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


Textured Bliss from Ramona Falls

I have actual hard evidence of the power of social media marketing, and it is this: I just purchased an album from a band I'd never heard of, simply because of their incredible video that was released a mere month ago and has been going around on Facebook. And I am well pleased.

I was completely captivated when I saw the video for the Ramona Falls song I Say Fever. Unlike anything I've ever seen, it's some sort of magic combination of Victorian paper animals and stop-motion animation, and yet feels totally edgy and now. See for yourself ~ and do go full screen.

A side project from Brent Knopf of Menomena, whom I haven't yet heard but will surely pursue, this album, Intuit, is absolutely brilliant. The songs are like complicated blossoms unfolding, opening to expose new treasures with each listen. The epic opening song, Melectric, sends me off to into visceral, textured bliss.

Unexpected percussive elements, shimmering vocals, orchestral arrangements, and sweeping variations in mood (due, in part, to the many guest artists who contributed) ~ the layers keep peeling away to reveal more loveliness. You can watch Brent get wicked with the looping here, as he records the luscious song Going Once, Going Twice.

Just doing my part to virally spread lovely music ~ so go listen.


Things that Please Me: Crankbunny

In need of some whimsy to cheer an otherwise gray day yesterday, I turned to puppet-maker and animator Norma V. Toraya, also known as Crankbunny. In a world of overwhelming technology and frenetic multi-tasking, there's something comforting in the mechanical simplicity of her paper treasures.

Like the red bloom framed above, all of Crankbunny's beautiful pop-up cards are an art-form unto themselves ~ my most lusted-after being the Secret Decoder Card, where she will add a hidden message of your choice to be decoded by the lucky recipient.

But it's her paper puppets that tug my heart-strings. I want to scamper about inside her world of vintage-looking and oddly vulnerable creatures, her sad factory robots and thirsty zebras and winsome monkey-ladies...

Like so many craftistas that inspire me, Crankbunny's devotion to the details is incredible. She says she makes every card with her "tiny little marshmallow fingers" ~ and at over 3,000 sales on Etsy, that's a lot of wee bits of paper to cut out and assemble. And if you're wondering *why* she makes handmade goods, watch this lovely short film she animated.

Now you know! Want more? Visit the Crankbunny Etsy shop, or check out the new book she's just published, Paper Puppet Palooza.

On Etsy, you may even watch one of her puppet-making how-to's, or read her Featured Seller Interview, which is quite sweet and quirky. And of course, check out her Web site and blog.

Now go buy handmade!


All Women Have Secrets in Stiletto Heights

I've been mooning over the work of mixed-media collage artist Jennifer Gordon for ages. Every image she creates makes me flutter with delight. And today, I fell hard for this piece on her blog, and couldn't help but purchase the diminutive original from her shop, Stiletto Heights.

The Apothecary's Daughters

The Apothecary's Daughters

In Jennifer's own words, she is "very inspired by Neo~Victorian and Edwardian themes. Steampunk, vintage belly dance images, Ziegfeld Follies, Ophelia, flappers, and circus girls, to name just a few." Why, those are all the very things that I love, fancy that!

In Her Rebellious Youth

Like dusty pressed flower petals unearthed from a long-forgotten trunk in the attic, Jennifer's collages ache with hidden stories and desires half-met. Her characters are doe-eyed silent era theater beauties, pale gilded fashion icons, and folkloric dreamers, all frozen in time.

Cinderella's Longest Day

Jennifer assembles her pieces from antique letters and old ledgers, found images and ephemera, layering decorative papers with paints and pigments and watercolor crayons. In the end, a window into a secret history is made, and we lucky voyeurs catch a glimpse of the the color-saturated dream-world these wayward men and tender heroines inhabit.

She Does Not Wait For June

A quick interwebs search will turn up a number of lovely interviews with Jennifer ~ I especially enjoyed this in-depth one on Stainless Steel Droppings, which reveals that she has been a magician's assistant and a scenic artist, a comic book writer and a stage actress... her own secret histories, as if she, too, is one of her own characters. As she says in the interview, "Each piece is a self portrait, only the pictures are not me."

Airship Captain

It comes as no surprise that Post Secret tops her list of favorite links, as each of her images, with their titles like shreds of poetry, are ripe with the whispery secrets of ghosts.

I Am Half Sick Of Shadows

You may find art books, prints, stickers, bookmarks, and so many more intriguing art works at Stiletto Heights, Jennifer's Etsy shop.... where All Women Have Secrets.