Tag Archives: Victorian

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.

https://www.teaat1024.net/

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Art Styles for Steampunk Game

Working with my Wacom today I found myself doing a whole new style of art. For one thing, I have to learn portraits and people if I am going to do the art for the game. As such, I did several stages of a test male in a Victorian suit and cravat. First image done on my Wacom First image done on my WacomI have an art style in mind that is somewhere between a slightly cartoonized old photograph and an old sketch. It requires either being able to draw all the right tones in sepia or drawing it all in color and making it sepia, so far I prefer the result of the second. I am beginning to remember more of the material recreation drawing I learned in college taking design. In the Interior design portion of my program we had a couple of classes that required exact recreations of a variety of design and construction materials using colored pencils. The Wacom is a perfect medium for a quicker version of this method. It is a good skill for this project although it can be very time consuming and I am out of practice. Cloaked Woman done on WacomI am uncertain what my final art style will be, as I work, I find I like the images in color for the people. I may combine art styles and use different ones in different parts of the game if they blend together. I have been drawing in Photoshop. I tried GIMP but it doesn’t work right with my Wacom and I am not yet clear how to fix the problem. These are drawn only except for the one I made a sepia version of.

Steampunk and Gastronomic Explorations

Today we return to Steampunk in the kitchen. I try to keep a copy of all my books on my computer and more and more purchase and get books in that format to use on the phone, tablet, laptop, and wherever I need them. I have been reorganizing thousands of books and categorizing them into easy to find folders. This involves a lot of reading (something which slows the process immensely as I stop to read and get engrossed, as I am now, in a topic). Molecular Gastronomy

Molecular gastronomy is a topic that I have been unsure of based on little actual knowledge for some time. Turns out I have quite a bit of information on the topic. The late 17th and 18th century saw the first accessible research in this field and was when the term shows up apparently. Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste (1825) is one source of information from the period. To quote Albert Sonnenfeld in Molecular Gastronomy (This, 2002/ 2006 p. Preface): “The science of food, which Brillat-Savarin called gastronomy, was initiated earlier by chemists in the Age of Enlightenment, the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and belongs to the history of science. The kitchen was a laboratory like any other for famous doctor and pioneering chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier. In Germany, Justus von Liebig, working in the Age of Positivism, applied meat extracts to the soups that still bear his name. The test tubes were pots and pans.”

Chocolate ginger sphericals howtocookthat.com
Chocolate ginger sphericals
howtocookthat.com

First, some definitions of Gastronomy (from Debevoises intro):

Brillat-Savarin called himself “le professeur.” Defining gastronomy as the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns nourishment, the gourmet professor initiates his readers into a veritable eighteenth-century encyclopedia of natural history, physics, chemistry, cookery, business, and political economy.

Hervé This, our new millennium initiator, is more rigorously focused: Molecular gastronomy deals with culinary transformations and the sensory phenomena associated with eating. As a guide he achieves exemplary clarity for the nonscientist reader, and he is consistently entertaining.

Brillat-Savarin’s classic definition of gastronomy in the Physiology of Taste (1825)… (My formatting):

Gastronomy is the intelligent knowledge of whatever concerns man’s nourishment. Its purpose is to watch over his conservation by suggesting the best possible sustenance for him. It arrives at this goal by directing, according to certain principles, all men who hunt, supply, or prepare whatever can be made into food… .

Gastronomy is a part of:

  • Natural history, by its classification of alimentary substances;
  • Physics, because of the examination of the composition and quality of these substances;
  • Chemistry, by the various analyses and catalyses to which it subjects them;
  • Cookery, because of the art of adapting dishes and making them pleasant to the taste;
  • Business, by the seeking out of methods of buying as cheaply as possible what is needed, and of selling most advantageously what can be produced for sale;
  • Finally, political economy, because of the sources of revenue which gastronomy creates and the means of exchange which it establishes between nations.
An example from the Wine industry at winefolly.com
An example from the Wine industry at winefolly.com

All of this eliminates many of the faddish groups and chefs from the gastronomy roles but gives a new understanding of some other chef and bartender works. Living in Las Vegas I was not far from the well known Steampunk lounge there and saw a great deal of the concoctions and interests of the owner that changed my interest in the different terms and their application (we are not looking at the drink related field here). In his analysis of the difference between science and technology he arrives at the first difference in cooking and gastronomy being purpose: gastronomy is for knowledge, cooking is production of goods. Another difference is that gastronomy is science, chemistry and analysis. Cooking is technology, including experimentation, observation, and knowledge but not the same at all. His examples of the connections in the 17 and 1800s between scientific advancement and study of food are worth reading.

Some of the results and studies from that period have to be updated based on new technology and understanding but the foundation is solidly in that period. One must wonder was it science or necessity that brought about the development of many types of foods and uses of many ingredients that would be strange to eat if not commonly recognized as good food. Cookbooks are interesting but serve a gastronomist only in showing methods, ingredients, and apparent affects.

image from gastonomyatbu.com
image from gastonomyatbu.com

An analysis of them can show regional developments and indirectly reveal the reason varies processes are used and how they developed historically. This can direct you in your experimentation and study and can be fascinating information itself. As an example from my own reading, look at China: Only recently are ovens in use anywhere but the town baker if they had one, thus all the things we would bake are there pan steamed, fried, or cooked in some other method. This changes ingredients, ratios, results, and taste preferences that develop. By the same token if you look in a very cold mountainous region the ingredients are things that grow cold, can be stored, or are very seasonal. Compared to tropical regions where recipes tend to use readily available, fresh ingredients with less concern for storage. We know now that Brillat-Savarin was wrong in his analysis of the process of heat on the water in meat (it expands not compresses), however, his work is important to the fields of cooking and gastronomy. Advancement and understanding do not come without experimentation and study. If you begin research (as many do) knowing your goal and your fact you are proving – then it is not science, it is not research. The difference in that time was that most of these people were seeking understanding and knowledge – they were experimenting to find the fact or understand the apparent result. For us Steampunk followers, knowledge is the beauty; you study to see what happens not to duplicate someone else’s work. We want to know what happens and why. Understanding the history and uses helps this, so cooking and cookbooks are tools in gastronomy as are all the methods of science and lab work.

eating objects - tuvie.com (one of several home gastronomic kits I saw)
eating objects – tuvie.com
(one of several home gastronomic kits I saw)

Works Cited

This, Hervé. 2002/ 2006. Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor. [ed.] Albert Sonnenfeld. [trans.] M. B. Debevoise. New York : Columbia University Press, 2002/ 2006. excerpts from The Physiology of Taste by Jean Brillat-Savarin, translated by M. F. K. Fisher, copyright 1949 by the George Macy Companies,. isbn 0 -231-13312-x.

The following page struck me as although interesting and gastronomic directed, very much a result of the fad seen today:

What is Molecular Gastronomy?

Copper Pipe House

I needed a few minutes break while my saw battery charged so I did a picture in GIMP

this is a small house or lounge built into a tube or giant pipe. I have considered doing this myself before, had no way to get the pipe home though.

Copper tube house
Copper tube house

The floor is copper, used the idea I found the other day of a penny floor.

And found something a minute ago related to the Little Free Libraries I posted before.

This is a Kinetic Sculpture Little Free Library in Minneapolis. Reminds me of the World Fair building.

 

Kinetic Sculpture Library
Kinetic Sculpture Library

An Interior Design Project

One of the things I studies in college was Interior Design. I have been considering a couple interior design projects in Steampunk. Today has been very long so I am going to share a few of the ideas I have looked at this week in that area. Many of these are images I got from Secret Garden on Facebook, others from gaming sites. I did not take these photos and did nothing to them, they are property of other artists, I am sharing them as part of developing a foundation for a Steampunk design. Much of it would obviously need to be custom, but then I wanted to consider multiple price ranges and skill levels. I would want to have readily purchasable options, custom options, build-able options, ways to alter accessible or current items, and ways to use different types of spaces. This is obviously not a one day project, but would be a good series.

You could do some interesting things in a Steampunk interior design project with this window as a base.
You could do some interesting things in a Steampunk interior design project with this window as a base.
It's the stair railing that caught my eye here.
It’s the stair railing that caught my eye here.
Tradition
Tradition
Not much for baby pics, but this bed was too perfect.
Not much for baby pics, but this bed was too perfect.
There are many ideas that this brings up for a Victorian leaning Steampunk interior. Some changes, but the idea is there.
There are many ideas that this brings up for a Victorian leaning Steampunk interior. Some changes, but the idea is there.
This would just be a base for many things, but what a great way to expand a Steampunk design and get that added depth and the tiny Victorian rooms without actually closing the rooms off.
This would just be a base for many things, but what a great way to expand a Steampunk design and get that added depth and the tiny Victorian rooms without actually closing the rooms off.
I know I may be unusual in this being a first thought for a Steampunk design but it appeals.
I know I may be unusual in this being a first thought for a Steampunk design but it appeals.
The obvious choice.
The obvious choice.
Another great use of space, that also draws in the international and colonial travel aspects and allows the rooms within a room idea.
Another great use of space, that also draws in the international and colonial travel aspects and allows the rooms within a room idea.
An obvious one, but one that could be expanded in so many ways.
An obvious one, but one that could be expanded in so many ways.

A Bit of Steampunk

A Bit of Steampunk
A Bit of Steampunk

I left the tag from the original image at the bottom, don’t want to steal an image. Changed all the materials, added stuff, and generally altered the image. I could have worked another hour, but it is past bedtime. I used this because I love the staircase and the way the bookshelf is integrated really appeals to my Steampunk style and what could be done with it.

 

Bugs and Thief

I did another Thief dragonfly image today. I am less pleased with today’s piece largely due to a couple glitches in my understanding of the program and the effect actions would have. But this may be me being to harsh on myself, or just me having an idea I didn’t quite meet but no one else knows anyway. I think having Garrett in the image added a dimension and story that quite appealed to me. I wanted to try it without to see some things in scale and perspective, this was where I ran into program issues, purely not knowing how the program worked effectively enough, now I do, so it was a success in that. The image is from Thief 2, and if you know the game, you will see I altered the scene.Thief 2 dragonfly

Evolving Dragonfly in a Steampunk World

like the moth, everything evolves.
like the moth, everything evolves.

As I said yesterday, today’s piece is an expansion of that image. The background is from Thief, done by Guyjin, I modified it some and made it more gritty and dark. The evolving dragonfly is a modified form of 1/2 the original bug and 1/2 of yesterday’s piece. I just like the many stories this image can tell.