Monday, March 3, 2014

Gilding the Willy Part IV: Deluxe Addition

Capricorn
 
Those dutifully following along at home will readily realize that we usually feature scantily clad and rather randy furnishings in this segment BUT there is a perfectly plausible explanation for this gap in protocol. The G.A.S.P. Department here at Chintz of Darkness (that is the division that oversees “Gentlemen Attired in Sparkly Paint” for those who overlooked the memo) has been busy as of late. It would appear that while dusting off our design books and refreshing our filing cabinets, a rather naughty calendar from the late 90's was unearthed... (apparently we WERE partying like it was 1999.) Perhaps the calendar in question was actually found between our mattress or perhaps not... NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW... 
 
Taurus
Leo



Libra
Scorpio
Sagittarius

(Photographs by Richard de Chazal)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Obscured by Shrouds


Now Seraph + Splendor have been lurking around the interior design industry for some years now, often incognito, sometimes in plain sight. We have the prerequisite shelves of design books, an overabundance of magazines and swatches coming out of our… oh never mind… We suppose we could even write a stylish and sophisticated design blog that was not full of gibberish about the comings and goings here at our Obsidian Halls, but where would the fun be in that? This got us to pondering where it all began, what cosmic conjunction caused our descent into design and decoration and made us the arbiters... er, abattoirs of taste that we are today?



One’s first foray into design and decoration most assuredly begins in childhood.  Splendor was often referred to as a “creative” child, but it was said in a way that implied “a beastly little heathen” instead of a clever young lady.  Hours on end where spent creating complex (some said disturbing) vignettes in her bedroom cupboards and bookcases.  Building blocks and bits of shells became rustic roomscapes fit for a fairy queen, while doll heads and daisies decorated doorknobs. Being an only child she was often accompanied on her artistic adventures by her stuffed animals, in particular an Indian horse named Boanerges and a threadbare Saint Bernard named Berry... (of note, during these escapades not only did Berry lose one of his ears but BOTH of Boanerges’ mirrored eyes fell out, but he was still an affable companion by all accounts.)




 Moving on to greater and more challenging decorating diversions, Splendor came across a lovely set of Victorian velvet drapes in a luscious shade of faded burgundy that had been curiously condemned to an upper shelf.  The budding young beautifier promptly requested that they be hung in her room as they would block out the sun and quiet the birdsong (such a strange child, they whispered...)  Splendor's long suffering mother had to her sit down and explain that she was in fact a LITTLE GIRL and should appreciate her yellow and white gingham curtains (complete with eyelet lace tiebacks)  …HA!  Not discouraged in the least, she dragged the curtains outside and up the largest tree in the yard.  Upon reaching a suitable altitude she draped the upper branches forming a chic, yet bohemian tented room… well, at least until the rainy season commenced and the whole contraption blew away like a velvety Gothic pterodactyl, frightening the cat and confounding the neighbors...





 This was far from the last jaunt into outdoor decorating... Splendor, gifted from the get go with an overactive imagination created vast landscapes of forts, castles and courtly abodes.  Constantly scouting for new territory to well, terrorize Splendor discovered a huge hedge of gnarled and twisted blackberry bushes in a derelict corner of the yard that had fallen into disrepair.  Now anybody that knows anything is already aware that an area such as this is likely to contain an enchanted entrance to the underworld.  Lo and behold, hidden at the far side behind a tree a small  hole was found cut into the vines just large enough for a small child (or a gang of bloodthirsty elves) to fit through.  Beyond this prickly passageway, a large circular chamber had been hollowed out complete with stumps for chairs and a small rickety table. Perhaps the home of a hobgoblin or tramp's tenement?  NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW for to this day not a living soul actually BELIEVES this story and in fact the dangerous and deviant hedge was promptly torn out and according to Splendor’s parents no such magical room existed and kindly suggested that she find some friends her own age and quit telling tall tales...






Well, this quite covers the formative years of Splendor's descent into decorating...  The next chapters shall include the era that is commonly referred to as “The Metal Years”... but that, dear readers, is a story for another day indeed...

 
"And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop--docile and omnipotent
At its own stable door."

(I like to see it lap the Miles by  Emily Dickinson)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Walk Like an Egyptian

In other noteworthy news of late Seraph + Splendor have welcomed a new baby girl into their lives! The blessed event happened a little over a year ago and the proud parents are as pleased as punch.. The little bundle of joy weighed in at whopping 31 pounds upon delivery (ouch!) and came complete with a handle on her head, a knee lift and JOY OF JOYS an automatic thread cutter! The young Missy thrives on a strict diet of thread, machine oil and broken needles and is quite content, thank you very much. Well, if you have not already surmised our offspring is indeed a shiny new sewing machine, which joins a already growing family of Pfaffs.

Now if truth be told, Splendor's long suffering parents were less than thrilled at the news and perhaps even a bit perturbed at the prospect of YET AGAIN reading bedtime stories to a nothing more than a BAG OF BOLTS. Quite understandable some might say after a series of less than desirable grandchildren including (but not limited to) a feral cat, a box of lint and oh, let us not forget about we adopted that.. oh, never mind... Now for others anxiously awaking the birth of Seraph + Splendor's demon child, you must be patient, patient as in NEVER... 
 
{In a dark corner of Obsidian Hall...)





Now, sewing can be a fulfilling pastime offering hours of enjoyment and... blah, blah, blah... do not believe that rubbish for a second, dear readers for in fact sewing is a DEATH DEFYING BLOOD SPORT not for the faint of heart or casual passerby simply wishing to sew a set of potholders. While Splendor is the embodiment of a human pincushion, Seraph Scissorhands (an apt nickname indeed) fights a daily battle with thread and foe alike. The Studio here at Obsidian Hall (now hidden in the eves and best approached by a flight of rickety stairs) houses casks and kegs of every imaginable implement, each more evil than the next and better befitting a medieval torture's guild than a quaint quilter's bee... 


Over the years as word of our talents (hmmm...) grew, we have been queried to create many strange and wonderful things (but then again we have been asked to conjure a pair of pantaloons for a pet money but THAT, dear ones, is a story for another day...) Much like the plague our creations have spread both far and wide, for in fact we once heard mention of one of our conjurings on the national news. What was this grandiose gewgaw worthy of praise by a thankful nation, you might ask?!? 



Why nothing more than a humble shower curtain. And by humble, we of course mean a fully functioning drapery contraption, complete with a shaped valance whose curves and curlycues were worthy of a contortionist. A dizzying orgy of Chinoiserie style applique was further festooned with solid silver medallions and a set of antique Turkoman tiebacks. As for the national news coverage, the albeit former owner of this ensemble currently serves time in a Federal prison for an elaborate (yet highly illegal) ponzi scheme and said drapery was seized and most like sold into white slavery... well, one must always look on the dark side, dear ones, so at least it was dressed for the occasion... 


Other interesting undertaking was the creation of a velvet robe for a life sized fully animatronic elephant. There was a collar commissioned as well but the first time the fearsome beast was fired up it was sucked into the gears of it's greasy underbelly, the remnants unceremoniously spat upon the floor... QUITE A PRIMADONNA PACHYDERM INDEED! Many more tales could be told of semi-sentient slipcovers that could forebode the future, carnivorous table treatments that consumes a party of twelve and of course the cushions for a set of five legged chairs ran off during their fittings, but we will save THOSE tales for a rainy day...
Tell us, dear readers, do you still believe that a stitch in time saves nine?

The Mighty Voices
Of my Vengeance
Smash the Stillness of the Air
And stand as Monoliths of Wrath
Upon a plan of writhing Serpents
(The Black Hand Of Set by Nile)

{INTERLUDE}



Greetings, dear ones! We have set up a page here at Chintz of Darkness featuring our Black Baroque Luxuries on a PROPER black background (unlike some other nefarious pages on the web...) Please feel free pour yourself a cocktail and wander around at will, but it is recommended that you refrain from peeking behind the curtains because you never know what you will find... 


...also please take a moment to “like” us on the necessary evil known as Facebook. Now, this is our PROFESSIONAL (...hmmm?) page. If you are interested in our OTHER deeply buried and top secret page, it will be necessary to prove that you are not a current card carrying member of the Illuminati, an agent of the NSA or in any way a blood relation (sorry Mom, NO MEANS NO)... just kidding... well not really...

And last but not least, while we still prefer paper & pushpins we have finally fell victim to the allure of Pinterest. Keep your eyes out in the upcoming days for bits of fluff & finery will not be included in our regular posts here...


As for coming Chintz of Darkness attractions, look for a rather scandalous “Gilding the Willy Deluxe Home Addition” as well as the adventures of a mercenary seamstress... Oh, and perhaps we will FINALLY tell you the new addition to our family here in our Obsidian Halls... stay tuned!

Again, thank you most kindly for your support! S+S

Saturday, November 30, 2013

War of the Roses

 
Well, everybody already knows that Lady Fuchsia and Countess Carnation CANNOT stand each others company. While the Countess is convinced her petals are perfection, Fuchsia fervently defends her flora as the height of fashion. Each and every encounter ends in a frenzy of flying foliage and when Splendor is inevitably asked to intervene in their quarrels she simply hides under the nearest couch until the commotion has passed. If truth be told, Splendor is quite fond of dusty rose, burnt apricot and some of the more mild mannered magentas but quite disapproves of pink in any of her paler shades...





  
 
Ok, ok... STOP THE PRESSES... no one is in the least bit interested in the courtly discourtesies of colors. In fact, the question front and foremost on everyone’s mind is WHAT IN THE NAME OF UNHOLY GOAT REEKING HELL happened to Seraph + Splendor?!? Were they exiled like some derelict heads of state, forced to preform their penance on a deserted desert isle? Or perhaps finally imprisoned for their crimes against beige? Some say the couple set off to sail the Seven Seas, while others insist they just joined the circus, unleashing their bawdy burlesque act on the unsuspecting public at large.




A close known associate and fellow designer (*cough*Carla Fox*cough*) has theorized that an odd astrological influence might be to blame. Further speculations ponder if in fact the couple was beamed aboard an alien spacecraft, where Seraph promptly started decorating the hard, shiny surfaces with portieres and Persian carpets, while Splendor busied herself replacing the crappy spacesuits with Fortuny frock coats and feathered helmets... Conspiracy theories aside, dear readers, it would appear that the decadent duo have indeed returned, so please take a seat and make yourself at home...




Speaking of home, one of the more momentous events as of late is that Obsidian Hall (in all of it's glittering glory) was uprooted from its moorings. As luck would have it, we had just enough time to gather our belonging before its fabled facade floated away never to be seen again... Now moving is an arduous task on any occasion but when ones residence exists in varying states of reality the undertaking is increased tenfold.  





Upon inspection, several suites had entirely vanished while others would only appear on moonless nights. The dining room has alas been lost but the crypt was right where we left it last time we visited. Several rooms became rather spooked at the news of an impending upheaval. The master bedroom was found wandering the grounds while the Harem (dancing girls included) hid in the attic. Objects and implements of physical nature proved most problematic to pack. The better part of many an afternoon was spent chasing a wayward wardrobe or nimble nightstand, but our imaginary parlor set was simply slipped into our pockets. After more than a month of Sundays all of the furnishings were caught and carefully crated and have settled in their new abode quite nicely, thank you very much...




Sadly to say, the human residents of Obsidian Hall (in all of their various states of decay) fared less well. The sullen spectres were quite inconsolable and the cadavers refused to leave their crypt. A woebegone wraith took to breaking teacups while the ghouls cried all day (which in our humble opinion is quite unacceptable for a servant of darkness but as they say “ghouls just want to have fun”... hmmm...) As for the skeletons in the closet, THAT is a story for another day...



(Fear not, dear ones, the dust has settled and Obsidian Hall has been rebuilt. The ghosts are indeed giddy about their haunt as are we...!)

Rose with dark eyes,
mirror of your nothingness,
rose with dark eyes,
make us believe in mystery,
hypocrite flower, flower of silence. 

(Litanies de la Rose by Remy de Gourmont)
 
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