Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vampires: Not Just for Hallowe'en

One of my favourite things about Hallowe'en is that the lure and scare of the vampire gets a bit more attention. As most of us know, Vampires are not a Hallowe'en creation, nor are they only around on October 31st. Thank Goodness, and Badness, and Darkness and Vampness. (Ok, that was corny, but it's been a long day, so bear with me.)
But as they are such a wonderful part of the holiday, I decided to post links to some wonderful shops both online and off, as well as crafters from Etsy with all manner of Vampiric goodies to share. This most likely will not be my ONLY post on the topic.  New retailers and creators pop up every day and I have entirely too much fun persuing their wares to keep it all to myself.  I hope you enjoy.

 Boutique du Vampyre - Located in vampire-rich New Orleans, Louisiana, the BdV features all sorts of goodies as well as information on events, fangs, tarot readings and some great stories.

Vampfangs - An online source for fangs, contacts, costuming, props and all manner of vampire accoutrements.

The Vampire Shop - Located in the UK but available to all of us via their online shop, featuring dark decor, scented oils, Alchemy Gothic jewelry and a list of other vampiric notions.

Vampire Film Festival - Not a shop, but rather a source of information regarding events, film, television, book reviews, casting calls and all things vampire on stage and screen.

And this leads us back to the wide world of Etsy and all of its wonderful artists:
(As always, all images featured are the property of the respective artists and are only used here to promote their businesses.)

Madame Talbot's Victorian Lowbrow -
Wonderfully unique posters, dolls, ephemera .. well, just one of the best collections of the delights of the macabre Victorian. Several of her posters grace my walls year round including the piece below that greets everyone who comes through my front door.  Her creatins  can also be found at her website:  which is a visual delight in and of itself.

Fae's Blue Moon -
Honestly, who doesn't need one of these adorable little creatures? Fae's Blue Moon is a collection of unique findings and handcrafted items perfect for any Victorian/Haunted/Vampire study.

Shamble Ramble -
A wide variety of sparkling jewelry from Steampunk to Victorian, many with an Art Deco flair and others just perfect for Vampire soirees and "just because." After all.. Tuesday is a great day for wearing one's best.

Kat Martin Artist -
Absolute cuteness here. Kat Martin is actually a wonderful painter who has put a brilliant twist on some of your childhood (and current) favourites. I highly recommend her Etsy store for those who think "outside the box." I just had to share one of her flamingos because as a vampire, he is fabulous.

Amaretto Custom Stationery -
Handy for candy bags, party favours and Hallowe'en gift tagging, Amaretto has some delightfully antique-looking tags for any use you can dream up. Some are even on sticks for cupcakes, hors d'ouvres or more diminutive victims. The possibilities are endless..

Nacreous Alchemy -
I have featured this fine lady's work on my blog before, and she continues to amaze and inspire me. Come and Shop With Me: Nacreous Alchemy 1 July 2011 From her jewelry to her shadowboxes and collage-style art, I can only say, Go Visit. Take your time and just enjoy. Everything is handmade and unique.

Reimagination Prints -
Vintage art on antique book pages makes these prints stand out and perfect for any library or office as well as for Hallowe'en decor that one may choose to keep up year round.

Now mind you, this is a simple sampling of the fantastic Vampire-themed treasures to be found, but I had to start here for both persona-favourites reasons (I know, bad grammar) and because they are not just for Hallowe'en.

As always, I hope you enjoy. I hope it inspires you to trudge off and see what else you can find and by all means, let me know if you come across goodies, or even make some yourself, that you would like to see featured on Etiquette and the Victorian Gothic Aesthetic.

Before I go, allow me to offer my apologies for not blogging more often, especially as we close in on All Hallow's.  Now that much of my plundering and decor-hoarding is out of the way, I will have more time to continue featuring all the fantastic things and people who make this season great.

Keep it Spooky and I look forward to hearing from you!


Friday, September 7, 2012

An Etsy Hallowe'en

As most know, I am an Etsy addict. Part of my purpose on this planet is to share the creativity, fun and occasional twistedness that resides within artists and crafters who share their goods with the world, making it a bit more beautiful and bizarre. So in the spirit of Hallowe'en, that holiday that lives on at my house year-round, I wanted to feature 13 Etsy shops (more to come later) whose crafty goodness grabbed my attention and needed to be shared with all of you.

I have included a picture from each shop after a short description and link directly to their Etsy home. Please keep in mind that all images are the property of the respective shops and are just the tip of the dark, spooky iceberg. At the end I am also including a link to a group of artists I absolutely adore. Many of them have been kind enough to wander past my blog, share it with others, share their thoughts and allowed me to feature their work more indepth. The Etsy Dark Team features 384 of the most fabulous crafters, seamstresses, creators and artists over whose work I have had the pleasure of sighing, drooling (in a ladylike manner, of course) and splurging when the budget allows. I encourage you to check them out and get lost wandering their shops and reading about the individuals behind the delights.

Now to the first 13: (Isn't that such a lovely number?)

Aberrant Affixments -
Wonderfully macabre vintage-inspired stickers, labels, stationery and other Old Time Hallowe’en goodies.  A very splurge-worthy shop.

The Gingerbread Shoppe -
Homey décor, handpainted signs and garden goodies for all seasons.

The Dusty Raven -
Vintage art created from discarded items and wire art. Fantastic spider webs that will last for ages, yard art, bird houses and other treats guaranteed to add character to any haunted homestead.

Dahlia House Studios -
Gorgeous art, photography art and jewelry featuring the beauty of nature and this old crow’s favourite time of year.

Farm Field Primitives -
Scented blacked beeswax ornaments and primitive-style dolls and décor perfect for this time of year. This little smiling guy won my heart.

Minks Paperie -
Silhouettes, paper art and amazingly detailed luminaries to lend a warm, yet macabre air to any Hallowe’en décor.

Primigram -
I don’t even know where to start. If it’s papery, scented, fabric and hand-stitched or glows from within an old jar, it is here. The nod to old Salem is a wonderful touch and the dolls are adorable.

Kasket Kustoms -
One of my favourite shops for Day of the Dead and Hallowe’en-inspired jewelry and trinkets.  Creepy and Cute both reside here.

Swamp Water Primitives -
Another fabulous primitive art shop with all manner of things hand-sewn, aged and stuffed. These goodies absolutely scream “cabin in the woods” in the spookiest sense.

Sandra ArteagA -
Paperdolls and handcrafted trinkets. This Spanish artist has “disturbingly adorable” quite literally down to an art. Even the pastries have faces! One would never want to eat them, but may fear being eaten BY them.
Old Goat Primitives -
Yep! Another primitive art shop. After all, what says Autumn, cozy, cuddly and Hallowe’en creepy like handmade, antiqued one-of-a-kind decorations? From witches to candy corn and a touch of Americana.

Jojos Bootique -
Serious Cuteness warning here. The specialty here is knitted baby/newborn caps in the shapes of everything from pumpkins to reindeer, but what really caught my eye were the wonderful Witches’ hats decorations. Each little ornate hat comes on a stand to be showcased and adored.

Decor Classic Florals -
I did not forget the importance of a good wreath. My front door never goes without some form of dead foliage spilling forth to startled the postman and confuse hummingbirds. The Black Hat Society wreath is a must-see.

And now for that link I promised you:

And if you do stop by, check out The Moonlight Muse and tell her I said Hi.

Now off with you. Go shop, get ideas, embellish your hauntings and get lost in the fun. And always remember to support small business, encourage creativity and if you know of a shop on or off Etsy that you would like to see featured here, please let me know.

Keep it Spooky.. and be warned... only 53 days until Hallowe'en!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Allure of the Haunted House

A couple months ago I did a piece on the romance of haunted houses.  It got a lot of really good email conversations started and I was recently asked to elaborate more on the topic. Fortunately, between those conversations and others offline, etc., I have been given a bit more to ponder and add to the subject.

What is it that draws us to old haunted houses? In this case, I am not speaking of gore-fests and haunted corn fields that crop up (pardon the pun) all over from September through the first of November, but the genuinely run-down, spooky old homes and century-/centuries-old homes and hospitals that seem to beckon to us as we pass by, sparking a sense of curiosity just as strong as the chill that finds its way up our spines.