“Geralt of Rivendell”: Historybounding Aesthetic

This is part two of a series on historybounding aesthetics. To read the series introduction for context, click hereThis series was inspired by the Style Avatars series by Blue Collar Red Lipstick (article).

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! Today, part two of my historybounding aesthetic series is long overdue, so here it is!

Geralt of Rivendell

While Gibson Grimm is more of a work persona, Geralt of Rivendell is more casual or around the house. I came up the name to make a reference to Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher and Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings at the same time. Here are some inspirations and ideas I’ve come up with to describe “Geralt of Rivendell”:

Concepts:

  • YES BOWS ARE IN FASHION FINALLY!
  • …. Oh, they meant RIBBON bows? …. $@%#.
  • “You don’t seem the type to appreciate poetry.” :You shrug:
  • PO-TAY-TOES. Boil ’em, mash ’em, stick ’em in pies (you don’t wanna order one and find it has no filling, y’know).
  • You always travel light. Always.
  • The company of animals is always better than that of people. Bonus points for the company of horses.
  • You’d rather go the mountains than to the beach.
  • “What do you mean, woodsmoke doesn’t count as perfume?”
  • Boots go with everything. Everything.
  • “I thought you hated music.” “I don’t like bards. There’s a difference.”
  • The power of a good, deep hood concealing your face is underrated. They just don’t make them like that anymore, do they?

Geralt of Rivendell Mood Board.jpg

If you follow me on Pinterest, I have a section of my aesthetic board for “Geralt of Rivendell”:

Inspirations:

  • From Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy:
    • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
    • Orlando Bloom as Legolas
    • Liv Tyler as Arwen
  • Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel from Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy (I know, I know, she’s not in the books, but we both have red hair)
  • Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Netflix’s The Witcher
  • Farrendel, the Elven Alliance series by Tara Grayce
  • The Bosmer from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • The rangercore, elfpunk, and adventurecore tags on Tumblr
  • Any song by Lord Huron

Color Combinations:

  • Forest/hunter green & black
  • Midnight blue & silver gray
  • Black & silver gray
  • Silver and maybe some gold or bronze metallics

Sewing list:

  • Under-tunics and trousers in gray and black
  • Tunics with nature-inspired embroidery details
  • Belt pockets for carrying essential items
  • Herjolfsnes dress over a smock (see Bernadette Banner’s YouTube video)
  • Cloak for winter (hunter green)

What do you think of this aesthetic? Please let me know in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

Geralt of Rivendell.jpg

Edit: Evangeline Lilly is now listed as the actor for Tauriel.

“Gibson Grimm”: Historybounding Aesthetic

This is part one of a series on historybounding aesthetics. To read the series introduction for context, click hereThis series was inspired by the Style Avatars series by Blue Collar Red Lipstick (article).

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! It’s time for our first historybounding aesthetic!

I came up with this aesthetic when I was trying to figure out how to navigate my love of historical costuming in the brutal heat and humidity of Florida. Steampunk in the classical sense of the aesthetic is many layers of materials that are often thick and often less breathable than ideal, and so I wanted to adjust accordingly for light layers with a more streamlined silhouette and more fairytale influences with the Brothers Grimm, as well as some paranormal influences with the rise in the Spiritualist movement and the rise in popularity of Gothic literature and horror novels such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula. So now, I shall present the Gibson Grimm aesthetic.

Gibson Grimm Mood Board.jpg
Collage made in Canva

Aesthetic inspirations:

  • “How does Professor know so much about mythological creatures?”
  • Mythical-bird-watching from the deck of a dirigible or the basket of a hot-air balloon
  • The stage ghosts spoil all of Houdini’s escape stunts. All of them. So rude.
  • Nodding politely to the river spirit under the ice while skating past
  • Waving to the merpeople from the deck of an ocean liner, dressed to the nines for dinner
  • Looking for the white stag during the hunting season. Catching it gives you a wish. Bad things have happened to those who try to shoot it.
  • Being a graduate of Mme. la Vicomtesse de Chagny’s Music Conservatory
  • Back-alley antique stores run by someone who somehow knows exactly what you need before you get the chance to tell them, or even before you know what you need
  • “Oh dear, Lady Hawthorn brought her enchanted biscuits to tea again. How ever can I politely decline this time?”
  • Ferns in lieu of feathers on one’s hat
  • :fastens scarlet coat: “Mother, I’m going to Grandma’s!” (“Very well, don’t talk to strangers. And you’re not taking that scandalous contraption, are you?”) :takes out bicycle Grandma secretly got you: “Of course I’m not!”
  • Carrying a notebook of blank sheet music to transcribe what melody the Fair Folk are playing while promenading, then playing it with a gramophone when you miss that music

Colors:

  • Black (for skirts and outerwear)
  • White or ivory (for shirtwaists and underpinnings)
  • Brown (for accessories and skirts)
  • Bronze/antique gold/copper (for jewelry, metallic accents, and accessories)
  • Absinthe/bottle green (for accessories, parasol covers, etc.)
  • Turquoise/teal/seafoam green (for accessories, to have a copper-or-bronze-patina color palette)

If you follow the link to my Pinterest board down below, I have a section dedicated to Gibson Grimm:

Fashion Inspirations:

Tentative sewing list:

What do you think of this aesthetic? Let me know in the comment section below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

Revision: Cathy Hay has been added to the list of inspirations. I regret this omission.

lucas-santos-huRn8ECqADI-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Lucas Santos on Unsplash

Historybounding Aesthetics: Intro

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog!

Last year, I posted a picture on my Instagram of a sewing pattern by Truly Victorian. Surprisingly, that photo got almost twice as many likes as I usually got during that time, so it showed me that people were very interested in that. Today, I want to show my plans for “historybounding”, a term from costuming YouTuber Morgan Donner in this video.

In short, “historybounding” is when people incorporate historical influences into more modern styles of clothing (similar to the concept of “Disneybounding“). For instance, I’ve worn an 18th-century-style skirt with a modern T-shirt and sandals or a minimalist blouse and modern shoes. The possibilities are close to infinite and depends on what one’s interested in and which eras one wishes to incorporate.

On a serious note, I think this is important to address before we go too far into this. Considering how some traditional/vintage (life)style communities can get too problematic too quickly (Strange Aeons’ video about the tradwife community on Tumblr comes to mind for me), a lot of historybounders I know follow the quote from Dandy Wellington‘s hashtag, “Vintage style, NOT vintage values”. Historybounding is for anyone and everyone and has nothing to do with worldview, gender, lifestyle, and so on. Okay? Okay. With all that in mind, let’s continue.

For full transparency, this post is inspired by Blue Collar Red Lipstick’s series about Style Avatars (link to Part One here), and similar to Blue Collar Red Lipstick’s series, each of my aesthetics is going to get its own post. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my style tends to split into three, maybe four subcategories, and I want to fully develop and introduce each one. Will this drift into Tumblr-aesthetic territory? Perhaps. Let’s get started!

Because I’m planning to sew a lot of the pieces for these aesthetics myself, I decided to make some guidelines that every piece has to meet: comfort, versatility, and creative expression. I want to expand on these a bit before we move into the aesthetics themselves, so here we go:

1) Comfort (CW: body image issues)

My aesthetics have been constructed based on my current environment. I live in Florida. The weather here is notoriously very hot and humid, and I’ll just say we’re called the Sunshine State for a reason. In addition, my complexion is quite fair and I’m sensitive to heat, so all it takes is a few minutes in full sun for me to be utterly miserable and possibly already on my way to a burn. As a result, I feel I need to be quite particular about what I wear. Skin coverage is a necessity, which also makes it imperative to utilize natural fibers that are light, breathable, and soft. I would also want to use parasols, hats, and fans more organically, because wearing shorts and a T-shirt with a lacy parasol is… a look. (Go on, ask me how I know.)

While we’re here, I want to address something I hear a lot when I talk about layers and full sun coverage: “Aren’t you going to be too warm in that? Wouldn’t that make you overheat?” The short answer is this: it depends on what I’m wearing. In my own personal experience (and according to videos such as this one by Prior Attire), wearing clothes made of natural, breathable fibers such as linen and cotton feel a lot better in hot weather compared to synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon, which trap heat and don’t let the body breathe. Plus, if I use a hat, fan, and/or parasol, that also minimizes sun exposure, similar to staying in the shade to stay cool.

Another facet of comfort is mental comfort. Abby Cox talks about this concept in this video about wearing 18th-century clothing for five years. I highly recommend watching this video, but I’ll describe her point a bit here. Basically, modern clothing in general (and modern womenswear in particular) forces us to change our body from the inside to achieve a fashionable silhouette, rather than using optical illusions with corsetry (NOT tightlacing—there’s a huge difference), padding, and bustling to build a fashionable shape. Without getting too deep into dark, triggering topics, I tend to be uncomfortable when I wear modern clothing, both physically and emotionally. I often wonder how much of that discomfort is from clothes not fitting me properly, and also from how few favors modern clothes do for my natural shape. I’ve even considered wearing corsets and stays for bust support and preventing waistbands from digging too tightly into my stomach. I’m tired of squirming all day in uncomfortable clothes that make me feel awful.

2) Versatility

Since I have effectively three or four different aesthetics, I’m not sure I can do a capsule wardrobe in the textbook sense of the phrase. Regardless, I want my clothes to be as versatile as possible, with each piece pairing with as many other items as it can. The neutral colors I’m drawn to are earth tones like warm browns, olive green, and cream, as well as black, gray, and white. The accent colors I plan to incorporate are forest green, bronze, and indigo blue, as well as some moments of red to incorporate my fandoms. My preferred metallics will be warmer tones like copper, bronze, and gold, though I’ll probably wear some pewter and silver from time to time. While I wouldn’t be against wearing dresses, I’d probably have more versatility with skirts, trousers, and tops. Though I plan to sew clothes for each aesthetic, ideally, a good amount of my clothing will be able to overlap with another aesthetic to develop a capsule wardrobe of sorts.

3) Creative expression

I love my fandoms, and I love showing off my fandoms through clothing or accessories, so ideally, these aesthetics will incorporate a lot of those fandoms with various degrees of subtlety. Also, sewing is one of my hobbies that allows for self-care through creativity, helps when I have writer’s block, and I feel empowered when I’m wearing something I made myself. It’ll also be a test in resourcefulness and creativity to make sure everything works together and is versatile enough.

Links to aesthetics:

 

What would you consider your style aesthetic? Do you have more than one too? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

Historybounding Aesthetics Intro.png

 

My 2021 Resolutions

An image of misty trees with the text "My 2021 Resolutions" and "www.morriganharker.com"

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! To continue the pattern of talking about my New Year’s Resolutions, I want to talk about some of my resolutions for 2021. I’ve already addressed some of these on my Instagram, but I also want to go over them in more detail. So, here we go!

  1. Get out in nature more often. This is a big one for me. I plan to visit a new state park or local nature area every three weeks, and work towards camping, kayaking, hiking, and so on. Being out in nature has done wonders for me, so I’m hoping that will be a good form of self-care.
  2. Develop a more sustainable writing routineMy previous writing routines have been very much all-or-nothing, which is obviously not ideal, so I’d like to be able to find a daily writing routine that works for me. Right now I’m starting out with a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, and hopefully I can expand to over an hour by the end of the year.
  3. Improve my needlecraft and sew more pieces of my daily wardrobe. The idea of having an almost-entirely hand-sewn wardrobe is very appealing to me, especially with the aesthetics I have brewing about in the cauldron. It’s also a good way to keep myself creative when I have writer’s block. On a similar note, I’d love to keep working with knitting and embroidery to improve upon those hobbies and embellish my pieces.
  4. Post an article to this blog once a week. I would love to keep working with this blog and have it expand. I skipped last week for numerous reasons, but I’m working towards a more consistent content schedule.
  5. Develop a repertoire of recipes and develop a meal planning system. I want to cook more of my own food, and I plan to work with food as part of my spiritual practice, so I want to develop a meal prep system that works for me. I’ve already pinned a lot of new recipes to my Pinterest board, which you can find here.
  6. FINALLY get my audio drama up and running. Need I say more?

What are your resolutions for this year? Please let me know in the comments down below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

An image of misty trees with the text "My 2021 Resolutions" and "www.morriganharker.com"

Revisiting My 2020 Resolutions

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! Earlier this year, I wrote a post about what my 2020 resolutions were. Now that we’re in the final month of 2020, I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit my resolutions for this year.

  1. Continue to develop my blog and YouTube channel, but do so with self-compassion and without comparing myself to others. I’ll be the first to admit I pretty much dropped my YouTube channel. The reasons are many and varied and they all boil down to two main things: the process of prepping content, setting up shots, filming, editing, etc., just didn’t work for me when I was balancing other responsibilities, and I wanted to focus my attention on other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure when I’ll come back to YouTube, if I will at all. I’ll still be here, though, of course.
  2. Continue to develop my music and a career in suchUmmmmm… yeah, that didn’t happen either. Then again, COVID was a thing (and still is a thing), so I’m willing to be more self-forgiving with this one. I don’t know if I’ll post music on my socials yet, but I’m not against the decision altogether.
  3. Continue to develop a daily routine that is sustainable and allows for self-care. This is still a rough road but I’ve still made significant progress in self-knowledge and self-care. This month, I’ve resolved to work out as many days as possible to start a habit of daily exercise. I’ve started making my own clothes to allow for more physical and mental/emotional comfort in my daily life (more about the concept of “mental comfort” for clothes in this video by Abby Cox). I’ve started the process of making food staples like bread and jams from scratch to reduce the amount of unhealthy things like preservatives, food coloring, chemicals, etc. in my diet. Caring for my family’s cats Beauty and Lily has been a big part of my life now, especially all the cuddles they give. Writing and creating pretty things are still a huge part of my life, and I find great fulfillment from it.

While I feel it’s important to acknowledge where there’s more room for growth, I also want to acknowledge where I succeeded. Upon looking at my personal vision board and the list of resolutions I had for myself, there are a few successes I’d like to celebrate:

  • Going back to school
  • Adopting Beauty and Lily
  • Starting the publication process for my short story “Queen of the Wilis”
  • Starting a new job
  • Growing a community on Instagram and Twitter

What are your resolutions for 2021? Did you meet any of your resolutions for 2020? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

Revisiting my 2020 Resolutions.png

Things that I need on my writing desk

Welcome back, everyone! It has been far too long!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I was gifted a new writing desk a few months ago, and I wanted to write about what I need to be in creative flow. I do the vast majority of work on my laptop, but aside from my computer, these are what I need on my desk:

  • Notebook and pen. I get into creative flow more easily on pen and paper rather than with a word processing software, so I always have a notebook handy. I tend to stockpile pretty notebooks, so I’ve tried to use what I already have rather than buying new notebooks. I’m also very particular about what pens I use so I have a lot of them in a jar on my desk so they’re all in one place.
  • Earbuds. I have really sensitive hearing; sometimes just the tapping of the keys on my laptop keyboard can drive me mad, even if I use a light hand. As a result, I use earbuds to block out noise, listen to YouTube, or have an ambient audio track playing in the background.
  • Reference books. While my worldbuilding resource books (e.g., folklore collections, fiction books, etc.) are on my bookshelves, my writing reference books are on the shelves of my desk.
  • Sticky notes. If I’m in creative flow, I get so hyperfocused that I can even forget to eat or drink, so I put up sticky notes with affirmations or reminders of what I need to get done that day. I love leaf-shaped sticky notes—it goes so well with the ivy strands that I used to decorate the back of the desk.
  • Highlighters. I’m currently balancing my day job, self-care, class work, and creative endeavors, so I use color-coded highlighters in my bullet journal so I can see at a glance what I need to prioritize for that day. I keep them in a jar on my desk, and the rest of my colored pencils, markers, and pens are in a pouch on the shelves.
  • iPad. For sketching, reading on my Kindle, or analyzing photos with a closer eye, I use my iPad more often than I have in the past.

What do you need on your desk? Let me know in the comments section below!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

 

 

“Why does trash get so much attention?”

Disclaimer: This article is NOT meant to criticize or insult any particular genre of art, music, etc. or any particular artist; I’m here to relay information about a pattern of opinions that I don’t believe are helpful to building community in the creative world.

Today, I want to open up about the more resentful thoughts that can invade the headspace of other writers, musicians, and other creators. Admittedly, I’ve wrestled with these in my writing and music career, so I wanted to talk about them now.

You may have heard some of these before.

“Why is all the popular music these days just mass-produced, soulless, and a clear abuse of autotune, while smaller musicians with more talent get drowned out by the radio brainwashing?”

“Why is a banana duct-taped to a wall being treated as fine art, while artists who work hard on their skill never get famous?” (I am fully aware this particular case was an act of trolling, but my point still stands. There’s actually a good article on the banana by GQ, which you can find here)

“Why are all these problematic YouTubers getting millions of subscribers, while the wholesome, smaller content creators get steamrolled by the dreaded algorithm?”

“Why are poorly written books with plots as hole-y as Swiss cheese snapped up without question by publishers and fans, while quality works get rejected?”

To boil it all down: why is so-called “trashy” stuff getting so much attention they may not deserve?

It’s easy to fall into the trap of a mythical past of [Insert Creative Industry Here] denying what is Truly Art™ and welcoming in the soulless, corporate-minded mass-produced “trash” that is pushed onto us on repeat. I’m willing to bet smaller artists felt the exact same way about Elvis Presley or Charles Dickens back in their respective time periods. On one hand, it can be frustrating when something like writing or music (something I for one take very seriously and put a lot of my passion into) seems to be oversaturated with people who don’t seem to take it as seriously, and even may be doing for a quick cash grab. I personally wouldn’t even think of publishing a novel without revising, editing—through an editor or otherwise—and enlisting the help of beta and sensitivity readers, so it grinds my gears so badly when some writers don’t seem to do that, and they achieve massive success. On the other hand, the sheer quantity at which these artists are producing allows them to compound their income—also, I have no room to judge because they’re published and I’m not. It’s tempting to resent the artists that we perceive as opportunistic, talentless, and undeserving of fame, and put ourselves on a pedestal that, to put it bluntly, is more than a bit sanctimonious.

Where there is a business system, there will be people who find ways to make the system work for them, even if they’re in it for money and fame rather than passion for their art. It’s a harsh reality that in our world, quantity works better for a lucrative career than quality, and popular and predictable tends to sell. That doesn’t minimize how frustrating it can be if you put hours and hours of skill into your craft and it gets looked over for something that seems slapped together in comparison, but it nonetheless needs to be accepted. If we want to focus on quality rather than quantity, that’s fine, but we also have to accept that comes at a cost (figuratively and literally).

I also need to remind myself of the fact that, as much as I don’t want to hear this, I’m not entitled to success if my art gets published or released. It would be nice, but a successful writing career, for example, is not something I “win” because I was a good little writer and tied up my loose ends, wrote dynamic, round characters, and used the Oxford comma. On a more positive note, however, success for another writer doesn’t necessarily mean a loss of success for me; this can allow for artists to lift each other up, rather than tear each other down. I write and post my YouTube videos because I have nothing to gain if I don’t release them, and it’s something I like to do. Sometimes, I feel what little new and exciting material I do have to offer will get lost in the noise of the Internet, and it’s then that I have to remind myself why I create, and that there is room for all of us.

Have you dealt with this feeling before? How have you handled it? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

 

A Maiden Fair (Poetry)

I linger at the hawthorn tree

and beg you not to follow;

I know who may be waiting

under the enchanted canopy.

I long for their rescue

from this dark, wicked world

and for the whispers in the earth

to beckon me home,

where I will finally belong.

 

A Maiden Fair.png

 

Creativity in the face of COVID-19

These past few months have been chaotic with news of the coronavirus COVID-19, and I hope everyone is staying safe and self-quarantining for their safety and the safety of others around them. So far, I’m okay, I’m self-quarantining, and since one of my day jobs is already online and the second job is going to be remote also, so far, it’s been business as usual. Meanwhile, I’ve seen a lot of posts on my Facebook and Instagram about people making things during their isolation, and honestly, as much as I want (and have tried) to join in, I’ve felt such a creative block during this time.

To be fair, there are people saying that there’s no pressure to be productive, and I’ve heard and appreciated those voices. It’s not surprising to me that some people are having a lot of anxiety about this, and it’s important to validate those feelings; I’ve never seen a global health crisis like this in my lifetime, so I understand fear of the unknown is a thing. On top of that, spring is always a chaotic time for my headspace (I’m convinced that if I were a member of the Faerie Courts, I’d be one of the Autumn or Winter Court because spring and summer are a nightmare for me), and creating while running on nervous energy doesn’t allow for results that I’m satisfied with. Even though I personally want to keep making things so I can have some structure to my schedule, I don’t want to pressure myself into being creative when anxiety is taking up my mental bandwidth.

In case you need to hear it, regardless of whether you want to create or don’t want to create, it’s okay. This is a trying time for all of us, and it’s okay to need a break from creating. Stay safe, stay informed, stay calm, and until next time, stay magical, everyone.

The Entertainer (Poetry)

The numbers are cold,

The musical notes still warm

With the sensuous scarlet

That also decorates the dotted line

Of the contract I just signed

In my own blood—

I sold my soul

So I could let others

Commune with their own.