¨¨¨°º the adventures of choklit chanteuse º°¨¨¨


Joy Overload

It seems enquiring minds want to know how the Ball went, and truth be told, my dears, I still haven't quite recovered. January has truly been a month of too much goodness. From the Animal Masquerade on New Years Eve to last night's stunning Yard Dogs Road Show, it's been feathers, frolicking, and far too much whiskey for this tart.

First - the Edwardian Ball. Friday night was the World's Faire, and it was incredible. So many fabulous people, in so many jaw-dropping outfits... and exhibits with all kinds of mechanical wonders. All my favorites were in attendance. I made a fabulous sale to a lovely can-can dancer from Le CanCan Bijou, who had a corset that looked like it was made to go with the Juniper set. The talented Mr. Nightshade snapped a picture of her later in the eve... and you can just catch a glimpse her finery.

See Mr. Nightshade's spectacular array of Edwardian Ball weekend photos at his Web site, The Blight.

Stationed at my Adornments for Tarts table, I didn't see much of the evening's performances, but I heard they were amazing. I was content, however, to simply stay in my parlour and admire the lovelies as they paraded by. You can see I managed to lure Industrial Fairytale out at the last minute.

We took Saturday night off but I heard the Ball was beyond imagination. We went back for Sunday Gorey Sunday, where only the truly die-hard costume and circus freaks turned out ~ still not tired of dressing up! ~ and it had a decidedly more goth-y feel to it. Besides the wonderful Vau de Vire acrobatics, my favorite part was, of course, the endlessly amusing antics of Fou Fou Ha. We managed to sneak in some back-stage marauding of our own with Mama Fou and Floufer.

See my love Stache's full set of pictures on Flickr.

Having had only one night to recover from the Edwardian Weekend, last night we couldn't resist going to see the Yard Dogs Road Show for the first time after years of wanting to see them... and we were floored. Sword-swallowers, burlesque wind-up dolls, confetti, the sultriest trombone player ever, feather fans, and even a magical chicken! Here's the magnificent Samsa Asylum playing her accordion.

And it's not over yet... this weekend we are all going to see DeVotchKa! And then hopefully in February I can catch my breath.


The Edwardian Ball!

Things are going to be a wee bit quiet here for a few days as I remain hunched over the sewing machine to make stock for the Edwardian Ball this weekend. This is the first year with vendors, and I'm ever so delighted to bring my Adornments for Tarts there!

If you haven't been to the Edwardian Ball and you're a Bay Area local, you should scamper to get tickets with all due haste. I myself will be in attendance on both Friday and Sunday nights. It's one of my favorite annual events ~ decadant costumes, shameless debauchery, lovely performers like Rasputina, Vau de Vire, and Fou Fou Ha!, and enticing exhibitions by Kinetic SteamWorks and Dark Garden make it a must-attend.

One of my favorite pictures ever was taken before my first time at the Edwardian Ball. I've always called the picture "I Dare Say!"

Causing trouble from left to right, Fudo, Stache, Choklit, and Lord Hopton. In the picture I'm wearing the first period costume I ever made. In fact, the Edwardian Ball was where the idea for Adornments for Tarts first sprouted, so it seems only fitting that I'll be vending there in a few days.


Things That Please Me: Enchanted Dolls

You may have guessed, faithful readers, that I have a deep appreciation for meticulously detailed work. So you can imagine my excitement upon discovering Enchanted Doll, and the exquisite art of Marina Bychkova. Here is her most recent work, a vision of Alice.

I am transfixed by these dolls. Painstaking bead-work! Miniature accessories! Hand-cast porcelain! Anatomical correctness! For many of them, Marina crafts phenomenally detailed costumes, with actual gemstones and precious metals, and the finest velvets, furs and silks... as for Dunyazade's and Scherezhade's lustrous dresses.

The steampunk in me fell head-over-heels for this one ~ the helmet she wears is actually cast bronze.

Marina sometimes goes to elaborate lengths to photograph them in creative environments. On her blog she details building a miniature lotus pond so her boyfriend can photograph Kia, her russet-haired, henna'd, water naiad doll.

I'm absolutely floored by Marina's work. These are more than just dolls, they are high art. They are at once sensual and innocent, disturbing and stunning. As someone who began my journey in costuming by hand-sewing tiny Victorian dresses for my dollhouse dolls as a child, I have nothing but admiration for someone who can elevate my childhood passion to such heights.

If you're intrigued, read this interview with her. And of course, take some time to get lost in her world. You'll be blown away.


Furry Formal Masquerade

You can now cease wondering, my dears, what your Choklit was up to on New Year's Eve. We hosted a Furry Formal party, and it was ridiculously entertaining.

Exciting vintage cocktails with names like the Bull's Eye and the Bees Knees were skillfully served up by Cheshire Cat Meester Ralph and Skyeboy, who reprised his Angry Bunny costume to dashing effect.

My personal downfall was the Lion's Tail, an intoxicating blend of bourbon, bitters, allspice dram, lime juice, and simple syrup (recipe courtesy of the Boston chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails).

The loveliest part was how little overlap there was in the animals represented. We had the sexiest yak ever...

A three-toed sloth for our DJ (although he's exposing extra toes in this photo)...

There was a late arrival of a rather elegant chicken...

And a perilously amorous red fox who wore a Victorian fox-hunting jacket without irony...

And I shunned feathers and fur to be the only reptile in attendance - some sort of Cobra Flash-Gordon Enchantress. Here, surrounded by confused white furry things.

Photos by my love Stache and the ever-fabulous M. Mendelson. See more of M's party pics in her Flickr set.

The idea was partially inspired by these amazing collage portraits by artist Charlotte Cory - she published a book called The Visitors, where she added animal heads to found Victorian carte de visite.

I couldn't resist making them into an invitation where I wrote a little poem to lure in the beasties...

Scaled or feathered
beaked or clawed
or gentle-pawed,
Softest fur
or forked of tongue
hoofed or horned
or poison stung,
Creatures creeping
great and small
bedecked in finery
for the ball...

Happy New Year to all my animal friends!