Archive for magic

Interior Design for Satanists: Aliester Crowley Wallpaper!

Posted in I Heart Steampunk, In Celebration of the Absurd, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, SPOOKY KABUKI, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Spooky Kabuki practically squealed when she saw these insanely lovely “Aliester Crowley” wallpapers.  Spooky Kabuki does not squeal. That’s for the other more easy, more breezy alter egos. 

Spooky Kabuki held in that squeal, swallowing it like a sip of Creme de Menthe where it tingled in her tummy and quivered in her hips. 

"leaf"

 

Aliester Crowley wallpaper? What craziness is this? 

Katie Deedy — clever dame, Brooklyn-based illustrator & designer — created the Crowley design for her company Grow House Grow. Grow House Grow “specializes in narrative-inspired wallpaper design.”  Gulp, gulp. Must swallow squeals. Gulp, gulp. How lit-cool pulp-past whip smart is that shit? 

 

“Our lifelong love of storytelling and affinity for pattern shapes every hand printed roll we produce.” 

Here at Cream Scene Carnival, we celebrate the storyteller. We’re elbows on the table and rapt. 

The whole storied idea behind Grow House Grow is filling us with lust and rapture, but these crazy cool Aliester Crowley papers are perfect for Spooky Kabuki’s dream house: 

 A haunted mansion, crows roosting in the rafters. Spider webs festoon the porch, hanging like festive garlands. Guests duck under the lacy embrace to reach the brass door-knocker — a steampunkish jumble of gew-gaws & gears. Clouds gather there like water-worn pebbles. Inky blue roses grow in tumbling thickets. 

 

A house with as many shadowy hallways as there are rooms. And there’s many a room. Bedrooms with crackling fireplaces and lush beds (for voluptuous bodies and voluptuaries alike.) Down pillows, violet linens, tiger-skins and fox-fur. (Faux.) The library over-flows with old books and clattery vintage typewriters. In the parlour, chow-pups wrestle on the tatty oriental rug as Roky Erickson plays on the Victrola. 

 

Spooky Kabuki’s dream house is that house from my dreams…. where I’m constantly stumbling onto some new wing or discovering some dusty basement full of forgotten treasures. The house of the secret subconscience. With its Jungian beatles and ghosty hues, the Aliester Crowley wallpaper in “Veil” was made for that ever-evolving house… that place that plumbs the psyche.  

"veil"

 

Even The Kubuki must confess that the pink delicacy of the “primrose” version makes for cheeky irony. It would also be lovely in a glamourous powder room — after all, Kabuki’s do a lot of powdering.  

"primrose"

 

The papers aren’t exactly cheap at $180 a roll or $48 a sheet, but it wouldn’t take much to make an impact and delight your senses. They’d be gorgeous in an entry way or other small spaces (like Kabuki’s powder room!) They’d even be great behind a bookshelf or inside a china cabinet.  

They’re a nice subtle way to salute your dark side. 

You’d also be supporting a unique talent like Katie Deedy who does more then design beautiful patterns. Deedy looks into the meaning beyond form. She tells the story behind the flourish. Deedy seeks to decorate The House Of Memory… one room, one wall, at a time. 

The bizarre stories surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley are anything but few and far between. Dubbed “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley kept heads turning as an avid occultist, insatiable drug user and devoted hedonist. 

This wallpaper pattern stems from the summer of 1938, which Crowley spent in Cornwall. Some unsubstantiated sources site cultish melees involving dancing beauties, hard narcotics and evenings spent in black magic debauchery. My interest, however, lay with a woman also residing in Cornwall that summer: Katherine Arnold-Forster, nee Ka Cox. 

Ka, an intelligent and practical woman, was the ex-lover of writer Rupert Brooke, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf. She eventually married into the influential Arnold-Forster family, and had been quietly living in Cornwall with her artist husband for some years prior to Mr. Crowley’s arrival. 

The last night of Ka’s life is shrouded in mystery and rumor. As the story goes, a couple from town found themselves entangled in Crowley’s dark escapades and, fearing for their lives, approached Ka for help. Ever sensible, she took on their cause and made a visit to their cottage the following night. Her intention was to prove the dark arts they practiced were bogus, and it’s possible that a seance was held. Some even believe Crowley himself was present, and a heated supernatural confrontation ensued. What is known for certain is that Ka Cox inexplicably dropped dead that night, making headlines across England and reinforcing Crowley’s scandal-ridden infamy. (from Grow House Grow

There’s something very dastardly and delightful about the Crowley design which befits the source but there’s also a sort of steampunk romanticism to the pattern… antenna become rotors, bug wings become whirring zeppelins. The pattern is organic and mechanic at once. 

 

Hey, Ms. Deedy, be sure to call me when you design a rose-strewn paper inspired by Gilman’s classic  The Yellow Wallpaper. I’m thinking shades of buttercup and mustard, with wispy bits of cream & nudie peach. Mesmerizing, menacing, & liable to lead to mental-imbalance.  Yep. I bet you’re picturing it now, Katie Deedy. I bet it’s beautiful. I’ve been dreaming of that paper for years. Now that I know you exist, I’m waiting on the edge of my seat.  

 

Expect to see more of Grow House Grow’s amazing designs here on Cream Scene Carnival … especially an entomological ode to Mary Ward: a wonderfully creepy contrast of lady and bugs.

The Gift of Time (or I Shoulda Been the Queen of Sheba)

Posted in Alphabetfiend, Art & Culture, Books & Writing, I Heart Friends, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Steampunk, Mythos, punk rock, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, Spirituality & Religion, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by alphabetfiend

 I’ve never been one to contain my birthday celebrations to just my one official day (Yes, that’s right, I’m her.  As if you didn’t know that already. Stop feigning horror and surprise.)  

I’m shameless so I’ll go whole hog and admit that I usually try to get myself a birthday gift (yes, I try to be this self adoring and it’s harder than you’d think! I challenge you to it. Stay posted for details.)  

These gifts aren’t about momentary id. They’re about honoring the passage of time… like a little salute to the universe or a thank-you note to the big bang. This life thing is alright. Thumbs up on that one. Havin’ fun. Wish you were here.   

  

I try to pick something for myself that honors where I’ve been and heralds where I’m going, hokey as that sounds. I try to keep the trickster in mind and transform when transformation is called for… this is how I cheat death. My stint as trickster’s apprentice has taught me that much.   

This attitude is not effortless on my part, though many see it that way. Others are 100% on to me. My senior year in college, my honors advisor called me into his office to tell me that my perfectionism would surely be the death of me — and it was unneccessary to boot. My jaw dropped. What perfectionism?  He chuckled at my incredulous reflection all agog in the shiny surface of his desk. He motioned at that shiny, stunned me as if to say, There. See. So I challenged with what I saw as irrefutable logic: “I’m no perfectionist! Why I’m forever falling short and fucking up.” And then he was howling, at first with laughter and then with fury, because he was right and he knew it. He hadn’t used the word “death” lightly.  

I later ranted to my friend Thom, stamping my foot like a child as if to punctuate my imperfection. Dr. Hoch’s a dick, y’know, cause he don’t know, y’know, cause like I’m no perfectionist. I’mnotI’mnotI’mnotnotnot.   

Thom smiled knowingly, “Oh, please. Your ‘fuck-ups’ are other peoples’ ‘crowning glories’.” Then he hedged,  

Honey, c’mon, really? Letting up a little? Not the worst idea ever. Is there any thing left to prove at this point? To who? Profs love you. When class lets out they go and sit in your seat, grinding their asses into the warm wood, moaning oh yes I’m touching her ass through magical osmosis.”  

Thom never passes up a chance to use the word “ass” or to ease my worries either so I put the issue away, for that day. But damn if it hasn’t reared its ugly head again. And again. And again. I still don’t think of myself as a perfectionist so much as a chronic self-saboteur. Even then I wonder if its all some secret fate the trickster has in store. Maybe I fuck-up to save myself from the tyranny of perfection or maybe I’m the tyrant.    

These two sides of my personality are forever waging war within me. Typical Gemini!   

One side sees my birthday as a defeat and a deadline: Oh! Woe! I was supposed to have been The Queen of Sheba by now!   

That bitch is no fucking fun at all.  

The other side sez “And just for that shit, yer ass ain’t never gonna be the Queen of Sheba. I’ll make damn shit sure of it.”  

And that cunt is the reason I’m not the Queen of Sheba.  

She’s also the one you wanna party with. Unless of course you’d rather not be man-handled by a bouncer when your date — saucy mouth, double d’s clad in a punk rock tee, rhinestone tiara — refuses to respect the fucker’s a-THOR-i-tye. But hey she’s good in bed so you go with it.  

  

Birthdays are ALL ABOUT THE PARTY so the perfectionist is a rock, a rock wrapped — like a gift! — in the paper of the fox trickster fuck-up. Rockpaperscissors. Paper beats rock. I win! I scream! You scream! We all scream for ice cream. The 9-year-old in me that expected the 36-year old to be a famous writer by now — jeesh, what have you been doing with your life you loser — must wear a conical party hat. She must bow her head to the fuck-up as the fuck-up schools her on the pleasures and sorrows of adulthood. Sex, weed, HBO, Austin, punk rock,  falling in love, this sci-fi invention called the inter-net, disgracing yourself regularly, getting lost and then found. Oh, such sweet distractions from perfectionist abstractions. Yes, that’s right youngin’, the inter in internet does stand for inter-galactic. Doesn’t it? Or not. Don’t get me lyin’!  Best grown up fuck up pleasure of all? Not having to know motherfucking everything.  

The fuck-up snaps the elastic under the perfectionist’s chin which causes her party hat to go askew. She lets it stay that way. For that alone she deserves a gift. I try to pick out something nice but clever. A talisman of sorts. Something that sez to Time, “Bring it on, bitch. I’m not askerd of you!”  

"Siamese Dream" by Studio Thirty Four

I put a lot of thought into the gifts I give myself but this year I’m at a loss. Sure I’d love that steampunk motorcycle (It’s a beaut! You’ll see it when I post the “Happy Birthday, Steampunk Seductress” page. Soon, my sweets.) But I’m not $70,000 dollars worth of worth it!  There’s more affordable options — Ringleader’s mustache necklace or clownie vest??? I’m getting a new tattoo (my sweet clownie Miss Van) and I just started back on Cream Scene Carnival so…. I dunno. I’m in no hurry to choose. I’m happy to be writing again and that’s enough for me. For now. I’ll still choose something concrete cause I’m a hedonist alive in a physical world and I fuckin’ love cool shit.  

I don’t think the universe objects to the affection I lavish on myself. If anything, the gods appreciate my gusto. How else do you explain the fact that aside from the gifts I give myself I also get birthday gifts from the universe. I do! It’s true! Every year, through some strange turn of events, a gift arrives from no where sent by no one. I was halfway through this post today when the Robot came in with a box from Amazon and began to dig through it furtively, setting mysterious treats aside for his masculine half-assed wrapping treatment. I watch as he peers at the receipt with a perplexed expression, “Did you use D’s gift certificate to get Visions from the Mechanism: The Industrial Surrealism of Jeffery Scott ??” I shake my head and his brow furrows, “No?” I shake my head again. He holds the book up, as if the sight of it will jog my memory. “You didn’t order this? No? Cause I sure as fuck didn’t.”  

I begin to clap my hands with giddy anticipation, squealing “Oh! It must be my gift from the universe! Gimmee!” and he tosses it with a shrug cause he didn’t know the universe gave gifts but turns out it does. He’s seen it enough times now to know it’s true. Thank you to The Thrones! I love it! It’s the perfect gift considering my steampunky desires of late.

Stem Sell part II by Jeffery Scott (30 pages into my new book!)

I pour over the book, licking my lips as I turn the slick pages, page after dark page of mad maxxian sexbot steampunkery. I’m so enchanted by Scott’s mechanistic vision that I don’t notice my Robot as he unwraps a just-arrived CD (The Flaming Lips doing Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.) He pops it in and presses play, hiking the volume. I’m so absorbed in my book that I think nothing of it until Stardeath and White Dwarfs come on strong and “Time” fills the room with it ticking, graying melancholy:  

 Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.  

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.  

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.  

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.   

With the smug swish of a fox tail, the trickster’s sly smile crosses my face . I hafta laugh at my own gemini duplicity — one side, snide, saying “Not enough, more more” and the other side saying, “Oh, thank you! So much! Much much.” One twin pushes, the other twin pinches.  

Titled "I Love you Anyway" or "The Girl Makes Peace With Herself"

We are slutty siamese twins with totally different taste in men. One sister went black and swore she’d never go back but, alas, she shares a vagina with her twin (and she’s got a yen for geeky white men.) Hey, homegirl, at least she’s not a lesbian!  

To my perfectionist side, I give this — the Flaming Lips version of Floyd’s “Time” with Stardeath and White Dwarfs ringing in 2010 at a New Years eve show in the FL’s hometown of Oklahoma City. I wish I had seen this show live!!! This video is shot beautifully by professionals who had total access. Less tha 5000 people have viewed it.  

“Sweet, ” sez Sister Fuck-up, “Let’s watch this sucker like its (black) boy on (black) boy porn. Oh, hell ya! Now pass the hash pipe.”  

The Siamese Twin art above is available on Etsy. “Siamese Dream” is by Studio Thirty Four  and “I Love You Anyway or The Girl Makes Piece with Herself” is by rowenamurillo

Nick Drake’s “Made to Love Magic” — Punk Rock Gospel

Posted in Spirituality & Religion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I was off-line yesterday so I’m posting the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel Blog on a Monday afternoon. Never too late for a little salute to the spirit. This one goes out to a friend of mine who wants to take his kiddies for a walk in the woods to suss out a little toadstool magic.

I love this song with a crazy ache. The first time I ever heard it I jumped up and wrote down the lyrics in the inside cover of my journal. I was most definitely made to love magic. This song speaks to how hard it is to hold onto that in this the age of “reason.” But I say, it stands to reason that there’s more than meets the eye in this world of atomic structure & quantum physics. I say “Be That Magic” and maybe others will regain what they lost.

Made to love Magic

I was born to love no one
No one to love me
Only the wind in the long green grass
The frost in a broken tree.

I was made to love magic
All its wonder to know
But you all lost that magic
Many many years ago.

I was born to use my eyes
Dream with the sun and the skies
To float away in a lifelong song
In the mist where melody flies.

I was made to love magic…

I was born to sail away
Into a land of forever
Not to be tied to an old stone grave
In your land of never.

I was made to love magic…

This is my Candy Condo; I’m a witch who might eat you.

Posted in Art & Culture, Friendship, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Friends, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Mythos, Psyche & Sexuality, Romance, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2008 by alphabetfiend
“I was born to love magic, all its wonder to know…” – Nick Drake
Got lost on someone else’s blog today, so lost that I fully expected to see a house with graham cracker shutters and chocolate bar shingles, a “stone” garden out front piled high with gum drops.
Eat-it-up wonderful by artist Sun Wahyu.

Eat-it-up wonderful by artist Sun Wahyu.

 I’m thinking about blogs and all the different forms they take… how in a way, in the right circumstances, they can become gingerbread houses in the fairytale woods. If you examine the architecture you can see the secrets inside. So many blogs are the fort in the bushes or the crawl space in the basement. The place where you go to connect with who you really are. In a way, I was wishing that mine was like that — desperately emotional, startlingly intimate. But then I’m startlingly intimate all the time, no one’s really startled anymore. Least of all, me. Do I fit into this community? Or do I stick out? When I go out poking around, should I leave a bread crumb trail?

We are here, on this planet, with one another and wow that’s magical! But if you are like me and always pointing out the magic, well, that’s not always a welcome intrusion into the day-to-day importance of cell phones, ipods, computers and the making of money to buy these machines. I’m machine-friendly. Kinda. I love a boy who is part robot. It’s not a bad thing. I think we are co-evolving with machines in ways we don’t even realize. We are co-evolving with everything and everyone. Our loved ones, our allys, even our enemies. Everyone. I never knew that day, 8 years ago, the day I met my doggie, my Prince Nakula, the power his gaze would have over me. I’m not the same person that I was. His beasty royalty has changed me. So machines… machines aren’t the devil. Look at Diego Rivera’s paintings! The spiritual and the mechanical can coincide within the crossed wings of a dragonfly. With the right mindset. Which is, at the very least, not to lose sight of the magical aspect of the machine.

Rockefeller's an ass for depriving NYC of this pure genius.

Cellphones, ipods, laptops…. these are communication machines. Are we communicating with them or are we hiding inside of them?

Is the ibook replacing the “I”?

Are myspace friends replacing real friends?

What is happening with blogging? Are we connecting with strangers in lieu of our loved ones? Or are we just connecting and that’s enough? Does the net (blogs, myspace, facebook) just give us a better chance to find our tribe members? To narrow down the search? Or is it just making it easier for advertisers to find us? As we sit in wait in our quirky niches. I gave in to myspace last spring after the RobotBoy round about double-dared. He thought I’d enjoy the photos and the blogging and the little notes passed like valentines. He was right, which riles. I show off piks of my ink and am inundated with tattoo ads. I confess to a glamour fetish and espouse the psychic importance of pageantry; extolling the virtues of crowns, feather head-pieces, gold lame, glitter, wigs. So they hawk toupees. I love the circus with a suspicious fervor, as though I spent a former life as the bearded lady who fucked the mer-man in the wee hours in our carnie wagon. I could care less about a cheap hotel stay in Vegas.

A-ha! I caught you! What are you doing here, in the wee hours, in my sticky web?

Did I just see you take a bite of my licorice-woven welcome mat?

Did you just devour my butterscotch doorknob?

Alphabetfiend is a trickster fox in the fairy tale woods.
 
** After an exhausting search of gingerbread images, I finally found the above image that had the sort of dizzying eerie exciting mood I was after, artwork by another “blogger” (of course! it would be.) Sun Wahyu of “Secret Society for the Sleepless Sleepwalker” … wow… what a name! I’ve definitely got my third eye on that secret society and you should too. And of course it would be called a secret society. All the better to make my point with, my dearie, said the wolfish grandmother to Little Red.

Can’t Sink My Fangs Into HBO’s “True Blood”

Posted in TV with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“When you came in the air went out and every shadow filled up with doubt.   I don’t know who you think you are but before the night is through, I wanna do bad things with you.”the killer cool theme for True Blood by Jace Everett, part of a promise that hasn’t yet delivered.

I vant  to love “True Blood”  —  HBO’s latest show by Alan Ball, the brilliant mind behind “American Beauty” and  “Six Feet Under.”  Ball breathed new life into TV with Six Feet and I was cuckoo for caskets all 5 seasons.  So I was hungry for True Blood.  I craved a juicy juju… a gothic gumbo… but I aren’t satisfied.  My fangs are sharp and ready. My senses are heightened. I can almost taste the metallic taint of black soil & sticky sweet plasma.  But No.  The show has not tilted its head to offer up a gurgling jugular. True Blood is a tooth-tease. My incisors are an achy shade of blue. The pretense is promising: bottled blood gives vampiric barflys the freedom  to finally “come out of the casket.”  Set in the deep south, I figgered we’d see Ball gnashing his gothic chops; doing for vampires what he did for undertakers, creating complex characters with darkly gorgeous mindscapes.  I’m gonna make like a bat and hang in there, hoping to be sucked in,  but last night’s episode began with 10 long insufferable minutes. I was hating on it hard,  feeling there was nothing to feed on, when suddenly there came a scene that gave my vamp a little vim:

“What animates you no longer animates me.”

“What does animate you then?  Blood?  How do you digest it if nothing works?”

“Magic.  You think that it’s not magic that keeps you alive?  Just ’cause you understand the mechanics of how something works doesn’t make it any less of a miracle. Which is just another word for magic. We’re all kept alive by magic, Sookie. My magic’s just a little different from yours.”

Yummy!    I’ve often made that very same case for magic.   What is more magical than molecules?   We have blood in our veins and we make up age-old stories about night creatures who slurp that blood.   To be made of blood and teeth, of fancy and myth,   it just don’t get more magical than this.   So maybe I’ll learn to like that deadpan Drac yet… maybe he’s not such a irksome piglet after all.   Time will tell —  though unlike some,  I’m not immortal — so bring it on, Ball ’cause this bitch ain’t got all night.

            ******

“She can suck on sunlight for all I care.” — evil disco-afro vampiress

Heroes tonight!!!!  Hooray!!!

Alphabetfiend is Dia VanGunten — a writer & wanna-be circus freak living in Austin, Texas.

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