My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mermaid Make-Up

Today I experimented with colourful make-up. 
A very short post today!

I'm usually the sort of person that opts for very monochrome eye-makeup, but today I tried doing some make-up to match the colours in my hair. My hair is currently a darker gradient than before, with Directions Apple Green at the top, Stargazer Turquoise in the middle, and Directions Alpine Green for the back and bottom of my hair.

Not the best selfies. Photos by HouseCAT

For extra vibrant eyeshadow colours, I mask off under my eyes with bandage/dressing tape (being careful not to press too hard, otherwise it sticks fast and hurts a lot to pull off!) and then masking from the outer corners of my eyes to the outer ends of my eyebrows. I then cover the whole eyelid area right up to my brows in white foundation. The white foundation gives the eyeshadow something to stick to in order to last longer, and acts as a white ground to enhance vibrancy (something I learnt from Pre-Raphaelite painting techniques!). The masking using bandage/dressing tape also creates very clean, crisps edges. Really be careful not to stick it down too hard though, otherwise it really does tug at your skin to remove it (and as I have particularly stretchy skin, this is not fun!).

The finished effect reminded me of mermaids and ocean colours. Traditionally, mermaids are not always nice creatures, at least not in British mythology, where they're often a bad omen, or want to drown sailors - a bit like sirens - and are often associated with the weather turning nasty (this is Britain; the weather does that a lot, so perhaps we are overrun with mermaids? :P ). In Scottish mythology, there's a mermaid that's woman for the top section, and salmon for the bottom section, called a Ceasg or 
Maighdean Mhara that is a bit more benevolent, and she will grant three wishes to whomever catches her.

The photographs were taken on my webcam, and are not the best quality and are a bit hazy. They were also really quite dark despite it being a bright day, so I had to artificially lighten them in PicMonkey, so apologise if I look a bit paler than normal and a bit digital. The resolution wasn't good to begin with, and using tools that aren't meant as dodge and burn for those purposes in PicMonkey sort of smudged me further. 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

University, Life and Questions

Hello dear readers! I know I haven't been posting much recently, and I wish to apologise. At the end of last year, I applied to university to study Architectural Technology, and last month I had my interview. Overall, the interview was positive, but because I am entering as a mature student and did not do all of the required subjects at school and college (they weren't even an option where I studied!) I am now having to work very hard to put together a digital technical drawing portfolio to prove I can do what is necessary to keep up with the course. This has to be my priority, so please be understanding that between now and May (when I have a second interview, present my portfolio and take an exam) that I will be extremely busy and not posting much on this blog. I really, really hope I get in; all my long-term readers will know I have a real passion for architecture (that leaks over into everything else I do) and now that I have a proper opportunity to study, I really hope that I can take it. 

In the meanwhile, please note that I am still accumulating material to post over the summer, and making the first motions of some travel plans for the summer, and plans for blog content. I am also always happy to answer questions (just note that there might be a delay in my answering comments and questions) and while my blog is partly here to communicate my experience as a Romantic, Goth, Witch and alternative person, I think it is very important that I am helpful and informative. I like helping less experienced Goths who are just getting started, I like helping other Goths who are just looking for resources, and I like helping non-Goths to learn about what Goth is really like. I recently got an e-mail from a student who was doing a project involving writing about Goth, and I was really happy to be asked, and shared not just what I'd written, but lots of links and other resources (books, there's plenty of good books!). I will help with what I can help with, but I will also be upfront if I don't know the answer to something. 

<mini rant> I get a bit annoyed with bloggers who get angry when people ask them reasonable questions; if you put yourself out there and share your experiences via a publicly viewable blog accessible to anyone with access to a search engine, you do not get to control your audience and have it only of people who know as much as you. If you want to control your audience, use something like LiveJournal and have only certain people you select able to see your blog. With any blog, there will be people who want to know more, and people who will ask you questions, even if your blog is primarily an online diary. It is not only polite to respond kindly, even if it is with "I am sorry, but I do not know the answer" or "I am not the best person to ask; please refer to <insert resource here>  as they may be able to help you better", but being rude alienates people who are clearly interested in your field/subculture/topic/etc. and makes you look like a bad person, and the community associated with whatever you are blogging about look bad, like they are cold and unwelcoming people, as people tend to generalise based on the first people of a group they have significant interaction with.  One could argue that in typed conversation online, where there is no tone of voice, no physical proximity, and only emoticons and gifs to display the nuances of facial expression and body language, that it is even more important to be clear and polite in your communications. </mini rant>.