September Favourites

It’s been a year! Is anybody still reading this? I even forgot to share the videos I made!

Anyhoo, here’s a favourites list for last month in no particular order, just in case you do.

from left to right: My Time at Sandrock (via), my new campus, Miracle Workers (via), The Stranger Times podcast (via), train reading
  1. My Time at Sandrock. I must have started playing its predecessor, My Time at Portia, around this time last year because I found it mentioned in the half-started draft of last September’s favourites. The sequel has a more Western adventure feel to it, but still with the same “cute postapocalypse” twist.
  2. Going back to uni. It’s big and scary, but having more routine, input directed by someone else and a plethora of new, interesting stuff to learn is very much worth it so far.
  3. I don’t think we’ve breezed through a series like this since What We Do In the Shadows. Miracle Workers was such a refreshing show to binge inbetween all the angstiness of True Blood (the current “main watch” at the HQ). I can’t even quite decide which season was my favourite so far: Season One has a great plot, Season Two does the anachronism thing very vell (which I enjoy tremendously – either I want people to put a ton of research and work into something or this), and Season Three has that one scene… you know which one (spoilers, I guess?). Can’t wait for Season 4!
  4. Having friends who give me bones and teeth as gifts.
  5. Days full of rain are a blessing after this extremely hot and dry Summer. It’s a bit weird how now that it’s getting colder everything springs into lush greenness all of a sudden, but that just means the falling golden leaves aren’t just doing that because the trees can’t sustain them anymore.
  6. I can’t remember how decent they were at my old uni, but out Cafeteria Lunches are really neat here! I somehow always liked cafeterias, it’s fairly anonymous, you can watch people, do homework, have food and don’t even have to do the dishes.
  7. The Stranger Times podcast. It’s urban fantasy weirdness with some really nice worldbuilding, so very much straight up my alley. I listened through all of it within maybe two weeks and am feel quite compelled to listen to or read the actual novels, so that’s a good thing… And if you don’t know it yet, you can get it here.
  8. Having time to read on my commute. Sure, having a campus on the other side of town isn’t perfect, but I haven’t had time to read like that in a long while! I’m through two books already in less than as many weeks!
  9. Growing up I never had Helium Balloons for my birthday. This year a huge but very, very lightweight package arrived shortly before and when I opened it up on the day, it had the whole number-plus-some-heart-shapes package floating out because my favourite person remembered me saying something about liking them.
  10. My new backpack from Morgntau (not sponsored, sadly). I needed something new for hauling around all the stuff that somehow accumulates in my bags, and juggling a messenger bag plus canvas tote for the laptop wasn’t ideal. I also needed a birthday present to give to myself, and they had a sale… it’s the Oslo in green, by the way, and I’m very happy with it.

(Life) Style Tips in September


September lends itself to cottagecore and hobbit vibes like few other months do. Start drying herbs in your kitchen by screwing hooks to the underside of your shelves and bundling your harvest up with rustic ribbons or colourful yarns. If you tend to forget which herb is which, add small labels to the string to tell them apart – no shame in that, especially when the labels are pretty.

If you grow your herbs on a balcony or outside your window start thinking about your Winter situation, even though it might seem early to do so. Where will you put that basil? Will the bergamot survive outside? Will the chili be okay with whatever light it can get on the sill inside? Prepare your inside winter garden ahead of time to make adjustments if you find it lacking anything, and maybe arrange it so that you have something to sit there and read or work in the company of your plants during the cold and dreary times of the year. You don’t need a winter garden or sun room to feel like a turn-of-the-century artist with a fernery (or herbery, rather)!

Get a disposable camera or a new film for your analogue and document the last hurrah of Summer. We usually think of analogue photography as either artsy or something to use on vacation for a retro twist. While that’s not wrong at all, catching early autumn sun filtering through leaves that are about to turn yellow or the hopeful atmosphere around campus for orientation weeks has its own magic. If you feel drawn to take snapshots of golden fields and wild flowers consider waiting to have your film developed after the first merry rush of Winter is over and you need something to tide you over the greyest time.

Treat yourself to the idea of back-to-school fashion, no matter how long it has been since you’ve set foot in a classroom. It doesn’t have to be an entire new wardrobe, not even a whole outfit, but maybe scout your local thrift haunt for a new neck-tie (you can wear them as belts, headbands, hair ties and neck bows if actual ties aren’t your thing), a pair of oxfords (brogue or wing-tip are the most dark-academia looking choice) or a pin that looks like it could be the crest of a secret society that meets in the attic over the auditorium to plot world domination or swap sticky-sweet poetry, your choice. Just get yourself something that gets you excited about September, is all.

With light and fields and even trees turning golden, why not experiment with honey for a golden addition to your cooking and baking? To continue the Dark Academia topic, there’s Roman baked goods like these globi by Cato or this honey cake, but there are also the cottagecore choices that look like they just jumped out of a Brambly Hedge illustration like this sponge-and-cream stack, honey butter crumpets and very autumnal apple tart. For a main course there’s naan pizza with honeyed pears, mushroom tacos and glazed everything. And if that isn’t enough yet, there’s also drinks: aside from sweetening your tea or putting it in your coffee (a whole science, as always) there are plenty of cocktail options like the Bee’s Knees, Eau de Lavender, Sting like a Bee and of course the Hot Toddy.

(Live) Style Tips in August


If it’s still hot, spray the wet sheets or drapes in front of your window with a mixture of your favourite essential oils or a room or body mist of your choice for the Summer version of scented candles (without the fire hazard)

August creates as she slumbers, replete and satisfied.

Joseph Wood Krutch.

Embrace your inner picnicker at hanging rock, Southern Gothic hero*ine or Edwardian summer guest by dressing in all-white lace or linen. Add a boater for a classic choice of headwear or a crown of wildflowers or moss for the choice that will confuse, bewilder or enchant the people around you. Skeleton key necklaces, frayed scraps for neckwear or a headband and bare feet round off the waifish, slightly unsettling strange omen look.

A woman is like an artichoke. You have to do some work before you get to her heart.

The Pink Panther (2006)

If you haven’t yet, go and find yourself a local artichoke dealer. Learn to prepare them in a number of ways – boiled with a vinaigrette is a classic, but deep-fried alla giudia, stuffed (Italian or Turkish), grilled or sautéed variations are surely worth a try, as well. The smaller flower-heads can be eaten whole and the centre is delicious. Celebrate eating your artichokes, savour each petal and treat yourself to a meal that you couldn’t even wolf down mindlessly if you wanted to.

Did you know that a bee dies after he stings you?… And that around the tenth of August, any year, you can look up in the sky at night and see dozens and dozens of shooting stars?

Elizabeth Enright

If you want a change of routine without going on vacation in these strange times or just have trouble sleeping why not move your bedstead into another room for a few days? Swap beds with a flatmate or move your pillows and blankets to the sofa. If you don’t have that option, improvise a tent over your bed with a rope and some sheets. If you have a rain-proof balcony that might be a good place to rest your bones, as well. It might get a bit cold at night but isn’t that a wonderful idea during the hottest time of the year.

In the parching August wind,
Cornfields bow the head,
Sheltered in round valley depths,
On low hills outspread.

Christina Rossetti

If you happen to come by an abandoned lot or even live in the country, get yourself a bouquet of wildflowers. Others might regard them as weeds, but there will be enough time for greenhouse blooms come winter. When your flowers start hanging their heads, consider tying them up and hanging them to dry, either for their petals or even their seeds – keep them until spring to make seed bombs or plant them in your own garden or balcony as a buffet for your local insect population.

Some Favourites from the Last Months

  1. I finally, finally began watching Gentleman Jack. I’d had the DVDs around since Winter but never felt like I was in the right mindset to start. Halfway into the first episode, I ordered the books and now I’m adamantly set on watching it will ALL of my friends because it’s hilarious and a romp and all of those good things. There are far too little comedic elements in historical drama (or costume drama in general), and works like Gentleman Jack are a breath of fresh air betwixt all the pining and anemic love stories without any fun in them.
  2. The Season 3 finale of The Magnus Archives. How could they break my heart like this?! Oh, Martin, my poor little cinnamon roll! Funny enough, season 4’s finale didn’t screw me up half as bad, but I’m already looking forward to the last one.
  3. Venusbrüstchen – “Venus’ bosoms”, an incredibly tasty treat from one of our local bakeries. I haven’t been able to find this variant anywhere on the internet… there is one from Salzburg in Austria, but it’s different. This one is a lovely filling of foamy nougat between two macaron shells, partially covered in dark chocolate and topped with an almond, and it’s fantastic.
  4. Roll For Style, my little experiment (that I have shamefully neglected during the last few weeks, cursed be that seasonal depression thing). It helps me a lot with picking outfits and seeing what my wardrobe is still lacking, so I’m going to try my best to pick the habit back up again as soon as I have the spoons. I made a video about it, and it will hopefully not be the last.
  5. Sending and receiving lovely packages is one of my joys at any time, but especially during the pandemic. I sent my Mother and Grandmother biscuits and books – my Grandmother has not been able to go to the library, but I have a loose grasp on what she likes to read, and there’s a brand of cranberry biscuits they can’t get in the Shire -, I send friends all the little trinkets I’ve been collecting for them over the last year-and-a-half, and I also got a package from my lovely Verdinium returning the favour.
  6. Mariah Pattie’s Worldbuilding Channel. I love how incredibly detailed and meticulous she is with her cultures and even their biology (I’m still impressed with her breakdown of how feather patterns are passed down within her avian race, it’s absurd in the best of ways).
  7. I’ve been inside a thrift store for the first time in half a year! Ever since Germany went into lockdown shortly before the Winter holidays I hadn’t, and I almost wept for joy when I could set foot in one again, appointment and negative test for the plague in tow. By the time I’m posting this thrifting has returned to normal (aside from the mask, but the mask feels normal by now, anyway).
  8. The Eurovision Song Contest. I had not watched it for ages, but when a friend asked me to watch in with her I happily agreed and after ten minutes decided that this must become a yearly thing. Italy’s first place was incredibly justified – they just had that energy that has been brewing in all of us during the lockdown, and we all just want to get out there for some bacchanalian revelries. My other favourites were France and Switzerland, but I also loved Ukraine, of course, and Russia, and honourable mentions to Germany, it might not have been grand enough for Eurovision but it was really cute and it’s now stuck in my head.
  9. Period Panties are one of my favourite new things. I’m so happy they are so easily available, too, I can even get them at the drug store!
  10. Summer Rain. While we had a few far-too-hot days in Northern Germany we also had an okay share of summer rainfall (I really don’t want to jinx it by calling it fair). To put a clichée phrase to use, the land needed it. It still does, the last Summers having been too hot and dry for our part of the world by far. I just love the smell of Summer rain so much. I love rain in every season, each has its own magic, but right now it’s the time of the scent of hot, suddenly wet tarmac, the almost warm droplets, fast-drying clothes and loud patter through wide-open windows and balcony doors at night. Right now rain feels like a promise of a day without heat fatigue, something to stand in for a moment and just cherish it, arms stretched out wide to welcome that shower.

(Life) Style Tips in April


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.

♥ Some Favourites from February & March ♥

march favourites - Hedgefairy Tales
– the latest of my flower rescues –
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Birdsong outside my window in the morning.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Calling my friends “love”.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.