Gothic Martha Stewart: starting, shopping, motifs, projects, resources, notes

About Gothic Martha Stewart
This site sprung from the hypothetical question: "What if Martha Stewart was a goth?" For the uninitiated, Martha Stewart is a phenomenally successful domestic arts champion and stylemaker who advocates an upscale but not ostentatious style of living which has a lot to do with making things yourself and finding new uses for the old, instead of just buying everything new.

Martha is famous for her how-to projects (which she calls "Good Things") that range from cooking up chocolate candy to painting furniture with faux finishes to making your own potpourri to sewing ribbons onto pillowcases to creating door wreaths for every holiday. Good Things frequently involve the use of a hot glue gun or just a little bit of straight stitching, and many of the projects are quite easy for even the novice.

For quite some time, those of us on the newsgroup have discussed similar little projects that we could do to make our homes as beautifully gothic as our wardrobes. Many of our projects were direct adaptations of Martha's Good Things -- except we used scraps of black velvet, vintage lace, purple satin ribbons, dried blood-red roses, and other typically goth things we had around the house. Little did Martha realize how easily her elegant eggshell blues and seafoam greens could be turned to black and burgundy!

If Martha Stewart were really gothic, color is the only thing she'd have to change. Her central ideas are already well-suited to the gothic subculture. Martha adores finding old linens and gently worn furniture at flea markets. She sews a lot of her own household dressings. She paints and experiments with unusual painting techniques on objects small and large. She loves flowers, live and dried. Her style flirts with Victorian, Art Deco, and modern elements and frequently mixes them into a very beautiful mishmash. And even though her surroundings look very rich, many of her ideas are created from rather simple and inexpensive materials, like fabric scraps and secondhand dishes.

So I decided to take what many of us knew instinctually and write it all up in detail to help those who are just beginning or perhaps never noticed how much you can do with very little. Taking Martha Stewart's ideas as a starting point, I've tried to give them a blatantly gothic touch so that, with just a little time, some inspiration, and some effort, anyone can make their home into as gothic as they want it to be.

Btw, no, I'm not a professional interior designer; I just watch too much Home and Garden TV. If I can do this stuff, anyone can.

Good luck!

--Trystan L. Bass
webmistress and writer of
Gothic Martha Stewart

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