Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mad, therefore... crafting

Yesterday I was angry, and decided to use the "horsepower" of my wrath. I am happy with how this one turned out; pity the scanning does not do justice to the colours...
While working on it I was listening to this fantastic song. Special thanks to my friend Manolis for giving the album to me.

'Eos' means dawn in Greek.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Visual Kei in five simple steps.

Visual kei is a musical genre born in Japan that considers the visual part as important as the music itself, and in some cases, even more important (judging from those bands that simply cannot play music or sing.) However, the truly fascinating element (at least for me and the majority of occidental women) is how much the feminine element is stressed and celebrated in the way these bands (all of them formed by men) dress up and wear make-up. Now this may or may not be someone's cup of tea. It's certainly mine. Still, most of the time I am overcome by hysterical giggles when seeing the reaction of the average man metalhead in regard to this genre. I mean, imagine what the average man must feel when confronted with something like this, which is a very nice song by the way:

Or something like this:

Or maybe this:

 As you can understand, the more lace, velvet and frill you can have around you and on you, the better it is. Talking to cutlery, grapes, roses and your boa is very good for the image too. Then rock your socks off, or be as melodramatic or as sultry as possible. If you can do all of them together, then you must be very famous already and you don't need my advice. Wear long wigs, freaky contact lenses and move either in a slow, hypnotized, (see "graceful") manner or with jerky movements, as if there are ants inside the wig and they are biting your scalp viciously, but YOU. MUST. NOT. SCRATCH. I am often wondering, really wondering how uncomfortable it must be to move and play musical instruments dressed like that.

All joking aside, I love Visual Kei. I would listen to it even if there was not dressing-up involved. But for someone who loves period clothes like I do it's a bonus. Especially since it involves watching pretty Asian boys dressed in them dancing and rocking for my eyes only. Come on, call me names, you know you want to. ;-)

(If you like period clothes and dresses, then kindly visit the site of my friend Silvia who makes fantastic clothes and dresses and is happy to take individual orders. The link is in the links list on the right. Thanks for looking!)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sonja Blue, eventually

The past few days have been weird. I continuously feel like I am walking around with my head half submerged in water. To be more exact, in water full of weird chemical substances. Unable to do anything that needs the least bit of concentration, I keep reading books. I finished some books that I have had in my possession for years now. One was a very nice collection of three Sonja Blue novels by the writer Nancy A. Collins, called ‘Midnight Blue’. All in all, a very good trilogy. Nancy Collins has a complete map of her world in her mind, full of supernatural beings, each with their special characteristics and kinks, living in a modern day urban fantasy environment.  The basic character is Sonja, a beautiful and independent vampiress and vampire hunter. Armed with a silver switchblade, hidden behind her mirror sunglasses, she brews trouble everywhere she goes and leaves nothing but corpses and broken hearts in her wake. 

Nancy Collins is very eloquent, with detailed descriptions that never become boring, and also not shy about describing some controversial and sensitive themes like sex, murder and exploitation, religious and otherwise. Sonja walks the ugliest, dirtiest, seediest places downtown and the reader sees the world through her cynical, supernaturally attuned eyes. It’s a grotesque yet fun ride. The end of the third book is a bit too grandiose for my standards, but what the hell, why not. It fits well. Anyone looking for something different than Twilight or True Blood is welcome to try Mrs Collins.

I also re-read a collection of short stories by Stephen King, called “Everything’s Eventual”, that I got for free from  I am a fan of Mr King. He’s one of the easiest writers to read. He’s funny, he’s scary, has a knack for coming up with the unthinkable or at least, the improbable, and knows human nature well enough to be realistic without being too cynical and sweet without being melodramatic. His short stories are collections of fascinating odds and ends, of people who have just snapped or are facing the most bizarre situations, sometimes due to their previous choices, sometimes just because. He’s good enough to lull you and lure you in the story without insulting your intelligence or making you stir once. By the time you know what’s going on it’s too late already, you’ve found yourself in places you never meant to go to begin with, and all you can do is enjoy the ride.

I have two personal favourites. The one that gave its title to the collection, ‘Everything is eventual’, is a story of a gifted young man that is recruited to use his special gift “for the general good of all.” But what exactly could this mean when the young man’s gift is the ability to kill from a distance? Wary yet?  Believe me, you should be. And what about that other poor fellow, the one his wife left without an explanation? Not something that unusual, I know. But on top of that our friend decided to quit smoking too, and now he’s about to meet his ex and her lawyer in a restaurant, fighting both his feelings for her and his nicotine addiction. Whoops. Someone in the equation is far from stable, and they are all about to find out, at the ‘Lunch at the Gotham CafĂ©’. Nice!

Both books highly recommended.