cherry bomb

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You ever feel like certain outfits are just straight-up cursed? They look bangin’ in person, but EVERY. TIME. you try to photograph them, something goes horribly wrong?

Yeah, that would be this dress.

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Fed up with how so much of my vintage seems to be simply disintegrating, I’ve invested in a few high-quality reproduction dresses. This one’s from Maggie Tang, and the construction is excellent for its price – excellent period, even. Though several reviews said “perfect for a bridesmaid”, and I had to laugh – you know I’m wearing this sucker out day-to-day, because “absurdly, inappropriately formal” is the name of my game.

The dress arrived a week and a half ago, and I’ve worn it at least five times since then, but I could not for the life of me get a good photo of it. The je ne sais quoi just wasn’t there.

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So on Sunday I put my hair in pin curls, I did a full face of makeup, and I zipped myself into the dress. Yeah, bitch, today’s the day.

And then the following happened within 20 minutes:

  • I took out my pin curls to find they had not set even a little
  • the soles of my shoes came unglued, forcing me to perform a Ministry of Silly Walks goose-step all the way outside
  • my camera fell off its *%*(&*($&^* tripod and its metal shell split almost in half
  • I got so nervous and frustrated that I started sweating through my makeup

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So I grabbed the shots I could and went inside to sulk in front of Netflix like the good Lord intended.

Cursed, I tell you. That’s what I get for buying non-vintage.

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and now for something completely different

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The last of my camp photos, taken in that nebulous neverwhere between one responsibility and the next. At least I looked really adorable. I like to think my tiny self would’ve enjoyed having a counselor like me.

But I’ll soon be transitioning out of twee!cute and into creepy!cute, because…

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My haunt is expanding! As of 2015, Nightmare Vermont will officially launch Spookywood, a little sister production aimed at a younger audience, and I’ve been selected for the writing staff. I could not be more thrilled about that. Getting in on the ground floor of a brand-new haunt puts me that much closer to running my own one day. And I will officially be a ~credited writer~ on an ~official playbill~. While still doing costumes for NV, of course. Because you can’t ask me to make that kind of choice.

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summerween

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I always seem to take these blogging breaks in the summer. Every year I swear I won’t, that I’ll diligently update the salivating public on every aspect of my life, and then…I fail. I’m cutting myself some slack, though. I don’t do well in the heat. In the past couple of years, my seasonal affective disorder has transitioned from winter-triggered to summer-triggered, which is…odd. Instead of winter blahs, I’m oddly energized; instead of summer lovin’, I’m lying on my couch watching Always Sunny and trying not to waste away.

(I’m trying to walk that fine line between being #honest on my blog and pathologically #oversharing. I don’t know intuitively where that boundary is. I just sort of…know it when I see it, which I realize is a cop-out.)

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How awesome is this Soulrust Vintage dress, though? Lately I’ve been feeling that too many of my clothes have outworn their novelty. There’s no use in a dress you can only wear a handful of times a year. I’m trying to invest in some pieces that will work in all seasons, and this dress is definitely one of them. How Halloweeny will this look in October with some black tights and a jack-o-lantern pin??

(And I really did give blood. Josh and I and our friend Lisle raced one another re: who could fill the blood bag faster, because we are children. Children who saved up to nine lives, though. And who then got a lot of free snacks.)

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I’m going to Maine from August fifth through eighth, though! And I will get an ocean photoshoot done if it kills me.

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pie & propaganda

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Another summer, another weekend at my godparents’ cabin. (And holy HELL are this year’s photos better than last year’s or the year before’s. It’s fun to measure my improvement.) I always love playing characters here. This year’s housewife one of my favorites.

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But I’m not quite as toothless as I look. Today I’m releasing a project I’ve been sitting on for some time, and I’m pretty excited about it.

It’s sort of an open secret that I have a writing blog, Beginning Our Dissent. Starting today, though, I’d like to introduce it officially, to see the merging of (two of) my online communities. More than just a side hobby, it will now function as a portfolio of sorts, and I’ll be repping its Facebook page on My Kingdom for a Hat.

I write mostly about politics, activist praxis, religion, and mental illness. From the Facebook description:

I’m Skye. I’m a writer and blogger interested in fairy tales, uncomfortable truths, and the intersection of magic and mundane. I think we should all take greater care to see our ideological opponents as human beings first, and that theme underlies almost all my work.

I write a monthly column for an international writing collective called the Prague Revue, and I blog original photography at My Kingdom for a Hat. My work has appeared sporadically in Elephant Journal, Cowbird, Vogoff, & more. As of 2015, I am working on two short-story collections and an epic poem, which I hope to self-publish as soon as finances allow.

Won’t you join me?
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maxi dress & evolution

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Somewhere in the past two years, I’ve stopped being Kooky-with-a-capital-Q. I don’t know when it happened, but one day recently I woke up and realized all my outfits have the same silhouette, the same pleats and gathers and darts. I still love my power clashing, my aggressive kitsch, my costume pieces repurposed for everyday life, but there’s something leaner about it now. I no longer wear trailing skirts or a million layered bangles or black tights in the summer. I still crave being seen, but the tools of my seduction are much more ’50s twee, primness slightly queered, than art-teacher absurdity.

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I have a uniform now, for better or for worse. A fit-and-flare dress – knee-length, cotton, cap-sleeved – a hat or scarf, colorful socks, men’s brogues. It’s where I’ve settled after a lifetime of throwing fabric at myself and hoping something stuck. I enjoy it, I feel like myself here in this groove, but I didn’t realize just how deeply carved it was until I almost passed up this dress.

It’s longer than I prefer, by a good foot. For a few minutes I agonized – I just don’t feel right in long dresses. I’m not a hippie; that’s Kristina’s department. And then I realized that when a dress like this is delivered, pristine and unstained and in your exact size, you don’t pick nits. You spend the ten goddamn dollars, because you will never find a piece like this again.

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I ended up wearing it to a circus-themed party the night after I took these photos. I sprawled on the floor and decided my dress would be the tent.

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polka dots & fireworks

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Like any counterculture darling, I’ve always been a little jaded about the Fourth of July. As recently as last year, I was all “okay, but do we really need to celebrate ‘Murica?” I would enjoy the barbecue and fireworks, but only couched in a sufficient layer of irony.

Sometime in the past few months, I’ve turned a corner. And I’m liking it. Yes, America is flawed, deeply so. Yes, some of us are much more free than others. But I’m no longer feeling cognitive dissonance between acknowledging these things and shamelessly adoring good-ol’-fashioned kitsch. I still keep my distance from nationalism, but I don’t think engaging with cheesy cultural symbols is a bad thing.

Everything is problematic. Love the things you love, even (especially) if they’re imperfect. Life is too short for ironic joys.

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