Tag Archives: relaxing

Friday: Sounds and Pictures.

In place of Photo Friday – this week I’m talking music.

A few weeks back I was contacted by Townsville indie steampunk band, The Littmus Steampunk Band. They wanted to know if I was interested in listening to their work.  Why not, I said.  Richard said he’d send me a CD to check out.

I found their youTube channel. I listened to a couple of songs, liked what I heard and awaited my pressie in the post. Not long after I got a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting one CD i the post. I received three!

First thing I noticed was the band had female musicians through its various incarnations. This was lovely to see (though many steampunk bands appear to have female members – woot!)

Next, was the cover artwork (well, I am an artist). My favrourite was the clock on Grand Hotel (#2). The third album, Watching You We Are, is striking, with a metallic-makeuped model.

Richard sent a note with the CDs and recommended I listen to them in order (and was kind enough to number them); I recommend the same as there is a progressive story threaded through various songs on each album. (very clever). These are the 6th, 7th and 8th of their CDs with a steampunk style.

I like music that is a little different – with an interesting voice, unusual key changes or a quirky chorus. Richard (The Red Gentleman)’s voice has a steampunky-folksy-cabaret feel, with an accent sliding from Australian to English, depending on the song.

The music is fun and relaxing (and great writing music! I got two scenes completed listening to the CDs). I found myself tapping my toe and singing along on many of the songs.

The band’s Facebook page describes their music as Steampunk Pop/ Folk. I think I’d describe their style as steampunk folk cabaret music.

One of my favourite songs is Say Goodbye to Steampunk. (The answer of course is ‘I don’t think so.’)

Band members are:
Richard (The Red Gentleman – Guitar / Vocals)
Keith (Mungo Stoker – Electric Guitar)
Jemma (Commander J – Bass)
Tony (Harbottle Grimstone) – Congas, Ukelele
Sam (Countess Victoria Edison_Ives- Violin)
Record Label: Syrup Records

Where to find The Littmus Steampunk Band:

Verdict: If you like The Cog is Dead (one of my favourite steampunk bands), I think you’ll like The Littmus Steampunk Band.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle/ ©Littmus Steampunk Band.


Oz Comic Con Wrap Up

It’s Monday. I think.

This year’s Adelaide Oz Comic Con is over. Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat, bought books (and t-shirts, mugs, badges. And the lucky owner of the red octoscarf). I met up with a few regulars, including Kristian and his family <waves>. It was great to see you again. I missed out getting a photo of your costumes. Too busy chatting. Sigh.

For those who signed up for my newsletter, Tea & Tidings: Thank you! You will receive an email this week with regards to the short story compilation.

 

Artists’ Alley was full of colour and fantasy, showcasing the work of local indie writers and artists. Firebear (local chainmail maker) even sold a chainmail tie to Brent Spiner (congrats!)

   

Jess Cate and  Jana Hoffmann (of Heart of Millyera comics),  Rosanna Lam and Miranda Richardson talked about producing comics for a female audience.

On Sunday I did a talk on self publishing, with fellow Adelaide independent authors KE (Katie) Fraser, Kylie Leane and Matt Pike. Thanks to everyone attended. It was a fantastic turn out. Some of you even took notes. I’m hoping to get video of the talk onto our youTube channels (just need to sort out the sound – lots of background noise in the con areas) So watch this space.

And what would a con be without fantastic costumes. There were many. Here’s just a few:

        

And I finished my secret project – my TARDIS corset (over six years to finally achieve!)

More photos can be found on my flickr page and on my Facebook page.

Photos: ©2017 Karen J Carlisle / ©2017 David Carlisle.


A Whimsical Notion: Steampunk Hands Around the World #1

Greetings from Australia, and welcome to Steampunk Hands Around the World.
(This week’s Photo Friday will be posted on Sunday 5th Feb)

Over the next month I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how steampunk makes my life better. You can also read the thoughts of other steampunks from around the world – from the UK, Germany, Mexico, US, Sweden, Spain… and more. You can find a list of all participants at the Airship Ambassador’s pages.

Today I start with an important lesson I re-discovered, thanks to steampunk:

to look at the world with the wonder of a child and embrace whimsy (1)

When I look at the state of the world today, it makes me shiver. Literally. I shiver, my heart palpates. The constant bombardment of negative news, posts, tweets feed discontent, feed anxiety, feed the fear – with tumultuous results. Our world  is in crisis. Our Earth is dying. Our people, crying.

The world needs something to smile about; I need something to smile about – something, however small, to look forward to. Embracing whimsy is not frivolous. It is a form of protection. Ever wondered why we rally to fantasy movies and books in times of recession? When reality is unbearable we search for escape.

That is one way steampunk has made my life better. Look at some aspects of steampunk:

  • looking back to an era of etiquette and manners.
  • recreating history (well the good bits – like quest for knowledge and wonder of discovery), with a fantastical or fictional twist.
  • turning even the mundane items into individual works of art by
  • encouraging imagination, individuality,
  • and recycling and/or up-cycling unwanted items into artistic items of wonder.
  • whimsical cross-overs – steampunk pirates, steampunk fairies, steampunk Star Wars, steampunk Doctor Who – you get the gist.
  • Tea. There’s lots of tea.  (All those antioxidants are good for you.)

So, how has steampunk made my life better? It’s taught me to focus on the little things, the beautiful things and beautiful people. It’s given me another strategy to cope with anxiety. I write, I create art and costumes. I socialise with supportive, like-minded people.

We need to discover the wonder and inspiration of the glinting treasures below the steaming pile of coal. We can strive to find ways to access that treasure and show the world it’s beauty.

So here are Karen’s Rules of life:

  1. ‘Be excellent to each other’.
  2. Look for the hidden treasures and beauty in life.
  3. Encourage imagination.
  4. Rediscover how to have fun.
  5. Don’t let the tyrants win.
  6. Drink tea.


  1. Definition: Whimsical: “Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way.” – Oxford Dictionary. Synonyms: fanciful, playful, mischievous, waggish, quaint, fantastic, unusual, curious)