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Indonesian Rijstaafel (Feast!)

Our last gathering (an artist’s and performers fundraiser for CirqueACirca & The 121st Retronauticon) was a great time for all, and we are doing it again. Come out and meet the crew, have some amazing curry and a spot of tea (vegetarian options available), and meet and mix with many other artists and arts supporters. Details below:

1537 Fulton St. E. Grand Rapids – Saturday, September 11th, 2010 – 7PM to 11PM

*Indonesian RijsTaffel (Rice Table)
*Meet the Crewe (Strong & Able)
*Post Fashion Night Out! (Stytche And Bytche!)
*See the Model (Hear our Pitch)
*Steampunk Chocolate Fountain (you’ll never leave)
*Get a “Love” Tattoo (Roll up you sleeve)
*Join the Circus (Sign the list)
*Buy the T-Shirt (Don’t be missed…)

See the Event Page at
(R.S.V.P. if you can, but you don’t have to)

12 noon (early-comers) – Make a SteamPunk Dress at our Stytche & Bytche
6pm – Volunteer meeting and sign up
7pm – Rijstaffel feast

$5 suggested donation (don’t let that stop you from coming though – )

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The Art of Cirque A Circa

Cirque A Circa (A Circus Out of Time) is coming up fast, and with it our 121st Annual RetroNauticon – which is much like a convention, but without registration fees and admission fees.

In a work of art nearly the size of two football fields, we will have many performers throughout the ArtPrize competition. Performers include airial, fire-spinning, fire-eating, and other sideshow performances by Cassie Truskowski, Author Bethany Grenier, Local Artist Ted Jauw, and many others – as well as fashion shows, and of course music: Such as acts by Zoe Boekbinder of Vermillion Lies, and also by The Gypsy Nomads – a great band last seen (by us) at the World Steam Expo.

You may, or may not be able to make it – but this promotional art featuring the Art of Bethalynne Bajema, and Ted Jauw’s Cirque A Circa logo and the Love ambigram is well worth-grabbing while it is still available. Not only do you have the chance to snag some wonderful and rare art for a low price, but you get to take a part of this event by supporting the artists behind it… thereby supporting the event (not having to find and earn money to eat on allows us more time to put towards this monumental effort).

Special Prints for Cirque A Circa by Bethalynne Bajema
Special Prints for Cirque A Circa by Bethalynne Bajema

Not only is Bethalynne offering these limited edition images for a very low price on the CirqueACirca page (direct link to the shop), but she has a beautiful limited edition (limited to only 21 prints) 8×10 metallic from this series available on her site, here ($2o):

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The Cog is Dead

I lost track of this band for a few months. My first sighting of them piqued my interest, due to some decent page design, good photography, and a promising band description – which was pretty much all I had to go on at the time outside of a (then) dormant twitter account, and a (then) soon to be updated myspace page (does anyone remember myspace?).

Admittedly, when it comes to such promotions, I bookmark these things and add profiles – but often times the chance to promote is lost on me when solicited by a “great stuff soon to be here” profile. It isn’t that I don’t believe there will be, but whether or not I check back is another matter entirely… save for Facebook where I see pretty much everything from everyone I add, and have a second chance “news feed” by which to see anything I may have missed, as long as it is generating a good amount of responses.

This is one of those cases where the promise was certainly delivered, and in good amounts.

In the time I didn’t check back to see whether new music was posted, their online profiles took leaps and bounds, and a web site came to be, a very stunning and brilliantly designed piece of internet real estate, designed by “Spring Shoe Productions” who I *wish* I could find more about.

But more than great design and “updateyness” in general, I find music to be a very important thing when it comes to bands, especially that part where I either like it or I don’t.

Today, I ran across this video on their steampunk.ning page today, and impressed as I am with this track in particular, I just *had* to post it here. I hope you enjoy it as well:

“The Death of the Cog” by The Cog is Dead :

The Cog is Dead
The Cog is Dead
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The Rescue Limited Edition Giclees current count

Cropped image from "The Rescue"
Cropped image from "The Rescue"

I was asked earlier today what the status (particularly current remaining count) of the 32×22 (full sized) giclees are, and since I feel it may interest repeat visitors and new visitors alike, I thought it would be good to repeat the information given here:

Of 50 to be made, ever (no “Second Editions”, no “Bonus Editions”, no “Super-duper Extra Golden Millennium Editions Plus!!!”), minus the one I am keeping for myself, 10 remain.

Of those 50 “the Rescue” giclees, 2 have been stolen (1 disappeared in shipping and was replaced with the next print, 1 was stolen from an owner), 2 have been destroyed (1 accidentally, 1 purposefully).

That leaves 46 existing, meaning only one in 139,417,298 people planet-wide will have one of these things when they are gone.

I am saving 3 for upcoming gallery shows, 1 for myself, and I keep 1 print on hand for every print that is in transit (to have a replacement on hand for those who order, just in case something goes wrong).

So, when another 5 of these have sold, they’ll be out of stock online, and I think they’ll have pretty much seen their last Holiday season here.

I say these things not to pressure anyone into buying, but as a heads up. And my refusal to release future separate editions, is to protect and ensure the value of those prints purchased from me.

I do 1 set of full-sized limited editions from each of the three support types (metallic, canvas, and fine art rag paper), and any open editions of any of those support types are at a reduced size – and of course un-numbered and un-certified.

Thank you for visiting – thank you everyone who has purchased prints here (and enabled me to make artworks for a living) – and thank you everyone else who has made this possible – for every blog, every article, every friendly link or friendly mention, for every url scrawled out on a bathroom wall, and every child named “” – You people are incredible, even those of you which don’t exist but might.

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Black November Sale extended, Holiday Hours info

My extended Black Friday/Black November Sale is being extended through December 14th, 11:159PM PST.

I now have a somewhat better idea how our holiday plans will be, and am making December 14th the cut off date for prompt shipment in time for the holidays.

I tend to ship quickly, but prefer to play things safely – so this is what I see as the absolute latest date for holiday orders, factoring in foreseens such as custom stretching and mounting, signing, embellishing, varnishing, packaging, and unforseens as well.

Though the sale prices end on the 14th, I will continue taking orders and shipping through the 23rd, and will resume shipping again on January 1st. I still may be able to get later orders out in time for the holidays, but highly recommend ordering before the December 14th cutoff date.

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Steamcon and Vampire Ball Aftermath, plus: Sorry if I gave you the Plague

Cold… very cold. I’m probably burning up though. A bit dizzy, very hungry… no food in the house really, and it’s too late for delivery. We have two cats, a bag of rice, and I am sure I can find something resembling soy sauce if I look hard enough. I am however trying not to use up my options.

I’ve read up on this H1N1 thing: Next stage: My head pops off and sprouts tentacles, and then we all have to deal with Kurt Russel until the end of the thing. In Grand Rapids… lots of shelter. I need only kick a Yeti out of his ice cave.

Right now I must go outside and start yanking distributor wires, as per the President’s mandate on flu, second after “going back to school”…

… or so the dancing ad ladies on myspace tell me.

Steamcon, as I hear, went incredibly well. I am reading rave reviews about the event, and was informed by the promoter that we sold most of the prints we had sent there. A serious thank you to all you people who made purchases there, and another to the promoters and everyone who helped, from organizers to patrons – you are all incredible.

What?? Why wasn’t I there? Where was I?

Well, aside from having the flu very bad, which isn’t an excuse because that happened afterward – but something you should consider when you think about rattling my cage…. aside from having the flu… Well, even with month’s of notice, there was no way Beth and I could scrape together what was needed for flights to Seattle and hotel stays and shipping our things to Steamcon. We are artists – and as a result, our budget, after saving up – was more or less the “We have $20 for gas and $40 for tickets (if we don’t worry about next week) WEEEE! Let’s go” variety…. which was perfect, considering there was just that sort of event in just driving range, on just that night… with Voltaire, Bella Morte, Versailles, and Hellblinki Sextet (for these great acts links below)

… If it makes you feel any better… I got the flu.

[BONUS! – some pictures, pre flu]
I am not this short, nor is Steven (of Ego Likeness) this tall (though he is tall) I am sitting
on the floor, unaware that Beth has been waiting minutes for me to notice the camera.
At the Table, moments before, Donna (Ego Likeness) had mentioned really liking our interview
in Weird Tales Magazine. I was surprised – actually, I had given up on seeing that
interview see print – forgot to ask when it was being published. I suppose they interview
well in advance, or have to push things back and forward as editors and magazines do.
Maybe they had to edit all the crazy out of mine. Anyway, it was a very nice surprise, and
having such news given to you by a favorite musician…  who just happens to have
copies of the mag… even better.
Opening Band: Versailles. I liked them, will have to give them a closer look.
Donna Lynch. Looks so much better in person, yet I have many more bad photos on my flickr
account.  I am not good at show photos with a point and shoot, not at all.
Hellblinki Sextet with Voltaire. Not the same as the Skeletal Orchestra, I’d imagine,
but not better, definitely not worse – just a different sort of awesome.
Voltaire‘s eyes started to glow, and then snack foods appeared on all the tables.
This may not be what he was trying to do… and perhaps I should be glad for this.
Valerie from Hellblinki Sextet posing for Bethalynne. Aside from the band putting
on a fantastic show, they were all pretty damned amazing people in addition to their music-ness.

More bad photos at

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Just because…

I haven’t shared anything Abney Park here in a while, and because I was recently reminded of this video’s existence:

Also – Since I am working away on commissions still, I thought I might point you to some new things Beth has added to the EttaDiem store:

“I makes the dark cutes that you can choke on these days.”

Under the umbrella of the Etta Diem brand are the Kewpie Noir, a collection of geisha like paper dolls meant for dark cuteness and frivolous use. There are currently thirty-eight different versions of the Kewpie Noir completed in this collection, each with their own personalities and backgrounds.

This particular set is collection of 4 x 6 inch prints of the first four Kewpie Noir. The print collection comes wrapped in our decorative packaging (samples can be seen by following the flickr links in our profile) and are ready to be given as a gift or kept for yourself. As an addition to the collection, a bonus package of related scrapbooking items will be tagging along. What they are is different from collection package to collection package and a secret until opening. And within one of them is Etta Diem’s own version of a *golden ticket. The lucky individual who draws one of the golden tickets wins a free 8 x 10 print of their choice from our store.

The Kewpie Noir are quite cute and dark and are really, really longing for a home! This is a wonderful and somewhat frivolous bit of novelty merchandise to lighten the mood of the bit of dampening the world seems to be splish splashing through as of late. To see more of the Kewpie Noir, take a moment to stop by Etta Diem’s blog and get acquainted:

*Each “Golden Ticket” comes with a unique serial number to ensure we all keep it honest with the free things ;)

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Want to see Voltaire in Baltimordor?

I was looking forward to seeing Voltaire and the Skeletal Orchestra at Ascension. I did realize however, that with no other purposes for the trip, when I factored in Hotels, gas, and other expenses – I would have essentially been giving up three days and $450 to see a single show.

It would not have seemed like a bad idea a year ago – it isn’t that I am getting older, or more responsible. It is more that $450 is a much bigger slice of pie now that the world isn’t made out of money.

So, want 2 tickets to see Voltaire and the Skeletal Orchestra on the 24th in Baltimordor?

Tell me ( @mykeamend via Twitter ) in 140 chars or less, how much you <3 Voltaire, and I might give them to you. Ends April 14th so I can send them out in time.

Recipient pays shipping if shipping other than 1st class mail is desired.

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Just a bit of Nostalgia

So, I am working away at several paintings at once currently.

In the damp and cold of Michigan, oil paints dry really slowly, especially when one’s work space is in the basement. Michigan, for those who did not already know this, does not have a sun.

There is a glowing ball that pops up here and there for minutes out of each day, but it really gives off no heat at all. My suspicions are that the heavenly bodies surrounding Michigan are primarily fluorescent or LED powered, so as not to harm the delicate ice-age flora, fauna, and population of the chilly North.

So, I am painting in thin layers, moving the painting to the garage to dry after each stage, and rotating back and forth between the others during these drying stages.

Waiting. Waiting for paints to dry, and waiting for some gateway between Michigan and Earth to open up again, the below song came to mind. Fortunately, someone was kind enough to write, record, and even video tape it in a good amount of time before I chose to make this post – else I might have been a bit embarrassed to have typed all this way in with nothing more than a concept to allude to…

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I am still away – painting and such, so here is something musical and shiny:

“SHOCKHEADED PETER was the collective nightmare of the visionary direction and design team of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (co-founders of London’s Improbable Theatre) and the underworld’s favorite cabaret act, The Tiger Lillies, led by the bizarre and beautiful falsetto of Martyn Jacques.”