Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween: I can't stop loving it.

Every year I talk way too much about Halloween. This year is no exception. This week's Affordable and Interesting item is Exhibit A:

Vampires! Or vampyres, as the case may be. We have plenty of vampire-related paraphernalia at the store, and this is one of the cheaper items, at a mere $9.50. This book is composed of both brilliance and kitsch: the cover is a bit puffy, and that blue eye you see shimmers in the most unearthly way. Within, we discover many an image of vampires through the ages, plus exciting visual tricks such as this:

Watch that picture of a man in the lower right corner. Watch it ... watch it ... and as we tilt the book to a new angle, see that he becomes:

... a wolf! Haha! Beware! While some people believe that vampires and werewolves are forever opposed, others believe that vampires are werewolves: they can turn into wolves. But that's not all. The book also has other tricks up its sleeve. Note how the left edge of those pages are folded over in a narrow strip. The strip bears the images of other animals that vampires can turn into -- from spiders to bats. When I unfold the strip, I discover:

... a pop-out butterfly! It seems that in some traditions vampires can also be butterflies. I will never look at local fauna the same way again.

Awesome as that book is, it is not my Favorite thing this week. No, my favorite is more elegantly creepy:

Creepy ... and beautiful! It is a candle-holder to end all candle-holders. For only $25.00 you can carry the most Gothic, elegant light source that could ever be imagined. Picture yourself, holding this candle-holder before an old dim mirror. The flame flickers. A vampyre launches itself from the shadows. Briefly panicked, you turn and thrust the candle in its face! There is a flash; the vampyre shrieks and collapses into a pile of ash. Fire is their weakness, you see. So this candle-holder could save your life!

Okay, I'm trying not to let Halloween colonize this whole entry. And there is something else really cool in the store these days ... a Collector's Item that would be especially perfect for someone who collects perfume:

It seems that New York's exquisite, world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art decided to collate all the art that had to do with perfumes ... and then make a lovely book about them. But there is so much more to this than just a book. You see, it also comes with:

... a legion of scented oils! For $40.00, you can purchase these pretty vials of scented oil, ranging from orange-flavor to various spices ... and also you will get a lushly illustrated book to go with them. The whole is tied with a green silk ribbon, and unfolds into this picturesque tableau:

I am nearly apoplectic from wanting this book so much. I love the Metropolitan Museum, I love scents, I love art. Who could ask for anything more? Seriously, gentle readers. Who?

Well, Halloween will be over by the next time I write. So this is Lydia, signing off. My costume this year is a fallen angel. But sometimes I think I should just bite the bullet and be a vampyre.

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