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by Samantha ~ November 4th, 2013

Impossible Project11


I’ve had some Impossible Project film for some time now, but had never really gotten around to using it. Last year, on our trip to Los Angeles, I experimented with a roll of the special edition Ace Hotel Black & White film, and it was a bit of a disaster. After doing a little research, I found that you had to immediately shelter the image from any light for about 30 minutes or so, or else it will completely over expose. I started ejecting the film directly back into the box, which helped quite a bit.

The Ace Hotel film continued to over and under expose, my only thoughts on that are either that the film itself was faulty, or that it had been inside the camera, unused, for far too long. Thankfully, I had much better luck with the PX 680 color shots! I love how gloomy and aged the tones develop, as if they’ve been waiting in a dusty attic for years.


Impossible Project12Impossible Project05


I posted all of the photos, both good and bad, into a set on Flickr. I feel like maybe I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with the film. At nearly $30 a roll, it’s a bit steep for just 8 exposures. However, it fully delivers the uncertainty and totally organic effects that I really do love about shooting film. I guess I’ll just save it for special occasions!

555Impossible Project09 Impossible Project08 Impossible Project06 Impossible Project04


On Mercury Retrograde Being a Total Asshole, And Things You Can Do Other Than Hiding Under Your Bed for the Next Few Weeks

by Samantha ~ October 30th, 2013

I have a tendency to say things like “I never bought into astrology”, but that’s total bullshit. My mom was into it when I was a kid, and it’s stuck with me as an adult. My right brain is all logical about it, and points out that the constellations are in totally different places in our sky now than they were when the Zodiac originated, henceforth the “signs” that we look up in the daily horoscope are actually totally wrong, and that there’s no way that the position that a celestial body was in at the exact moment of your birth can really have anything to do, whatsoever, with your personality or fate or whether or not you’re going to have a total shit day today.


So, there’s that. Lefty strikes a massive and sweeping blow to Righty’s argument, and wins the game.


via DarkStar Astrology

via DarkStar Astrology


One of the biggies in the astrological spectrum is Mercury in Retrograde. It’s really just an optical illusion, but the planet’s orbit appears to be going backwards for a bit a few times a year. With Mercury being the ruling planet of communication and industries related to that, this “retrograde” messes all sorts of things up. Shit gets all wibbly wobbly, and a general state of confusion falls across the lands.

This time around, it began on October 21. Since that date, things have been every kind of bonky you can imagine. Every single parcel I sent out for Haute Macabre’s shop orders was marked that they were out for delivery, right back to my address New Orleans, for over 24 hours. A package I’m expecting was sent to the wrong processing facility and has since been MIA. A friend’s tracking status read “tracking currently unavailable due to train derailment”. And that’s just the mail.

I’ve flown off the handle at my husband for things as small as leaving a book out on the counter. Co-workers have unexpectedly up and quit with no notice or reason. A friend’s cat suddenly because severely ill with a previously undiagnosed ailment. I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with vicious migraines, only to fall back asleep to vividly realistic and terrifying dreams. The From the Black Lodge tour had a major mechanical breakdown and had to cancel the rest of their dates.

You get the picture.



Mercury in Retrograde is a time to remember to simply clear your head, and take a little step back. All of this hiccups and hold ups are intensely stressful and chaotic. Even if major obstacles aren’t being thrown at you, you can still feel frazzled and frustrated or just plain foggy during this time. I sure have. Simultaneously, it’s been forcing me to directly confront the things that are in my way of having just simply a clear head.


Death Tarot


Nearly every Tarot reading I’ve done for myself since this Retrograde began has been a call for great change to occur. Whether this is indicative of instigating a major, life changing upheaval (I’ve been known to drop everything and move cross country, change careers, and do drastic things to my appearance during Retrogrades), or a call to calm the fuck down internally, we’ll have to see. I don’t have any intention of moving or chopping off my hair (although I did have it freshly colored today, so, it’s slightly altered my appearance), I do have a little tug inside of me lately.

Sadly, despite all this turmoil and confusion the Universe can throw at you, I can’t call out of work and hide from the world with a Case of the Cosmos. Even getting as specific as “BUT I’M A GEMINI AND MERCURY IS MY RULING PLANET AND WE’RE IN SCORPIO NOW AND THAT’S MY RISING AND SHIT IS JUST FUCKED” wouldn’t fly, so I’ve had a few little things that I’ve been doing to keep myself from going totally bananas.


DO SOME YOGA. Seriously. It’s so ridiculously grounding and amazing. I’ve been going as often as I can, after a foolishly long break in the late summer. The early morning classes are now my favorite – I walk over to the studio while it’s still dark, and the sun rises during my practice. My body and my mind feel calmer and leaner the rest of the day. If you don’t have time to actually go to a class, there are a gazillion videos available online, and one really great app called Yoga Studio that has pre-set and customizable classes of all different times and levels.

LIGHT SOME CANDLES. The color of candles have associated symbolic meanings. Even if the act of lighting a specific hue doesn’t actually have any effect on the world, at least you have in mind your intention, and that can be a calming and powerful thing. It’s all about focus.

DO SOMETHING NICE FOR YOURSELF. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but just something to stop and enjoy. Read a book in a cafe, buy yourself a new outfit, take yourself out for a nice meal! I have wholeheartedly been blaming this Retrograde in my total inability to stop shopping.

DON’T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY. This one is a biggie. People are edgy, and so are you. I had a friend tell me a story of getting in a heated argument with a coworker earlier that day, and then follow it up with a sharp and fairly insulting remark to me about something totally unrelated. I had to take a breath and actively tell myself to not take this personally, and not to claw his eyes out. Everyone is a little stressed out right now, and getting in a fight with a friend isn’t going to help anything.

JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN. For real. Stop, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that most of the things that are driving you batty aren’t really all that important.


Agent Cooper Give Yourself a Present


Here are some other resources about Retrogrades, and other things you can do to avoid ripping your hair out during them :

Really, though, don’t worry. November 10 will be here before you know it.


Reasons for Admission

by Samantha ~ October 28th, 2013

Reasons for Admission


Photo an Hour

by Samantha ~ October 27th, 2013

Last week, I posted a photo an hour to my Instagram. I hadn’t planned on doing it, but after the first two posts, I was having so much fun I kept going all day.


9AM – 10AM :: Planning and packing for a day trip!

Leaving the house on any sort of adventure with me usually means that I have at least two different types of cameras and extra film in my bag.


10AM – 11AM :: Coffee at my new favorite cafe, High Volt

If you’re ever in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans, definitely stop by here for some amazing coffee and lunch! I’ve been slowly putting together a Sam’s Guide to New Orleans, and this spot will for sure be in there.


11AM – Noon :: Louisiana is such a beautiful state

We told the GPS to avoid the main highways, and I’m so glad we did! There were miles of stretches that looked just like this, with gorgeous woods and swamps just alongside the road. Spanish moss might be one of my favorite things.


Noon – 1PM ::  A two hundred year old live oak in the front yard of the Laura Plantation

Since we moved to Louisiana, we’ve been saying that we were going to do all the fun touristy trips, and we finally made it to one! The tour was fascinating, and the house and lands were gorgeous.


1PM – 2PM :: One of the slave quarters, still mostly in tact, at the Laura Plantation

One of the more interesting parts of the plantation tour was learning about the Code Noir of the French colonies, and also learning that workers resided in some of the slave quarters on the property as late as the 1970s without plumbing or electricity, until the health department evicted them.


2PM – 3PM :: Lunch at a roadside restaurant, decorated with tons of antiques and stuffed alligators

After touring the plantation, we were starving! Just down the road, we found a little restaurant and stuffed ourselves with friend green tomatoes, fried frog legs, fried alligator (the South is big on fried), and, well, fries. I didn’t actually have any frog legs, and that’s probably because I’ve seen The Muppet Movie way too many times.


3PM – 4PM :: Quiet rain on the drive back to New Orleans



4PM – 5PM :: A drive down St. Charles Avenue, where the mansions all try to out dectorate one another!

This house really takes the cake. If you’re in town this week, drive past St. Charles & Valence, it’s absolutely incredible! Aside from the giant gargoyle monsters, there’s a huge installment in the yard. I’m going to do my best to get back over there before it all comes down & take more photos!


5PM – 6PM :: Drinks at my favorite wine bar, Delachaise

Few things are as satisfying as a nice glass of crisp wine and a good book. I had a few folks ask me on Instagram what kind of journal I was using :: It’s a Moleskin Pocket Daily Planner. I love it, but I think for 2014 I’m going to get the larger size.


6PM – 7PM The stunning Hecate ring from BloodMilk.

We were still at Delachaise, and I couldn’t stop staring at my new BloodMilk ring. The moonstone set in it is incredible, she really does work magic.


7PM – 9PM Scary movies by candlelight

When we got home, we decided to light some candles and watch The Conjuring. I want to visit the Warrens Occult Museum in the worst way now!


9PM – 10PM Sank into a hot bath with a Lush bath bomb to end the day, which was incredibly relaxing until little George fell in with me!


Photo Roundup :: Playing Catch Up!

by Samantha ~ October 24th, 2013



It’s been months since my last Instagram Photo Roundup. Seasons have literally passed! Last time around, it was still cold and only hints of spring were showing. Since then, it’s been hot, and hotter, and then some more hot, and I’ve been keeping busy.

What’s been going on, you ask?




Mexico!! Ryan and I celebrated our fourth anniversary at an amazing resort in Mexico, just outside of Tulum. We spent a solid week doing nothing but reading on the beach, and it was glorious. He got super tan, and I wore a Joy Division bathing suit, SPF 75 and a giant hat. My hair may not be the blackest black of the darkest night anymore, but this lady still shies from the sun.




Four whole years (even though I was convinced for weeks that we were up to five)!!




Haute Macabre + Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab!! Nixon and I added two new fragrances to our shop not too long ago, and they’re amazing. All three scents are so sexy and mysterious, and I’m so proud to be working with a company as awesome as BPAL. Sales have been amazing, and I’ve spent many an hour packing up orders and shipping them out. We’re about to start taking holiday pre-orders, so if you haven’t grabbed a any yet, now is the time!




Getting tattooed!! I’ve been very actively getting my leg worked on the past few months,courtesy of the very talented Jordan Barlow at Hell or High Water.  I’m filling it with mythological figures, and so far have had Hecate, Pazuzu, Luna, and the Hanged Man tarot finished. It’s no picnic – I had to stop halfway through my last session on The Whore of Babylon on the back of my thigh, and I’m not looking forward to my knee.  Ouch.



Hanging out with these two jerks. My cat friends take up  most of my attention. How could they not?








Getting chills from seeing Chelsea Wolfe live :: Raising Carniviorous Plants :: Heels I can actually walk in!
Yoga in Sunny Studios :: Having my Tarot cards read :: Art by Amy Earles
Netflix marathons :: Little Chicken & Rabbit chirps :: Jewels from BloodMilk :: Care packages from Chloe :: Being obsessed with American Horror Story, especially now that the new season is being filmed in New Orleans!! :: Continuing my Tarot studies ::  Instagram videos :: Iced Dirty Chai Lattes with Almond Milk & Vanilla



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