Saturday, 30 June 2012

"If you think ladies are the weaker sex, Captain Weston, you have clearly never come across a woman in dark alley armed with a steam powered scatter pistol."

Monday 25th June?

This is a really bad picture, but it's the only one that came out at all. I really need a new camera.
If I look evil it's because I was blinking during the photo or something, so my eyes look weird.

Shirt, pleather vest and skirt all second hand.

The hairstyle I stole off Bo from Lost Girl and I think it works for me. It doesn't really show in the picture, but just the top front bit is pulled back and french plaited into the top of the hair. It keeps it back neatly and out of my face, which I like.

Title another random line by me.

"When the Infernal Damned Come Knocking on the door, Arabella, there will be no more time for tea and cakes!"

Outfit Sunday 24th June

Sorry about the picture quality, my faithful camera is having troubles and I am afraid I really need a new one.

Purple top- sale shop
Clockwinder necklace- redheart13 on Etsy
Black lace top- second hand
Black leather and lace skirt- and amazing piece I got at the Newtown markets!

I also had my same black velvet jacket with this outfit.

The title isn't from anything really, just yet, but I may yet put it in one of my steampunk tales.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Retronaut: Couple Refuse To Put Clocks Back

Read this interesting little article about a couple who refuse to let our modern arbitrary manipulation of time rule their lives, by ignoring the human invention of daylight savings, and how it seems to really work for them.

I find this fascinating, I have always found the way we change the clocks a bit ridiculous. It's as if we think we somehow own time and can do what we will with it. When you're a kid, you think changing the clocks somehow changes the time, but it really only changes time as we know it. Time goes its own way regardless.

Birthday Shenanigans

Outfit Saturday 23rd

I wore this Steampunk inspired outfit to my friend Eleanor's birthday. I had a great time.

Beaded choker, shirt, corset top skirt and tights from second hand shop.
Clockwinder necklace from redheart13 on Etsy.
Boots from Shop 55

I wore my fitted black velvet jacket with this too, the one I've been wearing a lot recently.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Seance

Novel by John Harwood

A Gothic tale of pure perfection, with cleverly interwoven plotlines and a dark mystery that is not fully revealed until the final pages! The characters were well written and sympathetic, and the story gripped me from beginning to end. Good use was made of elements that fascinated in the Victorian Era such as mesmerism, Johannes Trithemius and lightning. (The Lair of the White Worm, which I read recently, showed an fascination with the destructive powers of lighting.)

While some modern audiences may not be used to the Gothic genre, and the way the plot slowly unwinds, as well as the epistolatory form of the novel, I think it has been written as an engaging narrative that will still interest modern audiences. The ongoing mysteries are fascinating, and the final explanations very satisfying. If you are looking for something different from the obvious and gore soaked modern mysteries, this book will be a refreshing change.

This is absolutely one of my 'six out of five' books!

The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite

Graphic Novel by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba

Don't be put off by the fact that this is written by a popular musician, this is a graphic novel well worth reading!

I enjoyed the dark humour, absurd plotlines and vivid, if sometimes a little confusing artwork. The main thing I would have liked is a little more backstory for the characters, and perhaps being a little more clear on their powers, as it took me the entire story, up until the short prequel comic to realise what The Rumor's power actually was and I'm still not sure on what The Kraken's talent is.

I liked the inevitability of disaster in the plot due to the personal mistakes made by the characters, and the idea of the cost of bringing the children up to save the world, but not giving them what they needed emotionally, making them into tools. 

Recommended for those who enjoyed The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the graphic novels, not the movies).

Ray Bradbury Obituary in The Economist

A Monster Calls

Novel by Patrick Ness
Idea by Siobhan Dowd

This book was a beautiful but harrowing read. It is a story about a boy whose mother has cancer who is visited by a yew tree monster. The story was very sad and I cried several times. It is a touching and honest tale and will definitely touch anyone who has ever been in a similar situation. I would not recommend it to someone who has recently experienced loss as it might be a bit much to take, but I think it could also be cathartic for someone whose loss is a bit further in the past. 

The topic of the story was also made more poignant by the fact that Siobhan Dowd, who created the ideas for the story, died of cancer at just 47 before she was able to write the book, and it feels like a swansong for her. 

I really liked the monster's first two stories, and the duality of the characters in them. I liked the way the magical elements interwove with the realities of life. Conor's bond with his mother was beautiful, and his problems with his grandmother and father felt very real. I couldn't help being mad at his father for not being there.

It is an addictive book, and I ended up reading most of it in one sitting, so I recommend it for a rainy day. But make sure you have a hanky or tissues with you.

The Wicked Wicked Ladies in the Haunted House

by Mary Chase
(Originally published as The Wicked Pigeon Ladies in the Garden)

Apparently this book was originally published in 1968, but it doesn't feel dated. It is meant for pre-teen readers, so it's a bit simpler than what I usually read, but I was still able to enjoy it. I liked the setting and mood, and the take on the bird women idea, which is always fascinating to me. For adults, some of the descriptions of things in the 'olden days' might be a little frustrating, but I think a lot of kids would probably need the explanations. The main character isn't very likeable, but learns and lesson and I found the end heartwarming. It's a good idea and I enjoyed it. It's short, I read it in one sitting, which means it's probably a good length for younger readers, so they don't get bored.

If I could have made one change, it would be to have had this illustrated by Edward Gorey, I think that his style would have really suited the book.

Companions To The Moon

Short story by Charles de Lint

A short story about trust, friendship and relationships with a magical twist. I loved the bit about the differences between the two friends and how her friend resented her a little because alternative people are so 'trendy'. It's the kind of way a lot of conservative people seem to regard those who don't quite fit into their way of thinking, and I loved how he put it into words.

I gave this 4 stars out of 5.

A Gothic Ballet

Outfit Friday 22nd June?

Velvet choker from second hand shop
(the pendant is an earring)
Corset top from street stall
Shirt from second hand shop
Skirt from second hand shop

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Kenzi Style (Lost Girl)

Friday 15th June

Clockwinder necklace from Redheart13 on Etsy
Waistcoat and skirt second hand
Purple top from sale store

Pleather jacket belongs to my boyfriend's sister

So at the moment, I am totally addicted to the TV show Lost Girl. It's urban fantasy, the plots are great, you get to care for the characters. And then there's Kenzi. A tough, cute runaway from a Russian Mafia type family, she has funky urban goth punk street style, and loads of cool wigs. Currently my fave is the curly fauxhawk. But her normal hair is awesome too.

If you haven't seen the show, you NEED to check it out, but don't spoil any of the plot for me, 'cause I haven't caught up to the current season yet!

Anyway, I'm trying to inject a little Kenzi style into my outfits. I'm not that great at modern clothing, but I thought this was a pretty good attempt. I would have worn it with knee high boots, like Kenzi probably would, but I was in a hurry, and they take forever to lace up, so I just wore it with my ankle boots.

Kenzi's usually wearing miniskirts or pants, usually leggings, a cropped fitted leather/pleather jacket and a corset top over a long sleeved top. Usually knee-high boots but also insane high heel boots I could NEVER walk in. She is adorable, but not in a cutesy annoying way. More in a wild child, cute alternative style way. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Relaxing and Darwin on Marriage

Finally finished all the assignments, and having a well-deserved break, mostly reading and watching things. I will hopefully feel up to writing a few reviews soon, as I have read some great stories recently.

Until then, here is a few words from Charles Darwin on the pros and cons of marriage. From the wonderful blog, 'The Cat's Meat Shop', which you should definitely check out.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Wicked Victorian Faerie Who Ran Away To The Circus

Thursday 14th June

Circuses, Victoriana and faeries are a constant inspiration to me in my style, reading and writing.

Shirt, skirt and jacket opshopped.
Tights new from an opshop.
The badges are of Delerium from the Sandman comics. My second favourite character after Death, although occasionally, I like Delerium best!

Hair Experimentation

Tuesday 12th June

Messy updo with a lot of hairspray and black beaded necklace in hair.

Top and skirt second hand.

I was experimenting to see how much volume I could get in my hair with hairspray without teasing it, which would just destroy my hair as it's really fine. The answer is not much volume. After watching a couple of videos on YouTube I determined I needed what is know as a 'hair rat' which is a synthetic bit of hair you can wrap your hair around. I purchased a cheap hair extension and hair nets from a dollar shop on Wednesday and will post the results when I have the time to give it another go. 

As you can see from the picture below, it's meant to look kind of Mrs. Lovett-esque.

Mrs. Lovett makes the best pies in London...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Revolutionary Dinners

Sunday 10th June

Skirt and jacket from stall in Sydney on Saturday.
For some reason the jacket reminds me of the French Revolution. It probably looks like something I saw in Les Miserables.

Went out for dinner with my boyfriend and his parents to celebrate my birthday. Really great food.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Steampunk Weekend

Outfit Saturday 9th June

You can't tell in the picture, but I'm wearing black and white striped socks and ankle boots. 
Cameo from costume jewellery shop (hidden in top, but it's the one I wear a lot)
Shirt and corset second hand
Skirt from Shop 55 Vintage

It was the day after my birthday. I met a couple of friends in the city. We actually got photographed a couple of times because there was a bit of a festival on and we were wearing interesting outfits. It was flattering and fun. It was fun to get out and do something because the trains are always off on my birthday weekend for trackwork, so I don't often end up doing social things. It's stupid to have trackwork on the long weekend, because it's actually the weekend where more people are going places. I can't believe I'm 25!

The day before, which was my actual birthday, was the last day of film class, so we had a party in class. It was another woman's birthday too, the first person I've met who has the same birthday as me. People sang happy birthday to us. I'm going to miss my film classes, as I don't have any more for the rest of my course. They were always interesting, especially Australian film which revealed some of the forgotten classics of our film history. And there were always cool people to talk to in the classes.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Style Inspiration: Shirley Manson

I love her 90s minis with combat boots, I loved her androgynous style. But most of all, I adore this hair with all the skulls in it! I want that hairstyle! The jacket is wicked, also!

Not to mention, great musician. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Ray Bradbury

I have been telling stories for as long as I can remember. There are old videos of me making up and performing plays, and stories my parents wrote down or typed for me. I always knew I wanted to write (and act, but I don't really want to do that anymore), but along the way, there have been some people who have been particular inspirations. Along with Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury was the best of those. With his eclectic writing, science fiction, gothic horror, memoirs of childhood and so many others, he always created an enchanted world. You could get lost in his stories. His prose was simple but evocative. His writing was, in a word, perfection.

I often despaired at ever writing anything half as good, and there were times when he made me feel a bit inadequate, but at the same time, he inspired me to try to create something better. If I ever get published, I know I will owe him thanks for his inspiration.

I wish I had had a chance to meet the man who enchanted my youth with his magical tales. I still haven't had a chance to read all his writing, and I look forward to discovering new stories, while at the same time, feeling that wistful sadness that such a great man is gone from the world. It makes me believe in some kind of afterlife where he is wandering the fantastical worlds of his stories with old friends. Walking martian landscapes, visiting his own beautifully twisted version of the House of Usher, and drinking dandelion wine.

Rest in Peace Ray Bradbury. The world is a poorer place without you.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Things That Wow Me!

Emilie Autumn- style, music, etc.

Anna-Varney Cantodea. I always knew I should listen to her band Sopor Aeternus, but never really got around to it 'til recently. Luckily I recently discovered looking up musicians I don't know on YouTube. Her music is so atmospheric, with an amazing mix of folk and classical, and there was definitely some medieval sounding stuff in there. I might write more about her once I hear more of the songs.

These shoes! I could never walk in them, but I still want them! 

Insane metal spine jewellery!

Blue hair, or, as I sometimes call it, mermaid hair.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Classics and Those Who Just Don't Get It!

Tonight, someone on Facebook referred to Wuthering Heights as "uber crap" and in the same sentence as Twilight no less! It made me so mad I nearly cried, and I am just sitting here seething! Maybe it's not the greatest love story of all time, it's all about revenge, it's twisted, but that's what's so great about it!

I want to know- when did we stop respecting classics???

I have seen so many reviews for classic books on Goodreads where they have been given really low ratings, people have complained that they are verbose, melodramatic, boring! I am so sick of this trend towards ignorance! Okay, language back then wasn't as pared down as it is now, but that's a good thing!  Do we want to have a world like in Orwell's 1984, where we are constantly shrinking down the dictionary?! Well, I guess some people do!

And as for melodrama, I've read some of the YA crap that gets churned out nowadays, and it's terribly melodramatic, and not even for a good reason! Life and death problems abandoned for problems like boyfriends and going to the prom!

I could go on forever about all the ignorant comments I have heard people make about classic books, books that have stood the test of time. I really hope that some of the modern crap people read these days don't become the new classics in a less and less literate society!!!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Run Away to The Circus

Outfit Thursday 31st May

I wore this to the Lofty Words event run by my university writer's group. It was so fun, and it was really good to go because my timetable didn't let me go to writer's group this semester. 

Hair claws- sale store ages ago
Jacket, top, skirt and skirt underneath- second hand shop
Socks- eBay

Getting There

Reaching the final stretch now! 6 days til my birthday (including today) and my last assignments are due in 4, 5 and 6 days respectively! And then I can actually take a rest for a little bit!