Steampunks at Wizard World Comic Con 2015

Yesterday I enjoyed working a booth with the Gateway City Ghostbusters. They offered me a free pass and I was very grateful for their generosity. However, I’d worked so hard on the playhouse, I didn’t have time for to create the cosplay I wanted. But I had a decent Batgirl and a lot of fun!!

I was really looking forward to seeing all the great steampunk and NeoVictorian outfits and my hometown/region did not disappoint. Here are some of the steampunk sightings from St.Louis. Note that I asked each person for use of their image for my blog. Enjoy!

Darling in pink:   
    The lady in red hand made her coat. The pic doesn’t do it justice. 

        This young man had such a great pack!!! How creative.

  

  You’ll know who this is if you look in his left hand. Clever!

  

   These ladies were here last year and out did themselves. Incredible detail and gorgeous lighting.

   
     

 House of Genevieve had some really lovely pieces. Some respect from one milliner to another.

  Wares from Dolls Gone Wrong. 

   
 

Characters from the steam web series Antediluvian looked fantastic:

   
 

  A friend and local steampunk who won last year as Tink has some interesting headgear and awesome weaponry.

 And I finally got to meet Marcibel MusicalAutomation who is part of Airship Vindus and Antediluvian.

Lastly, me and a few other favs from the show:

Who you gonna call? 

 With Gateway City Ghostbusters

Giving Slimer a kiss: 

  

  Above, when the floodgates opened!
Some of my favorite interesting characters:   
  

  

 

Me and Captain Jack: 

 
And one really fine dancing Iron Man: 

 Updates on the finished playhouse and A Midsummer’s Night Steam coming soon. As always, thank you for reading!

-Victoria
-Upcoming shows:
-Saturday May 30th Corvid’s Cafe, Cakeway To the West Artists Show

-Friday June 5th 1900 Park Creative Space, A Midsummer’s Night Steam, a steampunk installation, open the month of June.

-Thursday June 25th The Heavy Anchor Art/Craft Fair

-TBA July Stray Rescue’s Urban Wanderers dog art show

-July 25-26th The AKC Museum of the Dog, solo weekend dog art show

-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle. Sorry for the delay, working out a few kinks and have sooo many irons in the fire right now.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle AND IS ON SALE FOR $.99, extended THROUGH MAY! Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon! All of The Vampire’s Little Black Book Series stories are on sale for only $.99 as well. My amazon author page link:

http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-L.-Szulc/e/B00CDFDIBI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1428805315&sr=8-1
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Mardi Gras, Pet Parade St. Louis Style 2015

Last Sunday was simply gorgeous in St. Louis and a perfect day for a parade. I marched in the Beggin’ Strips Pet Parade in the Soulard neighborhood with a bunch of cake lovers/hunters from the stl250 Cakeway to the West project. I met these lovely folks through Facebook after completing my cake sculpture for the project, “The Spirit of St. Louis” (details in my earlier blog). I got a costume from work and decided to Ren it for the parade, where the dogs are more often dressed up than the people.

Although this post is not directly steampunk related, the neighborhood in which the parade runs through was built during the Victorian era. You’ll see a hint of the era’s architecture in some of the photos. The area was founded largely by French and German settlers which make it an excellent location for Mardi Gras and any German heritage celebrations like Oktoberfest.

St. Louis celebrates the second largest Mardi Gras in the U.S. after New Orleans. Of the three parades held during the season, the pet parade is probably the most family friendly. For a $10 fee, you and your pet can walk in the pet parade and your pet is entered in the costume contest. Donations go to the Open Door Animal Sanctuary with $1 going to Petfinder Organization in St. Louis. Or you can simply watch for free. The Weiner Dog Derby is immediately afterwards, with dauchshund dogs competing for prices in an exciting short race to the finish. Relatively new, is a concert after the Derby. This year’s band was Blues Traveler who provided an excellent musical soundtrack to the street party. I hope you enjoy the pics, I got inspired to do a little vamping up (in the 2nd part of this post). The temperature got into the low 70’s, and I even got a little sunburnt. Fun was had by all two and four legged friends.

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The Barkus Pet Parade cake.

 

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Let them eat cake. Doing my best queen pose.

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Our banner carriers.

 

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One of our canine cake “walkers”.

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Even this pot bellied pig got in on the action.

 

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On the throne, appropriately dressed

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Someone had a little too much parade…

 

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Our cake “mascot”, made of balloons.

When I got home, I didn’t want to waste the use of the costume, so I went into Ren cosplay, Lady Woodbridge mode (from The Vampire’s Little Black Book series perhaps?).

First a close up of the eye make up of golds, greens and purple, then the haughty queen came out:

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But knowing, with a smirk and a seductive smile. Sometimes thoughtful, even sweet.

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Always watchful and peeking over her shoulder…

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Later at night, becoming more of a saucy wench than a lady. Strong and coy, she knows how to defeat her enemies..

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..yet regally seductive.

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Thank you for indulging in my Ren silliness that ended up with some great photos. I might put some in the Etsy store, speaking of which…

Please remember the sale in my Etsy store, 25% off with code LUVMASKS through Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for reading,

Victoria

______________

-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! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

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Revamping the Vamp, Get to Know Will

When I was writing my first steampunk novel “Strax and the Widow”, I got distracted by whole different genre and character. I wondered what would it be like for a modern day vampire searching for “the one” in modern times. What do you do with eternity on your hands? Could you really fall in love with one person? And if that person were human, could you avoid killing them? Would you tire of an endless life?

I know that this theme is not exactly unique, but I wanted to write a series from the view point of the vampire. Climb into his mind and share his story. And thus my character Will and “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series was born.

I like the short story format for this series. Each one is written like episodic television; a new adventure or peek into Will’s past. The first in the series “The Long Moonlight” might start off a little mushy, but read it all the way through to discover what’s at the heart of Will.

I like Will. For a vampire, he’s still pretty human. He loves women, but like most men, even after being alive over 600 years, has yet to completely figure them out. He has tremendous powers and desires. He is tempted, and sometimes can’t control his undead yearnings. Will’s made some serious mistakes and like most of us, his past still haunts him. He’s sweet, dirty, passionate, smart, dangerous, sexy, and sometimes a jerk, but always complex and charming.

I’ve just released V.1o “The Vamp Hit List”. It will be available to download for FREE on Wednesday November 19th on amazon/kindle. Remember, you don’t have to have a kindle to get the ebooks. You can download the Kindle app to almost any electronic device.

The whole FIRST ebook series will be FREE FOR THE LAST TIME EVER on 11/30, 12/1, and 12/26. After that you’ll have to purchase them or the upcoming compilation of all the stories, “The First Ten Bites”. I hope to have it available in hard copies/paperbacks by late spring.

Will is going to go away for a bit for a revamp as I wrap up my second steampunk novel in “The Society Series”, “Revenge and Machinery”. Some of the titles will have new artwork and new formatting, so be sure to download on the FREE dates. More of Will’s new adventures will arrive later in 2015.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the series. Please feel free to share the free download dates and rate on amazon and goodreads. I’d love to see your comments.

As always, thank you for reading,

-Victoria

The Vampire’s Little Black Book series is 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! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

Image

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

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

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-Fine Art America-store coming soon

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to mysteampunkproject.wordpress.com

It’s been two years ago this month that I started this blog. I can’t believe that much time has passed already. My adventure into steampunk as an art form has been creative, stimulating, educational, fun, but most of all, satisfying. If you want to read any of my blogs, there all here. But if you only have time for one, let it be this because there is such a spectacular array of neat things here.

I’ve welcomed you into this process and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, creative explosions and delays. Personal and professional challenges have arisen, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. If you’re new to blog, please take a gander at my previous entries. It was one year ago this week that I had a major surgery that truly changed my life.  I am grateful to be alive. And yep, I blogged about it (see How to Turn a Herniated Umbilical into Vampire Material).

I’m keeping this entry short. I’m going to share a few of my favorite pics and give an update on Strax and the Widow. Strax will be digitally published next month. I’ve jumped some incredible hurdles to finally get it into print. But I don’t regret a single minute of the work. It has been pure pleasure. Thank you to my beta readers, editor and designer. I can not wait to unleash Kate Church on the world. Please watch my social media links below for a definite release date and enjoy some of my most popular works.

As I selected the pics below, I realize how far I’ve come as a maker, creator and chameleon. I did all the make up, modelling and costuming for the pics below unless credited otherwise. Enjoy! And thank you for reading.

Steam WhiteSPCountess  (480x640)My first and favorite hat, not for sale.

DerbyBrown SuedeBlue

Yes, I love hats. I hope you do too because….

Fire Feather Hat 1Another favorite hat. But it’s for sale in my Etsy store.

CH8The Clockwork Hat, also available in my Etsy store.

Dual key hole necklace.

Dual key hole necklace.

 Some unique and gorgeous jewelry.

I’ve definitely had some fun with horror and cosplay as well:

Cover of Everyone Looks Better Undead.

Cover of Everyone Looks Better Undead.

 

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

And then some style. Day of the Dead Indeed

Cover shot for "Can You Hear My Heart Beating?"

Cover shot for “Can You Hear My Heart Beating?”

 

Iconic image of how a hero "should" be.

Iconic image of how a hero “should” be.

A bit pensive.One of my fabulous hats and my favorite steam wig.

Some steam influence on two large public art projects, The Harry and Hanley Project (“The Clockwork Cat”) and stl250 Cakeway to the West (“The Spirit of St. Louis”).

Clockwork A3Cake 32

GM 1

A little mystery here.

 I’ve gone on some fun adventures:

Compton Heights Water Tower and the Gypsy Caravan.

Compton Heights Water Tower and the Gypsy Caravan.

Autumn In Lafayette Park. Photography John Moore.

Autumn In Lafayette Park. Photography John Moore.

The Countess Awaits on the Bridge. Photography John Moore.

The Countess Awaits on the Bridge. Photography John Moore.

Under the Bridge. Photography, John Moore

Under the Bridge. Photography, John Moore

Comic Con STL 2014

Comic Con STL 2014

 

PL12Best house tour ever, from Lafayette Square earlier this summer.

And so much more to come, 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.

Image

 

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

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

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-CafePress and Fine Art America-stores coming soon

 

 

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.

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

 

 

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

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-CafePress and Fine Art America-stores coming soon

 

 

 

An Unexpected Start of Summer and Let Them Eat Cake Pt. 2

I can’t say my start to summer was completely unexpected, but some good and bad things happened right off the bat. Let’s get the bad out of the way first. I lost my full time job. For those that know me personally, this has been torture. It had been unreliable for a long, long time; years really. I have been buried in paperwork for insurance, job hunting, unemployment, etc. I think after almost a month of this I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, I have a roof overhead, food to eat and a lot of support.

On the good side, once this paperwork is through, I have a clean slate and I can work on my creative projects. “Strax and the Widow” is going through my beta readers now. It’s my first full fledged novel. I am so excited to finally release it soon. I am looking forward to a summer of working on its sequels and creative projects.

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I’ll be posting updates frequently on my Facebook page, The Countess Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Schultz.

I made what hopes to be my annual trip to the Gypsy Caravan on Memorial Day, an annual flea market that supports the St. Louis Symphony. I found $10 on the ground right after a friend and I passed through the entry gate, which covered my entry fee. Made some neat cheap but gorgeous finds that will most likely appear on some of my upcoming millinery pieces. Please watch my Etsy store for new stuff arriving soon. Which means some old stuff will need to go, so some sales coming!

One project that’s completed and on display is my STL250 Cakeway to the West sculpture, “The Spirit of St. Louis”. It is at Soldier’s Memorial downtown. Their link is stlsoldiersmemorial.org. I was honored to attend the Memorial Day services with many veterans from the local American Legion Posts. Please visit! The museum is FREE, but they take donations. There are pictures below. This is how summer SHOULD be started.

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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.

-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, CafePress and Fine Art America-coming soon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comic Con STL Part 1-Steampunked

This is the first part of a two part blog on an awesome weekend with Wizard World Comic Con St. Louis 2014. I really wanted to go after missing it last year to go to an urelated show out of town. As I was a little short on the entry fee, I volunteered to be a part of the Cosplay Circuit, or basically the online costume contest through Facebook. I spent about half the weekend taking pics of some fantastic costumes and cosplayers. Good show everyone!

I did have a little time to do some exploring around the show and my own cosplay. But for this first part of the blog I’d just like to share some photos of my Steampunked Joker and some of the Steampunks that showed up for the event.

Here is my makeup and wig test shots before going to the show on Saturday.

Eye Make Up Full Make UpWig

Wig-Leg Avenue

 

The Steampunk Panel including Joshua Hart and Steampunk Boba Fett.

Steampunk PanelSteampunk Panel 2Steampunk Boba Fett

 

A friend, Julie Wilhelm debuting a new character.

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Josh Thompson and Erin Howat. Erin would go on to win an honorable mention in the live Cosplay Costume Contest.

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Various other Steampunks with all kinds of great gear!

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One of my favorite vendors had little fun Octopus! Courtesy of jaynedanger.com

Octopus!

 

If you would like to vote for any of the cosplayers in the online Cosplay Circcuit contest search for this link on Facebook: Cosplay Circuit Digital Hall Awards – St. Louis

Thank you for reading, part two coming later this week. Also a quick thank you for my likes on Facebook; I recently hit 200 and some prizes will be given out soon!

-Victoria

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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.

-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

-Tuumblr, CafePress and Fine Art America-coming soon

 

 

Let Them Eat Cake, From St. Louis, Pt.1

During this adventure into Steampunk as an art form, I’ve been lucky enough to use it as a theme for some interesting public art projects. Last year I did the “Clockwork Cat” for The Harry and Hanley Project. A couple years ago, I did a steampunk corset and hat coupling for Soulard Art Market’s “Fashion Art” show. I featured both works in previous blogs.

Late last year, I was selected to participate in the stl250.org “Cakeway to the West”. My hometown, St. Louis, MO, the city I love, is celebrating its 250th birthday this year. stl250 is the community group promoting different events surrounding the city’s anniversary. “Cakeway to the West” is the visual component of this project. 250 fiberglass cakes were supplied to artists for “decorating”. Artists provided a theme and worked with the Regional Arts Commission and the Contemporary Art Museum on execution and placement in the St. Louis region.

My love for the machinery aspect of steampunk led me to choose Charles Lindbergh’s flight over the Atlantic in “The Spirit of St. Louis” which also became the name of my cake. Not only is the wonderful airplane featured on the cake, but a portrait of Lindberg and two airlines which started in Missouri, Ozark and TWA, are featured as well.

The top of the cake is painted with a faux propeller. Painted clouds form the icing. An oversized pair of goggles rests on the backside, while a flight scarf is draped around the two layers of the cake. I used one of my favorite mediums, soft acrylics and medium gloss sealant, to complete “The Spirit of St. Louis”.

I hope you enjoy some of the “in process” photos. My cake was placed at Creve Coeur Lake in St. Louis County. I can’t tell you exactly where, as stl250.org is doing a bit of a scavenger hunt. So please. feel free to look at the stl250.org website to see the Cake Leaderboard and join in the hunt. And just like the “Clockwork Cat”, I’ll have a steam inspired photo shoot as soon as we have some better weather.

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Please note: I had difficulties with my hautehen.com website in January and February. It is under reconstruction with a new host and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s back up. I’ll also have the new parts of the Mardi Gras mask series in the next couple blogs.

Thank you for reading and your support,

-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

-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

-Tuumblr, CafePress and Fine Art America-coming soon