Sunday, 27 September 2015

Surprise Halloween present from fellow blogger!

I was supposed to write my next post about old fairy tales but life intervened in a form of a box decorated with bats.
Unexpectedly I received a Halloween gift package from the amazing Goth Gardener! She had decided to bring the joy of Halloween to those friends who live far and she sent us magnificent treats. This all happened with help from her husband who I had the chance to meet while I was in DC and I can honestly say that Goth Gardener and her spouse are extremely nice and warm people! Absolutely golden, I might say. :D
The first thing inside the box was a card from Goth Gardener, and I must say I truly admire her style! This card is the cutest Halloween card I've ever gotten.
I was super excited about this wonderful gift because we do not have Halloween stuff like this on my home country. Small selection might come into stores in the middle of October and vanish as soon as we reach November.
This package included two different styles of candles, an accessory scarf, hauntingly delicious hot chocolate and two other things I was astonished to find:

The most amazing part is that this package included a huge and aromatic pumpkin spice soap and hand towel set with gorgeous spiderweb decoration. I was just about to buy me a new soap bar and I only have two hand towels at the moment, so this gift couldn't have been more suitable. I'm pretty sure Goth Gardener has some serious psychic talents. :)
Thank you, Goth Gardener, you really made my day (Hell, you made my whole Autumn!) with this lovely gesture of friendship. <3

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Goth tourist in Dublin

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent the first weekend of September in Dublin.
Things I saw

I went to two art museums, the National Gallery of Ireland and The Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery. Both were exquisite and had free entry. Nothing extremely goth art was on display, so I am not going to write about them much. All I'll say is that if you are in Dublin, they are extremely nice places to spend a couple of hours.
Another not particularly goth or gloomy place to visit but in which I had a great time was Teeling Whiskey Distillery. They arrange tours and it is the only working whiskey distillery in Dublin.
In these huge tanks water leaves alcohol. They all had names and the liquid goes through from the biggest to the smallest. There are three copper ladies in a row.
Rebecca on the right can hold 9 000 liters. She is the smallest one. If I remember correctly the biggest of the sisters has the capacity of 15 000 liters or more.

A tad more goth-y or at least more geeky place to visit would be the old library of The Trinity College. The quality of photos is awful due to lighting conditions (to preserve old books). One could photograph only in The Long Room. If you think there is something familiar in this place, it might be because you have seen its doppelganger in the movie Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.
They have around 200 000 books in this library and many of them are extremely valuable first editions. The most priced book of this library is the Book of Kells, It was written and drawn around year 800 and it contains the four Gospels. The most intriguing thing about it are the marvelous drawn decorations. Underneath this Long Room in the photos is a huge exhibition area dedicated solely to the Book of Kells. 
The most goth tourist attraction I found on a 48 hour trip was Marsh's Library. They have many ghost stories and other peculiar and sometimes morbid things on display. Among them a copy of Jonathan Swift's dear friend's skull. No photos are allowed to take in the library, so alas, I have nothing to show. They do have great photos and information on their website, though.

The Marsh's Library has stayed pretty much the same for 300 years and is an almost pristine example of 18th century library. James Joyce, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker have all visited it and used its services. The library still has the chair Mr. Stoker rested his bum on while he read about witchcraft!
One thing particular makes this place the gothiest place I visited and it is because their history and that they made a small comic book about the weirdest tales. It was created by John Rooney, the illustrator, and Julie Burke, who is the Education and Outreach Officer of the Marsh's Library.

I bought a copy and I must say it is great! I adore the style of the illustrator. All incidents or stories consist of a one picture and a text box but they are really amusing and sometimes a bit gross. My favorite story is about a 3500 years old mummy that was found in a cupboard at the library in 1888. Nobody knows how it ended up there!
You can read this small treasure online, if you want to, though I must say that buying it for mere 2 euros for a physical copy is a very good deal. They also have beautiful photos of details of their collection on Pinterest.

Prospects on shopping

In the post before the trip I wrote that I would like to go to goth clothing shops, if possible. There were a couple of alternative fashion stores in the Temple Bar area. They were nice but they mostly sold rock, psycho-billy etc. styles so I end up leaving without any purchases.
Obviously for those interested in Celtic myths, jewelry, and things related the Green Island is a heaven. Celtic necklaces are beautiful but not my style anymore, so no products came to my possession. What I really wanted to have was a selection of animal themed sticky notes. The bat and the dodo are my favorites.
 The sticky notes were sold in the shop of the National Gallery of Ireland. It contains 8 different animals in 8 different sticky note piles and it costed about 12 euro.
From an Irish gift shop called Old World New I found this beautiful thing. "Wolf's Bane. Potion No. 5. Slightly bitter potion to take the edge off your Lycanthropy. Drink at your own risk."
I am not sure if one can actually use it and store some liquid in it. The bottleneck is really small and it would be a pain in the ass to try to clean it after usage. No matter, it looks gorgeous by my window, next to a candelabra I found at a flea market last summer.
Next up: Creepy Reads Review after a long pause!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Sneak a peek of my home

And I really mean a teeny tiny sneak-peek of my homely objects. The decor is still horribly unfinished but here are some fragments in photos.

In this jar are laundry soap nuts. They are a natural and ecological washing product to be used instead of washing powder. They have no particular smell or fragrance and they do not tend to cause allergies. I like them a lot since my skin is rather sensitive to fabric softeners and washing powders.

Also, I do not like it if the laundry detergents have strong odors. It will intervene one's perfume. Think about it, shampoo and conditioner smell to fruity things, laundry powder smells some other freshness or fruits, your body butter something else. and then you might have l'eau de toilette or perfume on your skin. It is a cacophony of odors.

In this other photo you will see something I do not like to live without. A coffeemaker. I received as a gift this fancy model that has a small kettle to whip milk. Therefore I could make cappuccinos, lattes etc. I never drink my morning coffee with milk, so I have not yet used the milk part it in my new apartment. I have made pretty drinks with it before, though.

Here is a layered drink I made some time ago. There is cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top. It was made into a Campari glass, because I either have an alcohol problem or it was the only glass that was the right size and had the right form for successful layering. I leave it to you to judge.

Even though I delight in photographing my everyday necessities, I also wish to share with you a triumph of mine.

About a year ago I bought an art print called Valon tuoma, which means "brought by light". It is made by a Finnish graphic artist from the city of Lahti which is situated about an hour's drive or an hour's train trip away from the capital, Helsinki. Unfortunately I have temporarily mislaid the little informational paper with facts about the artist who produced this work and I can not quite make out the name of the artist from the signature. Shame on me.

Regardless of that I am still going to show it because I am filled with motherly proud of this gorgeous work of art. Motherly because I finally got appropriate frames for it. They are made of some luscious dark red/brown wood and they have lovely old-looking metal decorations around them. I guess if I cleaned them they would be more like silver but I quite fancy that darker shade.

Little patina is so romantic goth, isn't it?

As you probably know, when printing graphics each print will be slightly different from the others and the last of the series can be of completely different shade of a color (if there are like 200 prints). My brought by light is 3/6. That means there were only six of them made and it is the third one of the series.

In the art shop there was also the first one of the series but its colors were slightly more warm, so I decided to have the third one. The colors felt more night-like. Maybe the ominous warmth could have been interpreted as some nuclear fallout and unhealthy radiation but I like cold shades more than warm ones. Wine or ruby red is the only exception. Of course I do not loathe warm colors but I would not wear them unless I had a good amount of black fabric shielding me from them. ;)

I wanted the frames to be somewhat old. I found these from a flea-market. They costed about 13 euros and they were a bargain. Inside the frames was a painting of some sort of a small palm tree in a pot. It was so hideous that if I had tried to photograph it my camera's lens would have shattered.

On the back side was a thick layer of tape around the edges to keep the disgusting palm tree inside. I tore them off only to find out that there were 25 nails keeping the back lid still. Overdoing it, much?

After some powerful curse words I finally got it open.

The artwork was slightly smaller than the frames so I decided to buy a regular black paperboard as a background. It was a tad too long so I cut it. Work in progress to be seen here:
The end result is here. I really like it. The paper on which the picture is printed is slightly curly, so you can see sort of small waves on the paper. Please click the photo for larger view!
I adore this work. The skeleton figure in the middle of snowy forest. Macabre, intimidating and sublime.

By the way, it was really hard to try to take photos from an angle the reflections would not spoil the photo! 7/10 performance, I'd say.

Next up: Some highlights from my trip to Dublin and then Creepy Reads Review about some disturbing fairy tales by Brothers Grimm!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Moving to a new home on hiatus, I am off to Dublin!

Last week I moved to Tampere, to finish my Master's Thesis and graduate by next summer. Unfortunately I have no nice photos of this new home of mine, because I spent there merely 48 hours before I had to leave to another city for another person's housewarming party and now I am off to Dublin.

Yep, that escalated quickly.

I suddenly had a great opportunity to go on a mini vacation to the capital of Ireland, and who could say no to that? It doesn't even cause any inconveniences because none of my courses at the university start before 8th of September.
Dublin is filled with things a literature student is dying to see. It is, after all, the UNESCO city of literature. Oh, all those bookshops! The vacation is the length of a weekend, so I can not possibly see and experience all the things I would like to. There will be some drastic decisions to make in only two days.
Dublin Castle entrance 2.jpg
"Dublin Castle entrance 2" by Wknight94 - Oma teos. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Among other things, I doubt I have time to visit this beautiful Dublin Castle. I would love to go to a couple of goth clothes selling shops but I am not really sure what to buy from there. I have been in jobs and situations where the dress code has prevented most of goth elements from outfits and I feel like my style and wardrobe are an odd mix & match with not many things matching. Also, many of my favorite clothes have become so worn that they are no longer feeling nice. Many of my skirts are from 2006, so they are nearly a decade old!

Mary Bart from Mourning Glory Designs made a post about clearing one's wardrobe and I really should do that too. I also should take the next step lead by Mary and make a list of the essentials I have worn and what I actually would like to wear.
Here is a tiny peek of my new apartment, or the view from it and some moving boxes. I shall post about my new home in Tampere later when I have actually made it decent-looking. Now I'll just say that it is a subleased apartment and it is situated on the main street of the city, really close to the railway station, the university, and the bus station.  I am a sucker for theme parties so I am already pondering, what would my housewarming party's theme be. Any suggestions, my friends? :D