Friday, September 24, 2010

Fashion: Steampunk

Begin with a solid foundation of British Victorian aesthetic
(bustles, top hats, lace collars, corsets, laced boots, and lots of brown leather). Add a break in the space-time continuum, where we veered
off wildly in 1888 and developed futuristic technology powered solely
by the energy of steam (instead of electric micro-processors),
did not develop plastics or any other lightweight metallic alloys
to make our life easier (so we can use only brass),  a tablespoon
of proclivity toward Absinthe addiction (and possibly a dash of
apocalypse) and you have Steampunk.
This quasi-historical, but ultimately fantastically anachronistic

style is both romantic and, well….punk

The genre was originally literary, starting in the 1960’s, when science fiction writers such as

K.W. Jeter emulated the style and referenced fantasy worlds invented by Victorian science
fiction writers (including HG Wells and Jules Vern). The term steampunk was not coined until
the 1980’s.

It attracts me, as it is at once meticulous period costume and science-based mechanic craft, all

with an “up yours” attitude to boot.

Péché in Austin

Beetle Money Clip by Aevalillith Jewelry and Photography by Kate O'brien
Watch by by Aran Wen and Corset by Antiseptic Fashion
Apotheke in NYC
Art by Winona Cookie and Spider Pendant by Jack and Cat Curio
Skeleton Cameo by Eternal Autumn and Steampunk Journal

Shoes by Gianfranco Ferre and Cuff by Aran Wen
Photography by Kate O'brien and Vintage Nouveau Absinthe Poster
Absinthe Stickers by The Paris Apartment
Tie Tack by Catherinette Rings and Watch by Steampunk Lab
Couture by Skingraft
Corset by Antiseptic Fashion and Cuff by Aevalillith Jewelry 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Enamoured..... of these.........

Oil paintings by Utah-based artist Wendy Chidester.
Adjust-O-Matic Dress Form

oil on canvas

L.C. Smith & Bros.
oil on canvas

Kodak Automatic
oil on canvas

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"On Hallowe'en we'll steal the gate, and kilter everything that's straight......"

Some Early Inspiration for All Hallow's Eve......

Black Eyed Suzie Dolls

Cake (Country Living 2007) and Photography by Poetic Home

Note: Their vintage postcard link is defunct, but here are some more

Vintage Patterns at Patternshop

Hope this helps you get into the mood!

Kitchen Herbs - A Brown Thumb's Best Friend (Plus Pesto Recipe)

As I’ve stated before, I suck at gardening (despite my love of it). Sucking doesn’t stop me from spending lots of time doing it, but it does cause the death of lots and lots of my plant friends; I have a dead house fern on top of my china cabinet I keep forgetting to throw out. I need a step stool to get it down, but I just keep passing it, thinking “Poor fern”, and then forgetting….which is why it’s dead in the first place.
But just look at my kitchen herbs on the sill above my sink! Their health is a shining testament to the ease with which these guys can be grown. I guess because they’re right there – right above the faucet, they get drinks when no one else does.
I have two types of basil (one is a cinnamon basil with a great spicy scent to it), oregano, chives and…..something else. I’m just a terrible gardener. Could be a different type of oregano….
The pots are from the dollar store (the dollar store where everything is actually a dollar) and they’ve been doing a great job for almost two years. I use enough of the fresh herb cuttings for cooking that they don’t over run the place.
If you’ve never made pesto, you probably don’t know how ridiculously easy it is to make – you may never want to buy the overpriced, itty, bitty jar at the grocery store again......
Basil Pesto
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts (I use a garlic roaster to toast nuts - in 350 oven until golden - watch them closely!)
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp. salt
black pepper, to taste
In a blender or food processor, blend the basil, oil, nuts, and garlic until they make a thick paste.
Dump in the parmesan cheese and the salt. Blend.
Scoop pesto out into a bowl and stir in pepper to taste.
Serve immediately or cover surface of pesto in a fine layer of olive oil and store in the fridge up to five days in ajar or tupperware container. Makes one cup.

Then you can make this Tomato Pesto Pizza (from Pillsbury).
Hey! You can’t make EVERYTHING from scratch!

Tomato Pesto Pizza
1 can (11 oz.) Pillsbury® refrigerated thin pizza crust
¼ cup basil pesto
2 large plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (4 oz.)
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Heat oven to 400°F. Unroll dough on olive oiled cookie sheet; starting at center, press dough into 15x10-inch rectangle OR preheat an oiled pizza stone, shape pizza with dough on cutting board or second sheet, then transfer to hot stone.
Spread pesto to within ½ inch of edges of dough. Top with tomatoes; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until crust edges are golden brown and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with basil (and maybe add pepperoni! I can’t eat pizza without pepperoni…..).
I also like to use (believe it or not) Chef Boyardee's "Pizza Kit". It's much faster than starting dough from scratch, and you can keep the kit in the pantry longer than the refrigerated Pillsbury dough. I also like the pizza sauce it comes with. Don't get the pepperoni kit, though, because there are weird little pepperoni pieces in the sauce ..... no one wants their pepperoni in the sauce. Ew.

Ode to Boulder County on my Bike Ride Home

After a few months of fine tuning my bike route to work, it’s recently been perfected. My ride home was so beautiful yesterday, in the not-too-warm but sunny afternoon, I had to take photos and share the loveliness of my ride. Some days everything just seems in its right place, at the right time, and this was one of those days.

My three mile route takes me through not one park [Centennial Park]......

not two [Kensington Park]...

but three [Collyer Park].

These are just some of the cute little houses I pass riding through the Eastside Historical district:

And here’s my office building (on the left). The one on the right is rumored to be haunted…..more on that next month.

Longmont is located in Boulder County – nearly the bike capital of the world.

Boulder Bike Facts:

-In the US Boulder ranks as one of the greatest biking cities, second only to Portland, OR.

-Bicycling is so highly regarded in Boulder that sometimes the city plows the Boulder Creek bike path before they plow the streets.

-A Colorado Daily poll found that seven out of ten Boulderites own bicycles. Another guidebook states that Boulder's bicycle count is approximately 93,000 - almost equal to the total population. (I’ve actually seen statistics claiming 1.5 bicycles to every one resident!).

-At least 95 percent of arterials have bike lanes or trails on them.

-Boulder has spent an average 15% of its transportation budget on building and maintaining bicycle traffic over the past five years

-In 1967, Boulder became the first city in the United States to tax itself for funds to be used specifically for the acquisition, management and maintenance of Open Space.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things to Do When You Should Be Working

This fantastically adorable time-wasting site let’s you play with The House Wive’s Tarot; a functioning tarot card set that features hilariously retro-inspired art (by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum). Download desktop goodies, give yourself a reading or browse through secret recipes like “Magic Meatloaf” and “Divinated Eggs”.

That's my reading [above]. Pretty accurate. If you go in for that sort of thing.

Buy the actual set here.