Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Pussycat Bow

Outfit 24th January 2013

A pussycat bow is basically a big bow at the front of a shirt. Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) can be seen sporting one in many photographs. 

Blouse, scarf and skirt all secondhand.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Forgotten pictures from 2012 (and a few from 2013)

I wanted to share a couple of old pictures from 2012. There are a few more events I have photos from that I haven't shared, whether it is because I, or others might not find the images flattering. But here are a few

My first SteamEngine IX with Alice and Caelum

My first Cobweb Club ( I made the birdcage hairpiece myself)

An outfit I forgot to post:  Saturday 19th January 2013

"Lady Dedlock" outfit

Corset style top, skirt and beaded evening bag second hand
Necklace second hand
Pendant an Roman inspired earring from the Pompeii exhibition found second hand.

Oh and here are a couple of pictures of me dancing at the Peter Murphy afterparty. 

Steampunk High Tea

On Saturday the 19th of January, I attended a Steampunk high tea/ picnic organised by the Newcastle Steampunk Society. 

I finally got to meet the lovely Stacey, who I knew from the Steampunk sewing group on Facebook. She wore this amazing outfit which she made herself! It is a hat, a polonaise coat, and skirt, combination underwear and a lobster bustle, all of which she made!

It was a great day and I met some very nice people! I can't wait to go again!

There was some sword fighting...

Victorian sausage rolls...

Lime tart...

Home made portuguese tarts...

Victorian brown bread ice cream...

Raspberry and rosewater cordial with home grown raspberries...

Stacey's amazing outfit!

My outfit:

Jacket, dress and lace blouse and ankle boots second hand.

The jacket is the same one I had when I went to Peter Murphy, although I don't have any pictures of it on that night. 

The earrings are the ones from steamfolks on Etsy.

Wikihow: Look Like a Pre-Raphaelite Maiden

Want to look like a Pre-Raphaelite maiden? I have most of it down, although I wish I had curly red hair, and more ethereal dresses. I plan to work on the dresses part. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Heart's Blood

by Gail Dayton

This gets about a 4.9, rounded up to a 5. I loved the characters, the setting, the intuitive understanding she had of the way they dressed and human nature. I was just a little unsure if I liked the final battle, and a little disappointed that it ended up in the air with no future book date for the third novel. I want to know what happens next!

Despite what others have said, I think this works well if you haven't read the original, although I have now read that one as well. It's not so punky, not too much technology, but it is a steamy romance, and the descriptions of the magic and guilds is fascinating. I loved the Victorian setting, and the author really understood aspects of Victorian life such as getting through doors in hoop skirts, that made it feel more real.

The romance was very enjoyable, Grey Carteret was just my type. This book works well as a steampunk-ish novel, a story about magic, and as a romance, and for that, it deserves real credit! I can't wait to see what will happen when the third one comes out! I hope it will have more about Elinor, who is a fascinating character, and a strong independent woman!

The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree

by Stan and Jan Berenstain

It was a real pleasure to read this again today. This was one of my childhood favourites. I still remember getting it from the Scholastic bookstore, and getting a free glow in the dark ghost sticker with it. I liked this one because it had a great spooky vibe and illustrations. I love all the bits of the tree house such as the moving wall with the giant key. I would love a house like that!

I found this at my boyfriend's parents' house. He remembered reading it as a kid too, and loving that great cross section of the house. 

I had quite a few of the other books in this series as a kid, I always liked the ones with odd adventures much more than the ones with morals.

This one is by far my favourite, and one I would happily read again at any age.

The New Monster That Ate Canberra

by Michael Salmon

I re-read this today, and I could not stop laughing! I had forgotten all the tongue in cheek jokes about Australian culture! Some of the things I laughed at were:

The minister for kulture (and footy) (sic.)
The minister for meat pies and tomato sauce

The fact that the minister for foreign affairs was away on holiday in Bali

The Prime Minister being tired from looking through "heaps of tourist brochures to decide on his next overseas trip... work that was both confusing and exhausting!"

"The navy only had a rowing boat and one oar"

The supreme court judge snacking on KFC in his robes

The bunyip sent to work on a soapie as punishment "After all 20 years working on a soap opera woudl be ample punishment for anyone."

"The Young, Restless, Flying Country Bunyip Neighbours Show" (taken from the titles of Australian soaps)

Feeding the bunyip on 'scripts that didn't rate'. They tasted "awful- dry, musty and unoriginal."

A fake female bunyip called Kylie (Minogue)

ABC fashion guide for sport
ABC guide to program repeats

If "you hear a loud shuffling and snuffling outside your bedroom window one night, don't be alarmed, it probably isn't another lost tourist, baffled beaureaucrat or confused politician"...

A great book, especially if you are Australian!

Sewing disaster!

The bloomers were a complete disaster, came out like clown pants! The material was really nice, but didn't work for that kind of thing, the pattern was too bold. And I cut them out all wrong. I don't even like pants, so I don't know why I went for bloomers! This means I will have to re-think my outfit, though. I was going to wear the bloomers under something, maybe a little skirt will work. The other part of the outfit is still in progress, keep your fingers crossed it won't be a disaster too!

I feel a bit disheartened now, I have to not let this put me off sewing! This was my first real failure, and it was hard because the pattern was one from an online tutorial I sort of had to hand draw and adapt to my own measurments.

Condolence cards and flowers are always welcome. :P

More Sewing!

I realised yesterday that I have a little over a week until the Clockwork Carnival and I have not made my outfit, so I got out the machine and started today! Isambard has never seen a sewing machine before and wonders what is going on. I have to go eat dinner now, then I will get back to it!

Thank goodness for my stash of fabric I found at the RSPCA store!

Monday, 21 January 2013

American Duchess: Rudolf Nureyev Exhibition at de Young, San Francisco

Pop over to the American Duchess blog and see these amazing costumes! I have always found ballet and circus costumes very inspiring! I will make something like this one day!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sewing Project Teaser

One of the very complex overlapping pattern pages from Burda magazine. There's only a couple of pages of patterns, and you have to find the pattern colour, number and line stlye (eg bold, zigzag) and trace it out. It's a little challenging!

I'm starting off with something simple. I traced it, laid it out and cut it at my boyfriend's grandma's place this week. I won't show anymore for now, I want it to be a surprise!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Inspiring Blogger Award

I got an inspiring blogger award from Karoliina of

Thanks Karoliina!

5 odd facts about me

1. I legally changed my last name to Morrigan after the warrior goddess because I am not into the patriarchal passing on of father's names and wanted to define my own identity.

2. I feel like I don't belong in this era. Ideally I belong in a magical Steampunk world with fabulous dresses and also with 80s style postpunk clubs, because musically, I feel really at home in that era. I also like ethereal and Celtic music, opera and classical.

3. I am caffeine sensitive. Last time I drank coffee, I was up all night with a racing heart. Luckily, I really like tea.

4. I have really strange vivid dreams that sometimes still feel real after I wake up. They inspire many of my stories.

5. When I first read Edgar Allan Poe's The Black Cat, I thought it was a true story.

And one fact about my baby bird:

 I am a very proud bird-mommy to Isambard the steamparakeet, he leaves scratches all over my arms and hands with his tiny claws when he runs around, but I don't mind too much because I love him. Last night he managed to rip some rubber off my computer. He really wants to destroy it. Maybe he is jealous of the time I spend blogging, even though I spend much more time with him. I'd go twice as quickly if he didn't jump on my hands while I do it!

I am not sure how many blogs I am supposed to tag, and I follow at least 200 (not joking) so this will be hard! Here are a few I have loved recently.

Melinda Belle Harrison:
The Gibson Girl's Guide to Glamour:
Untameable life:
The Steampunk Bride:
On Paper Wings:
Cation Designs:
Coffin Kitsch:
Cemetery Dreams:
Aristocratic Elegance:
A Berg's Life:

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Peter Murphy Concert

Saturday 12th January 2012

This was the first time Peter Murphy ever came to Australia, and it was wonderful to be able to attend. It was a fairly small hall, and I stood on a half step about halfway up the hall so I was able to see over the heads of taller people. Peter Murphy's voice is even more impressive in person, he had amazing vocals, which not everyone does live. 

I was really more familiar with Bauhaus songs than Peter Murphy's solo music, but it was all wonderful, and I will have to listen to more of his solo work in the future. Some of the highlights were:

Cuts You Up
She's In Parties
a verse of Bela Lugosi's dead (yes, I did nearly faint)
Ziggy Stardust cover

Peter was very friendly, joked with audience, he pulled a girl up from the audience to sing to at one point. He was very energetic, dancing around and really seeming to have fun and his voice really was AMAZING! He has a real stage presence that is amazing to see, and I can see why people are drawn to him. 

The opening act was The Dark Shadows, a Sydney based all girl band which played great post-punk influenced music. I loved the old school sound. Their main singer had a great voice, and they really looked like they loved what they did. I got a chance to talk to the bassist/ vocalist Carly and the vocalist/guitarist Brigitte and they were both really friendly. Carly and I chatted about 80s rock and David Bowie. If you like Bauhaus or other post-punk and new wave, I recommend you check them out!

Afterwards, we headed over to the afterparty, I danced for about an hour before I headed off to bed. It was an amazing night!

My outfit:

Black mesh gloves: new from opshop
Corset style top: Purple 22 vintage in Newtown
Skirt: from op shop. I pinned it up in bustle style with some safety pins.

Detail of pinned up skirt. It's pretty cool, it has layers of black and grey lace in different patterns. The brown flower clips are from eBay. I used the brown ones not the crimson ones as they clashed a bit with the maroon corset top.

My camera couldn't really handle the darkness, the smoke machine and the distance, so this was the only photo that even came out, but the memories mean far more to me.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Miniature Bohemian World

These miniature homes are the most amazing things! I want to be shrunken down to live in one! Please follow the link to see even more amazing images!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Sewing projects #1

Made these at the end of 2012. They are all just adaptations, but great practice sewing. I used my new machine, and it works really well.

I didn't take any before pictures of most of them, unfortunately.


Skirt- this was a dress, the top part didn't fit, but I loved the tulle skirt. So I cut it in half, and rehemmed the waist. I hand sewed a couple of snap-buttons in to close it.

Waistcoat- this waistcoat had short sleeves, but they were uncomfortably tight. I trimmed them off, turned the leftover material under, zigzag stitched the edges, then sewed them under. I then sewed some leftover trim from the dress around the sleeve edges, and sewed a charm I had to the front.

You might have seen it in this post the other day. 

Jabot- this was the top of a lacy singlet top. I cut off the lacy bit and the singlet sleeves in a circular shape, trimmed it to size for my neck. I machined the edges under and hand sewed snap buttons on.