If there’s one thing that I’m always interested in, it’s a chance to wear a theme outfit. Valentine’s Day can be tough for perennial singletons, but as a fan of all things pink and heart-shaped, it’s hard to resist. I’ve done a round-up of anti-Valentine’s pieces and one for gothic/Valoween pieces, but this year let’s go back to the holiday’s lacy pink roots and look at some cute accessories to complete your Valentine’s Day ensemble this year.Read more
Author: Penny Snark (The Sconnie Sling)
sewing diaries: stanwyck skirt
A lot of you have asked to hear more about my sewing projects, so let’s kick off the year with a sewing update! This year I actually made two of the Charm Patterns Stanwyck Skirt, one of which just over Christmas break, and I think that this is an awesome option for beginner sewists looking for a retro closet staple.Read more
2020 year in review
Well. Here we are.
I haven’t posted here in a long time, and it honestly felt kind of daunting to come back to do a year in review post. There’s always been a sense of fondness and nostalgia looking back on a year before, but let’s not mince words. 2020 was Bad. It was bad on a global level, it was incredibly painful on a personal level, and I relate very strongly to all the posts about it being okay to just have survived.
Reading my 2019 year in review post was a bit of a trip. It’s sad to look back at all the fun adventures of that year knowing that when 2020 wasn’t bad, it was boring. I started the year coming off the high of an amazing trip and already planning an amazing Halloween adventure. We had our biggest MKE Vintage Style Society event, I did a floral arranging workshop, had a boudoir shoot, and then…it all stopped.
I don’t want to spend too much time wallowing in all the various sadness of the year. Suffice to say, there’s been a lot of grief and heartache, stress, burnout, frustration…most of it caused by 2020, plus some bonus old stresses that got very much magnified by global crisis. While there have been a few good moments, overall I would be very happy to just chuck this entire year into the garbage. I’m so grateful for the dear friends who have made it possible to hold things together (most of the time) and not just crawl into bed and never come out.
The goal that I set in 2019 for myself was to give more time and energy to creative projects, especially fiction writing. I did do some writing this year, though not as much as I would have liked. It’s been hard to spend more time alone in my head than I already do. I’ve continued to practice my sewing and am feeling a lot more confident with my machine, so I’m hoping to keep creating more fun clothes and outfits in the new year. The one thing I am proud of is how much I’ve pushed myself creatively with fashion and makeup this year. With endless amounts of time at home, I did a lot of experimenting with editorial makeup, costumes, weird hairstyles, and more. Having that as both a creative outlet and something that I could share on Instagram as a way to stay social and connected was a major lifeline this year.
To be totally honest, I’m having a hard time looking positively toward the future right now. I know that the “new year” is arbitrary every year, but it feels especially so when so many of the problems of 2020 are still very much present. I used this New Years Resolution Kit from Psychology Today to plan some realistic, achievable goals for the year, which helped with a lot of the overwhelm. They’re a bit more personal, so I’ll keep them private for now, but I’ll probably check in with an update. For a general goal, I just want to keep going and try to savor and accept joy whenever I find it. I’m even more grateful this year for the adventures I said yes to in 2019, not knowing what was coming. Because cliche as it is, it’s also true: you never know what’s next. I hope that what’s coming in 2021 is less painful.
31 days of halloween: 2020 edition
Happy November! Halloween season has come and gone (though spooky season, as always, reigns eternal), so it’s about time to round up my Halloween looks this year. Going into October, I was determined not to let a pandemic ruin my favorite holiday and to instead have the best Halloween yet. And for the first time…I have successfully completed a full 31 days of Halloween looks! So let’s reflect on the outfits and costumes of October 2020 and talk a little about where my Halloween wardrobe is at these days.Read more
on halloween, death, and grieving the victorian way
Content note: This post focuses on some of my personal experiences with death, grief, and mourning. If this might be upsetting for you, please take care.
Halloween is a weird time to be dealing with grief. From horror movies to 12-foot-tall skeletons from Home Depot, it’s one of the few times of the year that death is very much a part of mainstream U.S. culture. I find myself torn between enjoying the lurid and macabre influence of the holiday and the much less fun real-life experience of mourning.Read more
why this might be the best halloween ever
Hey ghoul. Let’s talk.
Grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte or some candy corn and get comfortable. Here, do you want to curl up under the plaid throw or the fleece spiderweb blanket?
All set? Okay. Now, I’ve been seeing a lot of people really bummed about Halloween this year. And I totally get it – it’s already been a hard year of canceled events and ruined plans. I had already booked my first ever Halloween at Disney World, believe me, I get the disappointment. But honestly, the more I think about this Halloween season, the more excited I am. Is part of this a defense mechanism like laughing so we don’t cry? PROBABLY! But I have a few concrete reasons I’d like to share with you why I think Halloween 2020 could be the Best Halloween Ever.
1. More time for DIYs
I always go into the holiday season with a ton of inspiration for DIY projects and crafts, and then…maybe find time for one or two of them? Not this year, honey! I have nothing better to do with my time, and I am determined to get crafty. In fact, I’ll probably go back through the spooky craft round-ups I’ve already done to pick out some projects that I never ended up making.
This also applies to baking and recipes – I’m usually lucky if I manage to make an apple crisp by the time October is done. It’s time to break out all those skull-shaped pans, pumpkin cookie cutters, and everything else you’ve collected with the best intentions over the years. Why not make every meal a haunted feast? Maybe this is the year you finally learn how to make your own pumpkin coffee…
2. Go all out on decor
Guess where we’re all going to be for most of the Halloween season? INSIDE OUR HOMES! That means it’s the perfect year to go all out with your interior and exterior decor. Make that Pinterest-perfect cozy Halloween room or the creepy haunt of your dreams a reality. You’re going to have plenty of time to appreciate it!
I’ve personally been super vibing on cool Halloween lighting lately, so I’m loving anything that gives my apartment an eerie glow. (This also helps with dreary days and earlier sunsets.) And as I mentioned in my previous post, I’m working on a year-round gothic vibe for my bathroom, and it’s been great to dig through my Halloween bins to find little decorative pieces to use in there.
3. Live your costume dreams
One of the things I 1000% Do Not Understand are the people I’ve seen saying that there’s no reason to dress up this year. Think about it. There are some costumes that just don’t work for bars or parties. They’re too cumbersome, they require props that would be a pain to carry around all night, they’re too revealing, they aren’t weather appropriate for your area this time of year, you don’t want to explain what you’re supposed to be all night… But this year, none of that matters! This year, you can create the most impractical, outlandish, amazing costume imaginable. You can wear whatever you want! Take some pictures, get on your Spooky Zooms, and make the costume that would never “work” for a normal Halloween a reality!
As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to be creative and indulge in some of the best parts of the season that can fall by the wayside when we’re focused on the whirl of events instead.
Do you feel a little better now? Halloween’s not canceled…it’s just a little bit different. Here, let me refill that bowl of candy corn.
must-haves for your gothic bathroom
I have definitely reached the “home improvement” phase of isolation. I’ve been spending so much time in this apartment that I’m starting to get antsy, and one area I’ve zeroed in on for improvement is one of the most important but least cared for areas of the home: the bathroom. The centerpiece of my bathroom redecoration is a custom coffin-shaped shelf that I am extremely excited about but do not have in my possession yet. So I’ve been focusing on collecting other pieces to create the glam goth bathroom of my dreams.Read more
where to find vintage-style halloween decor
It may not be “officially” Halloween season yet, but for dedicated ghouls, the hunt for Halloween decorations is officially on. Vintage Halloween decor items like blowmolds and paper decorations are highly sought after by collectors. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of the hunt, but if you want to fill your home with more affordable and less delicate decor, you’re in luck! There has been an awesome resurgence in vintage Halloween motifs and styles (including some original companies!), making reproduction pieces available to all.Read more
travel diary: black river falls
After a very long spring in isolation in my apartment, I was feeling a bit stir crazy. Although regular travel still isn’t possible, even just getting out of my apartment to spend some time in a different apartment was very appealing, so I started scoping out the Airbnb listings for a cool spot not too far away…and I ended up heading about three hours north to Black River Falls.Read more
styling quirky socks (with sock it to me)
Since middle school, I have been a Weird Sock Girl. I’ve talked before about my style journey and how I struggled to really express myself through fashion in my teen years. The one thing that I really showed individuality through was wacky socks! I started to get quirky socks as gifts for birthdays and Christmas…and honestly, I’m still a Weird Sock Girl at heart! Fun and colorful hosiery can add a lot of flavor to an outfit, so today I’m showing off some new sox and talking about how I like to style them.Read more