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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


I'll let you finish, but first I'm going to talk about belts


If you go to my other blog, you will can see me decked out in Victorian/Edwardian inspired clothing. Above is the skirt from that ensemble. What I think is cool about it, is the weird (and extremely unnecessary) corset lacing on the inside of the zipper. I decided to wear the skirt as a dress (it comes to a nice knee length, with the skirt's pleats beginning just below the bust. It's almost as if it was meant to be that way...) with the corset lacing displayed. It probably looks a bit risque that way, though, so I don't think I'll wear it out like that. But still, it looks cool with one of the belts I bought today.



Today I bought two belts. The one in the top two photos is from Ardene's. The one in the bottom two photos is from Value Village. Both are really cool belts. Both of them cost me $6 or less. The only reason I bought the one from Ardene's is because I needed to buy new piercing jewellery for my snakebites, and Ardene's always does 2/$10, 3/$15, 5/$10, et cetera. Some clothing is 2/$40. It usually saves you between five and ten dollars. It's pretty much one of the cheapest places to get accessories, other than Salvation Army or thrift stores other than Value Village. Value Village is actually relatively expensive (and is often more expensive than a dollar store. FYI.). Still, I am pleased with my V.V. purchases today. Four things coming to just under $20. Not bad considering their belts are usually $10. Howe'er, the beautifully masculine and worn looking leather belt I bought was from the men's section, and it was $6! Not bad. I really like it because it's nice leather, with lots and lots of hardware. And it fits me on the hips. It's weird, because even though I'm quite petite, belts from thrift stores usually don't fit me. I've only ever gotten one belt from a thrift store that fit me, but that's because it was really adjustable. That belt is one that I still have, actually. Good belt. Any ways, I like both of the belts I got because they're pretty unique, and the fit my pants really well. They're kind of edgy and unique, and I can dig that. I might even consider tucking my shirt in so that people can see my fancy pant supporters. 

Any ways, I just wanted to share what cool things you can find. And yes, if you want new accessories that won't completely break your bank, I recommend Ardene's. It's a weird system, but their stuff is still cheaper than other shops that sell the same thing. Even without taking advantage of the however many for however many dollars deals. 

Let's look at my fashion style, shall we?

I'm going to be vain for a little bit, and share what I wore today. I don't know why, but I think it'd be fun to be a fashion blogger. The only thing is, my style is a bit unconventional, and similar enough to different styles but also different enough that I wouldn't be able to define myself. However, after learning about Karen Blanchard today, I'm less concerned. She is a fashion blogger, and I adore her style. It's edgy, full of animal print, vintage finds, and tribal looking jewellery. Cool stuff! And thus, I am influenced to share some of my personal fashion choices. I wore two outfits today. I dressed comfy casual for the morning and again this evening, and changed in the afternoon when I went out into the city.

The outfit to the left is one that I have more or less shared before. It is one of my favourite things to wear for when I'm kicking around the house. Usually I'm not barefoot, though, because I get too cold. Still, I prefer to be barefoot. The outfit consists of a vintage button down Denver Hayes red and green plaid shirt. It's a hand-me-down from my dad. It's cotton, soft, and really comfy. It's nice and long on me, and more or less fits me perfectly (as far as loose men's shirts go). Good thing my dad is quite thin! I only really wear skinny jeans, and conveniently enough, dark skinnies look great with loose shirts. 

To the right, we have what I chose to wear to run errands, meet a friend, and go thrift shopping. For some reason, I chose to wear a skirt. It was that or just wear my ruffle shorts, but I didn't feel like it. Recently, I discovered a style from Japan called 'Mori girl'. It is inspired by the idea of living in the forest. Very natural, loose, comfortable, all while being elegant and beautiful. I realized that Mori is pretty much a name for what I already was, but it has still managed to influence my pairings of clothing. The only difference is, there is still a great deal of steampunk, Victorian, punk, and whatever other styles mesh to form the style called 'Emmelia'. My outfit today was made up of... 
~Layered tights (blue and cool striped/patterned mesh tights that Santa gave me) 
~A tutu-like skirt bought at a consignment shop in Kensington (not my favourite skirt because it tends to ride up and gather static electricity, but I always wear ruffle shorts, so it's not a huge problem. Just a mild annoyance) 
~Purple tank top (purchased for $5 from Ardene's) 
~Victorian and corset inspired cream button up Suzy Shier halter top ($10 new with tags from Value Village. Bargain!)
~Grey cardigan ("borrowed" from my mother)
~Sandy brown "Rocky" style hoodie ($59-ish from men's department at Dick & Jane's)
~Short black cowl neck coat ($20 from Sirens)
~Shawl/Scarf/Wrap- my favourite new source of coziness and layering! (Christmas gift)
~Vintage combat boots (hand-me-downs from mother- they are the best boots on the planet, and I love them)
~Charm necklace (found chain with anchor and pentagram charms, symbolising stability, balance, guidance, and hope)
~Black thermal socks (Christmas gift)
~Embroidered Red Riding Hood green canvas bag (gift from sister), decorated with crystal and marble fox tails (purchased off of Etsy)

My... a lot of layers! Still, after all of that... my favourite clothing items of the day are...

Layered tights! Particularly when there are striped stockings involved. For anyone who has read The Knicker Misadventures, you will probably know that I like striped stockings. Paired with my black combat boots and a pair of thick thermal socks and I am happy!


Merry Christmas!

Well, Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate. Even if you don't celebrate anything at all! It's kind of getting to the point of not being Christmas Day any longer, but as Scrooge learned, the true meaning of Christmas is something that we should always keep in our hearts.

I just wanted to express that my Christmas was great, and I hope yours was too. I love my family, and they know me really well. The photo above are just a couple of the lovely things that my parents and siblings gave me, along with a rolling pin, socks, chocolate, and more. You may have noticed the titles of the books. I will take this time to mention that 'A Practical Guide to Racism' is a satirical book. Satirical to the point of having 'merpeople' as a race. The other two books are going to be fantastic references, and I can't wait to try some of the dress patterns, tips and hints. What I like about my family is the number of useful things that we give each other. That is why I have three spanking new pairs of thermal socks.

Oh, AND I blackened my combat boots, so they will be a bit more protected from water now. Not so much that they don't look worn and cool, but enough that the leather won't wear through. 

Wow. That probably means absolutely nothing to most people. Well, I have posted about my boots before. Maybe someone will recall that. 

Any who... I'm going to get into my brand new black and pink leopard print flannel pyjamas (EEE!! My parents know me so well! Err... I mean... Santa knows me. Ahem.) and curl up with one of my new books until I maybe fall asleep. I'm hoping that tonight is the night that I conquer this stupid insomnia thing. It's not really insomnia, but I can't sleep solid or fall asleep. It makes me really paranoid because of Fight Club. And with that... Good night!



Recently, the folk known as hipsters have given lumberjacks a bad name, in an attempt to dress like them. The plaid flannel shirt, the bushy beards, wool socks and boots. Still, lumberjacks should be honoured, especially on winters like today, where nothing is as nice as a roaring fire. After all, who cuts the wood? Lumberjacks. Even if you yourself cut the wood, it is the spirit of the lumberjack that makes it possible.

Why do I bring this up? Well, as I was building a fire, I found myself wearing blue jeans, an old flannel shirt, and a rocky hoodie. It struck me as lumberjack-ish. Kind of lumberjack chic.

Don't get me wrong, it's one of the most comfortable outfits I've been in for weeks, but it prompted me to think about lumberjacks. Lumberjacks like...

These men are legit. I'm not sure when this photo is from, but it's sometime in the 19th century. They are not the stereotypical lumberjacks. But really, isn't that dapper moustache something?

I'm going to stop writing. I have no idea where I was going with this.

Long story short, plaid is great, I love flannel, and lumberjacks have a romanticised swellness.



I just saw a picture that a friend posted to Facebook that took me by surprise.

The caption is as such:
According to the Newtown Patch, bikers descended on the town of Newtown yesterday and linked arms blocking the hate group protesters of Westboro Baptist Church from disrupting the funerals. 

"More than 100 riders from New York and Massachusetts, organized by the anti-Westboro group Patriot Guard Riders, were also in Connecticut on Wednesday to show their support, Patch reported. The lined the streets arm in arm."

“All these guys see us and think we’re bad. We’re not. It’s solidarity, is what it is,” New York native Jim Hannigan told Newtown Patch. “I just felt I had to be here.”
Source and Photo by Newton Patch.

This peaked my curiosity, and interest. Of course, I had to read into what Westboro Baptist Church was doing this time. Before I get into that, I will give some background for those of you unfamiliar with the circumstances and such being discussed. First of all, Westboro Baptist Church is a hyper-"religious" group who protests anything and everything, as long as there might be the smallest link to homosexuality. They really hate homosexuals, and everything that they could possibly stand for. This time, they are protesting the funerals in Newtown. Newtown being the location of the most recent, and one of the worst school shootings in United States history. In this shooting, 20 children were murdered, along with 6 teachers and adults. The entire event is tragic, to say the least, and few words can be spoken to express what a terrible thing it is, that something like this can happen in our world. The death of children is a true cause for mourning at the 'best' of times, but when so many young lives are taken in such a short time, and without any known cause... I can't even express in words. Now... why on earth would anyone want to protest the funerals of the victims?

Good question.

According to an article by Tim Stanley of The Telegraph, the WBC was picketing "to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgement". Apparently God had 20 children killed in order to send a message about his disapproval for homosexuality and same-sex relations?

I don't think so. Not any God that I know. 

True, God was a bit vicious in the Old Testament. He did some crazy things, made insane requests, and prompted many biblical characters to make possibly questionable decisions. However, as we know, Jesus Christ was sent to earth to teach about love and understanding, and all around peace.

Today, the world was supposed to end. For the entire planet, it has yet to do so. The world may have ended for some, as they did yesterday, and the day before. The world ended for those children in Newtown. They were not killed to send a message about homosexuality being a sin. They were not killed by a malevolent God who is the God whom these WBC followers worship. They were killed in cold blood. In hatred. To this day, police are still trying to determine why.

The Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting some touchy subjects for a while. Generally, things that shouldn't be protested. It has gotten to the point that many groups have started to protest their protests. This includes the KKK (yes, the Ku Klux Klan. see Telegraph article), and as of the past couple of days, bikers forming non-violent protests to let the funerals continue in peace. As they should. In my opinion, when the KKK, known historically for being a symbol of extreme hatred, speaks against you... You should probably reconsider what you're doing.

When I heard that the WBC was being protested by bikers from several states, I was happy to at least hear that, but the concept that people would be filled with enough rage towards homosexuality to protest funerals, and even worse, voice their opinions that the death of children was an act of God to speak against homosexuality, it filled me with such sadness and anger. Although I do not label myself in relation to my religious or spiritual belief, my beliefs are strongly influenced by Catholicism because it is how I was raised. I grew up with the message that the golden rule of Christianity is to love others. This was not a rule with exceptions. This was a solid rule. Regardless of shape, colour, creed, so on or whatever makes a person different from you, you are supposed to love them. Love is what saves people. Not romantic love, obviously. Simply love for humankind, and a love that sprouts caring and compassion.

What WBC is doing is hatred. Hatred is the root of evil. Hatred kills, damages, inflicts pain, destroys, and hurts. It does not solve problems. It grows and spreads, hurting more and more people, instead of helping or saving others. How can someone say that they are spreading the word of God, and instead spread such pain and anger to the world around them? That is not what the Bible, or any Holy book, teaches. It fills me with such sadness that individuals can be so full of hatred towards something that doesn't even hurt them. I have several close friends who are gay and bisexual, and they are some of the most wonderful people I know. They are genuine and true, and willing to share so much with the world. Really, when they have so much to offer, what does their sexual orientation have to do with anything? To protest these people is ignorant and outdated. Furthermore, a loving and benevolent God would not encourage the death of children with a vast future ahead of them. Especially when the protest is against people who are as good hearted as anyone else. Good hearted people like those who know that the death of a child is a tragedy, and that the funerals of massacre victims should not be stopped. 

(Side note, the [irrational] prevention of funerals is something that also causes me a lot of pain. It hurts me as much as the desecration of human bodies. Not to the same extreme, but it shows just as little respect for the person who has died.)

As Christmas draws closer, please love others. I'd like to hope that those who read this blog would never be so extreme as to cause such pain to others as the Westboro Baptist Church, but nonetheless... Any extra ounce of love you have can do a world of good. Hatred does nothing. Love can save the world.

Memorial Ring

My grandmother gives me a great many beautiful things. Curious treasures, bits of lace, items of clothing, and so many wonderful things. One of the most recent things, which was supposed to be wrapped to go under the Christmas tree, but a little bird has said that there a great many packages for yours truly, so my mother presented these little gifts to me as an early Christmas present. Boy, am I a lucky girl to have such fantastic relatives who gift such beautiful things to me. I digress. This most recent of things is a ring. A memorial ring. I'm going to have to do a lot of research, and a great deal of digging. It is a small band, with woven hair inset into the gold, and a couple of engravings. On the outside is 'Minne', which is a German word for remembrance, or something similar. Inside is the name Carl, and '1830/8.5.5' or something. Curiouser and curiouser. There are many rings that are similar, but I'm so excited to have something like this. My grandmother doesn't know of any Carl, so this just sends my mind reeling. There are whispers of my great-grandmother's fiance, and various tales that might lead to the history of this ring. Until then... I absolutely adore this ring. I have such a love for secret histories. Items and possessions seem to absorb history and meaning and stories... and I just want to hold on to them and soak up the entire past.


Standards of Ghost Photography

First of all, I'd like to formally apologize for not posting anything for about two weeks. My bad. I just didn't have anything good to post about, and everything usually ends up going on my other blog. Though I think I might be inadvertently cheating. Moving on.

Have you ever noticed how the standards of what defines ghost photography has gone down exponentially since the invention of photography. Back in the day of tintype and early early photography, it would be captured through double exposures. With 35 mm film, it would be streaks and weird faces in the film. Now we have digital, and we have orbs (see above). 

Orbs are not very exciting in comparison to other ghost photography. For those of you unfamiliar, here are some riveting and spoooooooky examples.

Fairly famous ghost photograph. Person is backseat was not there when photo was taken.

Various examples of 19th century spirit photography
Weird "ghost". Ectoplasm? 
The infamous "orb" phenomena
Let the record be shown that I am a sceptic. I have many reasons to believe in ghosts (including some experiences that hardcore ghost believers would be adamant in describing as a ghostly encounter), but I refuse to. I believe that there is always a logical explanation. This belief is mostly because of the ouija board, and my almost periodical playing of the ouija board when I was younger. To that, many people might react with accusations of Satanic worship and all kinds of hoo-ha, but ouija is a game, and works with nerve impulses. If it doesn't, well. I do think that you shouldn't mess around with seances, though. Even if it's not real, it's probably not something that you should tamper in. That just seems like a bad idea.

I digress. Orbs. And ghost photography. Personally, I think that all aspects of the paranormal are incredibly interesting. I have this thing with ghosts, and what it means to be a ghost or to be haunted. I don't believe in ghosts as things that move things around and make noises, but more as a symbol. Still, it is because of my ever-present interest in occult and paranormal things that I find ghost photography fascinating. There are usually good reasons for why the images appear on the film. It can be doctoring, a weird trick of the light, dust on the lens, and so many other minor flaws that create something on the film. However, it's usually not a ghost. I will not tell people what to believe, as that is not what I stand for. All individuals and parties are welcome to their own creeds and beliefs (as long as those beliefs do not bring harm to others, I'd hope and prefer). However, that also means that I am. That includes being quite adamant in my belief that ghosts aren't real. I'm open to anything, but I'm pretty sure that the orbs that my camera caught are reflections off of the snow. That, or I'm wrong, and Charles Dickens' infamous image of the wandering spirits, condemned to walk the earth, bound in chains, forever, is correct. 

Whatever the case, and however strong my scepticism in everything, I will always be open to new ideas, and continue to playfully think about the interesting concept of ghosts haunting this world.


Positive Reinforcement

Okay. Okay.

Is there a bigger boost than one of your favourite musicians liking your art? Probably not. The only greater form of positive reinforcement would be one of my favourite painters like Gericault coming back from the dead and telling me that he liked the way I drew the two men from Raft of the Medusa (which would lead to an in-depth conversation about The Dead Weather), or meeting any one of the sideshow wonders who have inspired me.

Maybe it just doesn't take much to boost my self esteem in my art. Though, it didn't take much with that foxhole drawing to boost my opinions of it. I was already pretty pleased with it. But hey! The person whose lyrics inspired it likes it too. That's swell. Real swell.

Octinimous and other wonders

Last night, I saw one of my favourite musicians live at The Gateway bar in Calgary. One of the best concerts I've ever been to? Yes. Definitely. As far as musicians go, few have inspired me more than this guy. His genre is slotted into 'hip hop', but he's pretty much all genres, and when playing live he's totally punk rock. The audience was kind of lame because they were all of these hipsters standing around, but Astronautalis was rocking out, and I was one of the rockers jumping around and head banging. At one point he got down into the audience and got everyone to start moshing and seriously dancing and rocking out and it was one of the greatest moments of my life. Especially as far as concerts go. The concert was just brilliant, and the stage presence was incredible. After the concert he was at his merch table, signing stuff and shaking hands and talking to people. It's really appreciated when musicians do that. I mean, when they really understand that their fans are the reason they're there, and that it means a lot to people to get to talk to them. 

Now, to continue with what I'm talking about, I need to direct you to the blue tattoos on his right arm (see in the photo above). Near his elbow, there is a single word tattoo (which in the photo looks vaguely like a squiggly line). Since I'm really interesting in tattoo culture and what the meaning behind tattoos are, I asked him about it. From this, I received a lesson in Latin and in history. The tattoo says 'octinimous', which roughly means eight times a name, or a name that is eight times a name. It is best explained in the poem that he got it from.

Let me be exalted
Who causes all things to bud and blossom
it is our root
it is one and seven
it is octinimous
the eight-fold-name
Keep Trust- Keep Faith

O Quam misericors est Deus
Carpe Noctum

Essentially, this was a poem that was hammered to the coffin of the 4th Earl of Bothwell (James Hepburn). A Scot living in Denmark, or something similar. From what I've managed to read, he seems like an interesting fellow. So... yes. I learned a bit of Latin and history from someone I deem one of the coolest people on the planet. I asked him to write down the word on the bandanna that I had bought, and he did, as well as signed it. He was signing stuff for everyone, but I can smile at the fact that he agreed to write down a cool word. In return I offered the 16th century word 'jobbernowl'.

Also, remember the drawing I did that was inspired by his song The Wondersmith and His Sons? The ink and gouache one? Well, I mentioned that I did it, and he told me to send it to him on Facebook. Cool! No idea if anything will come out of that, but... we shall see. Maybe since I talked to him twice he'll remember me more or something. Though overall he seems like a personable person who would have good conversations with anyone. It would be neat to actually have a lengthy conversation with him, since he seems to know a lot about history and all kinds of cool things. I can dig it.


How to feel dignified and content

As some will know, I've been considering my age and whether or not I'm really 'grown up' or growing up. I know that I am, but it's mostly a weird complex in which I'm not sure that I'm growing up the way I want to. However, occasionally I notice small choices that I make and how they make me feel and view the world. I notice this most with the things that I surround myself with.

1. My travel suitcase- I bought it on sale, because I don't have an actual travel bag, and this one is tapestry with botany and insects and as far as objects go, I kind of fell in love with it. It's the perfect travel size, just big enough to fit a week's worth of clothing, necessities and books, and whatever else I could possibly need. For some reason, buying it gave me hope. It reminds me of all the opportunities and the places I'll go. Recently I've been toying with the idea of moving elsewhere for summers, but at the moment, the only place I can think of is New York. It's been possessing my mind. Swirls of Coney Island, arts museums, strange plays and performance art, books and literature... Everything haunts me and clings to my mind, stating with absolute certainty that it would be a good idea. However, New York is expensive, so I'm currently just aiming for a ten day trip, so that I can feel it out and see if I like it. I think that reading Catcher In The Rye is further embedding New York City into my mind. This bag fills me with hope whenever I look at it. It's kind of like how I'm filled with wonder and adoration when I look at things that my Grandmother has given me, or the awe I get when I see old photographs of my parents. I guess I'm really fortunate to have the parents and family that I do. Both my mother and father have led extraordinary lives, and a lot of it happened when they were the age I am now. I should remind myself of that. Really, my life is interesting and I am happy with the direction it's going. Maybe I just don't look at it from an outsider's perspective often enough.

Any ways, I digress. This suitcase makes me feel grown up, but in a good way. It makes me feel like I could be on a train station platform, waiting for a train to some mysterious and beautiful place. That is a good feeling.

2. Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger- I had never read any of J.D. Salinger's writing until my cousin in the U.K. gave me two of his books. Franny and Zooey and another which I cannot remember the title of. I absolutely adored Franny and Zooey. For whatever reason, I connected with it a great deal, and I finished it in less than two days (though, it is a thin book, so maybe that's not as impressive). I've been craving to have that sense of connection to a novel again. This prompted me to buy Catcher In The Rye. I find that, even though it is more expensive, I prefer to buy books. I like buying a cheap paperback and being able to keep it in my pocket, but not have to worry about the state in which it would be returned. I do like owning massive hard cover books, but those are more for references. Paperbacks are the novels that I read on the bus, that tend to make me laugh and cry and settle into deep thought. They are the books that I can have in my messenger bag, and I pull them out on the bus. A scrap of paper acts as a bookmark, and even though I have the best intentions of reading, I tend to read and sentence, and that single sentence sends my mind reeling into thought. I just sit on the bus with my nose in the book, the pages against my cheek, staring outside of the dirty window into memories and emotions that are not visible. The paperback novels are often cheap versions of books that I read in high school, and fell in love with. Give me characters like Scout and Winston Smith. I've realized that I don't particularly like fantasy novels or things that are so beyond my world. I would much rather sink into a story so real that I feel like I could have met the characters, or even passed them on the street. The books they assign you in high school really are quite good. People just don't think that they are because they were forced to read them, under the watchful eye of a teacher they didn't particularly like.

Reading Catcher In The Rye has taken me back to how I feel when I read a book. I mean, being so immersed in a book and so connected with every word on every page that I just melt into that world. It's wonderful. It's also nice to have a book that I can read on the bus. It takes me back to being on the underground trains in London, and reading the books that my cousin suggested and pushed into my hands. Incidentally, the books that I read on the bus and train are often my favourites. There's just something nice about reading a book on transit, when the characters do the same every now and then.

3. Fisheye Lens Camera- I believe I've mentioned this before. My beautiful red camera, with its fisheye lens and 35 mm film. I do really like carrying it around, and taking photographs. It reminds me of patience and secrets. And... I quite like that.

All of these things make me feel like how I want to feel all the time. Oddly dignified, colourful, interesting, and strangely like Anne from Anne Of Green Gables. I think it's the bag. I always liked her and her carpet bag that had to be carried a particular way. I could always sympathize with Anne. Mostly because of the particular way of spelling our names. 


Kitchen Adventures!

My day was a weird hybrid of productivity and non-productivity. I started off by seeing my brother off, after lending him my couch for a couple nights. This was really early in the morning, so after he left I watched episode two of Odd Folks Home (a spin off of Oddities, where it follows the quirky and unique individuals who frequent Obscura in New York) and then fell asleep for about two and a half hours. It was great, but I probably could have slept for the rest of the day if I'd stayed in bed. Since that's never a good idea, I got up and commenced preparation for making pretzel cookies. This was an assignment for art history. Our instructor is having us over for a textile-themed tea, and we have to make easy to eat snack or dessert food inspired by textiles. We also have to argue how it's textiles-based. I decided to feed (ha) off of my research project on navy textiles, and made cookies in the shape of sailor knots. I was going to do this with actual soft pretzels, but I didn't have yeast and I wanted to get going on it then. So instead... cookies! Did you know that making knots out of cookie dough is painstaking and kind of difficult? It is. Shocking, I know. 

I made my test run of cookies using a variety of knots. Cow hitch, figure eight, granny knot, sheep hitch (NOT easy), and a couple others. I found that slip knots were the easiest ones to fashion out of long bits of cookie dough. Result? They're delicious, as far as simple sugar cookies go. I'm toying with the idea of attempting to make caramel to put on them, and then make them salted caramel pretzel cookies. I probably won't, though, since right now they'd be perfect with tea (good dipping cookies, but not too crunchy), and if they're dressed up I'm worried about their being knots becoming even less recognizable. 

In other news, I went to Sun Terra to buy milk, and a couple of groceries. I went there because it's only two blocks away, and it's on Elbow Drive (such a beautiful walk, especially at this time of the year). Other than that, I really question whether or not I'll go there again, unless I desperately need something and don't want to walk further, or walk along McLeod Trail (less beautiful, especially at this time of the year). In my mind, Sun Terra is an organic food store, with things that you can't get from Safeway. In reality, it's just a more expensive version of Safeway, and they don't have good organic milk in glass bottles. The clerk was also kind of rude, in a passive aggressive type way. I don't like when people in service positions aren't polite or at least a little cheerful, because I tend to take it personally. It's what happens when people give you dirty looks for absolutely no reason. I don't really care, but my grocery money is helping pay their salary, so they should try to be nice, right? Any ways, Sun Terra is a less convenient grocery store than I thought or remembered. I don't really like paying more money for something that I know the exact price of elsewhere. At least there's a Safeway on the Elbow Drive bus route. I could always walk there and bus back. 

Now, just a quick song of the day. I was reminded of it today while making a long playlist for studying and writing my final. It's probably my favourite White Stripes song, and since tomorrow is the first day of December (!!), I feel like I can share it. It's technically a Christmas song, and it's my favourite Christmas song (though I am fond of Carol of the Bells). 


Foxhole (a.k.a. I can make drawings that I'm proud of)

Remember on my other blog when I was talking about Astronautalis and gouache? Well guess what? I made a drawing that I'm actually proud of that involves both of these things!

This drawing is called Foxhole, and it's inspired by the song (you guessed it) Wondersmith and His Sons. It's one of my undying favourites. I was inspired by these lyrics:

Sweating through the pain of digging his foxhole that he knows is just a grave

And thus, Foxhole was born. This is the best fox I've ever drawn. Though the man is based off of Astronautalis, it is continuous line and looks nothing like him. I'm not too pleased with the shovel I put in, and I kind of want to get rid of it, but I showed it in the photograph of the drawing for honesty sake. Overall, not too shabby.

Side note, I also like these lyrics: Let's walk along the wire and watch the muzzles flash like lightning.


The Knicker Misadventures- Goth

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I've been posting comics or images daily on my Facebook page for The Knicker Misadventures, and this is one of my favourite ones thus far. It is based off of something that a friend of mine said (that goths should wear sombreros, to protect from the sun). Thus, I created a stereotypical goth character named Goth. Truth be told, this keeps making me laugh like crazy, because the idea of a goth wearing a sombrero makes me giggle. It just brightens my day.

And this is an acrylic on paper painting of Goth. It strikes me as a sad painting that a sad goth would paint. Maybe not of themselves, but just in general.

In other news, I'm planning to make art dolls of all of the characters. It's just a matter of going home for Christmas first, since I have a bunch of soft stuffing there, and I may as well use that instead of buying more. I'm really lazy, apparently. Nonetheless, I have so many plans for The Knicker Misadventures. Is it weird that I'm commercializing before I've even published a comic or anything? It's not really about the comic, though. It's just a creative outlet in which I can create more things and a greater variety of simultaneously light  hearted and gothic things. There's so little limit to what I can do with The Knicker Misadventures. Paper dolls, mini sombreros, art dolls, t-shirts, prints, knickers, clothing items based off of characters (and their historical/actual inspiration)... Ooooh this is a time where I haven't painted myself into a corner! The weird thing is, it's going to be a bizarre Quentin Blake- Ralph Steadman- Emilie Autumn- art history textbook- Wildfox Couture- my world type cacophony hybrid mix of neat things and characters. At least I know what I'm being influenced by, which is good.


I'm eating spinach?!

I can't believe it, but it's kind of great. I've been craving a certain pizza for a while, and finally... I'm eating it. True, it's kind of a pseudo-pizza (I made it on naan bread and used pasta sauce as pizza sauce), but it has spinach and tomatoes and feta cheese, and it's glorious. I don't know how I survived without feta cheese for so long. It's more or less the yours truly equivalent of something like... I don't know... soy sauce?

I also got my hands on some Twinings loose tea... Earl Grey style! Have you ever had loose Twinings tea? It's the best tea on the planet. I want to go back to the Stride in London and back to Twinings to get more tea from there. However, that is a story for another day.


Thought note

Okay, so this is a bit of a side note and out of nowhere and unrelated to anything, but I decided that I'm going to talk about my feelings and wishes for the New Year, specifically for when I turn 21 in April. The age of twenty-one seems like a huge age. I have no idea why, but I feel like I should reform myself and how I live my life when I turn that age. It's not because of the Legal In All States thing or anything. It's just that time when it's far enough from being a teenager and close enough to really beginning my life after university that more should happen, and that I should really consider what I want to do and who I want to be. Normally, I wouldn't write a birthday wish list before Christmas (or in general), but this is mostly a note to myself. Recently, I keep looking at my life and purely loving some aspects, but I really feel like other aspects are missing, and that I'm not fulfilling myself or my own wishes. It's kind of like a weird sense of disconnect from myself based on my own decisions. Weird, right? Or is it? 

I just keep thinking about growing up and what it is I want to grow into or grow out of. I'm not sure if it's nothing, or if it's everything. I keep thinking about what I could be, but the things I'm not because I or other people get in the way. 'Get in the way' sounds negative... I don't think that that's what it is, but do you know what I mean? The constant ebbing theory that if you were alone with the ability to decide when you wanted to have people to socialize with, you would get more things done, and more of what you wanted to do. More of what you felt you needed to do in order to achieve a sense of satisfaction. I'm come to loathe things like Facebook purely because it's a source of my loneliness. I constantly go back to it, in hope that there will be a small pat on the head through a notification or someone I can talk to. I do this despite the fact I know that I don't want to talk to anyone or be on the computer to begin with. It's just a small hope that it will make me feel like I have companionship. My first wish is that I'll stop being so dependent on the imaginary technological idea of people, and accept my solitude as solace, just as I used to. 

My second wish is that the day I turn 21 will actually feel like something, or seem like it means something. When I think of 'meaning something', my mind reverts to movies like Pretty In Pink or The Breakfast Club. John Hughes films. There's a subtle uncomplicated complexity to them, and something that says 'yes, you're growing up, but you're growing up into something unbelievably important'. I'm shy, and quiet, and an introvert, and all of these things that lead to me feeling less important than other people who are loud and extroverted and such. I can't express myself, and because of that, I often do feel undervalued, even by those who claim that I am important to them. I don't really believe them. In the context of birthdays, I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for Facebook and its updates, no one would know it was any notable day in my life. That's one reason why I feel depressed on my birthday- it's all of these birthday wishes from people who never even talk to me. I'm guilty of it, too, in relation to other people, but I only wish happy birthday to people whom I don't get the chance to talk to, or I wish I could talk to them, but there's never a reason to, or I feel like I'm being invasive in an attempt to do so. I guess this brings me to my third wish for growing up (or whatever this is). I want to stop being so neurotic about everything. I want to keep calm and carry on.

The weird thing is, this whole rant came from the image that's at the top of the page. I found it on Pinterest, and they are Birthday Pancakes. I couldn't find a recipe for them, but I didn't even look. Have you ever had those desires that are for something so small but you want it so badly? It's not a craving, or a passing interest, but something that feels like it defines a moment in your life? For some reason, the image of a cake-like food made to resemble pancakes just... I don't know why, but right now it makes me want to cry. It's like a weird lust after something that is the only thing I would want for my birthday, and in no realistic way will I get it, unless I make it myself. I'm fine with making things myself... The only thing is this is a reminder of the fact that the people close to me and within the same city are often full of empty promises. The promise of something like birthday pancakes that have rainbow sprinkles, but a promise so fleeting that it will never happen. How can something like a photograph of an original cake pancake hybrid cause me to feel so weird in the place of my life, and cause me to look at how I'm living my life and who I want to be in about five months? 

Of course, most "wishes" are things that only I can grant myself. Sometimes I just need to discuss these things to a universal entity, because I don't talk about these things to others. Y'know, other people who might actually discuss it with me, and offer suggestions to solve these things that might be viewed as problems. Or not. Maybe I just over think and under act. Alternatively, perhaps I don't think about these things enough, or at all, or it's the fact that I don't discuss them that's the problem. 


Another opportunity to use my beautiful silkscreen! For my ongoing project with making a straight jacket tuxedo jacket thing, I made my first attempt at printing on fabric. It was fairly successful, but it got a bit messy at one point. I don't really mind, but it would have been better if it was cleaner. Then again, I only had a rough idea of what the heck I was doing, and my bedroom isn't exactly the best space for silkscreen printing.

The print I designed is a basic one colour stencil, based off of a photograph of Melvin Burkhart, a famous sideshow performer from Coney Island. It's a fairly abstract stencil, but I don't mind. It is an image of him doing human blockhead. In fact, this photograph:

Melvin Burkhart: The Anatomical Wonder and the Original Human Blockhead

I eat super at 4:30

For some reason, whenever I'm at my house, I eat supper between 3 and 5 in the afternoon, or "prevening". I don't know why, especially since I don't go to bed early. I could, I guess, but I tend to be more productive between the hours of 6 and 12. However, the good thing about eating early is I tend to be more inclined to cook something complex. Today I cooked chicken with yoghurt, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. I also made rice. And frozen vegetables (not that much work, but I don't like keeping fresh vegetables around, since I often forget about them). The chicken turned out pretty awesome. Yay! Good food!


The Knicker Misadventures

For those you keeping score on my 12 Months of Alice blog, you are aware of the fact that I have made substantial progress in my graphic novel-esque project The Knicker Misadventures. Since the Leeches short yesterday, I have written three more, and they are beautiful. I'm not sure that they have a plot or anything, but I'm quite pleased with the art.


To view larger image, open in a separate window. I think it's in your best interest... Unless you have super microscopic vision or something.

I'm quite happy with how this series is going. I have so many ideas for these characters. I mean, I want to do everything from embroideries to create clothing based on the characters. Etsy shop coming soon, methinks...

Side note- I had to do some housecleaning, so my first hundred or so blog posts have been deleted. I still have the images elsewhere, but since I want to keep bringing new things to the table, I think that I will let bygones be bygones and let new things in! Also, there's only so much storage on my Blogger account (bummer)... But I did find a way to get around the storage issue! I just though I'd mention this, in case any one is trying to find the first blog I ever posted. I don't want any extreme disappointment.


Coney Island Sideshow... School!

I can't express how excited I am that I discovered this... and how much I want to do this. You've probably heard of Coney Island. It's one of the most famous amusement parks and sideshows in the United States, and it has a lot of history. Today, while bedridden and painfully sick, I was watching some repeat episodes of Oddities (one of my favourite television shows ever), and one of the appearances on the show was Adam Rinn, the First Real Man. I looked him up, and this led me to discover the Coney Island Sideshow School.

I truly want to do this. This definitely means that I do need to get back to putting money into my travel fund. Especially since the course I want to take is $800 for four days of sideshow education. I would also have to consider flight costs and accommodations. But hey, if I do this, I would have an amazing experience, new skills, and I would finally see New York. It's just going to take a bit of work to meet this goal. Especially since I also have to save for school and rent and life. Hurm...


Brutal \m/

The \m/ thing you see in the post title represents devil horns, as in the hand symbol you see metal heads at concerts doing. Why is this important or interesting? Well...

I went to my first hardcore metal concert! It was loud. And... bloody.

Not real blood, as you can imagine from the Oompa-Loompa skin colour, but I was still doused in it (along with everyone else in the relatively small concert venue. The headlining band was GWAR, who put on dramatic costumes and take on the persona of weird cross-dimensional aliens who kill exaggerated versions of historical figures and people. It is a bit... insane? Especially when you're in the front row, and they are spraying their weird watery fake blood and it's getting everywhere. I took care to cover my mouth and piercings and close my eyes every time. Whether or not it made a difference, I don't know. And that stuff stains. It took forever to scrub it out... and I haven't even bothered with my clothes yet. Good thing I chose to use worn out jeans and my awesome old school Scotty t-shirt.

Some of the openings bands were pretty cool. I really liked the band Cancer Bats, who were the second opening band. There were three openers, which is a lot. Especially when it's really loud and metal or at least scream-o type music. I was kind of miserable by the time GWAR took the stage, mostly because I was squished into the front railing and my ears were ringing. Those people who wear earplugs are geniuses. I just never think of it, but I should. 

In other, less metal, news...

I made beef stroganoff! 

I made it pretty much from scratch! I mean, I used canned mushroom soup for it, but nonetheless... So good! I'm always so proud of myself when I make more complicated meals, even if it a type of pasta. I want to try making quiche of some kind. Maybe some muffins.


Work in progress!

Next in the sideshow series! This is a terrible photo, but it's actually really hard to photograph things when your hands are essentially in mittens. I'm so so so excited for this garment. It's inspired by escape artists, and a few other things. I shan't reveal too much yet... But gah! I love this body of work that I'm working on. I really hope that I could show it in a gallery later on. I think it would make an amazing show. Even if I did photo shoots with the garments... I think that would be great.


I like fashion. I'm a big fan of couture, runway, and anything to do with clothing that makes me drool. However, it causes me a great deal of pain. I'm a student, so it's not remotely realistic to buy high priced designer clothing. But the thing is... those clothes are so NICE.

Recently, I've been following this vlogger on YouTube who regularly talks about fashion. She shows off the clothing that she buys, and suggests make up and such. (for the record, her name is Brittani Louise Taylor, and she's an absolute ray of sunshine). Because of some of the videos on her beauty channel, I've discovered some amazing designers. One of which I'd known about before, but I hadn't bothered to investigate the photo that I'd found.

My favourite one thus far is a couture company called Wildfox Couture. Great name, right? I can't express how many I want a lot of the clothing. As I get older, I appreciate dark skinny jeans, slightly oversized tops and big sweaters. I like things that look vintage, but are new and go fabulously with my old combat boots. Maybe one day I'll do a blog on my day-to-day clothing, and just how gloriously fashionable I am (just kidding. But seriously, I try sometimes. I like to at least look pulled together). I do also like vintage clothing (do I ever), but designers like this just make me so very happy. I just wish that it wasn't so terribly expensive to have such glamorously comfy clothing.

One of Wildfox Couture's older collections, but I really adore these Marie Antoinette inspired photographs.



I'd like to take a moment to express the fact that I love winter. I realized recently that I am a winter person. I like icy trees, snow falling from the sky, and the clothes that I wear. There are some things I don't like (for example, icy roads and streets, -40 weather, and things like that), but overall... I like it.

The above are my boots. They're quite old, because they were my mother's combat boots. They are the most comfortable boots on the planet, and I absolutely adore them. Today I didn't have any thermal socks, but these boots... My goodness, they're great!


Too soon?

A few days ago, I made 'shabby chic' garlands out of cotton, silver paint, thread, glass beads, and vintage buttons. They look really cool, especially now that I have two faux evergreen garlands entwined with them, and they are now decorating my window. It might be too early to decorate for Christmas... but it's not too early to decorate for winter! It's also nice to change my room up a little bit. It is now a bit more wintery and festive, and it makes me smile.

Blurry photos in the dark! Huzzah! (personally, though it's distracting and hard to see, I like blurry dark photos of lights. It makes me happy)


In my soul I always long for nostalgia and the wild

For those of you keeping score on my other blog, 12 Months of Alice (where I am challenging myself to 365 days of creativity), you will be aware of the fact that I started a knitting project. Initially, this was going to be a scarf. Then it was going to be a headband. However... I was dumbstruck (geniusstruck?) with an idea, and took knitting in a direction I'd never taken it before.

Please ignore the quality of the photograph, and the obnoxiously large and crooked hooks. My bedroom isn't the best place for documentation of the work.

Moving on to the actual work and not my quality of photographs (I took them late at night, okay?!), this is the first of a body of work. I've realized that I'm developing three or four persona in terms of my practice. There is the persona that focuses on production work, which is all of the wearable stuff that I sell on Etsy. There is the gallery persona, who creates work that is mostly display, but could be function-able or is at very least interesting, and sometimes it is wearable art (but I'm kind of weird, and with some of these works [like my sideshow garments] I don't want people to wear it). There is the persona that creates art for fun and likes making quirky things and would want to try illustration, and then there is the persona who wants to do more work that can hang on a wall and be seen in commercial galleries.

The latter persona is the reason I attempted this knitted work. I was knitting, and then I just decided to try making it look degraded, but still structured. Wool is a nostalgic material for me. I grew up with it, and I have so many memories connected to every aspect of the 'life' of the wool. The lambs, the sheep, the shearing... stomping down on freshly sheared wool into giant burlap sacks, raised into the air by the forks of a tractor. There are so many smells and sights, and it's embedded in my soul. The woods and the prairie are embedded in the same way. Pine branches brushing coats, mud on boots, paws carrying in grasses and bits of gravel.

I'm haunted by memories of the decrepit buildings of the prairie. Stags leaping out of the collapsed walls, and rotting long johns hanging in an ancient wardrobe. There's always a voyeuristic feeling of trespassing as you hunt for precious things, and look over your shoulder for the shadows of ghosts. It's a strange sense when you walk into these buildings. Even if you are only walking over the long since overgrown homestead, covered by grass like an old grave. It's a lonely feeling, and a sensation that reminds you both of decay and loss, but of how alive everything. Even after the people who lived there have moved away, the world moves on, filling in cracks and taking back bricks and logs. The earth buries the glass and the metal and the rotting wood. I imagine the lives that were, and create stories in my mind. The stories are quickly forgotten. I can't keep imagining when the world is so still. The wind blows through the grass and the old houses groan in their old wooden bones.

Somehow, I connect my own memories to the imagined memories of these buildings and the prairie. No matter how much I try (or don't try), I can't shake the sense of belonging in the prairie. It clings to me, as if all of the time I've spent roaming the grass has left my own roots deep in the earth. And thus...

I created works like 'Cabin'. This knitted piece with a found antler, from the prairie itself. This is another time where I feel like I may have stumbled upon something that fits me, in terms of what I create and how I feel about it. I like when I create works that are contemplative. When I create art like this, I feel tranquil and calm. In general, I don't like art with lots of colours or lots going on. I like simple work, or work that is bizarrely beautiful. The not like lots of colour is why, whenever I weave anything, it is two colours or less. Preferably one. I like the simplicity, and it seems to like me.

We'll see where this goes.