Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday MemeDay: Makeup & Fashion Fun

01. Do you have on a lot of make-up?
Just my usual, lipstick & eyeliner.

02. How much do you put on?
I usually wear Nars black eyeliner & some kind of dark red-brown or burgundy lipstick (tho' today it's pink to match my skirt & also my hair).

03. How long does it take you to get ready?
30 minutes most workdays. I hate to get up early, so I've streamlined my process. I also tend to lay out, or at least plan, my day's wardrobe the night before.

04. Do you put on a lot of lipgloss?
Eww, no. I hate lipgloss. Feels icky. I'm a matte lippie gal.

05. Can you apply mascara without opening your mouth?
Dunno, I don't wear mascara very often. My lashes are naturally long.

06. Do you wear a lot of eyeliner?
Define "a lot." I do loves me some eyeliner.

07. Do you like to wear nail polish?
Yes, & toenail polish in summer. But I'm too sloppy to do it myself anymore.

08. How often do you get your nails done?
Maybe a couple times a year. I'm too lazy to make an appointment.

09. Do you like manicures?
Yes, LOVE them, but see above re: lazy.

10. What about pedicures?
Ditto. Love them even more than manicures! I can never clip my own toenails as nicely as someone else can.

11. Do you have a usual nail salon you go to?
No. See above.

12. Do you get your eyebrows done?
Ye gods yes. So glad a friend mentioned that this was an option for me because my brows are naturally HUGE yet I always sucked at trying to shape them myself.

13. Where do you get your hair cut?
I only get my hair cut about once a year, last time (pre-chemo) was at a salon in Campbell by a guy I went to high school with.

14. Do you dye your hair?
Yes. Hasn't been its natural color since I was 14.

15. Do you straighten your hair?
No, why would I? The damn stuff is too straight already.

16. Do you carry a purse?
Yes. I'm a cliche girl like that.

17. What color is it?
Black as my soul.

18. How many purses do you have?
About 5? Not sure. I only use one bag for long stretches at a time.

19. Do you have lots of pairs of shoes?
Um, yes. Last count was around 80.

20. What are your favorite shoes?
Currently, I love my American Duchess Stratfords most!

21. Do you wear heels everywhere?
Not everywhere. But lots of places.

22. Can you walk in heels and not fall over?
Yes. Tho' nothing over 3".

23. Do you have a pair of huge sunglasses?
Not huge ones, but my sunglasses are somewhat large.

24. How many pairs of earrings do you have?
Dozens. Not enough.

25. Do you wear hoop earrings?
Yes, of various types. Mid-sized hoops are probably my default style.

26. Do you have a lot of skirts?
Yes. I wear skirts (& dresses) about 5 days out of 7.

27. Where do you buy your clothes?
Everywhere! Macys, Target, Old Navy, the Gap, Forever 21, Hot Topic, Khols, Express, Amazon, thrift stores, eBay, Etsy, I could go on & on.

28. Do you go shopping every week?
There have been times in my life when I did. But not right now.

29. What's your favorite store?
Hard to choose just one. But Amazon is probably my most frequently shopped place.

30. Do you follow fashion trends?
I watch them a little bit. It's entertaining. Sometimes a trend will come along that coincides nicely with what looks good on me. Then I'll snap the stuff up before it goes away again.

What I'm wearing: Black & white floral-print sweater, White House Black Market | Black lace-top T-shirt, H&M | Dark pink skirt, NY & Company | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black perforated D'Orsay flats, Target | Gunmetal skull earrings, random accessory store | Pink & grey pearl necklace, Salamanca Designs

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Five: Travel, My Drug of Choice

1. What is your favorite mode of travel? (Car, train, plane, etc).
None of the above! I am sick & tired of the actual 'getting there' part of travel. I guess I do like walking around a big city tho. A good pair of boots, like the ones I'm wearing, are perfect for that.

2. Where is the northernmost place you've traveled? The southernmost?
North: Dunrobin, Scotland, latitude 57° 58′ north
South: Port Lockroy, Antarctica, latitude 64° 49′ south

3. What is the last place you visited for the first time?
Andorra -- a wee day-trip while we were in France last summer, but it counts!

4. Of all the places you've traveled, which is your favorite?
This & #5 are what my husband & I get asked by everyone all the time. It's like asking parents of multiple children, "Which is your favorite kid?" So, if you go by number of times visited, England wins, no question. Seven trips & no plans to stop. Especially London -- in the words of Samuel Johnson, when you are tired of London, you are tired of life. But Venice is incredibly near & dear to my heart, & I could go back there any time, well, except summer. And I fully admit I adore Jamaica, specifically Sandals Negril, it is my Happy Place, the ultimate "vacation" vacation, the cliche of paradise, ultimate relaxation & pampering, nothing culturally stimulating or enlightening, just pure lazy enjoyment. Which I don't have enough of in my life (who does?).

5) Where would you most like to travel to next?
I'd love to see Venice during Carnevale again. For a new place, I'd like to go to China someday.

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Grey sheath dress, Target | Burgundy corduroy jacket, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Burgundy suede pumps, Soffit | Silver bat necklace, PlasticLand | Silver & onyx earrings, bought in India

Monday, June 23, 2014


We are a house without any cats.

Last month, our dear tabby boy Toulouse passed away after suffering from cancer of the jaw for nearly three months.  He was 14 years old. He was my baby, my little tiger, the cuddliest cat I've ever known. He loved snuggling & head-bonking & kisses, & he slept curled up in the crook of my left arm more nights than not.

He died a little over a year after our beautiful girl cat Melusine, the aloof & elegant Maine Coon, passed away after 16 years with us.

It's weird not having a cat in the house. Every time I open the house door, I expect to be greeting by one or two little furry faces. Every time I open a closet door, I expect to have to shoo away cat paws who want to get into the closet & nestle in among my clothes. There's no warm lump of cat at my feet in the bed, & there's no sound of little claws tapping on the hardwood floors around the house.

My husband & I have talked, & yes, we will get cats again. We want to do some home improvements first, plus we'll be out of town & have to plan around that. In the meantime, the house feels strangely empty.

What I'm wearing: Black T-shirt, Target | Black, brown, & white Ikat striped knit skirt, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Silver-grey wedge heels, Anne Klein | Black & cream cat-print scarf, gift from my husband | Pewter key earrings, made by me


Monday, June 16, 2014

CorpGoth Status Report: My Little Cubicle

This month's theme is Desk Decor. Since I started a new job a few months ago, I've been slowly decorating my tiny workspace. There isn't much to it -- just a slightly open cubicle area with a computer, phone, filing cabinet, & whiteboard. The walls aren't full height, so I don't have a lot of space to post artwork.

But since I spend 40 hours a week there, I need to customize my work space somehow. I brought in a selection of framed photos of my husband & me (including a wedding photo), friends at costumed events, & my dear little kitties. For practicality with a little pizazz, I have a black coffee cup etched with a big skull & the words "Carpe Java," plus a refillable water bottle.

What does your office, cubicle, desk, or work space look like? How have you decorated it? Post on your blog, add the Status Report code, then share the link in comments below, any time this week!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Five: Shopping Is My Bag, Baby

1. How often do you go on shopping binges?
The frequency varies, depending on how busy I am. Sometimes, I won't buy anything for 2 months, then I'll buy everything I ever wanted, it seems. I shop about 70% online too

2. Do you get the urge to indulge in Retail Therapy after a joyous occasion or a sad occasion? Why?
I will shop in every mood, but I enjoy happy shopping more. Sad shopping makes me sadder, I start getting depressed about how much money I'm wasting.

3. Have you ever held back on buying a particular item, only to find it was gone? What was it?
Plenty of times. It's especially bad with Pinterest. I or someone else will pin something fabulous, & by the time I finally click-thru to buy it, the damn thing is sold out.

4. What was the most outrageous thing that you ever bought for yourself on a whim? Explain the story behind it.
Hmmm... probably the burgundy embroidered silk that became this 18th-c. gown. For years, I'd sworn I'd never buy fabric that cost over $10/yard, & I nearly passed out when I was required to buy expensive silk & lace for a Victorian gown a part of a group costume. And then I saw this burgundy silk, I just up & bought 3 yards at something like $30/yard. Without blinking an eye. That was my gateway drug of fabric, because now I do that far more frequently.

5. So what's catching your eye and tempting your wallet right now?
I want a sparkly cocktail dress to wear to an event later this summer, & I have dozens of things pinned & bookmarked, but I still haven't picked one. It's going to be too late soon to order online!

Questions culled from The Friday Five on LiveJournal.

What I'm wearing: Black silk sleeveless dress, Target | White & black pinstripe jacket, Macy's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black flats, Aerosoles | Silver book locket necklace, random accessory store | Black & white stripe bead earrings, Kohl's

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gothic Martha Stewart Explains Curtains

The easiest way to customize your living space, whether it's a rental apartment or your own home, is to make curtains. I describe several types of curtain projects on my Gothic Martha Stewart site.

Not all curtains require sewing. Get long, long lengths of cheap fabric -- muslin looks nice and is frequently 99 cents a yard (don't overlook sheets and thrift-shop fabrics too). Go super goth & use lace or tulle. Wind it around your old curtain rods, leaving long lengths at each end. Allow the fabric to 'puddle' on the floor, tucking the ends under, no hemming necessary.

This is admittedly a decorative look, not functional. But you could add mini-blinds or shades (which, if you have average size windows, can be cheap) or second-hand sheers.

Feeling slightly more ambitious? Try no-sew gathered curtains, made with iron-on fusible tape or fabric glue. See full instructions. A variation is tab-top style curtains. If you do sew or are just learning, both these style of curtains are great beginner's projects because they only involve straight lines & only a few seams.

What I'm wearing: Dark floral knit top, H&M | Black elastic belt, NY & Company | Black crochet skirt, Coldwater Creek | Black flats, Aerosoles | Black beaded cameo necklace, random accessory store | Silver cameo earrings, vintage

Monday, June 9, 2014

Five Things a CorpGoth Should Keep in the Desk

You spend a lot of time at your office, so you're going to need a few things, little backups, necessities, just-in-case items that will make life easier. Here's my list of must-haves for every CorpGoth to stash in a desk drawer for emergencies & everyday problems:

Lint roller -- We're goths, we have cats. Even if they're dark-furred cats, it shows up on our clothes. And inevitably, the one morning you're too busy to do a lint-brushing as you leave the house, that's the day you have a big meeting with your boss. Slip a travel-size lint roller in you desk drawer, & you'll never be caught unawares (if you have multiple cats or a dog, keep a normal-size lint brush at work!).

Black eyeliner &/or dark lipstick -- For the harried mornings when you don't have time for makeup or the long workdays when your makeup fades & you can't find anything in your purse. Keep a little something basic in your desk to freshen up.

Band-aids or moleskin -- For foot blisters. You know you're going to wear impractical shoes to work at some point, admit it. They're so cool! But they're not broken in yet, & man, are they killing you. Stock some bandages or moleskin to pad your heels & toes until you get home.

Safety pins & a small sewing kit -- For the blouse that didn't seem quite so revealing at home or the hem that ripped out on the subway. Especially if you wear vintage garments to work, but even new clothes can have a loose button fall off at inopportune moments.

Ear buds -- Tiny earphones are ideal for most any office. You can listen to music or podcasts or simply block out the phone calls from the next cubicle. Sometimes, wearing ear buds is a good sign that you don't want to be bothered.

More ideas from Corporette on what to keep at your desk, plus toiletries to keep at your desk.

What do you find essential to keep in your desk? Anything you'd add or subtract from my list?

What I'm wearing:  Black Victorian-style blouse, made by Donna  | Black skirt with trim added by me, Gap, thrift-store | Black Cyberoptix tie, Etsy | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & silver pumps, Target | Silver & purple Victorian-style earrings, random accessory store

Friday, June 6, 2014

Red & Black Vegas Drag Race Recap

I didn't plan this as a part of Red & Black Week, but it fits! A few weeks ago, I did something kind of crazy: I went by myself to the viewing party for RuPaul's Drag Race Season 6 season finale in Las Vegas, where America's Next Drag Superstar #6 was announced.

I left work early for a 2pm flight, checked in at my hotel by 4pm, changed clothes, walked across the street to the party at 5pm, stood in line for an hour to get in, then stayed at the party (standing around in high heels for another 5 hours, ouch), watched the TV show & the live drag show there, walked back across the street, grabbed a burger & a beer to take back to my room, ate a belated dinner, got to sleep by about 1am, got up & to the taxi stand by 5am for a 6am flight back, got a latte at Starbucks at the airport at home while waiting for my ride to work at 7:45am, & was back at the office by 8:30am the next morning, stashing my little roller-bag luggage under my desk. Nobody knew!

What I'm wearing: Black & red flocked floral halter dress, bought in Camden Market, London | Black spiderweb tights, unknown brand | Black ribbon-tie pumps, Clarks | Giant drag-queen wig, eBay | Tiara, gift from my husband | Red flower hair pin, random accessory store | Black beaded necklace, random accessory store | Rhinestone & faux jet bracelets, random accessory store | Faux diamond rings, random accessory store | Black vinyl bat purse, gift from a former coworker

Bianca Del Rio, the winner!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Red & Black Not-Quite Repeat

Ok, this outfit is mostly a blog repeat but not a Red & Black Week repeat. So it doesn't really count, does it?  This combines my very favorite skirt with a pop of color. And stripes. Gotta love stripes. I've worn a lot of stripes during this Red & Black Week. Hmmm...

What I'm wearing: Black knit military-style jacket, Macy's | Red knit top with bow at neck, Target | Black & white stripe skirt, White House Black Market | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Red ankle boots, Aerosoles | Black & white bead earrings, Kohl's

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

CorpGoth Status Report: Desk Decor

Subject: Do you have a desk, work station, cubicle, or office? Do you work from home or at a big corporation? Wherever you spend time earning a living, have you customized the space? Show off your desk decor, whatever pictures, toys, & personalization you've done to liven up your workday.

Due Date: Monday, June 16 to Wednesday, June 20

How to File Your Report:

1. Post to your blog on or around the due dates.

2. Include the following code in your post so the This Is CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report graphic will display (if you're using Blogger or WordPress, switch to the 'HTML post' setting & then paste this code in):

<a href=""><img border="0" src="" /></a>

3. Comment on my Monday the 16th post including your blog link.

4. Read everyone else's reports via their links in the comments!

That Red & Black Week Dress

This might be the first thing I bought specifically thinking of wearing for Red & Black Week. And I even had to go out of my way to get a blog picture for it (read the linked entry for deets).

Yeah, that's what this blogging can do to your brain! But I knew I'd love the dress anyway, & I've gotten good use out of. Cost-per-wear is maybe a buck at this point.

What I'm wearing: Red knit dress with high-low hem, Macy's | Black elastic belt, NY & Company | Black pothole stockings, unknown brand | Black & grey wedge heels, Anne Klein | Black skull-print scarf, gift from my husband | Black & white African bead earrings, made by me

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Red & Black & White & a Hidden Bat

I can't get enough of this color combo, true fact. Something about is so pleasing to my eyes, so much so that you'll find a lot of during this year's Red & Black Week, & not just on today's official Red, Black, & White subtheme.

What I'm wearing: Black & white stripe knit double-breasted jacket, Marshall's | Red sheath dress, Target | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black & white ankle-strap pumps, Ross | Black bat necklace, Walgreens | Red & black beaded earrings, made by a friend

Monday, June 2, 2014

Red & Black Week, the Fourth

Can you believe this is the fourth annual Red & Black Week? Huzzah for Sophistique Noir for starting & hosting this theme! So successful & I'm happy to be able to participate again.

I'm starting off the week with some new pieces, showing just a hint of red. Don't worry, I have plenty more red saved for the rest of the week.

What I'm wearing: Black & dark grey dotted slouchy jacket, H&M | Black T-shirt, Old Navy | Black, off-white, & red stripe knit skirt, Kohl's | Black tights, Calvin Klein | Black high-heeled boots, Aerosoles | Pewter locket necklace, vintage | Gunmetal hoop earrings, random accessory store