Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Splendiferous ray gun tutorial on EPBOT, inspiring story and also a Halloween dress I wish I had

A little above my skills as yet, but I need to remember to look out for good components. It's really helpful where she shows the box of odd candlestick bits she uses.

This story is very inspiring. She makes beautiful clothes, too!


I want the grey dress with the cats on it.

Poe's Cat

Novel by Brenda Walker

A beautiful and haunting book. Cousins Thea and Finn are staying at their grandfather's house in the mountains. When they were children, this was the site of their teenage romance, and Thea finds herself reminiscing on their forbidden passion.

Thea begins rewriting Poe's stories from a feminist perspective, told by an illusive Virginia Poe to her cat, as she lies dying. The stories are vivid and frightening, and open up a whole different world within Poe's stories.

The entire book is filled with passion, and lush description. This is the kind of book you fall into and get lost in, if you love literature as I do. I sometimes think it has the feeling of a fever dream, the descriptions tangible, the senses sharp and pungent. Both beauty, and despair, as in Poe's tales. The mysterious senselessness of human life is woven into it, the strange juxtaposition of the cousin's forbidden teenage romance, with the illicit one of Finn's father and Thea's mother, who ran away together soon after. We are left with a sense of melancholy, but also, somehow, a sense of hope, and lightness. Where there are words, there is always life.

I gave this 6 stars out of 5, for a book that goes above and beyond perfect.

(Review from my goodreads account, I am trying to post up some reviews I haven't yet shared on my blog.)

Monday, 29 October 2012

"I hear that Australian girls have no combs, and must use fishbones to comb their hair!"

Outfit 15th October

This one is pretty casual, I just wore it to class. Been getting a bit lazy with dressing up, thanks to assignments. It's summer here, but the trains and my classroom are SO airconditioned, I always need to bring a jacket or cardi and socks or stockings.

Velvet cardi with ruffles- $10 secondhand, it was a lucky find, as they were still selling them in Tree of Life for $50 at the time.
Velvet dress- sale store. It looks better in real life, it's a really bright maroon colour, but it doesn't come out in photos. Velvet seems to be like that.
Cameo necklace- sale store, years ago

Title of post: Allusion to the song South Australia, an English/ Australian folk song.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Play Room

Novel by Olivia Manning

A dark coming of age story that looks at both the main character Laura's obsession with her beautiful friend, Vicky, and Vicki's obsession with a dangerous boy that leads to a terrible climax.

Nowadays, so many books seem to advertise dangerous as sexy. Twilight's heart throb Edward Cullen admits that he wants to kill his love, Bella, and that he stalks her, watching her sleep at night. I think most of us have, at some time or other, been attracted to a 'bad boy'. This book is an antidote to that.

Clarrie is a bad boy, but a really bad one, and not so charming, either, but Vicky is drawn to him. The first time she meets him, he is manhandling her naive friend Laura, and Laura is terrified, but Vicky is instantly attracted. Vicki is a placid, dreamy girl, who takes everything with a smile, and seems to not really care about anything, but she becomes drawn to Clarrie, although Laura remains terrified of him. This is all seen through the eyes of the innocent younger Laura, to whom Vicky is some kind of goddess. Laura also experiences naive romantic feelings for Vicky's handsome father, and her attempts to impress him with a foam stuffed bra are both pitiful and disturbing.

The play room of the title is something that Laura and her brother glimpsed on a trip to an island, a sinister room filled with lifesize naked dolls, owned by the disturbing "Mrs Toplady". Her story about this strange room was what earned her entrée into the society of Vicky and her best friend, even though Laura didn't really understand the story herself. The lingering sinister nature of this story remains with us, although they never go back to the island or see Mrs. Toplady again. It is also possible that the playroom is actually the world itself, and it is the cruel, powerful people like Clarrie, who play with the weak, like Laura and Vicky.

This book reminds us of the true violence and darkness that lurks behind the civilised veneer of society, and that even protective parents like Laura's mother, cannot really ever protect us from that.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Stolen Child

Novel by Keith  Donohue

Review from my Goodreads account.

This was a perfect book for me, because I often feel that I am in the wrong time, as well as the fact that since I was a child, I have thought I might be a changeling. It is the story of two people, the boy who is stolen away by changelings, and the changeling who takes his life and replaces him. It is a change up of the stole by faeries myth that I really liked.

While one boy has to deal with his life being stolen away, and living in the woods as an un-aging changeling, the other tries to be normal, to hide his strangeness, and the fact that he is much older than he seems, having been stolen from his own family a long time in the past. <spoiler> When he grows up and has a son, he must deal with the fear that his son will be stolen by his own kind. </spoiler>

The story was vivid and engaging, and I enjoyed every moment of it! The haunting nature of this story remains with me.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Steampunk Librarian

Outfit Sunday 14th October
(Dinner at a restaurant for my boyfriend's mum's birthday)

Clock key pendant- pendant from craft shop, from my boyfriend's mum
Antique clockwinder necklace from redheart13 on Etsy. I bought this before I actually knew it was steampunk, I was just drawn to it.
Shirt- Shop55 Vintage
Waistcoat- really old, I grew out of it, but now it fits me again.
Ruffled corduroy fishtail skirt: second hand. I tried to get a photo of the details, it has amazing detailing, but black is so hard to photograph.

Red velvet jacket from eBay. Probably my best eBay find ever.

A list of my favourite animes in no particular order

I always have trouble choosing a favourite film, I can never really decide. Likewise, I really can't decide which of these anime movies and series are my favourites. They are all amazing. I watched most of these with my boyfriend, who introduced me to anime.

Neon Genesis Evangelion, The End of Evangelion and Evangelion OVA
Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate
Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2 (movies, I need to see the SAC)
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited Away
Princess Monoke
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Bubblegum Crisis Tokoyo 2040 - plus that one of it's sequels I can't remember the name of
Memories (Shorts: Magnetic Rose, Stink Bomb, Cannon Fodder. Magnetic Rose is particularly beautiful.)
Elfen Lied
Cowboy Bebop movie (seen a few of the series, pretty good too)
Appleseed (movie)
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (although it's not exactly anime)
Goku: Midnight Eye (only 2 episodes ever made. The first was particularly amazing)
Perfect Blue
Vampire Hunter D
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood? Not sure if this was the one I watched, it was years ago, and in the middle of the night, but I remember thinking it was great. Can't remember the plot.
The Castle of Cagliostro (Lupin III) I love the French movie about the original Lupin, too!
Parasite Dolls?: Can't remember if I've seen it or not.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Oddities, featuring a Steampunk inventor, Murdoch Mysteries with Tesla and Code Geass

I have mentioned before how much I enjoy the TV series Oddities. I love all the fascinating things they find, from stuffed conjoined twin animals, to mummy hands, to articulated skeletons. I also love some of the repeat customers, especially Laura, the model, mortician and fashion designer. She has a great taste in clothes, as well as macabre collectibles. And the same name as me. :P

Season 2 episode 16: Edison's Monstrous Creation,  is probably my favourite! It features a steampunk inventor, and you get to see his home at the very end! Some of his creations are truly epic! There is also a creepy doll by Edison, the mad inventor who liked to electrocute dogs, and even an elephant, in his battle to discredit his nemesis, Tesla.

Speaking of the things Edison did, you can see a bit about the battle between Edison and Tesla in the first episode of the television series Murdoch Mysteries. The series is about a young detective in 1890s Toronto, and featuring the march of technology and scientific discovery. Murdoch relies on science to help him solve mysteries, as well as his 'intuiton' and the help of a female police surgeon. He likes to read medical and scientific journals for fun. There are some good in jokes, such as the idea of creating a "tele-vision", and the failed invention of "corn shards" (cornflakes) and the idea of "meat in a can". 

The first episode has Tesla in it, and he makes some pretty cool inventions. I have been a fan of Tesla ever since I saw The Prestige, which I guess could be said for a lot of people. I'm only up to about the third episode, but I am hooked so far. Credit for alerting me to this series goes to the Gnostalgia blog, which has a great Steampunk section!

My boyfriend and I also recently finished watching season 1 and 2 of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. It's a fascinating alternate history drama set in a world that has been dominated by Britannia. All the other countries belong to them and are referred to only by number. Japanese live in area 11 and are only known as elevens, forbidden from referring to themselves as Japanese. When Lelouch, a Britannian prince in hiding from his vicious family is gifted with the power of geass, he puts into motion a complex plot to overturn the Britannian empire. 

There are many twists and turns in the series, and it doesn't shy from killing characters, and having dark moments, which I really respect. There were funny interludes, too, and the school, which were very amusing, even if they did not seem that important. It is a great series, and if you like your anime with a twisting plot and  characters who are tortured by the dark actions they have to take to try and change the world, than this series is for you!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

"You would do well to stay away from Lady Cunningham, Miss Petersen. They call her the Lady Rake. They say she gambles, and rides horses like a man, with one leg on either side! Not sidesaddle like a lady!"

Outfit Saturday 13th October

You've got to love a ruffled poet shirt!

My boyfriend's mum's birthday luncheon. She's so great, I love her.

Necklace- winged key pendant from steampunk craft collection, my boyfriend's mum got it for me.
Shirt- second hand
Jacket- Caroline K Morgan. It cost me about $80 first hand, years ago. One of the most expensive things I own, but I think it was worth it! I just wish I had the black and white versions, too!
Skirt- second hand. Scanlan and Theodore. It has rope in the curly bits to make them stand out.
Socks- eBay.

Friday, 19 October 2012

To The Apocalypse In Daddy's Sidecar

Outfit 11th October
(Title from the Abney Park song.)

Wearing a lacy blouse under the dress to get the lacy effect. It really adds a lot to the dress. Click image for larger view if you want to see.

Sorry for the bad quality of the images, the lighting in my house really is awful for taking photos, and the flash just does not help!

Modern Victorian outfit. Cameo and dress bought at various discount  fashion stores a long time ago. Socks from eBay, jacket from second hand store.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Quick Update and Tutorial

I'm not sure if I already posted this, if I have, please forgive me. I plan to try this out once I have more time, so probably not until I have finished semester. I have a lot of posts to make, links to update, books to review etc. but I am so busy, so they will have to wait!

Also thanks to all the people who have made lovely comments recently, you really make my day!


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Outfit for Steamengine IX: The Clockwise Masque

Outfit Friday 5th October 2012

Mini top hat with veil - Girl's jewellery store
Beaded choker- At another costume jewellery store. I missed this one last time around so I was excited to see it was back and had to get it!
Clockwinder necklace- Redheart13 on Etsy.
Pale pink lace top- second hand
Black and white striped dress- second hand
The white flower pins/ hairclips that hold it up- eBay.
Corset belt- eBay.
Grey skirt- second hand. I got it at a stall at the Marrickville markets the day I went to The Tempest Steampunked.
White glove- second hand
Red and black glove- England in 2007. 

Steamengine was amazing! The only steampunk thing I had been able to attend in the past was The Tempest Steampunked, which was also wonderful, but at this one, I got to hang around with other Retrofuturists, it was an amazing time! There was many wonderful acts including burlesque artists, contact juggling, firedancing/juggling/eating, and a woman who swallowed razor blades!

There aren't many photos up yet on the site, and I didn't take any myself as I didn't want to distract the performers. Not to mention my camera is pretty much useless where there is no natural light! I am sure some will be up on the Facebook page soon. If you live in Australia, it is well worth the trip to come down to Sydney for the next one!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Stories from the Aethernet

I just wanted to share a few things off the Aethernet with you.

First of all, today I discovered that Emperor Norton was a real person! Can you imagine my delight! I had read his story over and over in The Sandman comics, and I really loved the story!

Basically Joshua Norton was a man who lost his entire fortune, and possibly his wits, and declared himself emperor of the United States of America. Making his proclamation on a slow news day, it was printed, and he became a local celebrity. He actually had a few good ideas about the running of his town, San Francisco, too. He was a real character, and seemingly liked by everyone. He printed his own money and was allowed to use it as legal currency. When he died, it's said that 30 000 lined the streets to bid him farewell. He never really had any money, and was, by all accounts, entirely broke at the time of his death, despite his self-proclaimed status.

His 'visionary ideas' apparently including the forming of a League of Nations, and a suspension bridge linking San Francisco to Oakland.

I also wanted to share with you this beautiful blog post on October decorating. Isn't it magical? I love Autumn, although for me, October is actually Spring!

Also, I am sure I must have mentioned it before, but I am really loving this steampunk story, The Dead Isle. You can read it free online if you follow the link or buy it through Lulu. I am actually thinking of buying a few books through the book site Lulu, so if anyone has used it and has any good feedback, let me know!

On Friday night I also attended Steam Engine IX: The Clockwise Masque, a Steampunk variety evening. I will post my outfit for that night soon. I might write a review, but it's mostly a wonderful blur, I can't wait 'til the next one!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Boston Metaphysical Society Webcomic

I just read this review  on the Xerposa blog. The online comic is only a chapter in so far, but it seems really promising. Read the review and check out the webcomic, Boston Metaphysical Society.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Makeup experimentation and a few Aethernet finds

Outfit Friday 28th September (Evening)

The same day I had tea at that wonderful teahouse, I was playing around with makeup in the evening. As you may have read me saying before, thanks to insanely easily irritated skin, I rarely use makeup. Which also means that my attempts are pretty amateur.

This makeup and my skin did NOT agree, so I only had it on long enough to take the pictures. I am also making the white flowers into hairclips, but I need to buy some hairclips with the bits you can glue them onto, as the little wires in the back of the flowers keep falling out.

The makeup was pretty cheap and irritates my skin, but I think I would like to find something similar or in a more pinky colour in a brand that doesn't irritate my skin. I like a fairly subtle look, especially as that hides my inexpertise, instead of making it really obvious like dark makeup does! 

A few links off the aethernet:

A free pattern and instructions to make a mini steampunk tricorne hat!!!

Have you checked out the Steampunk Writer's and Artist's Guild? I just joined.

Lavender Almond Tea Biscuits : I haven't tried them yet, but I really want to!