housekeeping, lots of pink, & artsy antique-store pictures

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I am deeply saddened to announce that my camera is dead.

Not buried yet, though. I’m still holding out hope for the Lazarus effect. It’s been out of commission ten days now, and today I finally made a truce with my wallet and took it to the repair shop. Apparently the entire works need replacing (I dropped it onto concrete), and it’ll be at least a week before I can see it again.

I won’t be able to post as frequently as I’d like (and my first Shaped by Style posts might be delayed), but I keep a backlog of photos on hand for precisely this reason. So I’ll be filling the radio silence, albeit with outdated outfits.

I took these about three weeks ago in one of my favorite antique stores.

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Not having a camera is weird, man. It’s made me realize just how much of my fashion sense is performative. I almost don’t see the point in dressing up if I can’t share my outfit with the internet. The past week has been an exercise in looking cute just for the hell of it. And lemme tell you – I have been wearing some hella cute outfits.

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But it’s also given me more time to write. I’m serious about this short-story-collection thing. I’m thinking a hundred-page chapbook of my ten best stories. Cheap enough to produce while nonetheless conveying my range of ability. I’ll set up a website to sell it, and maybe offer copies to a few local/alternative bookstores. One of my favorite thrift shops even sells customers’ art.

Should I produce a separate one for poetry? Or intersperse the poems in with the prose?

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plaid, petticoat, & an assault on the eyeballs

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I wore this outfit antiquing on Sunday, and the little old ladies were swooning. “Is that a petticoat? I haven’t seen one of those in years!” I like being their blast from a past they thought was dead and buried. I like the feeling of keeping something once-precious alive.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’d rather be stuck in history than progressing for progress’s sake. I’d rather be rooted than erratic. I’d rather respect the past than barge blindly into the future.

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And during said day of antiquing, I found two of the shiniest treasures ever.

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The first was a 1950s wedding set. Dress, crown, train, purse, garter. In perfect condition, barely yellowed. For TWENTY DOLLARS. “When’s your wedding?” the shopkeeper asked in response to my hyperventilation. “Eventually,” I told her. The dress doesn’t even fit me, and I don’t want to get married in white anyway. But twenty dollars is a pittance for such a slice of history.

The second was an authentic Victorian embroidered coat. Also in perfect (well, almost perfect) condition. For…

TWELVE DOLLARS.

It’s black and ankle-length and fits like it was made for me. I am not sure I will ever wear it, because of course I would fall in the mud two steps out of the house if I ever tried. But it is the oldest thing I own, and I can practically feel the ghosts waking up.

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a sloane’s throw

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So there’s apparently a new vintage/antique store five minutes from my house. And apparently it’s been there for, like, SIX MONTHS. In all fairness, its logo reminds me of Pottery Barn or Williams-Sonoma, so I’ve been walking past it all this time assuming it was some kind of fancy earthenware gig. I went in on a whim last weekend, and…hot damn. This place will most certainly be on my circuit. It’s a lot more curated than most of my other favorite haunts, so I won’t be hauling home bags of crap only I could love, but I’m really looking forward to the occasional splurge.

Ladies and gentlemen, Sloane Mercantile.

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Is “collector” a job? Not curator, not caretaker – nope, I just want to get paid to lug home crates of crumbling treasures and surround myself with their glow. I said in my recent interview on Paulie Antiques that I want to collect enough antiques to have a museum named for me when I die, and I stand by it. I love the rambling musty charm of old things. I want a life informed by every shard of history I can find.

Josh and I visited Danica at work and snapped these photos. She works in the stuff of my dreams – a crowded consignment shop set back from the rainy chill. I wore what just might be my oldest dress – authentic 1950s, but gorgeous for its age – and stepped into a dozen worlds in one.

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I think Josh might actually be Simon Petrikov. That makes me Betty, but I’d rather be Flame Princess. I have a lot of feelings about Adventure Time.

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In the spirit of antiquity, I thought I’d share the first paragraphs of a short story I wrote a few months ago. Take up your monocles and unsheath your pocketwatches:

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Let me first whet your palate with the mention of Dr. Lucius von Schroeder. It is with a bowed head and a mist in mine eye that I recount his fate. Not I, nor the beings ingrained within this volume, shall pass judgment should you choose to turn your dear faint head away.

Von Schroeder was only a boy. I shouldn’t have nursed his whims so. Then again, bravado had thrilled him since his first beard. It was writ epic in his nature. Who was I to stand in his God (or whomever)-given way?

Von Schroeder craved beginnings and feared their ends terribly. He spoke of new dawns and advances yet unseen with besotted rapture. I don’t think his early days in the seminary had ever really quit him. He spurned the Church too vocally, too frequently, as though expunging whatever kernel of faith yet remained. He swore fidelity to science through and through, but I knew better. One night, when the walls seemed thin as ash and wind whipped our meager quarters, I heard the young man pray.

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Want more? Let me know in the comments.

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eye bleach: dolls, often creepy

I’ve decided to make “eye bleach” posts a regular feature. Even (especially!) when my style is languishing on the primmer end of the spectrum, I need my macabre, my bloodstained, my gleefully obscene. It’d be mighty nice to keep a visual log of the unsettling specimens I find in the wild (i.e. antique stores). What better to kick it off with than those horrors of the vaguely humanoid?

All specimens logged at Antiques on Main in Montpelier, where Josh and I stopped after shooting with Brent on Saturday.

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This reminds me in the best way of one of my favorite creepypastas: “Abandoned by Disney“, by Slimebeast. The sequel, “Room Zero“, is almost better.

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I’m getting one intense Coraline vibe from this one.

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elsewhere in witchery

Yet another inspirations post. I realize I’ve been blatantly clickbaiting y’all with secondhand content, but I think a little aspiration porn is valuable to the creative set. It’s the whole collective-unconscious thing: I’m priming my brain with artists more talented than I, simmering the beginnings of a metaphorical stew. Because I no longer participate in fast fashion, however, today’s items of desire come exclusively from Etsy.com. If I can badger even one person into buying vintage/handmade…well, that’ll be my do-gooding for the day and I can sit on my ass wasting electricity.

But seriously – I really believe in buying secondhand as often as possible, and I’m hoping to promote that ever more widely in 2014. Starting in January, I’ll be partnering with a few local thrift stores to showcase their wares and ideally get a pittance of readers shopping secondhand. Since my series of Halloween posts for Downtown Threads, I’ve been planning to expand my reach.

Click on each item to see its Etsy listing. I’ll soon be posting a few new items in my own Etsy shop as well.

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