Monday, October 31, 2011

Of Ghosties & Ghouliess---the inner Goth

“Of Ghosties and Ghoulies and long legged Beasties, Good Lord Deliver Us!”

Isn’t that a wonderful sentiment, it’s like discovering that the earliest collectors of fairy tales was named Grimm, wonderful last name.

Today is Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain and what other names that is associated with this Day and Night.

For the Mundane people it is one night of the year that they can let their strangeness out, but for the Elder Goth Halloween is 364 days of the year---After all there is Christmas and it needs to have it’s own day. It’s really hard to live Christmas 365 days of the year, except in good fellowship spirit, which even an Elder Goth should maintain, after all Snarklings we do have to get along with all the “Muggles”.

Of course you have to decide “Addams Family” or “Munsters”. Frankly I prefer “Addams Family” but both shows and even the iconic cartoons of the Addams Family did show and practice family values. The Munsters took in a niece that although they secretly pitied because they thought she had a disadvantage, they still loved her and protected her, and she loved them because she knew they loved her and always watched out for her, even if the rest of the world would run in horror.

In the Addams Family T.V. show, there was one program in which a wealthy young man who tried to be a rebel ran away from his father and the family wealth. The Addams’ took him in, accepted him as he is, and demonstrated it to his father who learned to accept his son and his son accepted his father. O.K it was overly simplified, in the real world it would be a very hard lesson to learn, but the messages were always there, and done with a smile.

But I love Halloween because it let’s your inner Goth come out with a vengeance.

The trick is how does one maintain it all year round, you start with little things and slowly build up to your inner Goth, with me it was easy, as a child I wore what my parents bought me, the red plaid jumper, the black patient leather shoes for Sunday best wear, but as I got a little order, especially when I was 13 and 14 I started my inner Goth without realizing it.

I loved classical music, so saving up my pennies to buy the classical record albums that were on sale at the nearby drug store was not consider unusual, I would read ghost stories, and even the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries, like the “The Clue of the Phantom Showboat” or something like that…not unusual. But I kept my slacks and skirts to dark blue or black, which could be a little hard in the 7th and 8th grade as Mom wanted to buy me a print skirt that had little poodles on it with the background as being in Paris, it was the thing back then, she wanted to buy a pink skirt, but I spotted one with a soft light gray background and I suggested it to her saying that it would go with any color blouse I wore, she could see the wisdom in that. So I had a poodles skirt but NOT in pink….compromise always worked.

Later on in high school I realized that it wasn’t wise to stand out too far, you could be improperly labeled, that still happens to day but for other reasons. So I had to suppress my inner Goth with dark blue, gray and in the spring even a few pink and white blouses and blouses bought by well meaning family members for my birthday or Christmas.

Then I discovered in music my Uncle’s 1920’s and 30’s Jazz and Blues collection, in old 78’s, I had fun with that and in high school my Mother and Dad decided that the baby furniture that I grew up with was too babyish for me, of course by that time I had a baby sister and it was perfect for her, but there was no money for new bedroom furniture for me, what to do….Again my Uncle who was a widower and my Grandma came to the rescue, my Uncle moved in with Grandma after Grandpa passed away. His wife had died some years before and he was rattling all alone in his house, Grandma all alone in hers, he packed up everything, sold his house and moved in with Grandma, but he had this vintage from the very early 1930’s bedroom set.

It was perfect! And although I still had pink wallpaper in my bedroom, the wall paper had tiny harps and filigrees in silver, it was a perfect combination. And her dresser set all black enamel with silver chrome decorations, also perfect. I still have it to this day, except for the wall paper. But that is when I discovered antiques and art deco vintage could satisfy my inner Goth.

And that is how one does it by degrees….unless one wants to go all out and build either an Addams Family or Munster House, which several couples have done, and not an easy thing to do.

But for today, just today on Halloween to all you “muggles” let your inner Goth come out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Handbags and purses

Well Snarklings, I have been asked what sort of handbag or purse, etc an elder Goth should tote around.

That depends upon what is its purpose, casual, day work, evening, running errands or just looking drop dead wonderful.

Let’s start with color; you can never go wrong with basic black, as a matter of fact I found at a TJ Max store a beautiful black straw bag with silver fastenings that is just wonderful for the Spring Summer look. The straw is not bulky or thick but smooth and fine and will last for 3 possibly 4 or more seasons, if properly taken care of.

Another color is red, but be careful with the red that you choose, I have several evening purses, one is a black velvet bag with a draw string top with black jet beading, very Victorian, elegant and goth at the same time, the other is a red satin bad, but the red is very deep and dark, not burgundy but nearly enough, the trim is gold simple and understated.

In red I have one daytime bag that I will use for work in a very good red leather, again the red is deep and not cheap looking. It is smaller than my black daytime work purse but it carries my essentials, wallet, phone, keys, aspirin for headaches, lipstick and compact with mirror and powder, business cards, pen and small notebook.

Another color is a deep burgundy purple, this works with black, red, and purple.
But it is hard to find in a good burgundy color in leather. So stay with the Red and Black.

One thing I do avoid is the cheap plastic or patent leather look; nothing looks as cheap as that. And Elder Goths are never cheap looking.

For my work purpose I have one red bag but several black purses, ranging in size, one is a Liz Claiborne that doubles as my briefcase, so I combine two purposes into one bag.

When traveling I prefer a black bag that will cross over the body, makes it harder for a thief to steal and that is another thing you have to be careful about is having your purse stolen, even if you drape it from your chair it is too easy for a thief to remove your wallet. Also by having it cross over your body it leaves your hands free.

And speaking of wallets, a friend of mine bought the Alumina wallet and has found (at least in her case) that it does prevent anyone from scanning her cards. But she also found that she could not carry every card in it. So the Alumina wallet forces you to choose what card you will be carrying, which is good.

Elder Goths know that credit card debit is bad debt, there is no way you can get a tax write off with it. So my friend carries one credit card to cover gas, and emergencies, when she goes shopping for clothes, she keeps herself on a serious budget. The other cards are her I.D., Road side service card, medical card, her bus pass (she doesn’t use her car except on weekends) she does have a debit card, with Wells Fargo but she uses that in credit mode only after she has paid her bills and has put a serious amount aside in her savings and IRA.

But the best thing an Elder Goth can do is look like she doesn’t need a purse.

How does one achieve that look, I have several items of clothing, a jacket, coat, over sweater, that has pockets, I carry only 3 keys, house, ignition and gas key, I use the least amount of cards so a super thin wallet, cell phone, lipstick and a small tin of aspirin, I make sure that my pockets have Velcro tops to close so nothing falls out, and a small coin purse to hold coins and paper money, tightly folded. With my hands free I look like I mean business, no one bothers me.

And that is what an Elder Goth should present to the world.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

All Hallows Eve

If there is one Holiday out of year that I enjoy the most it's Halloween.

Oh Christmas is right up there too, but Christmas is more for a deeply spiritual and family and friends focused feeling.

Halloween is a good time to let the hair down and howl at the moon. Starting about the second week of the month is when I start wearing my more bizarre jewelry, no one bats an eye at it.

My spider pins, my skull rings, etc. but what I do is I have been letting is hang around a bit more often. They don't exactly disappear.

Well for Christmas I do wear this beautiful red enamel pointisetta pin but only because the red is so deep blood red and the green of the leaves is deep dark emerald, with just enough gold trim.

But during Halloween is when wonderful little things show up. I dropped into this teeny bopper boutique called "Claire's" I believe it's sort of a chain story and was happy to see spider rings and tiny bottles that one wears on a necklace and the bottles are labeled poison. Just the right thing for a baby bat.

And one can order these wonderful labels from Spirit or from Victorian Trading Company so that your soft drinks can say "Toxic Brew" or "Vampire Juice" or something equally as revolting.

What I have fun with is Jello----such an amazing food product----you can find hand molds, brain molds, and heart molds and pour jello mixed with cottage cheese or sour cream or whipped cream and fruit slices into these molds for a wonderful revolting looking desert.

I like to use Lime Green Jello with Sour Cream, just use two cups of hot water and 16 oz of sour cream to substitute for cold water, allow it to get just a little firm but not too much, add finely chopped celery, and red apples (have the apples marinating in lemon juice to keep it white) now do not add the lemon juice that you have been marinating the apples in other wise it will not jell.

Pour into your mould have it chill over night. Now I like to use the hand mould and use silvered almonds for the nails. With the Brain mould, after I unmould it onto a plate, I put it back into the refrigerator to chill some more 30 minutes is best, then I take it out and using a black colored frosting that comes in a tube I outline the valleys of the brain to help bring out it's shape. Looks gross but tasty.

For some Art Deco Goths who want to put on a party look, I recommend wearing deep plum shades, a deep blood red, a deep, deep blue or the deepiest darkest emerald green you can find all in velvet, the idea of velvet is that in the dark you can 'vanish' become almost unseen.

Make sure your skin is perfect, smooth, creamy, unmarked that way you can appear to be a statue come to life, it can be completly unsettling to people. And as a Goth that is what you want to do.

There is one other thing that was taught to me by my Grandmother, she used it very effectively.

Most people cannot look another person in the eyes for any length of time, they will look away then glance back, Police officers and Highway patrolmen, wear those sunglasses that are reflective so you cannot see their eyes and it can be intimidating, of course since they are out in the sun it is to protect their eyes but if you notice, you find you cannot look at them.

I would not do this with an officer of the law but I would do it with anyone else that I do not like.

Look at them, but do not try to look at both of their eyes, it will cause your eyes to flutter back and forth and then you find you'll have to look away. Just look at one of their eyes. What some people would call the down stage eye, for example you are at a bar and he is looking at you, you look at his eye that is closest to the bar and away from the crowd, he will not be able to look at you and you will have achieved dominance.

You do not have to have your eyes wide open, just slightly closed, sort of taking him in via his face slowly like, or at least giving that impression, he maybe thinking you are reading his mind and seeing all his evil thoughts. I call it the Dracula look.

However if it's someone you think you might like, don't do it or do it just a little bit to see if he's just right for you.

Now a suggestion my Snarklings----The beauty about the internet is you can find all kinds of food and drinks that are perfect for halloween, but also perfect for any kind of Gothic party you're having any time of the year. So what you can do is put together your own gothic cook book of foods, alcholic and non-alcholic drinks. As a matter of fact decorate it so it looks like a witches potion book.

Have Fun!

Devil's Lure

The one thing that an Elder Goth can do is change her mind, we always reserve that privilege.

In an earlier posting I said that it is not good for an Elder Goth to wear dark, dark nail polish, well yes and no.

The “no” part is that it is best for an Elder Goth to avoid those quirky nail polishes like straight black, blue, yellow, green or any every odd or garish colors.

But here is where an Elder Goth can have fun, first look at your hands; I mean seriously look at them. If they do not have brown age spots, if they do not look ropey, but instead look smooth and beautiful, and you take precautions to wear gloves while gardening in your “Poisonous Garden” or wear protective gloves while cleaning out the cauldron or washing dishes as well as using a good cream or hand lotion to prevent chapping, you can get away with certain dark, dark colors.

Recently I came across a color by Revlon titled “Devil’s Lure”. It’s part of the Revlon Masquerade collection. “Devil’s Lure” What a delightful name, this color was an incredibly deep dark purple with a reddish base, at a distance it almost looked black, but vampy warm; even close up it looks good, almost like (dare I say it?) dried blood. There is suppose to be a slight amount of glitter in it but if it’s there it’s very sparse; to get the blood look you have to put on at least 3 coats to get that deep intense blackish dried blood red and of course the usual base coat and fast drying top coat.

But try as I could, I could not find another bottle of that “vintage” and it was only recently out, perhaps as an experiment. Disappointed that I was, I didn’t give up hope, and found by accident among the “Wet and Wild Fantasy” colors a seasonal nail polish titled Vampire Blood or Vamp Blood, and it has that same quality in color. This polish is easy to spot as the bottle caps are made to look like tombstones. Just perfect for a Goth vanity table.

However, if your hands have seen a lot of wear, then I do suggest staying with a neutral color to just give your hands a sense of length instead of looking like Sylvia Browne’s talons. Nothing against Sylvia Browne but those nails are just too much.

Grandinroad ( puts out a seasonal “Halloween Haven” catalog that is featured in Martha Stewarts Magazine, I know snarklings but one can find the nicest decorations for one’s home and even get idea’s on how to decorate your place not only for Halloween but all year round.

And I got lucky at Party City’s Halloween branch called Halloween City, and found spider web valances as well as a fireplace mantle drape that also has tiny orange lights.

Of late Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Wal-Mart and I also saw it at IKEA all have been carrying black and red solid color dishware, if one hunts one can find the most lovely gothic type things.

And to continue the interior decorating theme, I’ve come across a web site called Gothic Rose Antiques; they are located in Placerville, CA. but they specialize in the strange and gothic, I’ve posted their link on my favorites. You have to go to their web site and peruse their collection of what they have for sale, but what I think would be even better is to travel to Placerville and see what they have in their shop. Since it’s on Highway 50 on the way to Lake Tahoe I would say that it would be best to avoid going when the snow is heavy on the roads, but still if you are into a serious traveling gothic shopping spree then it’s well worth checking out.

I know snarklings why would anyone do gothic shopping in the middle of the California Gold Rush Country? Why Not. Sometimes in one of those out of the way places one can find the most interesting things. So don’t turn your nose up at “junk shops” in the middle of no-where. You never know what you might find.