Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Steam Punks! Kid's Show


Steam Punks! (sic) is a kid's show currently airing on ABC3 in Australia. Taking inspiration from the growing interest in Steampunk, it uses the idea of an evil robot/ machine that kidnaps 'inquisitives' to answer scientific questions. If they fail, they must stay to serve it forever.

Somewhat like a cross between the kid's show Trapped and a quiz show, the kids must answer questions and do activities. The children arrive through a fireplace at the pull of a lever, and come into the main room where most of the action is set. This room is the one with the main Steampunk decor. This includes a piano with an attached typewriter and phone, through which the machine (unseen except in the rather awful looking animation at the beginning) communicates with the host of the show. There were also giant gold cogs all over the walls, which looked lovely, although they were completely useless, therefore falling under the sometime criticism of some attempts at Steampunk just 'slapping some cogs on it and calling it Steampunk.'

In the first episode, which was the only one I have seen so far, the host had a rather military inspired uniform, which was passable, but I would have liked to see something more Steampunk. He seemed to ad lib a lot, sometimes his comments were amusing, sometimes not so much. I think he was pretty good for a kid's show host. his weird exclamations such as 'Kardashian's beard!" may have been amusing to children but did not really suit the Steampunk theme.

When the kids had to answer questions they sat down on a red upholstered sofa, and computers on metal arms came around the side to lock in front of them. I thought this was a nice touch of actual working technology, as most of the rest of the decor did not actually do anything.

The part where the kids answered questions was not particularly interesting to me, as they were just the typcial kind of science questions they ask on these shows. It was kind of fun how they hit the buzzers with a hammer when they answered questions at the end, but it got old rather quickly. I did like they part where they went to the storeroom to identify scents, as it reminded me a bit of Warehouse 13.  The teleportation chamber at the end was also rather cool, and actually appeared to 'work', as it made the children disappear.

The "Steam Punk (sic) Graduate Marvin" and his assistants all wore aviator helmets and goggles despite not having any clear aviation or driving related roles, which is another criticism for Steampunk purists, who feel that the aesthetic should actually relate to the character you are playing (for instance someone with goggles would usually be an aviatrix, an airship pirate, or someone who likes to drive too fast and hence needs driving goggles).

I would have liked to see a few more sets like in the show Trapped, a sort of semi- Gothic themed kid's activity show that had tasks like poisoned food, and characters like a talking head and an evil Rococo lady in it.

All in all, the show gets about 2 out of 5 for the Steampunk elements. However if you just enjoy watching kids game shows, this is worth giving a go.




Monday, 25 February 2013

The Flowers of Evil


 Poetry collection by Charles Baudelaire

I enjoy my poetry rather dark and introspective, so this was a perfect collection for me. I tend to read my poetry in snatches- about five at a time, and then laying the book aside, so that I can really appreciate the words and not rush through them. Due to this, and to the fact that I lost the book in the massive stacks on my floor, it took me a long time to finish it. But it was well worth it, and every word was treasured.

This was a transgressive collection that shocked society at the time, and it is easy to see why, with sections about worshipping the devil, alcohol, prostitutes, lesbians, and a rather delightfully dark poem about seeing a corpse and imagining how his lover will one day rot like that. Baudelaire's bravery in exploring all these controversial topics, especially in the era in which he lived makes me admire him in the extreme. It also seems from the philosophical elements in these poems, that they are not merely intended to shock, but are a deep examination of the themes within. This poetry was moving and made one really think about life. In some ways, it might be seen to serve as a sort of memento mori, reminding us of the shortness of life and the transience of pleasure, as other poems such as Emily Dickinson's nature poems remind us of the peace to be found within that nature.

This book is a must for any poetry collection. For those that need the translation (as I did) but want to see the original French words side by side with the English translation, I cannot recommend this version strongly enough!

0192835459 (ISBN13: 9780192835451)

My review on Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/288079325

Nevermore


 Novel by Harold Schechter

What if Poe's famous Gothic stories were based not on imagination but reality?

This book takes the idea that Poe was involved in the investigation of hideous murders in Baltimore in his youth, murders that seemed to be related to his family. While unravelling the dark thread of these horrific murders, Poe eventually finds the inspiration that leads to some of his most famous works.

Fans of Poe will enjoy matching the murders to similar events in his stories, such as The House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death. The interplay between the two main characters is amusing as the two are utter opposites. The author chose for his other character American legend Davy Crockett, famous because of his tall tales, but actually very useful to have by you in a crisis.

It is impossible not to like Poe. His neurotic disposition does not sit well with his exaggerations of his own physical prowess, making him seem a little pathetic, but his great mind shines through. I enjoyed the scenes where his effusive and wordy way of speaking made it difficult for others to understand him, as I have experienced moments like that myself.

At first Crockett seems like a bully and a boaster, but I soon grew to like him, rather against my will. He seemed a jolly chap, and very good natured for all the violence he had seen and done. In the end, he was very protective of Poe and quite fond of him, which spoke greatly in his favour to me.

As a fun and engrossing piece of alternate history, we should not look too much into the liberties this novel takes with the truth, but enjoy it for what it is. I very much enjoyed the voice of the novel, as it did feel as if it could have been plausibly written by Poe, high emotion, italics and all.

Recommended for fans of Poe, and anyone who enjoys a good historical murder mystery.

My review on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/514700921

The Society of S


Young Adult Novel by Susan Hubbard

It seems are rare thing nowadays to read a young adult vampire novel that has elegance and refinement. This is surely one of those. From the beautiful sensual descriptions of the house, and the seasons, to the interesting quirky little mentions of things like synaesthesia, and her mother's liking for blue and the letter S, this novel paints a gorgeous picture.

It was very easy for me to identify with the main character who, like me, was homeschooled for the first part of her life, and was very naïve, bookish and unaware of the darkness in the world. I love that she was so sheltered both despite and because of her heritage. Couple that naivety with an unusual intelligence and the character was far from the usual teen narrator, much more fascinating and likeable.

There were a few moments that jarred for me, such as the offhand mention of anorexia and the monkey (intelligent monkeys as pets seems wrong to me), but most of it was beautifully written, and a pleasure to read.

I enjoyed the mild references to alternative culture, such as role playing, Joy Division's Dead Souls and all the music in the jukebox being Nine Inch Nails or Johnny Cash. I loved the way the character tried to work out her identity from all the books and philosophy she read, and the tales of her mother's beautiful blue themed picnic. It sounds like one of the most perfect picnics one could ever think of!

It did end a little abruptly, but most of the first books in YA series usually do, and I can't wait to pick up the second one from the bookshop to find out what happens next. There was a refreshing lack of romance in the story, no girl torn between two boys. It was really about the character's own transformation, both physical and spiritual.

The author created her own vampire mythos, picking and choosing from the already existing ideas, and adding some of her own ideas. The organisation of vampire society in this was very interesting, and I hope to learn more in the next book.

This book was entirely engrossing and very hard to put down. In some ways, it reminded me of Anne Rice's early Vampire Chronicles novels, with its examination of good and evil, and sensual storytelling (sensual as in descriptions using the senses). I look forward very much to reading the next one in this series, and would recommend it to any seeking a more intellectual young adult vampire novel.

An example of the beautiful descriptions in the book:

“She especially liked my bedside lamp, which had a five-sided porcelain shade. Unlit, the shade seemed like bumpy ivory. Lit, each panel came to life with the image of a bird: a blue jay, a cardinal, wrens, an oriole, and a dove. Kathleen turned it off and on again, several times. "How does it do that?"

"The panels are called lithophanes." I knew because I'd asked my father about the lamp, years ago. "The porcelain is carved and painted. You can see it if you look inside the shade."

"No," she said. "It's magic. I don't want to know how it's done.”
Susan Hubbard, The Society of S


“After we became a couple, she composed our time together. She planned days as if they were artistic events. One afternoon we went to Tybee Island for a picnic; we ate blueberries and drank champagne tinted with curacao and listened to Miles Davis, and when I asked the name of her perfume, she said it was L'Heure Bleue.

She talked about 'perfect moments.' One such moment happened that afternoon; she'd been napping; I lay next to her, reading. She said, 'I'll always remember the sounds of the sea and of pages turning, and the smell of L'Heure Bleue. For me they signify love.”
Susan Hubbard, The Society of S

My review on Goodreads  http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/540037379

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Modern Victorian by Jordan Newhouse

 As you all cannot have failed to notice, I am pretty Victoriana obsessed. Sometimes, I am really inspired by modern pieces that have a timeless, dreamy feel that for me evokes the romanticism of the Victorian era. This is a perfect example! I want to wear this while writing with a cup of tea on a mild morning at the beginning of Winter, with the sun shining through the curtains, and flowers in vases nearby.

For more images, follow the link below:

http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/competition/2013-competition-entries/654-jordan-newhouse


I love the pale brown crocheted vest, and the jacket is just perfection!


Look at the amazing detailing on the jacket!


This was an entry in the My Wardrobe Unlock'd competition. To see the other amazing entries, follow the link below.

http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/competition/2013-competition-entries

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Sparrow Heart or A Father's Gift- A short story from 2012

 This Document Copyright ©2012 By Laura Morrigan  All Rights Reserved

The Sparrow Heart or A Father's Gift

He still remembers the moment he first knew his daughter was going to die, the look on the doctor's face, a look of utter helplessness and despair. He almost felt sorry for the man, except that it was his daughter that was dying. He remembered the doctor saying something about her being too small to fight anymore, and he laughed a bitter laugh because she never would get any bigger. He would bury her at this size, in a tiny white child's coffin. He remembered his heart aching in sympathy with hers, that tiny sparrow heart that beat so fast, but could not keep even that tiny body alive.

She had her mother's freckled skin, spattered with tiny brown marks like paint flicked from a paintbrush. Her arms and legs were too thin, sticks that he could wrap his fingers around with ease. She still had the round belly of childhood, and a scrawny birdlike chest to contain her sparrow heart.

He sat up late that night, feeling as if every heartbeat would be his last, waiting for his heart, that strange and complex mechanism, to wind down. Each beat was an agony to him. He willed the organ to stop, to still, to let him slip into oblivion, die before he had to watch his daughter die. But it refused.

He threw away all his books. The medical tomes thick with the learning of centuries. They had done nothing for his daughter. He burned them in the furnace, watching the pages curl and blacken, drift to grey ashes.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

He bought other books. Unusual books. Dark books. Books bound in human skin. Books you had to go down dangerous alleys in the middle of the night to obtain. Books bought from men and women with missing fingers and noses, with blind white eyes, all of whom warned him of the price he would have to pay.

He didn’t care. He studied day and night, his fingers blackened with ink, or perhaps burnt by the forbidden knowledge that the tomes contained. He studied feverishly, eyes red, nose running, barely eating, like an ascetic undergoing penance for some terrible deed.

His daughter missed him,. He had never been an attentive father, never really known what to do with a daughter, but he tried, and that is what matters to children. She cherished the nights when he read to her from the big leather bound volume, fairytales not suitable for children. In her world, father was the sun and the moon. And now both were gone and she was left only with the darkness of her disease, her feeble heart fluttering as if trying to beat its way out of her chest.

It was late or early. He no longer knew. The curtains were closed against the world and he read only by flickering candlelight. The electricity had been disconnected as he never went to work or paid the bills. The furniture had been taken away too, and he perched on a pile of books to read. He did not know what time it was, but he knew he had found his answer. He clutched the book to his heart, in a paroxysm of joy and horror, whispering fervid thanks to the dark room around him.

He left the house under cover of darkness and was gone three days. He returned bearing a brown paper wrapped package that seemed damp, and perhaps moving. She watched him, fascinated, as he crept past her room and into his own, locking the door behind him. She went and helped herself to some of the stale bread in the fridge.

The father retreated to his room for five days. The daughter could hear noises. A Rustling. A dripping. A gurgling. She slipped food under the door for her father. After five days, she became worried. She got a knife from the kitchen and forced the lock.

When she stepped inside the room was dark, lit only by a thin sliver of light coming through the torn curtains. The room smelled dank, like a swap, and her feet squelched and stuck to the floor. Mud... or something like mud oozed up between her toes. Her heart was beating like it would burst, but somehow, she made it across the room and pulled open the curtains. Bright sunlight filled the room. Vine tendrils and mushrooms that sprouted from the wallpaper shrunk away from the light. She already knew that something terrible, something unnatural had happened to her father.

She found him in the corner of the room, behind a pile of books. His eyes were open, rolled up to show the whites, covered with tiny specks like her freckles. His breathing was shallow. From his chest, a black and mouldy tree sprouted, rooting him to the ground.

The tree was slimy to the touch, covered with tiny algae blossoms that moved in wind of her breathing. There were no leaves on the tree. But that did not mean it was bare. No, not at all. For, right at the middle of the tree, it hung from a branch, glowing and pulsing. Large and red, just the way it should be.

Her sparrow heart beat within her as if protesting this aberration, but she was filled with a fierce and terrible joy. Later, she would mourn her father’s sacrifice, but for now, it was time to take her gift.

She plucked the fruit from the tree and bit into it, crimson juice running down her chin. She devoured the heart that her father grew for her.

Baking

22nd February 2013

Today I did some baking for the first time in a very long time. My own oven isn't fan forced and is rather bodgy, it makes very bad cakes! So I used the oven at my boyfried's mum's place. I'd forgotten how satisfying it was to bake something. and, then, of course, there is that beautiful baking smell!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

DIY: Converting a Tulle Dress to a Ruffle Bustle

I had a nice dress, but it wasn't a good fit. It was too tight to be comfortable or really move in! Plus,the top half just looked like a bra! :P But it had a lovely ruffled tulle skirt and I hated to throw it away!

What to do?

Turn it into a kind of 'bustle'.

Here is the original dress:


Use a seam ripper to carefully cut the seams and open up the back of the skirt all the way from bottom to top. This will become the front of the bustle!

Then cut it in half!

Here it is cut in half! The bottom half is the important half as I want to make a skirt, not a bra, so leave as much extra material as possible for the waistband of the skirt, cut as high towards the bust as you can!


Then I overlocked (well used the closest function my machine had to overlock) all the raw edges, and sewed it under. Not perfectly, I admit. I probably should have taken out the hard channels from the front of the dress (which became the back of the skirt). Also you might want your thread to match the material, but I didn't think the black showed up too badly, and I don't mind a little imperfection.

Then I used a dressing gown sash I had lying around. I cut it in half, overlocked the rough edges, and sewed it inside the edges of the dress. I gave it a bit of overlap and stitched it all around the edges so it isn't too weak and won't fall off with wearing!


Here is the finished bustle. You could also do it with a ruffly skirt!


Propnomicon: Van Helsing Vampire Hunting Kit

Ever wondered where Van Helsing keeps all those weapons? Check out this amazing vampire hunting kit, to be carried by some lowly flunky of the great vampire hunter. Don't you just want one of your own!
 
 
 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

La Bohéme

La Boheme opera- 16th February 2013

Outfit



Necklaces- black beaded choker from costume jewellery store, black string of beads from costume jewellery store, black crosses necklace secondhand.
Black velvet jacket secondhand.
Burgundy satin dress secondhand.

A couple of shots from Scene 2. The sets and costumes were amazing!

 
I wish I could have found more pictures from the production! The sets and costumes were amazing! It was 1920s Berlin Cabaret inspired. There were all these fantastic outfits! The blue coat the woman in the background of the second picture is wearing is on my list of things I want to make! The sets were so beautiful, I will try and describe them, and give you some little sketches.

SCENE 1
 Artist's studio with waves painted on one wall, the roof is almost like a circus tent, striped, with a vent for light in the middle of the ceiling. The walls are huge, right to the top of the stage. The ladder transforms into a table with the help of a plank and a stool.

SCENE 2

The walls turn around, and become theatre boxes with burlesque ladies in them. There is a rotating bit in the middle of the stage on which sellers hawk their wares, they all have exotic costumes! It then becomes a restaurant with an old fashioned green dressed drunk santa at the bar, lots of patrons in amazing clothes. My scribbled set sketch really can't evoke it, but you can see a bit of it in the photos I managed to find above.

SCENE 3

A customs office, very bleak. Chicken wire walls, drifting snow outside coming in through the wire. The customs men are cadaverous, white corpse like faces, purple around the eyes. They seem like corpses.

 I loved Scene 2 and 3 the most, they were the complete opposite of each other, the first rich with life and colour and action, the second minimal, and melancholic.


SCENE 4
The artist's studio/ apartment again. All the walls are now painted with huge waves. Very real and beautiful looking. The room seems bright and full of life, but, of course, it soon becomes very sad. The ladder, board and stool are once again used, this time to put a mattress on for a makeshift bed.


We sat at the front, so we couldn't actually read the surtitles without completely craning our necks backward, as they were immediately above us, a feat that Isambard my Steamparakeet would find easy, but which I found very difficult. I think I looked up about five times  and I got a cricked neck. But we knew the story, and the music and acting spoke for themselves. The performers were amazing, they played up the humorous scenes to make them really amusing, and they put real emotion into the sad scenes. The music was amazing and truly moving. I was in tears. It was an amazing experience, I felt emotionally drained afterwards.

The Exile- A Short Story from 2011

I promised to put up some of my old writing, so here is a piece from 2011. 

This Document Copyright ©2011 By
Laura Morrigan. All Rights Reserved

The Exile
 
It isn't a cell. For that I can be grateful. It isn't the kind of place where the walls reek of disinfectant and hairy-armed women feel me up while I try to speak words that don't ring with the stifled emptiness of the place.

But it is so quiet here. At night I can hear my own breathing, my own heartbeat. It's hard to fall asleep when all you can hear is your own breathing. It's like when you start thinking about swallowing and then if you don't think about it, you can't do it, and you start choking, just from thinking about it.

It's so lonely here I almost wish I was in prison. I almost long for those sweaty hands and arms, to be bathed in another's sweat. Anything to not be so alone.

It is a small plot of land, surrounded by silent forest. Beyond the forest, there are no fences, but I know better than to try to escape. Where would I go to? For me, this is the last place on earth.

Somehow, they have made sure that there are no animals in the forest, not the smallest sign of life. No cicadas creak in the mornings and afternoons, no matter how humid the air, no beetles crinkle their way through the dry fallen leaves, no birds cry their melancholy sex-calls into the night. The only voice out here is my own, and call as I might, there is no one to answer. No words, no arms, no sex-calls. Nothing.

Isn't that the meaning of exile?

I have a companion, though it's a secret between the two of us, I can't even think it too loud for fear of who might hear it. We haven't spoken yet, and I don't think she will, she's the shy type. Her skin is the palest grey, and so smooth it's like running your hands through water. I've only just touched her on the shoulder yet, in passing. I don't want to seem too forward. She doesn't speak, but then, she has no mouth.

But who cares for mouths, for speech? Words are overrated. Words lie, sting, words berate, words accuse, words betray. Without words, we can never lie to each other.

And who needs words when you have a body like that, so perfectly formed, as if she was a human woman. Breasts small but perky, with a small, round belly, fleshy, demure thighs, lightly crossed to hide her sex. Smooth, shiny, the way she shines so slick in the rain, I want to lick the water from her cold flesh.

I don't care that she's not what you would call sentient, she's still alive. Sap runs through her veins, her roots wriggle in the earth, savouring its warmth, and you can see her leaves shake with pleasure when it rains. In the ancient days, people knew that all living things were connected, we all think and feel. I know that she thinks and feels, and I think that she notices me. She knows that I don't think of her as just a tree, whose knotted, twisted shape forms the torso of a woman. She knows I see the woman underneath, the blossoming sensuality underneath the guise of a tree. I don't know what she thinks about me, but I think she can see past the flesh to see the spirit hidden underneath. She knows we are alike.

It started with a greeting. A nod as I passed her by, gathering firewood or bringing seeds and seedlings to plant in the garden. Now I touch her shoulder as I go by, lingering a little too long, but she doesn't seem to mind. I love the smooth, round curve of her shoulder, cool to the touch. I fantasise about caressing the rest of her body, but I know that it's too soon for that. I would never assault her. She may be a tree, but she has feelings. I don't forget that.

I sketch her curves in my mind, smooth grey flesh so different from my soft, yielding dimpled body. I wonder how strange it might feel for her to be embraced by this flesh, if it would give her pleasure, or if she would feel disgust. I think she's open minded enough.

Every day, I touch her shoulder as I go by, but she says nothing, does nothing in return. I begin to wonder if I could have mistaken her interest in me. Not wanting to seem like a fool, I turn to go, and as I do, she drops a single leaf at my feet. It is a new shoot, so pale and translucent I can see the veins that run through it. It is the sign I have been waiting for . She has given me a part of herself. The message is clear.

I do not fall asleep for a long time, staring at the leaf, turning it over and over in my hands. In the darkness, it is nearly black, but I still see its beauty. That painful, beautiful twinge of new love fills my chest, and I want to cry with the agony and joy of it all.

I finally drift off to sleep. When I awaken, I have crushed the leaf in my hand, and my fingers and palm are stained faintly green with the sap.

I hear the sound of a chainsaw, ringing through the 'til-now-silent forest. Something tears at my heart, like a string, pulling in my chest. I know it before I see it. I can hear her screaming in my head. As I run out of the hut, I see her fall, cut down by the spinning blade, smashing into the ground with a thud that shakes the forest floor. The man turns and leaves the forest. I am not stupid enough to follow. I never even see the face of my love's attacker.

She has been severed at the waist. On the ground nearby, her beautiful breasts lie in the dust, only her thighs remaining. She lies in rough cut segments, pieces that no amount of effort could put back together. It's ok, I tell her silently, I still love you. It doesn't matter what you look like. She allows me to embrace her, to comfort her. I reassure her that we can still be together, we will make it work somehow.

Later, I sneak the piece of trunk that holds her breasts into the house. By day, I am the perfect nurse and lover, and we never speak of what has come before. It is the kind of love of which you cannot speak, silent and sad. Her breasts in the darkness call to me. All day long, when I am in the garden, when I am tending to my wounded lover, I hear them call to me, I dream of caressing them. There is no end to my agony until night falls and guiltily, desperately, I hold them in my hands. At night, in the darkness, guilty as a gravedigger, I caress the severed wooden breasts of my lover.

Thanks to those who sent me inspiring thoughts....

... I think it helped! And it's amazing how good writing makes me feel once I get into it again! What with all the job seeking and other things I have been having to do I have put it off too long! I feel so much happier now that I have done some writing, it's like the writing is a part of my equilibrium and I am off balance, not me, without it! It's even helped kill off some of the job searching stress! Keep sending those inspiring thoughts! :)

Monday, 18 February 2013

WRITING

What with job searching, etc. I have not had much time for writing. I am trying to get some done now, it's hard to get back into the habit! Send me positive thoughts!

Calliopes and Cotton Candy

Outfit Friday 15th February


 "The merry-go-round was running, yes, but...
It was running backward.
The small calliope inside the carousel machinery rattle-snapped its nervous-stallion shivering drums, clashed its harvest-moon cymbals, toothed its castanets, and throatily choked and sobbed its reeds, whistles, and baroque flutes.”
Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

This outfit made me feel light and dreamy!
Blouse- I got it from a secondhand shop that day. $3!!! It made me think of circuses and fairs and cotton candy!
Skirt- From a dress, adapted by me. More about making it in this post.
Clock necklace- A Christmas present
Chain on skirt- necklace chain pinned on. The same one I wore in the Lenore pictures and post.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Recent Outfits: Lenore and Airship Pirate

Outfit Sunday 10th February 2013
Lenore/ Madwoman


I uploaded the rest of the Lenore pictures on my deviantART account so if you like you can check them out!

I managed to get a picture of the outfit with Isambard my steamparakeet! He is hard to photograph as he usually moves too fast for the camera to focus, and you just get a blur. If you are interested in all the mischief he gets up to check out the hashtag #steamparakeet on Twitter.


I wore this over to dinner at my boyfriend's parents house. 
Dress: Found for $4 from a second hand store. It's pretty see through so I wore a white satin dress under it, also second hand. 
Belt: A few bucks off Ebay, if you want one, I think you search under cage belt or something similar. 
Necklaces: The silver grey necklace was an Christmas present years ago, the one with pearls and gold chains is from the second hand shop. 
Hair: the result of sleeping with it in braids, which apparently helps your hair not tangle or get damaged at night. I am not sure how much it helps as the bit above where the braids start at the back seems to get more tangled. But it's great to do if you want curly hair!


Outfit for Library Lovers Day- February 14th
Airship Pirate

There are loads of pictures from the event in this post, but if you want the outfit rundown, here it is!


Hat: Made by Lady Chatsalot who also attended the event. It was my prize for my costume at The Clockwork Carnival. Here are her websites:
Shirt: Second hand
Pleather waistcoat: Second hand
Socks: eBay
I also ended up wearing brown leather boots that I found in a second hand shop years ago, before I even started high shcool, I think. They used to be at least 2 sizes too big, now they are only a tiny bit long!

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Boys: Volume Three: Good for the soul


Graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson

This is a really interesting series that looks at things like the glorification of violence, the objectification of female superheroes, the roles corporations play in war, and much else. It is also completely irreverent, and makes no effort not to offend. In fact, you might say it intends to shock and offend. I have no complaints about that, I think you go into reading this series knowing what it is about. It is definitely not for everyone. There is explicit sex and violence.

I personally admire the irreverence, and the parodying of classic superheroes, but there are definitely parts I am uncomfortable with.

The idea that the superheroes aren't as great as they are made out to be makes perfect sense. There are even a few touching moments, such as the friendship between The Frenchman and The Female. However, as someone who likes to avoid the too harsh realities of real life to live in the idea of an urban fantasy type magical world hiding in the shadows all around us, I think this series might be getting a bit lurid for me. Sometimes I feel reading it is a bit like some horrible accident you can't look away from. I don't currently have any of the other volumes, so time will tell if I keep reading or not.

David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish


I read this in a couple of hours at a friend's place where it was lying in the spare room after I went to The Clockwork Carnival. I loved all the bits where he talked about film making, many of his tips about creating scenes and that sort of thing really translate well to writing. I enjoyed the glimpse into his creative process and past. I have never been one for meditation, but when David Lynch says it in his enigmatic way, it makes sense. I may actually consider doing it now, just to see if it improves my creativity. Although I do pretty much live in my own world most of the time anyway.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Library Lovers Day: The Invasion of the Steampunk Brigade


It's a really beautiful library- look at all these little wooden partitions for people to sit in. They give a bit of privacy, but they aren't all closed off and claustrophobic, either! quite a few of us did airship pirate-y steampunk!
 

I got to hang out with some lovely people I had met before, and meet some lovely new people too!


Here I am looking a little confused. One of the ladies Cate was holding a tablet in front of her face. I was just working out she was taking pictures with it!


I am talking about second hand shopping and steampunk authors!


The delightful steampunk brigade! (OK, we don't actually call ourselves that, but I think we should! :P)



 Just out those windows is an amazing view over the mountains!


 Cutting the cake


Kate And Luke talking about Ironfest and an upcoming Terry Pratchett convention. I can't remember when or where that was.




 I didn't get any photos of myself with my gorgeous and talented friend Stacey, so here are two separate ones of her! She made the dress, hat, petticoat, bustle, etc. herself!

White Queen and Alice

Colleen Atwood's costumes are so inspiring! I want them all! Alice's first dress and the White Queen's dress and hair were particularly inspiring to me! I really want Alice's dress, it's on my must-have list! I have to get good enough at sewing so I can make it!

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I think it's just the lighting/ colour contrast in the picture, but I like how the gown seems pale greeny here!



Alice's gown is pure perfection! I would love one like that! I also want white or pale blue boots! I would paint my current pair white, but I might need them to be blackish if I get a job.