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Sunday 29 June 2014

Wearing dog leash and opium den

Sorry for the serious face but I'll make up for it with the accompanying video later,
filmed on location in the garbage room atelier. I blame Val and the opium.
How am I supposed to go wee when I'm wearing a dog leash and an opium den over a back-zip playsuit? (And there's not a fire hydrant in sight.)

Bwa-ha-ha!! Don't you just love the opium den? See the teeny tiny pipe, the divan, lit candle, and mysterious jars? The white powder is upside-down "army" and the other is "shadow" or a place absent of sun or wind (according to O). And of course there's a huge mini mirror so I can admire myself. Absolutely stupendous (the mirror, not my reflection).

This perfect objet d'art percolated from the primordial Muse Fondue which Val has cooking at her house and arrived at my house quite a while ago. Instantly I knew I'd like to wear this den (to feel good and show it off) but I needed a suspension system that a) wouldn't require altering the piece and b) would stabilize it. The answer? This neon pink doggy leash, $4.99, which just last week I finally enlarged to fit my doggy torso. Today was the first outing, and when I invited strangers to view the den they gasped with delight. And that's a fact, Val. Thanks again for this incredible work of art. Val also sent a hilarious card addressed to Melstrom in a Teacup, Buzzed 24-7, Vancoolver, and threw in some lovely mysterious French accents. XO! You can see posts that Val made about this diorama and others she has made at her former blog, late blooming sparkle, here and here.

A N D -
Recently, I started a new series of ink sketches of spooky rebel girls, like that one above. I love the etchy scratchy rippy action of crosshatching (hatchet, axing, crossing) and I mark this series as another step in my decades' long art school recovery. My Turnip Heads (which I'm still doing) are line drawings of whimsy and joy, so these sketches are a big departure: style-wise they are scraggly like the drawings I did as a kid, and content-wise they are dark and foreboding. I drew six spooky rebel girls yesterday, like a fury. I did that sketch above this morning. I have lots of ideas for this series and I am excited to see what else emerges.

I have other incredibly lovely gifts from other people which I cherish and will post about as well. I have not forgotten you - never!

I'll see you at Patti's Visible Monday at her blog Not Dead Yet Style. And I know I'm missing other great link-ups as well so I'll add them here as I clue in. Happy long weekend to youse guys in Canada celebrating Canada Day, a country which thrives under the benevolent rule of the Queen as our head of state.


  1. The very first time I discovered your blog you had a look that reminded me of a hazy 1920's Opium Den. Do you remember what that was? It was pretty amazing as I recall. But then EVERYTHING you do is pretty amazing. Like your sketchy big eyed bad girl up there. I am not in the least bit artistic so I am in awe of artists like you and Val. You continually blow my mind and steal my heart.

  2. God save our gracious queen (she's my queen, too - she gave me a passport even though I have a vulgar American accent). Happy Canada Day to you!! You are a genius, and now it seems so obvious. Of course an opium den should dangle from a pink dog harness - duh!!! And I'm so glad to know that I put 'army' upside down, and that 'shadow' defines the other, unknown substance (wouldn't you like to know). I'm honored and thrilled with what you've done here, and I'm not just talking about the fringy green shoes. Like Connie said, you blow my mind and steal my heart!

  3. I forgot to comment on your spacey little girl - she looks like she's just seen the future, and she owns it. But not without a little trepidation. She has such personality. Will you show us some of the others, please please?

  4. Just don't strangle on your suspension system. You might end up ruining your grassy shoes!

  5. love your sketch of spooky rebel girl! The outfit is magnificent and I thought you were joking about the mini opium den until i looked really really closely.
    Fabulous as always.

  6. The opium den! Must watch an episode of Sherlock now. As always, your outfit amazes and pleases the eye. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xox.

  7. I obviously missed Val's posts about her creating these brilliant tins - best conversation starter ever! You are the perfect person to wear it too, as only you would think of rigging up a dog harness to hang it from. You are SoFriggingAwesome.

    I like the creepy little girl and can't wait to see more of her friends (enemies?)

  8. You are the most creative person, Melanie. The dog harness is brill. Love the whole look of this outfit, and how cool is that little tin? Spooky Girl is sweet. Happy Canada Day! Xo

  9. That is some crazy outfit, and I mean that in a "jazz hands, cray-cray" kind of way that I want to be when/if I grow up. Deepest admiration for your sense of wonderfulness and possibility, Melanie. You are a treasure.

    Love your sketch; such a creepy little thing!

  10. that is the coolest thing I've seen in a long while. That playsuit whatever it is you're wearing is damn nice, too

  11. Melanie, this is divine, really! It shouldn't all work together, but it does. This really does look like an editorial outfit fresh off the runway. I love it!


  12. Your little spooky girl is THE BESTEST! She now needs friends and a story. So much character.

    How fun to go around with an opium den around your neck and dog harness. Be careful where you go with that harness. I've seen some very similar in sex shops. Cough, cough,...I mean I can imagine they have similar ones in sex shops.


  13. Soooooooooooooooooooooo wonderfullllllllllllllllll

  14. Hi Melanie, That mini opium den is spectacular! So unique, just like you. Your sense of play with fashion is very refreshing. Love your sense of style! cherie at

  15. Awesome - that is all! xxx

  16. The jumpsuit is spectacular, and the sketch of the wee girlie is awesome. More please (and turnip heads too!) xxx

  17. I don't think there is any in our blogging community that is as original as you my dear! I have been trying to get my dog Peetee to wear one of these with no luck perhaps a glimpse at how fab you look in yours will convince him! This outfit is mad in all the right ways!

    Your illustrations are always so full of life, this gal looks like an angry lil cheerleader. I adore her curious eyes.

  18. Your spooky rebel girl has storytelling eyes: full of attitude and escapades-of-uncertain outcome. Great solution to how to wear your mini opium den, installation-like and dangling from dog leash. Inspired. I almost want to fashion a tiny Sherlock Holmes figure to recline on the perfect divan, (in a silk gentleman's dressing gown).
    A zip in the BACK of the awesome playsuit?? Surely, surely designed by someone with a sly sense of humour ...

  19. The opium den is just adorable. Is there something I could eat that would shrink me small enough to visit?

  20. That opium den looks like it would be a great place to hang out. Of course an opium den should be suspended from a pink dog harness. There is no better place than riding Melanie's torso.

    Little spooky girl is both adorable and spooky and also slightly spooked looking. I'm sure she would like to hang out in the opium den. Maybe a little poppy juice will calm her nerves.

  21. Wonderful post. I love your outfit. Love it really. Colourful, flattering and unexpected with the jacket. I have no idea how that pink leash is doing with that ever so pretty opium den.. just stabilizing it? Or also holding it?
    I had a look at the other ones Val made... so pretty, such fun. Especially the beach one tickled my fancy.

  22. When your outfit requires adult diapers, you might wanna rethink some things! I LOVE the sketch and the pocket opium den. Too awesome.

  23. Are you ready for next Monday Share-in-Style: DENIN?

  24. Divoon Mel! Why would you not wear an Opium Den always? Isn't Val brill? You might not want to wear it to bed, but that's a bit might ... maybe you would. Your whole outfit makes perfect sense to me for very special days. The pink dog harness is a very good idea. I mean it. Why is there never anything as wonderful as your jacket here in our second-life shops? (Because we never see items like this in the first life. Sigh.)
    Art school recovery ... yeah, I know.
    And your spooky-rebel girl is my little alter-ego! I love her. You are, as always, a genius.
    Have a wonderful week, my little white cat!

  25. You are stunning, and I love your spooky rebel girl!

  26. Wow, Canada Day and here I am choking on the fumes of fireworks from the 4th of July, America's Independence Day. I spent it with my 91 year old parents and their contemporaries, listening to them read the Declaration of Independence in it's entirety, and eating hot dogs and fried chicken under an umbrella with the sun beating down. I'm oddly moved however, because this generation has incredible strength and integrity, at least my parents do. I was ready to go inside to the air conditioning from the beginning.

    I'll have to go back to examine the mini opium-den-on-a-dog-leash masterpiece when I've recovered from my wine-induced stupor at the senior facility. In the meantime, your drawing at the top evoked a spontaneous smile and "AHHHH" from me; I guess she resonates immediately.

    Love your shoooz..I recognize those lovely green fringes. I'll be home next week and will be sending you some fodder for Vogoff. XXOO

    1. P.S. Boston celebrated a day early because of weather.

  27. Wow, may I just say your outfit is FABULOUS!!! from top to toe! But of course that opium den made me gasp with delight too. What a fantastic piece!
    Also, your sketch is super goth-cool; I LOVE it :)

  28. This is all v good stuff!!! That opium den from Val is perfect.


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