Friday, January 30

The Maker – A beautiful stop motion filled with philosophical issues

If you follow my posts here you probably noticed that I have a bent for dark things as well as childish ones (the dolls on the header sums it up) so I’ve recently dedicated a few hours of further reading for childish books and sort of came up with some crazy ideas, but “Oh dear, oh dear! I shall be too late!” What was supposed to be part of a simple summer reading ended up as a possible academic project. Now I’ll research a few other books and movies that look at this issue and start writing something about it! The stop motion The Maker also played a role in this inspiration. Do you want to know why? Well, imagine the combination of three things I love: Spooky dolls, violin and a cute bunny! Now imagine a spooky violinist bunny! The Maker tells the story of an intriguing little creature that runs against time to give life to his creation. Although simple, the tale covers some philosophical issues that have troubled humanity through times and leaves us with a bunch of unanswered questions, such as: who’s the creator? What happens if they run out of time? Is it possible to stop the hour glass? Enjoy this masterwork. Music: "Winter" by Paul Halley.

Sunday, January 25

Gothic room decor – cheap ways of getting your own bat cave

Home decoration is something I have a crush on but though I have a foot into the goth scene I don’t like this extremely black thing. My wardrobe is indeed filled with black garments – but this is something I’ve been changing lately because I don’t have time nor the patience for dressing like a victorian crow all the time. This is pointless. Instead of buying everything black I’ve given a chance for other colors, like red and blown. My house is far from being a goth or medieval realm. Actually one would never guess a goth girl lives here, except for the witch dolls on my shelves: the walls are light yellow, the curtain almost white and there’s absolutely nothing indicating my tastes. I don’t usually hang band posters on the walls, though I had a few pictures of random bands a while ago, but it also said nothing about me enjoying the subculture. I joked a little on the title referring to batman because of my cousin. He mocks me every time he visits us by saying: I’m going up there in your bat cave”. I’d never take it as offense. I think it’s pretty cool since he’s a very religious guy.

People look forward decorating their houses to make it a cozy place, and I don’t see why it should be different with Goths. So I thought up a few ways you can decorate your sweet home to make it resemble your personality. Remember: Good sense is always a helpful tool, there is no point in turning your home into a satanist temple, alright?

Rugs, tapestries, curtains and such: always a good start

Instead of buying paraphernalia such as pumpkins, fake blood and spider webs (save them for when you throw a Halloween party), consider adding customized bed linen, curtains and rugs to your room. Victorian rugs are by far the easiest thing to find, since it’s a classical pattern and any good store should have it. For tapestries it might be a little harder, for you must order it from specific shops specialized in customization (unless you customize them yourself). The second option is obviously the cheapest but it requires talent. Bed linen is also a simple way of giving your room a quite elegant look. Overall vintage patterns are commonly seen in the goth subculture, specially polka dot and stripes - remember they're trendy right now. Red roses and skull linen would go perfectly well with red walls, but if you think red is way too heavy for a wall you can put only red victorian frames to match the linen. Either way is fine. 

I bought three black provencal framed portraits to hang on the wall but since I live in a rented apartment I’ll probably have to bring them to my family’s house, it’s not a good idea to make holes in the wall when the apartment is someone else’s, hehe. I found them for only $ 6 in a second hand shop I frequent. I personally love these frames because of their elegant and antique look, once you have a black and white picture of you on them it feels like you’re from another time^^. Mine are made of porcelain, but you can also find wooden frames in crafts stores.

This bedspread reminded me of Emilie Autumn, lol. 

These cushions are not at all hard to do it yourself. And again, these patterns are trendy nowadays so you should find them easily. All you will need is a sewing machine, some meters of lace, the fabric, something to fill the cushion and a few pattern pieces for cutting the fabric correctly. Depending on the shape of the cushion you must draw either a circle or a square on the paper, as simple as that! 

Furniture, candles, skulls and paintings

If you have too little money even for the ideas given above there’s still something pretty cheap you can do. Buy wooden frames and paint the borders yourself, then google for artists whose works fall within the scope of goth. I can name a few ones: Mark Ryden, Jessicka Addams, Natalie Shau, Kukula… the list could go on forever (nah). The ideia here is to print your favorite pictures and hang them on the wall using your newest customized frames. Old clocks are also a good alternative and are among the stuff we find in attics.  We goths love candles, antique dolls, skulls and this sort of creepy stuff, don't we? On this post Gothic Furniture I uploaded a few images of what might look great for our bat cave. 

Gothic decorations are typically arranged with antique furniture. Like I said before: vintage is trendy nowadays which means you can get them for lower prices. The industry has been manufacturing furniture inspired in old centuries though the quality of the wood is not the same. At least you can get an old-fashioned bookshelf customized in different colors. I would personally recommend black, red or purple.

In the city where I’m currently living there’s a point where second hand shops of all sorts are located, so I’ll usually hang around over there whenever I’m shopping for clothes. I remember passing in front of a store that was selling a victorian purple sofa.I didn’t dare to ask for the price but it really caught by attention. I just wondered where it had come from, who had owned it and why the hell they were getting rid of such precious thing!

If you want to "goth" the rest of your home this tissue holder might be interesting:

Haha this is great.

Friday, January 23

Would you ever undergo cosmetic surgery to get elven pointed ears?

Otitis. What a dreadful way of beginning the New Year. 2015 came with good food, drinks, expectations and an inflammation in my middle ear. For 6 days I couldn’t sleep at all – let alone the horrible pain and loss of hearing, which I took long to recover. The doctor prescribed such a huge list of drugs to me that would make anybody believe we’re starting our own pharmacy. For days I wandered in my house with a hot water bottle pressed to my left ear, in a terrible mood. Doctor asked if I’d rather take an injection to stop the pain but I denied vehemently! These injections used to get our bodies rid of bacteria are the most painful ones! If I took it I would most certainly end up with one hot water bottle in my ear and another one in my ass! Nope! Today I woke up with another infection, this time in my throat. Not again…

But what does my low immune system has to do with the pointed ears? Well, this sort of made me reflect about the plastic issue. Not long ago I ran into an article about a Canadian alternative model called Melynda Moon who had her ears shaped to make them look like elven’s ears. This practice is taking ground not only among public personalities, but also among cosplayers and such. I’m among the thousands of Tolkien’s fans, LARP players (live action role-playing game) and elf lovers from all around the world that long for slipping into neverland (here I mean any world ever created in fantasy literature). Like many of these folks out there I have a pair of elven ears wearied now and then, but would I ever consider getting permanent points where my humanlike round cartilage used to be?

The procedure also known as Spock’s ears consists of cutting the top of the cartilage, removing a small part of it and stitching the parts forming a point.  

The two half-elves: Kimberleigh Roseblade and model Melynda Moon.

When I first heard of it I thought to myself: Wow, it’s cool, these girls are really brave and above all else they have something I truly admire in someone: they don’t give a damn about what others think of them. I personally love people who have personality and don’t do something just because everybody else does. Melynda seems this kind of person. I don’t follow her work but from what I could grasp she has her own style, something “doll like” and alternative – I won’t dare to slot her into a specific style. Looking at the outcome of the surgery in both girls we see beautiful human-elves. For me their ears look great and extremely realistic.

Opinions on these girls’s decision may vary, but indeed the highest rate of acceptance will come from the youngest generations; after all they’re growing up in a society where any type of body modification is common, from colorful hair and piercing to silicon and botox. But of course, opinions are what they are: mere opinions. For those who are interested in the procedure the only opinion that really counts is the doctor’s. I'm biased in this issue; after all I'm familiar with the elvish mythology. My opinion obviously involves taste, but you shouldn't really expect older people (or people who aren't familiar with Tolkien or Norse mythology) to look at your modified ears and find them the most beautiful thing they've ever seen. I accept and admire these ears but that's because of my background knowledge of the elvish literature, games, etc. Most people will say it's pathetic (consider they don't have the slightest idea what an elf is!) and throw accusations of body mutilation at whoever gets it done.

But let’s try not to be cynical in this matter: There’s no point in someone arguing that getting elven ears is a pathetic mutilation if this person has done or plans to get any other unnecessary body modification – it includes breast augmentation and even worse: rib removal! We’re aware of the high rates of these pointless surgeries in the world, and they’re not higher just because most people don’t have the money to afford it. Honestly, I'd rather see dozens of people modifying their ears than see people injecting silicon for sexual purposes. The media is currently bursting with cases of women who made truly pathetic body transformations for the silliest reasons. Check the case of the brazilian model who injected so much silicon into her body that it began to rot inside her and now she’s between life and death. In my opinion everyone is free to decide what they want to change in their bodies - as long as take up the consequences. The brazilian media has recently made a fuss about the model’s critical health condition, blaming the society, blaming the men and everyone who they believe to be responsible for what happened to the lady. Excuse me? The decision of injecting only god knows how many liters of silicon was hers, consequently the fault of what happened is hers alone. She knew the risks. 

Words from these ladies seem to have spread and since people know how much I love elves they keep asking me if I would change my ears someday. It’s funny when I’m confronted with this question. I’m normally a joker so I’ll go: But of course! If someday I have money to perform it I’ll surely do it! When I say that those who don’t know me enough roll their eyes because they know I’m kidding, and those who know me too well roll their eyes the same way because they really believe I’d do it. My answer is no. As a child I suffered from adenoid hypertrophy and had to undergo two surgeries to remove it. Though I can’t recall precisely the age I also underwent a treatment with monthly allergy shots to treat my rhinitis. After all this I would never feel comfortable to undergo such pointless surgery procedures. As simple as the surgery to get elven ears might seem, it has its risks. We must take into account not only the risks of infection during or after the surgery but also the long term problems that it might cause, like ear deformation, since our ears never stop growing and once you sculpt it, the natural growing might interfere in the pointed shape.

Wednesday, January 21

"Now you're conversations, scholarships and occupations. You look so different than before..."

The title I chose for this post couldn’t be more suggestive: a young student who goes back to her homeland after months away and finds herself surrounded by memories and nostalgia. The title is part of a song by my favorite band The Birthday Massacre, and was borrowed by me. The short description given above is just my personal interpretation. Every vacation I find myself in great distress and coming here feels almost like if I could travel through time in order to heal my soul. The one I look for when I’m here is my old me, a way of rescuing my dreams, my essence. I was never the type good in socializing with a lot of people; it makes me feel lost amongst strangers that become my acquaintances faster than an eye blink. And I despise the fake interactions among freshmen and veterans at college: people making “fast-food-friends” and talking at each other’s back, adding, liking and commenting on stupid and narcissistic junk they post on social networks. My few friends, and by friend I mean the true meaning of this lexeme, are not at all like that, which makes me feel proud to the bones. I long for living without the judgments of others, without the likes, truly living a life beyond a screen full of idiots.

In portuguese we have two words to say that we miss something, but there is a slightly difference in their meanings that even natives might not be aware of: saudade means that you miss something cheerfully. The cognate nostalgia means that you miss something with pain. I never thought about this difference in meaning and like everyone else I’d just use either in the same context. Speaking like someone who lives the life dwelling on the past I realize how hard it is for me to even let other people gain my trust and become part of my life.  Back at the time I moved to another city and was in the verge of a new phase in my life, I felt and urge to make new friends like if that would somehow make up for what I had to leave behind, but though I did make few friends I see how disconnected I am. Whether it’s good I don’t know. At first it seemed emotional maturity advancement, since I always had trouble for being extremely connected to friends, but after some thinking this seems rather an excuse to dismiss the idea of being a cold person.

Inspiration for this post and an album filled with some of my fave afternoon lullabies! "Violet", released in 2004. The title is part of the thirteenth track: Nevermind. 

By the way, I recently visited some old friends and accidentally ran into another on the street. I gathered with some guys at their house and we spent the afternoon drinking and listening to Oblivion’s soundtrack. Together we made an unforgettable scene: three guys and a girl drinking bear from the bottle, talking of computer games and laughing.

Now back at the title, another idea synthesized by this sentence is that of how college changes us, our personality, tastes and views of the world around us. Against my will it turned my mind into something less fancy. Up to a point this is a necessary tool for surviving in the real world, but if you lose control, it might wash your essence away. After entering university some people I used to know so well changed and I no longer recognize them. It’s no longer possible to talk without at some point arguing over something only to feel how the person wants to make an academic competition out of nothing. It totally sucks. I wonder how my family and acquaintances see me after all these years. When I talk about changes conditioned by academic environment I include the idea of becoming more serious, critical. For instance, I no longer have the same appetite for fantasy novels. I tried to read a book by Terry Brooks (something I totally fancied before!) but couldn’t go through it. The same happened to a vampire fiction called The Moth Diaries. It feels like this kind of literature won’t add anything useful to my repertoire. The fact that I’m currently doing a degree in languages & literature affects directly my taste in books and general culture (don’t know about other countries but here you can’t study any of this subjects apart, so at college you ought to take literature, linguistics and a foreign language – in my case, german).

Lack of time is another concern – my little time has driven me away from my hobbies, my blog and everything else. The violin lessons are my only outlet in these dark times.

The thought of putting this blog to sleep has been lurking inside my head since I’ve had no time to manage it and from now on things will keep getting worse. But for some reason I decided to keep it, but not without some transformations. I like writing and don’t care whether people read it through and through or just look at the pictures as they scroll down the page. Though I love the victorian aesthetics I was fed up with the old wallpaper, then I switched it to something more doll like. But the change in the blog goes beyond its layout. 

Apart from the journal thing, firstly I’d like to give my blog a purpose, rather than just write about my daily outfit – We know in which social networks this sort of thing is more fitting. I’m really up to helping fellows who share my tastes and seek the same lifestyle I do, and this includes being an old-fashioned soul seeking for tradition, vegetarian food, old clothes, early music and a living dream. From now on I plan to bring you vegetarian recipes, more band reviews, patterns for old fashion, book reviews (maybe), etc. And secondly, I will no longer be using my mother tongue here since it decreases the number of readers. I also have a need of staying in touch with english (specially in terms of writing), that’s why I’ll do my best to express myself here although I still have a lot to learn!