Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Edwardian Ball

Sometimes (actually, all the time), I wish I could wiggle my nose like Samantha, or blink my eyes like Jeannie, or even get hold of a Star Trek transporter beam because it would all come in very handy for occasions like this when I discover that the most extraordinarily wonderful event... is taking place on the other side of the globe. This is how the organizers describe The Edwardian Ball held in San Francisco:
"THE EDWARDIAN BALL is an elegant and whimsical celebration of art, music, theatre, fashion, technology, circus, and the beloved creations of the late, great author Edward Gorey. Set in our own version of “Edwardian” times, this multi-media extravaganza has grown over the past decade from a small underground club night into an internationally recognized event, now operating with the blessing of The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust."

This year's festivities are being held on January 20 and 21, at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. The Edwardian World's Faire is held on the Friday night, and is described as "a Gorey-inspired night of music, theatrics, circus, fashion, gaming, and Edwardian-tinged rock n’ roll", and The Annual Edwardian Ball, on the Saturday night, is "a whimsical, elegant festival of art, music, dance, theatre, fashion, circus, and the art and stories of beloved author Edward Gorey".

Dress suggestions by the organizers:
"Some popular themes include the Edwardian Era (early 1900s – think corsets & petticoats for the girls, top hats & vests for the boys), Edward Gorey characters (eccentric & spanning many decades, as you can see in his artwork), Tim Burton-esque (dark, humorous, eccentric), Goth, Steampunk, or just simply dressed up for an elegant night on the town!”

You can catch a glimpse of the spectacle in a preview video here, and for more details on the event click here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Ghastlie Family Reunion

Anyone who regularly visits with me here may have noticed that I'm just a tad obsessed with The Ghastlies, so I was very excited to see that Alexander Henry Fabrics has added this new design to the range, and couldn't wait to share my discovery.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Charles Addams' 100th Birthday Commemoration

Charles Addams with John Astin, Ken Weatherwax, and Lisa Loring from the cast of The Addams Family television series.
January 7, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of cartoonist, and creator of The Addams Family, Charles Addams, and even Google has come to the party with a "Doodle" to commemorate the event. The Google Doodle was created courtesy of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, which was established in 1999 by the late Tee Addams, widow of Charles Addams.

100th Birthday Commemorative Google Doodle

The Addams Family by Charles Addams

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Australian Style and a Blog in Review

As I did the rounds of Blogland over the Yuletide season it was fascinating to see all the little cultural differences in the way Christmas is celebrated. I live in Australia so Christmas means summertime and hot weather. Australia is a multicultural country, but our primary Christmas traditions are British in origin so most of us still swelter through a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, albeit with air conditioners running on maximum. Christmas imagery also predominantly features northern hemisphere seasonal motifs. 

My husband and I lived in London for a few years so, believe me, I know what I'm missing when it comes to a northern hemisphere Christmas. There's a certain magic about crisp winter evenings, streets strewn with twinkling lights, and chestnuts roasting on every city corner that we simply can't replicate in December, Down Under, hence the ever increasing popularity of the Christmas in July festivities here.

Australia does have its own customs though, which was something I started to think about as I read many posts about the making of Christmas fudge and sugar cookies, a ritual that doesn't happen here, although shortbread and gingerbread are often served at Christmas social gatherings. The summer heat means that seafood, in some form or another, is on most menus with some people barbecuing outdoors rather than having a formal indoor meal. We also don't do eggnog. Champagne is the primary beverage I would associate with any Aussie Christmas get-together. Also, Christmas happens to coincide with the relatively short cherry season here, so cherries are absolutely synonymous with Christmas in Australia.

Many Australians stick resolutely to the British tradition of Christmas cake (fruitcake) and plum pudding (I personally don't like either of them), but fresh, summery desserts, especially Pavlova, are served at Christmas as well. Pavlova is a dish which originated in Australia and New Zealand, and there is actually enormous controversy and rivalry over which country came up with it first. The dessert was named in honour of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Basically, it consists of a meringue base that has a crisp, fine outer shell, and a marshmallowy centre. The base is then topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I usually top a "pav" with strawberries and/or raspberries, and then sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the top.

I started blogging on May 24, 2011, although in all honesty, blogging was not one of my goals when the year began. The idea just grew organically out of other goals I had, so I suppose that just goes to prove there's something to be said for not being too rigid about resolutions. Sometimes wonderful things just happen serendipitously!

I really love my blog. Anyone who blogs regularly, knows that blogging actually requires a good deal of work, yet despite how busy I usually am, it doesn't feel like a chore. My blog allows me to indulge, or dare I even say wallow, in all the little things I'm enthusiastic about. It's like having my own magazine with total editorial control. Most of all, however, I love the fact that my blog has brought me into contact with some amazing people from across the globe. Yes, I'm talking about YOU! I have made some lovely friendships over the last seven months, and by visiting your fabulous blogs, I have not only been entertained, but also often learned many new and interesting things.

Happy New Year!