Amusements, Or What the Lady of the Manners Looks At When She Is In Need of Distractions

Hello and happy 2009, Snarklings! May this year be kind and the best sort of exciting for everyone. This installment of Gothic Charm School isn’t the usual sort of lesson; no, it’s a short list of places on the Web that the Lady of the Manners is fond of. Blogs she likes to check, places she likes to window (and tab) shop, that sort of thing. You see, the Lady of the Manners is working on writing up the next lesson for Gothic Charm School (a number of you have written with questions concerning Goth and religion), but she thought that while she was working on that topic, you Snarklings might like to see where the Lady of the Manners goes for distraction and gothy eye candy.

So! A blog that the Lady of the Manners has been devoted to since it first appeared on the web is Coilhouse. Describing itself as “A love letter to alternative culture, written in an era when alt culture no longer exists”, Coilhouse is a website and a print magazine. The site is full of interesting videos, music, art, images from gorgeous and quirky fashion shoots, and essays about Goth and other subcultures. The contributors to Coilhouse have a knack for digging up links to fascinating creations, while the print magazine is a gorgeously glossy collection of ephemera. The Lady of the Manners isn’t kidding when she says she’s devoted to Coilhouse; her daily online routine goes something like this: check email, check LiveJournal, scan Twitter, and then scoot over to Coilhouse to see what they’ve found today.

Recently, the step after looking at Coilhouse has been look at Haute Macabre, which is a relative newcomer to the Goth and fashion blog world, and is making a very impressive debut. Haute Macabre is primarily focused on fashion, and oh! The gorgeous things they’ve unearthed. From posting scans of Goth-themed luxe photo shoots in past issues of House and Garden Magazine to featuring designers making rings that look like tiny Gothic cathedrals, Haute Macabre presents some of the best bits of gothy eye candy and inspiration that the Lady of the Manners has seen in a while.

Speaking of gothy eye candy and inspiration, it’s time for the Lady of the Manners to talk about the site that she has lost spent countless hours on: Etsy. Etsy’s tagline is “Your place to buy & sell all things handmade”, but it could just as easily be described as “Pages and pages of things you didn’t know you wanted, but now you covet desperately”. The Lady of the Manners likes browsing Etsy not just because she likes to window-shop, but because looking at what other people have come up with and created can lead to new ideas and inspiration. Not, the Lady of the Manners would like to stress, stealing or copying other people’s ideas, because that is Very Bad Form. (The Lady of the Manners is sure you knew that, Snarklings, but still felt it needed to be said.) But looking at someone else’s creation can often lead one to creative projects that one hadn’t though of trying before.

Of course, Etsy is also good for window-shopping. Very, very good. The Lady of the Manners is currently coveting and pining over a collection of gorgeous objects, all of which she can’t quite justify spending the money on. That isn’t to say the Lady of the Manners thinks these items aren’t worth their asking prices, not at all! There is no doubt that the artisans who created these confections deserve every penny they’re asking for, and if the Lady of the Manners had a large amount of frivolous spending money, she would be merrily adding every one of these goodies to her Etsy shopping cart. But instead, the Lady of the Manners must content herself with staring longingly and saving up her pennies.

Gothic Victorian Noir Feather Bat Skull Cameo Brooch Fascinator by Loved To Death Really, what’s not to like here? Feathers, black velvet, and a bat skull!

The Florence – Victorian Top Hat by Topsy Turvy Designs The Lady of the Manners is lucky enough to already own one hat by Topsy Turvy, and dreams of owning many more. Burgundy velvet and pink trimmings! It would go with so many things in the Lady of the Manners’ Cupcake Gothic -themed wardrobe.

The Carrion – Jet Black Gothic Lolita Victorian Collar by cadavercouture This is just drop-dead elegant. The Lady of the Manners would wear it over a severe Victorian-esque jacket and full skirts.

Antoinette’s Dream Tricorn Mini Ship Tilt Hat by heysailor THE tiny hat of the Lady of the Manners’ fevered dreams. Pink! With black & white stripy accents! And a miniature pirate ship! Certainly not something for everyday attire, but a stunning conversation piece. The Lady of the Manners is not joking when she states that she goes and ogles this hat at least once a day.

With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to take a short break to browse around Etsy a bit more, and then get back to writing the next lesson for Gothic Charm School. As always, don’t forget to write!

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