Thursday, July 29, 2010

Learning to Sew

I just got home from spending the last three days with my grandmother, learning how to sew. I bought a machine and wanted to learn how to use it so I wouldn’t have to bother her with all of my Halloween costume projects and my mending (do you know how big a pain it is to drive 2 hours one way to get a new zipper put in something?!).

I thought making some pieces for mine and my husband’s 2010 costumes might be a good learning experience. Suffice it to say that she ended up doing 85% of the work because the projects were way over my head, but I did learn how to use my machine and I did do some of the sewing. I even learned how to sew by hand. Hey, give me a break – I never took Home Ec. in school!

As frustrating as the projects were, we had fun and I feel like I could tackle an easier pattern soon. So here’s to the start of (hopefully) some great handmade Halloween costumes!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Q&A with DoBatsEatCats

Every day is Halloween in DoBatsEatCats’ shop! She makes jewelry for the goth at heart – funky yet still dark – and her chainmail is gorgeous too! She even has some pretties that my mom would approve of. ;) Read all about her here!

CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
DBEC: I'm a born-and-raised Chicagoan, currently living in the city with my boyfriend and my cat. I've always been involved in something creative, for as long as I can remember, whether it was acting, dance, music, or various forms of crafting. I started making jewelry years ago because I could never find what I was looking for in stores, and I opened my Etsy shop in August 2009. I was so excited to have found a venue where other crafters were successfully selling their work! When I'm not crafting, I'm working at my day job in textbook publishing, belly dancing (I used to dance with a troupe but am presently on an extended hiatus due to work and life stuff), or wandering around the city.

CZ: What type of items do you sell?
DBEC: I make creepy and sparkly gothic, Victorian-inspired, and Celtic jewelry. But it's not all gloom and doom in my shop -- I've been known to combine bright shiny colors with my skulls and bats and I try not to take the whole goth aesthetic too seriously. I've also recently added a line of chainmaille jewelry to my shop -- I took a chainmaille class and have found myself utterly addicted to this art. It's the perfect meditative craft for someone who's obsessive about little details like me! Many items are one of a kind, and I love taking custom orders -- in fact, some of my favorite pieces have been collaborations between myself and a buyer.

CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop and what keeps you motivated?
DBEC: Two things that inspire me are literature and found objects. I'm just a wee bit obsessed with Neil Gaiman and have done a number of Sandman - and Coraline - inspired pieces, most of which have sold so I am working on replenishing those. I've also done a number of Alice in Wonderland - inspired pieces in homage to my shop name (which is taken from "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"; unfortunately I can't claim credit for dreaming that up!).

I also love scouring yard sales and unusual sources for discarded sparkly things that I can make into something new. It's amazing the things people will get rid of! I recently created a couple of pieces made from upcycled chandelier parts, and more are on the way. We have an ancient chandelier in our front hallway and pieces started falling off of it -- so of course I've been transforming them into jewelry! My boyfriend did suggest at one point, "You know, you could just reattach those," but I think I just gave him a blank look, hahaha. I'm sure I'll eventually end up cannibalizing the entire thing.

I'm motivated by the possibility of one day being able to go out on my own and support myself through my art. I am not the corporate type AT ALL, and now that I've been in corporate America for a good 15 years or so, I'm finally coming to terms with the idea that I don't fit there and that's OK. Every time I have a bad day at the office, it only makes me want to work harder on my shop!

CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
DBEC: I had a buyer who purchased a bracelet and earring set from my shop and she was so pleased with it, she asked me to design her wedding jewelry. That was a really high compliment -- to be trusted by a complete stranger to create something to be worn on such an important day. I felt honored!

CZ: When did you first realize that you weren’t “like the other kids”?
DBEC: I haven't been "like the other kids" for as long as I can remember. My parents raised me to be an individual so I grew up with the idea that following the crowd wasn't a cool thing to do. I was a verbally precocious kid who began reading early, and I remember the neighborhood kids going up to my mom and asking her why I "used funny words" because I had a bigger vocabulary than they did. I also caused a stir in the seventh grade when I showed up at the school roller-skating party wearing black vinyl pants and a matching vest. At a Catholic school, no less. However, I then went through a long and ill-advised period of conformity that lasted into my early 20s, when I decided to give up trying to "pass" as normal -- I never was very good at it anyway!

CZ: What’s a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
DBEC: I spend an inordinate amount of time at my day job -- publishing is a tough and stressful field. My evenings are generally spent creating and listing new items, hanging out with my boy and my cat, or cooking something yummy and vegetarian.

CZ: Do you prefer zombies or vampires?
DBEC: Vampires -- their aesthetic and fashion sense is far superior to that of zombies, in my opinion. Unless we're talking about those vampires that sparkle in the sun -- then, zombies.

CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most and why?
DBEC: Probably the girl who immediately gets killed at the beginning of any slasher movie. I freely admit that I run like a girl and fight like a girl -- I'd have no chance whatsoever at fending off a psycho serial killer!

CZ: Which elusive creature do you believe is more likely to be real: El Chupacabra or Sasquatch?
DBEC: I think they're both real and are off having margaritas with the Loch Ness Monster and a very-much-alive Elvis.

CZ: Who is more likely to enslave the human race - aliens or robots?
DBEC: Robots, definitely. I can totally see "Battlestar Galactica" becoming a reality -- people getting too dependent on their electronic devices (iPhone, anyone?!) which then evolve without our really noticing it, become sentient and rebel. Aliens are just going to kidnap you and probe your various orifices, right?

CZ: What scares you?
DBEC: Those freaking "weeping angels" from Doctor Who. Those things scare the crap out of me! I had a nightmare not too long ago that the weeping angels invaded a craft fair I was showing at. They left my jewelry alone but seemed very interested in infecting the handmade soap being sold at the table next to me. I was running around warning people not to buy the soap because they'd be letting a weeping angel into their bathroom. Yeah, I have issues....

CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
DBEC: BRAAAAAAAAIIIIINNNNNS. uh, I mean, with you! I took one of those "would you survive the zombie apocalypse" quizzes and utterly failed it, so my only hope is to join the undead masses!

Make sure to keep up with DoBatsEatCats at any of these websites!

Agonysdecay Giveaway Winners!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the contest! 

Ella is the winner of her choice of ring from Agonysdecay!

And since we had more than 20 people enter I unlocked a second prize of a $15 credit to my Etsy store ( - the winner of that prize is erin!

The winners have been contacted and have 48 hours to respond to my messages. If at that point I have not heard from them I will pick a new winner/winners.

Oh, and I'll have another fantastic contest coming up soon - you won't want to miss this one!  Check back often so you can get in on the action. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vampire Vixen

I always struggle with deciding on a costume that I think no one else will be wearing. This always keeps me from going as one of the classic costumes – namely a vampire. So I thought I’d take some time looking around Etsy for unique vampire pieces. I found some great items!

This fabulous “Lady Lovecraft” shrug from lovechildboudoir sets the entire tone for our costume.

I wanted a top that was elegant and attractive but still let the shrug be the “star”. A lacy, silk corset from decadentdesignz was the perfect choice. AISHAX’s Vampire’s Delight skirt was the obvious pick to finish off the outfit.

Fabulize makes these awesome Victorian spats that I think screams Vampire, as do these sexy fingerless gloves from ZenAndCoffee!

Now on to the jewelry that helps pull the whole look together! I found two great rings, one for each hand: a ruby red stunner from CuriousGoodsCurios and an incredible bird skull ring by billyblue22. A bold necklace from EJPcreations tops the whole thing off magnificently!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Agonysdecay Giveaway!

Today we’ve got a giveaway from Agonysdecay! The prize is your choice of ring from her shop! Check out the choices HERE!

Be sure to follow all the rules. Earn as many entries as possible and spread the word! If we get 20 contestants I will throw in a second prize! I’ll be using to pick the winner(s) and will contact them the morning of July 26th. Good luck to you all!

Rules for entry:
Make sure I have SOME way to contact you if you win (Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, etc). Entries with no form of contact will be deleted.

If you win, you have 48 hours to respond to my contact. If I have not heard from you by that time I will pick a new winner.

You must post links to your actions here. If I can’t verify that you actually posted where you say you did your entries won’t count.

Please post all actions in the same comment so I can see how many entrants there are in a glance.  It is okay to post more than one comment if you come back later and complete more actions.

Go browse Agonysdecay’s shop. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite item is. This earns your first entry!

You have until July 25th, at 11:59 pm EST to enter.

How to gain extra entries:
+1 entry - Heart Agonysdecay’s shop (new and existing count).

+1 entry – Be or become a follower of Etsy’s Dark Side blog.

+1 entry - Subscribe to the feed of Etsy’s Dark Side blog with a feed reader (new and existing count).

+1 entry – Be or become a follower of @ EtsysDarkSide on twitter.

+1 entry – Be or become a fan of Etsy’s Dark Side on Facebook.

+2 entries - Blog about this giveaway.

+2 entries - Tweet (Twitter) about this giveaway.

+2 entries - Make a Facebook post about this giveaway.

+5 entries - Make a purchase from Agonysdecay’s shop and post the transaction ID here!

+5 entries - Make a purchase from my shop and post the transaction ID here!

Q&A with Agonysdecay!

Jenny from Agonysdecay is a very busy ghoul! She makes a ton of different stuff and she does it all well. Her soaps are adorable (or creepy if your tastes aren’t like mine!) and smell great, her cameos are quality work….I could go on and on! Instead I’ll just let you read more about her and her art here:

CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
AD: I'm a sweet transvestite, from transexual transylvania!! Really, I'm just an old spooky woman who enjoys making items that cater to the darker side of life. Death and all its components fascinate me. I am also a mother of a very mouthy 9 year old who likes Hannah Montana! JOY! By day, I take care of the terminally ill, mentally and physically disabled, and the elderly. Because of this experience, I'm hoping not to live past 60 ;)

CZ: What type of items do you sell?
AD: I sell mostly macabre and dark items. However, there are tons of items in my shop that are not spooky themed! I sell jewelry, soap, paper goodies, hair accessories, and OOAK items. I take custom orders for almost everything in my shop. I also take large custom orders for Gothic/Alternative weddings.

CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop?
AD: Since I was a little girl working with arts and crafts always amazed me. So, I'd have to say that my late mother was my inspiration. She wouldn't approve of the subject matter and style of my work but she was the one who initiated making things. My main source of inspiration is the dead, horror movies, music, and not to forget graveyards.  ;)

CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
AD: I have a special friend who has been shopping with me for years now. I'm pretty sure she owns every piece in my shop. She has given me the best compliments. Although there are many to choose from, I think my favorite is that she always says how much emotion, thought, and care I put into each item and package. This is a huge compliment to me because I do take a lot of time in each item and packaging.

CZ: When did you first realize that you weren’t “like the other kids”?
AD: When my parents died I had to move to a new town. It wasn't hard to realize that I wasn't like the other kids! Some of you elder spookies should remember this, when nose rings and colored hair was NOT acceptable. I was one of those unaccepted people and lived through that day. Only to grow up, get old, and see that EVERYONE and their mothers do it now...and its accepted!

CZ: What’s a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
AD: A typical day in the life of agonysdecay is just that, agony and decay.

CZ: Zombies or Vampires?
AD: Honestly, both. Zombies because one day, Zombies will be created (which they already are) for population control. I know that I will taken by Zombies just because they freak me out....the real life aspect of them. On screen, they fascinate me ;) Vampires? Why? They are the hottest damn creatures out there! I'll have to invent and modify the immortal factor though, who in the hell would want to live forever....

CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most?
AD: Michael Myers, he is my love machine and my hubby.

CZ: What scares you?
AD: Many things scare me. Sharks. I'm REALLY afraid of sharks. As a child I used to swim far out into the ocean and never gave it a second thought. Nowadays you will find my pale legs and feet barely standing by the shore. Dead people in water. Yes, a strange fear. I am terrified of EVER finding a dead body in water. When I go to the lake or river, I always think I'm going to step into a dead bloated carcass. Specifically someones skull. To imagine what this would feel like and look like haunts me constantly. Cars submerged under water. Yes, another strange fear. I can't stand the thought of cars in water...and if they have dead people in them, shooooot me now! I'd probably have to commit myself if I was ever to see a dead person in a car, underwater.

CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
AD: If 'us' are the Zombies, I'm going to die of fear anyhow so I'll be with you.

Check out all the great items Jenny offers in her shop and visit her often here:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Etsy Dark Team's Count Down to Halloween: Red Velvet Cake Eyeballs

Have you guys seen the article I wrote for the Dark Side's blog? You haven't? Well what are you waiting for? Go check it out! :D

Etsy Dark Team: Red Velvet Cake Eyeballs

Monday, July 12, 2010

Etsy's Dark Side Facebook Page Reaches 1000 Fans!

I am all kinds of excited about the Dark Side reaching 1000 fans on our Facebook page!  So I'm having a storewide sale!  Some of our other members are also having sales or giveaways!  You can check out all the goings on here:
Check back often as there are still sales/giveaways being added!

P.S. My storewide sale CAN work in conjuction with my BOGO on the 13th deal!  ;)

Q&A with CreationsByAngelia

If you are a belly dancer or just into that fashion you NEED to check out Creations By Angelia’s shop! She also has some great items for the goth or steampunk at heart. :) Read more about her here:

CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
CBA: I'm a stay at home mom of two, wife to one. I sew in my own sweat shop (the garage) in my 'spare' time. Meaning I sew after the kids go to bed and I'm up half the night. I started sewing items for dancing because it was sooo hard to find anything in a REAL plus sizes. I started with skirts and have expanded from there.

CZ: What type of items do you sell?
CBA: Creations By Angelia is primarily Belly Dance and Fusion dance themed items. 10 and 25 yard hem skirts, corset vests and belts, bustles and stylized bustle skirts, 4 yard Pantaloons, ghawazee style coats, and more... almost all items are custom made to order. There is a variety of items that are ready made and I LOVE to do custom work!! Most of my stuff is suitable for Ren Faire and SCA type dancing~

CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop and what keeps you motivated?
CBA: I started my shop just because I wanted people to have options for costuming. I sew for EVERY size, since no one size is right. I sew for both women and men, and love when people are repeat customers!!
My main motivation is to keep feeding and caring for my Rescue Horses! My Ty and Gracie. Both are older but fun to ride!
CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
CBA: I remember when I got a phone call from a lady who had ordered a custom pair of 4 yard pants and a matching vest. She had a hard time finding costumes because she was so small. She called me and told me that in class that night, she had worn her stuff and had felt like a queen, graceful and beautiful. Told me that she could tell it wasn't just a "job" for me. That I put a piece of myself into every piece of costuming that I create. It was almost as though she "got" it. I may make many simple items, but I care about who is going to wear them!

CZ: When did you first realize that you weren’t “like the other kids”?
CBA: Uh... I've always been a bit off from others~ I was into vampires, zombies, monsters, ghosts and more when I was in grade school. As soon as I learned to read I was reading creepy books and every "real ghost story" type of book I could get my hands on. I grew up before Goosebumps and books like that. Remember the books Scary Stories to tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories to tell in the Dark??? Loved ‘em....
CZ: What’s a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
CBA: Typical day for me, sleep in till I have to drag my butt out of bed (hubby's currently out of work, so he's been getting up with the kids) Eat my breakfast while doing emails and checking orders and things like that. Do my day to day stuff, house work, laundry and so on... Spend about an hour and a half feeding and grooming my horses, then coming home and making dinner, getting kids into bath and shower, into bed, and then I can stop and go work on my projects! I stay up till 3-4 am... I've always been a bit of a night owl. I do read a lot in bed before I go to sleep~ It flavors my dreams~

CZ: Do you prefer zombies or vampires?
CBA: Hmmm I prefer vampires. not sparkly ones though... (those are fairy's with teeth). I do like wolves, and love how they have been getting portrayed in lots of books, and a few TV shows as "real" looking Wolves. Not just manimals...
CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most and why?
CBA: Carrie~ I was always the odd person out in School, and still am! I always wished I could maim them. It made me a stronger person! Too bad I can’t make things move with my mind...

CZ: Which elusive creature do you believe is more likely to be real: El Chupacabra or Sasquatch?
CBA: Sasquatch. I live in the Northwest~ We have ‘em EVERYWHERE!

CZ: Who is more likely to enslave the human race - aliens or robots?
CBA: Well... I think we have enslaved ourselves... LOL But perhaps Aliens because they would be smarter than us.
CZ: What scares you?
CBA: Clowns. For real. Since I was a small child, they SCARED THE CRAP OUTTA ME! My Mom still laughs about it.
I'm also afraid of things in deep water. I love to swim, and have no issues swimming in deep water, but there is always that fear that something is gonna get me!

CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
CBA: Depends... do they want my brains?

You can keep up with Angelia’s work by visiting these sites:

EJPcreations Giveaway Winners!

First I want to say thanks to everyone who participated!  I had far more entries than I expected for such a new blog. :)  Now, on to the winners!

The winner of the "Time Waits For No Woman" earrings donated by EJPcreations is Roxy!

And since we had more than 20 people enter I unlocked a second prize of a $15 credit to my Etsy store ( - the winner of that prize is amanda!

The winners have 48 hours to respond to my messages.  If at that point I have not heard from them I will pick a new winner/winners. 

As a consolation prize and a thank you to those who entered the giveaway but did not win I am offering 10% off your entire purchase in my shop (excluding shipping charges) until the end of the day on Friday (the 16th)!  To be eligible for the discount please put "CZUR giveaway" and the username you used to enter the contest in the Message to Seller box.  The discount amount will be refunded via PayPal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pinup Model for a Day

I was helping a friend with some costume ideas and we were discussing awesome pinup fashion - that was the inspiration for this post! I wanted to go for a 1950’s bad girl look. I hope you enjoy what I came up with!

Every fifties goddess needs a pencil skirt whether she’s a pinup model or a rockabilly rebel. ZombieKittenO makes the perfect skirt for this outfit – the zipper up the back adds just enough “edginess”.

A polka-dotted, corset lacing, halter from psychodollclothing reminds you that even bad girls have a feminine side.

Taylorsays hand paints the soles of shoes and she has a pair that’s just right for our costume! They say “sexy” from the front and “hardcore” from behind!

What kind of bad girl would we be without a leather jacket?! This cropped, biker style from snefter works great with the look (by the way, enjoy 25% off any item in their shop if you mention my blog!).

Now that we have a fabulous outfit for our rockabilly pinup queen we’ve got to top it off with equally fabulous accessories! We’ll do some classic fifties style with dhandf’s birdcage veil fascinator and an awesome pair of vintage cat eye glasses from NatinNYC. Then we’ll add some tattoo inspired rockabilly pieces for jewelry (a pair of dice necklace by treasuredcharms and Lucky 13 earrings from MarketStreetBroads).

Now, if you’re like me, we’ll need a little help pulling off a retro hairstyle! MissDemented has a black, wavy wig that will do the job beautifully!  Just add a pair of fishnet stockings with a seam up the back and you're a pinup hottie for the night! :D

Monday, July 5, 2010

Q&A with Slainne

Slainne is the man to see if you are into fantasy art! His sculpts cover a variety of interesting subjects, from sharks and dragons to zombies and living trees. Each pieces has a story that really sucks you in and makes you want to know more. He was nice enough to give us a peek into that creative mind of his here:

CZ: Tell us a little about yourself!
S: I've lived in Southern California my entire life, anywhere from Palm Springs to Angelus Oaks (below Big Bear) & all around the Inland Empire. I did grow up In San Bernardino, which is the most awkward name for a town, but I'm back living here now on the border of Loma Linda. By day I work at the local hospital - helping to watch patients at my station.
I really have worked a variety of jobs but my most important one was at the studio (SpotLight Designs), that's where I learned how to mold & do reproduction work for my Art. At night or my days off I like to create my art work. I guess I was the kid that always had his head in a fantasy novel or D&D book. I started off with painting & modding miniatures then I had taken several sculpting classes.
I'm also a huge gamer but it’s a lot better when I convince friends to join in. I'm a avid beer fan but not a heavy drinker - people never believe you if your stomach isn't completely flat =D. I'm into a lot of music, from industrial, alternative, electronic & underground music - too much to list!

CZ: What type of items do you sell?
S: I sell miniatures, candle holders, incense burners, wall hangings, fantasy/dungeon relief statuettes & now even magnets. I'm sure I have several other things that are in a few categories. Most everything I make is either fantasy/horror themed but I have done a few wildlife pieces as well. I think everyone has seen my reef shark.

CZ: What is the inspiration behind your shop?
S: There's something cool about old ruins or some forgotten dungeon. So I just kinda went with that in mind. Sanctum can mean "Holy place" but it also can mean a secretive place of importance. I'm just full of myself lol. I am doing a shop revamp pretty soon so I have to learn how to make a new banner. So something to look forward to. =)

CZ: What is the greatest compliment you have received about your work?
S: Let me start with the least compliment I've ever received. It was once suggested that I sell my original art work to thrift shops...*gasp* I started to see red…hehe. I've actually had a lot of good compliments ranking about the same. I've heard that I should be selling my work all over the Country & they are genuinely surprised I don't sell more than I do - or they're good actors lol.

CZ: When did you first realize that you weren’t “like the other kids”?
S: When they would hold me down & torture me…joking - but that's not far from the truth! It wasn't until 6th grade that I started to draw my first "monsters". I always liked creating - even at a young age.

CZ: What’s a typical day in the life of this Dark Sider like?
S: Ahh well, you've caught me at a bad time where I'm still getting out of my vacation mode.. hehe. I'm a pretty laid back person. If I'm not at work or in front of my computer then it’s a good bet I'm at my art desk sculpting or drawing a concept design away & listening to music or a show on DVD I've watched a hundred times. I still make time for family & friends. Sometimes it’s hard juggling everything but being single does help. I can literally do what I want when I want. That generally ends up being a new project for me though =D

CZ: Zombies or Vampires?
S: I choose Skeletons…hah! Joking - I really do like zombies & vampires. I just tend to do more skull art.  Now if you’re asking what would I rather be…hmm…I don't want to taste anyone's brains so I would go with the vampire on that one.

CZ: Which horror character do you identify with most?
S: Probably Roger Cobb from "House". I've had many people not believe me during my life so I know exactly how He would have felt if he were a real person. I have also lived in a haunted house.

CZ: What scares you?
S: The thought of being stuck at my job forever…let’s just make sure that doesn't happen!

CZ: When my undead masses take over will you be with us or against us?
S: If I can wear my Necro armor & command undead of my own then I would be with you.. Muhahah! >=)

Don’t miss what Slainne will come up with next! Keep an eye on his Etsy shop.