Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!!

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
We are back in The Tearoom today, to celebrate Halloween with you!  It's one of our favorite holidays and this year, we get to celebrate with Little Victorienne and her friend Cerfie Blanc!  They are amuck with excitement, but have agreed to cooperate and have their portrait taken for this special day!

As usual, they are dressed for the occasion!  The pattern on Victorienne's dress is based on Gustave Doré's illustration from "Beauty and the Beast" and as we have come to expect to see her with some large and unusual hair adornment, she is wearing a huge bow of chocolate brown taffeta!  Her friend Cerfie Blanc has returned to The Tearoom as well today, and is resplendent, dressed up like a black rose bush!  What an unusual but beautiful costume (and especially for a deer!!).

And of course, we could not let you leave without offering you treats!  Please, won't you help yourself to a brambleberry tart?  Please just be careful of the brambles!  Some folks (Cerfie Blanc included) do not mind munching on them, but they are!!

Wishing all a lovely Halloween night!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Club. . .

Dearest Friends,
I'm not putting quite as much energy into my Halloween festivities this year, but I still wouldn't be happy if I didn't add a bit of the spirit of the spookliest time of the year here at The Tearoom!

So, as we nibble our Spider Cookies from Mars (recipe below), I hope you will enjoy some small, but creepy short videos and films!

Even though I love the original by Bauhaus,  the cover of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Nouvelle Vague is quite wonderful, complete with video clips from the wonderfully creepy Dracula movie!

Here is a short clip from The Addams Family, one of my favorite episodes.  Be careful of getting a severe moon-burn!

And here, Herman Munster recites some lovely poetry!

As promised, Chinese Spider Cookies, a yummy & easy Halloween treat!

I hope to see you here again on Saturday, for more festivities!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Healing Power of Art . . .

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
I do so humbly apologize for my absence from The Tearoom as of late!  Trust me, left to my own devices, I would spend all of my time here, nibbling cakes and sipping tea with My Dear Friends of The Blogosphere.  However, Real Life does intrude on our Imaginary Lives, sometimes in the most disruptive ways possible.

For me, when I anticipate something is going to happen to me, I find it helpful to deal with it through my art.  My last blog post was my anticipating the inevitable.

About 2 weeks after my last blog post, I had to have emergency open-heart surgery.  I'll spare the details, but things were a bit scary for me for a bit, due to some unforeseen complications.  However, once I began to recover, I did so quickly and was able to come home 18 days after surgery.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dr. David Robaczewski at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine for being such a dedicated and brilliant surgeon.

And music plays a big part in the process of healing as well.  One day, while I was in Cardiac ICU, my darling Mr. V played some music for me.  There is a lot I don't remember from that time, but I do remember this because it helped me to have a normal few moments in the midst of a very surreal and sometimes unpleasant experience.  One of the songs he played for me was one of my favorites from Jamie xx called "Loud Places".  Here is the video of that song:

It is now two months later and I am recovering well.  I feel better everyday and each day I find I am able to do more and more of the normal everyday things I did before surgery.  I have been lucky to have had nurses and therapists who came to my home to help me, one of the best being my Occupational Therapist, who encouraged me from the beginning to get back to my artwork as soon as I was able.  After such an extensive surgery and so much anesthesia and pain killers, I was experiencing motor coordination and cognitive issues. These have now all cleared, as the doctors had anticipated they would, but much of my physical and emotional recovery is due to returning to working on my art projects.

As well as some work I have done of my on-going book project about my paperdoll daughter Victorienne, I have been busy creating new collage sheets for my Etsy shop Velvet Revived as well.

And I'm not done yet!  If any of you remember, I did this small collage for the first online Mad Tea Party I participated in.

I'm putting the finishing touches on an updated and much enhanced version to sell in Velvet Revived!  Keep watch for it!  It is my goal to have 100 items for sale in Velvet Revived by the end of the year.

And, as I mentioned in my last post, I am still plotting and planning a visit to a museum by our family of slightly-creepy-but-mostly-adorable dolls!  They will be lurking (in that way that they do!) around the opening of my show of digital collages at Le Musée de Divan Rouge!  I will announce more about this exciting event soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Creature Joins The Family. . .

Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
I welcome you warmly today with hopes that you are enjoying your summer!  I have been spending as many days as possible, sitting on the porch, working on a project I have had planned since last winter!

After having gobbled up this season's episodes of Penny Dreadful like they were some sort of gothic blancmange, Mr. V and I have been amusing ourselves with the transformation of a creature of our own to join our family of Creepy Babies!  I had even tweeted a few teaser pictures with the hashtag #MadameVictorFrankenstein!

Harry Treadaway perfectly portrays
the brilliant but morphine-addicted 
Victor Frankenstein on 
Penny Dreadful.

So, this winter, I found a vintage stuffed animal on Etsy and couldn't tell if I was in love with him or creeped out by him!  So, I took the chance that love would be the stronger emotion and ordered him! He had been described as having probably been a giveaway prize in a carnival and was probably from sometime in the 1940's.  I could see he was not in perfect condition, but ordered him with the intention of somehow fixing him.  I wasn't able to work on him right away due to other projects and life occurrences, so he sat in a box in the studio for a few months.  As soon as I was done with my last blog post, I knew I was ready for some not-so-sweet projects.  I can imagine him coming from a Haunted Carnival, complete with creepy music and Ghost Train complete with ghosts!  

This is the head of The Mouse Creature...

...and his worn body.

When I started to take him apart, I discovered that he
was not stuffed with fabric, but shredded paper
and cardboard!
Oh well, if he was a carnival prize,
he would have been made as cheaply as possible.

So, I took him to the lab and his transformation
was started...
I carefully dismantled The Creature and pinned
all of his pieces to paper.  I then cut them all out
and pinned them to darkest inky black velvet...

I then pinned the pieces of the creature together,
stuffing him with one of Mr. V's worn out
Spy Museum t-shirts, cut into strips.

The head of the creature,
waiting to be given a new body...

Slowly, the transformation commenced...

...until he was nearly completed.

Due to spending too much time at the 
cardiologists myself lately, I became obsessed 
with giving Mr. Mookie a heart.

A creature so dark as Mr. Mookie
required an appropriate heart of darkness.
I made one from printable silk and
attached it inside his stuffing before
sewing him up in the back.

And now,
the creature is transformed...

May I introduce Mr. Mookie,
Fifth Black Velvet Rabbit
of The Apocalypse!

Due to the line of ascension, his services as
Black Velvet Rabbit of The Apocalypse
will not be required for sometime.
So, in the meantime, he practices his
lurking skills by sneaking up on the pansies
on the porch!
They did not seem much phased by
his lurking, so he will continue to practice!

Here he is practicing his lurking again,
this time photobombing me as I take a picture
of the herb garden on the porch!
Oh that critter!

And here's where my own Mr. Victor
found him, practicing lurking on the stairs!
What to do with him?

As we speak, he is finally behaving himself,
napping with Thursday, Baby Hoobert,
Teddy and Brownie McNutt.
He seems to be fitting in well with the
family so far.
They are saving up their energy for my next
project involving them:
A Fashion Show!

And because black hearts seem to be a
common thread in this post tonight,
won't you take a moment to enjoy
the deliciously dark "Black Heart"
by Marc and the Mambas?

(I do so love listening to the perfectly
lovely Marc Almond!)

I had fun coloring some of the pictures I
took on our iPhone with an app called

Image of Harry Treadaway from my
Penny Dreadful board on Pinterest.
Image of Marc Almond from his
Twitter page.)

I'm slower at getting things accomplished
right now, but I do hope you will keep
checking back as the Babies model
their Goth Lolita and Steampunk
fashions, possibly in a lushly
decadent art gallery!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Mad Tea Party 2015

Greetings to All Friends of The Tearoom, Old and New!  Welcome to The Mad Tea Party!  Thank you, as always to our lovely and creative host, Miss Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist!  Please make certain to visit her beautiful blog post today, as well as the other participants of this fun event.

Our Mad Tea Party today is extra special in honor of the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland!!

My contribution to the madness of The Mad Tea Party today is a bit of a sci-fi adventure with that most adventurous of little girls, Victorienne!!!  She and Purple Kitty voyage into outer space today, in order to participate in The Mad Tea Party, taking place on The Planet Tea-Tray!  But, on the way, they must stop for some important errands, so, in order to not be late, they must be on their way!

And so, our story begins... (As always, please click on the images in order to see them larger!)

Images used in my collages today:
My own personal collection