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Category: Fun

List Of Items That I Use In DIY Projects

Photo of one of my boot boxes filled with DIY materials that I use for projects.

I originally shared this over in several goth communities on Reddit but I thought that my darklings who read this blog was also appreciate it.

I do a lot of DIY projects. I get my ideas from films, dark clothing websites, Etsy and even Vogue magazine. Don’t ever dismiss something outright as inspiration because there are techniques that you can glean just from the construction of ‘regular’ clothing. I actually taught myself how to dart clothing and I was able to make two different corsets fit my chest better by doing that technique.

Personally, I have never felt comfortable using a sewing machine so I hand sew everything. That may sound daunting but once you practice enough it can be done fairly quickly. All clothing was hand sewn before the invention of the sewing machine, so if somebody stitched a hem by candlelight you can also do it! Honest! All it takes is some practice.

With all of that being said I have two boot boxes filled with the supplies that I use in DIY projects. I have purchased most of them from Etsy. That website is a treasure trove of DIY supplies. I will not name the companies I have bought from because it costs a fortune to ship items across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans right now. Always buy from stores on Etsy that are on, or near, the same continent that you live on. Almost all of my items come from the UK or the EU.

I hope this inspires you to start some DIY projects because it is a lot of fun and you end up with an item that is uniquely yours.

STUDS/SPIKES There are a ton of stores on Etsy that sell these and most of the time they are very affordable. They even come in colors which you don’t actually see on most ready made studded and spiked items. I own a wide variety of them: green pyramids, black pyramids, silver pyramids, skulls, silver studs, black studs,etc… Some Etsy stores also sell beginner kits that include instructions and tools. I also own an awl to punch through leather and a flat headed tool for pushing the ends of them down upon the object.

FISHNET I bought multi-packs of fishnet tights in different colors and with holes of different sizes. These can be used to make fishnet shirts. Just cut out the crotch, put it over you head, put the legs on your arms and make holes for your fingers. A much cheaper option than paying £30 for a ready-made fishnet shirt. I also will be using them in other projects, such as layering a jacket collar with it, and safety-pinning it to the sleeves of a jacket.

Some of the many different pairs of fishnet tights that I have for my DIY projects.

NEEDLES AND THREAD You can get small kits that include different colors of thread, multiple sizes of needles, thread rippers, small scissors, measuring tape, etc… I personally always double my thread when I hand-sew anything because it will guarantee that the object will stay together rather than rip easily.

A GOOD PAIR OF SCISSORS Those small scissors that come in a kit are okay for cutting thread but you are going to need a good pair of scissors if you want to cut material. You can get decent ones for fairly cheap.

PATCHES Whenever I see a patch I like I buy it and add it to my collection because I know that I will use it in a project in the future. Many dark clothing sites, and other online alternative stores, will quite frequently have them on sale. However, I have bought most of mine from, you guessed it, Etsy. I have my own post-apocalyptic/dystopian goth kind of style going on and Etsy is a treasure trove filled with patches from films such as Terminator, Blade Runner and They Live. You can find band, horror and anything else you like on there. If you are more brave you can even make your own with fabric paint.

ACRYLIC PAINT, BRUSHES, AND STENCILS An acrylic type paint is what you should use on leather and pleather materials. I bought a kit by Angelus specifically for leather and pleather. You can also use just regular acrylic paint, whatever brand you like the best. I also have some stencils of things such as mushroom clouds and pandemic symbols. You can find a lot of them on Etsy, or you can make your own stencils out of cardstock.

BLEACH PENS AND FABRIC PAINT Bleach pens are seriously awesome because you can either stencil or freehand designs onto any fabric object. They were a game changer for me! Fabric paints are very cool as well. Using them is an easy way to instantly change the look of an object.

FABRIC SCRAPS I never throw away any fabric that I cut off of clothing. The reason being is that you never know what you can use it for in the future.

HALLOWEEN RIBBON I live in the UK where Halloween isn’t as popular as it is in the US. I spent my first 40 years in the US and Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. Whenever I see Halloween themed ribbon on sale online I buy it and add it to my stash, because I know that I will use it in my hair or on an item.

SAFETY PINS You can buy boxes of different sizes or packs of the sizes that you really like. I use them to attach items or as decoration on items.

SPOOKY KEYCHAINS I attach these to zipper pulls, belts, purses,etc… You can buy these in bulk for fairly cheap.

That’s all for now. You do not need a lot of money to do DIY projects. Just buy a little here and a little there and soon you will have a whole collection of things you can creatively use.

That Time Jack Grisham Of TSOL Pulled Me Onstage To Sing Part Of Code Blue

Jack is on the right wearing the glove. This must have been taken around the time I saw them because he was dressed the same.

The first time I ever heard TSOL’s music was when I was at a friend’s house watching the early 80’s punk film Suburbia. I’m pretty sure it was in late 1989 because I remember being just out of high school. Watching Suburbia was a right of passage if you were any kind of weirdo back then.

I love the film because there were some parts of it that were very relatable, such as metalheads, and other general assholes, who would give you shit even though you were just walking down the street, or shopping, minding your own business. Sure, the acting is pretty atrocious, but that is what makes it a cool film. Most of the actors were actual punks so they looked and acted more real than say the people in Return Of The Living Dead. Also love that film but one of the reasons why it’s so funny is because of the shit they got wrong in it.

With all of that being said the scene that really pulled me into the film and got to me on a deeper level was when TSOL took the stage at the club and started singing Darker My Love. At that time I was already listening to goth and punk music and that song spun the genres together into a sound that really hit me hard in a good way. I’m not going to lie, Jack Grisham was also really easy on the eyes! That same week I bought the soundtrack of the film, Dance With Me and Beneath The Shadows. Needless to say I was hooked. Watch it below.

The only sad aspect to all of this was by the time I discovered them Jack had left the band and without his presence they had morphed into a hair metal band; a music genre that I generally disliked. In 1999 the original members sued the hair metal singer for the rights to the band name, and for the right to perform their older songs. They won, and afterwards started touring again.

In 2001 I had just left my ex-husband so I was somewhat scantily dressed when I went to see them play at The Cactus Club in San Jose. It was a cool venue and I had seen 7 Seconds, Christian Death and some other bands there in the past. When TSOL started playing I was sitting on some stairs that were attached to the left of the stage. I was was only a couple of feet from the band so when Jack complained about the tour bus getting a parking ticket I took some change out of my purse and handed it to him. He gave a sarcastic chuckle, and soon afterwards came the familiar intro to Code Blue. The audience went really nuts and everybody was singing it together. Jack grabbed me and a guy and motioned us to get in front of the mic and sing some of the lines. I don’t have the greatest voice but I knew all of the lines and gave it my all! I had such a blast and after the show I shook Jack’s hand and thanked him. To this day I still smile when I think of that show, because it’s not every day that you get to sing a song about necrophilia with one of your favourite bands!

The song Code Blue.

My Latest DIY Project : A Post-Apocalyptic Themed Denim Jacket

I’m ready for the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

As you can tell from the title of this blog I love anything post-apcalyptic or dystopian themed. I already have my post-apocalyptic pleather jacket but I felt like I needed something for warmer weather. Hence this jacket was born!!

I first featured this jacket back in November. Due to being constantly tired from MS I didn’t touch it for a while. Thanks to a new med I am taking I have way more energy so that I can finally finish this project. Hooray!

Before I get any deeper into this I would like it to be known that I bought this jacket in the clearance section of Killstar’s website. It cost about £30 and it has grommet work and lacing on the sleeves. I’ve never done grommet work so I thought it would be better for me to purchase this rather than attempt it myself. I definitely could have done the ripping and webbing. However, I have done so much to this jacket that it doesn’t look like it’s from Killstar. I find absolutely nothing wrong with buying clearance items from ‘darkly inclined’ clothing sites and doing DIY projects with them. Not everybody lives near thrift stores or can physically get to them. The people who go on and on about how you have to get everything from thrift stores are full of shit.

Front of the jacket.

Here is the list of things I have done to this jacket.

  • First thing I did was browse Etsy for post-apocalyptic themed patches. No matter what kind of jacket you want to do you will find associated patches on that site. Personally, I always sew patches on rather than iron them. Mainly because an iron on patch can curl up more easily than one that is sewn. Using a double thread instead of a single one is also advised. Some people use dental floss, but I have never felt the need to do it that way.
  • I also purchased all of my pins from Etsy. I have more nice enamel pins but they tend to come off more easily than regular pins in my experience. I have way more pins than this but I don’t want the jacket to look too busy. I think jackets look better when they aren’t cluttered.

Close up of front of jacket.
  • I used tools to put on the skull studs that adorn the bottom hem of the jacket. Again, I bought the studs and tools on Etsy. Way back when I would use the point of a knife to stud a jacket, but I wouldn’t recommend that! An awl makes it so much more easy. I also have some pyramid and cone studs that I may use on the jacket. In particular some pyramid ones that are the colour of green toxic sludge.
  • I put large safety pins on either side of the bottom of the jacket and hung some spooky keyrings from them. They are visible in the top photo. I got the keychains off of Etsy, of course. I might put one on the front but haven’t decided yet.

I’ve had a lot of fun working on this jacket and I hope it inspires you. Remember, always work on projects that you like, not what somebody dictates to you. Think for yourself.

My Ten Favourite Disco, Soul And Funk Songs from the 70’s-80’s Part One

I make so secret on social media about having a huge fondness for disco, soul and funk coming out of the 70’s and 80’s. I grew up during those decades so I came of age while this music was being played on the radio. Not surprisingly it really means a lot to me and I will never turn my back on it. This list is not exhaustive and is in no particular order since my very favourite songs from these genres fluctuates at times. Some songs are partially in one of the genres and some are in several.

DONNA SUMMER – I FEEL LOVE (1977)

This a very pioneering song that merged disco beats with pure electronic music. I love Donna Summer’s vocals so much in this because she weaves her voice among the beats not overwhelming them. It’s a perfect pairing that still sounds futuristic even though it was made about forty-five years ago.

MARY JANE GIRLS – IN MY HOUSE (1985)

The Mary Jane Girls was a group formed by Rick James, who wrote their songs and produced their recordings. I remember watching this video on MTV and thinking that they looked very cool, and that the song had a cool beat. It’s really fun to sing along with!

PRINCE – CONTROVERSY (1981)

I love the hell out of Prince, especially his work from Purple Rain backwards. This is hands down my favourite song of his because it has such a deep funky beat to it. Plus the lyrics are very political! When you think about it the man was brave as hell to make this song, so I will respect and celebrate him by dancing like crazy to it!

ISAAC HAYS – THEME FROM SHAFT (1971)

Probably the funkiest theme song ever made! If this song doesn’t make you want to dance then you should go see a doctor because you are probably dead. If you have never seen the movie I command you to go see it now!

THE GAP BAND – YOU DROPPED A BOMB ON ME (1982)

I love The Gap Band and this is my favourite song by them. Everything about the song is so cool! The groove, the vocals and the bomb dropping effects come together to form a perfect dance tune! This is so 80’s Cold War that it reminds me of when I first saw The Day After. Hmmmmm…….this could have a strange connection as to why I love post-apocalyptic/dystopian themed films so much.

ANITA WARD – RING MY BELL (1979)

I distinctly remember doing some roller disco to this song. That’s right, I used to roller skate to disco music in Golden Gate Park when I was a kid, which means I was very cool and could actually skate! I haven’t skated in over thirty years so I would probably now break an ankle, but if I could this would be the first song I would choose because it’s fun!

EDWIN STARR – WAR (1970)

This was made the year before I was born but I distinctly remember this song from when I was a kid. I was raised on anti-war music so this song really ties into my childhood of learning about how wrong the Vietnam War was. This is the most political song on my list and its message still stands today. War is fought by the common man, and what is it good for? Nothing. This song will get you emotional, so if you are feeling too down to listen to it I understand.

CHAKA KHAN – I FEEL FOR YOU (1984)

Guess who originally wrote and performed this song in 1979? Prince! That is part of the reason why this song is so cool. The other reason why? Chaka Khan’s voice is really stellar! The woman can sing like hell! Plus, the rapping portion of the song, done by Grandmaster Melle Mel, is fun. If you can breakdance you should be doing it to this song!

DEBBIE DEB – LOOKOUT WEEKEND (1984)

When I would go to high school dances in 85-86 this was one of the only songs that I actually liked. Mostly because it has a cool beat and the laser-ray sounds are pretty cool and dorky at the same time. This song lives in a total 80’s time capsule along with neon clothing and perms…both of which I never had! *proud*

KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND – THAT’S THE WAY I LIKE IT (1975)

This is such a fun band! They made so much cool music that it was hard picking my favourite song out of the bunch. I finally chose this one because the female vocals add some extra oomph to it that inches it over the cliff for me. Their music was played constantly in the 70’s, so I knew the music before I knew who they were. If you have never heard their name, and you’re older like me, I guarantee you will recognise quite a few of their songs.

There is no way I could fit all of my favourite songs of these genres in one post so there will be a part two later this week. Get on down and boogie!!!!!

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