Thursday, January 31, 2019

Getting A Tattoo

This is a post I've wanted to do for a good while, but never got around to it. I got reminded of it the other day, so I sat down and wrote down everything I could remember that is significant, and it actually ended up being a whole lot!
Getting a tattoo is kind of a big deal, especially if it's your first! If you're reading this and planning on getting your first tattoo, congratulations! I hope I can help you out. For the rest of you, maybe there are some things you didn't know, or just need a refresher if it's been a while since your last (it's been about 2,5 years since my last one, gah!). Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Why do you want a tattoo? In my case, all of mine mean something to me, represent certain times of my life or interests, in addition to decorating myself with beautiful artwork. It can be many reasons, and it doesn't have to be a long sobstory that you see on TV shows. Do whatever you want! I emphasize YOU, cause this will be on YOUR body for the rest of your life. Don't do it because all your friends are doing it or because it's the cool trend now. It's your body, your choice.

Get an idea of what you want. Find inspiration pictures you can bring to the studio, or even draw it yourself if you can.
Make sure that this is something you really want. Maybe put the idea aside for a while - this could be months, or even years. You can hang it up somewhere you would see it every day, or put it as the background photo on your phone or computer. Depending on the placement, it's likely you will see it every day for the rest of your life.
Speaking of placement, get an idea of that too. Consider how visible it will be, and how that might possibly affect your life. Tattoos on the face, neck and hands can for example cost you a job, so think about if it will affect your career. Visible tattoos can also prompt comments from friends, family and even strangers - sometimes they even want to touch them too! Which is especially annoying when they're fresh, so be prepared for that if you get it somewhere visible. Certain placements can also be very annoying during the healing process, so that's also something to keep in mind. If you get a tattoo on your back for example, make sure you have someone to help you take care of it. Some areas are also more prone to fading, especially the hands and feet.

Find the right artist. When you know what you want, find an artist with a style that you like. Check out your local studios - They usually have portfolios for each artist on Facebook or Instagram. If you can't find any locally, keep your eyes peeled for tattoo conventions or guest artists at your local studios. If that doesn't work out either, consider traveling! Or rather, consider getting a tattoo if you're planning a trip. It will be a great memory, and I think it's pretty cool to have ink done in different places in the world! I've been tattooed in Norway, The Philippines and The United States. Two I got in the latter countries are also linked to the meanings of the tattoos.
And please don't copy other people's tattoos. Serious artists will refuse to do it. Tattoos should be specifically designed for you by your artist.

This might go without saying, but I'll include it just in case. Make sure that the studio is a proper one. Now here it's pretty unlikely they would even be in business if they didn't have their shit together, but that might not be the case in other places. Most likely you should be able to ask for certification from a health department (or something like that) - Usually that would be hanging on their wall. They should have portfolios, contracts for customers to sign, single-use equipment and be clean - It should smell like a dentist's office! I hate that smell myself, but I know that it at least means they're clean.

Save up. Tattoos aren't cheap. And they shouldn't be! You're getting quality work that will last for the rest of your life - Maybe even longer if your skin gets preserved very well after you die! You get what you pay for; if it's cheap, it will definitely look cheap. I'm sure everyone has seen photos of really bad tattoos online, and you don't wanna end up on one of those compilations. Or even worse; the cousin of an aquaintance's sister does tattoos from their living room with unsanitary equipment, and you can end up catching a life-threatening disease. So you definitely don't want a bargain price.
If it's a bigger piece, make sure you have money put aside for the tattoo in advance.
Go to the studio, bring your inspiration pictures and talk to the artist you've chosen. They can then let you know how long it will take, an estimate price, and when they are available to do it. A lot of artists have waiting lists, so don't expect to get an appointment straight away. I think it's a good thing anyway, cause when you get an estimate price, you can make sure you have the money set aside - if you estimated too little, you have time to save up some more.
Oh, and I know other countries have tipping culture, but I can't really tell you what's the normal thing there. But keep it in mind!

Before you go in, make sure you've slept well, eaten and showered. If your body is in tiptop shape, you can deal with it better. It's also courteous towards your tattoo artist. And don't drink alcohol the night before! That will just make you bleed more. Try not to drink coffee or energy drinks either, as they make you more sensitive to pain. Also keep in mind being on your period does the same.
Consider the placement of the tattoo when you get dressed that day (and possibly during the healing process). The tattoo artist needs to access that body part, so wear a tank top / short sleeves, shorts or whatever. This could also mean not wearing a bra if that affects the area. I also recommend loose clothing in softer fabrics so it doesn't irritate the fresh tattoo.
Bring some snacks and maybe a blanket if the studio is chilly. If you're doing a bigger piece, you can bring stuff to keep you entertained throughout the day. Remember to bring a form of ID! You will probably be given a contract to read and sign if you haven't already. You also have to wait for your artist to customize the design and create a stencil. When you've figured out the exact placement, then you can begin!

Will it hurt? Some areas hurt more than others, but it also depends on your pain tolerance. I guess it feels like a bee sting or something, but what I find worse is that after a while, your skin will get pretty tender. If you sit there long enough, even the wiping won't feel good anymore. I don't think arms hurt at all, my thigh piece was painful since it took 6 hours, and ribs definitely hurt. Most people will agree that it's worth it (hey, giving birth hurts too), it's only temporary, and it will last for the rest of your life. But some people can't take it, so if you don't deal with pain very well, consider getting it on a different body part or a smaller size. Talk to your tattoo artist, they can definitely help you out. You can often also get a numbing cream, but then you have to come in earlier so it has time to work.

Aftercare: Listen to what your artist tells you. Usually they'll give you a piece of paper with instructions. Go out and buy the products they recommend (some will even give you samples). Take off the plastic and wash it gently at the time your artist has told you, and apply cream. It's important that you don't scratch it or pick at the scabs! It's a fresh wound, and if you don't take care of it, it won't heal properly. If you fuck it up because of bad aftercare, your artist will probably charge to fix it. It's normal for the tattoo to at least look like it's fading, as the scabs are often darker, since there's often excess ink that sheds off. But if you DO lose color, your artist should be able to refill that with no extra cost within a set time. Check with your studio on what policy they have on this.
Don't go into swimming pools (and the like) or the sun for the first period after you get it, to prevent infection and fading. After it's healed it should be fine, but I recommend using sunscreen on your tattoos to keep them looking vibrant for as long as possible. One thing to keep in mind is that if you're planning a summer vacation, or just want to be able to not have it covered up in summer, it would be best to get the tattoo during the other seasons.

What if you regret it? Oh, we've all heard this one, usually from people who don't have them. But it does happen. Even though you were super sure about it before you got it, everyone changes over time. Tons of laser removal businesses have popped up in recent years because of this, and they're making a lot of money. If you want to go down that route, be prepared that getting a tattoo removed is even more painful and expensive than getting it. It's not certain that they will disappear completely either. So maybe consider a cover-up.

Some of this stuff can also apply to other types of body modification, even though they're not permanent. You're still modifying your body, and spending money doing it. So make sure you really want it and take care of it! But for stuff other than tattoos, it's usually no problem removing it.

That's all I've got! I'm by no means an expert, but I'm passionate about body modifications, and did my research before getting them. This post has also been proofread by a tattoo apprentice friend of mine (Check out her Instagram!), and she added some things too. If you've read this, congratulations! You've made a good choice. Hope you've learned something and that you'll be prepared, and good luck with your new tattoo! If you wanna read the stories behind my tattoos, click here!

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Perfect Ripped Pantyhose... Shirt!

Hey! I just made this top out of some ripped pantyhose, and wanted to show it off! I really loved how it turned out. I thought it wasn't ''enough'' to make a post about, but then I thought I could share some fun techniques and tools to achieve the look with - and ideas for repurposing pantyhose / tights.

This is what they looked like before. I think I ripped them when I was around 17, so they've held up for a long time! But the holes had gotten very big around the thighs. I really liked the look of them though! So I decided to try it on as a top and see if it worked that way. I got Simen to help me cut out the crotch and the feet at an appropriate length, and then I stretched a hole for my finger in one of the sleeves. I think it looks great! It fits my torso pretty well, and actually is an okay length - I didn't think it would be a full-length top, since it wasn't that highwaisted.

Some other ripped tights
(The shirt could have been tights, but it actually isn't LOL)
I realized that everyone has different tools and techniques to rip up stockings, so I decided to make this post and share some of them! If you have the patience, you can just wear them and wait until they start to run and rip by themselves. But if you don't, you could always speed up the process! You can rip them by hand too, or combine that with any of the tools below.

  • Scissors
  • Fork
  • Cigarettes
  • Bag cutter
  • A rock
  • Seam picker
  • Nail scissors
  • Serrated knife

This is the first time I've made a pantyhose into a top. What I've done previously is if they rip open at the crotch, I cut off that entire part and wear them with a garter belt like in the photo above. If my toes start to poke out of them, I cut off the feet and wear them with socks. If both happen at the same time.. top it is, LOL! You can probably make them into arm''warmers'' too if that's your thing.

So that's it from me today! If you have any fun techniques or ideas for repurposing pantyhose, let me know in the comments!

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Dark Reign Of Gothic Rock by Dave Thompson Review

Read this with the book club on Gothy Discord as our second book.

It starts in 1977 with bands who were influential to the genre, but that I'm honestly not very interested in. But as it gets into post-punk, I was more interested. It goes all the way up to 2002, but the further into the book you go, less and less is mentioned. The first part (77-81) is about 70 pages, the second (82-84) about 50 pages and the third (86-2002) is about 70 pages. As you can tell, he talks A LOT about the early few years, but not very much later on - which is understandable, but I don't really see why the 90's and the first years of the new millennium was even included. Probably only because the book came out in 2002.

This book is pretty much just a chronological history of a select amount of bands - I can't even say it's from the goth genre, cause a bunch of other bands were mentioned, like the influential bands as I said earlier, metal, and even grunge (AKA just Nirvana). Don't really know why those were mentioned. There isn't that much insight into the bands, there were only a couple of things I didn't already know. Most of the information is just album releases, tour dates and places, and stuff probably taken from interviews. So this isn't what I would have wanted from a book like this. I like reading stories told by the bands themselves that aren't widely known, stuff like that. Not things I could easily look up on wikipedia or hear from any other fan.

At the start of every chapter there is a big photo, and the middle has that classic glossy insert of band photos - though those are also in black and white, and like every other music book it interrupts a chapter. Three of the featured photos in the book were almost the same photo of Robert Smith, which I found a little weird.

The book ends with an ACTUAL chronological list of releases, concerts, and some other stuff - so basically the whole book summed up into 40 pages. I didn't bother actually reading it, but it looks like there too he only picked a few bands, which is kind of a shame. It's mostly just the biggest bands.

So this book is probably better for people who are new fans of goth rock, and don't know that much about the (big) bands and the (early) history of the goth scene. But it's honestly not THAT engaging to read, so I guess you'd have to be REALLY interested in learning.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Listen by Liya Review

Today I will be reviewing the new EP from darkwave / synthpop / electronic artist Liya! She's from Tel-Aviv, Israel - I think it's really cool that this kind of music comes from there! Let's jump into it!

A sampler of the songs on the EP!

The EP starts off with Holding On, with a great atmosphere with a good beat, dancy synth and then Liya's beautiful voice. The chorus gives a more pop vibe, but still keeps that dark dance atmosphere. She's pretty much a poppier Birthday Massacre! I could easily see this becoming a hit with the catchy chorus! Might be listening to this on repeat for a while, haha.

The next song No Meaning is definitely darker, and immediately reminds me of The Birthday Massacre! Same with Always About You. The chorus of it gives me chills! I love her voice. The ending of it is really cool too.

Then we have the title track Listen. It's super unique, starts off with a more industrial sound and trickling water, then the beat changes and gives more of an EBM vibe. Really cool for a woman to make this kind of music! The industrial and EBM scenes are way too male dominated, and even sexist and misogynistic at times. We need more artists like this!

Click here for all the places you can listen to and buy the EP.
You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

If you want to check out more new and obscure dark music, check out Obscura Undead, where I also do reviews! If you have any requests for albums to review (new or old), I'd be happy to hear them!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Joy Division Unknown Pleasures Dr. Martens!

I'm super excited to show you my new shoes! I don't think I've been this obsessed over a pair of shoes before. I have a bunch of Demonias and such, and they're cool, but these... oh my god.

I think these came out last year, along with a couple of New Order ones. I think I checked for my size when I saw them, but they probably didn't have them, since I forgot all about it after that.
But during the holidays my brother-in-law was looking for new shoes, and while he was trying on some shoes, I decided to try some on too. I saw a pair of docs and tried on a 36 (UK3) - and they fit like a dream! I'm actually smaller than that, but they actually fit, even at the calf. Then I remembered the Joy Division ones, and checked the website - they had my size! The price was a little steep though. 190€ - but on the UK site they were 150£, wtf.

Then I waited a couple of days - it was probably boxing day when I saw that they had a sale! They were only 105£! So I got an english friend to order them for me. I wish the story had ended there.
A week later my friend told me that she got an email saying that they fucked up and didn't have them in stock after all - and got the money back. Which is really weird, cause they had size 3 for at least another day and 5 for at least two days after I ordered. My only option then was Zalando, but there they were also 190€. I think that's a little much for shoes that aren't that fancy! But after a few days of considering, I thought that here docs cost 170€ anyway, what's another 20€ then? So I caved in when I saw they only had 2 left in stock in 36. I also signed up for Zalando's newsletter, and got 10% off! The refund was still in my Paypal account so I only ended up paying 20€ in that transaction, lol.

I absolutely love them! These are actually my first pair of docs. I've always thought they were too simple and expensive, but lately my 3 year old everyday ankle boots have gotten a little worn (they were less than 20€ anyway), so I wanted to get myself a pair. This pair is a 1460, so apparently the original Dr. Martens boot! Making it with an Unknown Pleasures print, and I was sold! I seriously need to stop with all the Unknown Pleasures print now. Hear me now; from now on, ONLY OTHER Joy Division prints! I would love Love Will Tear Us Apart, Closer or something else. I will probably break that promise, but I'm gonna try my hardest not to!

Comment below: Joy Division or New Order?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Thornthwaite Inheritance by Gareth P. Jones Review

When I saw this I immediately thought of A Series Of Unfortunate Events and The Addams Family, which I both loved as a kid - and still do! So I HAD to read this.

Since it is a kid's book it's super easy to read and has very short chapters, and tons of cliffhangers that would make children go crazy.

Lorelli and Ovid Thornthwaite are 13 year old orphan twins who live in their old mansion with their servants, secluded from everyone else. Their entire lives they've tried to kill each other with creative plots, but on their 13th birthday they decide to have a truce. But the murder attempts still continue...

There are so many twists and turns, especially towards the end, which maybe a little too much for children to keep up with.
***SPOILER ALERT*** (mark to read)
But one thing that bothered me at the end which made me turn back to the beginning and check; It was said that the phone call that killed their mother was made by a man calling his wife to warn her about the storm, and that he didn't know the Thornthwaites at all - but that wasn't true when everything was revealed at the end.

I will definitely read the next book in the series! I would definitely recommend this for spooky kids, from about 10 and up.

You can buy it for a very low price here!

Thursday, January 10, 2019


Hey everyone, and happy new year! I'm super late with this, but I've been stuck in vacation mode - and a bunch of books. Time to get my ass in gear and tell you about the holidays!

All the beers I bought in preparation for the holidays

Simen's parents had painted their kitchen black since we were there last! I definitely approve.

I decorated gingerbread cookies for the first time!

My pig was awarded the best one :D

The tree! Every time I've posted a photo of it people absolutely loved it. So for those who haven't seen it before, here you go! A handmade tree which reminds me of A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Opened this gift early since my mom completely spoiled it, hahah.
And that way I could use it for holiday looks! It's so gorgeous!

Such an awesome thrift store find.

On little yule eve we had some extended family over, and after dinner we played the annual gift game where we roll dice and fight for small presents. My best wins were fuzzy cute socks!
Afterwards we watched Dinner For One / Der 90. Geburtstag as usual - while drinking the 4 beers I had bought that was inspired by it!

Disney IS xmas.

Decided to wear my national costume for xmas eve!
Not many people do that, but I want to wear mine as often as I can!

My hair seriously makes me look taller, hahah.

Beautiful books Simen got me!

Look for christmas day

Most of the days we all just took it easy. I caught up on some reading since I had been too busy to that all of november and december, and completed my GoodReads challenge of 65 books! Simen's mom had also bought a 3000 piece puzzle that we all contributed to. We got pretty far! In the evenings we played a lot of games, which I'm not used to, but still very fun.

On the 27th, after some shopping, we went far out into no-man's-land to try an escape room for the first time. Simen's mom had chosen the nightmare room, which was an asylum-themed room. At first we struggled a bit to get used to the idea, but after that we quickly worked together and used our personal strengths to solve all the puzzles - and finished it with 12 minutes to spare! And the room had photos of Stefan Ackermann of Das Ich as the seven deadly sins! The images were split in two, and located in different drawers and stuff that we had to unlock and then put together. The numbered images of him where he looks into the camera gave us a code for another padlock. Pretty cool! I definitely want to do it again. I know there are escape rooms here, and I recently found out that my old band's rehearsal place has been turned into one.

The last day before we went home friends of Simen's family came over - they're practically family anyway. The holidays in Norway are very family oriented, but the later days people start creeping out of their homes and see friends too, if they are around. We had a lot of drinks and played this charades type game (luckily I got to try it a couple of days earlier), which was hilarious.

Some of the socks I won in the gift game! Love them!

Bonus gifts from Simen that game late!

I thought I was going to Hogwarts, but alas.
Lillemie had sent me a gift certificate!
If you like Pusheen, cute stuff and crafts, check it out!

The day after we got home (god, our apartment was so cold), we went to my parents. I had visited them two days before we left to help decorate their tree - and my mom got a great shot of me and my sister! And yes, that's a pumpkin t-shirt, cause I'm awesome like that.

I spent new year's eve with some friends, and last week my friend Mari also had her birthday, so we gathered again last weekend to celebrate! And the other day I spent 3 hours at the hospital being screened for a study I'm going to participate in for a new eczema medication. They took TEN vials of my blood! I don't know how I survived that. I must have made some vampire REALLY happy. So after that I bought myself some books as a prize! Fittingly one of them was Dracul by Dacre Stoker.
Yesterday I went shopping with a friend, and today me and Simen had a dinner date.

Hope you've had a wonderful yuletide and start of the new year! I'm gonna try to get my ass back into society, and not just hide away in books, haha. Until next time, how about you check out my updated Best Of page and review some of our favorite posts from last year? Talk to you soon!
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