Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Office Outfit: How About Her Shoes?

I rarely post outfit pictures because (1) they are always blurry, (2) my office outfits are rather boring, and (3) I hate pictures of myself. But today's outfit garnered amusing comments, so I'll share.

It's a very simple outfit - black cardigan, black tights, and October orange velvet skirt.

I feel incredibly awkward trying to pose for pictures. It helps if I can hold something. Conveniently, a dog was nearby. :D

Anyway... on to the story...
I was waiting in the checkout line at Walgreens pharmacy when two men walked by.
Man #1 said (flamboyantly): Ohmygod, I love everything about your outfit, from your hair to your skirt!
Me: Thank you.
Man #2 (pretending to admonish Man #1): How about her shoes? Ohmygod, you're so rude!
Man #1 (in mock seriousness): They're black. Like my soul.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Craft-Along: Black Roses

I finished my Craft Along with GIY project early this month. :) I won't reveal it yet, but here's a sneak peek of the black and white rose print I used.

The theme for October is Black and White. There's still plenty of time to participate! Details on the theme announcement post.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Flooring in Progress

I'm making good progress installing my new flooring. :)

The old flooring was a light oak color:

The new flooring is a dark brown/black color.

In outdoor news, we had a slight change in the weather. Yesterday it was 70F/21C. Today it is snowing. Luckily for my little dogs, the pine tree in my backyard provides a snow-free area.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hair Success

FINALLY! Success with my hair color.

I'm glad that I endured growing out my roots for four months. The stylist bleached that untreated hair and, at my request, used Arctic Fox "Purple Rain" dye. She put black on the rest of my hair. The purple is lovely, and freshening the black made my hair look healthy and shiny. I am so pleased with the result!

I did a quick french braid, and I think it shows off the two colors nicely.

As always, my camera skews blue. The actual color is a true purple.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Enjoying the Silence

The sound of crickets or writing "crickets" implies silence. As in, "Anyone want to volunteer?" *Crickets*

Well, yesterday afternoon, I walked around on my floor and I heard... cricket. An actual cricket outside (apparently fulfilling his duty to indicate silence). And that's all I heard. No more noise from the floor! :D

Even better, fixing the problem turned out to be much easier than anyone expected. The handyman cut out a small piece of the subflooring over the area where the noise seemed to be coming from. Looking down, he could see the piece of 2x4 wood which sits on top of the metal support beam. He pushed down on the 2x4, and we heard the noise. That 2x4 was the culprit!

No one had suspected it because normally that 2x4 would be pressed tightly between the support beam and the floor joists, with the weight of the floor holding it firmly in place. But in this case, there had been a wall in the basement pushing up on the floor joists for many years. Over time, that upward pressure had loosened or bowed the 2x4 a tiny bit.

The solution was to tap in shims between the 2x4 and the beam. Two shims and the noise was gone.

The handyman added adhesive, replaced the cutout piece, and screwed it down. Done!

I had used three tubes of adhesive, three packages of shims, and 87 screws trying to silence the floor. I spent hours spent gluing and shimming and driving screws. I endured months of frustration. If only I had known what the problem was, I could have fixed it in about one minute with two shims.

But you know what... strangely enough, I don't even care. I am just overjoyed that the floor is silent.

I have already begun installing my new flooring. :) Hooray!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hopes for the Week

I am hoping to resolve two long-term frustrations this week.

Frustration 1: My Floor
I've previously complained about mentioned my extremely annoying LOUD creaking floor. None of the usual remedies have had any noticeable effect. I had a handyman evaluate the situation, and he came to the same conclusion I did - replacing the subflooring is the only thing left to try. So Friday, they'll remove a large section of my living/dining room floor and install new. I fervently hope it will eliminate the noise.

Frustration 2: My Hair
After a series of salon visits which ended in failure, I abandoned the idea of changing my hair from black to purple. In the months since then, I've experimented with bleaches and dyes on my bangs. I've discovered that my natural (undyed) hair bleaches out pretty easily, and Arctic Fox dye gives me a nice purple. This led me to consider trying purple on the new growth, while leaving the previously dyed hair black.

Thanks to Pinterest, I learned that putting color just on the roots is actually a thing. However, apparently it's usually done with white/platinum blonde hair.
There are also many photos of dark roots with bright hair.

But almost none of black hair with brightly colored roots. With few visual references, I don't really know what to expect, but I'm going to the salon Saturday to take the chance.

This rather awkward photo shows how much regrowth I have - about 2.5 inches (a little over 6 cm). This regrowth should end up the same purple as my bangs. (Yikes! So much grey hair above/behind my ears! Thankfully, the grey is hidden when I wear my hair in a single ponytail, which has been my default for weeks.)

So... On Sunday, I will either be enjoying my beautiful new hair while happily installing my new flooring on top of my new, silent subflooring... or I will be hiding under the covers dealing with massive disappointment.

One final note: I will be offering up mystery grab bags of the tissue holders, zip bags, totes, etc. that I have been sewing lately. I'll post details soon. :)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: October 2017

It's October and time for a new craft-along. :)

During October, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around October 30, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for October is Black and White. As always, you can interpret this broadly.

  • frame a black and white photo
  • paint white bats on black shoes
  • refashion a black and white stripe t-shirt
  • write a story, poem or song
  • share a recipe for Black Forest cake (my favorite!)
  • knit a black and white scarf
  • decoupage a box with black and white paper

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Things with Wings

The theme for the September Craft Along with GIY is Things with Wings. All month, I've been sewing zipper bags and pocket pack tissue holders. I made one of each for myself in a purple bat print fabric.

A benefit of sewing your own zipper bag is that you can make it exactly the size you want. Mine is just large enough to hold the stuff I normally carry. It fits perfectly in my small purse along with the tissue holder and my wallet. :)

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sewing Projects in Progress 3

I am continuing to work my way through my stash of fabric scraps. I've made a variety of pillow covers, tissue holders, and bags.

And I've matched up most of my assorted zippers with fabrics to make more zipper bags.

The good news: I have used up about two thirds of my cotton fabric scraps.

The bad news: I don't know what I am going to do with all these things.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sewing Tutorial for Pocket Pack Tissue Holder

Pocket pack tissue holders are my current favorite sewing project. They are a great way to use fabric scraps, and they're a nice handmade gift or stocking stuffer that is truly useful. They're also super easy to make and therefore an ideal project for the beginner sewist (or the pro who wants a break from complicated projects).

The ones I make hold a pack of tissues and have a pocket to hold a small bottle of hand sanitizer (or lip balm or sunscreen or any other little necessity). At the opening for the tissues, there is a slight overlap, which keeps the holder from gaping open. Here is the tutorial.

To begin, select your fabrics. Quilting cottons, broadcloth, or similar fabrics work best. You can use one, two or three coordinating solids or prints.

Next, cut your fabrics. I use graph paper to make a pattern; you can use a ruler or other method if you prefer. You will need three pieces of fabric (measurements are in inches):
  • 8.5 wide by 6 high for the inside; this will also show as the trim around the opening
  • 7 wide by 6 high for the outside
  • 7 wide by 7.5 high for the pocket

In this example, I used solid black for the inside/trim, orange bat print for the outside, and white bat print for the pocket.

Fold the pocket fabric in half horizontally and press.

Place the pocket fabric face up on top of the outside fabric face up, matching the raw edges at the sides and bottom.

On top of this, place the inside/trim fabric face down, matching the edges at the left side, top, and bottom of the fabric stack. Stitch along the left side (about a .25 inch seam).

Slide the inside/trim fabric to the left, and match up the edges at the right side, top and bottom of the fabric stack.

Stitch along the right side. (Not shown, optional: Finish the raw edges with a serger.) You now have a loop of fabric.

Turn the loop outside out. One side will show the inside/trim fabric.

The flip side will show the outside and pocket fabrics with a bit of the inside/trim fabric.

Flatten the loop so there is an equal amount (about .5 inch) of inside/trim fabric to the left and right of the outside and pocket fabrics. Press.

With the outside and pocket fabrics facing up, fold one edge of the flattened loop toward the center 2 inches.

Fold the other edge toward the center 1.75 inches.

Stitch along the top and bottom.

If desired, finish the raw edges with a serger.

Turn outside out. Push out the corners to shape. (If you serged the seams, the corners will be more rounded than pointy.) Done!

Make another two or three... or twenty. ;)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sewing Projects in Progress 2

As mentioned in my last post, I have been working on some sewing projects using fabric scraps. Small zipper bags are a good way to use scraps, but I'd never made any because, for some reason*, I thought they would be difficult.

*Probably because I looked at the directions on a commercial pattern. They make the process much more complicated than it needs to be.

But thanks to online tutorials, I discovered that making little zipper bags is actually quite easy.

The real hurdle in making zipper bags for fun is the expense of the zippers. In retail stores, they are about $2 or $3 each. I turned to Amazon and ordered an assortment of 25 zippers for $10.

I got a variety of very nice colors... and two freebies. :D Now I can have fun matching up fabrics with zippers and making lots of little bags!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Sewing Projects in Progress

With my cabinet project and flooring installation both on hold until I can address the subflooring problem, I opted to spend my weekend sewing. I wanted to use some of my fabric scraps, and found some ideas on Pinterest.

One was a holder for a pocket pack or travel pack of tissues. I tried a few tutorials, and ultimately cobbled together a design which combined three of them. It has a pocket to hold a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

Once the design and measurements were settled, I made a holder. It was sort of fun, so I made another. And another. And another. And another...

I finished nine and have another nine about 75% done.

If anyone is interested, I'll do a tutorial. The holders are super easy to make. Though I'd feel like an enabler because making these little things is rather addictive! :)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: September 2017

It's September 1 and time for a new craft-along. :)

During September, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around September 28, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. On September 30, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for September is Things with Wings. As always, you can interpret this broadly. Just combine your craft of choice: 
  • painting
  • woodworking
  • jewelry making
  • sewing
  • knitting
  • sculpting
  • or any other type of crafting
and a thing with wings:
  • dragon
  • owl
  • butterfly
  • bat
  • raven
  • fairy
  • beetle
  • or any other winged thing

Creativity is encouraged!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Food and Beverage

The theme for the August Craft Along with GIY is Food and Beverage. For my project, I made a skirt with Michael Miller Goth Cupcakes fabric.

I used my go-to skirt pattern Simplicity 2449. I made the skirt out of black broadcloth and added a border of the cupcakes fabric. To finish, I stitched purple grosgrain ribbon along the top and bottom of the border.

Bad photo because (1) I had a 12-hour workday and I'm feeling wilted and (2) there's no good place to take pictures among the in disarray caused by the flooring issues. But I wanted to post on time. I'll get a better photo later.

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Darkling Tag

Thanks to Gothy Two Shoes and Giggles in the Darkness for tagging me. This was fun! :D

What is your favorite candle scent?
Vanilla or cinnamon. I usually buy vanilla because cinnamon/apple cinnamon candles are almost always red, and red clashes with my decor.

Do you have a favorite book?
Encyclopedia. I have always loved to read about all sorts of topics. Pre-internet, the encyclopedia was THE source for information. In my youth, I read more than one set almost in their entirety (skipping the occasional uninteresting topic).
33 volumes!? Yes, please.
Are you a tea or coffee person?
Neither. I almost never drink hot beverages. I do love sweet iced tea... syrupy sweet like the manners of a Southern belle. ;)

What is your favorite brand and color of lipstick?
Eons ago, it was Urban Decay's "Plague" because it perfectly matched my purple hair. These days, I don't often wear lipstick.

What is your favorite perfume/cologne?
I don't use it. I am extremely sensitive to perfumes.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

If you had to give up the color black, what color would you choose instead?
Gray. I love purple, but if I replaced everything black with purple, my wardrobe and house would be an unsettling riot of color.

If you could change your name to a stereotypical 90s/2000s gothy name, what would it be?
My name, Bane, is already a bit stereotypical. But how about Lady Obsidian Nightwing, dark mistress of the Castle of Echoing Sorrows. ;)

What are your top three tips for surviving hot weather while black clad? 
(1) Stay out of the sun. Clothing color doesn't really matter if you're not in the sun. (2) Wear loose clothing made of natural fibers such as cotton or linen. (3) Carry a frozen bottle of water. Cold on your palms or wrists will cool you, and as the ice melts, you’ll have cold water to drink.

What song will always make you happy (doesn’t have to be a goth band)?
No one specific song comes to mind. Many songs can cheer me up and make me want to dance. (Now, if you ask what music always makes me sad, I would immediately have an answer: almost any song by Tapping the Vein. Their songs are so personally meaningful to me, it's almost painful.)

Are you active in the arts (ex. Play an instrument, paint, write, etc)?
No. I have zero artistic talent. The teacher of my first and only drawing class told me, "It's like you have a learning disability for drawing." XD

If you had a teacup or mug made inscribed just for you, what would you have it say?
I wouldn't have any use for a teacup or mug. I need a black t-shirt that says "Do not place in direct sunlight."

What is your number one non-gothy hobby?
What is a gothy hobby? Building coffins? Collecting Bauhaus memorabilia? ;) My hobbies - sewing, crafting, DIY - aren't intrinsically gothy, but they usually end up with gothy elements.

Thought Provokers:
If you could be a supernatural creature, what would it be and why?
A shapeshifter because of the new experiences I could have, such as flying as a bat and breathing underwater as a dolphin.

What horror monster-based super power would you have?

Do you feel confident or comfortable interacting with other Goths or gothy people (online or irl)? Why or why not?
I don't feel confident interacting with people, gothy or not. I'm extremely introverted, and social skills do not come naturally to me.

Which is more important for a look: Great hair or great makeup?
I think either one can make or break a look, depending on the circumstances. For myself, I focus on hair because while I can often achieve good hair, no amount of makeup can make me like my face.

Is there something you wish there was more of in your subculture?
Daytime social events with a specific activity, such as crafting or playing cards/games. As an introvert, I am stressed out and miserable at parties where people show up to simply talk to each other.

Care to share an embarrassing story related to your “darkliness“? 
I don’t recall any embarrassment specifically related to my dark tendencies. I have unintentionally caused other people to embarrass themselves. (1) During the brief time I had bright red hair, a nice older lady complimented me on my Raggedy Ann costume. She was mortified when I politely told her it wasn’t a costume. (I decided red hair might not be the best idea if I was going to continue wearing striped tights almost daily.) ;) (2) At a mall food court, a boy was staring at me so intently that he bumped into a trash can and his whole tray of newly purchased food dropped right in.

How are you at DIY?
My first instinct is to say, "Not bad" because I never think I'm great at anything. But if I evaluate myself more objectively... I have rocked some fairly complicated DIY projects.

Confessional (aka True or False):
I love watching cheesy romance films.
False. My heart has been burned into a lump of charcoal, and romance is too great a suspension of disbelief.

I ALWAYS remember to wash off my makeup at night.

I sleep with plushies.
False. My entire plushies collection consists of two bats and one dragon, all gifts from coworkers, which I keep in my cubicle at work.

I wear non-black pajamas most nights.
False. My sleepwear is usually a black cotton knit t-shirt-style dress.

I don’t like vampires.

I don’t like clubs.
False, if referring to a goth club.

I don’t enjoy graveyards.
True and false. The statuary and history can be interesting, but the concept of burial makes me uncomfortable.

Blood makes me queasy.

I’d sooner faint than pet a spider.
False. I don’t mind spiders. The silk annoys me more than the spiders. I swear if there is a strand of spider silk within 10 miles, I will walk into it.

I don’t like haunted houses.
True, if referring to the "entertaining" type set up around Halloween. I do not enjoy blood and gore, and I absolutely HATE being startled.

I’ve never read Dracula.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Craft-Along: Food and Beverage

Just checking in with a reminder about this month's craft-along. :) I'm working on a sewing project. Keeping with the Food and Beverage theme, I am using this fun "goth cupcakes" fabric.

Want to craft along? Details HERE.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Complete Waste of Time

I spent the morning driving 75 screws into my subflooring. There was no appreciable difference in the creaking.

75 screws and IT STILL CREAKS.

I am so frustrated! I don't know what else to do except have the subflooring replaced. It will be at least two weeks before I can do that because I have meetings and events at work. So I get to live with bare plywood floors while my lovely new flooring sits in boxes. UGH.

The silver lining is my new washer and dryer are working well.

And I'm looking forward to the solar eclipse tomorrow. It will be more than 90% of totality here. If there aren't too many clouds, it should be a spectacular sight! :)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Nook Does Not Like Change

My new washer and dryer have been delivered. The delivery guys seemed intrigued by the damask paper on the old machines. ;)

I have been catching up on laundry while pulling up the old flooring.

All this activity has traumatized my fearful little dog Nook. She is scared of the new sounds coming from the laundry closet, and she is scared of the new floor. I carried her outside to go potty, and she wouldn't come back in the house. I had to carry her inside. I set her down on a rug, and she wouldn't leave the safety of her "island."

Nook does not handle change well. New = terrifying.

And lest anyone worry... no, I didn't leave her stranded there. After I took the picture, I carried her into the bedroom, where everything is reassuringly unchanged. She is once again ensconced in her nook, where she feels safe.