Monday, July 30, 2012

Spooky Basket: My Louise Black Corset Purchase

At one point or another, we've all seen these... these devastatingly gorgeous, totally covetable under bust corsets. And if you haven't, well go check out Louise Black on etsy quickly and gawk at her original cameo corsets.

Hell I've been yearning and saving for about a year, until I finally made my purchase back in Jan to Feb. Some people have warned me that their customer service is less than helpful... but this wasn't the case when I got up the gal to press "checkout".

They were very helpful and my request was processed and shipped very quickly and timely! I was happily surprised.
Proud owner!
In the beginning of January I had requested a custom fit faux leather ribcage cameo corset before this passed May when I would be attending the Rammstein concert in Glendale (which by the way, blew my mind beyond the zenith). Sure enough it came before the expected arrival in mid February.
It's one my single best purchases, and I did not regret a single penny of it.

 The construction is immaculate, and the fit is beyond comfortable; it would feel like a second skin if the steel boning didn't stop me from bending over all the way, hehe!
However, these corsets are not constructed with a busk or with a modesty panel; it makes putting them on and lacing them yourself a little bit of a hassle if you haven't done it as much, as was the case with me (I usually get my husband to do it, but for the pictures I had to do everything myself).

Many corsets will come with busks making them a hell of a lot easier to put on; here is a video demonstrating the process with the average constructed corset:

 But for corsets like Louise Black's, there is a little trick (somewhat obvious, but doesn't dawn very quickly) that I wish someone had told me or I had found during my research before getting my first corset. If you're like me, you hate lacing anything up, it's time consuming and exhausting. So to prevent any unwanted unlacing while I shuffle my way into my corset from the top, I tie the tips of the four laces by pairs in a simple firm. but loose enough knot

Another little tidbit is that if you're going to purchase a corset, you should purchase a tube top along with it if you plan on wearing nothing underneath it (maybe for a burlesque show, I don't know). Corsets are never fully washable, as many well finished ones have steel boning that could rust and bleed through fabrics. Having a tube top will help prevent a lot of that sweat and B.O. coming off on your corset. I spray a cloth with a bit of fabric freshener and gently go over the inside of the corset to keep it smelling nice.

 I love Louise Black and her corsets so much, I am beginning to save for two more, maybe even three! And I know just the ones I am going to get...

Here is the choker I made, which I am wearing in the full body shot.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Skeleton Closet: Venetian Details

I always seem to have this issue of not feeling like I look goth during the summer months despite wearing black all over. So as often as I want to, I'll be posting up my outfits for the public to decide whether it's just black clothes or gothic summer time flair.

Today's showcase is the outfit I wore to meet up with friends of my husband's.
It wasn't particularly hot in our area, but where we ended up was; and this time it didn't occur to me to bring my parasol and I regretted every minute I didn't.

Anyway, I digress.


 In this outfit I wore two articles chock full of venetian details, which ultimately made the outfit-- or so I hoped it did.

I wore another lovely little lace vest number, that has an oh-so-yummy-lace fringe around the bottom. It was bought brand new at a shop in a mall I had previously worked at called Latitudes. The tag, just like many others, has been cut and long has the exact brand been forgotten in my head-- the only thing I ever recall about this one is that it was made in Italy, from the same company that made the lace over-top in the previous post. The skirt was thrifted and is just a simple black hobble pencil skirt.

The top underneath was a surprise gift from my younger brother (technically the majority of my clothes are gifted but one or two were bought for me without my knowledge). But I know exactly where he bought them because there is only one store I know of back north that sells this Seduction brand, and that is Sirens.The straps of this top are detailed with venetian lace, the front is accented with venetian lace over satin, and has a cute lace detail which you tie into a bow. The back of the top is smocked, and the cups are padded.

My make up was done relatively the same as the last post; I'm not very creative when it comes to my make up.

This time I used a darker shade of red lipstick: 36 Black Cherry by Estée Lauder, with a touch of a black gradient effect using Annabelle Smoothliner waterproof in Black (I know it's an eye liner, but it really does go on smooth and stays on for a very long time).

The shoes I chose to wear were pumps I haven't completely broken in... so they killed my feet-- they are black lace with scalloped trim, open toe with a bow detail. The lace is really hard to photograph as it was so subtle and it just looks like a black shoe.

And finally we come to the single piece of statement jewelry I wore. It is one of my own creations (I very rarely wear jewery I didn't make), and I think my favorite one to date. It has a ribcage cameo and I always get a lot of queries and compliments when I wear it.

So... goth or not?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: The Romantic Hobble-- Step 1: Materials Gathered

Today's post I will begin by saying this is the very first step of progress into one of my designs for a romantic goth hobble pencil skirt.

I had this design along with sooo many more in my books and head for quite a while, but only until now can I realize many of my designs (I lacked a very loving and giving husband-- lulz).
The Idea
He and I made an agreement that I may buy the materials once a month to complete one decadent design; the materials I require for these aren't cheap! And this way, I can give progress of one exquisite design every month... of course this doesn't count the other, less expensive, projects I do in between heheh!

To start I had to choose one of my designs and as said previously my romantic hobble was it. They may be hard to walk in, but dang they are sexy!
For this design you can vaguely see that the side panels will be ruched, and the front and back have some small but tasty details.

I bought a high quality stretch velvet, and enough of it to perhaps complete another project (woo!)
So soft... so elegant!

 Now there is something I am debating as to whether or not I want to have a button up closure, or an invisible zipper on the back;
Buttons vs. Zipper
the buttons are covered with velvet, and match the initial material. Though there is a high likelihood that I will just use the buttons on another project instead.

For the trims and things, I chose a floral pattern venetian lace, and an raschel ruffle lace.

Stay tuned for the next progress report!

All images and designs copyright Madame Mari Mortem©. Do not copy or reproduce without the explicit consent of the owner.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Skeleton Closet: The Lace Over Top

I always seem to have this issue of not feeling like I look goth during the summer months despite wearing black all over. So as often as I want to, I'll be posting up my outfits for the public to decide whether it's just black clothes or gothic summer time flair.

Today on my segment of hot weather goth I chose to base the focus of my outfit completely on a top.
A lace over top to be exact.

When I got my first and only job (hopefully not last) last year, I got into a veritable shopping craze. I had spare money that me, I earned-- and up until then I didn't think I would ever utter those words (I'm such a pampered little bat). This over top, along with the tank top underneath, AND the clothes in my last post, among much more are all wonderful spoils during my ransacking torrent.

These articles are all brand new however, and were bought at another store in the same mall I worked called Latitude. To be honest, I clipped the tags and by now completely forgot the company who made them. The only thing I can really recall is it being made in Italy.

So, in this outfit I have the lace top over top of a tank top in which the trim is peaking out from the bust line. The skirt is a plain black jersey skirt. For the shoes I wore a pair of ComfortSmart sandals, which I got in the kids section of Walmart (my feet are small... hush!). I probably should've made up my toes, but this is me and how I dress, and painted toes are something I very very seldom do. Why? Too lazy I suppose after attempting to work with my hair and doing make-up.

Accessories include: a rosary I partially made, and a black flower headband I procured at a dollar store. Make up was done with deeper tones, using #58 Black shadow by Annabelle, clockwork orange inspired eye liner; Black Out by Annabelle and lips are Red Carpet Glam 73579 everlasting lipstick by Lise Watier.

And just for the hell of it, some over-filtered-glam shots!

So... goth or not?


Freakshow Films: Cannabalistic & Beautiful.

I love movies. I especially love movies that are twisted, bizarre... and foreign. Every so often I find a gem that I must simply buy and put in the prized section of my movie library-- and when I do, I always want to share it!

Today on my first movie post, I bequeath my two latest treasures:

First up is my favorite of the two, starring one of my favorite French actors Dominique Pinon-- Delicatessen.

Written & directed by Marc Caro (known for The City of Lost Children) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (known for Amelie)... movies which are also part of my illustrious cinematic gem collection.

It's a story about a ex-circus performer looking for work in a post-apocalyptic world where food is scarce and people have turned to cannibalism. He finds work as a maintenance man at a complex where the owner of the building, a heartless tyrant, is also the owner and butcher at the meat shop "Delicatessen".
The owner is renowned in the complex for acquiring the "meat" for the shop from his drifter employees, and unfairly charges the residents grain and valuables for it. A love story between the main character and the owner's daughter unfolds amidst funny and bizarre scenarios among the residents.

As to be expected of these two awesome directors, it was beautifully shot. It has no pointless gore fillers, but it's chock full of black comedy.

Next on the chopping block: Dumplings starring Pauline Lau and Bai Ling, directed by Fruit Chan and written by Lillian Lee.

This equally bizarre movie follows the story of a washed up actress who is losing her husband to a younger woman, and in this story will do literally anything to fight the consequences of time to win him back. And so her desperate search to turn back the clock leads her to Aunt Mei, a 50-something year old woman who appears to be in her 30's-- which she claims is the result of the special "ingredient" in her homemade dumplings.

I find that this movie lacked a bit in acting, but it totally made up for it by the way it was shot. And unlike Delicatessen, there are parts (many in fact) that aren't for the soft of heart; Aunt Mei procures her "ingredient" in the pediatric ward of a hospital, and there are no parts intentionally shot to instill laughter (but if you're truly twisted, then you'll find a way, anyway).

(I couldn't find a good one Youtube)

Happy movie night!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: My Tatting Education Progress

Tatting Shuttle

Not so recently I've began teaching myself through booklets, the occasional fuzzy how-to you-tube video, and LOTS of trial and error, the intricate art of tatted lace. I haven't found a comprehensive book with lots of pictures that contains more than the 30 paged booklets I have that briefly explain tatting.
It's aggravating because I have many many questions and so few answers.

I've felt that my progress has been steady, at least; being able to complete the smallest semblances of something pretty.

The biggest issue I am having difficulty with is knowing when the shuttle runs out of thread, and how to continue with a chain, picot, or unworked space once I reload it.

Another issue I have, but not quite as frustrating, is gauging the size of the picots and unworked spaces-- as you can see. It's all uneven and wonky looking, but this is something that is easily caught on as I progress.

"Unworked" thread are the threads which are single and don't have anything on them-- they are the bottom wonky loops

Picot(s) are the loops that create the lace effect in tatting; some are functional, and used to connect chains and circles.

I find it surprising that the patterns in tatting are extremely simple to follow; I am usually daunted by patterns in knitting, crochet and even needlepoint.
My hope is that by the end of this, I'll be making appliques for all my sewing and jewelry making needs... as well as some coaster-doilies for my house-- lots of glass and fine wood table tops all over here.

 All images and designs copyright Madame Mari Mortem©. Do not copy or reproduce without the explicit consent of the owner.

Monthly Homework assignment: Things I can't live without

A meme started by The Dancing Maenad in which we list inanimate things we simply cannot live without.

This is quite difficult for me to keep short since my sanity requires a lot, sadly... I wouldn't call myself A.D.H.D. but it's been suggested by some doctors I've consulted that I try medication to soothe my easily frazzled nerves. I am very reluctant in taking mood changing medications-- and so my quest for peace of mind leads me to the things I cannot live without...

1. Music
My mp3 has seen better days.
 Music is as important to the mind as water is to our bodies. So naturally, nearly everyone who makes up their list has it on there. Music helps me in my most horrid of anxiety lapses, and I constantly need it if I am venturing out anywhere without someone or meeting new people (I hum music if I couldn't pop in my mp3 in a situation).
It has certainly been a fundamental part of feeling normal for me, and is number one on my list.

Busy minds stay out of trouble

2. My crafting supply

Another way I keep anxiety at bay is if I simply preoccupy my mind away from the troubling source. I carry at least one of many small, easily packable objects and projects. In the picture I've included: a pair of knitting needles & ball of yarn, a crochet hook, an embroidery loop, a pair pliers, french knitter tube, tatting shuttle, sewing needle, my notebook and sketch book. (not shown: my gaming handhelds, travel sewing machine, travel sewing kit and beads for beading). But really I cannot imagine being without my craft room in its entirety.

3. Moisturizers
 I am consistently battling with this portion of my personality; always on the edge of panic.  I cannot function peacefully if I am not properly moisturized, body, hands, lip and eyes. Add to the fact that it must smell nice to me, or I will still be slightly antsy.

And finally...

4. My make-up bag and all its contents
This is the last item because in all honesty I can live without it, but it's still important enough that it's one of the top things I must pack.

So there you have it.
The things I cannot live without.

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