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


Dark Sirene

Every sailor knows there are certain places you just don’t take a ship… mysterious and gloomy corners of the earth where one cannot predict the wickedness one might encounter. And every sailor knows that if you have the misfortune of finding such a corner – and if you hear the dulcet tones of a certain kind of voice - you are forever doomed to a watery fate, for you will fall in love with a siren from the deep.

Sitting on her rock, she waits, always singing her ancient song, always searching - her glistening salty skin and beckoning turquoise eyes both an offer and a warning to those who will listen. I'm ever so pleased to share my first new design listing in ages ~ Sirene.

Absolutely luminous model photography is by Lex Machina. If you'll recall, I've been giddy with anticipation about this collaboration, and I'm delighted and thrilled with the results. Lexie did all the styling and makeup artistry as well. Go give Lexie and this image some love on Flickr, and visit the model, Elise XY, on Model Mayhem.

You can find the listing for the cuffs here on Etsy, and I'll be posting the necklace and earrings as soon as a few more pictures come in - Lexie captured dozens of breathtaking images, and is currently working her magic on them.

Lure them in with the Sirene adornments.


Vagabond Opera Glory

Sublime Moment of the Week: dueling cellos, a guitar, and a clarinet, being played by various members of the indescribable cabaret band Vagabond Opera, while sitting on the Hennepin Crawler, in my driveway.

Last Friday night, my dear Amber Lee played a show with the fabulous vaudevillian roustabouts from Portland, to promote their new CD, The Zeitgeist Beckons. The performance was brilliant ~ complete with hypnotism, playing card tricks, toy chattering teeth, and oh so many sequins, hats and stripes...

Vagabond Opera is the kind of band that entertains you from the moment they step under the lights until the raucous finale where they jump off the stage and dance among the blissful fans. One song even compelled Lord Hopton to sweep me away into a vigorous tango number that left me completely breathless. Following the after-party at the home of the Mad Maggies, who had also played, Stache and I were thrilled to play local hosts to the travelers ~ half of them stayed at our house. And of course, we all realized we were cut from the same cloth and fell in love.

In the morning, after brunch, sax and clarinet player Robin (who also moonlights with my beloved March Fourth!) and Stache had a giddy dandy-accessory-trying-on party, and my living room became an internet cafe, as no less than five laptops were put to use. Before they departed for their next show, we tooled around town a bit on the Hennepin Crawler, much to everyone's delight. And soon half of the band was playing instruments in an impromptu interlude on the Crawler.

Full Flickr set here, with more to come (and look, here's video on Facebook!). And then they all drove away in their very large van, blowing kisses and with promises of future visits. Huzzah for the unexpected glory of having a magnificent band you love come for a sleepover at your house!


Le Scaphandrier ~ The Giant Diver

I'm thoroughly enraptured by the work of French performance art and puppetry troupe Royal de Luxe. Their May 2006 performance in London, The Sultan's Elephant, was nothing short of genius ~ I can't even imagine the glory of being in attendance at the event, which included a little girl Giantess, a wooden rocket-ship, and a 50-ton mechanical elephant.

Photo by cocobeloeil

And now I've just heard that they've done it again... Writer R.J. Evans posted a blog about a new performance that took place starting June 6th in Nantes ~ the birthplace of Jules Verne ~ that involved a giant deep-sea diver, Le Scaphandrier in French.

Photo by chilirv

I've always been a lover of puppets and marionettes, so to see a 30-foot-tall diver hauled out of the water by a team of frock-coated puppeteers, and then sent out adventuring, just blisses me out.

Photo by Stéfan Le Dû

And there's a beautiful and complex mythology, too, for these amazingly emotive characters, that's been unfolding around Europe for years in various performances - about how the Diver is searching for his niece the Little Giantess, a character from the Sultan's Elephant performance. With the help of Google's nifty translation engine, you can read more about the back-story on Stéfan Le Dû's blog.

Photo by Stéfan Le Dû

The company is rather mysterious and rarely releases information before a performance, adding to the intrigue. But you can find some jaw-dropping YouTube videos, along with a Flickr pool filled with lovely images from the performance.

Photo by Stéfan Le Dû

It's one of those things that makes me happy to be alive, that there are people out there creating such things. We humans may be making war, and reality TV shows, but we're also making street spectacles with grand mechanical creatures, simply for the sake of wonder and magic and art.

Photo ©2009 by Stéphane Lerouge ~ Nantes

Also keep an eye out for the off-shoot company of brilliant fabricators La Machine. They built the original sultan's elephant, and they were also the ones who sent a massive wooden and steel mechanical spider called La Princesse marauding around Liverpool in a post-apocalyptic frenzy, to the delight of onlookers, for week in September 2008 before moving on to Yokohama.

Photo ©2009 by Charlie Charlton

La Machine also built the permanent exhibition Machines of the Isle of Nantes at its workshop, which is open to the public, features the elephant giving rides, and includes a mechanical squid.

Glorious. Simply glorious.


Love at the Maker Faire

You may have noticed my conspicuous absence in the last week or two... I have not been negligent, dear readers, but in a frenzy of activity ending in last weekend's glorious Maker Faire. This post will be doubly long to make up for it!

Photo by Sassy Monkey Media

I was vending my Adornments for Tarts as part of the Steam Team, in the Carnivale Mechanique area of the Faire. The crowds, the wind, and the long days not-withstanding, my experience at the Faire was incredible. I'm still exhausted, but it was worth it, to be part of the single most concentrated gathering of creative, gorgeous, and debaucherous mad-people short of Burning Man.

Photo by Bonnie Burton

Being delighted by some of my beloved Etsy Steam Teamers for the first time in the flesh - TotusMel, AlliesAdornments, and Clockwork Crow - and reuniting with old friends - Nullalux, Industrial Fairytale, Tom Banwell, and 19Moons - was glorious, though admittedly we were so busy we hardly had time for chatting... Nullalux in particular was juggling like mad to take care of all the mail-in items.

Photo by Pip R. Lagenta

I was really excited to see everyone's work in person, particularly Tom's Pachydermos Gas Mask.

Photo by Bonnie Burton

The weekend was filled with those kinds of magical peak moments that happen when you're in bliss... Drinking Irish coffee in the shadow of the Neverwas Haul with her brave and tireless crew, and then careening about on the little trolley...

Photo by Jake Von Slatt

Following the Golden Mean Snail Car and her brilliant gang of vagabonds from bar to bar in the sleepy suburban town, in full costume, confusing and delighting the locals...

Photo by Sassy Monkey Media

Meeting some of my brilliant friends from the Interwebs in the flesh, most notably Molly "Porkshanks" Friedrich in her showstopping costumes...

Photo by Rich Dahlgren

...the resplendent Libby Bulloff, whose outfit on Sunday nearly made my heart explode with joy... shown here with Qais Fulton of Ectomo fame, who I failed entirely to meet...

Photo by David Dowling

...a beaming Tom Sepe and his splendid Whirlygig Emoto...

Photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

...and beautiful Theremina of Coilhouse ~ who stole my heart and serenaded the crowd with her antique Stroh violin, perched atop the Hennepin Crawler... she played violin for the beautiful dancers of Deshret, as well.

Photo by Jake Von Slatt

Another giddy moment was having my portrait drawn by the talented and sparklingly beautiful Suzanne Forbes...

Original Art by Suzanne Forbes

And of course, watching my beloved Krank-Boom-Clank boys ride through the hordes of people on the Crawler, getting cheers everywhere they went.

Photo by Shel and Nate

And amidst all that madness, I still found time for drinking beer with the Boiler Bar crew under the propane glow of art by the Flaming Lotus Girls...

Photo by Sassy Monkey Media

And not to forget kissin' on my beloved Stache.

Photo by Sassy Monkey Media

Beautiful new friends and treasured longtime ones, your creativity and passion filled my heart to the brim this weekend. I fell in love all over again with the ragtag band of tinkerers, costumers, musicians, artists, and freaks that I call my community. This is a love letter dedicated to YOU.