The story of Pittsburgh is one of love and hard work, and that certainly extends to the craftspeople and creatives who call this city home. One of these is Vince Curtis, a designer-craftsperson who creates gorgeous journals under his business Vers Libris. His creations range from customary lined journals covered with whimsically patterned fabrics, to leatherbound journals with gilding reminiscent of something you’d find in a loved one’s library. (For those interested in tarot, Vince also makes clamshell boxes that can help protect your divination tools.)
You know that saying: if you want to hear a joke, tell life your plans? Well, the same goes for writing content for side projects, apparently.
This is the time of year when I take a hard look at what I’m doing with The Book Haunt, promptly make excessive plans, and then just as quickly get spectacularly derailed. In August 2017, I had plans for creating a whole folklore/occult arm for this site. While I still would love to do that, I have to examine what my schedule allows for; this has led me to question what I want—and what I hope readers will get—out of this site.
Ever since moving to Pittsburgh, I’ve been surprised time and again. But what I have not been surprised by—and have come to cherish most about this city—is the thriving occult
and new age communities. Back in January—on a Friday the 13th, no less—I went voyaging into the city with Megan, podcast co-host and fellow lover of the occult. What we found was Arts & Crafts: Botancia & Occult Shop.
The unfortunate norm for pagan/occult stores seems to be a dimly lit, crowded space. When we encountered Arts & Crafts, however, we immediately saw that this business was anything but the norm: well-lit, spacious, welcoming, and with a killer collection of tapestries, ritual tools/items, and scented goods to boot. For the witch in 2017, Arts and Crafts is a must-visit. Continue reading
Every once in a while, I luck into discovering an upcoming book signing. It’s really very cool to meet someone who creates work you like, and it’s even cooler when that person is genuinely nice and wants to engage with their audience on a personal level. Add the option to buy a specialty beer to the mix, and you’ve got a killer way to spend part of your Saturday night.
During a previous excursion to a different New Dimension Comics location, I spotted an ad for an event for Blade’s Bloody Barleywine. I snapped a photo and immediately sent it to my friend Megan, who is both a Puppet Master enthusiast and acting as my personal horror movie mentor. (She had recently shown me this wonderful piece of campy horror cinema, and I could tell then that this was the beginning of something awesome.) Continue reading