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..

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Study/Studio Re-Decoration Part 3: Book Nook Update

My Book Nook is in a state of constant evolution, and I've made some minor updates. The first and most obvious is that I have re-organised my altar yet again. I do this relatively regularly, so this is unsurprising. The other is that I've been re-arranging the book-shelves (which I have not shared on this blog before, but it has turned up in my Instagram stories; I'm @domesticatedgoth on Instagram too), where I've actually come to a bit of a sticking point. What I would like is to have a lovely book-case of books arrange into one of those beautiful rainbows I've seen on Pintrest and Instagram, but I tried this, very unsuccessfully, as most of my books are neutral colours: black, white, grey or brown. Currently they're organised by descending height from tallest to shortest, and in order of subject. Eventually I will be getting a larger book-case, with Gothic arches, and my book collection is always growing, so I suspect that I might be able to have this book-case eventually dedicated to colourful books arranged into a rainbow, and the larger bookcase for the majority of books which are black, white, grey or brown. Currently it just looks messy and the mismatch effect offends my aesthetic sensibilities. 

A two-handed claymore sword is mounted on an ornate metal two-pronged mount screwed into a wall clad with black reptile-skin effect wallpaper. The image is looking into a corner. The wall on the right is a dark purple and is stencilled with silver and gold stars. There are three moon-design mirrors in a folk style from Indonesia on the wall, in varying shades of purple with black and gold accents. In the corner there is a three-tier black-painted glossy shelf with various witchy items on it including two resin figures of wizards, several ornate boxes and a statue of Bast. There is a book-case standing from the floor; it is gloss black, and it has a berry purple altar-cloth along the top of it. There is a Neo-Pagan altar set up with a black cast-iron cauldron, an incense censer in the shape of the Moon Goddess, a glass crescent moon candle-holder, several crystals, even more purple glass candle-holders, and a purple incense burner for joss sticks. There are two rolled beeswax candles, purple. The lighting is daylight, the image is relatively bright considering the dark space. Sunlight glints on the faux-reptile wallpaper. There are books on the book-case, disorganised and mis-matched, they are about architecture and include modern books and 19thC volumes
Book Nook does actually contain books
I am still seeking more of these purple fair-trade moon mirrors. I nearly found a new one on Instagram, but it was out of stock. I prefer shopping second-hand, anyway, so I am still keeping an eye out for some on eBay or for one turning up in a charity shop. I would need to re-arrange the mirrors to open up a space for the next mirror. I can see myself in the large round one at the bottom; the others are just there for reflecting light around a rather dingy and dark corner. I really like the painting style, and the 'man in the moon' is one of my favourite artistic motifs. Speaking of which, if you look carefully on the corner shelves, there's a print of one of my drawings (the original is in my sketchbook, and I had it made into a print partly because I intend to get a tattoo of it). I's a crescent moon with stars, and I drew it for Inktober last year. You can see it properly on my Instagram. 

An oval mirror is on the right flank of a black-gloss book-case. The mirror frame depicts a lavender-coloured crescent 'man-in-the-moon' design with a black section with three stars painted on it. It matches the circular mirrors depicted in the picture above. There is a berry-purple tassel hanging partly over it from the altar cloth above, adorned with two clear crystal-effect beads. To the right of the image, the wall behind the book-case is visible, and a little of some greyscale wall-paper depciting Gothic architecture, it is a reproduction of an 1830's design and is in a block-print style.
Moon mirror on book-case
One of the moon-mirrors that is rarely appreciated because it's not on the wall with the others, and is often partially obscured by the portiere curtains is this oval one depicted above. It looked a bit odd next to all the circular ones, so I decided to put it elsewhere. Initially I intended on putting it on a window ingo, but I didn't want the UV radiation in sunlight fading the paint, so it's in this obscure place in the Book Nook instead. The tassel hanging in front is from my altar-cloth, which is too long for my altar (I should either cut it down myself, or get it done professionally by someone neater than me). 

Three purple and black moon-mirrors mounted on a rich, deep purple wall. The wall has some gold and silver stars stencilled on it visible in the top left. The top-most mirror is bright purple and depicts a man-in the moon with a halo of purple rays tipped with gold. There is a black section on the right of the crescent with three stars. It is medium sized. The middle mirror is to the right; it is a blueish purple and is the same crescent moon with halo of rays design, but much smaller and a bluer colour, again with three stars. Hanging off the small moon mirror is a filigree silver moon-pendant with simulated circular stone. The lower mirror is a large light purple mirror of just a crescent moon on a circular background, and there are three stars; the background is black. There is less gold. To the left there is a black gloss corner unit of shelves; on the bottom shelf is visible a black stone box with Celtic knotwork supporting a brass Nepalese singing bowl with wooden striker. On the middle shelf is visible a resin figure of a wizard wearing a blue robe with purple and gold and holding a staff; the wizard has long white hair, a beard and a hat. Next to the wizard, on the far left, a snowglobe is partiall in view, half of it cropped at the edge of the image. The snow-globe is a clear globe on a black turned pedestal and inside is a graveyard scene made of metal. The items on the top-most shelf are obscured, but part of a metallic foil print of a unicorn is visible - just the lower hooves and some of a purple night sky. A dark purple glittery skull, very small, is also just about visible but obscured by shadow. In the foreground there are two purple rolled-beeswax candles in silver old-fashioned Classical candle-sticks. The photograph is taken in daylight, and the lighting is neutral.
Three moon mirrors
I have re-organised the corner shelves, tweaking the display. It isn't a major change, but it's a change nonetheless. I actually feel like this corner needs to be more Gothic. I submitted these pictures to the Gothic Home Decor Enthusiasts group on FaceBook, and they gave some good advice about incorporating candle-sticks, and maybe some skull moons. I know some lovely creepy 'skull moon' design varients on the man-in-the-moon were available in the US last Hallowe'en, but I didn't see them in the UK. If I do include something like that, I'd not put it right near the altar as that's a sacred space, but I might put things like that on the black wall next to my sword, or hanging from the brackets of the shelf opposite (not pictured). 

The same corner of the room as in previous photographs. On the left there is a wall with black faux-reptile textured wallpaper. Mounted in the corner, which is to the left of centre of the image, is a black gloss corner shelving unit with three tiers. The bottom shelf has a small carved wooden box, a medium sized black stone box supporting a Nepalese singing bowl with wooden striker. There is also a print in a glass clip-frame of a black and white image of the man-in-the-moon within a circle, with a field of stars on a black bacground, and a large ten-pointed star with an eye, all drawn in fine-liner. The second tier has two wizards figurines, one on each side; the one on the left is wearing purple and gold robes, the one on the right is wearing blue robes with purple and gold, both have gold staffs; the blue-robed wizard has a crescent moon staff, the purple robed wizard has a staff with a white sphere like the full moon. There is a snow-globe with a black pedestal and clear glass displaying a graveyard scene in silvery metal. A small brown oval stone box is between the wizards, in front of the snow-globe. The items on the top tier of the shelf are partially cropped out of the image, but three small skulls each painted purple in nail-varnish with different finishes - glittery, metallic and iridescent - are visible. A small black and gold statue of Bast is visible, the bottom half of a foil print of a white unicorn against a purple sky, in a black wooden frame, is also visible; the unicorn's hind legs are visible only. The legs of a figure of the character Sebastian from the anime Black Butler are also visible. On the right two thirds of the image the purple wall is visible. Two of the three moon mirrors are in the photograph; they are both round, one is light purple and has a crescent moon and three stars, the other is bright purple with gold accents and has a crescent moon, three stars and a halo of purple rays. Gold and silver stars are stencilled on the rich purple wall. In the fore-ground two rolled bees-wax candles in classical silver candle-sticks, a purple glass goblet, the lid of the cast-iron cauldron, a miniature treasure chest in brass over purple-stained wood, and the black and white decorated box for my witch's Black Book are visible.
Corner shelf unit
I wanted to put two Gothic arch candle-sconces, a matching pair, either side of the sword. I was bidding on two tall, then almost lancet style ones being auctioned on eBay, but with faux-stone moulding of architectural details and a matching grey faux-stone paint effect. I am not keen on faux-stone paint effects, and would have painted them gloss black to match my furniture, but unfortunately I lost out on the bidding at the last minute. I am now trying to buy another pair of slightly plainer Gothic arch candle sconces, and I intend to keep looking until I can find ones the right size and style for this corner of the room. I like that it is witchy, and that it has been described as 'magical' but I would like to add more elements of the overtly Gothic into the decor, not just in the architectural sense, especially to tie it in with the rest of my study, which is more Gothic (especially in the architectural sense). 

The altar is in the foreground, slightly out of focus; it is on a berry purple altar cloth with a crinkle texture that is on a diagonal to the plane of view. Two silver candle-sticks are upon it, in a classical style, with rolled beeswax purple candles. On the left of the altar is a black plaque displaying a purple pentagram, a small cast iron cauldron with a pentacle on the front, and a partially visible purple glass goblet, cropped out of frame. In the centre is a clear glass candle-holder with a crescent man-in-the-moon and star design moulded into the glass. On the left is an incense censer in the shape of a stylised goddess. Behind the altar and above it is the round crescent moon mirror, it is quite large with a purple crescent moon occupying most of the left of the frame, the right being black with three small stars; the mirrored glass itself is round. The mirror is in focus. To the left of the image the black corner shelving unit is partially visible; the bottom tier has a black stone box with celtic knotwork, a brass Nepalese singing bowl with wooden striker, and partially visible fine-liner print; the print is cropped at the edge of the photograph so the image of the print is not apparent. The second tier is partially visible, with the bottom of the figurine of a wizard in blue, gold and purple robes visible. The shelving unit is slightly out of focus, but the items are identifiable. On the right of the image, a small round moon mirror with a frame consisting of a blueish purple crescent moon and a halo of purple rays is visible, as is a filigree moon pendant with synthetic round stone hanging from it. At the top of the image the halo of rays from the bright purple medium mirror is partially visible. Only the large crescent moon mirror in the centre of the image is in focus, and deliberately so. The photograph is taken in daylight and the shine on metallic objects is quite visible; the black wall is visible in the central mirror, but the wall looks grey in bright direct sunlight.
Large moon mirror
I would really appreciate both suggestions on how to better organise my books to be more aesthetically pleasing, and on how to make my Book Nook as Gothic (in all senses of the word) as the rest of my study, while maintaining the altar as a meditation space that is about religious practice rather than displaying my spooky stuff. 


  1. It strikes me that your place must be simply amazing.

    1. It is a work in progress. My study is the most complete room. Next most complete room is the living room, and I might take some photographs of that next. It isn't Gothic in the slightest


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