Category Archives: Alice

Tea at 1024 Nuuanu

Teacups all around me in rows, in stacks, and in random groups. Cups, saucers, teapots of all sizes teeter and sit. Music, not exactly quiet but that feels quiet and helps mask the sounds of others around me. I feel alone in a small teashop waiting for slow steep tea and an afternoon teatray.
Flowers, hats, and patterned teacups surround me in a soothing comfort like Alice falling gently down the rabbit hole. Some are tied to their saucers to keep them together, like they might run away or leap off the shelf. One set is a saucer and small teapot with no cup. It reminds me of the women with saucers of tea in historic novels rather than cups of tea because it cooled quickly with no unmannerly blowing. An orange pot pops out at the eye in front of a jar of shells. A tray of blue and yellow teabags perches behind a music stand, slightly masking a set of tiny tins. Clear glass teapots rise in an acceding row on an old sewing machine. On the top shelf one pot perches precariously on the handle of another.
I ordered the vegetarian afternoon tea. An adorable tea timer with three sand clocks to determine strength arrives right before a fresh salad in a teacup. After that, hte tray of bite sized bits lands in front of me and each piece is new flavor. Each thing was excellent and perfectly balanced with the others. The rich, creamy chocolate in a thick layer on a chocolate brownie is two bites of chocolate bliss. Perfectly spiced jackfruit in a fresh wrap is a bright tasting bite of pleasure countered by one of the 2 tiny scones with clotted cream.
Because I came late, the lavender scone is slightly stiff but the flavor is good and the cream softens it. The tray is set perfectly to alternate one savory to one sweet until done. Music, mostly instrumental opera soothes the experience. Friendly staff tries hard to keep up with the busy flow of people that enter and settle in for a long tea. I watch them setting up a tea party and greeting guests both planned and unplanned as I enjoy my tea.
Creamy kimchee bites are a surprise for a tea tray but are a fine counter to the sweet bites. It is creamy and flavorful but gentle and sits well. Each piece on the tray is two to three bites and all quite different from each other.
A creepy antique porcelain doll in a crochet dress looks down on my table. Soft fuzzy, sheep like chairs cushion me. Beaming little girls look wide eyed at all the cups, pots, hats, and accessories. A flash of bright blue eucalyptus stands tall on the top shelf.
My host was unwilling to serve inferior tea and recommended I alter my selection because upon review they had a bad batch of my first choice. Their attention to detail is part of the experience. You choose your cup and a hat and sit inside or out to have tea alone or with companions. They don’t intrude but are there to keep things flowing. When I finished my tea she refilled it with more water to re-steep the leaves.

A tall wicker dress form stands elegant by the eucalyptus, reaching for the ceiling. Butterfly wings hide in the next room. Tall silver candlesticks hold large pillars of white on the top shelf I see through the window into the next room.
The sweet clotted cream flavor lingers soothing my pallet as I take in my surroundings. A precariously tilted tray of stacked cups, saucers, and pots stand secure beside a running girl in blue. Glints of glass and silver sparkle around me. I can almost hear the dormouse in the large blue and white teapot. My red pot is as round as the queen’s skirts beside my sleek white cup with swirls like the white queen twirling and swishing away. One tiny tea set stands on a tiny cake stand that would hold a mini cupcake.
The berry cheesecake bowl like a tiny trifle and the storybook chocolate brownie square that is half creamy rich chocolate sit in my memory and taste buds as a girl in her pink hat counts teapots in the throne like window seat. I sit and enjoy a second pot of tea to settle my snacks and sweets.

At the back of the restaurant a door opens to a very Victorian hall comprising the passage to the restrooms, the stairwell, the entry to the kitchens, the doorway to the courtyard seating, and a couple work areas in the back. In the bathroom, tiny tiles sit under your feet as you stand at the old, low sinks that are from another time.This place is a quiet retreat from modern reality with soothing tea, foods, and simple environment.

Cat Tree
Cat Tree

Happy Friday everyone,

A bit of a varied collection this week:

First, the coupon code OCTOBER is still effective on my Etsy store though the lowered pricing has ended.

Wormy Wood I am considering for a project
Wormy Wood I am considering for a project

We have been trying to finish projects around the house this week and next so I have one of those to show.

Wormy Wood, other side
Wormy Wood, other side

It is a cat tree built into the corner using a favorite branch of a couple of the cats. There is a small red shelf midway up for them to play on. I left short branches for them to grab and hang from since they love that.

Also there are several drawings from my notebook. These are pencil.

Chinese Style
Chinese Style
Furniture Sketches
Furniture Sketches

Steampunk Triumph

Just a rendition of today's piece, as I have taken to making.
Just a rendition of today’s piece, as I have taken to making.

I want to redo this and some of my others when I have a way of making good rivets that allow functioning gears and precise placement. However, I like this one using a Triumph pin my husband gave me when I had my Bonneville some years ago. The magnifying glass is free enough to be used on things if needed and focuses on the Coin. It swings a bit more than I would like, I would fix that if I redid this one with the riveting. All connections are copper, as is the back gear. The others are brass and bronze. The pin is silver. Not sure what the stone is. I also like triumph cars, so the gear on the left serves duel purposes for me. Setting the gears so they fit together and spin was a challenge lacking the rivets, they are held motionless for the picture.

Steampunk, Motorcycle pin with influences of Chinese and Alice.
Steampunk, Motorcycle pin with influences of Chinese and Alice.

14 Square for Luck

Fairly simple Steampunk Alice influenced pendant in copper, brass, and bronze, with silver card diamond.
Fairly simple Steampunk Alice influenced pendant in copper, brass, and bronze, with silver card diamond.

Copper wire wrap and decorated gear connect the sprocket gear, the red diamond, and the Chinese coin. A leather cord runs through an additional gear to hang the piece. I started with a green piece left from one I made the other day but the red is better for my mood today. The possibility of something different, of something better, of creating working wonders from available material and style appeals to the sentiment of the day. Steampunk is cathartic. It is the feel, the concepts, the art, the style, the work itself, the act and image of creation that give you strength and focus. Creating and building something electrical or computerized may be neat but it doesn’t feel like creation, it isn’t beautiful in itself. I love working on motorcycles, engines, and mechanical things; Steampunk offers a similar but more aesthetic catharsis. The style and aesthetic reaches a different part of you than the modern engines and electronics. IT is related to why we work on old motorcycles, vintage gearing, mechanicals, and aesthetic have an elegant practicality with unnecessary beauty in a modern view. Is it really unnecessary though? What part of us and the world is not being reached? Would the world be as disposable if we still strove to touch those parts of a person with the simple and the elaborate, bringing out the beauty in each function?

Steampunk Alice Prototype (13)

Today’s piece feels like one of the 24 hour Rogue-like competitions in a way. I am happy with the piece but it is rather a prototype awaiting the equipment I don’t have yet. I envision the gears mounted through posts in a rivet-like format to spin and mess properly in multiple layers with a brass or wood back-plate. Again, this is a mixed metal pendant I designed beginning with the key and the large ornate gear-like piece in the back. The hanging loop is a copper wrapped steel ring, the gears are bronze, brass, pewter, and copper I think. the pearl is not attached, it hangs above. The card markings are silver. I didn’t have just the gear I wanted for the space left of the lock and it looked better without what I tried.

The lock, key, card marks, and the lines reminded me of Alice for some reason.
The lock, key, card marks, and the lines reminded me of Alice for some reason.

As I work on these pieces with short time, I am pleased as much by the ideas and plans I develop as the pieces I create in the moment. I am developing a real plan for a direction in some areas of the art. I am also starting to see more ways to incorporate my ideas into the motorcycles as we build them.

Alice, Alice Quite Contrary

Jewelry, gears, hearts, cards, metal, and wood – the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.

As I work I begin to see that I really want to make gears and models and such. I want to try and make the from both wood and metal. The idea of wooden gears and functioning mechanicals using them fascinates me.

The jewelry trend continued another day today. Meant to be a pendant, it could actually be an earring as well, it began with an earring. At this point is probably obvious that my husband and I tend to own and wear earrings in singles and unmatched sets. Creating jewelry from random bits and broken jewelry began with my mother and I sitting on the bed talking. When she would get to sick to be up, we all gathered at her bed to play or talk. Mom and I would make stuff and do projects. We also did stories, made games, sang, and drew. As I got older, she loved I would make her furniture or jewelry out of bits left over from special places, jobs, and people involved in our lives. This has heavily influenced my art and work and blends beautifully with steampunk genre creation.

Simple pendant in mixed metals using sprocket gear, metal plate, and a heart from a card deck
Simple pendant in mixed metals using sprocket gear, metal plate, and a heart from a card deck

Enjoy one more Steampunk Alice piece, this one fairly simple.

Day 11 Steampunk Jewelry

I made this using an old pin of my mother's and an earring I think was my sister's with some new gears and things.
I made this using an old pin of my mother’s and an earring I think was my sister’s with some new gears and things.

Steampunk Jewelry time again! I love actually making things. I got home very late today but had new bits to work with. I made two pieces because I fell behind a bit in having to turn yesterday’s into a two part delayed project. I did get some metallic paint on the way home though.

I almost have a story in mind these inspired, maybe later in the week it will be a full idea.

This earring was made with the last piece of the earing I used pieces of several days ago, gears, a Chinese coin, and bits of the earring used in the Pin today.
This earring was made with the last piece of the earring I used pieces of several days ago, gears, a Chinese coin, and bits of the earring used in the Pin today.

To the left is a Steampunk Alice Pin. Again, I used bits of broken, old jewelry; removed and added things. The bow was my mothers so I didn’t want to hide it. I used a Chinese coin, same one as in the earring to the ¬†right. The gear also sort of reminds me of a steering wheel or wheel, so it has several things in common with the earring.

To the right is a Steampunk Travel Earring. I had a piece left from what I made the other day, some new bits, and an idea. I was thinking of the Victorian love of bringing things home from around the world and the influences you see in the design. I love travel and have been a lot of places, so this appeals to me. I used the Chinese coin and the passport to represent travel and the chime to represent the places you enjoy, and the gears and bits to represent the airships and travel machinery in my mind.

Kitty Corner Steampunk Thoughts

Working all day and then coming home to do stuff here before I can start my project makes working on painting a tad difficult to finish in one day. Given that I must be up at 4 am, I am going to stop this project for a part two, to be continued tomorrow. I am posting the work as it stands now. I finished the drawing, if I had considered, I would have done more detail in pencil and made it 2 separate projects. Live and learn today, I shall remember next time. Another point is that I really need to find the rest of my brushes before I can continue the details and repair what the wrong brushes blurred.

This is done in Acrylic only because I forgot to prep the canvas before drawing. I am also considering how to make oil one day projects, because I do not like the wet on wet technique. When completed, this will be a 2 aspect piece. It is a Steampunk cat corner and a Steampunk art display with Alice influence. I find Alice and Dr. Who both go remarkably well in Steampunk design, a fortuitous discovery for a Whovian. I am fascinated to see what other subjects and themes go well in the Steampunk genre.


Part of1 Steampunk Kitty Corner. Notice the clock, hat, cards, and gears from various regions of Alice.
Part of 1 Steampunk Kitty Corner. Notice the clock, hat, cards, and gears from various regions of Alice.

Today I also realized that although I am fine with them on the computer and in physical art, I actually hate drawing many basic gears. I love them in art though. I am testing to see the ones I actually like to draw, and began to see differences.

The colors obviously will be different as layers go on, but you can see I went with a fairly basic color scheme, there will be some obvious touches like purple on the hat and red in the cards. Wood floor and details also. I do not have metallic paint so am working on the gears. Victorian aesthetic is great, the lines are excellent, but I like Edwardian better because there is a better color sense to the actual period design. Too many colors at a time in Victorian, although most Steampunk design does seem to lessen that. Also, too many patterns for my taste. It is part of the overdone feel but for me detracts from the design. I prefer use of luxurious materials, and excess detail or functions to excess colors and patterns. Somewhere in there is a line in Steampunk, but as I have previously discussed, that depends on the sub-genre of Steampunk. I find myself working in several of the sub-genre as I go. I like different tones for different things and days.

Steampunk Desk to share with Feline Companion

Day 8 desk cat tree 5This desk was a remarkable pain, GIMP crashed 5 times and my file was lost each time. Working on this version, I saved steps and am going to upload them as I talk also. I began with a sketch as I usually do of a steampunk desk with places for cats to play and sleep. The enclosed area is designed to open for them or storage as needed. The following is the original sketch I worked from.

sketchI have Photoshop installed but no plugins and having never used it, I was to tired to use it instead of GIMP…GIMP was not friendly.I began the color stages with simple materials.Day 8 desk cat treeThe brass desk was too bare so I began to work. This is where things went bad. I did 5 versions beyond this, each entirely different, and I was each time unable to recreate what I had done. I had separated floor and wall, redrawn the entire sketch in GIMP with the trackball and was finishing up when I lost my first one. The following was my next step that survived. As you can see, I am patterning the desk and attempting to add shadows and depth. This was my third one that survived but my 4th design. After the next crash, I quickly did another and decided the program was shutting down, I was too tired to focus and the day is over.Day 8 desk cat tree 1I like the idea and the base concept. I really liked my first and third pieces today, and am honestly too tired to judge the final one that I began the post with. I did leave a little Alice influence in with the clock and red carpeting but might add more if I did another version…not sure.

I may go in sometime tomorrow and add captions to the images, but I need sleep.