Monday, 31 January 2011

Yo, ho, haul together, hoist the colors high

♫ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Original Soundtrack –
I don't think now is the best time

I truly feel like writing about my love of pirates.

Sure my "feelings" are highly romanticized, but so are the legends and stories, I guess. :D But I'm not denying it, I am a romanticist.

I tend to say that if I cannot maintain myself as a graphic designer, I will become a pirate. At the moment I am, however, doing design for a living... Nevertheless, I'm always prepared to board.

I live in a piratey hole, I guess. That photo looks awkward, but yes, it's my front door. It looks like a warehouse door, I know. That why those friends who've never been here before have trouble finding the right door. Or not anymore, since I can tell them to look for the Jolly Roger. However, I pity every courier who has to come knocking on my door...
I have to thank my neighbourhood's kids for giving me the idea to make such a flag. Thanks to them, it suddenly felt like an obvious idea – though I wonder why I didn't come up with that earlier, given that I had spent years wondering how to block that window (it had a blank white curtain for three years) and also given that I've liked pirates for long...
And how did they do that? One afternoon, two small boys knocked on my door. I went to open, and they totally froze, not saying anything for a while, until the other one asked; "do you have a ring?" I was very, very dumbfounded, not understanding what on earth they were actually after. I tried to ask though, but they figured I couldn't answer their question in a satisfactory way, so they left without telling me what was going on. After that, they came to spy on me through my open window. Now I call them treasure hunters.

Despite my interest, I hadn't seen Pirates of the Caribbean movies until this week. Now I watched all of them, and now I feel all piratey. Yarr.

The movies were all entertaining and nice. However, such piratey language is occasionally a bit difficult to follow... :/ Audiovisually stunning, too. That's why I'm listening to the soundtrack now, and oh, the boats – what they looked like! And everything else too, but I was particularly fascinated by the Flying Dutchman. Oh so epic...

I feel like drawing piratey images again...

Pirates sure have made my life epic in other ways too. Roughly a year ago, a friend had a housewarming-costume-party, and I decided to dress up as a pirate. With my souvenir sword, my piratey pants from Baby, the stars shine bright brand's collection Alice and the Pirates... and a pirate map of the city, tied to a bottle of rum as a housewarming gift, I sailed there.

That map could have turned out much better, but I made it completely with Photoshop, thus, the lines are not nice, lively and delicate. I also made it quickly. (The "real" places would be these: Ocean of Näsi = Näsijärvi, Gulf of Dead Women = Naistenlahti, Unholy Sea = Pyhäjärvi, Mountains of the Cursed Bishop = Pispalanharju.)

However, I had fun while working on that map, and I thought, probably even told a friend, how awesome it would be to get to make some pirate illustrations as a real commission.

A month passed, and I was contacted by one editor of a newspaper in which I had worked during a few summers. She asked if I could make an illustration for a newspaper article dealing with pirates. The deadline was a bit tough – I got the commission on one Wednesday midday, while I was at work, and the illustration was to be in their hands by Friday morning. However, I couldn't possibly say no. I spent two evenings, after days at work, drawing like a madman, but I had great fun, and I delivered the illustration on time. (And I slept quite a little.)

But like I said, I cannot say no to a commission of my dreams. Unfortunately, for some copyright reasons, I'm only showing the image like that... As the article dealt with modern piracy, swords have been replaced with assault rifles and sailing ships with, eh, tankers? I don't know about these marine things much, and despite my love of pirates, I'm not particularly much in love with seas or ships.

An acquaintance said my life resembles a movie because it was so absurd how I got that commission.

By the way, if the skulls in the illustration and in my curtain seem somehow similar, well, I can say, they are – I used the illustration sketch when I was painting that fabric.

Somehow my interest in steampunk goes well with piracy. Both give me a lot of creative ideas, for designs, drawings, interior, clothes...

And somehow, pirates never fail to fascinate me. :D In 2008, my absolute favourite group in the Eurovision Song Contest was – surprisingly – a band of pirates!

Pirates can also seem credible in bright colors. I've never seen anything else but this video of this children's TV show:
I wonder if I've now said everything I've got to say about pirates – for now, I'm rather sure this won't be over. Oh but no, I almost forgot, I dressed up as one on Halloween too. Or to be precise, on All Saints' Day, when a friend had a costume party. That time I drew a map by hand, but unfortunately, I have no evidence of it anymore as I gave it to the party hostess. But it turned out much better, being hand-made. I am aware that Facebook is available in pirate English as well, but I don't use it, don't know why... Maybe I truly should? So long – and until the next time – yarr! Follow my blog with Bloglovin'

Friday, 28 January 2011

Doctor, doctor, give me the cure!

Modern Talking – You can win if you want

Some time ago I came across an interesting post at The Steampunk Home, directing to an even more interesting post by Cathe Holden at

Vintage apothecary labels! I found those rather brilliant. There's something very fancy about vintage graphic design, and I could have created something similar by myself, but well... Would have I done that? Hardly. Although I pretty much am a graphic designer, I'm either too busy or lazy to do something like that. So, how perfect that someone did it for me.

I didn't have more than one spare glass jar to decorate, and it probably looks a bit out of place all alone, but I guess it looks better than an empty glass jar would, holding my stationery.

Click here to view the original post! Ms. Holden had also made some awesome towels with those labels, but I don't think it'd turn out good if I tried... I'm not exactly friends with sewing needles.

(I am also aware that the label I put on the jar should be in a bottle instead. Too bad I didn't have any!)

Now that I'm talking about graphic design... I could tell a funny occurrence I had at work yesterday. Our client wanted to have a diploma template made – which I didn't find particularly difficult – but nevertheless, I was given the client's sample of a diploma, which had obviously been looked up using the Google image search. Well, nothing special about its looks – an official diploma written in English and such... Then I actually read the text, and much to my own amusement, found out the diploma was obviously the only one ever awarded by an accredited American university in parapsychology. I also found it slightly ironic that our client's field is somewhat related to rescue / first aid.
So long!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

So I fell in love with an uncommonly gentle man

Waves Under Water – Serpents and the tree

I don't like Sundays. They usually turn out useless, as I wake up very late, but know I'd better go to bed relatively early. What could I try to do if I could comfortably be awake for only ten hours? No wait, I could try not to screw up my sleeping pattern during weekends, but that's no fuuuuuun... I guess it's somewhat alright to be inefficient every now and then. A friend and I tend to talk about Sunday angst, which basically means that you cannot enjoy your day off since you know the following day will be Monday. At worst, Sunday angst begins on Saturday, when you think that Monday is the day after tomorrow... I'm not saying that working is like hell, I just don't like early mornings – that's it.

Anyway. After watching Beetlejuice I had to entertain myself with another Tim Burton movie too. About the time for Edward Scissorhands too – I really had not seen it earlier, although I had wanted to. However, I'm lazy to do anything about the movies I'd like to see... It really took me this long, I should have watched it about twenty years ago. Okay well, at least ten years ago, maybe it wouldn't have been too good for me to watch it at the beginning of the 90's... However, I had seen lots of pictures of Edward, and I'd always been fascinated by his attire, and many sharp objects – such as scissors, knives and swords – are beautiful in their own right.

I've learnt that my opinions often differ from the masses, and thus, I was not certain at all that I would like Edward Scissorhands, although I know what kind of people usually like it. I was rather surprised to find out it really struck a chord with me. Johnny Depp has never stirred up strong emotions in me. I've seen him in only a few movies, thought he's okayish, rather flexible and such... But well, he did awesome job as Edward, making him so disarming.

I really liked the mansion in the movie, it was visually so stunning. All in all, a wonderful movie.

On Friday I decided to watch Coraline. I think I had even considered going to watch it in a movie theater, but I guess I forgot... The main reason for me wanting to watch it would be because it is an animation, another reason could be the director Henry Selick – who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas. I think there were some common aspects between the visuals in those two movies – I wonder if the art departments comprise same talents...

However, Coraline was a little disappointment. It was entertaining, nice, relatively interesting... But not fantastic. For some reason, I couldn't really root for any of the characters. I guess it was worth watching once, but maybe not twice...

I need to find more interesting movies with fantasy or macabre elements that are not full of gore horror... But I guess now I'll just go curl my hair. So long!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I've finally seen the exorcist...

Gary Moore – Over the hills and far away

I'm not a Monday girl. Yesterday was pretty frustrating. I felt like anyone could tell the day of the week by looking at me... A typical Monday morning I suppose: I put on a grey shirt in a hurry, then I notice my bra with a butterfly motif is showing through, then I grab a pinstriped vest to save the situation, but realize (once I've put it on already) that it's low-cut in such a way that it doesn't cover that part of the chest. And then, I have to hurry over to the bus stop. Being aware of the fact that the vest doesn't suit my skirt...
Maybe a tasty glass of absinthe-coloured apple soda at Café Europa with a friend was better than an average Monday.

Tuesday was better. I wasn't in such a hurry in the morning, didn't have a remarkable bad hair day and I figured out that my new skirt goes well with my relatively short Ashbury Heights T-shirt.

Sure you can disagree, but I personally liked being able to hide the hem of the shirt. I don't think I had a particularly creative day otherwise, just a regular work day. I would very much like to dress nicely every day as I really like it, but I'm bad at planning outfits ahead. Well – excluding special occasions, but I have a very, very hard time deciding my everyday clothes. I guess I don't give it any thought earlier than when I'm applying make-up in the morning... Results are like this.
I guess I look young? Girlish rather than feminine... The last time someone guessed my age they said sixteen. More than half a decade wrong...

I love the back print of this shirt. However, I am not trying to be particularly provocative. I've once heard that's "horrifying". At work the coffee table is located behind my back. Had I known there would be a meeting (=others gathering behind my back, I didn't participate) today, I would either have chosen something else to wear, or I wouldn't have taken off the blouse I had on top of that. I don't care about what our clients or co-operating companies think of my style, but I do care of what they think of the company because of me. Now I only hope the scary businessman didn't notice or didn't care.

Photowhoring is a strange issue to me. I may do that a lot (or I'm not sure if it is a lot compared with someone else) but I rarely publish those photos anywhere, mostly because I'm such a perfectionist and my appearance is far from perfect. I know that facial distortions and other such things I think I see are somewhat fake, since I'm used to seeing a reflection of myself and not the "real me". However, I guess photos reveal such things that are real, such as my skin flaws...

That said, my blog won't be all about me showing off myself. However, I think I have to break the ice with some photos anyway. :D

No need to tell me I'm holding the camera wrong. Had I done it in such a way right-handed people usually do, my hand would have been in front of my face. Though I'm not sure if it's necessary to see that arrogant expression...

And speaking of something else, I finally watched Beetlejuice today. I did it because of the vinyl wall art quote I posted here earlier. Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed the other Tim Burton movies I've seen... which are few and far between. I'm not a movie geek.
Well, the 1980's = instant win, I guess. I'm not into live action horror movies because I don't like gore and splatter at all. I would barely watch horror movies with the age limit of 18. However, Beetlejuice was exactly the type of macabre yet slightly bizarre horror that I enjoy. However, I couldn't root for Betelgeuse himself that much. (His speech was just a bit annoying. Difficult to follow every now and then, I had no subtitles...) Somehow I found Adam and Barbara very agreeable.

He reminds me of someone, but I'm not exactly sure who... Anyway, it might be Edward Scissorhands' turn next, maybe tomorrow. I admit I haven't yet seen that movie either... So long!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Silhouette Eye Candy

 Penicillin – Nightmare before Christmas

Guess what is truly amazing?

Finding a site you thought you'd lost. Tonight, I suddenly remembered seeing some lovely wall decoration somewhere, some time long ago... And after searching and searching for a while, I eventually found a link to the said Etsy shop. How rewarding!

Pillboxdesigns creates awesome vinyl wall art. Truly stunning, and pleases my graphical eye – I think I use simple silhouettes quite a lot in my own designs as well. At the moment I'm living in a crappy studio apartment with light bluish, slightly patterned wallpapers, so I don't think any of those wall arts would look good here. However, I wish my next apartment will have concrete walls or something, rather painted anyway, with only one colour. I could order and apply some stunning art to them then.

Bat Attack is a funny flock of bats! However, I'm more into birds, and I'd like to have a flock of ravens or crows instead. Carpe Noctem looks rather cool above one's bed. This Beetlejuice Quote looks typographically nice – I haven't seen the movie, though. I should probably watch it, and if it turned out good, I might want to purchase that one.

However, my ultimate favourite deserves to be shown with a picture (© Pillboxdesigns, naturally). So it's a Large pocket watch vinyl art with a clock kit, looking awesome and I must say, it's rather creative! Especially since it seems to function!

Speaking of apartments, my dear old mother just gave me a link on msn (she's communication savvy like that), directing me to a page displaying an apartment for sale. Oh dear mother, I'm too young to buy an apartment until I'm mentally past forty, and I truly pray it won't even happen... Not that I wouldn't like to have an apartment of my very own, but the thought of a mortgage is horrifying.
So long!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Lucky grabs, epic failures

♫ van Canto Fear of The Dark

I kind of like clothes. Especially new ones. :D Oh well, in spite of that comment, I'm not actually any kind of a shop-a-holic. I don't buy new things remarkably often; I'm rather picky and to some extent also aware of quality. That doesn't mean that I cannot purchase clothes from H&M, but I'm not into expensive yet low-quality things anymore...

And speaking of H&M, I popped there for the sales the other day, and I was rather sure I wouldn't find a thing, but surprisingly, I did. A nice skirt for 10€, and even better: it fits well at the waist! It's rare for me to find such clothes.

I also found a kind of shirt I've been looking for. It's not from H&M, it's a Spin Doctor product, a so-called gypsy shirt. No discount, but I'd been looking for something similar... I'd lacked nice tops for festive occasions, so I really needed something like it.

That's all about clothes I've managed to get. Then I could complain about my bad luck with Clockwork Couture. A bit before Christmas I tried to order Fireside & Burns Airship Crew tank top and Dapper Dames Dieselpunk Skirt, both in the size "small". I managed to submit my order, but soon I got an email telling me the skirt was out of stock. I didn't want to buy the top all alone, because the shipping fees would have cost me more than the top itself. Well, I've been keeping my eye on the site for some time, and a while ago I noticed the skirt seemed to be back in stock, in black and in the size S. Without a second thought I tried to order both those pieces, but then the tank top had been sold out in the smallest size! Gah! Oh well, I suppose I will continue to keep my eye on the site, in case I could still get those pretty pretty clothes one day...

So long!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

I find it kind of funny...

A friend showed me this amusing link today: How to look gothic without your mom screaming at you?

That's rather cute, I think. Could almost say, "those were the days", but I haven't suffered that much.

Now I have to point out that I'm in my twenties, so I don't really have such issues with my parents anymore. I haven't had any too dramatic issues when I was a teenager either. Now let's see... I was thirteen when my all black period begun. I was in high school when it ended. Nowadays I still dress mostly in black, but I've grown to like grey, white, red and pink as well. Now I have some slight interest in purple, blue and brown as well, especially through make-up. (Oh, I have a love&hate relationship with white. It's elegant, but I think that all the white clothes I own have eventually turned grayish or yellowish, no matter how I try to do my laundry. It's annoying. Very annoying.)

I got a long, black leather jacket from parents before my black period begun. But they already knew I had a thing for ehm... rock. That jacket was very heavy metal fan credible. That's what I was, too. I've only got truly interested in gothic culture after teenage, so before that, or in my early teenage I was certainly a metal fan. Anyway... my mother also bought my first spiky collar. It has small, conical spikes – she wouldn't have approved of so-called rat spikes or anything bigger, so I guess... she bought it so that she could control the size of my spikes. :D

However, I had understood that she didn't like spiky collars. One day, when I was fourteen (I guess) I bought a different type of necklace that had spikes. I personally think it's rather beautiful, and I would find collars much more radical than that. However, mother got mad at me, and didn't speak to me for a week. (But on the other hand I was in a boarding school at that time, so... not even at home for most of those days.)

All in all, I think my parents have never had remarkably big issues with my clothes or make-up. My father never cared, mother did, but not so much so that I wouldn't have been able to express myself. My mother, however, made sure I didn't wear my leather jacket in the summer, nor my warboots, because she thought it would have looked idiotic. Once I also heard criticism on wearing black in the summer in the first place, but well... Those complaints didn't carry far.

Sometimes I heard not-so-flattering comments about my use of eyeliner, but... I'm not exactly sure what my mother meant – whether she didn't like heavy make-up in the first place, or whether she didn't like how I pulled it off. However, now that I'm old enough, I am slightly horrified by the way I wore make-up in my early teenage... Nowadays I still wear heavy eye-make-up, and I'm not sure whether I'll look back on my current style with a facepalm reaction once I'm over thirty. Hopefully not. :D

I'm not exactly sure what my parents thought of when my style changed into hmm... well, when it changed when I was about seventeen. Earlier my style had been even a bit tomboyish, but suddenly it turned girlish, with some bizarre side effects such as overknee socks, short skirts and a garter belt showing clearly underneath the skirt. It was not an accident, it was the whole point – as if I had needed garter belts, but they were cool and supposed to be seen. But once again – my mother was with me when I purchased my first pair. She didn't object. She didn't say anything remarkably bad about that when I was underage/teenager... But last summer I got to hear I look like a whore. :D Though it was not meant to be offending, it was a slightly amused remark.

Oh well... I truly hope little gothlings have those pieces of advice useful. It's a shame if one's parents prevent them from being unique, though, parents can be right too... Especially since there's a fine line between being radical, original and pretty vs. being radical, original and sloppy...

Oh well... so long!
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