Thursday, December 7, 2017

Happy Krampusnacht, Blessed Solstice, Good Yule and Merry Christmas to All ...

Good evening, dear readers! How ARE  you all? Seems like it's been forever since we last got together, does it not?

It has definitely been busy here in the Little Gothic Cottage since the opening of the new shoppe back in May ... how long ago that now seems! Even though it was only open three days a week, as with any one-person business, every other waking moment was spent working on various aspects of it - searching for new products, decorating, ordering, bookkeeping (ick), cleaning (ewwwww), trying to build a new website that actually works on a cellular device (heavy sigh), etcetera. For a startup year it exceeded one's wildest hopes, and things are looking promising for reopening again next spring. The insomniac  would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came out to Water Valley to visit this past season - your support of her new venture is most appreciated!

In late September, the insomniac  attended Witches Night Out YYC - a fundraiser for the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter. Earlier that day she had almost talked herself out of it, but at the last  possible second changed her mind, demanded $50 from the spouse as she (very bravely she felt given her social anxiety) declared, “I'm going to that party! Give me some money so I can win the grand prize.”, which he somewhat grudgingly handed over while muttering something she didn't quite catch underneath his breath.

Fortunately, her outfit was ready and waiting.

Equally fortunate was that she actually remembered to take her
Doc Martens along, as her feet were throbbing after only
 30 minutes in the grey heels. Which aren't even that high ... sob.

The event was such great fun, and two lovely young women graciously allowed the insomniac  to hang at their table so she didn't feel quite so pathetic weird about attending solo. And when she finally returned home late that evening and asked the spouse where in the world he'd like to travel to, he again muttered something incomprehensible, rolled over and promptly went back to sleep. In the morning, she reiterated the question.

“You actually won?”, the spouse asked.
 “Yes. Yes, I did.”, was the rather smug reply.

And so, sometime next year we shall take advantage of one's incredible good fortune in winning that pair of Westjet tickets and head off to Scotland for as long as we feel we can afford to ... which won't be anywhere near long enough, at least not in the insomniac's  opinion. Rest assured, the entire trip will be spent trying to find unique items to bring back, not only for her own priceless hoard collection but also for the shoppe's reopening in May. And if you listen closely, you just might hear the long-suffering spouse muttering one last time, as he prepares himself for a trip filled with art galleries, graveyards, thrifting, cemeteries, antique shopping, mausoleums, and anything else Atlas Obscura might recommend ... poor fellow. Don't feel too badly for him though - a daily stop at some quaint little pub and he'll be alright.

The following month, preparations for not one but two Hallowe'en Events were in full swing. The first event on Friday evening was at the Rockyview Hotel in Cochrane - A Grave Affair:

Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack ...

The Absinthe Bar ... a first for the insomniac,
but hopefully not the last!

The second event on Saturday evening was held at Papa Luigi's Ristorante in Water Valley - Lost in Transylvania:

Hands down, best photo of us - ever.

The traditional Romanian Papanași was
definitely the high point of the insomniac's  evening.

All three servings of it.

The shoppe was open on All Hallow's Eve for a couple of hours and approximately seventeen local children showed up for candy. One has never before experienced that kind of attendance on her most favourite night of the year in her entire life! It. Was. Awesome.

Decorated a wee bit ... although let's be real;
not all that much different from the everyday shoppe.

What an amazing coincidence ... she looks
just like my new friend Victoria!

But enough about the insomniac's  boring life - let's get to the real reason you're even here today reading this drivel ... YOUR PRESENT! Yes indeed, the Annual Wiccan / Christian / Pagan / Gothic / Horror Dayminder has made it's highly anticipated return!!

Ta Da!

The 2018 calendar is almost identical to last year's, except for a few minor changes:

  • Lon Chaney's birthday on April 1st was summarily dismissed due to lack of room after All Fool's Day and Easter Sunday were added ... should you have an appointment that day, there would have been very little room to pencil it in. HOWEVER, if you're really missing it, one would be most happy to rectify that for you. Chances are good poor Lon will remain missing from the calendar even in 2019, as the likelihood the insomniac  will remember to add him back after a full year's absence seems quite slim.

  • The headers are slightly more complicated than last year, and are likely to use up more of your precious inks in the printing. The insomniac  feels it gives the dayminder more of a medieval feel, which she quite likes and hopes you do as well, since there are no returns on this particular Yuletide gift. Keep it, you must.

  • A new title page has been added. In all honesty it was there last year too, but the insomniac  chose not to share it. She had great plans to print copies of the calendar for sale, but just like her commitment to keep to a regular workout routine using her 2017 dayminder, those plans went right out the proverbial window around the second week of January. Rather than keep the title page to herself (the Get Busy skull is an antique postcard from her personal collection) she decided to share it with you this year, as who amongst us doesn't need a gentle reminder time's a tickin' - some of us needing it moreso than others.

Although the notation to start on this year's calendar was penciled in the insomniac's  version for November 14th, the calendar wasn't exhumed from underneath the desk where it was tossed mid-January until just last week, therefore it is a trifle late. Hopefully you hadn't given up hope of ever seeing it and already braved the mall to purchase a new one.

To download your present in PDF format (8½ x 11 horizontal), please click on the link shown in the sidebar for whichever version you require - Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Have a most peaceful holiday season everyone - no matter what you celebrate! Although if it was Krampusnacht, one has no idea how that particular holiday could ever be called peaceful, nor turn out any way other than badly.

Until next time, the insomniac  wishes you nights of blissful sleep filled with pleasant dreams. Goodnight, my pretties.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

An Exciting New Adventure ...

Hello, lovely readers! It's that time of year where I take a moment to fill you in on all the latest happenings here in the Attic and let me tell you, it has been a busy four months since the last post.

Around the end of January, an adorable little store in the nearby town of Water Valley came up for rent - kind of a lifelong dream and one I never would have imagined possible - offering the perfect opportunity to bring Insomniac's Attic into a brick and mortar setting. Believe it or not, I've actually missed working retail.

In February, a trip to the NYC gift show to investigate new stock seemed to be in order. While there, I was fortunate enough to take in a few local highlights with my very gracious hostess ...

Spent a day with Magaly Guerrero,
most of it in the Strand Book Store.

Eighteen miles of books. Mmmmm, books.

I believe Magaly had time for a lengthy nap
while waiting for me to finish looking ...

We also went here:

Yes. This IS Evan Michelson of Obscura Antiques.

By the end of the trip, extended for an extra day due to snowstorms in Canada causing airline cancellations, and which was put to excellent use by going shopping just one more time, my suitcase was crammed so full of treasures half of it had to be repacked into the youngest's luggage to comply with airline weight restrictions.

NYC Loot Haul 2017

Roughly half of which will end up at the new store. Maybe a third. An eighth.
Okay, fine ... just the spoons.

In March, work was begun on the rebranding of Insomniac's Attic - that Bleeding Cowboys font was so last year. And let's be honest - for those who don't know me very well, I might come across as a bit dark and the old look did nothing to dispel that image. I would  like to take this opportunity to reassure everyone that I'm probably the least frightening person I know - in my world, an exciting day is one spent baking cookies, knitting socks or hand-feeding the chickadees. I'm just like everyone's favourite eccentric aunt, really. One who enjoys decorating her home with a tad too much taxidermy perhaps, but still. 

So I've attempted to give the Attic more of a storybook feel, which is how I envision the new shoppe. A magical and wondrous place exactly like this ... with maybe a few less rocks on the floor so a person could actually walk around though. I have no doubt I'll be able to find the props to recreate this look quite easily in our basement, that portion of the garage where I'm supposed  to be parking my car and our forest, also known as our yard. We have, after all, been out here for three years now and despite one's best intentions to never again accumulate the amount of stuff we had prior to moving here, somehow things have managed to mysteriously pile up again over time. Sorry, kids.


As I move forward on this exciting new venture, I plan to tackle it in exactly the same manner I've employed for every other important moment in my life ... striding confidently in the direction of my dreams firmly gripping my Plan of Action; at which point I fully expect to trip over something or other, losing my grasp on The Plan as I clumsily stagger toward the precipice, eventually hurtling head first into the abyss. It's worked quite well for me so far.

And one day (roughly the middle of May), I hope you'll take a drive out to Water Valley and stop in at the little Storybook Cottage with the purple doors. When you happen to notice the old-ish woman in the corner knitting a sweater with skulls on it, please don't be afraid ... come on in, say hello, have a look around. Just remember - I am EXACTLY like your favourite aunt; provided your aunt has tattoos and a penchant for black t-shirts with skulls. In which case, you should probably bring her along for a visit, too. Tell her I have cookies.