mind the pearls.
Ankh necklace: From Oasis Markets (alternative indoor market) in Birmingham.
Skirts: Top one is from River Island via a swap shop, bottom one is my beloved Lace Skirt from New Look.
Leggings: New Look £5 in the sale on Tuesday. I don't like leggings (too many bad childhood memories) but I have to admit they are comfy and there are a lot of nice designs out there at the moment! So this is my 3rd pair this year!

I brought the leggings because I've been wanting to buy some cool tights but I couldn't really afford any of the ones I really liked, like these Pamela Mann ones which look quite similar. Although I would say that Pamela Mann tights are worth the money; I've been given a couple of pairs as presents in the past and they are really good quality; even I haven't managed to get holes in them, my budget is a bit tight right now!

Ash thought I looked a bit like a nun in this outfit =P

I however was a bit worried that I looked... trendy? Have I been seduced by mainstream fashion this season? After all everything I'm wearing can be found on the high street. What do you guys think?

Tuesday 1 January 2013

As we go round the sun again

I've stolen the title of this post from a song written by the band my college boyfriend was in, because I liked the lyric so much it's stuck in my head for 5 years (I'd post the song, but none of them would thank me for it).

I hope that you all had a lovely holiday season and are enjoying the beginning of 2013. I hope this year brings much joy and happiness to all of my readers!

I'm very much looking forward to the next year which I hope will be full of exciting things like fieldwork for my PhD, volunteering with my local history group to help digitize their archives, presenting my first conference paper, attending a short course about Human Osteology (one of the modules that got cut from my masters), setting up my Etsy shop, maybe even buying a house with Ash (excitement, terror, feelings of bank account emptiness approaching =P)

Normally I don't make New Year's resolutions or make them and forget them by the end of January, so this year I'm going to make it simple for myself:

Look after yourself better.

I've not been eating properly, often skipping meals, eating too much junk, not enough fruit and veg. I need to change that. I can see it's effect, not just on my body, but also my mental health. I suffer from hypoglycemia; I get low blood sugar easily, it runs in my family. When I was young with low weight and a high metabolism this meant I had to eat every 8 hours or start to shake and get dizzy. Now my metabolism is slower and I have larger fat reserves I don't get sick so easily so I thought it was less important to eat regularly. Recently though I've noticed that when I skip meals I start to get generally unwell after a couple of days, especially that I get anxious and depressed more easily because I'm putting unnecessary stress on my body which is fighting hard to keep my sugar levels normal.

My weight is higher than my 'ideal', but right now I'm unconcerned by that; although I feel big and cumbersome I know that I'm still within a normal BMI range and objectively still quite small. I do however feel that my fitness really is too poor (I get out of breath walking uphill far too easily!) so I am going to try and do more exercise. I'd like to swim more but unless I can fit it into my daytime schedule it will have to wait until the night's are lighter (I hate walking home from the pool in the dark; it's not the best area of town). In the meantime I will try to do some simple exercise like hula hooping or sit-ups at home!

I'm going to try to do a few other things to look after myself better too like change to a sulphate free shampoo; I recently had a bad reaction to a face-wash which contained sodium laureth sulphate so I'm starting to think that the reason my hair is kind-of crappy is because my scalp doesn't like it either. I might even get wild and try to remember to take my multi-vitamins =P

I was going to post lots of pictures of the home-made gifts I gave to everyone, but realised I forgot to photograph almost all of them before hey got wrapped! None of the necklaces and only a couple of the sock animals got photographed, oopsies!

Here are the pictures I did remember:

The  cat was for Anya; I like making cats, although they take such a long time, because I made the pattern myself - I didn't think any of the sock cats I saw online looked cat-like enough!

The owl with the top hat was for Ed who just got engaged earlier this year, at an owl sanctuary! I made Flick, his fiance, that I've known since school, an owl with a veil to go with it! Cute huh? I wish I had a photo of them both together.