Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Book Worship Volume VI

Gothic Revival by Megan Aldrich

Now everyone already knows about our problems keeping our library in order. If it is not one tribe of books warring with another, then it is an all out anarchy rebellion with books running everywhere breaking the china and scaring the cats (wait, we don’t have any cats....) Recently we took some time to organize and restore order to our bookcases and ran across a book we had not perused in some time.

We do not know about you but this time of year always brings to mind all things over dramatic, heavy handed and self aggrandizing. What better time for a post on Gothic architecture and design, we said to ourselves? Our favorite book on the subject is Gothic Revival by Megan Aldrich. This luscious and weighty volume published by Phaidon, contains beautifully produced color plates depicting its origins though the revivals in the Victorian era. The astute Dr. Aldrich provides an extensive text covering all aspects of the Gothic style. (Of special interest to us are the bold and mind warping wallpaper and tile designs.)

It seems as though we like our architecture like we like our music (that would be spike clad and drenched in gloom). At the time we purchased this book we envisioned living in an EVIL GOTHIC COTTAGE studded spires and turrets and encrusted with stained glass oriel windows reminiscent of devil’s eyes. (Needless to say, the fore mentioned cottage would need to be surrounded by a demon haunted forest straight out of an Immortal song.) But it turns out that gothic cottages are EXPENSIVE even if they are only mildly bad tempered and not actually evil (so yet another architectural related daydream cast to the wayside…)
We hope a wicked and sublime Winter Solstice was had by all!

Gothic Revival by Megan Aldrich
© 1994 Phaidon Press Ltd London
ISBN 0 7148 2886 6

Take me...can't you feel the Call
Embrace me eternally in your daylight slumber

To be draped by the shadow of your morbid palace
Oh, hate living...The only heat is warm blood

("Transilvanian Hunger" by Darkthrone)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Deck the Halls

OK, we know the burning question on everyone’s mind is how do you apply the Art of Living in Sin to the current holiday season? Come to think of it perhaps “burning” is the wrong choice of words…it has been suggested by someone that people like us (and we quote) “will fry for eternity like a Jimmy Dean sausage.” That is what we love about this time of year – it brings the best out in everyone… HA!

But anyway, back to living in sin. Here at Chintz of Darkness we suggest doing away with Frosty, Rudolph and rest of the creepy traditional themes and instead create an enchanted Pagan Forest or a haunting Witches Wood straight from the pages of a Grimm’s fairy tale. Several years ago we ran across (Ok, we begged and pleaded for) a lovely and pristine aluminum tree (complete with its original box) from the fabulous Deluxe Junk here in Seattle. The only drawback to aluminum trees is the fact that you cannot use electric lights on them (something to do with electrocuting ourselves and knocking out the power grid to the entire West Coast…) Instead we used one of those odd light wheels that bathe the tree in a muzzy aurora borealis style of illumination that makes your head swim after too much “holiday cheer”…

We have been collecting vintage and antique glass ornaments for quite a few years now. Our collection is limited to primarily birds, fruits and berries with a few stars and lanterns thrown in to light the way. The appeal of collecting glass ornaments is the fact that they are so temporal and fragile beyond belief. There is a time and place when they will return to the earth. Every year some ornaments seem a little more transparent and ethereal, such as our favorite set of grape clusters that are as delicate as a daydream or a breath of air.

Now, we don’t know about you but it seems that our decorations multiply rather like a pen of rabbits. Every year we open the closet to find the ornament boxes have displaced entire villages of shoes and boots and have pushed countless velvet frocks and jackets to their untimely deaths. It does not help matters that someone around here (wait that was me…) always says things like “LET’S PUT UP A TREE IN EVERY ROOM!!!” It hasn’t gotten to that extreme yet, but lets just say ornaments do end up in some odd places.

One of our favorite places to find vintage ornaments is our local thrift stores. Usually they will put out a big selection in the middle of July when no one is in the mood to think of the holidays. We have noticed the strange looks we get shopping for decorations wearing our Dimmu Borgir shirts and skull gloves (and probably humming a lovely black metal hymn instead of the more appropriate Silent Night.) Just for the record we ARE NOT one of those people that pose the reindeer figurines in compromising positions or replace the baby Jesus with a shot glass and glass olive…quit smirking, we are quite serious…

Deluxe Junk (sorry no website)
3518 Fremont Place North
Seattle, WA 98103-8623
Phone: (206) 634-2733

Where the days are Dark
and Night the Same
Moonlight Drank the Blood
of a thousand Pagan men

It took ten times a hundred Years
Before the King on the Northern Throne
was brought Tales of the crucified one

(“A Blaze In The Northern Sky” by Darkthrone)
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