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..

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Makeup Of The Day: Baroque Swirls

Since resigning from my job, I have had the opportunity to wear elaborate outfits, and even more elaborate makeup on a daily basis. Sadly, I haven't built my selfie booth/self-portrait corner yet, so there have not been plenty of 'outfit of the day' updates, unlike how I planned. Here is a particularly swirly example of my makeup from the weekend just past. I did something very similar again today, but did not have chance to photograph it. I have been working on improving my swirl-drawing skills, and working on my lipstick, too. Since I did the vampire-doll-like lipstick for ::this:: look, I have been experimenting more with blended lipstick. Using black edges around a dark colour is something that was inspired by ::Sophistique Noir::, who I remember doing something similar with red. I have used iridescent purple, and I hope the blue sheen shows up well in these photographs.

Baroque-inspired asymmetric swirls. Selfies by HouseCat 

I hope to get more posts written. I have ideas for more serious posts, but so little time. I have to prioritise university, so this blog is something I don't get much time for. When my self-portrait corner (with lights, tripod for a proper camera and suchlike) is set up, I should find it easier to take good selfies and thus have more fashion/style content for this blog.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Half A Spectrum In My Hair

My hair is currently a bit more faded than this. The purple, which ended up being neon pink over blue as the purple dye washed out with the first wash, washed out even after being pinked, and is now a royal blue. The hair at the top ended up less neon green, and more citrus yellow. I used several different dyes, mostly Stargazer, but also a Directions dye. For the greens I used Stargazer African Green and then Stargazer UV Green for another coat over that once the African Green faded. For the turquoise I used Stargazer Tropical Green and then Stargazer UV Turquoise over it.  For the blue I used Directions Lagoon Blue and Stargazer Royal Blue. The purple at the base started off as Stargazer Plume, but was then colored over with Stargazer Magenta because it faded to blue. I had to bleach my hair twice to get it pale enough, and to get enough of the existing turquoise/verdigris dye out. The UV Green washes out really quickly, and the African Green is more permanent. I find it really hard to get any purples to stay in my hair. 

Multiclour Hair. Selfies by HouseCat

This is a very, VERY, high-maintenance thing to have done to my hair. Because of how vividly bright and light the top is, my nearly-black regrowth shows very rapidly, and the colours all wash out and muddy together. I will have to re-do all the roots at some point, and touch up all the colours, but will need to get someone to help me separate my hair where I separated the first time around, so that the colours are all over wherever I had the same colour the last time. The purple just will not stay purple! Whenever it has been freshly touched up, and when I did it originally, the colours were stunning, but it is rather hard to keep it like that. I have also bleached my hair too many times, and will need to get all the hair at the ends trimmed out where it is fried.

It was also incredibly time consuming to do. It took two goes with bleach at its longest allowable leave-in time to get my hair pale. It then took a while per colour, with each colour separated with lots of clingfilm during the curing time, and then I had to wash it all out, and then touch it all up the next day during proper daylight because I'd missed bits trying to colour it in the poor artificial light of the bathroom. I think it was approximately a day's work, just to have multicolour hair.

I did it for my friend's wedding, and I am very happy with how it looked that day. I then re-did it for the start of university, and I think knowing my hair was looking awesome really boosted my confidence on my first day. As such, it was worth it.

Will I do it again?

Maybe, maybe not. It is a LOT of work! I may just try and maintain what I have until it gets unsustainable, and then start again with a more simple variation, with fewer colours, less of a gradient. I am also thinking of having my fringe reinstated, so that will probably alter what I want to do with my hair. But for now, I will enjoy the fruits of my labours. I did gradient hair with three shades of green once before, ranging from lime green through to emerald green. That was a bit less time consuming; maybe next time I will only pick three colours.

Pictures are selfies, and I tweaked the contrast and such a wee bit (mostly to make them all consistent), then made a collage of them, in ::PicMonkey::, which is free to use, although you have to subscribe to the paid-for Royale version for stuff like better bat clip-art. 

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wedding Belle

Outfit of the (wedding) day (of one of my friends)

During the recent mini-hiatus, I went to Wales to visit family and attend a friend's wedding. The bride (my friend) had recently experienced some tragic losses in her family, so I didn't want to wear black to her wedding because I felt it would be inappropriately funereal, and she had requested that I be bright and be myself. Well, as much as I am a Goth, I do like colours, so I decided to put together an outfit in green and purple - my two favourite colours. I went with brocades lovely fabrics of the sorts that I love, and in styles that would express the sorts of things that I like in terms of fashion, just in colours other than black. 

Photo by Raven, taken in an alcove at the museum next to Cardiff city hall. 

The jacket is one you will probably recognise; it is one of my fancier jackets and is from DarkStar. I've had it a while, and I wear it relatively frequently. The green dress was quite hard to track down! Initially I planned on wearing a dark green Lolita dress, but tracking one down that was both in my price-range and in my size proved too difficult to do by the wedding, so instead I went in search of a vintage style dress. There were some modern vintage-styled dresses that I liked, but then I suddenly found this dress; an actual vintage dress from Austria, by Madl of Salzburg. I adore the fabric it is made from, and it is a rich emerald green with a fabulous pattern. The sleeves are puffy at the shoulders, but not hugely puffy.  I bought it on eBay for approximately £25 including shipping, which I think is a bargain! The skirt is quite long, and I think would fit a petticoat, but I don't have any of the right style and length to go with this dress, nor did I want to wear one to an August wedding! The tights are (if I remember rightly) from Primark, and the shoes were also bought on eBay. I can't remember who made them though. Cat handbag is from H&M. Raven necklace is from Restyle, but that particular style has been discontinued after with an issue with their supplier over the metals used for the alloys. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Starting University, Update Schedule, And The Future

Monday was my first day at University smile emoticon I have been ridiculously happy these last two days. The more I hear about the course I am on, the happier I am. A few years ago, studying any part of the field of architecture seemed beyond me; some mysterious technical skills and art that would forever be out of my reach. I didn't think I could go to university, and I didn't think I was good enough to get in as a mature student. Now, I'm actually starting!

 I get to spend the next four years on a subject I have a huge, obsessive passion for. I can get excited about hollow tiles for cladding and their insulation/heat transfer properties, I can get excited about how a three-story atrium works visually like a cathedral nave, I can get excited about weight distribution and support in complex curves, and all these things I get to learn about how they work. All that technical, structural, practical stuff about /how buildings work/ that I find fascinating is something I actually will have as my main focus, hopefully for the rest of my days! It's amazing! I can't believe it's actually happening. I will hopefully finally get to dedicate the rest of my life to stuff that is awesome, and I've got it because I've worked for it. I'm really proud of how far I've got, and I'm fully aware of how much nose-to-the-grindstone work I have ahead of me, but I also know that if I put in the effort I will get what I want. 

A lot of stuff has stood in my way in life, I've had to deal with a pretty bad start and a lot of neurological and mental health issues, and I've had to deal with some truly awful people, but I've got past that. My friends have helped, my Dad and my sister have helped, Raven has helped, and I don't want to ignore their contribution too. There was a time when I didn't have many friends (if any), where I didn't have much at all in the way of support, where it seemed like all I had was problems on every front, and prejudices and hatred surrounded me; but I fought through that, and won my life for myself, and even better I met some super-duper people the other side. I won't be as active as I was before on my blog, but I won't be ignoring you; it's just that now that I have this opportunity, I will need to make the most of it. I didn't think this was something that would ever be accessible to me; I didn't think this would be something I would actually get to do.

 But it's real. 

And now I have to work really hard to keep it, and make everything flourish. I might not be around much for a while, but I haven't forgotten you all!