Thursday, October 2, 2014

Victorianesque Hallowe'en; Welcome October!

Well, My Dears, I fully intended to begin October with a post and a new idea and I am already a day late. So, to make up for it, I am sharing one idea with two approaches.  Just to make things a bit more engaging (I hope), I have decided to see if I can round out one of my labours of love with the appropriate number of ideas.  Two years ago I peppered the month of October with what was intended to be an idea a day from 1st October clear through to the magical day itself, the 31st.  Sadly, I came up 10 days short, so now I am working on filling in those gaps. Tonight’s post is 1 of 10 for this undertaking. (I do so love that word)

During my visit with Oly and Brenna Mar last month on BlogtalkRadio, the ever wonderful Brenna shared How To hints for antiquing mirrors. No Victorianesque home, Hallowe’en or other less fabulous day of the year, would be complete without an aged mirror to add charm, function and the occasional spooky portal for the dearly only-partially-departed. Many, many thanks, Brenna. I did a bit of hunting on YouTube because I am the type who needs to be walked through visually, or it is NOT going to turn out as planned, no matter how well the instructions (or Destructions as we call them at my house) are written. You will find below two money saving approaches to antique mirrors without the 150 year wait.  I hope you enjoy, and by all means, share your stories and photos of your finished aged looking glass.

Better Homes & Gardens antique mirror DIY, using vinegar and spray on “looking glass”: 

YouTube DIY’er ThreadBasher, using Muriatic Acid (the kind used in the upkeep of swimming pools)

Now to make up for my tardiness and to get things really rolling, I am waxing nostalgic. Below you will find links to the original 21 Victorianesque Hallowe’en Hints of 2012. We will consider the mirror project “22nd October”.  Remember, I am ALWAYS looking for new ideas, or old ideas I have not included here. If you have a thought, a question or a random A HA moment, just comment below or feel free to contact me directly at  Send in photos of any of the projects below (or above) that you decide to use. I would love to share them (full credit given) on upcoming blog posts.

And yes…. There is much more in the works. I have GOT to do something special for my Victorianesque Hallowe’enists.  So off with you now! Play, create, haunt, have fun! 

And always.. Keep it Spooky
Darkest Regards,
Raven ;)

3rd October: Fabrics 
4th October: All Hallow’s Tree 
5th October: Music 
6th October: String Lights 
7th October: Spooky Chic 
8th October: Silhouettes 
9th October: Costume Ideas 
10th October: The Homage 
12th October: Paint It Black 
14th October: Wicker 
15th October: Home Apothecary 
16th October: Literary Decor 
18th October: Lattices 
19th October: The Frame Up 
20th October: Dressform and Coatrack 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autumn Awakens the Raven

Hullo!  No, I haven’t disappeared, haven’t been carted off to be medicated and contained (although there has been talk). I have simply been on somewhat of a hiatus dealing with health and family issues and focusing on a few new directions under the guise of the alter ego. The nice thing about that last bit: It may be of great help here at the EVGA in the future. Let us hope, yes?

In my absence, I have not forgotten the blog. Nor have I ignored the many wonderful artists and discoveries that started this little project. I have, in fact, when not working (boohiss) or tending to other things of a personal nature, been on the look out for more things to feature on the site and collecting topics to blather on about. I do hope you will rejoin this quiet, well-mannered asylum and enjoy your stay.

So enough of that and on to better things. I am back. Yes M’dears, back. As in you will have to decide whether or not to put up with me again.  Now that Autumn is officially here, I am awake again. Like many of us, that Season of the Bright Burny Thing In the Sky is painfully oppressive and forces a type of aimless wandering malaise. We trudge through socializing, find secluded, shaded beaches to enjoy the roar of waves and travel primarily at night, for the few hours of true darkness we are granted. Then comes Autumn in all of her fiery hues, spiced scents and low rolling breezes. I will apologize in advance for the length of this post and the fact that is pretty much NOT Victorian, however, it is in its own right, about our darker nature, our Gothy nature. The topic arose two Sundays ago when I was invited once again to join two wonderful ladies, Oly and Brenna Mar, on their weekly BlogTalkRadio show Coffee with Oly and Brenna Mar. Some of you may remember that I have been on before and we have discussed everything from the Vampire and Gothic cultures to Victorianesque Hallowe’en and those who have passed, but are still wandering about with us. I have included a link to this most recent show. I hope you enjoy. I know I did, and I am definitely looking forward to rejoining the ladies again October 12th to discuss more Hallowe’en, Samhain and Autumny topics.

Allow me to elaborate a bit on the Allure of Autumn. The year is really broken into two, not four, seasons, one outward facing and one inward and reflective. And like all other creatures, we have a 13 moon circadian rhythm that lies just beneath that which dictates our regular sleep. All summer long we are social, communal creatures who are out and about, arms open to that searing orb up above and our fellow man. (Keep in mind, this is a general statement, not meant for 100% accuracy at an individual or even sub-cultural level, but based on observations of loosely-referred-to humanity in general) Spring is the culprit. It wakes us from our cozy beds at the end of Winter, luring us out with the sweet scent of all things blooming and the happy buzzing of bees hard at work creating that liquid gold we will covet in later months, mixed with choice spices like a salve for our dark souls. But I digress (happily).

In Spring we emerge, we breath deep, arms open wide, chests out, heads back, breathing in an awakening world of fresh air and warmth from above. The colours are limitless and inviting, even inspiring for some.  I will not deny the beauty and almost dream-like state that comes during Spring. It is similar to that first moment of waking when dreams have not yet faded and the world takes a moment to appear real.

Then comes Summer, hot on the heels of Spring. That blessed burny thing wants its time, and will have it. We are now fully awake and in a pretty good mood. The world is a bouquet and we breathe it in as that first cup of coffee in the morning.  We are still in an embrace-the-world mood. The light is on, so we’d might as well go exploring. But this, too, slowly drags to a close. Quite literally.

That first chill wind, the first golden falling leaf, that first earthy whiff of low-borne breezes…. The Earth whispers again, and the spirits join in the song. Like our ancestors, our thoughts turn to stocking up, gathering in, comfort foods, harvest, gatherings with those closest to us and the warm glow of candle light, hearth and all things Autumn. It envelops us warm and lovingly like the blankets we giddily bring out of storage and scatter about the house.

During this time we turn inward. Our socializing has a deeper meaning. It is reflective. Rather than running out to greet Nature, we bring it indoors with us. We look at the world differently, and we know that it is looking right back at us. The trees sing a different tune, the flowers are gone and yet Nature’s robes are even more colourful, more vibrant and more amazing than ever. Life slows down a bit as opposed to the chaotic, constantly going nature of the wind up in Spring and the constant go of Summer. It is in this darkening time that we rediscover our true connection to all things natural rather than simply enjoying them and their benefits, we touch, we breathe it in and we rejoin it in our metaphoric rabbit burrows. We are preparing for the blessed sleep of Winter.  It’s chill winds lull us to sleep and there we recuperate from the year and rebuild for the next.

But Autumn is so much more than preparation and reflection. It is a time of celebration. Harvest celebrations are rampant and well deserved. Then comes the reunion with our departed loved ones. Whether you celebrate Samhain or All Hallow’s Eve, the spirit (Pardon the pun) is very much the same. There is the reconnection, that thinning of the veil that allows us to feel them, hear them, and bring them to the table with us in celebration, remembrance and for many, for counsel. We recognize and rejoice in the diversity that the crossing of the worlds brings. Reality blurs once the harsh light wanes, and we are able to see what has always been there, but whitewashed in long hours of glaring sun. We realize that we are not so alone, nor are we as restricted. It is on what some might call flights of fancy that we, again, go inward and discover, display and rejoice in our truer natures.

I won’t go into Winter yet. It isn’t time. Perhaps the small mention above will suffice for now and we will revisit that wonderful, restful time of year as it comes closer.

For now, I will say Thank You, a hundred times, Thank you, for being patient, for returning after my less-than-excusable absence, and I hope you enjoyed my Reawakening Ramble. Much is still to come.  

Keep it Spooky, Lacey and a little bit Spicy,