Ephemera Guide: Valentines from Beautiful Dark Hearts

Hello lovelies, so every once and a while I like to share the things that I love and inspire me in our Ephemera Guide. In contemplating what to boost in this month’s guide I thought it only proper to showcase some bad ass people and their amazing projects that I think you should know. They are all dark beautiful souls and unbelievably cool. I can’t wait for you to meet them.

Jezebel Jones of Bye Bye Banshee


BBB is a death centered musical project by Jezebel Jones. Jones explores life, death, and loss with a sound that feels like it was born out of the very soul of America. It’s haunting and sweet all at the same time. Jezebel performed at the Death and the Maiden Conference last Summer and achieved the unimaginable; she made a room of 100+ death professionals cry. If she could warm the cold dead cockles of our hearts I’m sure you are going to love her. The EP, Deathfolk Magic will be released soon but you can get a taste over on SoundCloud.

Courtney Lane of Never Forgotten & Hair and Now

Never Forgotten by Courtney Lane

If you are not familiar with Courtney Lane from Never Forgotten and Hair and Now I have a feeling you will soon. Courtney is an amazingly cool chick that you need to be following on Instagram. Beyond her fierce hat game, Courtney is a creator and restorer of Victorian hair art and jewellery. As much as everyone loves hair art, the skills needed to make these pieces were almost completely forgotten. Then came Courtney and her can-do spirit keeping this beloved art form alive and accessible. you can find her work at Never Forgotten. She also does classes, talks, restorative work, and custom pieces. You can even learn to make your own from home via her Patreon. I can think of no greater gift for a fan of Victoriana than a custom piece of hair art. I’m eyeing some friends’ lush manes with machinations for a full hair wreath. I just need to convince them they really want that pixie cut.

Christi Meshell of House of Matriarch

EAGLEWOOD Extrait- Natural, Sustainable Oud Fragrance - House of Matriarch  High Perfumery

On the surface, House of Matriarch and I don’t seem like olfactive matches. I am attracted to sleek minimalism and their whole brand aesthetic bursts with photoshopped wonders. Despite these differences of style I have to admit House of Matriarch is pretty dope. I have a perfumer friend that refers to my fragrance style as if, ‘You thought you were the god damn Queen of Sheba’, and I’m perfectly ok with that assessment. I like woods and resins and fragrances with a lot of va-va-voom. Christi Meshell, the brand’s creative director and owner, gets va-va-voom. It is a fragrance line for women that are not afraid to own their space and their darkness. I particularly like Sex Magic for its woody amber sexiness, Antimony is a smoking incense dream inspired by kohl eye makeup, and Coco Blanc is a rare gourmand that I like. Long-time readers will know of my loathing of the gourmand category so if I want to wear a gourmand it means it is something pretty special. Though it is sweet and vanilla-y on first application it dries down to sandalwood and cardamon loveliness.  My one suggestion would be to stick to the smaller sizes unless you find a scent that is a holy grail for you. They come out with new scents frequently.

Rhea Ewing of Seven Strengths

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Hey so, the world is a mess right now. I hate it when Facebook wants me to share fun montages of my posts not realising that a lot of my personal posts are about how we can protect our friends of colour, minority religions, and the institutions of democracy in troubling times. Peppy music and cartoon balloons juxtapose the difference a few years has made in our reality. We all need self-care and resiliency to get through the times ahead. That is why I loved Seven Strengths: a Coloring Book for Resiliency by Rhea Ewing. This indie colouring book explores the subject of strength and resilience through the many adaptations of nature. Strength, however, is not defined narrowly, as Ewing wrote,

We are often told that it’s “survival of the fittest” …but we are rarely told how diverse and varied survival strategies in nature truly are. From fish with four genders, flamboyant displays of color in the animal kingdom, and intricate communication and collaboration between individuals, nature tells a story that is much more diverse and reflective of a variety of human experiences than many of us are led to believe.

Ewing is an amazing artist that is currently working on a comic book about gender called FINE. They have a really unique way of integrating humanity into nature in their work but also juxtaposing the two in ways that make you think. Having grown up in rural areas I really appreciate the sensitivity to rural life and nature throughout their art. Follow them on Twitter.

"Insight" from the Seven Strengths series

Kate Cherrell of Burials & Beyond

I don’t boost the death-related blogs that we all know and are probably all sign up for already. I, however, love to find new up-and-coming writers to share with you that I know will develop an audience. I had hardly any traffic for the first few months of my smelly dog and pony show until a much bigger blogger let her audience know about my work and I think it is something we all should be doing. That being said go sign up for Burials & Beyond right now. Kate is a PhD candidate with a sharp wit and funny writing style that makes you forget that you are learning something. Burials & Beyond covers graves and tombstones but also mysticism, relics, abandoned churches and other odd death related things. Kate is out there getting accused of Satanism and buying preserved placentas for your entertainment. If you are enchanted with a good old fashion British graveyard, you need to read her blog. Bonus, follow her on Instagram for her enviable wardrobe and delightful snark.

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