Fruition

The main character in my book “Strax and the Widow”, Kate Church, has a moment in which she cleverly escapes her nemesis in very crafty and surprising fashion. It’s the main plot twist in my steampunk adventure. Obviously, I won’t give it away, but Kate’s plans had come to fruition. A phase in which I’m enjoying right now.

2014 was a pretty tumultuous year. I was finally fired from an agonizing job I’d tried so hard to leave. I ended up finding employment in my field within a few short weeks, doing almost the exact same position. I left after about three months, taking a leap of faith to really pursue my art, with a full time job at costume/party shop for back up.

But with all the hard work I’ve put in, I’ve created a solid foundation on which to continue pursuing my passion. Dreams are being put into action. Books and art are being created and sold. Manifestation is becoming my middle name. I’ve got a list of plans and ideas a mile long. I believe that they too will come to fruition.

I’m cutting out what’s not working. Have had a cafepress store for years and like Facebook, they kept changing rules, commissions, etc. Not a single sale all year, so good bye. Google+? I’m on it, but I never post there.

What is working? WordPress of course, but I am getting rid of the actual Scoop from the Coop blog. One art blog is enough. Mysteampunkproject celebrated its second anniversary and I’m well into my third year of blogging.

Etsy is the best place to find my art (in The Haute Hen store). I am experimenting with a few others, but for now, I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the 7,000 views in my Etsy store. As promised, I’ve just added some photo prints and more unique steampunk and gift items are on their way.

I will remember and savor other good things from 2014:

I finished my first full novel, “Strax and the Widow” and completed the first ten volumes of “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series.

I had a juried piece in the superbowl of dog art, “The Art Show at the Dog Show” and had two pieces selected for the prestigious 2015 Washington Dog Park Calendar.

I did some set design for an indie movie “I Remember Me” from a talented writer and director Chelsea Zotta. I’ll let you know when it’s released. It should be awesome.

I was selected for another public, large scale art project, stl250 Cakeway to the West. My cake, “The Spirit of St. Louis” was displayed at the Soldier’s Memorial in downtown St. Louis and was later auctioned off for charity. It’s currently on loan to Patti-Ann’s Exchange, a unique art and resale shop.

The only promoting for this blog is my Etsy store. Again, thank you for 7,000+ views! So to celebrate Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day, there’s a 25% off code LUVMASKS25 in the store for ALL items. The link to a fabulous mask and the store is here:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/182900579/steampunk-gold-mardi-gras-light-up?

As always, thank you for reading,

-Victoria

Day of the Dead 2014

It’s been an insanely busy Halloween season. I managed to squeeze in some new creations, all with a Day of the Dead/Halloween theme. My last creation first, a Dead of the Dead, Mardi Gras bunny mask, now available in TheHauteHen Etsy store.

I built this on a pre-existing black mask, a template I have used before in “The Heroine” series.

DOD Bunny 6

After hot glue, some embroidered trim and roses, I got the result I wanted. A sassy bunny mask that’s perfect for any costume occasion.

DOD Bunny 3DOD Bunny 4DOD Bunny 5

Add a little makeup…

DOD Bunny 7

And let the photo fun begin…

DOD Bunny 1DOD Bunny 2DOD Bunny 8DOD Bunny 9

Then on to business…I had a great buyer in my Etsy store who bought my Day of the Dead Groom Hat with a few modifications…

Groom 7 Groom 8

And then she commissioned a voodoo belt for her husband, which was really fun to put together. I sent her a sketch, bought some neat pieces including a beaver skull from the Etsy store (and friend) Guiditta Testa.

Voodoo 1A Voodoo 1B Voodoo 2 Voodoo 3 Voodoo 4 Voodoo 5 Voodoo 5A Voodoo 5AA Voodoo 5B Voodoo 5BB Voodoo 5C Voodoo 6

And Elizabeth Rios and her husband looked fabulous in their creations!

Rios 1 Rios 2 Rios 3

So much more happened last month, but that is for the next blog. Thank you for reading!

Victoria

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

Will has returned in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers” on amazon/kindle. Volumes 1-8 are also available on amazon/kindle. They are always FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

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

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads!

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

-Fine Art America-store coming soon

Random Thoughts on Being Sick

This is a short one and not what I expected to blog for October. My car got broken into about a week ago, but they stole nothing, just busted a lock. I’ve been working like crazy. Hopefully the next blog will be filled with Halloween and costume happiness. Meanwhile, enjoy these random thoughts on being sick:

-I absolutely hate being sick. Period.

-I have now returned to my classic pre-summer vampire white skin.

-Of course we have two of the most wonderful Fall days in St. Louis. The Cardinals lost in the playoffs, but the Rams and Blues won this weekend. Yet I am stuck on the couch or in bed.

-Why does everything look so good on tv, yet I have no appetite?

-I wanted to at least severely reprimand the guy (an adult mind you) that picked his nose in the fitting room line. OK, I wanted to kill him, but I can’t afford to go to jail.

-The part I hate most about going to the doctor (besides cost, I don’t have health insurance), explaining my low body temp. Today at Urgent Care I checked in at a comfortable 97.7. Yep. I feel like dirt and have the temperature of a reptile that runs through it. But my neck is swollen like a chipmunk. I’ve had strep and the flu and not run a fever. OK, at least my blood pressure was awesome.

-This time it hit pretty fast. Went from a slight headache Friday afternoon, to not sleeping that night because I felt like I’d gargled with razor blades.

-Sleep is my friend at last. When I did finally fall asleep on Sat. morning I had to text in sick to work. Got some OTC meds and gatorade and went back to bed. Watched some tv and did a little work on my costume. Took another nap. More tv. Bed early. Slept ten hours. Text in sick again. Urgent Care and pharmacy about 3.5 hours. Home and another nap. As of 3:30pm today, I’ve slept almost twenty-four hours. Sad to see most of my waking hours were at the doc’s office or getting meds.

-Surreal sick moment of the day, got my windows open and wake up from nap to people yelling and stuff. Turn on the tv to see that the Rams won. Lookout to notice the happy traffic of fans and the leaves changing color on the Arch grounds. Another beautiful day wasted. Cursed flu, but at least it’s a pretty day.

-The Countess is having tea and a bit of a lie down as they say in the UK. Stupid f’n virus, as we say in the US.

OK, will stop groaning now. What’s coming up?

Will the vampire returns soon in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book Series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers”. Since I really don’t feel like doing anything else, I will be writing a bit later on. Keep a watch on my social media links for its release.

Stay healthy my friends, and thanks, as always, for reading,

Victoria

___________

Will returns soon in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series, “Svetlana Red and the Chevaliers” on amazon/kindle. The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc and volumes 1-7 are also available on amazon/kindle. They are FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Product Details

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

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads!

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

-Fine Art America-stores coming soon

Hats Off for Dia de los Muertos!

As Halloween approaches, I wanted to do a little more Dia de los Muertos style and autumnal hats. This blog celebrates those who have left us with some Day of the Dead creativity done in photo essay style. The hats and many other unique items are in my Etsy store, https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHauteHen  Please enjoy!

First off, a simple sun hat for fall festivals and wineries….

Autumn Hat 6 Autumn Hat 3 Autumn Hat 1

Next up, a classic Day of the Dead Katrina Veil. I decided to go with traditional “less perfect” sugar skull makeup for this shoot and focus on the hats.

DOD Veil 1 DOD Veil 2 DOD Veil 3 DOD Veil 4 DOD Veil 5 Veil Full

Then a beautiful bride’s top hat, complete with a long veil and light up sugar skull!

IBride Etsy 1 Bride Etsy 2 Bride Etsy 3 Bride Etsy 4 Bride Etsy 5 R Bride 1 R Bride 2 R Bride 4 R Bride 7 R Bride 9

Finally, the Groom’s hat, a sweet little topper, also with a light up sugar skull on top!

Groom Etsy 1 Groom Etsy 2 Groom Etsy 3 Groom Etsy 4 Groom R 1 Groom R 2 Groom R 3 Groom R 4 Groom R 5

Thank you for this quick little visual foray into the Day of the Dead. Thank you for reading.

Victoria

________________

Will returns soon in v.9 of The Vampire’s Little Black Book series, “Svetlana Red” on amazon/kindle. The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc and volumes 1-7 are also available on amazon/kindle. They are FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Product Details

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

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads!

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

-Fine Art America-stores coming soon

Random Thoughts on Turning 45 and the Day of the Dead

“When you’re lost outside, look inside to your soul.”-The Voice Within, Christina Aguilera, Lyrics by Glenn Ballard

Day of the Dead Indeed

Day of the Dead Indeed

About a week ago as I prepped this blog, I pulled out Christina Aguilera’s “Stripped” CD. Yes, the CD, so I can listen in my car, which like the CD, is also over ten years old. I like the messages that run through the whole album: strength, independence, faith, and confidence.

This blog is a bit more self-indulgent and revealing because today (October 5th) is my birthday, but the next few will return to my journeys and experiences that will transfer to my works. And yes, Will the vampire will have a new episode in time for Halloween.

As I feel a bit reflective, and am recovering from a terrible bout of laryngitis, enjoy my random thoughts on turning and being forty-five.  Because I can’t express myself verbally, I’ve also enclosed some recent new work, Day of the Dead make up and hat creation.

Thanks for reading,

-Victoria

The Random Thoughts:

I like myself much more than I did in my 20’s. Yep, despite some fat, scars, and injuries, I’m a far better person now than I was then. I took the picture at the bottom of this entry a couple of months ago, sans makeup. Not too shabby eh?  How do I look with makeup? A LOT of makeup? See more on the recent Day of the Dead imagery at the end of this piece.

Yep, all natural.

Yep, all natural.

Please don’t tell me I “should” do anything. You will be met with an icy stare of some sort or I’ll tune you out. I have a marketing plan for my life and I’m not into chasing someone else’s dreams. God has a plan for me. Your plan is not mine.

Don’t tell me I “can’t” do anything. I’ll make it happen. It might be easy, it might be a struggle, it might take longer than expected, but I’ll do it.

I’m not afraid to say no. However, this is different from saying yes to good opportunities. As a child I was teased a bit about being “picky Vicki”. As an adult I’m not ashamed to say I know what like and don’t like.

I have no desire to have kids whatsoever. Children are awesome, really. I admire my siblings and friends and their skill in raising their families. I like being Aunt Vicki. However, I just don’t have the patience for the little ones. I’m OK with not using my uterus. I give birth to creativity instead. OK, I digress, unless George Clooney comes knocking….

I love my name; I thank God almost daily that my parents choose it. It’s the essence of romance, royalty, and everything at Victoria’s Secret has my name on it.

I like younger men; I always have. Not in the “call me momma” way, though (see note above about the lack of desire for children), over 30-ish preferred. But I won’t cut out dating the age spectrum; the last one was twelve years older. Married men need not apply. I don’t cheat, PERIOD. Karma’s one mean bitch; I don’t tempt fate. But speaking of men…

I’m grateful that my last relationship (the longest I’ve had) didn’t end with bitterness. Sadness, yes. Anger, no. My ex is still my friend that I run into occasionally, but the love for him is gone. I think I’m ready for the next love to come along-that is if he can keep up with me.

I am grateful to be alive. I’ve had some health issues and two brushes with death (almost poisoned by carbon monoxide and my recent emergency surgery) but I get to walk this earth today. I try to remind myself to take better care of me and our planet so I can continue to roam.

I don’t get embroiled in politics. I develop solutions. If you don’t vote, participate or volunteer, please stop griping and do something about “it”.

I toot my own horn, because if I don’t promote or believe in myself, no one else will. It’s called marketing with confidence.

Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one. If I ask you yours, it’s because I trust you and need your perspective.

My writing and artwork is honest. If it isn’t, I’m not doing my job and the work will suck.

I would rather be punched in the face than have to deal with cockroaches. I hate those bastards.

I will miss my mom until the day I die.

I laugh a lot and crack really bad jokes. Get used to it.

There is no life without risk.

I am a romantic fool.

I like it when people underestimate me. There is nothing like blowing away those that try to hold you down.

This year is going to be one of my best ever. Watch and enjoy.

_______________

I am doing more millinery work. I usually start with a sturdy base hat and then get creative. I have hats ready for purchase and the first one out of the chute is a ladies Day of Dead topper. Of course, once I started photography I couldn’t resist doing a cosplay and makeup. Enjoy the pictures of the process and finished product.

Started with Makeup

Started with Makeup

 

 Added a wig.


Added a wig.

And some roses.

And some roses.

And the hat.

And the hat.

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

The Day of the Dead hat is available for purchase, $50 plus MO tax and shipping. If interested please email me at vschultz@hautehen.com by October 7th .  After that, it goes into my etsy shop, TheHauteHen; more goodies available there shortly.

Hat Details:

Hat measures about 22” circumference on the inside.

Longest section of veil is 38”, the shorter is about 36”, both long enough to drape over the top and front, or around your neck.

Ostrich plume is about 12”.

Décor includes black and white roses, white mini fan, black plume, veil, and silver/black skull. All attached with either glue (white and Krazy), Duck tape and/or sewn in. Veil is attached with a square knot in the back. I do not recommend removing it to clean; spot clean instead.

Hat is signed on the inside.

DOD Sale 2 DOD Sale 1