Saturday, December 3, 2011

OCCUPY Off the Beaten Path ::: Holiday Bizarre Bazaar

With the season of giving horrifically underway, The Occupy movement offers a glimmer of hope for indie vendors & is here to save you from doing something completely immoral: Doing all of your holiday shopping at the "big box corporate machine" stores.

Occupy Off the Beaten Path... You'll not be let down what these vendors have to offer: Unique rare gifts for your or a loved one. Shop Indie & Shop Local. Your support is the lively hood of the community so make sure that you spread the word.

Your support helps to keep Detroit cutting edge Bookstore in business. Offering Italian sodas, fresh brewed coffee & teas, and a place for like-minded Metro Detroiter's to gather for social, educational, and the most avant-garde events around town.

Shop Troll

War Pony Candy Forge

Sticks & Stones

Maple Valley Fibers

Bits & Bobbles

Spectra Nova

Amalgamy Creations

AND Santa Clause is going to be there too

Bring the Kids for Pictures!!!

Off The Beaten Path

Holiday Bizarre Bazaar
23023 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington, MI 48336

December 11th 2011 12:00-6:30

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Infernal Device - Huge Mechanical Sculpture and Painting

Hey all, I gotta share another awesome project by some fellow artists friends of mine! I had the pleasure of going out to Grand Rapids to support Myke Amend & his crew on their last Art Prize endeavors, and now he is at it again with two other very talented guys, Steve Brook & Todd Cahill. They are doing a Kickstarter, please pledge & share!

The Infernal Device is a large mechanical animated sculpture conceived by steampunk/retrofuturist artist Myke Amend, enginartist Steve Brook and steam modeler Todd Cahill as a collaborative entry for Artprize (the country’s largest open entry art competition, held in Grand Rapids MI).

Their intent is to build a dynamic sculpture using 90% Vintage, Re-purposed materials that will be powered entirely by alternative energy sources (wind, solar, steam).
The final work will be an stunning combination of moving 3-D sculpture and 2-dimensional painting, with many articulating features working together as one cohesive work of art.

Our mission is to mark mankind’s progress through the industrial age into now in a single sculpture.

Our goal is to combine old and new world technology to present a visually stunning, monumental engineering tribute of Art and Science.

If you would like to be a part of this project, please consider cashing in on the many awards Linkavailable at our Kickstarter page. We are doing this all out of pocket, and the expense is something as astounding as the project is tremendous. It would *really* mean a lot to us.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kickstarter ::: Sings with Stars

I first met Bethany Grenier at the World Steam Expo last year 2010. Her sense of style was the first thing I noticed. It was so original that I had to compliment her when she came over to check out my wares. Later that year I had the pleasure of going out to Grand Rapids, MI in support of the a project that Bethany and her friends were working on, called Cirque Acirca for Art Prize 2010. During my second trip out that way for Art Prize, I got a chance to hang out with Bethany & Bethalynne Bajema first hand. It was good times, as we ran about the city, shared a drink, and later hooked up with many other people at Destination 1111 for the Show there that night featuring many of the cities talented artists, as well as some imported talent. During that time, she gave me her first book: Sings With Stars, which I thoroughly enjoyed while working late nights at my work.

Now she is preparing to launch her second book at the World Steam Expo 2011. Help her to reach her goal!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Black Ibis Project ::: KICKSTARTER

To be an artist is a challenge, to be an artist with huge dreams is even more of a challenge. I understand this very well, having scrimped and saved, sacrificed things for my self, in the name of art and making art.

When I first became familiar with Bethalynne's work, I was floored. Looking at a all of the detail, I imagined all of the painstaking hours and years of hard work that she has poured into her work. When I asked how she did it, she hinted along the lines of digital collage & painting. And again, I was amazed again at the sheer intricacies of her work because THAT was a whole different ball game.

"The Black Ibis is a simple story that revolves around one sister trying to find the other sister who has become lost. It becomes not so simple when we find the other sister has become lost in underground world of secret cities and dark cabarets. This is a pretty basic premise for a story, especially one based on this type of fantasy. However, this is my dark fairy tale so it's an absurd, surreal little story seeped in my wonky characters and artwork style. I'm hoping others will enjoy it as much as I've enjoyed creating it. I am so proud to have seen it from starting idea and doodles to having a finished illustrated story and two tarot decks to show for. Samples of the Black Ibis (and I am adding to this page often) can be found here:

What I want to do is earn enough money to invest in the initial printing of the first book of the Black Ibis graphic novel series and the major arcana tarot deck that goes along with the novel. I want to do this so I can offer the book and tarot deck at the World Steam Expo this coming May. It will be the first time I've attempted a more formal launch of a project of mine. Normally my work is print on demand because I seldom have the funds to make large orders and keep a ready stock of my own work on hand. "

I hope that I have had the absolute pleasure to introduce you to something new. But whether or not you are familiar with Bethalynne's work, I hope that you will consider supporting this project to help fund a hard working artist dreams. Not only in the name of The Black Ibis, but also in the name of ART!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

of Mourning & Haberdasheries

You don't have to be in mourning and you might want to save your hair art for post-apocalyptic endeavors, so why not take a bit of morbid history and wear it, hmmmm?

Ascot, Cravat, Tie Tacs

Buttons my friend, you will find indiscriminately labeled as haberdashery on Etsy, maybe eBay, but my Dear Ladies and Gentleman, you shall find my buttons fit for a gentleman in such longful attire. My Tie Tacks are elegant, dark, and properly labeled for Haberdashery affairs.

Victorian mourning buttons my friends, set in "time". For all you gents out there. ;) Now available at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in Farmington, MI, with Ties that Bynde Corsetry, and as always on Etsy & with me at show.

You can thank the dashing Prince Albert, consort of Queen Victoria who tugged on her heart strings until her own death in 1901. When strict mourning etiquette and attire became the norm in those days, so came the means to keep it all wrapped up. Black Glass buttons were extremely fashionable and handsomely decorated.

Also Join me May 7th as Off the Beaten Path presents :Gear Up Bizarre Bazaar: in lieu of The World Steam Expo Memorial day weekend 2011.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Due to the fact that I am in a position to slash prices, I am going to pass some savings onto my customers & potential customers as well! I don't like sitting on my stuff, and I need to move some items, so hopefully some of you dear readers will take this opportunity to grab it all up!!! More vintage stuff to list coming soon ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Graphoscope : A Traveling Photo Dispensary : Support Detroit Photographer & Artist Lex Machina

One of the most important thing in today's day and age is to support independent artists in their endeavors, especially those that practically make a living off of what they do. With the lack or art in schools & funding being cut for the arts world wide, it is up to folks like you and I to support unique individuals and their work. Lex is doing a kickstarter for her project Graphoscope. Her work has an antique quality to it that hearkens back to the days of Tintypes & Daguerreotypes. Please visit the link below to read about this truly one of a kind project and help support her work, and, she is making cabinet cards :D !!!

Lex Machina

" Graphoscope is a project that I've been working on for about 3 years now. I've been doing similar portraiture for various small projects in that time and now I'd like to take this work much farther.

This project specifically will use research and experience perfecting digital methodologies for recreating the look of individual photos from my antique collection in recording the patrons of counter-culture events, like conventions, for posterity. It will also generate prints, stereoviews, mounted cabinet cards, and other modern relics, available to the patronage and supporters, and finally, in 2012 a photo book of the most interesting photos from the project will be released. " ~Lex Machina

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BELLE ISLE SNAG ::: SHOOT still ON ::: Possibly at the DIA

Vespertine Nova Lark February 24 at 4:15pm
Ladies & Gentleman. In the recent months, I have been in contact with the board of Directors at Belle Isle for around a month in a half, making sure the information I had was correct.

Yesterday was the day I was to pay the fee for the rights to come and shoot at the conservatory. When I got there, first they made me get a money order, then when I came back I wrote it out to the Treasurer of Detroit, and they began to change their story...

I initially told them we were a group of students. NOW they wanted proof of this, a letter from a teacher or dean of the school stating it was a school project. OK NO PROBLEM.

We found someone to do this for us, the letter was written, and faxed. I have since spoken with them again, but they are trying to get it approved. Tomorrow they should have an answer for us.

IF IN THE EVENT WE ARE DENIED... The shoot will be CHANGED and we shall meet at the DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS. The admission is $8.00 per person. SOME of the money that was raised for the BELLE ISLE EVENT, will be used to help keep the cost down for all coming to attend.

WE will be allowed to shoot in their PERMANENT COLLECTION. Security will allow NO PROPS in the form of weaponry and it is doubtful that I will get to use my tea set, but I am gonna bring it anyway!!!

STAYED TUNNED and make sure you CONTACT ME BACK, with ever so much as an OK just so I KNOW that YOU KNOW!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

PROPS for the Steampunk Winter Stroll at Belle Isle!

Silver on Copper Tea Set

Absinthe Glasses

Ladies & Gentleman, these are some of the props for the Whitcomb Conservatory Steampunk Winter Stroll that I promised I would share with you and available at the shoot for your use!

Whitcomb Conservatory Steampunk Winter Stroll & Photo Shoot

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meet Your Captors ::: Belle Isle Shoot

Meet Your Captors Ladies & Gentlemen
Belle Isle Conservatory Photographers

Marc Beauregard

Kat Dee
Window To Your Soul

Russ Turner
Russ Turner Photography

Looking forward to seeing everyone for a smashing good time.

Whitcomb Conservatory
Steampunk Winter Stroll & Photoshoot

Belle Isle · Detroit, MI
Saturday, February 26 · 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Facebook Event Page

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Etsy Seller Sunday : Avarra : Chaz Kemp

1. How long have you been an artist?

Like most artists, I've been drawing all my life. About 13 years ago I began thinking of art as a career after studying at the Art Institute. From there I worked for various companies and did freelance work on the side. When I got laid off 2 years ago, I decided to make the leap and become a freelance illustrator. It's a wonderful, fantastic and scary challenge but so far I'm loving it.

2. What mediums do you work in?
When I first started I did mostly pencil and ink. Now I work with CorelDraw primarily because I like the look of vector and vexel images. It's also extremely versatile and I've been able to develop a pretty unique style that I really groove on. I love using modern tools to create Art Nouveau pieces - it's like the ultimate marriage.

3. How did you first hear about steampunk and what was your first reaction?
I heard about Steampunk about two years ago while at DragonCon. My band was performing there for the first time and I kept seeing all of these "retro sci-fi-type" costumes. I thought the concept was just the about the coolest thing I ever saw and I was drawn to it. My band-mate, Jen and her boyfriend told me a bit about it and I started researching steampunk as soon as I got back home. I was so completely enthralled by the idea of it that I immediately began thinking of ways that I could get involved.

4. Your latest works are steampunk inspired, where does that inspiration come from?

Well, I've always loved the idea of spies and agents working for some secret organization trying to save the world from dastardly threats and unimaginable conspiracies. Movies like, "League of Extraordinary Gentleman" & "Hellboy" also served to fuel the creative process. In thinking along those lines, I began to think up various characters that would be members of that organization. So I came up with the name, "Sargas Prime" and then Steampunk Sally was born. At some point I'm going to completely flesh out the concept and do more illustrations.

5. What is the steampunk scene like where you are from?
It's getting better and better every year here in Colorado. This is fantastic because we have a lot of steampunk fans! (Colorado Steampunks Facebook page has over 800 members!) We have our first ever steampunk convention called Anomaly Con coming up March 26th & 27th. I'm also doing a ton of art for a fantastic LARP called, "Gaslight Underground" premiering in just a few months after the initial play-testing is done. So ya, we Coloradoan's are always a little late getting to the party but once we arrive, hold on to your petticoats!

6. Do you have a character or costume?

Of course! My character name is Captain Haji ShadowCat, airship pilot and dagger-wielding adventurer for Sargas Prime. He's a Fae prince from the land called, the Dreaming and he's having way too much fun in the mortal realms to leave just yet. He fights side-by-side with his nixie lover, Abigail, and together they wreak havok on evil-doers everywhere using steam-powered tech, their wits and maybe just a teensy bit of magic.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Calling All Steampunk Photographers

In my travels, I have come across so many places and to many more I shall go. This next month is full of many events, new possibilities are on the horizon, and so on and so forth.

Part of the city that once lived, has died, never to return. Who here will save dying structure; rescue by renovation? Much has been lost. Time goes by and so we, as lovers of the past, must seize the day to capture the old and make way for the future. As a community of Steampunks in Detroit, photographing the remaining jewel's of Detroit & Michigan should be priority.

Of The Belle Isle Conservatory Febuary 26th 1:00PM - 3:00PM

This is a paid for event, as in we are PAYING to have permission to shoot there. We will have three or four photographers working the grounds. So if you are interested in getting some amazing shots in a place that has been around long enough to make history, please contact me.

Also note this is a great opportunity to have yourself photographed by some amazing talented people. Bethalynne Bajema is doing a STEAMPUNK ISSUE of Insects & Angels in the very near future, and is looking for submissions.

I have also heard talk of a Steampunk Calendar...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Word Origins, The Spectra Nova?

I've always had the knack of being able to put something together in a way that was either aesthetically pleasing to the eye or the ear. When it comes to words spoken or read, I am by no means a master, but the process of naming thyself to the ether is just as important as the idea that spawned it, and I shall tell you why.

The inspiration? For some of you, Bantam Spectra pops into mind, or Spectra Special Editions. The Kia Spectra and perhaps the Electromagnetic Spectrum? Or what about The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition? It has been said that Nova is a Hopi Indian word for "she chases butterflies". As pretty and whimsical as it sounds, that is actually not true. For the word Nova, in Hopi, means food.

Unfortunatly, none of these were the inspiration for my choice. When I first became familiar with Steampunk some years ago, it became apparent to me that there was a very broad spectrum of Steampunk Fashion to be had, mostly done in metallics, dark reds, emeralds, royal blues, blacks & browns. In juxtaposition to my own work, I used a lot of the very same shades. My work, dripping in brass, steele, enhanced with vivacious amount of organic color that STOOD OUT, fit. Hence Spectra, Spectrum: a continuum of color; an array of entities, as light waves or particles, ordered in accordance with the magnitudes of a common physical property, as wavelength or mass.

As for Nova, this word holds special meaning to me. I came once upon a marble, but when I looked inside, I discovered the Spectra Nova. It's exploding iridescent form hung within the balance of it's captor, the clear crystal that keeps it's power. Yes, I speak of a marble with some dichroic glass in it, that kinda looks like an exploding star or a tiny galaxy, whichever you prefer. But, with a little imagination, this became my portal, my black hole, my super nova, if you will, to another time, another place, (inspired & reminiscent of H.G. Wells, minus the machine) and ultimately the next mental step in the progression of working wire and making wearable art.

Not to mention, the sound had a catch...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Steampunk Travelers Guide for Winter Blues

Well you could take your lover here for a Valentine Treat, buy a box of chocolates, bumpy cake, or sip fountain soda from the same glass. Sure, sure you could, but unfortunately it is no longer there; if you don't have the correct devices, you won't be getting there anytime soon I'm afraid. Too bad too, because back in it's hey day, the glorious interior was a sight to behold!

Ah the Palace of Sweets

Fortunately for you and I, we have some options. Since Feb 14th, love it or hate it, is just around the corner you may have some obligations of the heart, eh, to fulfill. And since you have excellent taste you will be going to Off the Beaten Path Bookstore for their Sweetheart Bizarre Bazaar! I assure you that you will not be disappointed. From gear to tightly laced corsets, jewelry, books, bargains, brains, and tea you shall have it all.

Sweetheart Bizarre Bazaar
Saturday, February 12 · 10:00am - 5:00pm

Cherie Priest (bestselling author of "Boneshaker", "DreadNaught", and the soon to be released "Bloodshot". Cherie will be reading from her latest offering and we will have "Bloodshot" for purchase two weeks before anyone else. Do not miss this opportunity! Cherie is also the guest of honor at this year's ConFusion. Please check her out there as well.

Book Signing with Cherie Preist
Thursday, January 20th 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

- both events at -
Off the Beaten Path Books & Cafe
23023 Orchard ake Rd., Bldg. C
Farmington, MI

Fraudeville is the latest venture from JackKnife Productions. A dazzling collection of local and imported talent, bring you a nonstop romp of sideshow acts and classic vaudeville hilarity. Introducing the comedic adventures of the Lubberly brothers as they travel the globe discovering exotic burlesque in the jungle, stray jacket escapes from jail to contortion feats at the Chinese opera.

Jackknife productions is comprised of Jay Davis and Carine Jack Sergeant. The two write comedy for stage and screen and bring a unique mixed media production every time. Set designs conjure images of dreams that are keenly influenced by black and white films. The writing is 1930’s revisited with a hefty dose of urban decay where in all of this is brought to life by some of the most talented actors and acts that Detroit has to offer.

- Fraudeville presented on -
Saturday, Febuary 5th, 2011 8:00 pm - 2:00 am

Eagle Theater
15 S. Saginaw St.
Pontiac, MI

For those of you who know, you know what you've been missing if you haven't had the chance to get there in the past few months. Usually on the Second Friday of every month, the Phoenix Cafe in Hazel Park, MI features a Steampunk night. Here you shall be able to share your latest gadgets, contraptions, props, and costuming fantasies with a whole lot of friendly, talented, and like minded individuals. You'll also be able to make a round along the dance floor as your ears are flattered by the enchanting sounds of Dr. Toon. Coming events are as followed:

Friday, January 14th at 8: 00 pm - Don't Miss Out!
Friday, February 11th at 8:00 pm - Dr. Toons Mechanical Steam Hearts Band
Saturday, May 7th at 7:30 pm - The Very Merry Un-Birthday Party

The Phoenix Cafe
24918 John R
Hazel Park, MI


For those who like to travel back in time to really tiny worlds, I recommend the Chir-Town Union Station: A 5000 sq. ft. multilevel O Scale model railroad with a 12-track double-ending passenger station built to service four separate mainline railroads (DCC and sound). The three-track main is 565' long to run 200+ hopper car trains, and a double-track main runs up to 14 trains with full computer control. A second double-track main handles mountain operations over more than 1000' of track. A single track mainline interchanges with the other three lines.

Fri 12 noon to 8 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am to 6 pm
$4, kids $2 (age 5-18), free (age 4 & under).

Chi-Town Union Station
8275 Cooley Lake Road
Commerce Township, MI 48382


AND since Detroit is such a drag in the winter, go down to Toledo where the weather isn't much better! But the entertainment on Feb 19, 2011 will be. KayLouise & Mesmeric Fusion Present 219 TimeMachine where Steampunk meets Art meets Dance & Performance. Featuring a full day of workshops, vendors, and a fabulous evening show and after party! For more information visit:

Febuary 19, 2011
The Collingwood Arts Center
2413 Collingwood Ave. Toledo, OH 43620

As a perliminary to the picnic & large photoshoot in the summer or 2011, we will be doing a smaller shoot exclusively at The Whitcomb Conservatory at Belle Isle Park. So come dressed in all your Steampunk finery, with your notebooks, botany texts, sample kits, and portable tea sets to join us for some fun in the drudgery of winter at a real living breathing Detroit Gem.

Saturday, February 26 · 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Parking is at the Whitcomb Conservatory Parking Lot.
Locate on Belle Isle, Detroit, MI

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, a landmark on Belle Isle, has been in operation on the island since its inception in 1904. Designed by Albert Kahn and modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the Conservatory occupies a 13-acre parcel of land fronted by formal perennial gardens and lily pond garden tucked into its north side. A major renovation took place during the early 1950s when its wood frame was replaced with a skeleton of iron and aluminum. Mrs. Anna Scripps Whitcomb bequeathed her 600-plant orchid collection to the City of Detroit and the Conservatory and, in grateful appreciation for the Scripps family generosity, the Conservatory was named for her in 1955.

A 5-section Conservatory featuring a central Palm house, Tropical Wing, Fernery/Cacti wing, and show house. Large collection of Orchids. Exterior water garden, Heritage Rose garden, Perennial garden, and annual flower beds flank the Conservatory.