September 5th, 2014
|04:13 am - The Power of Three - Part I|
Heart-Sister cupcake_goth, tagged me to post three positive things for three days in a row. Sounds lovely! Considering and expressing gratitude is a positive/powerful thing, so anyone else who'd like to follow suit, please do.
Thing the First (not technically a "thing"): Friends who become family. Hearts and souls we seem destined to cross paths with, regardless of where or to whom we were born, that become a treasured part of the stories of our lives and nourish us from within. Friends who are wings in the good times and a net when we fall.
Thing the Second: Earth. The universe/multiverse is wondrously infinite, but we are beyond lucky to have this one vivid & varied jewel, circling through the vast blackness as our inspiring, nourishing home. The sheer number of life forms we inhabit this planet with is astonishing, and it's important to remember the vital, symbiotic connection we all share with eachother. Afterall, we're the newcomers amongst many of our fellow creatures, guests in their home ~ and should extend our respect and compassion accordingly. It's also important to remember as relative newcomers with a great capacity to both create things of beauty & things of destruction, that Nature has over eons learned to provide, balance, and self-regulate in greater ways than we could ever hope to mimic or coerce so a certain level of humbleness in the face of this and our growing effect on it is vital. Just because we ~can~ do something, doesn't always mean we should, and a bit of restraint when making use of limited, irreplaceable natural resources is both a beautiful and very wise thing.
Thing the Third: Art. I can't count how many times art has saved me. When dark & seemingly hopeless moments happen, art in its multitude of forms has had a magical way of coming along and shifting the gears towards thoughts of inspiration, creation, appreciation.
April 23rd, 2014
|06:37 pm - “How long is forever?” “Sometimes, just 1 second.”|
(photo of Mt. Hood, taken on the flight into PDX)
I recently got back from an adventure to the West coast wherein it would seem at one point I transformed into a rabbit (and quite possibly a full-fledged member of cupcake_goth & Clovis' Evil Bunny Alliance) whilst believing in impossible things ~after~ a breakfast of Crème Brûlée French Toast made by the infinitely talented & hospitable Elisa (someday I really hope she opens up that fabled b&b at ocean's edge).
The backyard birds were curiously tilting their heads at the sudden appearance of a giant bunny... Elisa's husband Phillip came out, unaware of us doing this post-breakfast shoot in their backyard and started laughing with a sense of delightful resignation at the should-have-known absurdity of the scene.
Whilst in Portland, Visioluxus and I worked on several shoots together. The first day after I got in, we did an editorial shoot to be published later this year, for which I was to style approx. 10 androgynous looks. I made and brought enough for double to triple that because... options! This photo was from the night before, when Elisa & her family made a special trip to the studio to start unpacking a bottomless box o'wardrobe I'd shipped in advance & a game of dress-up with their utterly awesome daughter was probably inevitable:
Here's a behind the scenes shot of hair/make up artist Gina & model Van getting ready at the shoot the next day, and realizing how slippery they were together whilst wearing matching silk & satin charmeuse shirts ;)
It was a particularly heartening visit, because it happened to coincide with my birthday, which is normally a fairly quiet day. This year however, I found out my wonderful friends solstice_lilac, al_fredo & Elisa had planned a thoughtful surprise birthday tea party! Ironically, the surprise was inadvertently mentioned to me earlier that day, but I just assumed it was a joke & it still ended up being a total surprise when we pulled up to the historic hotel where it was being held :) We were all still a bit groggy from a late night at The Vampire Masquerade Ball where we'd vended the night before, so we ended up diving into the various little treats & pots of tea without taking any photos (& I ~might~ have shamelessly had to ask for a replacement cup after absentmindedly pouring some delicious "Citrus Nectar" hibiscus petal, orange zest, lemon balm, cloves, lavender, licorice root & sweet leaf tea directly into my cup w/o the strainer), but it was a relaxed & friendly, special, decadent, yet low key morning that I'll remember for many birthdays to come... Perhaps it should mark the start of a new tradition!
Travelling back in time to the night before at the Vampire Masquerade Ball ~ here's a photo Elisa took of me right before doors opened, after we'd set up our tables downstairs:
It actually became my birthday as the clock striked Midnight, when I quickly snuck back upstairs to watch the assembled crowd gracefully waltz in the new day... The pearled headdress is one I made from a plethora of broken antique pearl necklaces that my great-grandmother used to wear. It was wonderful to be able to make them into something new again! You might notice the rest of my outfit is from the bunny shot ~ because some of us prepare for Vampire Balls by hopping around friends' backyards in giant rabbit masks beforehand. *insert Bunnicula joke here*
After the big, full team/ten looks editorial shoot was in the can, we relaxed a bit (note: this is how artists "relax" ~ by making more art!) and did a just-for-fun shoot in the park ~ during which, we experienced various instances of "doggus interruptus". This photo is from when a crazed little pug ran up to me (don't be fooled by photos that freeze a moment in time & make over-excited pugs look "calm") ~ she kept running in these hilariously rapid whirlwinding circles like an animated Tasmanian Devil, complete with never-ending grunty pug noises. I couldn't maintain a "serious face" for the life of me, and didn't even bother trying ;) You can see a couple more shots & Elisa's funny take on it here: http://kambriel.tumblr.com/post/83638574062/kambriel-avecpug
Somewhere in all this I also got a total hackjob of a haircut (this was my big "treat" after having cut my own hair for the past two decades...). I'm looking on the bright side though ~ it will come back, and making a variety of massive hats like the one above will certainly come in handy in the meantime. I suppose I'm willing to sacrifice my hair to the Gods if it helped the fact that I made it through an almost 2-week trip, dodging illnesses left & right, *without* falling ill. That's probably worth at least half a head of hair ;)
After Portland, I traversed up to Seattle for some
empyrical scheming rarified downtime with cupcake_goth Not quite sure how I made it home actually, as I detected her minions were plotting the many ways in which I could "accidentally" miss my flight. I also suspect she slipped some Washingtonian apple-magic into the Dutch babies she baked for brunch *three days in a row*! I think Jillian needs a special flambé version called Dragon babies.
Overall, this little embroidery sums it all up:
September 18th, 2013
|06:29 pm - The wings we grow, the wings we shed...|
I just got back from a rather surreal walk in which I first happened upon a gigantic imperial moth caterpillar slowly, yet purposefully undulating its way across a path, and then a bit further down found a recently deceased hummingbird ~ so perfect and supple as if it had just fallen from the sky. Both green, fantastical, beautiful in their own ways… caught in a moment of time in which they’re on the way to becoming something else, a transition of the self.
I accompanied the caterpillar long enough to make sure it could safely cross the path and find its preferred new home in a rather stout tree; the hummingbird is currently wrapped in silk, looking as if it’s soundly sleeping. I’m giving it a little more time for its spirit to soar ~ to ‘hear’ the birds chirping in the nearby trees, and will then give it a peaceful burial.
Between the sudden appearance of these two wondrous creatures, there must be a story in here somewhere… The wings we grow, the wings we shed ~ a mirrored beauty of life & death. Shades of transition in iridescent green.
(Crossposted from Tumblr: http://kambriel.tumblr.com/post/61618390885/caterpillarhummingbird)
April 13th, 2013
Also ~ possible Aurora Borealis viewing for some in the US tonight ♥
February 16th, 2013
|04:39 pm - Thundersnow & The Bed Song|
Just now I heard the wind howling and looked outside to see a sudden, blustery snowfall. After a few moments of looking skywards (and taking the photo below), I saw a streak of lightning flash across the sky, followed by a crash of thunder. I’ve heard thundersnow before, but this was the first time I got to really ~see~ it too… Wonderful.
Also ~ Amanda Palmer’s ”The Bed Song” video directed by Michael McQuilken & filmed by Sarah Lasley has been released:
(“The Bed Song” dress (created on the spot out of bed sheets!) by Kambriel)
You can see my original post from when the video was first filmed, with loads of photos & some behind the scenes stories here:
Love with an open heart, and never be afraid to ask…
February 3rd, 2013
|12:08 am - Kitchen witchery of the day... |
Eight of these have managed to survive the day ~ it's a miracle!
Pumpkin spice muffins with almonds and dark chocolate candied ginger. They were "experimental", and the main purpose was keeping warm on a cold Winter day, but they came out perfectly, so I had to snap a picture :)
February 1st, 2013
|09:22 pm - Suspiria|
Some new creations & art! These are just the tip of the iceberg of what we've been doing lately, but I realized I hadn't posted here in a while & wanted to at least share a couple of new designs/photos :)
Suspiria Gown photo of ONOH (& mourning doves!) by DividingMe. I really adore how this gown turned out, and when I first saw this photo, I thought it might need to become a poster... it's capturing one of those mystical dreamworlds you wouldn't mind getting lost in.
Also... the Sherlock Greatcoat as worn by the mysterious damsel I half-suspect of being "Jacqueline the Ripper":
This is based on a custom Kambriel greatcoat made for Neil Gaiman that for those of you not on Twitter (where I'm able to update more frequently) or Tumblr recently sparked a humourously surreal debate from Neil himself as to whether he believed he was actually "cool enough" to wear it...
I daresay he is.
There's lots more in the works & I'm trying to make the most of each day even though the Winter weather beckons wishes for the simple luxury of hibernation. Summoning my inner Rumplestiltskin...
January 16th, 2013
|10:01 pm - Rainy Day & Evening of Awesome|
Photo from the other day when I walked a mile and a half in the rain. Peaceful quietude, filled only w/birdsong & the soft sound of raindrops on pine needles and Winter-bare branches overhead. The sky looked like mercurial silver, so I couldn't resist taking a picture & trying to capture just a bit of it.
These are from last night's "Evening of Awesome" at CARNEGIE HALL! Neil is wearing his one of a kind black velvet & striped Kambriel coat... Yes, there are indeed threads in there that aren't black ~ hopefully I’ll be forgiven this flagrant trespass, but I tried to make up for it with the rest of the frock being made from über soft to the touch black velvet ;)
January 12th, 2013
|07:25 pm - Cabal ~ in memory of a truly wonderful dog...|
Yesterday the world lost its noblest dog, Cabal. Cabal was an old soul dressed in the body of a white German Shepherd that survived being chained and uncared for until April 30, 2007 when fate intervened, he was found by Neil and became part of the family he was always meant to have.
My belief is that his spirit will cause the moon to glow a little brighter.
A few moments in time...
Master Cabal, alert & at the ready (with an adoring, slightly worn out Lola faithfully by his side):
Sharing a peaceful moment on a hot Summer day:
Heading out for a walk... I loved how Cabal kept corralling me back in:
The personification of love, loyalty, fulfillment, friendship, faithfulness, understanding & an unbreakable bond that neither distance, time, nor death itself can sever...
Neil's heartfelt post: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2013/01/the-power-of-dog-cabal-2003-2013.html
"If Love Could Have Saved You, You Would Have Lived Forever." ~ Within the hearts of those who loved him, I know he always will.
December 28th, 2012
|08:58 pm - Purple Rain...|
( dearly beloved...Collapse )
I've been busy this past week making some brand new custom stagewear for Amanda Palmer! These pieces were created for the upcoming New Year’s Eve show at Terminal 5 in NYC wherein the entire “Purple Rain” album will be performed live to wrap up 2012 & ring in 2013. In honour of the performance’s muse, I wanted to create a neo-romantic decadent, yet structural look Prince himself would approve of. The jacket design was drafted by hand just this past week & originally made from an intense fuschia brocade which I then layered with four different tones of dark purple, glittering gold & violet paints to achieve a deeper, multi-dimensional shimmering effect. Here’s hoping it sparkles under the lights of the stage!
For those attending the show (sadly, due to a huge unexpected expense earlier this month, combined with a snowstorm thwarting the long drive, it looks like I'll have to be there in spirit) ~ keep your eyes peeled and you might also catch sight of a sheer, metallic purple kimono I made for Amanda, as well as a raspberry beret...
December 21st, 2012
|07:45 pm - Solstice|
Wishing you a magical Winter Solstice...
(Photo: DividingMe - Headdress & Gown: Kambriel - Model: Nancy Dee)
December 19th, 2012
|10:49 am - shifting paradigms|
The comment I left in Amanda's blog Dearly Beloved in regards to the Newtown tragedy:
There is so much at root here that goes far deeper than stricter gun control and better mental health access. You can see it in the rudeness of some YouTube comments, in a land where testosterone gels are pimped out on tv as if they were cologne... We must remember the basic tenets of kindness & compassion are true strength ~ not hatred, fear-mongering & rage. The "us vs. them" way of thinking that we see so clearly in politics, in divisions between red and blue (& here's where PURPLE comes into play), the bullying we see in schools, is ultimately one of naivety & insecurity ~ of not realizing we are one, that we're in this together.
That said, I have hope because for as much mean-spiritedness that is out there, I believe there is *more* compassion. For each person desiring to tear down, there are more who will help rebuild. In a world filled with fragile balances, this tugging between the two is something we shall always face. I truly hope this tragedy shines a light on the fact that death by gun is ludicrously out of control in the US, that our profit-above-all healthcare system where people have to debate taking an ambulance or seeking treatment they can't afford is unconscionable compared to many other parts of the world, that if we start looking towards others who are handling certain things better than we are, if we can take the first step of showing some humility & not being too haughty to admit we ~don't~ always have it right, perhaps we can learn from our mistakes, begin to heal & advance.
For those who argue, "But that won't solve things"... 100% solutions are hard to come by. What matters is taking steps that attempt to bring us closer to what's ultimately needed. We don't need access to automatic assault weaponry in our homes that unleash a spray of bullets. Even if those weapons were out of our homes, would it stop violence? No, but it's a step closer to curtailing the madness. (As someone who grew up in an abusive home, I know I would have been that much more relieved had my father not also had a closet full of guns.) Would having access to free mental health care stop all would-be attackers? No, because many wouldn't have believed they had a problem or sought help to begin with; but would it be a good step for people who *can* recognize an issue and need guidance? Yes.
As much power to harm as individuals have, each of us has an equal, if not greater, capacity to help ~ to share what we can, give when it is needed, simply say a kind word & brighten someone's day. We must re-write the script where meanness and not giving a damn is somehow "cool" & stop mocking things like peace/empathy/care. It's up to us to shift the balance and while we can't stop every horror, we can be sure that *we* overshadow it with love.
December 3rd, 2012
|10:16 pm - kitchen witchery|
I got a little creative with dinner which ended up being veggie-infused red quinoa, garlic naan & roasted red pepper soup topped w/honeyed chèvre...
So let's see, South American quinoa, served on an Italian glass plate, red pepper soup served in my great-grandparents' Japanese cup, topped with French cheese, and a piece of Indian bread on the side. What a beautiful world wherein our shared abundance of diverse cultures & cuisines can be brought together in such a delicious way.
November 22nd, 2012
|12:17 pm - Giving Thanks|
Thank you all so much for your friendship, wit, comfort, caring generosity, and for your support in helping me to continue to create things of beauty to share with you... it's meant so very much to me through the years, and continues to mean more and more with every passing day.
November 17th, 2012
|10:25 am - Happy Birthday Jillian|
Happy birthday dear cupcake_goth (aka first in line to be "Vampire Queen of the Universe", benevolent bestower of bat-topped cupcakes), I love you so much and treasure you ~ your wicked wit, charm & caring heart... more than words could ever say!
September 15th, 2012
Remember a couple of weeks ago when I posted about how I'd travelled up on a last minute trip to Bard in upstate NY to design/create a gown made from bed sheets for Amanda Palmer to wear in the upcoming video for "The Bed Song" off her new album "Theatre is Evil"? If not, here's a refresher ~ http://kambriel.livejournal.com/334716.html
I think it was the same day I posted that, when Amanda got in touch to say there was another project she might be needing my help on. I jokingly asked if I needed to pack another bag... See where this is going? ;)
To commemorate a New Year's Eve show Amanda & The Grand Theft Orchestra are doing in NYC wherein they'll play Prince's *entire* "Purple Rain" album, they wanted to do a photoshoot with kylecassidy, inspired by one of Prince's iconic posters for which I'd be taking care of the wardrobe styling. Since there were just a few days before the shoot, I did a combination of sourcing things from my own closet, making some items, and thrifting for others to embellish/alter.
I joked with everyone that I wasn't sure if should be a matter of pride or shame at just how natural it was to find a selection of Prince-ly clothes in my closet... Amanda immediately said, "Totally a matter of pride!" Because, of course I have boxy magenta brocade and velvet kimonos, berets, flounce shirts, lacy jabots, etc... At times, I forget this isn't how *everybody's* closet is ;)
A moment caught in time, unexpectedly captured by Chris while I worked on an impromptu fastening for Amanda's jacket:
I wish I had a photo of Jherek in his royal purple tailored blazer. He wore it so well, after the shoot, I just told him to go ahead and keep it. The best thing is at the show that night at Midnight, I found out it was his birthday, so it ended up being an inadvertent, yet cosmically-appropriate birthday gift :)
Ryan, Kyle, Trillian & myself, waiting for our ride to the show. Photo by Kate McKinnon ~ who was in Philadelphia that night by the serendipitous happenstance of an overnight layover. It was such an unexpected treat to get to see and spend some time with her:
That night, at the tour's opening show in Philadelphia! I loved the lighting they used for "The Killing Type":
Bated breath... This was to be the first attempt at using the crazy train (apologies to Ozzy) I made which was attached to one of Amanda's pre-existing jackets, using what felt like miles of four different colours of chiffon to give a watery effect which was made to pour out over & be held aloft by the audience while Amanda crowdsurfed to the song "Bottomfeeder". You can't see the end of it here, but the train went back the full length of the stage & then some!
"Do It With A Rockstar" ~ Amanda wore a Frank Sinatra t-shirt for this ;)
(We got back on the road the next morning since in the middle of everything else, we've been in the process of helping an injured crow recover from a broken leg by keeping a close eye on him and making sure he has clean water and fresh food. Happily, he never lost his ability to fly, and is very clever and learning to manage quite well as he heals. Yesterday was the first day we saw him together with three other crows again, and they all kept close watch and ate their fill of the food we put out for them, so I have high hopes that he's on the road to recovery which makes me so very happy.)
This photo was taken the night before last in Carrboro during "Ukulele Anthem" in a moment of *literally* being supported by the audience. Half a dozen or so people who held Amanda aloft in a seated position for the entirety of the song ~ a combination of their strength, a handy support beam, and years of yoga!
This was also Amanda's first wearing of a new pair of peacock crushed velvet leggings I made for her:
Torch song glamour... Amanda at the very beginning of Bottomfeeder, holding out the upper portion of her immense chiffon train.
I'd venture to say her entrance into the crowdsurf was quite possibly the most elegant ever:
Floating upon waves of outstretched hands. This amazing moment lasted the entirety of the song, and sent Amanda all the way from the stage to the very back of the venue, around, and up to the stage once more... It was magic:
This photo shows the effect from an aerial view ~ a few nights before in NYC, as photographed by @Lesliedf:
If you can catch one of their performances on this tour, it really is an amazing show. I think one of the things that makes it so special *besides* her exceptionally talented band (who just also happen to be incredibly *nice*), is Amanda's ability to erase the line that normally exists between performer and audience.
In other news, for those of you not on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr, yesterday Neil Gaiman commissioned me to make him something darker than black....
Also, at the end of this month, I'm collaborating on a show with the inimitable Dame Darcy... hopefully I'll be able to post more details about that soon!
September 2nd, 2012
|09:49 pm - ~ Silently and Very Fast ~ |
I've been keeping the photos of the custom gown created in celebration of Catherynne M. Valente's multiple Hugo award nominations, including one for "Silently and Very Fast" (a novella that "explores artificial intelligence through the lens of folklore and twisted family, following an entity from its first moments through a swath of human history and beyond.") under wraps so she could premiere it the night of the awards, but now that Cat's tweeted some photos from the event *happening now* in Chicago, I can finally share! :)
The inspiration was a Space Princess ~ fittingly inspired by her book, combining both Italian & Japanese elements. In these photos, the gown appears to be all black and silver, but actually the glittery Italian scrollwork velvet used in two tiers of the skirt ruffles is filled with an Aurora Borealis iridescence of rainbow hues which reflect the light as it moves in person.
This photo's blurry, but is best for showing more of the velvet's shimmering multi-hued Aurora effect:
Kimono-esque, dramatically flared sleeves made from sheer metallic Japanese mesh:
Like starlight in a blackened sky:
And best of all ~ Cat in the gown tonight, looking absolutely radiant tonight at the 2012 Hugos. Good luck Cat!
Edit: ~ And she won w/SF Squeecast! So did this lovely gent named Neil for "The Doctor's Wife"... :)
You can see a complete list of all of the talented Hugo nominees & winners here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/09/announcing-the-2012-hugo-award-winners
Thank you for capturing the moment Dmitri!
August 30th, 2012
|09:30 pm - Let's Go To Bed... The Bed Song Video shoot|
One thing about me & Amanda Palmer is that we're cut from a similar cloth when it comes to inspiration hitting sometimes without much if any warning, and saying a full-hearted *yes* to things others might see as far-fetched, impossible, impractical, etc...
Such a time happened recently when I got an email from Amanda asking if I might be able to come build a gown made of bed sheets on set for a video they were filming in upstate NY in a week. Within the hour, I'd already sketched out a series of five dresses to build upon one another until it reached a grand conclusion, with each dress tying into a specific verse of the five verse song. At first, it seemed like it would need to basically be made in the film version of real time ~ almost like a stop motion design coming to life before your eyes, which seemed both exhilarating, and a huge honour to be entrusted with, but also like it really needed to be amazing since it didn't seem there would be much else to the video other than Amanda, the piano, and the organically growing gown being created before everyone's eyes.
In the next few days, things morphed, concepts evolved, and I got a clearer picture of what was being planned. There would be actors, sets, theatrical vignettes interspersed with Amanda playing the piano, laying her heart bare through song. I'd still likely need to create the look on set when Amanda & I could bounce ideas off of eachother in person, and I could wrap the fabric around her, but now I had the luxury to begin a bit of work in advance ~ with just two days to go before flying to NY!
As soon as the plane landed in NYC, I was faced with this ~ the question of course being which kind of omen? I asked the universe for a sign, but in the meantime decided it would either be a good one, or at least a Zen-neutral one.
Remember kids at home... you can't have a proper omen without women!
( A Tale of Five Beds ~ Click here for Photos Galore!Collapse )Here is the architectural jewel that the video was being filmed within at Bard College ~ our inspiring theatrical home away from home:
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One of the portraits I shot of Amanda in the garden:
August 9th, 2012
August 7th, 2012
|10:32 am - TOME - including Kambriel as a featured artist, to be interviewed by Neil Gaiman|
Today is the final day to back the exquisite TOME project on Kickstarter! Including a massive 12" x 18" art book, cd compilation, and film documentary, this first edition of TOME focuses on the theme of VAMPIRISM.
It's a true honour to have my work (with photography by Visioluxus, Kyle Cassidy & more) included within the pages of TOME as one of their featured artists. To have clothing design seen as an art form in itself ~ like paintings come to life, sculpture meant to be worn... means so much to me. Please be sure to check their Kickstarter page for a list of the *many incredibly talented* creative individuals adding their own artistic vision to this.
Here's a bit more on the project:
"Modern popular culture has shown us all kinds of depictions of vampires, from the silly to the subdued. Featured artists in TOME will each take 3-5 pages to explore what we think is a unique and relevant take on vampirism as a whole, including the misuse of power and the objectification and exploitation of others. And at the conclusion of each artist's contribution, they'll have a one-page interview conducted by another artist to continue their artistic exploration."
**And more exciting news**
The featured artist interviews within TOME are being done by fellow artists in order to keep the questions creative ~ a way to delve into topics beyond more standard interview questions. The Kambriel artist interview for the book is being done by none other than the wickedly gracious Neil Gaiman.
* NEIL GAIMAN interviewing KAMBRIEL
International best-selling writer Neil Gaiman will be interviewing featured artist Kambriel for TOME! Neil is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre, and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery Medal, and Carnegie Medal in Literature.
They have a wide variety of pledge options starting at just $1, ranging up to those including stunning art prints and more, but $60 for the 12"x18" limited edition oversized hardcover anthology first edition of TOME (including domestic shipping) + the accompanying cd, is really quite amazing. It's going to be selling for easily twice as much later on, so this is an excellent opportunity to get a copy of the book at a significantly reduced price... not to mention, the book should be ~amazing~.