Monday, March 28, 2011

Skeleton Dresses

Spinal Cord Dress by Dsquared2, Style #:DSQUR20104

Jean Paul Gautier (modeled by Dita Von Tease)

 Shuan Leane for Alexander McQueen
Unknown, found on eBay  
Rachel Wright, Scapular Art Dress from her Dreamy Anatomy collection

Gary Card, worn by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga Monster Ball Skeleton Costume
Oscar Olima, pleather dress designed for Lady Gaga
lady gaga olima dress3
more Gaga fashion...and the dress that started it all: The Skeleton Dress by Elsa Schiaparelli, back in 1938 in collaboration with Salvadore Dali.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gothic Greenhouse Inspiration Photo...and a Skull Scarf

Just another day lounging in my conservatory whilst wearing my bustleskirt, contemplating colouring my hair the shade of one of the blooms on the floor.
 Seriously, NO, that is not me...I just wish it was. Then I'd be better able to see and identify that black-flowering plant that is creeping up the other side of the sofa.  The lovely pendulous datura blooms add a nice touch to this gothic scene, too.

Here I am, with a lovely new addition to my wardrobe--the skull-and-flower scarf made by Kara over at the WickedCrochet blog.
 Isn't it great? It's getting tons of compliments. I went out to lunch and practically the minute I hit the sidewalk a passerby said "I like your scarf!" Kara's blog has a link to her Etsy store, so you can check out her selection of wicked skull scarves and nasty doilies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Becoming an Irish Citizen through Dual Citizenship- A guest blog

This following is a guest blog by my love, Dennis. Official information can be found at

I was recently granted dual Irish/American citizenship, so this Saint Patrick's Day was somewhat special for me. There aren't any real benefits of this, especially since Ireland is in severe economic trouble. But I am a sentimental guy and that's why I applied for citizenship via descent from my grandfather, Dennis Kelly - he's as Irish as Patty's pig!
 For those interested, Irish citizenship has easier regulations than some other countries and does not require that you renounce your current US citizenship - so you can get dual/multiple citizenship.
It does require an ancestor no further back than grandparent be an Irish citizen. Your grandfather's father is too far back, unless your grandfather was born in Ireland and came here as a child.

The process is simple, but tedious - you have to document every step in your lineage back to Ireland. In my case, that meant:
o grandfather's birth certificate
o grandfather's death certificate (or copy of driver's license if still alive)
o grandparents marriage certificate
o mother's birth certificate
o copy of mother's driver's license (or death certificate if deceased)
o parent's marriage license
o my birth certificate
o copy of my driver's license
o utility bills in my name/address
o statement from a public official: policeman, bank president, judge, doctor, etc
o photos
o application
Government documents have to be originals or state-issued copies with raised seals.

It took a lot of time to obtain the necessary documents. Then, after 14 months of waiting, the envelope from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs arrived. I opened the envelope with some trepidation. I was unable to finish the first sentence of the cover letter. My eyes were kinda wet.

To all those of Irish descent - whether or not you have official citizenship - May Ireland always be in your heart and may she always bring you blessings. To everybody else - on St. Patrick's Day consider yourselves Irish for the day - a brave, honorable, hard-working people - but also stubborn and willing to fight for their beliefs. It is a powerful combination.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The "Charmed" House- Halliwell Manor

The house known as Halliwell Manor from the "Charmed" TV series

This is the house that was used for the exterior of  Halliwell Manor in the television series "Charmed", which ran from 1998 through 2006. In the series, the three young Halliwell sisters used their witchcraft to battle evil.
It is a real house, not located in San Francisco where the TV show was set, but rather it is at 1329 Carroll Avenue in Los Angeles.

The roof sports a weathervane shaped like a whale. The roses and hollyhocks in the front garden were out of bloom on the day I visited (Valentine's Day 2011.) The house was built in 1887 and was the first of several Victorian houses in the neighborhood to be designated as a historical landmark. Locally, it is known as the Innes house, as it was built for shoe store magnate Daniel Innes, who was also a Los Angeles city councilman.

The "Charmed" TV series starred Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannon Dougherty. Here's a still shot from the series showing Shannon looking out the door:

The same front door on the real house:

The house was used on the cover of this "Charmed" book, which is more than I can say for Shannon; she was eventually replaced by a new character played by Rose McGowan:

The house is shown faintly in the background on this book cover
The house is only 2 doors down from the "Thriller" house:

The house in between the "Charmed" and the "Thriller" houses is this yellow one at 1337 Carroll Ave. It was used in Season 2 of  "Charmed" as the home of next-door neighbor Dan Gordo, who became Piper's (Holly Marie Combs) love interest:

1337 Carroll Ave, known locally as the Foy house

Here's the spooky house to the right of "Charmed", at 1325 Carroll Ave- and it's for sale! The cost is about a half-million dollars:

1325 Carroll Ave

If they were filming "Thriller" these days, they'd probably pick that house. Only a small part of it seems to have been rehabbed. And it has two lovely poisonous white Angel's Trumpet (datura) plants in front.
The street has had a variety of hitching posts installed in front of the houses, including this swan-styled one in front of the "Charmed" house:

Only the exterior of the house was used for filming. The interior was shot on a sound stage and does not match the floor plan of the real house. The current owner has been quite accommodating, letting people see the interior on occasion. Once a month, the Los Angeles Conservancy conducts walking tours in the neighborhood (make reservations here) and sometimes the "Charmed" house has opened its doors as part of that 2 and a half hour tour.
Some other houses in the 'hood:

But not all of Carroll Avenue is so picturesque. Consider the flat-looking paint scheme on this poor house, and think of how you would re-invent it:

Carroll Avenue is in an area of Los Angeles called Angelino Heights. There is a small lake within walking distance called Echo Park Lake, or just Echo Lake, that has tall geyser-like fountains, paddleboats and a lot of geese, ducks, and palm trees. One of the geese (named Maria or Orange Bill, depending on who you talk to) has bonded with a few humans, including members of the band OK Go when they filmed this music video entirely at the lake. She can be seen following them around, especially in the video's last half. Echo Park Lake is to be drained for a $64-million makeover soon. Frequent lake visitor Dominic Ehrler has also bonded with the goose, and he says of her: "They're supposed to collect the birds and truck them to another lake. I plan to follow her there, because when you have a friend like this you don't want to lose her." Awww!
 So that is our lucky "Charmed" house- hope you thought it was magically delicious.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day (and because my Dennis officially became an Irish citizen a few weeks ago -14 months after he applied), here are a few pics of Halloween Town's latest holiday window display:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Preschool "Thriller"

rJust a slight delay until I make my next "real" post, but in the meantime, I got a kick out of this and maybe you will, too:
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