Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Living in Fiction

Attending a cultural event (say such a as museum show) can be an educational and enlightening experience. On the day of the show, the FIRST thing that Splendor learned was that her closet contains many strange and wonderful things…spiky Victorian style boots with skull buttons, flowing velvet jackets in gloomy shades of death, ash and midnight and an endless supply of skirts adorned with lacing, zippers and buckles. What this closet of curiosities DOES NOT contain is a winter coat, a pair sensible shoes or any other “NORMAL” attire that should be worn in public during daylight hours. 

Now the SECOND thing that Splendor learned is that wearing a lace mini skirt and knee high lace up boots to a posh art exhibit will only lead to further scrutiny of one’s person.  Although not out rightly stated, there seemed to be a lingering connotation by some that Splendor’s hair is too long, her garments too strange and her general demeanor too scandalous to be considered “professional” and that henceforth she should no to be allowed in to roam freely, mingling with the general public…HA!  As to which Belphegor hoodie Seraph decided to wear, that is a story for another day…

Now Splendor’s first experience with PROPER BUSINESS ATTIRE occurred back at her first job in high school where it was promptly pointed out that one CANNOT come to work in a Venom t-shirt reeking of Jack Daniel’s and sin and was expected instead to wear a white blouse, a knee length white skirt and a FREAKING PINK APRON (…the horror…the horror…)  In case there ever is a Chintz of Darkness category on an upcoming Jeopardy show, the answer to the question would be BAKERY for 1000 points, Alex.  And what a fine establishment it was…

Now just to set the stage, one only needs to imagine a stately brick building with an elegant tailored awning on a quaint tree lined lane.  Upon entering the dignified double doorway, one was promptly greeted with a greasy crumb strewn floor, hazy frosting smudged walls and a collection of rickety cafĂ© tables with mismatched chairs held together with duct tape and string.  Other highlights included a lecherous cocaine huffing boss, an infestation of cockroaches (that yes, now that you asked, dear readers, dropped from the ceiling into vats of chocolate icing on a hourly basis…) and of course let’s not forget about the flasher and his gigantic…er…oh, never mind…Did we mention that both of the dishwashers and one of the bakers were registered sex offenders?  And last but not least, who could forget about the “Apple Strudel” that they sold at Christmas time after gathering racks of rotten pastries throughout the year and grinding them up as filling?  We kid you not, this putrid pastry resembled a MUMMIFIED ZOMBIE ARM, complete with brown flaking skin and an odd odor…

Indeed, Splendor’s first job taught her many important life lessons such as the value of earning one’s own money, as well as  how to avoid getting groped while carrying two trays of doughnuts, how to fend off marriage proposals from pedophiles and the subtle art of  “borrowing” bus money from the till…  Needless to say, the bakery eventually filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors...soon after that Splendor joined the racks of the self employed and has never looked back…

…and yes, self employment is a joyous situation where no one minds if you show up to work in your BIRTHDAY SUIT instead of a business suit. In fact around here they (as in Seraph) rather encourage it…hee!

So how do YOU earn your keep, dear readers?

Please stop by for a visit to our new ETSY SHOP. Thanks!

Unveiled in death to the sinner
Written in the ancient book of lies
Hear the demons call
From the crimson waterfall
As the blood rains from the skies

("Seven Gates of Hell" by Venom)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Siren Song

As to the recent happenings around our haunted halls: yes, the kitchen here at Chintz of Darkness is fully functional and is in fact OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY.  If one has a craving for a toasted cheese sandwich sprinkled with fresh basil and parmesan shavings at four in the morning that request can quite often be granted (although the clattering of pans will undoubtedly wake up the ghosts and the chef on duty is not likely to be *completely* sober…hmm…)

This must be clearly stated in advance because for some unbeknownst reason Seraph + Splendor are perceived as the kind of people that are quite incapable of cooking for themselves.  We are not sure where this perception comes from but there are those who think that we survive on a diet entirely consisting of ABSINTHE AND HUMAN BLOOD that is served to us in jeweled skull goblets by a pair of bats that we have enslaved into infernal servitude.  While that is fine and dandy for special occasions it is problematic for everyday living.  Not only do the bat’s leashes get tangled in Splendor’s unruly hair but they tend to have, hmm how shall we put it?  POOR BATHROOM ETIQUETTE…HA! 

Truth be told, our kitchen is a haven of domestic bliss (as long as one is careful to avoid the demonic portals in several of the frying pans and NEVER look the garbage disposal directly in the eyes…) Culinary tasks are of course divided evenly and everyone (even the bats) take turns doing the dishes. 

When it comes to preparing our evening meals, Seraph is quite famous for his fiery hot barbecued chicken.  This eyebrow blistering recipe is of course TOP SECRET, but one can only assume the main ingredient is MOLTEN LAVA. Perhaps it is an overstatement to claim that pillars of fire shoot out of the oven during the preparation of this delectable delicacy but let’s just say that the kitchen cabinets are charred beyond recognition in a five foot radius around the stove and the scent of brimstone hangs in the air.  Unfortunately, we are not at liberty at this time to discuss the “incident” with the tandoori chicken that set off the fire alarm and caused the evacuation of our entire building…  We just count ourselves lucky that the TOXIC SPICE CLOUD could not be traced back to our apartment… (yet…damn)

While Seraph is renowned for his panic producing poultry preparations (hee!), Splendor’s claim to fame is making a mess.  As the saying goes, dear readers, there comes a time when one simply must wash their hands of things.  Usually this happens right after Splendor makes a peanut butter & jelly sandwich or with anything involving mayonnaise, butter or cheese (do not even ask…)  and if there is any flour being used it would be advised to grab an umbrella before entering the kitchen…but that is neither nor there. 

When it comes to serving our meals, our everyday dishes are a sullen assortment of black plates and mismatched bowls that have followed us home from Goodwill over the years.  Complimenting this troubled tableware is our set of blood red goblets etched with cryptic flourishes, and of course our wrought iron silverware (ironwear?) reminiscent of a Karl Blossfeldt photograph.  Needless to say this odd assemblage results in a rather spooky dining experience for all involved…  

We do have a set of “Good” china (as opposed to the bad natured and slutty china mentioned above.) It is a lovely heirloom set straight from the prim and proper 1950’s complete with delicate rose hues blossoms and dainty flowing lines. Now, we can already hear you laughing, dear readers, but instead of looking at this as a DETRIMENT TO DARKNESS we just use our menacing serpent candleholders and a set of glass apples to create a miniature reenactment of the Garden of Eden. All that is missing is a scantily clad “Eve” centerpiece …Volunteers anyone?

Tell us, what is on YOUR plate tonight?

Also, we would like to say a very special thanks to Carla, Mo & everyone else that has stopped by to visit our new shop!

The fields and dwellings of relapsing ruins
Find thou thyself in every star
Achieve thou every possibility
Listen! Heed not the siren-voice of thought

(“Descent to Acheron” by Absu)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Black Baroque Luxuries

Wicked Halloween greetings, dear readers! While most of you are likely to be still dancing under the stars, stalking through a cemetery or involved in other assorted acts of mischief and mayhem, we wanted to let you know that our wicked new shop has opened its doors…please stop by for a visit, we hope something catches your eye! Enter the door here…

Also, we have prepared for you a full update of our recent mishaps and misadventures…coming soon!

This ritual object, resplendent in amber, russet and gold, was conjured from many oddities scattered throughout our Obsidian Halls. First an unusual spindly brass base, mirror like yet clouded in mystery, next a gilded plaque of dubious function and lastly a small skull dripping in sentience…

A three dimensional collage of vintage jewelry, silk and organdy form an intricate armor crowned with an eight pointed star. Glittering obsidian eyes, unusually lifelike, glisten with silver diamond tears. The perfect companion or familiar, this oracle conveys a silent wisdom to those who are willing to observe her haunting stare…

A regal Sky Crown worn by the Queen of Night, consort to mighty Orion Lord of the Hunt… Encrusted with silver tears, tarnished tinsel and shards of starlight, this exquisite pillow illuminates the obsidian sky…

An extensive array of vintage jewelry, crystals and mirror pieces were used in the conjuring of this cushion. Sparkling darkly through a haze of black mesh, the central medallion was formed of many things… The first, a vintage star brooch resting upon a briar of crystal and a mirror of ice. Next, a pair of filigree constellations dangling silvery diamond strands. Lastly a heavy frame of bronze nail head encloses the entire collage upon a midnight velvet ground.

Further embellishments include a lovely set of 7” crystal spears (in another life, the glittering facets of an antique chandelier.) These spears drip from the upper corners, and chime at the slightest movement, as the lower crystal facets appear as pools of tears reflecting the night…Shall this majestic cushion be yours?

Oracle of the Horned Star (top)
Seraph + Splendor © 2010

Queen of Orion Cushion (bottom)
Seraph + Splendor © 2010

Halloween is the night
The legend says the ghost will rise
On Halloween they can't redeem
A restless soul from ancient scene
At the sound of the demon bell

(“At the Sound of the Demon Bell” by Mercyful Fate)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Postcard from Hell...

Now, dear readers, everybody already knows that Seraph + Splendor have (on occasion) wandered off to parts unknown to attend to some strange collection of calamities that have befallen our lives. Instead of trying to excuse our hellish hiatus in clear and concise English we will instead rely on a series of cryptic messages hidden in bottles, smoke signals and an odd (but highly lethal) form of ESP that requires one to wear a sun bonnet made out of aluminum foil to explain our recent whereabouts….HA! So if you have been feeling a bit dizzy or light headed as of late, we apologize profusely… 

In all seriousness (hee…) over the last several months we have locked ourselves away in a dim and murky wing of our Obsidian Hall known simply as THE STUDIO. If one knows where to look one might find a room full of stacks of velvet and caskets of trims as well as wisps of shadows and shards of glass. There are cabinets bursting with butterfly wings and tables heaped with skulls. Needles and pins litter the floor and the rasp of rusty scissors accompanies the sound of strange machinery well into the night. Indeed we have been hard at work preparing many strange and wondrous things for you… a new collection of cruel cushions, forbidden fruits and objects of oddity to delight the scenes and frighten away ghosts. Our new online shop will open its doors soon…hope to see you there!

Skeleton Key Cushion (above)
© Seraph + Splendor 2010

Lucifer’s Gilded Glove (top of post)
© Seraph + Splendor 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flying South

Now Chintz of Darkness exists firmly in reality but many of its rooms, corridors and passageways are only accessible by a journey through a mist shrouded etherworld. These spaces are merely glimpsed as fleeting visions or as hazy vistas that disappear as soon as one approaches. Those who follow these apparitions too ardently often become forever lost chasing a sure footed slipper chair down a mystical hallway full of clutter or have become ensnared in a VIGNETTE OF SKULLS. The rooms here are decorated with physical things such as tables and chairs as well as thoughts and ideas. One might share the sofa with a stray spell or a particularly dreary BAUDELAIRE poem or find a reflection of an unearthly landscape in every mirror. So be warned, dear readers, and enter at your own risk…



In our current realm of darkness you are greeted outside the door by a smiling demon mask and a small Persian carpet (a magic carpet no less, so watch your step.) It has been pointed out that the hallway of our apartment building is deemed “public space” by the management, apparently meaning KEEP YOUR CREEPY BELONGINGS INSIDE YOUR OWN APARTMENT etc etc blah, blah, blah… We consider the laundry room a “public space” too, but that does not prevent our weirdo neighbor from doing her laundry in the buff and stealing our dish towels. It also does not stop another neighbor from keeping A FULL CAN OF GASOLINE on top of large pile of cardboard boxes by his car. He appears to be from the school of thought that ARSONISTS ARE PEOPLE TOO and just need a bit of encouragement like everyone else…damn…Well WE are from the school of thought that we should be able to litter the otherwise empty spaces throughout the building with throw pillows and cocktail tables and turn the communal storage room into a fully hosted bar… humph…

Truth be told, we have a long and illustrious history of being rather FREE SPIRITED (ok, maybe unruly is a better word) tenants. Did we ever tell you the story of the time we painted our (former) storefront like a lovely jewel toned Victorian castle complete with gilded trim and filigree stencils? Now when we say “jewel toned” we do not mean some tepid color palette one might find at Home Depot, but instead an exuberant combination of bloody burgundy, blackened teal accented with black, gold and electric gunmetal flourishes. After the paint job was complete we promptly studded the front door in a dizzying display of nail head that would have made Augustus Pugin swoon and were about to start installing the GOTHIC GINGERBREAD ARCHES when the city intervened citing some code violation. HA!

This would perhaps be a good time as any to point out that the rest of the building was painted entirely white and blue resembling a Greek flag and that our landlords lacked not only an aesthetic eye but a sense of humor as well. It probably goes without saying that we were promptly evicted as soon as our lease ran out. (We certainly would have enjoyed being a fly on the wall when they discovered how we painted the INSIDE of the building…hee hee…) There really is no need to bring up the time when we decorated the walls of our first apartment with Indian tapestries mounted NOT on decorative rods but rather held in place with a set of kitchen knives or that occasion we adorned the ceiling with a GLOW IN THE DARK skyscape and lived entirely in black light for a month and a half…hmmm, better keep that to our selves lest you start thinking us strange…

So tell us, all of you lodgers, renters and boarders out there…are you naughty or nice?

Behold the black cloud of corpselike birds
Their wings are on fire
And their song has turned backwards
A morbid cacophony singing of...
A new dawn!

(“Casus Luciferi” by Watain)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Frigid Bitch

Every year THE POWERS THAT BE come up with new and exciting ways to make summer even more unbearable than it already is. First they burnt a gigantic hole in the atmosphere causing toxic radiation to drip from the sky and now it seems that we are being forced to celebrate CHRISTMAS IN JULY. After several weeks of being barraged with ads expounding the virtues of this concept (if Santa in a pair of Bermuda shorts can be considered a virtue) we have had enough! We do not approve of the concept of Christmas in July in any shape or form, in fact, we do not really approve of Christmas in December either, but that is a story for another day…. If we MUST be forced to celebrate an inane winter holiday in the midst of the dog days of summer it may as well be VALENTINE’S DAY because this time of year we are already scantily clad and sweaty as it is….HA!

Here at Chintz of Darkness we are well aware that everyone and their mother just loves to bask in the summer sunshine for hours on end. We choose NOT to participate in this garish worship of the sun preferring instead to bathe in vats of sun block (a particularly industrial variety that clings to one’s skin much like a smutty latex bodysuit…hmmm…not that we would know anything about THAT…) We then spend the remaining daylight hours hiding under our sofa until dusk when it is finally safe to wander our Obsidian Halls without the risk of being pierced by a stray shaft of sunlight and disintegrating into a puff of dust…trust us, dear readers, we have seen it happen time and time again…

Summer appears to bring out the worst in people’s wardrobes as well. Perhaps the greatest lyric ever written is from The Rolling Stones song “Paint it Black”, which clearly states: “I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes I have to turn my head until my darkness goes…” When writing this song it would appear that Mick and company had an apocalyptic vision of a future full of girls wearing Old Navy sundresses in retina blistering shades of tangerine and pastel plaid shorts FOR MEN. WTF? There is nothing at all wrong with wearing head to toe black every day of the year. Trust us we have been doing it for several decades straight and know what we are talking about…

Truth be told, we DO have to venture out in the sun on occasion in the name of fitness and frugality (no air conditioned gym memberships here, damn it…) During our daily walks our neighborhood gets a chance to poke fun at us and have a good laugh at our expense, referring to us as the MEN IN BLACK (apparently choosing to ignore Splendor’s rather obvious gender…) Even the resident homeless have become fashion police, suggesting that we really should “fade to white” during the summer months. The only ones that are truly on our side are the ominous hordes of ravens (Ok, crows) that live in our area. They at least cack approvingly as we walk by and show their support of us by refraining from crapping on our heads…a small victory, but a victory none the less…

It is time again to crawl back under our sofa and wait patiently for nightfall…Gathered here for your enjoyment is a lovely selection of the glacial tones of ice, snow and sleet. We must indeed have sunstroke because even a little blue is looking cool and appealing right now…and if anyone out there really needs any more proof people are strange and summer is scary please visit the blog Pale is the New Tan…yikes…

 Crystal world with winter flowers

Turns my day to frozen hours

Lying snowblind in the sun

Will my ice age ever come?

(“Snowblind” by Black Sabbath)
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