Friday, 23 July 2010

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Dearest Terry,

Hope your latest excursion with Oolon wasn't too nerve-wracking and that you didn't need all that gin you packed to cope with his piloting skills. You did remember to take your Brownie along, didn't you, or at least one of those new-fangled gizmos? I always like looking at your holiday snaps, they're funny - all those running feet and blurry images. And you say your Brownie isn't fond of a tipple!

Anyway - (I'd better hurry up, the butterflies are looking aggrieved at me taking so long to write this) - I've been making stuff again. This is part of a watch I picked up ages ago from the Rummage Man. The bracelet was damaged, had been badly repaired and the case was a bit corroded, but it had ever such a pretty movement when I levered it out of the back. I don't know about you, but sometimes I find it really hard to break these objects up, even when they are very poorly and neglected. Maybe its just me, but taking apart something that somebody put together with such love and care a long, long time ago seems a bit naughty and disrespectful somehow. Unless its utterly buggered and then, really, what else are you going to do with it?

So, I jiggered it about a bit, took the pretty blue face off (no point in hiding it away), popped the mechanism back in and pushed the back back on. Then I put it onto some fine black ribbon to make it look all stylish and minimalistic. Well, that was the general idea, any way. I have a couple of other watches in this category - mostly intact physically, just not working mechanically, so I may well be creating a few more along these lines. Watch this space! (Sorry).

Ah well, according to the clock on the tent wall, its nearly time for all good Pixies to go to bed. So I'll be staying up for quite a while longer...

Let me know when you've got something other than that grotty Battenburg cake and I'll pop over for tea.



Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Roses are, well, pink and gold

Dear Miss Jameson,

Its all been a bit of a frenzy over here at the Circus of late - I've been getting my sketch book up to date, teaching Snorty macrame (he's doing remarkably well, all things considered) and trying to instill some sort of order on my boxes of stuff. And making pretty things, as well, in between bouts of putting things away then getting them straight back out again.

I got this squishy stretchy knitted wire ages ago when Mr Fenwick was having a sale at his emporium. I've tried to use bigger gauge knitted wires before, but they tend to sproing all over the place when you cut them, as well as being a tad unruly when wrestling them into place. But while I was tidying and pondering the other day, I suddenly thought that the finer stuff would make pretty steampunk roses. I also have this lovely Japanese washi paper bought whilst visiting an art shop on Messers Haight & Ashbury's estate in the city of Saint Francis, which just so happens to be exactly the right shades of pink. It has gold dragonflies on it (but sadly far too widely spaced to be seen on little bits like this), so I bunged a bit in the middle, stuffed it with wadding, couched a clock cog on to it and finished with a little dragonfly that you could see.

This is the prototype, and as you know, you always learn a lot when experimenting (except the Prof, who still doesn't seem to have got the hang of not blowing things up even after all that practice). I'd make the centre of the flower a little differently next time and use a longer length of wire for more ruffles, but not bad for a first attempt!

Speaking of explosions, I can smell burning and (come to think of it) I haven't seen the Prof for a while either. Better just go and make sure that the potting shed's still intact...

Be good! Love


Friday, 16 July 2010


Dearest Em,

I know that sometimes it takes me a while to get round to things, but you know that hat workshop of Sparkly Jem's you encouraged me to go on after I admired your cracking cranial adornment? Well, I went and only eight months later, I've actually finished the hat!

Rather natty, eh? The fabric was printed by the lovely Spoonflower, on the Colonial side of the Pond. They hail from an area famous for their cutlery inspired foliage, which I believe the company is named after (and so much prettier than the other local herbage, the Prickly Sporkmoss). The cog is from my stash, the ribbon from some other random shopping trip where I grabbed far too many pretty things with no idea of what I'd end up doing with them (although I believe making medal ribbons was on my mind at the time), and the wooden butterfly from a traipse along the Queen of Canada's excellent street of beading emporia. Its lined with a very delicate duck-egg shade of silk and I'm rather pleased with it. Now all I need to do is remember to take my hair-pins with me next time I wear it...

Needless to say, I'm rather proud of it. Doesn't it look chic? Unusual for this Pixie, I know, but every girl needs to have her glam moments, don't you think?

Must dash! Be good (or at least, don't get caught)



Lost and Found

Dear Mrs Foggy,

Blimey, its been a while, hasn't it? I don't know where the time went since your nuptials. It was very good of your Boxed Brownie to send us his little paintings over the aether, although our Brownie is now sulking and has eaten several daguerrotypes in protest (including the one of Mr Mesmer's cravat pin). I have confiscated his gin in retaliation and attempted to convince him that his images will be much more in focus without it. Funnily enough, he won't believe me.

To prove I did do some creative stuff in between then and now, these are some earrings I made for a Canadian friend of ours. She's a very talented jewellery maker herself and over the years we have whiled away many a happy hour in the bead shops along the street the Queen of Canada has designated specially for that purpose. I found the lovely little crystal butterflies on a shopping trip with Miss Emilly, and the little silver hearts. The main challenge was finding some nice posts that weren't for pierced ears. All in all, I think they worked quite well.

And then there was something for Terry; she likes purple and again, she's a very talented jewellery maker (its always a bit nerve-racking making something for other designers, but we all have our own unique style and no-one's sent anything back yet!). Its very simple, just another of those lovely circley bits the Prof found in the circus basement when dismantling the old Babbage Engines.

Last, but by no means least, this necklace was for Miss Emilly, to go with the earrings that I made for her when I was 'sperimenting last summer. I made the ribbons a bit long, but seeing as she's rather handy in that department, she soon sorted that out to her satisfaction.

Life at the Circus since then has somewhat got in the way of making pretty things, but now its the off-season I'm hoping to get the sketch book out again (and the power tools). I even dutifully sorted out the big pile of stuff I'd accrued over the last year, so I pretty much know where everything is and even what I have! Except for the little light bulb things that Miss Emilly gave me; I've no idea where they are. I suspect the Brownie, but he's denying everything and its not as if Snorty would know what to do with them.

Best be off, I think I can hear George chasing the Prof around the workshop. He's a good lion, most of the time, but he does get bored easily and I don't fancy having to give him another bath if he gets in amongst the dye vats again (although he did rather suit that shade of purple).

Please give our love to your wonderful hublet, and ta-ta for now!