Friday, February 21, 2020

The Artistic Lifestyle

Post, Photography and Video by Rain San Martin

If you identify as a Goth (or Gothic), Alternative, or Bohemian there is a good chance you are living an artistic lifestyle. You will find that you are likely to produce more work, make an impact, and are creatively expressive when you live out a series of habits.  William Morris made it his life work to reform society through the Arts and Crafts movement, and you to may have a special calling which is untapped. 

Here are a few disciplined habits of The Artistic Lifestyle:

Habitually create art and set clear goals.

No matter your circumstance find a regular time each day or week that you work on your craft.  Don't buy into the "Jack of all trades, master of none" myth. Think of the renaissance, where multiple disciplines of study and creative expressions were celebrated. You don't have to draw or paint, yet you'll want to find your medium (or mediums), whether it's music, writing, sculpting, interior design, film making, DIY projects, jewelry making or working as a traditional homemaker.  Work toward your goal, "A dream with a deadline." Feel the satisfaction of progress. 

Be apart of creative clusters in person or online.  

Throughout history writers and inventors have met together to discuss their creative ideas. You can do so with a goals club, mastermind group, or class. Alternatively there are fantastic ways to engage with other creatives online. If you're a YouTube creator, Etsy shop owner, or Blogger you can easily comment on others work. Careful of social media sites however as they can quickly take time away from your creative work.  I made a video titled Why I Deleted All of My Social Media Accounts
which explains some of these time draining pitfalls.

Dress Artistically.

Developing your creative persona can be one of the most fun forms of expression. It will reinforce your identity as a creative, while simplifying your wardrobe. You may also choose to reinvent yourself! Perhaps you live a vintage lifestyle or your modern yet artsy. 

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Husband Sage San Martin at The Embassy Theater, Fort Wayne, IN - 2014

Go to museums, concerts, and theater. 

These events will increase your cultural literacy. You may very likely become inspired to work on your medium. Also go on "solo" artist dates to fill up your creative well, as suggested by Julia Cameron of The Artists Way

Spend a large portion of your time unplugged. 

Write in your journal. When we allow for boredom, we are making time for contemplative introspection. Never before in history has humankind had more distractions available at their fingertips. Discipline yourself to live as much of your life unplugged as you are able. A time-traveler philosophy will help you to see the benefits of merging the best of the unplugged past with intentional use of technology today. 

You can also view my video The Artistic Lifestyle here. Have a creative week!

Rain ☕

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How to Celebrate Valloween during Valentines

Post, photo's and video by Rain San Martin 

What is Valloween you ask? It's a Halloween spin on Valentines Day. A perfect way to transition from winter until the arrival of spring. Note: I have have also seen the alternate spelling Valoween in use.


As with other seasonal decor I focus on key zones rather than spreading out the decorates throughout the house. The effect has a bigger impact while being blissfully simple. Plan ahead for this day by purchasing a few classy Gothic items, abundantly available during the Halloween season. I have a black lace table cloth and spider web table runner which I am able to showcase for elegant Gothic style. Throughout the year take up a simple DYI project to "gothify" objects such as candlesticks, picture frames, and vases. Work around your color theme of choice. If you love purple, incorporate that into your palette.

Silk flowers

Faux flowers are especially useful in the cold winter months. I favor black and wine roses, yet plan to add orange for the Gothic spring decor.  Michaels and Joann Fabrics will give you a bounty of options. If you buy a few decor or craft items for creative projects each year, you'll gradually build up adequate decor for a themed layout.


An abundance of candles will create a romantic atmosphere. If you research the aesthetic style of Gothic or Halloween weddings you will note an array of black taper candle holders, brass candle candelabras, and thick pillars holding flickering candles in hues of red or cream. Buy classic spooky pieces that can be used to ornament your haven throughout the year. 


One of the most effective ways to create a romantic and spooky vignette is to put up a Valloween banner. I recently crafted a Valentine DYI banner for this occasion using card stock, decorative scissor edgers, a glue stick, hole punch, and twine. See my tutorial here


During the Halloween season I love to purchase spooky Victorian house cards and customize for other occasions such as Valloween. I cover words that specifically mention the word Halloween with stickers or card stock and write in a personal message. You may also craft original Valloween cards.


You can bake all sorts of spooky Valentine treats by picking up sprinkles or molds in the shapes of bats or ghosts during Halloween. According to sprinkles last 3-5 years, or by expiration date listed on package. This is why I feel perfectly safe consuming these decorative sugary toppings bought during the last Halloween season. 


Regarding jack-o'-lanterns I personally save them for the season of Halloween. Yet I can appreciate the creative use of the jack-o'-lantern for other holidays, it brings a smile to my face. For me Gothic decor works well for the rest of the year. 

How will you be celebrating Valloween this year? Also if your a fellow blogger or YouTube creator please share a link to your Valloween decor! You may also view my video covering this topic here

Happy Valloween!


Monday, February 3, 2020

Valentines Banner DIY-Valloween

Article, photo's and video by Rain San Martin

There is no more effective way to create a festive vibe than to string a banner fit for the occasion. Stroll the isles of a seasonal decor section from your local retailer and your sure to be presented with a variety of choices. However once you have dipped your toes into the creative world of DIY (Do It Yourself) banner crafting, you may never wish to buy a mass manufactured banner again! I first got the idea for these Valloween Banners (also spelled Valoween) from Miranda's post on, then made a version of my own. All you need is a basic assortment of tools which are inexpensive to behold. You'll be able to reuse these for seasons to come whether it be a birthday, Halloween, anniversary, or in this case Valloween. Valloween is a charming Halloween twist on Valentines Day. It's the perfect occasion for a Romantic Goth or Spooky Vintage free-spirited individual to enjoy a spooky whimsical Valentines atmosphere.  Now lets dive into the basic supplies you will need for this project.

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-2 shades of colored card stock, your choice. I used black for the background color and blush pink for the foreground.  5 pieces each to create a series of large strung hearts.  Here you will see the card stock color Black Cat, which I have used for past projects.
-Pencil for outlining your template.
-Scissors for cutting template.
-Optional decorative edge scissors for cutting out your heart shapes. You may use regular scissors as well. I used Fiskars Paper Edgers with a Colonial edge design. Not only are these lovely for a banners embellished edge, these are my most utilized crafting tool for home-made cards.  Here you will see a similar pair in the pattern Majestic.
-Hole puncher.
-Glue stick

Step 1 - Make template

Draw the outline of a half heart with pencil onto white paper folded in half. Cut out template. This will create a mirror effect. Most likely you created valentines with this same technique as a kid! The magic of simplicity.

Step 2 - Cut out background heart

Trace half-heart template onto background color. Cut out half an inch just outside of the traced line with either special edged scissors or regular.

Step 3 - Cut out foreground heart

Repeat step 2.  Cut out heart just inside of the half-heart outline.  You now have a smaller heart which will create a boarder effect when placed on top of the background heart.

Step 4 - Glue hearts together

Use glue stick on backside of foreground and smooth onto background piece.

Step 5 - Punch holes

Use a hole puncher to create 2 holes on valentine. One on each side side near the top.

Repeat steps 2-5 to create a total of 5 large valentines.

Step 6 - Hang hearts on twine.  

Thread twine through the back side of heart, then toward the front until all 5 hearts are threaded through. 

If you haven't seen it already,  you may wish to view my tutorial on YouTube creating this Valentines Banner DIY-Valloween. Be sure to subscribe for weekly videos. 

Have a creative and whimsical week!
Rain 💕


Gothic Spring - Summer Wreath - DIY

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