Archive | January, 2013

Emilie Autumn Fights Like A Girl

31 Jan

autum-bannerI am new to the manic, magic, beautiful and terrifying world of Emilie Autumn.  I hate to compare one artist to another because no one is the same, and Emilie certainly has a style of performance all her own.  However, for the ease of my dear reader who may not have heard of Miss Autumn just yet, I will tell you my first impression of the artist.  I had $5 in Amazon.com credit to spend on MP3s and I noticed this delicious album art in the $5 “sale” section of the website.  I quickly clicked and discovered that the beauty in the artwork was Emilie Autumn and this was Opheliac.

EmilieAutumn-227x300I listened to one 30 second sample and downloaded it right away.  She had a rich voice, deep at times and soprano at others.  She reminded me a little bit of Tori Amos and a little bit of Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls.  The music has an overlying cabaret feel but with a much more sinister underbelly.  This is not to say that if you love Tori or you love Amanda that I guarantee your love for Emilie, but I will say there is a terribly good chance you and I are attracted to the same aesthetic quality in the music we love most.

In this instance, I did judge a book by its cover, because let’s face it, what a cover!  But I immediately realized upon listening that Emilie Autumn was no simple pretty girl singing songs and dressing up.  She had substance, she was a pretty girl singing songs and dressing up in fabulous fashion, BUT she was also dark.  And fucked up.  And honest and heart wrenching all at once.  I was hooked.
Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 9.29.47 PMThe second album I bought was her newest release Fight Like A Girl.  It contains music that I love on a cellular level.  It has a dirty, burlesque, insane asylum appeal that I can’t turn away from, and really don’t want to.  I started doing my research and learned that there are plans in the works for her to make a musical based on her autobiographical novel The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girlswhich I have yet to pick up, but intend to devour very soon.  I became even more enthralled with her and found that she was going on tour.  I promptly bought my ticket and waited for January 31st to arrive.

 My show was at The Glasshouse in Pomona, CA.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The first thing I noticed was that there was no opening band.  Emilie’s show began promptly at 9pm which is certainly rare.  The set and lights were already up and there was 30s-40s music playing over the loudspeakers.  The Bloody Crumpets appear on stage first, these are Emilie’s beautiful and each uniquely talented, backup singers/dancers/entertainers.  Both women were stunningly beautiful and quite funny in the roles they played.  Emilie’s world takes place in an insane asylum where the true horrors of humanity happen within the confines of this perceived safe place.  I don’t want to spoil any special moments but I will say there was sexy debauchery, some fire, some feathers and lots of cheeky fun. Emilie sounded great live following a couple technical sound hiccups at the start of the show.

EA PINKMy only criticism is the venue.  This show has so much potential for greatness and really is much more of a theatrical performance than a rock concert.  It deserves a real art house with theatre seats.  I feel that some of the dramatic effect may have been lost in the standing, chatting crowd.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what Emilie has in store for us next and I am hoping that the next time this tour comes around it costs twice as much and is in a theatre.  I will be there.

If you have the chance to see Emilie live in your town, take it.  I have a feeling we won’t always get to see her in such intimate venues.  I think this show is going to blow up, and she deserves it.

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Meet Shop Emerald City- An Interview

22 Jan

mermaid-banner

I was so excited when Shop Emerald City contacted me to write for their blog.  I am such a big fan of what they do and the amazing, unique items they sell.  I want you to meet and love them too, so without further ado, I am taking you on a virtual date (and of course I’m paying).  Meet Ian, creator extraordinaire.  I asked him the hard hitting questions I know you were all dying to ask.  You’re welcome.

1. How did the idea for Shop Emerald City come about? Where did the name come from?

SkullBowEmerald City was born in early 2012 and started out with a table in a spare room, and a $99 sewing machine. Since then we have grown heaps and I must admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its success so far.

2. Where do you see Shop Emerald City headed in the near and distant future?

LimeCrimeI have been really surprised at how we have grown so much inside 12 months and so I see the near future as one of consolidation, improving, continual growth and a far greater range of products, both handmade here in Australia as well as supporting other creatives worldwide. I would also like to focus on and offer a great range of products in the plus sizes, something that a lot of shops seem to neglect. The distant future would see Emerald City becoming a community of designers, creatives and consumers. Online shopping is meant to be fun and so in both the near and distant future, I would always see Emerald City being about fun. We may get bigger but I am determined to have our customer service element grow at an equal pace.

3.  I see that you are very hands on in your business (i.e. cutting the leggings yourself).  Do you have a hand in designing and creating most of the products?

I am very hands on with the making. I select, cut, sew, label, wrap, post, do all the paperwork, clean, and make a great cup of coffee. I have a great team who keeps me very grounded. I like to have a go at everything and wouldn’t ask anyone to do something unless I have either done it myself or am willing to try.  I hope to be involved a lot more with design in 2013. I am also keen in taking on more talent and designers.

4. Tell us something about yourself.

KnickersDamn, I hate this question! I am not very good at self promotion. I regard myself as a people person. I live a comfortable but modest life with my partner Victoria who is a great support to me. I like to keep my personal life private and separate from my business life (where possible!). At the end of day I am me, I enjoy what I am currently doing. It’s fun. I like to focus on positive energy. My other love is Vintage and Classic motorcycles, having restored to concourse condition a 1951 BSA A10 650cc Plunger. Oh, and I would have to also mention my second greatest passion, that great Californian band, The Doobie Brothers, as well as John Fogerty and CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival). Some would describe this passion to be more like an obsession. Fine food and a good red wine also are passions of mine.

5. Is it true that you live in an Emerald mansion?

Oh how I wish, and how easy would it be to say yes. But try a very modest, 4 bedroom house in north Brisbane Queensland. I’m comfortable, but it aint a mansion!

6. What inspires you?

MedusaWell the world didn’t end in 2012 as predicted, so that is an inspiration! A lot of things inspire me but I don’t have a list of things like people, songs, history, events, books or art that inspire me. To me inspiration can be found anywhere, and most of the time it’s something intangible or difficult to define. When I think of the things that do inspire me, they all seem to fall under the umbrella of good hard work, respect, integrity and a commitment to do what you believe and go where you want to go and be.

7. What is your favorite mermaid movie?

The Secret of Roan Inish

8. What was your day job before becoming the owner of Shop Emerald City?

ConcreteI hope you’re sitting down when you read this. My day job before becoming the owner of Emerald City was the 28 years I spent in the Australian Army, reaching the rank of Major. The contrast between that and owning Emerald City couldn’t be any greater. I often laugh when I think that one day, I was the Second in Command of an Australian Artillery Regiment, the next, I found myself sitting in front of a sewing machine! I’m also qualified in high school teaching.

9. What do you want the world to know about Shop Emerald City?

MermaidBowWe are a small organisation focused on customer service above all else. We have only been trading since February 2012, but have grown substantially since then. It doesn’t matter how big we get, my focus will always be on customer service. We try and find the best products for the best price. We also cater to all people and their varying means. We completely understand that for many, money does not come easy and many have to work hard to save up to treat themselves to something nice, and so we like to make it our business that customers get a good value and high quality products at  a very fair price. Hearing a customer tell us that our customer service is first class just makes us work harder to improve their shopping experience with us. It is what drives us.

10. What is your favorite curse word?

Generally “Fuck,” but light-heartedly, “Shit,” “Bugger,” “Poo Bum Wee.”

Bettie Page Clothing Fanny Skirt

14 Jan

Green-BannerFrom the moment I saw this skirt online, I knew that it had to be mine.  This is the Fanny skirt by Bettie Page Clothing.  You could say I’m a big fan. It’s a deep emerald green with black flocked velvet fans printed on it.  I love the mix of the classic 50’s swing skirt with the Art Deco style fan print.  The skirt fits at the natural waist and you will want to follow the size chart exactly.  If you’re between sizes, size up.  The skirt has no stretch at the waist.  It zips up the back and has a button closure (which is why there isn’t too much stretch).  I went with the medium.  My waist is 28″ which is the max measurement for the Medium and it fits snugly but not too tight.

Green-2I paired it with an off-shoulder jersey top from Pinup Girl Clothing.  The top is really versatile and comfortable.  It is perfect to wear with your high-waisted skirts and pants.  The top is one-size fits all, but would do best for a size small to large.  It sells out constantly so get yourself on the wait-list and snatch it up when it comes back in.

Green-3-(no-red-eye)This skirt made me feel instantly girly and was very comfortable.  And did I mention it has pockets? Yes, you heard me right.  How awesome is that?  I love dresses and skirts with pockets; sometimes though, you can get a little bulge or puffiness.  Not in this one, without my hands in the pockets you’d never even notice they were there.  Perfection. It’s got a nice weight to it so it’s good for colder weather.  Also because of the weight, it looks great with a petticoat.  I chose to wear it without, but will probably add one when I wear it for a more festive occasion. This is the first separate piece I’ve gotten from Bettie Page and I will definitely be getting more soon.  I can’t say enough great things about this skirt.  It retails for $90 at Bettie Page Clothing.  You can buy it here online, or get it at one of their boutique locations.

Fluff Wall Dolls

7 Jan

black-mermaidAs a child my mom used to wash our hair in the kitchen sink.  I suppose it was just easier this way as my sister and I had  mass amounts of hair.  We would get up on the kitchen counter and lay back letting our hair fall in the sink.  My mom had some vintage chalkware hanging on the wall where I could gaze up as I got my head scrubbed.  There were 3 flowers and they had delightful little faces and I would look up at them and make up stories about them and give them names.  My father also had a series of chalkware faces of men wearing turbans that he brought to America from Syria.  Needless to say, chalkware, which was very popular in the 1950s, became ingrained in the backdrop of my childhood.

REDHEAD__24733.1352601642.1280.1280No one really makes or sells chalkware or similar wall hangings these days.  Well, that is except for cuteness extraordinaire, Miss Claudette Barjoud, also known as Fluff.  Fluff is known for her wonderful, uber cute original designs.  They are featured on clothing, mugs, makeup cases, iphone cases, you name it.  And now they are also offered as Wall Dolls.  I was already a huge fan of Fluff and once I saw that she was making Wall Dolls, I swooned.  The first in her series is Le Sirene Petite, a small mermaid that packs huge amounts of charm.  Le Sirene Petite was offered in a limited edition of 30 dolls in each haircolor: Blonde, brunette and my favorite, red.  I had to have her and ordered her right away.

I really lucked out because I was the first to order the redhead and got #1 out of the series.  The true beauty of this little mermaid can really only be appreciated fully in person.  Claudette sculpted the original mermaid out of ceramic, then made a mold by hand and then casts each Wall Doll in resin.  The resin is much sturdier and less breakable than chalkware was.  When I got the piece I was stunned at how solid and heavy she was.  Each doll is also individually hand-painted by Claudette.  Talk about putting yourself into your work (and major hand cramps!).

MollyMermaidDoll_BLACK__00293.1354153367.1280.1280She has also released a larger scale mermaid Wall Doll, Molly Mermaid, based on one of her most popular character designs.  Molly was available in 4 hair colors, limited to 100 pieces total.  I scored once again on this purchase and got number one in the series of the raven haired Molly.  Molly was made in the same meticulous manner with which all of the Wall Dolls are created.

When I received my Molly I was once again so impressed with her beauty and quality.  I hung her and Le Sirene Petite together immediately.  Everytime I look up at these I remember being a child and being fascinated with my Mother’s “Wall Dolls” and all things mermaid.  Clearly I haven’t grown up all that much, but thanks to Miss Fluff, I don’t really have to!

There is also another Wall Doll worth mentioning that I did not have the chance to get before she sold out, and she was Suzy Sailor.  Suzy is based on a darling sailor girl character Fluff created.  She also was available with her original black hair and also as a blonde and a redhead.

Each piece is a true, unique work of art, and it’s so rare to be able to get a hand-touched piece of art from an artist you adore for such a reasonable price. I can’t wait until I have a full wall of Fluff Wall Dolls.  These editions are sold out but Claudette is releasing some one of a kind mermaids in her Ebay store. There are bound to be more Wall Dolls featuring other characters coming since these were so wildly popular. Join her Facebook, Twitter, and Mailing List to be the first to know when more become available.

BlueThe most recent one of a kind being offered on Ebay can be found here.

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