Hello Thistledown Gang, welcome to “I try things because they could probably somehow work”! Today we’re experimenting with tea dye and bits of rusty metal from the street. Sounds fun, right?
- Selfmade doubles as a favourite from Black History and Women’s History month and was my favourite binge on Netflix in quite a while. If you haven’t seen it yet, it chronicles the rise to riches of Madam C.J. Walker, the first Black and female self-made millionaire of America. Go give it a watch, it’s great!
- The Magnus Archives are my new podcast obsession, and I might need a break from them sometime soon as I notice my speech pattern slipping into that of the Archivist more and more… if you like (mostly) vague horror, cult stuff and weird things, this podcast might be for you.
- Birdsong outside my window in the morning.
- Caprice embodies the manic, giddy, effervescent energy of spring as few other musicians do. Their tunes feel outright magical to me, and I’m so happy I found them!
- I’m finally reading Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country, and I’m loving it. If you ever need to convince someone of how absolutely infuriating racism is (and I hope you don’t have to, nobody should have people like that in their life), just give them this book. Bonus points are awarded for including cult stuff (see above) and being by the author of my favourite book, Fool on the Hill. Speaking of which, I kind of hope Lionheart is a descendant of at least one of the main characters… That would make so much sense.
- Apropos Descendants… I admit that I lately watched the eponymous Disney movie series and… it’s weirdly endearing? I didn’t think that it would grow on me like mould when I saw the first few minutes, it’s a bit cringy (and I have, of course, massive amounts of snark), but then again it was made for teens, and weren’t we all a bit cringy at that age? I’d also wear all of those awesome villain kid leather jackets in a heartbeat.
- Calling my friends “love”.
- I’ve taken to buying flowers for myself. I’ve been preaching the “buy yourself flowers” gospel for a while now but never really practised it, for no particular reason. I’m getting my flowers from the supermarket and I make it a point to buy the scraggliest, most-unlikely-to-be-picked-by-others bunch I see. I feel sorry that they won’t be bought, and they are surely still pretty and in any case still good enough to dry upside down.
- I’m playing Overlord again, and oh, it’s still so adorable. The manic chaotic energy of the minions always warms my heart. In fact, I’m even working on some fan art that you’ll see sometime next month if everything goes smoothly!
- Last but not least, I’m incredibly grateful for my productivity lately. There are a bunch of finished projects and new videos and cakes that are only here because I’m (relatively) stable and cared for and can indulge my creativity. I love it.
Let us not be terrified by the disfavour of external circumstance, let us have but one answer for all difficulty: Now more than ever!Clara Zetkin
It’s Women’s History Month. There’s not much to say. Watch shows and documentaries about fascinating females in history, celebrate differences, educate yourself and others. It’s the perfect month to introduce a mansplaining figure in your life to some of your favourite heroines in history or to call out a bigot by holding an impromptu lecture about how some of humankind’s greatest achievements would not have been possible without women. Be proud of being a woman, being inspired by women, being born by a woman, living with women. Women’s History Month isn’t just for white cis females. It’s for everyone, because every other month is Men’s History Month, anyway, and that should definitely change.
Quilted accessories are a great way to upcycle, keep warm and honour the crafts of times gone by, and the often faded colours introduce Springtime pastels to your Winter wardrobe. Jackets from antique quilts keep cropping up all over Instagram, but you might as well keep an eye out for patchwork in your local thrift store to make your own. It doesn’t have to be a jacket, though, a bag, bonnet or scarf will just remind you of Hollie Hobbie and the mice of Brambly Hedge in Spring all the same.
Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’Robin Williams
March 20th marks the Vernal Equinox in the Northern hemisphere, and longer days as well as the folly that springs up in nature, surely warrant a (still socially distant and cautious) party. Light candles, wind crowns from the adventurously emerging greenery you find outside, go for a midnight stroll or greet the first longer day at sunrise.
Visible mending is a lovely medium to express yourself even during the pandemic. There’s not prettier (obviously visible) way to say “I care for my clothing, and I cherish it” than a clear line of stitches in a flattering colour or a weave of pretty wool over a hole in your socks. There’s no need to throw these things out just because they’re a bit worn, even if you can’t mend invisibly. Here’s a list of options to get your imagination going!
In Belgium, it was sometimes termed Style coup de fouet (“Whiplash style”), Paling Stijl (“Eel style”), or Style nouille (“Noodle style”) by its detractors.Wikipedia: Art Nouveau
Embrace Art Noveau vibes for spring! By the way, aren’t these names above great? Just like these things, go for flowing lines, either very big or very sleek hair, specks of gold in your face and accessories for a hint of Klimt and either exaggerated natural beauty or full-on vengeance deity in your make-up. Go for strides or flounces (not walks) in the re-awakening nature, read socialist pamphlets and poetry surrounded by plants and art or languish around drinking your beverage of choice – it might be absinthe, it might be red wine to stain your lips or it might be pineapple juice for all that matters – from long-stemmed goblets while you idly discuss (either with your friends or yourself or your canary) what you’re going to do to express your free spirit once the pandemic ends.
Develop a snowdrop or lily-of-the-valley obsession that ties in well with the Art Noveau mentioned above. If you can’t find affordable matching jewellery, make your own with gold wire, nail polish and pearly beads, and if you can’t find real ones, make them out of paper or even crochet them if you can.
Hello Thistledown Gang!
Have you ever had a book you really liked, but it doesn’t look too great? Or books that are a guilty pleasure but you don’t want everyone to know about them? Or do you want to take a novel to a historically inspired event but it just doesn’t look the part? Fret not, this video is for you.*
I’ll show you a low-budget way of making your paperbacks look like antique heirlooms. No matter if historybounding, Dark Academia or just aesthetic needs in general, it’s easy, it’s cheap, and it looks like you’re the type who has the time and money to idle away at an antique book shop.
Let me know if you ever use this tutorial, I’d love to see your books! Thank you for watching, come back soon!
(Also, I’m not a professional, just an enthusiast)
*There will be a written tutorial soon, for those of you who don’t like having to watch a video for this.
Aaaah, finally! I’ve been working on this video for what feels like ages (granted, most of that time was actually working on the breeches, but never mind) and now it’s done! I really like how both came out, the pants and the video, and I’d be super happy if you took the time to watch (and maybe even like) it. ♥
While it is February, one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch.Patience Strong
While the 26th is Tell a Fairy Tale Day and the 28th is Tooth Fairy day, let’s make it an entire Fairy Week. February doesn’t have a lot going for it, so it’s the perfect time for a week-long celebration of the otherworldly. Get inspired by fantastic recipes, dress in your otherworld finery or get together with a friend or two for a distanced viewing of a favourite fairy-themed film.
Slowly start emerging from your January cocoon. Wear lightweight layers symbolising your new, still somewhat crumpled wings that are about to unfold in the coming spring. Thin wool muslins would be fantastic – warm and ethereal – but cotton over tight layers of wool will do the trick, too. If you’re not sure where to start, how about a thin but luxuriously long shawl? If you wrap it right, the ends even look like wings.
February is the shortest month, so if you’re having a miserable month, try to schedule it for February.Lemony Snickett
If you kept to neutrals at the beginning of the year start introducing blocks of colours or simple patterns like stripes or checkerboard (or polka dots, if you must). Get your inspiration from the muslin dresses of the 1820s, 1980s characters like Peppermint Rose and Lady Lovely Locks or the illustrations of Kate Greenaway.
Once again we have Ballet day on our hands, so why not indulge your childhood fantasies of becoming a dancer by means of home-workout? It is surely more fun than crunches and planking. And if there’s no-one else around to judge you for your self-perceived “silliness” (we don’t believe in guilty pleasure here at the HQ) you might as well break out a tulle skirt, even if it’s only for yourself in your living room.
February is the uncertain month, neither black nor white but all shades between by turns. Nothing is sure.Gladys Hasty Carroll
We’re all very done with the Pandemic, but we might have to endure it a bit longer. It’s been a year now, so you might as well treat yourself to an anniversary present. Get something frivolous, something that you think you’re not able to wear because you’re staying inside, anyway. Indulge with a new series that you can’t get at the streaming service of your choice, or with a piece of jewellery, a new set of sheets, a book you always wanted to read but the pretty edition is more expensive than you’d normally spend. If all else is too much, get yourself the prettiest roses from the supermarket you can possibly find without breaking the bank. It’s been a hard year. You earned a bit of luxury.
P.S.: This month’s graphic consists of this texture by Lost + Taken for the overall background and this one for the Black History Month polaroid, the second fairies on this page and a valentine’s card from this batch (keep telling yourself that they’re “just friends”) by The Graphics Fairy, this frame from Free Vintage Digital Stamps, the Lunar Moth wings from the Butterfly chart here at The Sum of All Crafts and a pride flag. The fonts are Botanink (personal use only), Blackletter Hand and The Goldsmith Vintage demo (also personal use only). While all these are free to use without credit I like sharing my sources so that others can use them, too.