Monday Amusements 6

This is the most link-packed Monday Amusements Ever So Far because I have been saving these up for weeks and not posting them because it wasn't Monday whenever I remembered. D'oh. I actually had eighty bookmarks in my "Monday Amusements" folder. 80. Some had been posted before. Some are so out of date it would be silly to post them now. But the rest will follow, not all in this post, but spread out over the next few weeks. Oh yes, and it will be Tuesday here by the time I post this, minor details...

I have been learning:

How to make padded envelopes using reclaimed materials
. I have loads of padded envelopes that my relatives give me for book swapping, but they get too battered eventually to re-use and I have to repair them. I think I could adapt this tutorial to re-use bubble wrap out of the envelopes when the paper's gotten too many holes in to just cover up with tape.

I've also read a couple of times How To: Wear a Headband and Not Look Dumb but I wore some seriously bad headbands in my younger youth and none of the headbands I own are as cool as the ones featured in this article.

I wish I had an extra pair of Dr Martens so that I could follow this tutorial to make a pair lace patterned. I have two pairs but one are purple and were my 17th birthday present and the other are plain black and need to stay that way to go with everything.

I have been attempting:

To feel like royalty whilst living in poverty with these tips from the Princess Portal (warning: lots of pink). See also these credit crunch fashion tips. I've finished my MA and am now trying to find a source of income and avoid spending any money if I can help it.

I have been longing to get my hands on:

The Gothic Charm School book!

I was an aspiring goth and avid reader of the Gothic Charm School website for most of my teenage years, though I never went further than dressing on the dark side. Mostly because I didn't know much about the music, and everyone I knew who was more goth than me really liked skulls. For a long time I hated skulls and thought they were really tacky. Then I moved on. A while ago I decided that they can be cute. In moderation. On other people. Sometimes I catch myself looking at a skull-adorned item and thinking it is lovely, but I haven't been able to convince myself that it could look okay actually on me yet. Anyway, I used to love reading the posts about club etiquette when I was far too young to go to a club and imagine what it would be like, and I learned a lot from The Lady of the Manners' advice to other teenagers struggling with parents and friends used to mainstream fashions. I cannot wait until I can get a copy for the book and devour it like the snarkling bookworm I am.

Whatever your subcultural alignment, if you are the merest bit non-mainstream, if you've ever had people ask you if you're wearing a costume when you're simply dressed the way you like to be, or have had teenagers shout abuse at you or confused relatives wonder when you're going to grow out of this "phase", Gothic Charm School has a lot to offer you. Here are a few of my favourite posts from the site:

Home for the Holidays -Or- Surviving Family Togetherness
Too Old To Be Goth - Revisited
Labels Really Aren’t Just For Clothes
and most recently, Of Goths Of Color

The Lady of the Manners has also made three YouTube videos so far if you prefer to take your learning in a moving picture form, here is the first one, What Is Goth?

See also under babygoth/dark-dressing essentials: the alt.gothic.fashion faq, only available through the Wayback Machine at the moment, it's gone down off the actual website for some reason.

I have been loving:

My jeggings. As well as skulls, I was also scared of prints up until recently. I thought they were invariably hideous. I also used to hate stripes and I resisted skinny jeans for ages and hated leggings for a long time as well. I used to wear the ones with stirrups as a kid (though I thought they were great fun at the time), can you blame me? But I am pleased to state that I am wearing a printed top right now with jeggings. Jeggings are jeans crossed with leggings via Topshop and they are a glorious invention. Imagine if skinny jeans were comfortable, soft and stretchy, and you'll be imagining jeggings. This is pretty much the first time I have ever admitted that something Topshop is good (on me). I still couldn't actually seriously look around that shop and try things on, I sent my mum and sister in to buy these for me after my sister got some and I thought they looked great then tried them on and loved them, because, like I say, they are like skinny jeans but comfortable.

I still can't stand footless tights though. What is the point? They're like a less warm version of tights and it frustrates me no end when I see what would have been lovely tights mutilated into those footless monsters. Bleh!

I have been planning:

To attend The Alternative Bring and Buy Sale (in London), the next is on the 6th of December and I am really hoping I have a source of income by then!

I am also going to the Zandra Rhodes talk at the V&A and to the Knitting and Stitching Show and to the Jump weekend from Spread the Word! I know, how am I paying for all this considering what I said about avoiding spending money above? I'm going with relatives to the first two and the last was such a bargain (£35 advance concessions for an evening plus full day of writing related stuff!) I spent most of my last bit of pay on it. I'm sure it will be worth the fact I now have to walk practically everywhere. Oyster card will be used in emergencies only (I topped it up the time before last I got paid).


Nora the Piano Cat, in tribute to my keyboard, which I put on and played today for the first time in months. I didn't play her for a long time as she got moved into a different room from her adapter and any ready plug sockets, and then I was in MA completing panic and had too little time to keep practising. The first thing I did was make her play the wedding march whilst I hugged her! NEVER AGAIN SHALL WE BE PARTED, my fingers have gotten so weak. I need to clear out my bedroom so that she can fit here with me.

Unsatisfied by these offerings? Check out:

How to have a burlesque party, Synthetic Dreads Tutorial, how to make a goth sunglasses case, the Make Lounge's latest workshop dates, the Feminism in London '09 event programme, and/or Chore Wars, the nerdiest (and therefore possibly the best) time-management system ever!

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