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


Everything that Creeps: Elizabeth McGrath

I've long been an ardent admirer of Liz "Bloodbath" McGrath ~ woman of innumerable talents and one of my aesthetic heroines. Equally comfortable in a gallery, on a stage, or wearing a dress made of candy wrappers.

(Portrait by Darla Teagarden)

You see, as if it weren't enough to be an auspiciously brilliant pop surrealist sculptress and artist, she also fronts the theatrical L.A. outlaw rock band Miss Derringer, along with her husband, Morgan Slade. Liz creates all of the album cover designs, naturally.

She sings, she paints, she draws, and she sculpts. But my true love is for her compelling dioramas. Like so many artists I'm drawn to, she finds the loveliness in the grotesque, the magic in the wicked, and binds it all together to craft dark and whimsical little worlds for us.

(Sailor's Valentine, 2001)

I'm mad about McGrath's meticulous attention to detail and her penchant for the macabre ~ the unlikely bedfellows of preciousness and freakish oddity. Many of the pieces have a carnival side-show feel, like she's built a tiny stage for a character with a story to unfold...

(Detail from Honey Creeper, 2006)

I'm fortunate enough to own a copy of her lovely and sadly now out-of-print book called Everything That Creeps, which contains gorgeous full-color images of her work, so one can get close to the haunting creatures she's created.

(Detail from Queen of the Inanimate, 2001)

Wide-eyed blue-lipped waifs and mournful two-headed fawns, winsome skeleton birds and tutu-wearing insect girls, they're all in here.

I hope to see her work in person, someday, to peer into the vast reaches of the twisted universe of her imagination.

(Portrait by Mark Berry)

Until that day, I'll content myself by reading about her adventures on her new blog at my favorite underground art mag, Juxtapoz.


Don't Let Long Sleeves...

...get in the way of your adventures. New in the Adornments for Tarts shop - Zephyr Sleeve Garters.

(Image courtesy of Photomato)

The inventor tinkers away in his dusty workshop, deep into the night, sculpting fine wood, gleaming brass and supple leather into arcane treasures for amusement and edification. With nimble fingers and piercing eyes he sees the potential in a pile of mismatched parts, senses the adventures that await if he can just craft that perfect apparatus to help unfold his fortunes....

Suitable for both dashing gents and audacious ladies, Zephyr Sleeve Garters are made of dupioni silk, and there are five colors of garters available to match any ensemble - scarlet red, pewter silver, bronze gold, mahogany brown, and ebony black.

And yes, that's my much-adored and dapper husband Stache above, by his kinetic contraption, the Hennepin Crawler, at the Maker Faire.

Thanks to fellow Steam Teamer and brilliant goggle-maker BoilerGoth for inspiring the title of this dispatch.


Giveaway at the Wunderkammer!

Most of my dear readers will be familiar with the lovely TotusMel's addictive daily Etsy finds blog the Wunderkammer ~ finds for those of us with dark and decadent tendencies, that is.

TotusMel covers a spectrum of drool-worthy goodies, with a new batch of four every day. Past favorite collections include Necking, Top Hats, and the intoxicatingly odd Gas.

But the glorious news is this - just yesterday, she started a giveaway contest to celebrate a new blog design by the multi-talented Industrial Fairytale, with incredible prizes contributed by past featurees on the blog. A gift certificate to Adornments for Tarts is included with grand company like Tom Banwell, WinonaCookie, and ZKitten. The more people enter the contest, the more wonderful goodies are unlocked, so start spreading the news. If we get up to 175 entrants, this amazing custom bustle-skirt by CrescentWench will be added to the treasure-pile.

You like free goodies, don't you? Tally ho! Rules are here.


Things That Please Me: Pie

Though one wouldn't guess it, considering how rarely I write about epicurean delights here, I am actually something of a foodie. So a brief interlude from our regularly scheduled shameless debauchery and costume lust for an ode to the humble pie, one of my most favorite desserts.

(Image via Pie of the Month Club)

I had a most sublime pie-eating experience last weekend at a coffeeshop ~ house-made blackberry-rhubarb pie, and it was perfect. Buttery flaky light crust, tangy sweet fruit, and a big dollop of very lightly sweetened handmade whipped cream ~ heaven on a plate.

(Image Courtesy of Faith Durand via The Kitchn)

And I'd choose pie over cake any day. My love for pie is so strong that when Stache and I got married, we refused to have cake for our wedding feast. Instead we requested a pie potluck, which resulted in the delight of dozens of varieties of pie, all spread out on a long table as far as the eye could see.

Amazingly, we were not eating processed sugar or white flour in those days, and a family friend who owns a bakery made us a rather glorious whole-wheat-crust, honey-sweetened, triple-decker ginger pear pie for our very own.

Who can deny that home-made pie makes everything better?