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Hunting in the deep dark woods and further creative ventures


Fort Benton

FUN FACT: This is my first blog post from a place other than the location in which I reside! Keep your boots on, kids. I know that this is terribly exciting, but please try to contain yourself.

This is one of the most exciting adventures of my life! I'm not sure why. I've been to many countries, travelled alone, and have done some crazy things abroad. However... This road trip I'm taking to Bannack, Montana, is driving me insane with fantasy and imagination and muses. Initially, I was only supposed to be away from Canada for three days (two nights), but it worked out that I was able to extend my holiday by a day. This led to further excitement, including seeing more of Fort Benton, and even staying a night at none other than... The Grand Union Hotel in Fort Benton, Montana. This is a historic hotel. The hotel was refurbished and renovated in the 1990s, but it is exactly as it would have been in the late 1800s, when Fort Benton was a notoriously dangerous town, featuring The Bloodiest Block In The West. There were outlaws, lawmen, brothel madames, and more. Madness everywhere, guns blazing, ropes stretching under the weight of criminals, and eventually it wound down to become the quiet and friendly town that Fort Benton is today.

Things have changed a lot since the 1800s, but the history remains. A lot of people I know think that the history of the Old West and North America in general is dull and stupid, but I disagree. For some reason, I am enthralled with the idea of lawlessnes and wild country. Everything that goes along with it are symbols of strength and endurance, as well as examples of what humans can become in extraordinary situations (both good and bad).

Now, my actual excitement. Today I saw the Old Fort Benton, and a little bit of the Museum of the Upper Missouri (to return to that tomorrow), and I walked along the Missouri River, reading all kinds of history plaques. I adored the Old Fort. Part of the building, the blockhouse, is the oldest standing building in Montana (I think it's neat. Considering the fact that initially the whole fort was made of adobe, which is mud. Mud tends to not last for very long, but in 1906, the Daughters of the Civil War put up a strong stucco shell to preserve it). I'm kind of cloud nine for the most part. All of the furs and history and notes about brothel madames and guns is making me overly delighted, and it's marvellous. Oh, and other thing?

The hotel I'm staying in is allegedly haunted.

I can't find very much information, but it could be that the Grand Union Hotel is haunted. Furthermore, it could be that the third floor (where I am staying with my 'entourage') is haunted. Along with the rest of the hotel, inevitably. Here's a link to what I found, on the site Haunted Montana. Of course, being me, I tend to get excited and then I get paranoid anyways, so I'll undoubtedly start hearing or seeing things. And, being me, I won't believe any of it since I'm a solid sceptic. Still... I've always wanted to stay in a haunted hotel, or several, and now I am!! Who knew what would come out of staying an extra night on a trip?

That is all I can offer for now. I mostly wanted to share my current excitement, before I get dressed up in extravagant steampunkery-old westery to go for supper in the historic dining room. I doubt that I'll have a chance to post like this again until I return to Canada, so stay shiny and have a great half-week!



I am aware that taking photos of oneself in the mirror is super cheesy and something that teenagers do, since they don't have any one to take photos of them (and apparently don't know about a feature known as auto-timer?), I had to do this, just this once. Essentially, I wanted to show off the fringed bustle that I made. After putting it on with a corset, I am way happier with it than I thought I would be. It's not technically finished, but I am wearing it while away in Montana, since part of the aim of the trip is to dress steampunk-y and wild west-like the whole time. Why? I'm fabulous.

This photo is really poor quality... but more will come after my adventure!



I am absolutely delighted to know some people. Especially those who make things and make art and are all over creative and wonderful. One of these people was so kind as to make a silkscreen for me.
He also went as far as to make a squeegee for me. It's all such beautiful wood and so well made, and I can't wait to use them and start printing my own shirts. I have to wait to get a base first, and everything, but I'll be in the city in about a week, and I'll be able to pick up plenty of fine art supplies! I'm terribly excited. Who knows what kind of great things will come out of it?


Miscellaneous Mondays! Er.. I mean... Tuesdays...

Today was a day spent watching seasons of television shows on DVD, and making things. I got the majority of a skirt done, but I'm not completely pleased with it. Things need to be fixed and such... That will be done tomorrow or Thursday. Some time before I go to Montana to research and wonder and adventure in a Steampunk fashion.

To take a break from sewing, I decided to hunker down with Hellbound: Hellraiser II. It's a good 1980s horror movie, and in some ways I like it better than the first Hellraiser movie. I haven't watched any horror movies for a while (especially in the way of old horror movies), so it seemed like a good idea. That, combined with trying my hand at making chainmail. Chainmail proved to be a little frustrating, especially late at night. I used two sizes of jump rings (since a mix is what I had). I think that it may have made it easier, since I had a way to differentiate between what rings were supposed to link with what. The result of a while of work is...

It looks okay, I guess. Chainmail is one of those things where you need an extreme amount of it. Which is fine. I guess. Ish...

In other news, we have swallows living around our house. We always have, and they nest happily every year. They have had their babies, and their little chicks are almost fully grown, and probably ready to learn how to fly quite soon.

Aren't they dear?

[Note: I realize that baby birds has nothing to do with Hellraiser or chainmail. Still, I wanted to share the joy of birds with everyone.]


Curiouser and curiouser

Interest and excitement... Perhaps? I like weird things (shocking) and I also like making weird things. Today, I gained ownership of this bizarre porcelain-type doll. It's quite old (not sure how old). I'd like to make something out of it, or continue posing it with my lovely cat skull.

Along with that claim to ownership, I made a box, or rather decorated one. It's an evil Tooth Fairy box. It ties with a ribbon. The tooth in the shadow part box is a tooth from a cow skull. The cow skull was one that I found on the prairie. After finding a few skulls on the prairie, I've become weirdly fascinated with the idea of using bovine mandibles in larger pieces. I thought of trying to articulate a full cow skeleton. Then I realized... wait. I have absolutely no use for a giant skeleton. Instead, I just pulled a couple of loose teeth and made something like the piece below.

Marvellous. I'm delighted with things!


Shrodinger's Cat

...And cupcakes and sprinkles!
Every Wednesday, I bake. After a horrific episode, I decided that the best thing to make would be cupcakes. Cupcakes with sprinkles. And my usual ironic/strange/whatever messages that suggest I have stolen the cupcakes from someone.

Today, I followed suit with the latter, continuing from last summer. Last summer, cupcakes said such thing as 'Congratulations Steve' and 'Too bad Carol'. The cupcakes I decorated this morning are actually clever, and I will heavily congratulate anyone who gets it.

Since it's a little bit jumbled (limited space, y'know), I will kindly type the message with this beautifully clear font.

The letters read: "Erwin, I'm sorry about your cat." Only, quite obviously, in cupcake format.

Get it? GET IT??

Okay, I'll explain. You're aware of Schrodinger's Cat, yes? Well, it was a theory/experiment conducted, in which the end hypothesis is that if you cannot see the result, it is both of the possible results at the same time. In this case, a cat is put into a box with poison. The box is completely sealed. The idea is that without the actual answer, the cat is both alive and dead. I'm really not explaining this very well. I understand it, but for those of you who can't understand my banter (especially regarding science-y stuff), here is the link to the Wikipedia page about Schrodinger's Cat... Which may or may not be easier to understand.

Any who... Erwin is Schrodinger's first name. Ha ha ha... After haughtily explaining it (barely) it doesn't seem as funny. You be the judge. Regardless of if my co-workers find it funny or not, they get delicious cupcakes to help them get through a Wednesday. Everybody wins.


March Hare

My current muses include Alice In Wonderland and The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Both are what could be viewed as 'modern' fairy tales, but not quite. I adore and enjoy both stories for the curiousness and absurdity. They're so beautiful and strange, which is right up my alley of things that I find amorous.

In short, these are inevitably inspiration for the things I create. My first creation (besides past things that I've made), is the above. It is inspired by this character...
Judging by the shape of the ears, it must be none other than the March Hare! I'm planning to encapsulate all characters in Alice In Wonderland, but for now I am starting with the attendees of the Mad Tea Party. And the basics like Alice and the White Rabbit, of course. After that... Who knows! Whatever the case, I enjoy projects like this, and creating my own spin on well-known characters. Characters whom I consider close friends, based on the number of times that their stories have rested in my arms as I've drifted off to sleep.


Tea tea and more tea

I was sitting about reading 'The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls' by Emilie Autumn (I recommend it, especially if you know of and are fond of Emilie Autumn), and I decided that the correct thing to partake of during this time would be a cup of tea and saskatoons on ice cream.

During this time, I pondered the question of how much tea I've consumed in my lifetime (or at least in the ten years I've been drinking tea). With the help of my notebook and a computer calculator, I came to a rough (and very likely undervalued) answer.
 1560 LITRES. That is roughly how much tea I have consumed. This is based off of one cup a day, six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, for ten years. The reality is, I've likely consumed far more than this. I tend to drink far more than one cup a day, often drowning myself in pot after pot of the delicious amber liquid. It's not as if I regret the amount of tea that I've carefully sipped or poured down my throat. Tea is glorious, and nothing will ever change that.

I just like to be aware of answers to bizarre ponderings such as this, especially when numbers are involved.


Scone Nibbles

Ta-da! Weekly baking! This week I scoured Pinterest for a recipe which was delectable in appearance. This, of course, was not difficult to find, since everything on Pinterest looks delicious. The hard part was choosing something. I settled on 'Scone Nibbles' (you can find the recipe here). The recipe was quite successful, but I don't have any icing sugar (as far as I know), so I'll have to find something else to make a glaze out of. However, I have already devoured three, and have found that they're just fine without a glaze. Still, if you like something sweeter, I would suggest putting the glaze on.

For the chocolate pieces, I shaved and chopped three blocks of Bakers' chocolate. One block of unsweetened and two white chocolate. The unsweetened gives a really nice bitterness, and I don't know if you can taste the white chocolate or not, but I'm sure that it adds something.

I'm not sure how good mine look compared to the ones shown in the recipe, but I imagine that if I did add a glaze, they would look just as good and tens times as tasty (for the record, I'm basing 'tens times as tasty' off of the fact that if you ate the image on the recipe, it wouldn't taste very good. Unless you like electronics with your tea).

Just a couple of arbitrary tidbits...

A couple of things that don't necessarily warrant their own post, but I want to share with the world...

1. Crazy $6 t-shirt from Wal-Mart.
I will say that shopping at Wal-Mart makes me hate myself (and now their poly-fill stuffing has gone up to SEVEN DOLLARS! Isn't that an outrage? It used to be four, and I did believe that I couldn't get it cheaper anywhere else). However, I do enjoy buying cheap tank tops since I wear a lot of them and it makes sense to buy cheaply if I go through a lot any ways (FYI: You do get what you pay for, and I do like my more expensive tank tops way more). I also enjoy finding weird t-shirts. When I was at Wal-Mart (before being horrified at the rapid jump in the price of their craft stuffing), I found this doubleplusgood t-shrit.
Yeah. It's a cheetah (or leopard?) wearing a feather headdress. What? Yeah! That happened. It was the only one left or the only one to begin with and I've never been so happy to fit a x-small.

2. I made myself into a comic book character (without the help of those scammy-looking adverts on the side of social websites).
Ever want to edit your photos to amazing wonderment for free? Use Picasa. It's from Google, and it's glorious. I enjoy Google. They offer things that I need or want for free, and it's often better than other sites or services. Which is why I got this result...

....While editing my steampunk photos. How cool is this?? Very cool, that's how. I never have to be good at art again. I can just be a photographer for the rest of my life!

Kidding... I support the arts... But seriously. Google, you're great. I welcome you onto my computer with open arms and a happy smile.

Autem Mortimer

As promised, I finally have photos of the outfit that I made in the span of two weeks, in order to comfort myself during the time leading up to a steampunk event that I had planned and organized. I will likely never do that again, but on the bright side, I know what I am capable of in terms of designing and sewing. A full outfit in two weeks? Easy.

To explain, the outfit I created is the outfit of my character, Autem Mortimer. She is a young woman from Bannack, Montana, living there during the mid-1860s and into the 1870s. Her story is a painful one, and very extensive. Needless to say, the world she lives in is not the historic Old West we know, but one with steampunk attributes. This particular outfit created around her is from when she first moves West to Bannack, in hope of starting a new life after her husband is killed during the Civil War. All of the aspects of the clothing tie into either her character and history directly, or are things that would be common in this version of Montana/Montana Territory/Idaho Territory.

Without further ado....

 For the record, the character's hair would not normally be worn down. However, it was quite hot out, so I didn't feel like inserting my wool dreadlocks.

Also on the record, all aspects of this outfit were either made from scratch using found fabrics, or were re-purposed items (most of the re-purposed come from period-appropriate fabrics). The bustle skirt is my own design, and will be available for custom orders quite soon (as soon as I get a couple more made, for variety).


Black Lace

In my opinion, there are few things more ravishing than black lace. Lace in itself has existed for centuries, and black lace has gone through many meanings. It has been for mourning, for masking, for alluring. For today's adventures in Etsy, I found various items involving or based entirely upon black lace as a material. They delight me to no end, and in some cases cause me to want to turn my entire living space into a black-lace covered wonderland, bordering a combination between fantasy saloon parlour and a fortune teller's mysterious caravan.

Oh, black lace. Thou art a muse.



 Well, my steampunk-style outfit was a fair success. I don't have photos of the full outfit yet, but those will come soon. In the above image, you can vaguely see my felted dreads twisted into my hair, my hastily made ribbon and locket choker, part of my corset, skirts, and wrist cuffs.
And my edited goggles. My lovely (and useless) "riding" goggles. Lace, leather, and fabric. I like them, even though they're not terribly comfortable.


I dread...

I dread nothing! Except wool dreads. Ha. Lame puns.
I was inspired to try to make wool dreads, as something to add to the hair aspect of my steampunk outfit. I really like the way dreads look, and even if I can't add these to my current outfit, I think they'll fit in with another outfit I'm planning. These four took me about half an hour. I enjoy felting because it's one of those fibre arts that allows for great muscle toning. It's vigorous work, but terribly satisfying. These four dreads I made are a bit of an experiment set. I really like the pink ones. I like the dusty pink colour, and it will probably work the best with my outfit. If only I had brown wool bats... It would be perfect!

Now I am off for more steampunk adventures and whatever else I do in a day. Happy Thursday to everyone!

Goodnight Moon

While I was driving home last night, I noticed the moon rising. As far as astral beings go, the moon is likely my favourite. So many legends and myths, and beyond legend it is the most beautiful thing that hangs in our sky. Last night when it was rising, it was a brilliant orange, like a fireball hanging in the sky. It lightened ever so slightly as it rose higher and higher.
Grainy, zoomed-in photos simply do not do it justice. Still, this is a tiny farm off in the distance, overshadowed by the moon. I hate how impossible it is to photograph the moon... but then again, maybe that's the point.

And for the record, I was thinking of this song and had to switch to it immediately and listen to Said The Whale all the way home.