Jewels from the Painted Ladies

At the Lafayette Square House tour, I picked of some fabulous jewels. These aren’t the standard kind of  “jewels” you might be thinking of. Instead, they are pieces from the Victorian houses of Lafayette Square. Specifically, they are key hole plates from the locks of the doors and frames.

On my jaunt to the Lafayette House tour (mentioned in the blog before this) I wrote of running past the antique market and stopping at one certain vendor. I was stunned at the beauty of the key plates he had obtained after rehabbing many of the painted ladies in the neighborhood. I bought a few.

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I was pleasantly stunned at their detail and knew immediately I’d use them for jewelry. I found some great belt clasps at the Gypsy Caravan a couple weeks before. I suddenly had matches made in Steampunk jewelry heaven, as seen here on my drawing/craft board:

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I was particularly enraptured with dual key hole plate. It has a rotating cover that was stuck with rust, dirt and grime. After some careful cleaning and oiling, I was able to make it operational again. It became the center piece of the dual keyhole necklace below. I added some chain, gears and an antique looking time piece for a really stunning necklace. This one might be a keeper!

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Checking the lay of the chain and pieces.

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An antique belt closure I chose for the clasp.

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Time piece detail. Note, this is not an antique; I picked it up at a craft store. However, I felt like it fit the necklace perfectly.

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The amazing dual key hole plate with rotating cover.

The finished product is stunning!

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I used another, smaller, simpler plate to make a second necklace. I again paired it with an antique belt clasp, but this time I used ribbon for a more genteel look.

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Antique belt closure used for the clasp.

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The key hole plate is the centerpiece of the design.

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I added some gears and a sweet little crown trinket.

Again, the results were lovely.

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Both pieces will be available for viewing and purchase as part of the CAM Open Studios tour at The London Tea Room, 3128 Morganford on Sunday 6/29/14, from 11am-5pm. I will have many drawings, paintings and artistic gift items available as well. Some sample items starting at $1! Would love to see you there.

Please follow me on my social media and web links below.

Thank you for reading,

Victoria

The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is available on amazon/kindle.

Product Details

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-“Strax and the Widow” will debut this summer on Amazon/Kindle.

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The Painted Ladies of Lafayette Square

Twice a year, the Lafayette Square neighborhood of St. Louis, MO puts on one hell of a house and garden tour. Or at least I can tell you how special this one was. I was originally going to be a vendor in the antiques market, but I had a few issues getting some things together for a booth in time. Being unemployed didn’t help, but I am now re-employed, and that’s for a different blog. So I decided to sign up for the tour instead. I needed to do some research on the area for the third book of the Society Trilogy, “Lafayette to London”.  And I can’t tell you how glad I went, despite oversleeping and a couple hours of rain. I also ran into an author that was working on a history of the neighborhood. Can’t wait for that book to come out!

A quick couple general notes: I have to say it was incredibly well organized. There were signs on the street, a good website, and social media publicity. Visitors checked-in at a welcome tent at Lafayette Park and received a wrist band that allowed easy access to the tour. I was given a very well designed brochure of the tour and the weekend’s events. There was a trolley, a raffle, food trucks, plein air painters, and vintage baseball! This piece of info was priceless, as it contained a complete detailed listing of the homes and gardens along with fantastic descriptions and an excellent map. They also offered free water, as it was very hot and humid (more on that later).

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Lafayette Park, at the center of the neighborhood, was open, the stl250.org Cakeway to the West cake sculpture was available for pictures under a canopy. There was a fantastic antique market that surrounded the park as well. The event was spread over two days, but I attended the Saturday.

So I got a late start after I didn’t set my alarm correctly. There was also good chance for storms, but the events went on rain or shine. And away I went.

I’ve been to the park before, even had some great steampunk shots done there by John Moore. But today was different, even better than previous visits. The enthusiasm of the volunteers, staff and vendors was infectious. After checking in, I hurried past several vendors to the first house. But one antique dealer had some fabulous key hole plates that I could not pass up. I got a few for under $10 as the sky clouded over. There is going to be something awesome done with these babies:

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And so by the time I got to the first house, the rain had started, but my spirits were not dampened. Each home or “painted ladies” as they are called, will be captioned with their address. I visited all 13 homes and a couple of the gardens. Enjoy the tour through my eyes.

 

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1810 S.18th St. Daven & Kathie Anderson had wonderful artworks and history on display.

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1828 Hickory, Lovingly restored with modern solar panels and garden roof top.

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Roof top garden 1828 Hickory

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1803 Rutger, built the same year Union Station was constructed.

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2007 Park Ave, Park Avenue Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Had once been both a funeral home and birthing hospital.

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Beautiful side view of 2007 Park Ave.

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Garden of 2007 Park Ave.

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Mote of the gorgeous garden of 2007 Park Ave.

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Garden gate of 2007 Park Ave.

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2011 Park had my favorite exterior. The third floor was completely restored from a fire.

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2011 Park fire escape.

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2011 Park Ave bedroom. Absolutely gorgeous light fixture.

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2011 Park Ave. stunning parlor.

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20 Benton had a luscious garden.

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30 Benton Place, a darling house.

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34 Benton Place, gorgeous inside and out.

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Not on the tour but gorgeous.

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9 Benton Place, on one of the oldest streets in the country.

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2333 Park Ave, done in Edwardian and Arts and Crafts style.

 

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2340 Park Ave., simply beautiful.

2351 Albion.-I am giving this house special recognition because of how well it has been restored and furnished. The next set of pictures are all from this beautiful mansion. I will confess that this was by far my favorite. They even had a brothel safe in one of the bedrooms! If any of my books are made into a movie, I want it shot in this house. I was so in awe of the inside I forgot to take a picture of the outside!

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Not on the tour, but check out that domed turret!

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2332 Wittemore Place

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2114 Lafayette, my second favorite house on the tour!

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The tour was spectacular; the sun even came out. They have a tour at Christmastime also; see Lafayettesquare.org

Thank you for reading! Please check into my links below.

Victoria

The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is available on amazon/kindle.

Product Details

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-“Strax and the Widow” will debut this summer on Amazon/Kindle.

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-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

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-CafePress and Fine Art America-stores coming soon

 

 

 

 

Full Moon Fever

This past Friday was a rarity, a Full Moon on a Friday the 13th. So rare, they say it won’t happen again until 2049. We had beautiful weather in the Lou. Clear skies, a lovely wind and temperatures in the 70’s.

Most of the day had been frustrating for me; still filling out paperwork, applying for jobs and trying to get some creative work done. I wasn’t feeling my best (some “female” issues), I got a little burnt by a heating pad, my AC unit needed servicing and I was just beat up in general.

Being broke and restless, I headed to the lookout point on the roof of my apartment building to get a look this special lunar event. I even got a little Steampunked. What resulted was somewhat magical. Most of the following are photos include a hat that I did not make, but accessorized. The topper is the “Godfather” style from Scala Classico that I bought at Levin’s Hat Company here in St. Louis. So enjoy the photos. I unfortunately did not get any really good shots of the moon itself, but it’s in the background of a few shots. Still the night felt mystical.

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I started out inside for some test shots. Below, eye and lip makeup.

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Then I got a little sassy.

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And then up to the roof top to enjoy the sunset. I started cosplaying a bit; who am I? The answer came as a gambler in the Steampunk West, perhaps taking a break after some winning hands.

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The view and sunset were spectacular.

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Above, the MLK and Eads bridges, the Gateway Arch, and the Edward Jones Dome.

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Perhaps the ring was won after playing an incredibly good hand?

 

 

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What a pistol, eh? Playing silly, then serious. Did the player get played? Then night fell…

 

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The Gateway Arch and the MLK and the Eads Bridge in the early eve.

The full moon rose like a plump juicy orange. And on a Friday the 13th, things could get a little, um interesting…

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The player is unabashedly witty, then stern, even smirking. She knows how to throw them off their game.

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With the moon to her back she has a knowing smile. Fierce determination came to the surface.

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The game is almost over. She’s ready to win.

My social media links are below. Thank you for reading,

Victoria

The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is now available on amazon/kindle.

Product Details

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-“Strax and the Widow” will debut this summer on Amazon/Kindle.

Image

 

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tumblr-thesteampunkcountess

-CafePress and Fine Art America-stores coming soon