(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Of Costumes and Photo shoots

We have a large contingent of costumers /cosplayers here in South Australia. Many of us belong to one (or more) of various costuming groups. These include the Australian Costumers Guild, Victoriana Society, Steampunk SA, Cosplay for a Cause Adelaide, 501st and Rebel Legion.


I was enlisted as a member of the Ryloth Base (South Australia) of the Rebel Legion with my recreation of Jacosta Nu’s Jedi outfit from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.  Today we had a professional photo shoot done by Sarah Wilson of Sarah Kay Photography.

I battled the unseasonal heat and dust laden north winds, dosed up on antihistamines to get some portraits done.  I am glad I did. I can’t wait to see the finished product on the Rebel Legion page.


Photo: David Carlisle.

Of Costumes and Photo shoots

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Great Timing - Redbubble Sale

To celebrate my new Anarchy: No King steampunk design, take advantage of this promotion: 15% off any hoodies or sweatshirts,  from midnight tonight until midnight Monday (PDT – US time zone) .

Visit my Redbubble store  – use the discount code: HOODIE15

dragonseyetshirtRB  REDBUBBLEDoctor2  RCdwarffighterRBtshirt  On the Train bronzed 140923 RB  protectoringRBT   krakenchestbusteratRB

Great Timing - Redbubble Sale

New Steampunk T Shirt Now Available

I have been busy with my camera and using digitising artiness on a photo taken at the recent Steampunk Expo.  It is now available at my Red Bubble Store- katdb, as prints and T shirts.

Anarchist: No King.

(Actually it was the Non Smoking carriage!)

On the Train bronzed 140923 RB

I use Red Bubble as they use sweatshop-free, ethically sourced cotton apparel with styles for boys and girls-young and old. You can choose your own colour T shirt, which is printed using cutting edge direct to garment technologies.

Check it out!

New Steampunk T Shirt Now Available

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Of Privacy, Facebook changes and Link Updates

Greetings all,

I am sure many of us have had those social media moments, where you just felt a little scared. If not, I am glad. It is not pleasant when it occurs. Following a few privacy issues, early last year I decided to set up a ‘professional’ FB page.  I was confronted with having to pick a URL name to present to the world. Initially, I was focusing mainly on my art and photography and was dabbling in my return to writing.

I was excited. I wanted a fancy-shmancy name. I piked out and went with Karen Carlisle Creations -something that would be easier to register if I ever needed to, something that could encompass the writing. My original blog was ‘Off the Artboard’ – great for the art but not indicative of the writing.

Over the past eighteen months, I have gravitated to my first love – writing. I still dabble in the art and photography (a new T shirt has just gone up for sale), but the writing has taken over. My childhood dream of being a published-author – a little old lady with grey braids, writing every day – could one day be a reality.

I had planned to go back and take advantage of the ‘one change’ Facebook would allow to the Page URL. I kept forgetting and procrastinating.  I have been reminded recently that I should do something about it. I have had a few FB friend requests to my private FB account. Though I had linked my blog webpage and twitter to my ‘professional page’, it seems my new friends had done a search and found my private account.

Sadly, I had to send a message I could not to friend them back on my private page. (I rarely friend people I have not personally met – and then it is usually only after we have got to know each other well.) I asked each person to follow my writer page. I hope they understand my desire to keep my family life private. I fear I have lost a few potential new friends and many engaging conversations.

I have spent the past few months, changing my writing pages, including my banner on Facebook, and social media to Karen J Carlisle to make it easier to separate my private and writing personas. But I had left my FB page URL as it was. (How could I be so slack?)

Today I have remedied this. I have taken the once-only opportunity to change the facebook URL. The page is the same. The new address is now: https://www.facebook.com/KarenJCarlisle.


Please update your links. I have spent the day updating as many links I can find through social media. (This could take a while). If you see any I have missed, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

I thank those of you that have brought this to my attention and kicked me into action. I hope it makes it easier for you to find me.


Of Privacy, Facebook changes and Link Updates

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Eulogy for Curry.

Sitting at home. Feeling sorry for myself. Not straying too far from the toilet or the sick dish.

I had a great time at D&D last night. We had a successful run, freed some slaves and I went up a level.  I laughed, relaxed and forgot about my work stresses.

Our gaming group alternate houses. Dinner is supplied, so we can play on til late. This week we drove up to the Adelaide Hills. A perfect day. A glorious drive. My friend tried valiantly to make dinner for the seven (to ten) of us. This is not an easy task; it has to allow for food allergies, lactose intolerance, diabetes. She make a delicious curry anything. With each visit, she drastically cuts the curry content to almost nil, so I can eat it.

It was delicious. I went back for seconds.  Was that my downfall?

A few years ago, I suffered from an extreme bout of gastro. It took over three weeks to recover. I was left with a glass stomach; no longer can I enjoy the cacophony of flavours provided by a curry, taste the delicious heat in Mexican spices or even add too much garlic to the pot. (I love garlic.)

I fear this could be more than an irritation to spice. It is possible I have developed an allergy to a particular spice – that is in curry, BBQ chips (argh) and some other spice combinations.  So far cumin seems safe.

Last night nausea swept over me. My stomach was rough.  It was a cool night, yet I threw off the doona and sweated it out.  I dreamt of skiing and ice-skating all night, but I was the one in a tank top and shorts.

I think I may have to give up curry altogther.  I weep for my taste buds.

winter brain

A Eulogy for Curry.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tea and Tidings September Newsletter is go

Karen_J_Carlisle_9Greetings all!

If you are a subscriber to my email list, you should get it very soon. If you wish to receive next month’s newsletter, you can sign up on THIS PAGE, or on the widget bar, to the right on this blog – or above on Facebook.

Have a great weekend everyone. I am off to do some writing.

Tea and Tidings September Newsletter is go

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Of Projects - The Long and the Short.

Yesterday was my  birthday. I was home alone; I had no one to answer to. I could decide to do whatever I wished. I decided to drink tea, eat chocolate, listen to my new The Cog is Dead CD, and write. The most difficult decision was what to write.

I have a few projects on the go right now:

  • The Day of the Dirigible, part of The Adventures of Viola Stewart series. This short story is a prequel to Doctor Jack. It is the first story in  a collection of steampunk short stories based on a character – Viola Stewart. She is a Victorian era oculist/optician (women were not yet allowed to practice as doctors).  I am currently doing final rewrites.

  • My second Adventures of Viola Stewart work-in-progress is Doctor Jack. It is currently a 35K word first draft novella. Jack is a darker steampunk story – more of an alternative history. This is now in the hands of my first beta reader and will be heading into the first round of rewrites.

  • The Department of Curiosities. This is a novel length WIP manuscript . Currently, the first draft is just over 46K – 54% complete! This is a steampunk novel with considerably more intrigue. We meet Miss Mathilda (Tillie) Meriwether as she joins The Department of Curiosities.

  • My final (current) WIP is The Wizard of St Pauls (name to be confirmed). This is a gaslamp/paranormal steampunk novella. I am only jotting down ideas and a possible outline  for The Wizard, as this is earmarked for NaNoWriMo in November. I can’t start the actual manuscript until November 1st.

    You can find inspirations on my Pinterest page
birthday stash 2014smI think another cup of tea is in order. Then I get dinner and chocolate cake (and maybe a movie) with the family. My day is set. Enjoy your day.

Right: Some of my birthday pressies: all the fun things, including a Monty Python sketch birthday card, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Shakespeare, octopuses, steampunk – The Cog is Dead.

The Department of Curiosities – Manuscript Word Progress: (54.2% first draft)

Total Words:  At 1st draft only:Revised Words: 

Of Projects - The Long and the Short.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Of Events, Trains and Steam

This weekend The National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide is hosting a Steampunk Expo. IMG_6270  IMG_6369  IMG_6516IMG_6477  IMG_6286IMG_6414  DSC_3669t


These days I struggle with crowds. I

Of Events, Trains and Steam

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Of Pain, Writers' Block and Procrastination.

The past week has been fraught with obstacles. Procrastination has not helped.

It started with an emergency dental appointment. I phoned my dentist begging for an appointment, as I was in extreme agony after another round of stress and teeth gritting (non-writing related). He squeezed me in, removed the loose filling and found a crack in the tooth. I now have a temporary filling and much, much less agonising pain – though there is lingering referrals down both arms. Time to kick myself and get to work.

The painkillers had not been helpful when it came to my writing. My brain did not want to engage. I procrastinated. I fuddled. I watched several (really bad) television shows (what a waste of time!) I vaguely remember trying to pen the second scene of Chapter 9. I read my muddle-headed effort; I realised that it was not only utter crap, but I had written myself into a corner. I may be able to save the odd phrase but I fear most of it is for the scrapheap.

I am now off the medication and have found my motivation. Finally! Yet I sit staring at the computer screen. My mind is blank. (deja vu) I try to avoid the bleeps trying to pull my attention away from the task at hand.

Two cups of tea.
I write a list of what ifs…
A hot chocolate.
I write this blog to get me back into the swing.
I pull out my exercise book, my pen and start doodling.
Then it comes to me…

I hope it is not more crap.

Of Pain, Writers' Block and Procrastination.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

September - On Steampunk Accessories

Last month I shared some of my teacup (and mug) collection. This month I am sharing part of another passion of mine – steampunk. My regular readers will know I write mostly in the steampunk, fantasy and gaslamp genres. I also love steampunk costuming, events and sneaking in something steampunky into my every day life.

(see some of my posts -

This month I am posting pictures of some of my collected (and made) steampunk accessories – both everyday and costume – on twitter. There is a link on the right of my website, where you can see the posts as they pop up each evening, or you can follow me on twitter – @kjcarlisle –  to see them as well.

Here are a few that I have already tweeted:

1 mining help 2 comiccon14 5 octopus brooch4 bowler and googles 1


September - On Steampunk Accessories

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On Making My Steampunk Wings.

After years of yearning, I finally have wings! This is how it all happened.
My Dear Heart helped with the woodwork, as my vertigo had returned, with an ear infection to back it up - not safe to cut things.
Required materials:
  • about 8m of pine/wood. I used 8mm-12mm thick x 30mm wide (this will depend on preference).
  • Calico (or canvas). I used calico to keep the weight down.
  • Tea to age the calico.
  • A piece of MDF approximately 11cm x 16cm for the harness base.
  • Two leather belts, buckles etc.
There seems to be many online tutorials for making steampunk wings. Steampunk Circus has a Quintet of Steampunk Wings Tutorials. You may find one to your liking there. I wanted something organic and basic. I found a good place to start, thanks to Yazzzle on Deviantart for The Steampunk Wings Tutorial.
Here is a visual diary of my wings:
1. 1 wing bones  2. 2 paint wing bones  3. 3 aging wings seal edges
1. The spines are cut and 'hinged', ready for staining. 2. Only one layer to make them appear aged. 3. Tea to age the calico wings. Watered down white glue to seal the cut edges.
4. 4 glue calico to wood spine bones  5. 5 harness base 6. 6 attach to harness
4. Glueing the calico to the wing spines. 5. Cutting the harness base Stained to match.  6. Attaching the wings and harness straps, to sit behind the shoulders.
The harness is surprisingly comfortable; the main belt is positioned on the chest and takes up most of the weight. (I even did the Nutbush in them - I forgot I was wearing them). I just have to remember to fold them down when walking in a crowd or through a doorway.
From the front (extended) and the back (folded):
open wings david ruwoldt
back of wings marianne hooper pic

On Making My Steampunk Wings.