Monday, July 30, 2012

Leibster Award

I received a Leibster award from the lovely Clementine Dahling of Unlacing the Victorians. Here's how it works.

Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
Answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
Create 11 questions for the people you tag.
Choose 11 people and link back to them.
No tag backs.

11 things about me:
1. I only recently started eating eggs. I have always disliked them, especially fried. I started eating egg salad a few years ago, and only just recently started eating scrambled. No omelettes or sunny side up ones for me.
2. I am left handed. Only 10% of left handers are female.
3. I like storms. We had one on Sunday that was short with high wind speeds, that brought down this tree on our road.

4. I like My Little Pony, but the classic kind, not the new kind that are a bit spazzy.
5. I used to play guitar in a goth metal band called Exalted. We were terrible, but it was lots of fun.
6. My mother is English, from Warwickshire.
7. I'm fussy about cheese. It must be quite mild, like a Brie or mild cheddar.
8. I enjoy photographing graveyards - such a cliche!
9. I would love to wrote a novel one day.
10. I have an art show coming ip on January.
11. I'm of British heritage, but I hate Marmite. I know. Terribly un-English of me.

Sorry Mum - blek!

Clementine's Questions
1. Name one thing you despise that seems to receive a lot of hype.
The movie Titanic. I have never seen it, and never want to see it. Too much hype!

2. What's your favorite animal?
This is hard as I love so many. Maybe cats, dogs, horses, foxes, owls, narwhales...aaah I can't stop!

3. Name one subculture you don't "get" or understand and why.
Hipsters. I just don't understand. Is there a kind of music they listen to? I don't know what it's really about. Or what they do.

4. What was your favorite class in school?
Art and English.

5. What's your favorite pop song?
Um....Adele is alright.

6. What action-movie move or skill do you wish you could have?

7. What's the most ridiculous Halloween costume you ever wore?
Nothing strange really. My older brother once went out dressed as a garbage bag though.

8. What's the best prank you ever played (or was played on you?)
On April Fool's morning I got up and moved the kitchen chairs into the living room. My boyfriend woke up and was confused.

9. Favorite animated movie (can be adult-themed content)?

10. Cats or dogs?

11. What's your dream job?
Writer and artist.

Anyone who wants to be tagged can answer these questions, as I think everyone's been tagged do far. :)
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shopping - Mall Haul

This past weekend I went shopping with my Mum, little sister Jenn, and my brother's girlfriend. Us girls get together every month or two to go for lunch and do a little shopping. My sister and my brother's girlfriend are both pregnant, so we looked at a lot of baby and maternity things this time around. I did however manage to find a few things more towards my taste.
First, I desperately need new shoes after my beloved Demonia sandals fell apart. The BF glued them back together, but I know it's just a stopgap measure. I managed to find these sandals, which while not Demonias, are an acceptable style.

They have a bit of a heel and a platform too which I really like.

I also tried out these new nail polish strips. They're sort of like stickers you put on your nails, but they are made out of nail polish, so they come off with remover. They're in all sorts of different patterns, and I tried the fishnet design.

I was hoping they were clear, rather than goldish colored. I wanted to paint my nails red, and then put the fishnet pattern over top. I think that would look better. Supposedly these strips last longer than regular nail polish, but they're chipped on a couple of fingers already.

In the book store I picked up this fabulous mug, which reminds me of England, and makes me think of my grandparents, who were young parents during WWII.

And finally, I picked up this awesome rubber duck, who's fabulousness must be viewed rather than described.

YouTube Video

Isn't it brilliant!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

30 Day Clothing Challenge - Day 2 and 3

I decided to participate in Amy's (from Stripey Tights and Dark Delights Check it out here ) 30 day clothing challenge a while ago, but have been a rather slow in updating, so I thought I would do a couple of catch up posts.

Day 2 - A Favorite Shirt

This t shirt my awesome BF got me for Valentine's Day this year. I love it because it's my first Harley shirt (what else would one wear on the back of a bike?), it's a classic orange and black combo, and it came from my lovely honey!

Day 3 - A Piece of Jewlery that Was a Gift

As you can see, I like silver rings, and each one I wear has a particular meaning for me. The one on my pointer finger, the ankh, was given to me by one of my first gothy friends, way back when I was in University. She was one of the first people I knew that liked a lot of the same things and had similar spooky interests. One day we went shopping and she bought this for me. I have lost touch with her since, but hope she us still being her spooky self somewhere. I am also very fond of Egyptian deities like Isis and Anubis, and I think this ring is a great reflection of that.

Do any of you still have treasures from lost friends?
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Victorian Summer Days

I have not been enjoying the weather as of late. It has been very hot here in western Canada (and most of the US too). I have found the 30 degree Celsius heat (40 with humidity - yuk!) unbearable. I am personally quite glad for the modern convenience of air conditioning, and couldn't help think about our Victorian ancestors and how they might of dealt with it.

Summer Kitchens

To keep the house cool during the hot summer months, cooking would be moved to an out building called a summer kitchen. Food would then be brought inside or the family would dine outside in the shade. The house would be kept dark during the day to keep the heat out and windows opened at night to let the breeze in.


During the 19th century it was discovered that metal lined (and later ceramic lined) pitchers kept liquids cool. The double lined metal pitcher acted like a thermos and kept refreshing drinks like lemonade and punch a delightful temperature.

Look - refreshing punch!

Summer wear

During summer months women would switch from heavier fabrics like wool, to lighter cotton or muslin. I still think this would be incredibly hot with all the layers of bloomers, petticoats and a corset though.

Hats and parasols

Hats and parasols kept the sun off one's face, though I definitely think parasols are the lighter and cooler option for keeping one shaded and untanned.


Not as effective as the electric fan, but much more elegant. These accessories helped a lady beat the heat while still being fashionable.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream became a more readily available treat during the 19th century, with ice cream churns like the one above on the market, and stores and street vendors selling the tasty treat to the masses. One draw back was the ice cream or "hokey pokey" the street vendors sold were not always made in the most sanitary conditions. In the 1880s, 90s and early 1900s there were several cases of typhoid, scarlet fever and diarrhea traced back to ice cream street carts. In one case the vendor selling it was suffering from typhoid himself, and in another, the ice cream was being made in the home right next to where they changed their baby!

Enjoy your typhoid, I mean - ice cream kids.

How do you cope with the summer heat.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Victorian toilet

I apologize for not having posted in a while. I have no excuses other than the weather has been unbearably hot, which generally makes me feel quite ill. I even missed a delightful local steampunk picnic. :(
As it rained today I am feeling more like myself and am back to wondering about day to day items and how they were in Victorian times. Today I tackle that most humble of day to day objects - the toilet.

Roman public toilets

Rudimentary Toilets have been in use since ancient times. The Egyptians and Persians had them. Even the Romans had public toilets that were basically an open seat over a running channel of water, which carried the waste out a system of channels to the nearest river. They used a sponge on a stick to wipe themselves, which sounds alright until I read that these sponges were shared - eww. No wonder diseases like cholera were rampant.

Elaborate Victorian toilet

Chamberpots were the most common way of collecting and disposing of waste during ancient times and well into the 19th century. Waste would be dumped out the window, and onto the street where gutters would carry waste towards the nearest body of water. This made walking down the street a sometimes treacherous and smelly experience.
As cities got more crowded, the simple gutter system became less effective. Many cities like Paris began building local cesspools. A system of pipes would take waste away from houses towards the nearest cesspool. Workers would then pump the liquid out, and shovel the solid waste to be taken away by cart. It was thought to be excellent fertilizer.

Victorian toilet tank

In Victorian London, the gutters and sewer system emptied out into the river Thames. As this was also the source of drinking water, the city suffered from various cholera outbreaks, the largest during the 1840s. In 1858 the pollution combined with a hot summer lead to what became known as "The Great Stink". The smell was do bad Parliament was relocated that year. It was then decided that the sewer system had to be improved.

Public toilets were put up around the city, although the wealthy could afford to have their own plumbing systems. Waste was collected in chamber pots and the servants would dispose of it in a "slop sink" in an upstairs housemaid's cupboard. The chamber pots were washed in a wooden sink to avoid chipping the pots.

Victorian public toilets

The modern flush toilet was invented in the 1880s with Thomas Crapper being one of the first makers of these early above tank, pull chain toilets.

At first it was only the rich that could afford this luxury, but as indoor plumbing became more common so did the household loo. By the 1920s most homes had an indoor toilet.
In the 1890s the low flush model most of us know was invented and in the 1920s toilet paper rolls with perforated square sections came onto the market (before that squares of rough paper were used). All making for a more comfortable and convenient experience.

Ornate upscale Victorian loo.

I hope you enjoyed the history of this household object. If you have any suggestions for items I could feature, please let me know. :)

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