Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monthly Homework Assignment: Things I Can't Live Without

So the lovely Mary, formerly of Le Professeur Gothique and currently of The Dancing Maenad, gave us a homework assignment that I was actually really excited for-but it being summer, I nearly forgot about it! No posts for two weeks, then two in one day-wow, I am terribly organized, aren't I? But I had to do this assignment, because I think it tells you so much about a person-you can certainly tell a lot about me by mine!

Things You Can't Live Without

My foundation, powder, and mascara. If you ever read my comments on the lovely Lady Bethezda's blog, or GlumPlum's, you'll know I have a terrible envy of people who can actually do their eye makeup. I'm terrible with eyeliner and shadow, so unless I can have a friend do it for me I generally don't wear them. This leads many guys to say things like "I like girls like you who don't wear makeup." BLLLAAAAT! Wrong, my dear gents-I do wear makeup, just not NOTICEABLE makeup. Having been doing foundation since I was about 8 or 9 and started getting acne, I'm a regular pro by now. It's very, VERY rare to see me out and about without full concealer, foundation, and powder on-like, one of the only times I went without for more than one day when I was going out in public was in Fiji, because it was so darn hot it just melted off. Obscenely humid weather notwithstanding, I must have my makeup! I also generally use a brown mascara for everyday-it's not as dramatic as black, but it makes my lashes pop just a little more. I've used all kinds of foundations, but honestly I've found $4.95/bottle NYC Ivory matches my skin and wears better than a lot of $20+ Sephora brands. Powder varies as well-right now I like CoverGirl, but I've used all kinds as well. 

My solid black and black striped with buckles underbust corsets. I love all of my corsets, but these are the two I cannot live without. Easy to wear, go with all kinds of styles and pretty much everything in my wardrobe, and add a little va-va-voom to anything instantly. They're also very comfortable-probably because I've worn them so much that they are perfectly broken in to my body! 

Mary Jane shoes. Heeled, chunky, flat, spiked-if it has a strap and looks like a variation on something a little girl would wear to school, I probably own it! I do have a hard time finding well-fitting chunky ones, but I keep my eyes out every time I go thrifting. Definitely my favorite kind of shoe!

My rainbow of crinkly peasant skirts. I have a ton of these-this is just a small selection. I love them because they are so comfortable and easy to wear-like classy-looking sweatpants. Also, they are great by themselves on a hot summer day, or layered up can keep you warm on a cold winter one. You can modernize them with a t-shirt, or go all Ren Faire Princess with a peasant blouse and a corset. They're easy to bustle over each other with pins for a Victorian look. And because they are supposed to be crinkly, they travel really well. What more could you want in a skirt?

Stripey items! I have striped leggings, striped skirts, striped blouses, striped blazers, striped vests...pinstripes, wide stripes, black and white or brightly colored, I just love stripes! If you click the "stripes" tag here, you'll see more stripes than you can shake a Tim Burton movie at. And I have more striped fabric waiting to be made into items of clothing. This is one of my most stereotypically Goth loves, and I make no apologies for it. Life is too short to not cram all the stripes you can into it!

And now for the electronics, or non-clothing items. My parents got me this Lenovo K-1 Ideapad tablet last December, and already I can't imagine how I lived without it. It has a lot of fun games and functions almost like a full computer with its included detachable keyboard (great for taking notes when I don't want to lug out my heavy Macbook!), but its best function for me is definitely the Kindle app. I've read so many books on it! I can carry an entire library in my purse, and for a biblioholic like me, that's one of the best things ever. Plus, it's super sturdy-the strap on my bag broke as I was getting out of my dad's pickup shortly after I got it, and it fell out about five feet facedown onto pavement. Other than a couple of scrapes on the corners of the aluminum case, you'd never even know it happened! For someone as clumsy as me, non-fragile electronics are a must. :)

Last but certainly not least, I have my Zune. I've had it six years now-I got it my freshman year of HS, and it just keeps on ticking! About the only thing that's making me contemplate getting a new one is that it's not compatible with my Macbook and when I'm back to school I won't have a Windows-based computer to sync it with any more. It's 30 GB, and it was only $90! It's come with me to three continents and seven states now, been dropped too many times to count, jostled around in backpacks and purses, and taken on runs and hikes and it just. Keeps. Going.  I love to listen to music and audiobooks while I sew, and it certainly makes walking everywhere-whether in Denver or Welly-much more appealing! We'll see if the next one I get even comes close to it in longevity and sturdiness. Somehow, I have my doubts. :)

Also, as a brief note/PSA-I'm very, very privileged to be able to count lots of clothes, shoes, and electronics among the things I "can't live without." A lot of people in the world have to try and live without basic necessities like food, clothing, adequate housing, or protection from the threat of violence. If I may take a moment to promote one of my favorite charities, if you want to help bring necessities to those in need Women For Women International is a great charity that does a lot to help women and girls in poor or war-stricken areas, who generally get the short shrift when it comes to the distribution of charitable funds. You can find more information and give a few bucks if you have a little extra (I try to give a small amount from each paycheck, because every little bit helps and I am able to do so) at

The Gallery Serpentine Grand Return!

Hello, my duckies! Sorry for the long absence, but I was busy packing, going to Australia, flying home, and recovering from jet lag and sewing and doing many fabulous-yet-sad things as I said goodbye to NZ. BUT, I have a treat for you, based on my treat for myself. Since I knew I was going to be in Australia, I decided in early June to order a corset from Gallery Serpentine as a memento of my Study Abroad and a gift to myself. I picked it up on the 6th of July when I was in Sydney, and at $260 it is the most expensive piece of clothing I've ever owned-but so comfortable and flattering and beautiful that I find it worth every penny! It's a good thing I was already full up on luggage and limited on money, or I quite possibly would have bought the entire stock of the store, it was that beautiful! If you are ever in Sydney, you simply MUST go there. It's like Willy Wonka's factory for Goths and fans of beautiful clothing alike.
Black jersey dress-Ross
Ruby Dead Tech underbust-Gallery Serpentine
Chunky black shoes-Repeat Boutique
Something great about this corset is that it's unique and distinctive, but also easy to dress up or down. I can't wait to put it into a full steampunk ensemble complete with ruffled blouse, top hat, and layers and layers of skirts-but it works just as well here as the centerpiece of an otherwise simple outfit. And this isn't the only exciting corset-based thing I have in the offing-coming soon, my how-to on how to make a new corset out of an old one that's too big. I'm glad to be back, lovelies, and can't wait to be blogging regularly again!