documentation of Steampunk Extravaganza* piece

*I did not name this show nor was I consulted in the name of this show.  I–it’s just a really not-good name for the show.

But, what do I know.

So, yeah, this is why I haven’t really been around, in case y’all have been wondering why I’ve been AWOL–aside from an epic people hangover from T-Day and the writing.

Did I mention that I now have an official title now?  I’m a Senior Contributing Writer.

Tell me that isn’t awesome.

So–I’m in this steampunk show, and I’ve been working on a costume because, sometimes, I just really enjoy making wearable art.

Like these:

But–hey!–I figured new show, new piece (because that’s just the kind of squid I am).

So, the idea for this is an Order of the Brass Octopus dress uniform for a Lieutenant-Colonel, but this is an Order of the Brass Octopus that’s run by Madame Lefoux and is, not only militaristic, but also highly matriarchal.

Remember, this isn’t remotely done yet.

Can we talk about how much I despise setting grommets and how awful fan-lacing is to do?

And, yet, here I am:  grommets and fan-lacing galore.  *SIGH*

If you’d like to see the rest of the photos documenting this piece so far, please feel free to take a gander at the set.

I have really horrible concept sketches in there.  Might be good for a giggle.

Courage.

A cultural anthropologist’s observation of visual culture in action. Or, I went to Kitsune Kon and bought a bunch of ears.

So, catching up on what I was going to squee-splode about last week.

Weekend before last, I went to Kitsune Kon in Appleton. It was a lovely time at a small Kon; it wasn’t nearly as overwhelming (or as spread about) as ACen is, so there’s that.

Okay, the costumes are a bit better at ACen, but that has more to do with a larger amount of people, so the so-so costumes kinda get buried in the really fantastic costumes. Although, there were several really nice costumes: a Sailor Pluto (which is always kinda the rarest of the Sailor Scouts to see), some creepy Silent Hill-esque medical creatures, a Vash with a truly lovely coat, and a Wolfwood replete with ginormous gun-cross. My favorites, by far, were an incredibly tall Castiel who didn’t really respond in any way other than to do the Cas Nod of Acknowledgment (I swear I saw a Crowley wandering about too) and the cutest little 7-year old dressed as Kiki replete with GiGi (that’s the little, black cat).

It was really nice. And, I bought a bunch of ears.

These are kinda prosthetic ears made by Madqueens Jody Tonn. They basically hook around your ears and stay there. I wore them most of the day, and they were plenty comfortable. Madqueens was assisted by here lovely shop-neighbor Jeff Jacobs of It is Vapor.

These ears and pirate bunny hat are by Pawstar. <–All their stuff is super cute.

…I kinda wandered around wearing the cat-ears-kitty-kitty with the fae ears. I’m weird like that.

This is Kuma-chan from Ouran High School Host Club. I call him “Mr. Flootie.” <–Like, from Gail Carriger‘s The Parasol Protectorate series. ‘Cause he’s all disapproving.

…if he bopped around with a couple of single-shot pistols and would bring me proper tea, that would be fine too.

I got him from Anime Fan Zone.

Gnome got himself this grunty. It’s the grunty from the .hack manga series rather than the video games or anime. (Official site is here.)

Grunties are cute and cuddly. Except for the Noble Grunties; they’re pretentious dicks.

I didn’t manage to get the name of the shop that sold these, but I did get the card of a shop that does really fantastic buttons of characters from different tv shows. <–Specifically, the Doctor Who buttons.

This was made by one of Gnome’s students: Kitsune Kon was her first exhibiting con. I’m going to be receiving a commissioned piece from her soon.

Okay. That’s it for now.

Courage and cake.

Attacked by mechanical ladybugs. At least, it’s better than being rejected by a toaster.

I’m mixing my metaphors again.  Y’all know how that goes.

I’ve been reading Bella Tuscany again; I actually finished it a couple of days ago.  I don’t know why I needed to read this again, but in retrospect, it probably has to do with the way that Frances Mayes talks about the way art is alive and part of the everyday in Italy:  all the local chapels have magnificent icons of Mary and works by Renaissance Masters.

It got me in the mood to create the PowerPoint for Gnome’s Humanities classes and talk about how the definition of art has changed in such drastic ways and how art has inundated the everyday because there are artists that want their art to be part of everyday experience (like the artist consortium poketo) and artists who create monumental works for the everyday like Dr. Evermor (artists who are referred to as “vernacular artists”).  This everyday-ness has become so prevelant that Aestheticians have begun talking about “everyday aesthetics”:  the aesthetics of the hotel, the football game, the places and spaces that we live in every day of our lives.

I have these books that I always return to, that speak certain things to me, that change each time that I read them because, each time I read them, I’m a different person.  They’re battered and torn not because of abuse but because they have been loved shabby like a favorite woobie blanket or a ridiculously ugly acid-green sweater that was bestowed when a dear friend grew too talk for it and given with love because she knew that I would never grow too tall for it and would always love that it was ridiculously ugly ’cause that’s the way I am.

It explains why I have so very many books:  I need them close and physical and accessible.  It’s a physical pain when I desperately need to read something that’s been put away into storage because we don’t have enough book shelves yet or because the dear book-friend I long for has been buried behind so many other books that it can’t be found.

A month or two ago, I had a deep longing to read the first five-ish chapters of Owlsight by Mercedes Lackey because of Keisha.  There’s something about when she abruptly uproots her life with her family to become the town Healer that seemed like the exact thing to celebrate my first year anniversary in Wisconsin, and when Keisha learns to ground-and-shield for the first time, how she talks about never having dreamed of flying but always having dreamed of being an oak tree.  I know how she feels.

I’ve never once dreamed of flying:  I dream of falling, of zombie apocalypses, of far-flung battles, and of a violinist I might have been once-upon-a-time in another life.

But not flying.

Okay, on my Kindle counts as accessible too.  I kinda carry my Kindle with me everywhere because I keep my favorite fanfics on it, ever at the ready:  like A Farm in Iowa.  I think I’ve read this fic (which is like 300-400+ pages long) 5 or 6 times since I moved to Wisconsin—because it always reminds me about finding Home in unlikely places and in unlikely people.

Wisconsin was like that for me.  Wisconsin is my blue-painted bedroom to lay my head down in when I’m cranky and hate the world or my farm after a long life of cranky and being misunderstood.

I like it here, and I like the people that I’ve met here.

So, yeah.  Welcome to the random thinking about books.  There’s thinking coming about The Parasol Protectorate also, but right now, I think that *waves hand* all of the above book-thinking is probably enough.

And, a bit revealing.

*feels exposed*

In a completely unrelated (at least, obviously related) event, I’ve been asked to join a group show at the end of April:  Circus Nerve.

It’s very exciting.  I had met the curator at a show at IQ’s (before it closed), so I know her a little (her name’s Natalie).  Evidently, she had been at the ARTgarage and saw my studio and work and asked me to join the show.

IT’S VERY EXCITING, ISN’T IT?!?

There will be more about this very exciting event as it unfolds.

\o/

Courage and cake!