Posts tagged “Goth

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.

 

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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!

 

 


Final Signs

I absolutely love visiting cemeteries.  To me they are the most peaceful places on earth (with the exception of the rare secluded beach).  The older they are the better.  I can spend hours wandering through the aisles reading headstones and admiring the craftsmanship of the talented masons who created these final monuments.  So much love and detail used to go into grave markers before it became required to make them flat so the grounds are easier to mow. The flat versions also hold up better in rough weather and are less prone to vandalism since they can’t be knocked over.

Despite time, weather and vandalism many of these great works of art still stand in cemeteries around the world. Much like tattoos, the symbols on the headstones can tell you far more about the deceased than just their name and the years they spent on earth.  There are dozens of these symbols, today we will look at some of the botanicals and their meanings.

Flowers

Most headstones have flowers, they are symbols of sorrow and the brevity of life. However the type of flower is also important as they each have a story to tell. Lilies,  are symbols of resurrection or eternal life. Poppies are signs of sleep and therefore death, also for peaceful rest.

On a happier note some flowers are all about love.  Roses are commonly sign at graves.  They are flowers of love, hope and beauty.  A red rose symbolizes martyrdom and a white rose symbolizes purity and virginity. The phase of the rose coincides with the phase of life in which the person passed.  Rose buds are for those who died as a child, partial blooms are for teenagers and full bloom is for a person in the prime of their lives (usually in their 20’s). In the language of flowers tulips tell a story of passionate love and unlike roses do not have any thorns to spoil that love. Sunflowers connote a life fulfilled or a devotion to God.

Some flowers can tell you the nationality of a person.  In the case of the thistle the memorialized individual is likely Scottish. Clovers are often on Irish graves (or they can be for gamblers luck).

Broken flowers or branches are typically seen on the graves of younger people to indicate a life cut short or someone who passed prematurely.

Fruit

The presence of fruit is said to signify eternal plenty. Some fruits, like figs and pineapples mean prosperity and eternal life. Pomegranates are similar stand for immortality, resurrection, and nourishment of the soul.

Grapes are used for Christian graves.  There are different opinions about exactly what each representation of the grape can mean.  Some say if they are on the vine they refer to the blood of Christ which others believe the vines to represent Christ’s relationship to the church.

 

Trees

The tree is a symbol of life (tree of life) and/or faith. A spouting tree is a sign of eternal life. At time you may find a tree trunk decorated with anchor or lilies or other icons which represent the type of life a person lived.

A tree which is broken or leaning shows mortality and may indicate a premature death like the broken flowers or branches. Similarly a tree stump is a sign of a life interrupted.  A stump with ivy is typically found to show the head of household.

More specifically the willow tree is know as the tree of humans sorrow and is a sign of grief.  Willows are carried at masonic funerals and may indicate the grave of a free mason.  The willow is also an ancient Greek symbol of the underworld goddesses, especially Persephone.

A mountain ash or rowan tree is said to keep evil spirits from bothering the dead. Bitch trees were used by the Celts to cover the dead.

Sheaves of Wheat

A sheaf of wheat is typically found on the headstones of the aged.  It represents the divine harvest.  It calls to mind the connection between a farmer harvesting wheat and the grim reaper harvesting lives.

Wreaths

A wreath alone indicates victory in death. The type of wreath can tell you more about the person. A laurel wreath is used to show a person who attained distinction in the arts, literature, athletics or the military.  Ivy wreaths are for joy.

When a wreath is found on a skull it is a sign of the victory or death over life.

As with most symbols these are all open to interpretation.  Some cultures may have different meanings behind the same flower or fruit or the placement may have to do with the deceased’s preferences.

This is only a partial list, you can find more listings here.


Not Your Average Bump

When I was pregnant I spent many hours searching high and low for maternity clothes that I could be proud of.  I needed something that fit my personal styles and tastes while still providing the comfort necessary for my expanding size. They also had to be appropriate for the business casual corporate office in which I worked.  This was no easy task.  One I hope to save other people from enduring.

Seraphine

The British designer/retailer Seraphine has recently begun opening stores in the US. I was fortunate in that they open a New York store shortly after I became pregnant. The clothing featured is not especially spooky, but they have some great pieces.  They are a great resource for work appropriate attire.

The photos here are three of the pieces I purchased.  The winter coat has expanding stretchy sides which made more room that you might expect.  I was able to wear this comfortably through an entire long cold New York winter. The black belt is a wrap around piece which you tie to fit your size as you like.  I found I had trouble keeping it up when my bump was small.  That didn’t stop me from wearing it nearly every day as it became my favorite accessory. This black sweater was super comfortable and warm and fit well underneath the coat even on days I added an additional base layer. All three items were indispensable staples.

The stores may not have all the items you seek, rest assured, you can order online and have the items delivered worldwide.

ASOS

I didn’t discover ASOS until I started talking to other mommas about where they found maternity clothes.  It’s important to note that ordering online is your only option as the do not have free standing stores.  Rest assured, they ship worldwide and deliver quickly.  I found the majority of my tops here and a few pants.  The best item I purchased was a maternity bathing suit.  I didn’t use it much, only on our babymoon, but it is likely the best bathing suit I have ever owned.  The best part about it was being able to get into it comfortably at 35 weeks.

the items shown here are not exactly the pieces I purchased as the stock has changed in the last year (’cause duh). The swimsuit is the same style. Pro Tip: If you own a string bikini already you can skip buying a new suit.  Your bump is beautiful and you should be proud to show it off. Just double check that your bits are still appropriately covered before you head out in public.  I was lucky that mine just barely worked when heading out on my babymoon.

I have now made ASOS one of my go to sites for shopping in general.

H&M MAMA

The well known fast fashion retailer is a great resource for maternity basics. The selection isn’t huge, but it’s worthwhile to have a look.  The jeans fit well all through the pregnancy and postpartum.  The simple T’s were easy to dress up for the office or relax in over the weekend.

The studded dress and lace top above were not available when I was shopping or I absolutely would have purchased those.

Nordstrom

I only bought a few pieces from Nordstrom, but they became regulars in the rotation of work outfits. They have a very wide selection of dresses which I don’t wear often so I didn’t buy.  However, Nordstrom is known for high quality so I’m sure they are just as nice as the shirts I purchased.

Blank NYC

I have not seen any free standing stores or I would raid them on a regular basis.  The Blank NYC brand can be found in well known retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Destination Maternity.  I found a magnificent vegan faux leather biker jacket at Destination Maternity. I lived in that thing until the weather got too cold.  If it fit my current post pregnancy size I would be wearing it still. I was able to wear it sipped closed or wide open.  Even before my dumb was very big I didn’t feel like I was swimming in fabric, yet there was always enough to cover me comfortably as I grew.

Belly Button Band

These little gadgets are a great money saver in the beginning.  I was lucky in that I didn’t gain very much weight so I was able to wear regular pants for a long time.  When they started to get to tight in the waist I bought the belly button band.  they allowed me to wear the same pants a wore pre-pregnancy until about month 7.  I reached a point where my bump was so big I couldn’t see the buttons and putting on pants was a real hassle. By that point I was basically just giving up and wearing leggings as pants anyway.  These come in an assortment of colors to match your shirt, pants or skin tone which is really nice. There are two styles, one goes over your bump and the other goes under. Both button directly into your existing pants and utilize existing button holes to keep them up. I recommend picking up a few.

Honorable mention goes to Zulily. The stock changes constantly so check often.  The shipping can take a long time (depending on the length of the deal), but I’m sure you will find something worth the wait.

For those of you who may be wondering about my bump since I’ve mentioned it so many times…well here I am.

my bump 2

Dress: Zulily / Belt: Seraphine / Boots: DSW

my bump 3

Suit: ASOS

my bump 4

Shirt: Nordstrom / Pants: Held up by Belly Button Band / Bent: Seraphine / Scarf: H&M


Ebony Edibles

Do you love to garden? Are you so spooky your green thumb is black? Well, then I have some lovely black fruits and vegetables for you to add to your goth garden.

Blackberries

Blackberries are probably the first black fruit to come to mind for most people.  They are fairly easy to find in supermarkets. What most people may not have tasted is a fresh berry direct from the vine ripened in the sun. There are different types which have different growing requirements.  A little research would be required to find the proper plant for your environment and soil. Or just speak to you local nursery. There are plenty of ways to enjoy these berries once you have them ready to harvest.  They tend to grow in large quantities so it’s best to find recipes that require a lot, like jam or (my favorite) pie!

Black Corn

Black corn is an heirloom plant. Those wishing to from it would need to special order seeds.  Interestingly it’s suggested that the ears be eaten young and fresh when still white.  Once the kernels mature to their darkest shape of purple-black they are best used for corn meal.  While the variety is relatively easy to grow, making your own corn meal sounds like a challenge.

Black Grapes

There are multiple varieties of black grapes.  My grandmother grew a type of black grape in her backyard.  To this day they are the sweetest and best tasting grapes I’ve ever had.  They were so huge they took two (or more) bites to eat.  Anywhere you can use a white or red grape you can substitute black. My sister and I would dine al fresco in the dirt under our grandmother’s vines. Where ever you live there is likely to be a variety that grows well.  You will need to purchase a plant from a nursery as most cannot be started from seed.

Black Kale

Black kale is not truly black, it’s a deeper blue-green than the curly kale you are probably accustomed to.  Originating in Italy the proper Italian name for this kale is cavolo nero, also known as lacinato kale or dinosaur kale because of the bumpy leaves resembling reptile flesh. Kale in general is one of the few plants that thrive in cold weather and is widely available in winter. Like other forms of kale, black kale is considered to be extremely healthy and has the same culinary uses. Black kale is sometimes considered a delicacy so you can feel really fancy when you serve your freshly grown, hand picked, and expertly prepared leaves.

Black Mint

There are multiple plants which go by the name black mint.  Only one is the super strong kick in the teeth mint you have been craving which is the true black mint.  A member of the well known peppermint family it can be used in many dishes and is especially suited to savory recipes. While mint is low-maintenance to grow it is also invasive.  It’s recommended that these herbs are grown in containers.  Peppermint plants cannot be started from seed so you will have to buy a small plant and start from there.  Once you have your own little bush you can enjoy the leaves at will.  What better to serve at a mad tea party than fresh picked black mint tea?

Black Radish

Black radishes may appear dark and scary on the outside, but they are bright white on the inside. However, don’t let that snowy flesh fool you, these babies bite back.  They can be used in recipes both raw and cooked.  Just be careful to have a balance of flavors so you aren’t overwhelmed.  Growing them is actually quite simple, they need very little land and lots of sunshine.  Good news is, if you love them, they grow quickly so you can enjoy them throughout spring.


Office Spooky

Even the dark and spooky among us need to earn a living. Whether you consider yourself goth, punk or part of any other alternative life style you still need to eat. You deserve to have a well paying career which you enjoy. Wearing exquisitely winged eyeliner or being covered in tattoos shouldn’t limit your employment opportunities.

In reality you can work anywhere you please.  If you want to be a lawyer or doctor or tattoo artist that’s what you should pursue. Unfortunately there is still a lot of prejudice in the working world towards people who are different.  You may need to do a lot of searching to find a workplace which is a good fit for you. There are some industries/careers that are more accepting than others.

Haunted Tour Guide

Almost every large city has some level of haunted history and a few walking tours to go with it. Having a tour guide in a top hat and tails or a flowing victorian gown adds to the atmosphere.

Photographer

Whether you are private, freelance, or in house many people expect photographers (and other creative types) to be eccentric and unusual.  Use these expectations to your advantage.  Nearly every industry you can think of needs a photographer at some point.  Food, clothing, people, products all need to be presented in a pleasing manor for advertising or other publications. The same idea applies to other areas of the film and entertainment industries.

Beauty & Music

The beauty, fashion and music industries are known for being open to all types of individuals.  Hair stylist, makeup artist, tattoo artist, musician are some of the more well known occupations.  Nearly every job in these industries, including those in corporate settings, allow you to show your tattoos and dress as you please.  However, the higher you climb the corporate latter the less you may be encouraged to express your spookiness. This will vary widely depending on the company.

Tech & Online

Many modern employers are embracing people who live alternative life styles. Some major companies include; Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Zappos.  Many smaller start up companies are also open to freedom of fashion expression.

Education

Depending on the school and area you might be able to find a teaching job which allows you to dress the way you like.  This requires some research to find a location which is accepting and you may not have one in your area. If you can’t find a school you can offer your services as a private tutor. If you chose to tutor children their parents may pass some judgement.  However as our generation grows up and has children of school age you may find less of this judgement. Or you can teach private lessons to adults.  Nearly any skill you have can be taught (art, music, foreign language) and you are likely to find at least a few people willing to pay you to learn.

Entrepreneur

That’s right, start your own business and make your own policies.  You’re smart and capable. Find something you’re passionate about, learn what you need to know to run a related business and go for it!  Of course I’m making it sound simple for the sake of this post.  It is a real challenge to start and run your own business.  It takes a lot of drive and dedication and you really need to know how to run a business or partner with someone who does.  However, my earlier statement still applies, you’re smart and capable.  With hard work you can do whatever you want.

Looking for even more alternative job options, check out this page by Mookychick.

 

 


Paint It Black?

Thinking about redecorating in the spring….or any other reason?  It can sometimes be tough to find color combinations that will look great in your home but aren’t just a mix of ecru and egg shell.  Especially when you love dark or bold hues, but don’t want to paint your whole place black.  Here are some great resources to inspire you.

Design Seeds

A long time favorite of mine.  I have spent hours exploring all the gorgeous photos and well selected color swatches. There is a custom tool where you can select a color you like and all the pallets with that color will appear like magic.

Fab Mood

This site is geared toward weddings, but the mood boards can be used for any design project. In addition to searching by your favorite color the handy side menus give you the option to search by pantone colors of the year and by features such as flowers or cakes.

Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams is a well known household name for paint.  They have gotten quite creative and advanced with their online tools.  You can create your own color pallets from any inspiration photo using ColorSnap. ColorSwap gives you the ability to adjust the principle colors and order. The Color Visualizer tool allows you to digitally paint sample rooms or a room photo you upload. There are also mobile apps for phones and tablets.  The Get Inspired section provides you with beautiful photos from which you can chose colors you like and build your own pallet.  Then you can apply the custom pallet to the room photo of your choice. All the features are super addictive. Playing with color pallets is almost as crack-like as Pinterest…..oh and of course you can pin the pallets.