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Spooky Octopus Decor

Based on the response to my octopus tattoo post it’s apparent people really like octopuses.  So I present to you even more ways to add these wonderful creatures to your life.

Kitchen

Mug Holder / Ice Tray / Measuring Spoons / Wine Glasses

Bath

Shower Curtain / Wall Decal / Accessories / Laundry Bag / TP Holder / Sink

Bedroom

Bedding / Switch Plate / Drawer Knob / Ring Holder

Living Room & Accessories

Vase / Candle Holders / Rug / Wall Hooks / Bookends

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Dark Wedding Cakes

I love wedding cakes…LOVE THEM.  I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful baker at Skiff’s Cakes in CA to make the cake for my wedding.  It was beautiful and exactly what I wanted. And, most importantly, it was black.  Below in my salute to the black wedding cake.

My Cake

Wasn’t it lovely? It was also delicious.

Victorian Inspired

Steampunk styling, frilly details and skull cameos, what’s not to love?

Simply Beautiful

Nothing goes better with black than black.

I love wedding cakes…LOVE THEM.  I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful baker at Skiff’s Cakes in CA to make the cake for my wedding.  It was beautiful and exactly what I wanted. And, most importantly, it was black.  Below in my salute to the black wedding cake.

Square

A classic stylish color in a modern graphic shape.

Pop of Color

Touches (or more) of color set these dark delights apart from the rest.

Floral

Everyone loves wedding flowers. A traditional design element in a non traditional setting.

Nature Inspired

Perfect for spooky nature lovers everywhere.

Spooky

Perfect for the spooky, spooky lovers everywhere.

Wondering why there aren’t more skulls?  Check out my skull wedding cake post here.

 

Ethnic Gothic

Sunday, May 22nd is World Goth Day.  It’s a wonderful day dedicated to being as goth as you want to be. When people think about goth’s they typically envision caucasian people. However, there are many of us who are not white.  I am mixed race and I have known many goths of various ethnicities.  Why does this matter?  It matters because diversity matters.  Within the goth scene there is great diversity in fashion and music tastes and it should be noted that there is diversity in racial backgrounds as well.

BUT! This post isn’t going to be a rant about people not acknowledging diversity.  I like to keep things light hearted around here and that’s a bit too heavy for me. Personally I have felt that the goth community has accepted me better than most other groups I have encountered regardless of race . This post is about how to embrace goth fashion and  a darker skin tone at the same time. This is about make-up!

Face

When I see videos of people playing with goth make-up the first thing they do is paint the persons face white to make them super pale.  If you already have fair skin this look can work for you.  If you have darker skin this technique con make you look crazy.  Just love the skin you’re in! Be proud of your natural skin tone.  This goes for all people! Take a trip to Sephora or any other retailer where they have artists on staff who can help you find the right product for your skin and match your shade.

Pro Tip: Wait to apply your face makeup until after your have completed your eyes.  Eye shadow can fall onto your cheek bones and ruin your look.  This way you can wipe off any excess on your cheeks or any mistakes without ruining the rest of your hard work.

Eyes

When it comes to spooky eyes the smoky technique is one of the best all purpose looks.  You can mix and match any colors you want using the same steps.  My advise is to work with your skin tone (and eye color) for the best effect.  I love sparkly metallic silver eye shadow, but my skin tone is too warm for it to look nice.  I tried for years to make it work and it just doesn’t.  I can use matte dark grey at best, but typically I go with purples or greens.  Colors the look good with my green eyes and can be found in warmer tones so they work with my skin.

Of course black eye liner works on basically everyone.  Have fun with wings or other designs as you see fit.  You can always wash it off and start over if you don’t like the look.  And don’t forget a good mascara.

A note on mascara for everyone, spider eyes are not a good look.  Maybe you don’t agree, but your look is much better if you don’t let it clump on your lashes.  One way to prevent this is not to pump your mascara wand.  If you need more product on the brush swirl the wand instead.  Pumping adds air into the tube and will dry out you mascara preventing it from applying neatly.  You can also you an eyelash comb after application to help separate your lashes. This handy tool comes with an eyebrow brush on the other side.

Lips

If you have gone big and dramatic with the eyes you need to add balance with your lips.  Black lipstick has come a long way since I first tried it in high school (I won’t tell you the year, but it wasn’t yesterday). It can work well on many people. However I think the contrast can often make teeth appear very yellow.  If you never smile or open your mouth this isn’t an issue.  But if you plan on speaking to anyone or having fun during your day you may be doing your smile a disservice.  My favorite look is blood red.  Kat Von D has the best shades of red I have found. I have also been known to use my black eyeliner as a lip liner and then blend it into the red for a slight ombre effect.

Nails

Nail art knows no limits when it comes to ethnicity.  Anyone can wear any style they want.  I have been an Essie girl for years.  The selection of colors is vast and always growing.  OPI is my back up if I’m looking for a specific color that I can’t find with Essie.  Get as creative as you want with designs or colors.  When it comes to shape or length, go with the most naturally attractive for your hands and fingers.  Make sure you go with something functional in your everyday life.  If you type a lot having super long stiletto pointed nails may not be the best….if you are know how to type 100 words a minute with the tips of your nails then rock them as long and pointy as you want.

Hair

Ethnic hair can be incredibly fun.  Not everyone needs to look like Morticia. If your hair is thick or curly you can be just as edgy and spooky as anyone else. It’s all about embracing who you are and your natural assets.  Of course if you want to make chemical changes to your hair their’s nothing wrong with that either.  It took me years to stop straitening my hair and embrace my curls.  I stopped because it was ruining my hair and was too much maintenance.  I do color my hair because I think its fun.

To boil everything down, be yourself and work with the natural shapes, colors and textures of the body you have.  Let your imagination run wild and have fun.  And always remember, you don’t have to fit into anyone else definition or label, be you.

Frightening Friday

Today is Friday the 13th! For most this is just another day, but for many it is one of the most frightening days of the year.  Not just those who suffer from triskaidekaphobia or parakevidekatriaphobia, but also those who are superstitious without being phobic. The question some of us may be asking is: why?

Tradition

People grow up fearing what they are told is scary.  If you hear every Friday the 13th all your life that it’s a day of bad luck then you are likely to believe it.  The dark side of the day is mostly in our minds, or at least that’s the theory of Stuart Vyse, a professor of psychology at Connecticut College in New London.  If you think about it further that’s really how all culture is passed down through the generations.  Associating bad luck and fear with the number 13 and Friday the 13th is just one part of Western Culture which has been carried through the generations.

Western culture actively avoids the number by skipping it in high rise buildings when labeling the floors or (sometimes) in street addresses. The ever growing number of films dedicated to making this date scary hasn’t exactly helped anyone forget about this custom either.

Biblical Roots

There were 13 guests present at the Last Supper where Judas betrayed Jesus.  The Last Supper was on a Friday.  Merging the two statements gives us one reason for fearing the day.

Other theories with biblical origins also exist.  Some believe that Adam and Eve shared their first taste of forbidden fruit on a Friday. It’s also said that Abel was slain by Cain on Friday the 13th.

 Negative Associations

One of the largest factors contributing to the wide spread fear of Friday the 13th are the number of awful events (real or mythological) which have been associated with the date.

In Norse mythology there is a tale of a doomed dinner in Valhalla. 12 gods were assembled when Loki entered as the 13th member.  He convinced the blind god of darkness, Hoder, to shoot the goddess of joy and gladness, Balder, with an arrow laced with mistletoe. Balder died plunging the morning world into darkness.

King Philip IV of France torture the Knights Templar on Friday the 13th. Apparently he wanted the riches they were supposedly hiding. In Roman culture witches we said to gather in groups of 12 with the devil being the 13th guest.  Friday was once know as the hangman’s day in Britain. This was the day when most executions took place.  The gallows had exactly 13 steps.

Complete Numbers

According to the theory of numerology 12 is a complete number.  There are 12 signs in the zodiac, 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 months in the year, 12 gods of Olympus, the list goes on.  13 in comparison is not a complete number and therefore makes people uncomfortable.  For me it’s the opposite, 12 is a strange number for me and 13 makes perfect sense.  Maybe its from years of consciously embracing 13 and refusing to fear the number.  Now 12 is just awkward for me, it feels like it falls just short of the number comfortable 13.

The Ideal Family

Many have searched and searched to find the formula for creating the perfect family. There are numerous self help books and blog posts on the subject. Many psychological publications have advise on how to achieve this much desired familial bliss.  I’m very pleased to announce that I have found the ideal family whose example we should all follow.  I present to you: The Addams Family.

A Beautiful Marriage

 

If you have ever viewed the marriage of Gomez and Morticia in any of the available forms you will have noticed the intense love between them.  It’s clear that they are a shining example of strong love.  They are very affectionate with each other in all situations.  They are aligned when they parent their children.  They support each others desires and fetishes.  Each has their own interests and independence and they trust each other completely. Unlike typical sitcom marriages these two never belittle each other or complain about one another to their friends.  If anything they only discuss their love and concern for each others well being. And no one has ever accused either member of the pair of straying from the relationship.

Loving Parents

Pugsley and Wednesday (and later in the film series Pubert) are some of the luckiest children in entertainment. Their parents give them the love and support they need to be themselves without judgement. They give them rules and boundaries, but sometimes give in because they just want their children to be happy.  Both parents are also very involved in their children’s schooling.  They attend performances and monitor their readings.  In the first episode of the TV series they go to the school and meet with the principle and have the story of Hansel and Gretel removed from the reading list.  You may assume that the Brother’s Grimm story would be a favorite of the Addams but they have a very different perspective on the famous tale.  They are adamantly against the burning alive of a witch.  Which makes sense, witches are people too!  Bonus points to Gomez and Morticia for teaching tolerance to the school.

Caring Family

The Addams household includes the core nuclear family as many average American households do.  It also includes extended family members which is less commonly found in the US. Grandmama is a beloved mother of either Gomez or Morticia, it is never made clear. Despite not knowing exactly how she’s related she is still loved and given a home. She is respected regardless of her eccentricities and unusual cooking style and not treated as a burden or just some crazy old lady.

Uncle Fester is just as eccentric as anyone else in the clan.  Many people would judge an unmarried grown man living with his younger brother’s family and (maybe) his mother as a loser.  He is not treated like a mooch and is given the same love and respect as the rest of the family.

The family employs Lurch and Thing to help with the household. These two are treated just like family members.  They live in the home with everyone else and when (in the film The Addams Family) the family was thrown from their home, Lurch and Thing stayed to help the family get through hard times and come back together.

Humble

The Addams family is independently wealthy.  Their wealth is never fully spelled out, but it is clearly obvious from the vault of gold in the cellar and the fact that no one has a job.  You will notice that they never flaunt their riches.  You don’t see them spending money on fancy cars or shopping sprees. They send their children to public school. Morticia does much of her own gardening and makes her own clothes. She likely makes the children clothes too.  They have fancy possessions, but largely because they are family heirlooms, but because they go out and buy material goods. And I have not once seen them treat anyone as lower class because of their wealth.

Of course we have to remember that these are fictional people.  No family will ever be perfect or eternally happy. That’s just not the way life works.  There are also many different configurations of families, not just the average nuclear unit shown here. However, we can all still learn a few things about unconditional love, patience and acceptance from these characters.

Tentacle Tattoos

I am in Greece this week enjoying the sun, surf and amazing Mediterranean food. My husband and traveling partners will likely dine on more than a few octopuses.  Personally I prefer to enjoy octopuses with my eyes only; in the wild, in home decor, or in tattoos!

I have often wondered why I find octopuses so fascinating.  Recent scientific findings have helped me realize that it’s because they are basically aliens. Their genetic structure is vastly different from any other creature on earth.  They have roughly three times as many genes as humans along with large brains and closed circulatory systems not found in other invertebrates.  They are exceptionally intelligent and can learn to solve puzzles, open jars and escape across open spaces above water.

Octopuses have an amazing ability to camouflage into their surroundings in less than a second which is really just the coolest thing possible. There is a wide variety of species from the teeny tiny to giant kraken like beasts. They are very complex creatures which can be shy and deadly poisonous at the same time. All the while remaining super cute in a creepy-crawly kind of way.  Like spiders you can hug.  That must be why I like them so much, they are just big squishy spiders that you can cuddle and they can squeeze you back….well maybe they don’t cuddle, but a girl can dream.

First some reference material of super cute octopuses. Then on to the tattooed versions.

The meanings behind the octopus tattoo are are varied as the designs and placements one might find. Sailors often have them to signify their time at sea.  Others see them as symbols of regrowth and rejuvenation. They can be icons of creativity and agility or the ability to adapt and change with any situation. Some people (like me) just love the little guys or oceanic life in general.

Ladies First

Some of the most dramatic octopus tattoos are featured on women. Specifically on or near their boobs.  What’s not to like!?

Watercolor

Combining an aquatic creature with a water-based artistic style is an inventive way to display your octopus without literal waves or an ocean scene.

Cute and Cuddly

Sometimes you just want a little bit of cuteness to carry with you at all times. I especially like the combination of the saber with the sweet yet mischievous feminine octopus.  The juxtaposition of beauty and danger is what I’m all about.

Bold and Beautiful

The colors these tattoo artists are able to achieve are incredibly impressive.

Terrors from the Deep

Anywhere you find tattoos you will find people mixing skull designs to create terrifying scenes. Ocean life also easily lends itself to being combined with pirate themes. The giant red octopus taking down a ship is one of the best (and largest) American traditional style tattoos I have ever seen.  If you’re going to cover your back it better be with something magnificent and this surely qualifies.

Realistic and Dimensional

The intricate textures of octopus skin is difficult to capture, even in photographs.  Most artists don’t attempt it or don’t do it well.  These two nailed it.

Darkness and Shadow

It’s always pleasing to see the versatility of basic black ink, especially when combined with well drawn designs.

Flowing and Floral

I found more babes with octo-ink than I was expecting. The combinations with bright colors and tropical flowers were a wonderful surprise.  Great inspiration pieces.

Statement Pieces

Not that any of the items above don’t make a statement.  All tattoos of any size make statements.  The sizes, colors, and placements of these speak volumes about octopus love.

Now it’s off to do some snorkeling and see if I can’t find one of these beauties in the wild!

The Bride Wore Black?

For years before I was married I loved looking at wedding dresses.  There are so many inspiring styles and fabrics to dream about.  I wore a white chiffon dress that I absolutely loved as I had always envisioned.

More than a few people were surprised that I didn’t choose to wear black or purple or some other unusual color.  Colored wedding dresses are fantastic.  They are a great way to add some personal touches to your matrimonial celebration. They are also usually well priced since the demand is typically lower than the traditional white dresses.

Red

In some cultures red is the traditional wedding dress color and brides wouldn’t dream of wearing a white dress.  Red is a bold choice for any occasion and will certainly make for a memorable walk down the aisle.  I am a fan of the red and black combination in particular for the contrast. And because I just like adding black to everything. Being popular with diverse cultures, red wedding dresses are fairly easy to find. Just as white dresses they come in all silhouettes, styles and sizes.

Green

Green is one of my all time favorite colors and what some call my signature color. I don’t see many people opting for green dresses.  I think they are missing out on a great option. The dress pictured on the left is a personal favorite….if only I had the right occasion.

Blue & Purple

The colors of royalty though history, what better way to feel like a queen on your wedding day. Pair these with complementary colored flowers like orange or yellow for an unexpected combination.

Black & White

For those who can’t chose between black and white you can wear both! You can find a full vignette of options from mostly white with a touch of black to nearly all black with small pops of white and everything in-between.  the striped number in the top left would be fun for a Tim Burton inspired affair.

Black

The most dramatic of all wedding dress colors.  I remember a few years ago only seeing one or two styles of black wedding dresses.  Now, as more people have embraced different offbeat lifestyles and created greater demand, retailers and designers are providing far more options. From simple and sophisticated to extravagant and eccentric, you just can’t go wrong with black.

Part of me wants to renew my vows every few years just so I can plan different weddings and have fun colorful dresses every time.  I’ve had the white dress of my dreams, now I just want to play!

 

 

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