April 15, 2014


I have had a soft spot for taxidermy for as long as I can remember, particularly vintage pieces, but finding those at a good price is a little impossible here. You are not likely to walk into an antique shop and pick up anything for under £50 as you might do in places such as America (where taxidermy is widespread and still very popular today) not unless you've got Lady Luck on your side! Here in the UK the only place you're likely to find a decent bargain is eBay, which is where Hermione, this beautiful vintage stoat in winter fur, came from (Germany to be exact!)

She arrived last week and though she was in wonderful condition she still looked a little dirty and dusty in places (probably from being in storage) so I gave her a clean with a slightly damp cloth and gently brushed her fur with a soft toothbrush and now she looks good as new! I even made her that little pearl necklace out of some old beads that I never wear. They make her look rather elegant don't you think?

Now if only I can catch that elusive fox or barn owl that I long for!

April 05, 2014

Moments III: There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

Hello everyone! Apologies for the gaping void which has been my blog lately, it has only just occurred to me how long it has been since my last update and that is first and foremost due to the fact that I have been a busy bee over the last couple of months getting things ready for the opening of my Etsy shop, and secondly because my head just hasn't been in the right place for it. It feels as if that part of my brain which was once only too eager has somehow been obscured by a thick layer of mind fog! Don't get me wrong, I'd really like to pick it up again but I think I need to do some spring cleaning inside my head first! In the meantime I thought I would do a 'moments' post to share some of the things I've been enjoying during my absence..

♥ 1. I found this wonderful vintage Scottish sword brooch back in March and it has since left me with a strange urge to build a little armoury of them! It currently resides on my favorite jacket.

♥ 2. Tokyo Milk has been on the edge of my mind for quite some time, specifically the 'Dark' range which seemed near impossible to get hold of, at least here in the UK! Thankfully I managed to find these conditioning lip balms made with bee balm and jasmine in the following scents: Coco Noir (dark rum, maraschino cherry, sweet milk and cacao bean) and Salted Caramel (sweet cream, sea salt, caramelised sugar and toasted vanilla bean).

♥ 3. I couldn't believe my luck when I scored this gorgeous little curio cabinet for a little less than £6! If only I could find my dream printer's tray for that price!

♥ 4. A while ago Emma of Little Gothic Horrors sent me a link to a freebie pattern by The Little Stitcher that she thought I would love, and she was right! I stitched it up within a day and placed her in one of my antique frames. ♥

♥ 5. Marvellously macabre postcard prints from Beautymarkings on Etsy. If you are on IG then I highly suggest you follow Summer there to see more of her works in progress!

♥ 6. A disembodied phantom hand by artist Camille Rose Garcia taken from her 16 page special insert which was in February's issue of Hi-Fructose magazine. I may have purchased two copies just to be able to frame some of my favourites!

♥ 7. Charming little whimsical beings by artist Amy Earles. Again I highly suggest following Amy on IG if you can, her sketches never fail to put a smile on my face!

♥ 8. My Amy Earles paper doll now resides in a shadowbox of perpetual Hallowe'en night which I created just for her. ♥

♥ 9. A gathering of witch's brooms! When I was a child I used to think these masses of twigs were bird nests until I learnt otherwise, they're in fact a deformity in the trees growth caused by some kind of fungus. I just adore their 'scientific' name!

♥ 10. A fluke image of me captured in my antique mirror above my dresser. My camera must have focused on the age spots and scratches on the surface of the mirror resulting in this. According to my IG followers it makes me look like a ghostly villainess which is just fine with me!

♥ 11. Venetian masks, butterflies in bell jars and Archimedes the Little Owl atop my bookcase in the bedroom. ♥

♥ 12. As I mentioned above I have been busy getting things ready for the opening of my Etsy shop and one of the tasks was taking pictures of my product, I had a lot of fun sourcing props from around my house including ivy from the garden.

♥ 13 + 16. I've always had a soft spot for spirit photography and magician posters but lately I've been fascinated by them even more so. These two pictures were snapped from the pages of books I own.

♥ 14. Another form of antique photography which I adore is paper moon cabinet cards, this is a close up of one of the few paper moon post cards which I am lucky enough to have in my possession, titled 'Frau Luna' c.1907.

♥ 15. The glittering night sky I created for the background of my shadowbox inspired by paper moons. ♥

And lastly..

I opened my Etsy shop, Coven Of Stitches, two weeks ago and I couldn't believe my eyes when my cross stitches sold out within an hour! It left me feeling excited and rather humbled to think that so many people wanted one. I have since been inundated with questions asking if I am going to be selling more, which of course I am! I'm currently waiting for some supplies to arrive and then my hands will be busy for quite some time!

I hope you've all been well and I wish you all a lovely weekend!

February 03, 2014

Moments II: She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.

It's time for another 'Moments' post, this time covering the last week of January which could best be described as bleak and dismal, but not even my winter blues could ruin the feeling of those happiness butterflies which were fluttering around inside thanks to my loved ones, a book and a cosy blanket! I've never been the sort to make a big deal out of my birthday, I would choose an evening of films and good food with my other half over a party any day of the week and that's exactly what we did, as well as spending a day exploring Dracula's second home!

♥ I've been enchanted by the otherworldly photography of Dutch artist, Nona Limmen, since winning her giveaway last June, and as my birthday was drawing near I decided it was high time I supported this amazing artist by treating myself to a couple of her prints! Above are the two beauties that I chose, all framed up in their vintage frames! Destroyer III on the left and Anais on the right, and because Nona is such a darling she even included some extra goodies for my birthday! :)

♥ More weirdness abound lays inside the second installment of the fascinating and curious Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series, which fell through my letterbox last Monday! I had all but forgotten about it since I pre-ordered it last year so it came as an exceedingly good surprise!

 Treasures from my birthday trip to Whitby! I had hoped to take some pictures around the Abbey, and maybe catch a glimpse of Dracula lurking among the headstones, but sadly the weather had other plans. The Moomin plates, stag beetle and my favourite find, that amazing antique medical bottle which once held belladonna ointment and belonged to a long dead mad scientist (I wish!), more than made up for it though!

 Deadly sweet smelling potions from my other half! After falling deeply for my first bottle of the limited edition Gingerbread Snake, I *may* have hinted that I wanted back-ups for my birthday as I couldn't bear the thought of running low on my 'holy grail' scent!

♥ What else could you possibly get a book-hoarder for her birthday, right? 'Ghostly Ruins', which has been on my wish-list for quite some time, documents the life and death of thirty buildings spread across America. From prisons to hotels and even entire towns, this book acts as a kind of guided tour if you will, juxtaposing their peak of popularity with their current state of haunted decrepitude. The photographs inside are simply captivating!

♥ .. and lastly are these two beautiful vintage lithographs from an old German ornithology book, featuring a Common or Northern Raven and my favourite species within the Corvus family, the Hooded Crow! I plan to add them to my 'wilderness' wall once I find suitable frames.

Is it just me or did January seem to come and go in the blink of an eye?

January 26, 2014

Deer, oh deer!

I stumbled upon a wonderful old Paiute Indian legend earlier today which kind of reminded me of my latest cross-stitch, created whilst marathon watching Prison Break this weekend! The Paiutes tell a story about a bright star that can be seen low down in the eastern sky on summer mornings, a star we have come to know as Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major.

Their legends tell of a young man who was inexperienced in the art of hunting and so became the laughing stock of his village. One morning he heads off into the hills to hunt but with no bow and arrow he decides his only option is to run the deer down. He spots a large buck in a clearing and runs after it, over land, hills and desert until there was nowhere left to run but over the rim of the world and up into the sky. Since that time the Paiutes say that the best deer hunting is to be had when the 'deer-star' can be seen.

Quite fitting don't you think?