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As long as you have a garden you have a future and as long as you have a future you are alive.– Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Now is the perfect time to finally get your garden going. Try strange new herbs, if you have limited space, or a vegetable you really like but never thought about planting if you’ve got a garden. Chard is tasty and comes in several colours , and an overabundance of pumpkin flowers can be harvested for salads after they’ve adorned your plots. Get morning glory or edible nasturtium in your favourite colour for your balcony or the strangest kind of basil or mint you can possibly find for your window sill.
Document your spring with an analogue camera – single-use cameras are cheap, but if you have a normal one still around that’s even better.
The “Avenue,” so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Celebrate the apple blossoms. We should celebrate every occasion we can find these days! Make crumble from last year’s harvest, drink cider and dress in ruffly white with yellow and blush accents to mirror the blooms. Go and view them swaying gently in the breeze if you can find a fine day to sit outside on a picknick blanket with the treats mentioned above.
Have a distanced spring party with your friends. Prepare a picknick basket and facetime them from your favourite park or pack a small parcel full of baked good and deliver it to their doorstep with some flowers so you can share a treat via video chat. Go on one of those pandemic walks but in your springtime finery and make crowns from squills and budding branches. If you find a hidden grove (or have no shame, congrats to you, that’s great!) put on some music and dance like the embodiment of awakening nature that you are.
One only needs to see a smile in a white crape bonnet in order to enter the palace of dreams.– Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
I think it’s time we bring bonnets back, and not only for the Lolita community but also the rest of the eccentric fashion world. There are countless tutorials on the topic, like the Shiro Lolita one by The Stitchess, the Regency Poke Bonnet by Tea in a Tea Cup, this Little Women-inspired one by Micarah Tewers or the Edwardian bonnet by Irene Rudnyk. Or go for something more simple like the Little House on the Prairie version from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom or a scaled-up version of this Baby Bonnet by DIY Crush. Inspiration can be found in museum collections like that of the MET or the V&A.
While we’re at it, let’s go full-on whimsical again. Embrace the love you have for styles like otome or Dolly kei (let’s bring that one back especially!) or Steampunk, and if you want to look like someone from Bridgerton, go for that, too! It might be hard to pull off outside these days with the opportunities of going outside being mostly walks or work, and some workplaces don’t encourage you looking like a Victorian dandy or an Art Noveau elf, but dressing up is good for the soul. Talk to your dolls and plushies and take their input seriously, have tea parties with them, tie lace to everything and wear something shiny or glittery with your “grown up” costume as a secret sign for kindred sprits.
Oh, I almost forgot! There’s never been an April lifestyle post so far, but there is course an October for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.
P.S.: This month’s graphic is made up from the fourth of these Art Noveau frames from Sum of All Crafts, the A is from Pattern Maker Charts, the font next to it is Ramundus by Rob Marland. The face is this girl looking at a birds nest by Free Vintage Digistamps and finally the apple blossoms and ornaments are both from the apple page of Plant-Forms Ornamentally Treated by Grace Carter (a wonderful piece of work!) via Wikimedia Commons. All these sources are, to my knowledge, free to use without giving the source, but I prefer to give credit where credit is due, and maybe someone can make use of the knowledge where to find all of this prettiness.
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.