The Call of Cthulhu for Beginners

by on Feb.22, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

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//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l_LcVNrEhA

From the great depths of cosmic horror, here emerges a retelling of The Old One, in the style of Dr. Seuss.

The most merciful thing
in the world, I believe,
is humanity’s failure
to fully conceive
of the cosmical horrors
we’ve yet to reveal,
and which up until now
I have tried to conceal

This 102-page adaption of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic story was written and illustrated by R.J. Ivankovic, available to order via Chaosium.com

the_call_of_cthulhu_cover_by_drfaustusau-d4ba34e

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_24_25_by_drfaustusau-d4ef4es

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_40_41_by_drfaustusau-d4gqojw

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_04_05_by_drfaustusau-d4bt18e

images via Deviant Art

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The Call of Cthulhu for Beginners

by on Feb.22, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l_LcVNrEhA

From the great depths of cosmic horror, here emerges a retelling of The Old One, in the style of Dr. Seuss.

The most merciful thing
in the world, I believe,
is humanity’s failure
to fully conceive
of the cosmical horrors
we’ve yet to reveal,
and which up until now
I have tried to conceal

This 102-page adaption of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic story was written and illustrated by R.J. Ivankovic, available to order via Chaosium.com

the_call_of_cthulhu_cover_by_drfaustusau-d4ba34e

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_24_25_by_drfaustusau-d4ef4es

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_40_41_by_drfaustusau-d4gqojw

the_call_of_cthulhu_page_04_05_by_drfaustusau-d4bt18e

images via Deviant Art

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Slipped Stitches & Stitched Slips: Maude Nibelungen’s Evocative, Elegant Knitwear

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

AudreyBelval-greyarea-168_900x

Maude Nibelungen is a textile artist with a passion for knitting unique, wearable objects of desire–evocative, avant garde knits full of elegant contradictions, which are equally lovely as sultry loungewear in the boudoir or as unexpected, expressive streetwear–and which are also equally encouraged for all types of people and all of their wonderful bodies.

In our interview, below, Maude stressed to me that her knitting designs are for absolutely everyone. Everyone!  Including you! With your unruly human curves and planes, gorgeous angles and hollows, beautiful bumps and lumps and bits. If the sizes listed on her site don’t match up to what you may need,  she will work with your individual measurements to create a customized treasure that fits like a glove. She wants everyone to feel special in her designs, to feel like a precious piece of art, to evolve into their fabulous selves alongside and inside her pieces.

Read further for more insights on Maude’s inclusive vision, her desire to express her feelings and exorcise her demons through her craft, and the special bond she creates between her knitted intimacies and those who would wear them.

Nibelungen3

Maude! There are so many things that I want to talk with you about. But first, one thing that I want to comment on right away, is how often I see you modeling your own pieces–and I love that. One, because I always want to see the creator of the things I love adorning themselves with the things they have created– instead of modeling them on impossible fantasy humans. And two, because it’s always refreshing and exciting to see someone comfortable in their own skin, showing a little skin. Can you speak to these observations?

I’m glad to hear because honestly I’m always afraid that people will be annoyed with seeing me! I was modeling my pieces before I really started my brand. When I launched my first collection, I worked with “real” models because I wanted everything to look as professional as possible, and I still do! I didn’t really model my pieces for a few years after that. But I started again in 2014. It was a big year for me. I had an on and off phase as I was pregnant and then had some issues accepting my postpartum body. But I’m trying to see/ do things differently these days! I think everybody is beautiful and I am trying to show that to whoever wants to read/ see.

Maude N.

Nibelungen2

In that vein, you recently wrote a fantastic piece for Lingerie Addict on how to wear underwear as outerwear – how empowering it is to take your “unmentionables” out and let them see the light of day! It was a fairly comprehensive guide, but I’d love to know the impetus for this article, which pieces of yours you might choose for this purpose, and do you have any tips for the timid, in getting started with this trend?

Thank you! It was exciting putting this piece together for them. Well, first I think it’s important to say that lingerie as outerwear isn’t necessarily something that others will notice; one can easily create a simple/ casual look. For the more timid, the Alice crop top can be a very nice way to ornament the skin under a v-neck or any other open neckline. The Audrey socks are perfect to add some texture to a skirt/dress ensemble or also under shorter pants/ shorts. I would also suggest layering the Marlene dress over any plain black dress for instant glamour. For anyone more daring, well I’d say any piece could be worked into an outfit, haha; but my favorites would be the Anais Bodysuit, Denise Dress, Lola Chemise, Jean Step-Ins, and Georgia Capelet.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-083_900x

I read somewhere that you “turn your demons into knitwear” and I am curious about this concept, though, as a knitter myself, I think I know, after a fashion, how you mean that in a general sense. Tell me how you came to knit, how your demons became entangled into your stitches…and how row by row, piece by piece, these exorcised demons transformed knitted lingerie? 

That’s… the story of my whole life haha! But basically, I always dabbled in some type of art form, migrating from one to another as I nothing felt quite right; I had to find an artistic medium in which I could create something unique. I just felt like I could play piano, make jewelry, but nothing… different enough. Eventually, I started knitting more (I started when I was 5 but wasn’t doing it every day). In a particularly rough time in my life, I had a flash where it became clear that knitting was what I had to do. It just felt right. I finally was able to process and express all the feelings and thoughts that were locked up inside of me, in an artistic/ unique manner. I had found my voice… As for the lingerie, it was at first kind of a joke (an inside joke, that’s what happens when you spend hours and days and weeks knitting alone). When I started modeling my pieces again, in 2014, I was feeling the need to express myself differently. That, combined with the fact that for a while, I felt like I had to prove to people that knitting wasn’t a thing that only grandmothers did . It seems silly now, but not that long ago, and you must remember this, knitting wasn’t trendy. SO, I started modeling my sweaters but with only knickers on, or in more provocative angles. Knits make me feel good and that’s something I wanted to show and share. I started using the hashtag “knits are sexy”. One night, I was joking with some friends and said: I should just go all in and make a lingerie collection… that was in 2015, I have since put out 3 (and a half) lingerie/ loungewear collections. That’s also what I sell the most of these days. too!

Maude Nibelungen Lily

You’ve described your designs as “Matter and anti-matter dancing on the skin”-that’s a beautiful sentiment, can you elaborate on that?

Yes! It’s somewhat like the demons we were just talking about. I play a lot with the gauge (the tightness) of the knits I create. I design for people, with them in mind. I like to play with their skin too, create pretty patterns, make them feel like they are part of a piece of art.

And until I see my designs on someone else, I feel like that they are fully complete/ alive.

Texture is everything to me. That’s actually the sentiment behind my permanent collection, “Peau de Chagrin“; the pieces are all black, but I tried to recreate prints (floral, plaid, polka dots, stripes etc).

Maude Nibelungen Marlene Dress

How would you describe your personal style? How does that inspire and influence the designs you create? And where else do you find your inspiration for your collections/individual pieces? I saw mention in a previous interview that patterns in music inspire you, which I find very intriguing, and I would really love to hear more about that, as well.

It’s a bit of everything; I wear a lot of black but also love certain florals, reds and pinks. I’m actually finding more ways to wear colors lately without “betraying” my style. I often go for very structured/form fitting, femme fatale-type outfits, but I also love wearing power suits, and going for a more androgynous look with leggings and oversized tops and big sneakers. I love Japanese fashion and I think it does inspire my style to an extent. What I wear influences my work, as I am always trying to make thing I want to wear everyday. I love staying home and being cozy, but I care about how I look, so I’m perpetually trying to mix those two things together. Otherwise, my inspiration mostly come from feelings, seasons, things around me. I think of the way certain things smell, and I long for them. I remember how the sun feels in a certain season, how it affects the colors of the trees and the sky. I feel the vibe of things around me; sometimes it’s the city, sometimes it’s the country, very often it’s a place that only exists in my head. As for the music (patterns), I think it can create a lot of these feelings/ vibes I just mentioned. You can just close your eyes, listen to music and travel to somewhere unique. That’s what inspires me.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-204_900x

As a further to that, tell me about the type of people that you envision wearing your pieces.

Everyone! I think that a lot of my pieces can be incorporated to a lot of different styles/ looks. If a person can appreciate the organic process behind my knits, I think they will find a way to wear them. I am talking about organic, because all my pieces are handmade and I like creating little irregularities. No one will ever own the same piece from me. It’s a special bond between me and my customers.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-115_900x

Maude Nibelungen Denise

Can you share any thoughts or give us any peeks as to what we might expect from your forthcoming collections?

I am in the process of moving to the USA for March! So I am expecting to work with a lot of new people (email me if you want to work with me! NYC/ NJ/ Philly!) I am currently working on a ready to wear a lingerie line for a collaboration with another company (but that’s all I can say for now). I’m also torturing myself with the thoughts of a whole new unisex collection I would like to launch this summer. I say torturing myself, because between the orders, the move and the family, I have to wait a few weeks before I can actually start designing and sampling. Right now it’s all marinating in my head. Oh, and I also just started a Patreon to support and share my endeavors!

Find Maude Nibelungen: website // instagram // facebook

 

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Slipped Stitches & Stitched Slips: Maude Nibelungen’s Evocative, Elegant Knitwear

by on Feb.19, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

AudreyBelval-greyarea-168_900x

Maude Nibelungen is a textile artist with a passion for knitting unique, wearable objects of desire–evocative, avant garde knits full of elegant contradictions, which are equally lovely as sultry loungewear in the boudoir or as unexpected, expressive streetwear–and which are also equally encouraged for all types of people and all of their wonderful bodies.

In our interview, below, Maude stressed to me that her knitting designs are for absolutely everyone. Everyone!  Including you! With your unruly human curves and planes, gorgeous angles and hollows, beautiful bumps and lumps and bits. If the sizes listed on her site don’t match up to what you may need,  she will work with your individual measurements to create a customized treasure that fits like a glove. She wants everyone to feel special in her designs, to feel like a precious piece of art, to evolve into their fabulous selves alongside and inside her pieces.

Read further for more insights on Maude’s inclusive vision, her desire to express her feelings and exorcise her demons through her craft, and the special bond she creates between her knitted intimacies and those who would wear them.

Nibelungen3

Maude! There are so many things that I want to talk with you about. But first, one thing that I want to comment on right away, is how often I see you modeling your own pieces–and I love that. One, because I always want to see the creator of the things I love adorning themselves with the things they have created– instead of modeling them on impossible fantasy humans. And two, because it’s always refreshing and exciting to see someone comfortable in their own skin, showing a little skin. Can you speak to these observations?

I’m glad to hear because honestly I’m always afraid that people will be annoyed with seeing me! I was modeling my pieces before I really started my brand. When I launched my first collection, I worked with “real” models because I wanted everything to look as professional as possible, and I still do! I didn’t really model my pieces for a few years after that. But I started again in 2014. It was a big year for me. I had an on and off phase as I was pregnant and then had some issues accepting my postpartum body. But I’m trying to see/ do things differently these days! I think everybody is beautiful and I am trying to show that to whoever wants to read/ see.

Maude N.

Nibelungen2

In that vein, you recently wrote a fantastic piece for Lingerie Addict on how to wear underwear as outerwear – how empowering it is to take your “unmentionables” out and let them see the light of day! It was a fairly comprehensive guide, but I’d love to know the impetus for this article, which pieces of yours you might choose for this purpose, and do you have any tips for the timid, in getting started with this trend?

Thank you! It was exciting putting this piece together for them. Well, first I think it’s important to say that lingerie as outerwear isn’t necessarily something that others will notice; one can easily create a simple/ casual look. For the more timid, the Alice crop top can be a very nice way to ornament the skin under a v-neck or any other open neckline. The Audrey socks are perfect to add some texture to a skirt/dress ensemble or also under shorter pants/ shorts. I would also suggest layering the Marlene dress over any plain black dress for instant glamour. For anyone more daring, well I’d say any piece could be worked into an outfit, haha; but my favorites would be the Anais Bodysuit, Denise Dress, Lola Chemise, Jean Step-Ins, and Georgia Capelet.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-083_900x

I read somewhere that you “turn your demons into knitwear” and I am curious about this concept, though, as a knitter myself, I think I know, after a fashion, how you mean that in a general sense. Tell me how you came to knit, how your demons became entangled into your stitches…and how row by row, piece by piece, these exorcised demons transformed knitted lingerie? 

That’s… the story of my whole life haha! But basically, I always dabbled in some type of art form, migrating from one to another as I nothing felt quite right; I had to find an artistic medium in which I could create something unique. I just felt like I could play piano, make jewelry, but nothing… different enough. Eventually, I started knitting more (I started when I was 5 but wasn’t doing it every day). In a particularly rough time in my life, I had a flash where it became clear that knitting was what I had to do. It just felt right. I finally was able to process and express all the feelings and thoughts that were locked up inside of me, in an artistic/ unique manner. I had found my voice… As for the lingerie, it was at first kind of a joke (an inside joke, that’s what happens when you spend hours and days and weeks knitting alone). When I started modeling my pieces again, in 2014, I was feeling the need to express myself differently. That, combined with the fact that for a while, I felt like I had to prove to people that knitting wasn’t a thing that only grandmothers did . It seems silly now, but not that long ago, and you must remember this, knitting wasn’t trendy. SO, I started modeling my sweaters but with only knickers on, or in more provocative angles. Knits make me feel good and that’s something I wanted to show and share. I started using the hashtag “knits are sexy”. One night, I was joking with some friends and said: I should just go all in and make a lingerie collection… that was in 2015, I have since put out 3 (and a half) lingerie/ loungewear collections. That’s also what I sell the most of these days. too!

Maude Nibelungen Lily

You’ve described your designs as “Matter and anti-matter dancing on the skin”-that’s a beautiful sentiment, can you elaborate on that?

Yes! It’s somewhat like the demons we were just talking about. I play a lot with the gauge (the tightness) of the knits I create. I design for people, with them in mind. I like to play with their skin too, create pretty patterns, make them feel like they are part of a piece of art.

And until I see my designs on someone else, I feel like that they are fully complete/ alive.

Texture is everything to me. That’s actually the sentiment behind my permanent collection, “Peau de Chagrin“; the pieces are all black, but I tried to recreate prints (floral, plaid, polka dots, stripes etc).

Maude Nibelungen Marlene Dress

How would you describe your personal style? How does that inspire and influence the designs you create? And where else do you find your inspiration for your collections/individual pieces? I saw mention in a previous interview that patterns in music inspire you, which I find very intriguing, and I would really love to hear more about that, as well.

It’s a bit of everything; I wear a lot of black but also love certain florals, reds and pinks. I’m actually finding more ways to wear colors lately without “betraying” my style. I often go for very structured/form fitting, femme fatale-type outfits, but I also love wearing power suits, and going for a more androgynous look with leggings and oversized tops and big sneakers. I love Japanese fashion and I think it does inspire my style to an extent. What I wear influences my work, as I am always trying to make thing I want to wear everyday. I love staying home and being cozy, but I care about how I look, so I’m perpetually trying to mix those two things together. Otherwise, my inspiration mostly come from feelings, seasons, things around me. I think of the way certain things smell, and I long for them. I remember how the sun feels in a certain season, how it affects the colors of the trees and the sky. I feel the vibe of things around me; sometimes it’s the city, sometimes it’s the country, very often it’s a place that only exists in my head. As for the music (patterns), I think it can create a lot of these feelings/ vibes I just mentioned. You can just close your eyes, listen to music and travel to somewhere unique. That’s what inspires me.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-204_900x

As a further to that, tell me about the type of people that you envision wearing your pieces.

Everyone! I think that a lot of my pieces can be incorporated to a lot of different styles/ looks. If a person can appreciate the organic process behind my knits, I think they will find a way to wear them. I am talking about organic, because all my pieces are handmade and I like creating little irregularities. No one will ever own the same piece from me. It’s a special bond between me and my customers.

AudreyBelval-greyarea-115_900x

Maude Nibelungen Denise

Can you share any thoughts or give us any peeks as to what we might expect from your forthcoming collections?

I am in the process of moving to the USA for March! So I am expecting to work with a lot of new people (email me if you want to work with me! NYC/ NJ/ Philly!) I am currently working on a ready to wear a lingerie line for a collaboration with another company (but that’s all I can say for now). I’m also torturing myself with the thoughts of a whole new unisex collection I would like to launch this summer. I say torturing myself, because between the orders, the move and the family, I have to wait a few weeks before I can actually start designing and sampling. Right now it’s all marinating in my head. Oh, and I also just started a Patreon to support and share my endeavors!

Find Maude Nibelungen: website // instagram // facebook

 

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Stacked: January/February 2018

by on Feb.16, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Maika - Stacked Jan 2018 All the Birds in the Sky

Maika

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders If Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (one of my all-time favorite books) was a tale of dueling 19th century English magicians, then All the Birds in the Sky is the tale of a present day/near future duel between witchcraft and technology in the US. Only, instead of meeting the magicians as adults, we meet a powerful witch and brilliant technological geek when they’re still just kids. But this isn’t another Harry Potter  or The Magicians , where so much of the story unfolds at a secret special school for secret special people. The bulk of All the Birds in the Sky takes place in the mundane world and I loved the juxtaposition of magic and science with everyday life and how they each propose to address pressing global problems such as climate change, environmental catastrophe, and overpopulation. It’s a wonderfully creative, diversely cast book that’s full of humor and wit. At times its humor and humanity reminded me fondly of the work of Tom Robbins, but this book is still very much its own thing and I look forward to seeing what Charlie Jane Anders writes in future.

The Wilds by Julia Elliott When my favorite authors take the time to recommend books, I pay close attention. The Wilds was recently recommended on Twitter by Carmen Maria Machado, so I wasted no time in acquiring a copy. She didn’t lead me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of decidedly dark and wonderfully weird short stories. There are lots of great genre flavors to enjoy herein, some science fiction, some horror, some magical realism, and lots of wonderfully creative in-betweens.

The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt  Like The Wilds, The Dark Dark also came highly recommended by a favorite author, this time Kelly Link . Some of the subjects of these stories weren’t as compelling for me as the variety found in The Wilds, but that’s a very subjective judgment on my part. They were all very well-written, gripping, and thoroughly haunting from start to finish.

Mr. Higgins Comes Home written by Mike Mignola, art by Warwick Johnson-Cadwell  This hardcover one-shot comic is Mike Mignola’s homage to The Fearless Vampire Killers and the Hammer Horror vampire movies. My appetite for vampire and monster stories/comics with a whimsical bent knows no bounds. It was a treat to see Mike Mignola spin a brief yarn of this nature, which made for a delightful bedtime read.

snow and rose

S. Elizabeth

By Chance Or Providence by Becky Cloonan A trilogy of haunting short stories; brief, deeply unsettling, supernatural flights of fancy chronicling love, loss, terrible choices and ruinous curses. Actual storytelling is sparse, but Becky Cloonan’s rich, atmospheric visuals bring each tale to vivid, startling life–and the beautifully rendered drawings from the sketchbook section in the back, alone, are worth the scant cost of the book.

Snow And Rose by Emily Winfield Martin As a child, I would have read and reread Emily Winfield Martin’s fanciful and thoroughly enchanting reimagining of the fairy tale featuring sisters Snow & Rose a thousand times, until its sweet illustrated cover was tattered and shabby and eventually lost under the bed or on a family trip, and its pages turned from pristine to well-thumbed, grubby, and worn. As an adult, I shall enjoy its curious charms and gentle mysteries just as often…but I promise–I take better care of my books now.

Satania by Fabien Vehlmann (Author), Kerascoet (Illustrator) Satania was an engrossing, amusing, and delightfully grotesque journey following a group of subterranean explorers as they plunge headlong into the bowels of the earth and discover the strange inhabitants of a hellish otherworld. The beautifully uncomfortable visuals and the narrative’s weird dream logic recalled for me the dreamy, surreal wonder I experienced when I first uncovered piles and piles of my father’s collected back issues of Heavy Metal magazine. But without the weird sexual awakenings, I guess? YMMV on that point.

Sonya still life with e-reader and airplane bloody mary

Sonya

Off Season by Jack Ketchum  First published in 1980, Off Season was heavily edited for a market where horror was not the freeforall it is these days, and I enjoyed both the reissued book and Dallas’ postscript detailing the cuts made to his original work. In this novel of young people in a house in the country — which, remember, wasn’t quite a trope in the 80s — versus cannibals, the publisher went to town on trimming vulgar material, like how to make jerky out of human flesh. I was reading Off Season when Dallas William Mayr, aka Jack Ketchum, passed away, which added another layer of emotion to this book.

Valentina by S.E. Lynes  I signed up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and have been hacking away at the horror and thriller sections; Valentina popped up as a recommendation in what I’ll call the “Gone Girl” genre. It’s a delightful little psychological thriller set in rural Scotland. Perfect for evenings in bed sipping bourbon or long plane rides.

The Other Side of the Wall by Andrea Mara Another Kindle Unlimited Gone Girl (KUGG) book, and again it was delightful — perhaps even moreso than Valentina. Though the blurb made it seem like it might be a spooky house story, The Other Side of the Wall shows that what’s really spooky is OTHER PEOPLE.

House Beneath the Bridge by Iain Rob Wright Thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I did not spend any money on this book which, upon ending, made me remark, “the fuck did I just read?” to my in-flight bloody mary. There was a lot of nonsense and also people worshipping a frog god. Apparently it has good reviews though?

Piercing by Ryu Murakami A new father, worried he might stab his daughter the way he once stabbed a prostitute a decade earlier, decides to murder a stranger so he can get his stabby ya-yas out and not hurt his child. Then his planned victim is even weirder than he is. A good book!

Experimental Film by Gemma Files My favorite January book. It’s about movies, but also ghosts.

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A Valentine For A Great Old One

by on Feb.14, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

I’m not terribly moved by Valentine’s Day. I’m a hopeless romantic in the right context, but the commercial holiday generally feels pretty hollow and forced to me. Or rather, it did until I found just the right angle from which to approach it. It started as one of those fanciful questions born of woolgathering: What if a sea creature fell in love with a Great Old One? Who’d dare be that bold or foolish?

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar header

Why the blue-ringed octopus, of course, third most venomous marine animal on the planet after two species of box jellyfish. Despite their adorably small size, one blue-ringed octopus carries enough of the neurotoxin Tetrodotoxin to kill 26 adult humans in minutes. They are shy creatures, only biting humans when provoked and directly handled (those bright blue rings are meant to send a very clear warning), but their bites are virtually painless and their victims don’t even know they’ve been bitten until respiratory failure and paralysis start to set in. Oh yes, and there’s currently no known antivenom.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 8

So I’m imagining that a greater blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) has fallen head over tentacles for Othuum, The Oceanic Horror, described as “a twisting tentacled mass, with a single alien face somewhere in the center of the slimy squirming mass.” How does this besotted cephalopod show their love and try to win the affection of an ancient, unearthly, and horribly powerful being? Why, with a grand romantic, possibly fatal, gesture.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 7

That train of thought is how I found myself up to my eyeballs in spackle, paint, assorted ocean ephemera, and synthetic tentacles, creating a monstrous Valentine’s Day art project that grew so elaborate, more than one February 14th passed until I was able to officially declare it complete.

And here it is, my eldritch undersea altar. I decided that what my lovesick venomous octopus would do was make an offering to the object of their quite possibly ill-fated affections.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar front

First I created my octopus. I started with a plain toy octopus (one that’s actually much larger than a real-life blue-ringed octopus, but that’s okay) and painted it to look like Hapalochlaena lunulata. Then it was time to set the stage for their amorous sacrifice.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar Octopus

A proper offering requires a suitable altar, which I made using one of those large heart-shaped cardboard boxes of valentine chocolates, a decorative column pedestal, an assortment of other heart-shaped craft objects, Apoxie Sculpt, spackling paste, and a variety of paints and stains.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar left side

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar right side

Because my altar is meant to exist somewhere on the ocean floor, I decorated it with a variety of interesting seashells, sea urchin spines, clusters of barnacle shells, corals, and some delightfully rubbery fake anemones from the aquarium department of my local pet store, all of which I textured and weathered to give them an ancient, undersea feel.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar base

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 3

An altar dedicated to a Great Old One must have be sinister, so some of the shells contain old doll parts  – arms and heads – that I also textured and weathered. They reach and peer out from inside clam shells, barnacles, and the altar itself, severed pieces of past offerings, perhaps. Or maybe they’re all that remains of unfortunate souls who strayed too close to Othuum.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 10

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 1

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 4

The octopus rests atop the altar clutching human offerings in some of their tentacles, waiting for their love to arrive and react, well aware that they might be perceived as the sacrificial offering. But this octopus would rather be devoured by Othuum than exist with all their venomous love unrequited.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 5

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 6

Now Othuum is coming. I painted Finger Tentacles and positioned a few so that they’re emerging from large barnacle shells on one side of the base, an then affixed the rest around the top section of the altar to serve as the first sign of the Great Old One’s arrival, their dark tentacles surrounding the octopus, for better or worse.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 9

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar back

Good luck, my tentacular lovers. Cthulhu fhtagn, here’s hoping your love doesn’t wake him.

Maika Great Old One Valentine Altar 2

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An Interview With Michael Locascio And Heather Jean Skalwold Of Dellamorte & Co.

by on Feb.12, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

il_fullxfull.514510568_4yfl

It’s always a bit of a “eureka!” moment, isn’t it, to discover the real world existence of a marvelous something that until just that very moment in time, you were absolutely certain did not live outside the fantastical realms of your imagination?

For years I believed that the best I could hope for, with regard to outfitting my suburban château with the otherworldly occult aesthetic I envisioned, were the strangest, most inscrutable items that Home Goods and my local garage sales and thrift shops had to offer. If I found the occasional not-t00-cheesy skull at Target during the Halloween season, I considered that a tremendous coup. (This was before the embarrassment of spooky riches we seem to have at World Market and so on, today…but it was honestly not all that long ago!)

Never in my most far-reaching fancies did I imagine that there actually existed artisans who brought to eerie, eldritch life my dreams of high drama gothic eccentricities and décor. Never, that is, until I cast my eyes upon the mystical, esoteric objets d’art– skulls, bats, witches, and the occasional gorgon or cephalopod, and more!–created with macabre elegance and dark allure by Dellamorte & Co.

Dellamorte Co raven

Dellamorte Co Memento Mori magnets

A finely detailed Krampus ornament, so lifelike and sinister, it appears as though he may awake and mete out enthusiastically devilish punishment at any second. A Death and the Maiden wall plaque presents a lushly textured danse macabre rendered simultaneously vibrant and fragile.  Serpent-tressed gorgon statuary to turn unwanted guests to stone, raven-headed canes for gothly midnight strolls, gorgeous anatomical heart vases for your sweetheart, bat and coffin shaped barware for your favorite undead dypsomaniac–whatever your fancy, no doubt you will find something splendid for your haunted castle (or mysterious apartment or uncanny condo or whatever) amongst the exquisite cabinet of curiosities that is Dellamorte & Co.

And before you think I am one to overstate the relative merits of goods that I have never seen in person, or felt with my own hands, I can assure you that I own several wondrous pieces from Dellamorte & Co., each more dreamy that the last–a writhing Kraken vase that I’ve arranged full of spectral undersea botanicals, a stoic Plague Doctor statue to keep watch over a shelf of deathly hardcovers and first editions, a grim raven ornament that hangs menacingly over my writing desk, memento mori gravestone magnets to rest on my refrigerator and remind me that every time I open that door I could make the wrong choice and end up six feet below ground…!

Plague Doctor from Dellamorte CO

If you are as curious as I have been about the creative souls and kindred spirits behind this extraordinary venture, well then, we have a treat for you! Haute Macabre recently caught up for a candid correspondence with long time friends and creative partners Michael Locascio and Heather Jean Skalwold of Dellamorte & Co.; see below for our resulting interview and learn more about the aesthetics, influences, and inspirations of the artists who have granted our wildest, weirdest wishes and brought all of our darkest, dreamiest desires to life.

Lady Bast from Dellamorte Co

 

Haute Macabre:Your vision draws inspiration from “… catacombs and tombs, mysticism and the realm of esoteric lore” – I’m always interested in where such inspirations are rooted in for an artist–can you speak to how you came to be inspired by the mystical and esoteric; the first stirrings of their influence in your life, how you came to notice them and appreciate them, feed them, watch them grow or evolve and branch out, and bring them to life through your work?

Michael: I think I just had a natural inclination toward certain tastes, because as far back as I can remember I was interested in darker themes. My mother was a nurse, so I was exposed to human anatomy and diseases early on, and media from my father’s National Geographics to the books and movies I was exposed to shaped my tastes. There was one issue of National Geographic with a feature article about the Black Death, and a centerfold of the Peter Bruegel painting. The first books I recall taking out of the library once I learned to read were about mythology- Greek, Egyptian, Norse, and in grade school I enjoyed the Time Life books on the occult. And being the 80’s, there was Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and lots of cool movies, shows, and toys. However, what I enjoyed playing with the most as a kid was simple modeling clay. And it was play initially rather than art, a method of story-building, so years later when I began to take art seriously, those dark themes and narratives naturally became part of my work.

Heather: I’ve had Brian Froud’s Faeries book since I can remember, and as a child I would pour over my father’s National Geographics (I’m always delighted by our similarities growing up), and I recall occasionally flipping through his record collection from the Seventies, in awe of the wild artwork. My parents also got me the Time Life Enchanted World series, which still lives with me in my studio. In my late teens I developed an interest in witchcraft and theology in general, and I was introduced to works by H. R. Giger. It was just the love of these things that were not everyday and ordinary that pushed me to learn and create and experiment with art. There is so much out in the world, so much hidden history, I want to share that and encourage others to learn and explore for themselves.

Dellamorte Co Heart vase

I read in an interview with etsy that you opened your shop in 2011 and that your first sale came 30 minutes after you first opened! Were you surprised by that, or did you go into this venture knowing that you had a artful designs that appealed to people and that there was an audience and customer base poised to jump on it? And why do you think that is?

Michael: At the time, I needed a creative outlet from my main focus, sculpting in the collectables market. So I planned it to be a fun side business, and I was certainly surprised to sell a piece so fast! I took it as a good sign, and while sales weren’t exceptionally brisk for the first couple of months, I got some online exposure for one of my pieces and things took off from there. In contrast my commission work with licensed products, I was sculpting pieces purely from my own aesthetic. My goal was to make dark home decor with a classical approach, and hopefully with a bit more sophistication that what I would generally see available.

Heather: Back then, when looking for gothic home decor you’d be relegated to Halloween decorations and generally cheesy crap. We wanted to offer something beautiful and functional that reflected our interests, things that we wanted for our own homes.

Dellamorte Co fetal werewolf skull

Dellamorte Co OOAK Doll

I understand that you are collector of curiosities yourselves. Can you tell me about your menagerie? What drives you to seek these pieces out? Do we see any of these treasures reflected in the creations that you offer through Dellamorte & Co.?

Michael: I’ve always had an interest in such things, and it really blossomed when I was in college in NYC and I discovered the Evolution store. I’ve collected bones and taxidermy, medical antiques, fossils and insects. It definitely sets the mood in my studio, and sometimes decorative bits I find at antique stores make their way into my artwork. I’d say for me it reflects my interest in science and natural history rather than just being spooky.

Heather: I have a punk/goth background, so I was naturally drawn to Coney Island and freak shows, and I had a similar experience in college with the discovery of the Evolution store. The Dellamorte & Co. studio is full of skulls of every type, antique medical items, sideshow posters, taxidermy gaffs, and artwork by artists we admire. It’s inspired us to create pieces for ourselves, like our little bone minions, and pieces inspired by items we’d never feasibly be able to acquire, such as a replica of one of the Dancing Fetal Skeletons of Bologna, and our own versions of tribal ancestor skulls. This interest has inspired a number of one-of-a-kind pieces we’ve created for the shop, and has led us to artists with similar creative proclivities who currently collaborate with us.

Dellamorte Co Medusa

What are some of your favorite creations that you’ve sold or that are in your shop right now? Why?

Michael: Currently my favorite pieces are the Medusa statue and Hecate statue. I really enjoy interpreting themes from mythology in my own style, and I feel that they are informed both by my fine art training and my time in the collectables industry.

Heather: I adore the little homunculi that Michael has been creating out of bits and pieces of other sculpts. I have one hanging out in my living room right now.

Joan from Dellamorte Co.

What’s currently inspiring you? Music/film/literature/etc.-wise?

Heather: Instagram! We follow so many amazing artists, photographers, and designers on IG, and I find it to be a constant and nearly endless source of inspiration lately. As far as film, Guillermo del Toro is always a favorite. (He’s also our favorite customer!)

Michael: We listen to a lot of classical music and soundtracks in the studio. Some of my favorite podcasts involve history, myths, and legends; for example, Sawbones, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Lore, Spirits Podcast, and Myths and Legends.

Dellamorte Co kraken book ends

What’s life like in your studio/s? Do you create in quiet, or do you have music playing, movies in the background? Do you have any sort of rituals for studio time? In what sort of atmosphere do you find you are most creative and/or productive? (I realize these are sometimes two very different things!)

Michael: After working in a sculpting studio for a toy company for five years, I went freelance and worked from home for another five years before starting Dellamorte & Co. I had my work habits down, and I find keeping a regular schedule and a (reasonably) organized space helps a lot with structure and efficiency. I split my time between fulfilling orders and business maintenance and the creative work of designing and sculpting. Since my work is largely visual, I find podcasts and audiobooks help pass the time best, and when I’m doing something noisy like packing boxes, I put on music.

Heather: I used to work in silence, but because of Michael’s influence, I am always listening to something now. Classical, old jazz, occasionally some retrowave works it way in, and podcasts. The best atmosphere for me to work in is a clean one. My studio is always a disaster. When I break down and finally pick up and organize, life is very good for a while. My rituals aren’t very glamorous. It involves the removal of the brassiere, changing into sweatpants, and making a fresh cup of coffee. Decaf if it’s late, because my work suffers if I don’t get to sleep eventually. But coffee is key.

Dellamorte Co ghost in the mirror

Do you have a dream project? How about any dream collaborations?

Michael: I love working in bronze, since I began as an apprentice to a monument sculptor. I’ve cast some of my pieces in bronze for personal display, and I always look forward to commissions in bronze or for larger scale sculpture. I’d love to collaborate with Ugo Serrano, perhaps sculpting some of his armor or reliquary designs.

Hecate from Dellamorte Co

How do you decide upon new piece for your shop? Is it usually something that, say, you’ve had a large amount of requests from customers for? Or is it something that’s just been knocking about in your head and you want to bring it forth into the world? Can you share (or give a tiny hint) as to anything that might be in the works, something new we might be seeing soon?

Michael: I like to balance my new pieces between functional items, such as barware, mugs, and night lights, and purely decorative sculpture like statues and plaques. I always have ideas, so I keep a list of potential projects, but I tend not to begin them until I feel inspired. I always welcome suggestions and requests from customers, and I add them to my list if I feel it’s something that I can add my own spin to. I’m just getting back into designing after a grueling holiday season, but I have a new vampire bat cane finished, and I’m currently working on a harpy statue.

Heather: Michael’s Hecate statue was a customer driven creation for sure. My OOAK pieces have always served as a creative outlet when I’m not too busy with production. I plan to work on a series of perfumes for the shop. It’s something I’ve been playing around with for a while and I hope to produce this year.

Find Dellamorte & Co. Shop // Instagram // Facebook

 

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An Interview With Michael Locascio And Heather Jean Skalwold Of Dellamorte & Co.

by on Feb.12, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

il_fullxfull.514510568_4yfl

It’s always a bit of a “eureka!” moment, isn’t it, to discover the real world existence of a marvelous something that until just that very moment in time, you were absolutely certain did not live outside the fantastical realms of your imagination?

For years I believed that the best I could hope for, with regard to outfitting my suburban château with the otherworldly occult aesthetic I envisioned, were the strangest, most inscrutable items that Home Goods and my local garage sales and thrift shops had to offer. If I found the occasional not-t00-cheesy skull at Target during the Halloween season, I considered that a tremendous coup. (This was before the embarrassment of spooky riches we seem to have at World Market and so on, today…but it was honestly not all that long ago!)

Never in my most far-reaching fancies did I imagine that there actually existed artisans who brought to eerie, eldritch life my dreams of high drama gothic eccentricities and décor. Never, that is, until I cast my eyes upon the mystical, esoteric objets d’art– skulls, bats, witches, and the occasional gorgon or cephalopod, and more!–created with macabre elegance and dark allure by Dellamorte & Co.

Dellamorte Co raven

Dellamorte Co Memento Mori magnets

A finely detailed Krampus ornament, so lifelike and sinister, it appears as though he may awake and mete out enthusiastically devilish punishment at any second. A Death and the Maiden wall plaque presents a lushly textured danse macabre rendered simultaneously vibrant and fragile.  Serpent-tressed gorgon statuary to turn unwanted guests to stone, raven-headed canes for gothly midnight strolls, gorgeous anatomical heart vases for your sweetheart, bat and coffin shaped barware for your favorite undead dypsomaniac–whatever your fancy, no doubt you will find something splendid for your haunted castle (or mysterious apartment or uncanny condo or whatever) amongst the exquisite cabinet of curiosities that is Dellamorte & Co.

And before you think I am one to overstate the relative merits of goods that I have never seen in person, or felt with my own hands, I can assure you that I own several wondrous pieces from Dellamorte & Co., each more dreamy that the last–a writhing Kraken vase that I’ve arranged full of spectral undersea botanicals, a stoic Plague Doctor statue to keep watch over a shelf of deathly hardcovers and first editions, a grim raven ornament that hangs menacingly over my writing desk, memento mori gravestone magnets to rest on my refrigerator and remind me that every time I open that door I could make the wrong choice and end up six feet below ground…!

Plague Doctor from Dellamorte CO

If you are as curious as I have been about the creative souls and kindred spirits behind this extraordinary venture, well then, we have a treat for you! Haute Macabre recently caught up for a candid correspondence with long time friends and creative partners Michael Locascio and Heather Jean Skalwold of Dellamorte & Co.; see below for our resulting interview and learn more about the aesthetics, influences, and inspirations of the artists who have granted our wildest, weirdest wishes and brought all of our darkest, dreamiest desires to life.

Lady Bast from Dellamorte Co

 

Haute Macabre:Your vision draws inspiration from “… catacombs and tombs, mysticism and the realm of esoteric lore” – I’m always interested in where such inspirations are rooted in for an artist–can you speak to how you came to be inspired by the mystical and esoteric; the first stirrings of their influence in your life, how you came to notice them and appreciate them, feed them, watch them grow or evolve and branch out, and bring them to life through your work?

Michael: I think I just had a natural inclination toward certain tastes, because as far back as I can remember I was interested in darker themes. My mother was a nurse, so I was exposed to human anatomy and diseases early on, and media from my father’s National Geographics to the books and movies I was exposed to shaped my tastes. There was one issue of National Geographic with a feature article about the Black Death, and a centerfold of the Peter Bruegel painting. The first books I recall taking out of the library once I learned to read were about mythology- Greek, Egyptian, Norse, and in grade school I enjoyed the Time Life books on the occult. And being the 80’s, there was Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, and lots of cool movies, shows, and toys. However, what I enjoyed playing with the most as a kid was simple modeling clay. And it was play initially rather than art, a method of story-building, so years later when I began to take art seriously, those dark themes and narratives naturally became part of my work.

Heather: I’ve had Brian Froud’s Faeries book since I can remember, and as a child I would pour over my father’s National Geographics (I’m always delighted by our similarities growing up), and I recall occasionally flipping through his record collection from the Seventies, in awe of the wild artwork. My parents also got me the Time Life Enchanted World series, which still lives with me in my studio. In my late teens I developed an interest in witchcraft and theology in general, and I was introduced to works by H. R. Giger. It was just the love of these things that were not everyday and ordinary that pushed me to learn and create and experiment with art. There is so much out in the world, so much hidden history, I want to share that and encourage others to learn and explore for themselves.

Dellamorte Co Heart vase

I read in an interview with etsy that you opened your shop in 2011 and that your first sale came 30 minutes after you first opened! Were you surprised by that, or did you go into this venture knowing that you had a artful designs that appealed to people and that there was an audience and customer base poised to jump on it? And why do you think that is?

Michael: At the time, I needed a creative outlet from my main focus, sculpting in the collectables market. So I planned it to be a fun side business, and I was certainly surprised to sell a piece so fast! I took it as a good sign, and while sales weren’t exceptionally brisk for the first couple of months, I got some online exposure for one of my pieces and things took off from there. In contrast my commission work with licensed products, I was sculpting pieces purely from my own aesthetic. My goal was to make dark home decor with a classical approach, and hopefully with a bit more sophistication that what I would generally see available.

Heather: Back then, when looking for gothic home decor you’d be relegated to Halloween decorations and generally cheesy crap. We wanted to offer something beautiful and functional that reflected our interests, things that we wanted for our own homes.

Dellamorte Co fetal werewolf skull

Dellamorte Co OOAK Doll

I understand that you are collector of curiosities yourselves. Can you tell me about your menagerie? What drives you to seek these pieces out? Do we see any of these treasures reflected in the creations that you offer through Dellamorte & Co.?

Michael: I’ve always had an interest in such things, and it really blossomed when I was in college in NYC and I discovered the Evolution store. I’ve collected bones and taxidermy, medical antiques, fossils and insects. It definitely sets the mood in my studio, and sometimes decorative bits I find at antique stores make their way into my artwork. I’d say for me it reflects my interest in science and natural history rather than just being spooky.

Heather: I have a punk/goth background, so I was naturally drawn to Coney Island and freak shows, and I had a similar experience in college with the discovery of the Evolution store. The Dellamorte & Co. studio is full of skulls of every type, antique medical items, sideshow posters, taxidermy gaffs, and artwork by artists we admire. It’s inspired us to create pieces for ourselves, like our little bone minions, and pieces inspired by items we’d never feasibly be able to acquire, such as a replica of one of the Dancing Fetal Skeletons of Bologna, and our own versions of tribal ancestor skulls. This interest has inspired a number of one-of-a-kind pieces we’ve created for the shop, and has led us to artists with similar creative proclivities who currently collaborate with us.

Dellamorte Co Medusa

What are some of your favorite creations that you’ve sold or that are in your shop right now? Why?

Michael: Currently my favorite pieces are the Medusa statue and Hecate statue. I really enjoy interpreting themes from mythology in my own style, and I feel that they are informed both by my fine art training and my time in the collectables industry.

Heather: I adore the little homunculi that Michael has been creating out of bits and pieces of other sculpts. I have one hanging out in my living room right now.

Joan from Dellamorte Co.

What’s currently inspiring you? Music/film/literature/etc.-wise?

Heather: Instagram! We follow so many amazing artists, photographers, and designers on IG, and I find it to be a constant and nearly endless source of inspiration lately. As far as film, Guillermo del Toro is always a favorite. (He’s also our favorite customer!)

Michael: We listen to a lot of classical music and soundtracks in the studio. Some of my favorite podcasts involve history, myths, and legends; for example, Sawbones, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Lore, Spirits Podcast, and Myths and Legends.

Dellamorte Co kraken book ends

What’s life like in your studio/s? Do you create in quiet, or do you have music playing, movies in the background? Do you have any sort of rituals for studio time? In what sort of atmosphere do you find you are most creative and/or productive? (I realize these are sometimes two very different things!)

Michael: After working in a sculpting studio for a toy company for five years, I went freelance and worked from home for another five years before starting Dellamorte & Co. I had my work habits down, and I find keeping a regular schedule and a (reasonably) organized space helps a lot with structure and efficiency. I split my time between fulfilling orders and business maintenance and the creative work of designing and sculpting. Since my work is largely visual, I find podcasts and audiobooks help pass the time best, and when I’m doing something noisy like packing boxes, I put on music.

Heather: I used to work in silence, but because of Michael’s influence, I am always listening to something now. Classical, old jazz, occasionally some retrowave works it way in, and podcasts. The best atmosphere for me to work in is a clean one. My studio is always a disaster. When I break down and finally pick up and organize, life is very good for a while. My rituals aren’t very glamorous. It involves the removal of the brassiere, changing into sweatpants, and making a fresh cup of coffee. Decaf if it’s late, because my work suffers if I don’t get to sleep eventually. But coffee is key.

Dellamorte Co ghost in the mirror

Do you have a dream project? How about any dream collaborations?

Michael: I love working in bronze, since I began as an apprentice to a monument sculptor. I’ve cast some of my pieces in bronze for personal display, and I always look forward to commissions in bronze or for larger scale sculpture. I’d love to collaborate with Ugo Serrano, perhaps sculpting some of his armor or reliquary designs.

Hecate from Dellamorte Co

How do you decide upon new piece for your shop? Is it usually something that, say, you’ve had a large amount of requests from customers for? Or is it something that’s just been knocking about in your head and you want to bring it forth into the world? Can you share (or give a tiny hint) as to anything that might be in the works, something new we might be seeing soon?

Michael: I like to balance my new pieces between functional items, such as barware, mugs, and night lights, and purely decorative sculpture like statues and plaques. I always have ideas, so I keep a list of potential projects, but I tend not to begin them until I feel inspired. I always welcome suggestions and requests from customers, and I add them to my list if I feel it’s something that I can add my own spin to. I’m just getting back into designing after a grueling holiday season, but I have a new vampire bat cane finished, and I’m currently working on a harpy statue.

Heather: Michael’s Hecate statue was a customer driven creation for sure. My OOAK pieces have always served as a creative outlet when I’m not too busy with production. I plan to work on a series of perfumes for the shop. It’s something I’ve been playing around with for a while and I hope to produce this year.

Find Dellamorte & Co. Shop // Instagram // Facebook

 

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Haute Macabre Staff Favorites For 2017: Erin’s Picks

by on Feb.10, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Like so many of us, my 2017 will in many ways be defined by resistance, politics, and and the raving madness of the world around us. In some ways I am thankful for this, because I finally got off my ass and quit being an armchair activist. I finally got out in the streets and did things, picked up phones and called people, and felt the joy of coming together with other like-minded people and loudly pronouncing the truth. I worked hard at growing my understanding and support of other people’s struggles, at learning to listen, and at learning when to speak.

IMG_1611

 

Yet, in the midst of the chaos, my personal world was growing and evolving in amazing ways.  My ongoing journey with the love of my life took several huge steps-  first, we got engaged.  Then we bought a house together and moved across the country.  So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t been around Haute Macabre as much as some years, I’ve been really, really busy.

IMG_1149

BUT, I did manage to make it out the Salem Night Market with the crew to meet all the lovelies I hadn’t met before and spend some quality time with Sam.

IMG_8142

 

Books:

I think because of the current state of the world, this year I went hard into dystopian fiction. From classics like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake to fairly new books like the Southern Reach trilogy, I couldn’t seem to get enough of the end of the world. Standouts for me included One Second After, The Water Knife, and American War.

12ce7598bee2dd2fc93601ec03dbb7a3433ca4dc_hq

 

Music:

These days I find it maddeningly rare to hear a song and truly fall in love. It seems like when I was younger, it happened all the time. This year, it happened exactly once.  But it was worth the wait.

 

Social Media:

The truth is, I’m mostly on Instagram for #goatsincoats and @JuniperFoxx, although I have developed a mad girl crush on @Jacqthestripper.

675554_main

 

Things that don’t fit into categories but are seriously The Best:

 

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Haute Macabre Staff Favorites For 2017: Erin’s Picks

by on Feb.10, 2018, under Syndicated from the Web

Reposted from | Go to Original Post

Like so many of us, my 2017 will in many ways be defined by resistance, politics, and and the raving madness of the world around us. In some ways I am thankful for this, because I finally got off my ass and quit being an armchair activist. I finally got out in the streets and did things, picked up phones and called people, and felt the joy of coming together with other like-minded people and loudly pronouncing the truth. I worked hard at growing my understanding and support of other people’s struggles, at learning to listen, and at learning when to speak.

IMG_1611

 

Yet, in the midst of the chaos, my personal world was growing and evolving in amazing ways.  My ongoing journey with the love of my life took several huge steps-  first, we got engaged.  Then we bought a house together and moved across the country.  So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t been around Haute Macabre as much as some years, I’ve been really, really busy.

IMG_1149

BUT, I did manage to make it out the Salem Night Market with the crew to meet all the lovelies I hadn’t met before and spend some quality time with Sam.

IMG_8142

 

Books:

I think because of the current state of the world, this year I went hard into dystopian fiction. From classics like Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake to fairly new books like the Southern Reach trilogy, I couldn’t seem to get enough of the end of the world. Standouts for me included One Second After, The Water Knife, and American War.

12ce7598bee2dd2fc93601ec03dbb7a3433ca4dc_hq

 

Music:

These days I find it maddeningly rare to hear a song and truly fall in love. It seems like when I was younger, it happened all the time. This year, it happened exactly once.  But it was worth the wait.

 

Social Media:

The truth is, I’m mostly on Instagram for #goatsincoats and @JuniperFoxx, although I have developed a mad girl crush on @Jacqthestripper.

675554_main

 

Things that don’t fit into categories but are seriously The Best:

 

BloodMilk Banner

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