Book Review: The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier

With a title like The Clockwork Witch, who needs a synopsis? You got clocks, you got witches, and you got a witch that fixes clocks. What else were you expecting? Michelle D Sonnier hits the nail on the head with this Victorian-Era Urban-fantasy about discovering the most counter-intuitive witch powers a teen girl could ask for.

Arabella Sortilege is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, born to the Grand Dame of the great Blackstone House under the auspices of a not so subtle prophecy. Except unlike all her sisters, she can’t seem to manifest any abilities. What’s a girl to do? Until she sneaks into a World’s Fair type of Exhibition and meets a certain Mister Westerfeld and his Distinction Engine (see while the women all go and do their witch thing, the mundane men compensate with motors and machines). Having been sequestered within her mother’s overprotective bubble, this first experience with machines awakens her gifts in what essentially amounts to the antithesis of natural witchcraft. Continue reading “Book Review: The Clockwork Witch by Michelle D. Sonnier” »

Book Review: The Queen of England: Grand Tour, by Courtney Brandt

There’s a surprising readability to be found in this wish fulfillment fantasy for any teen girl reader, or any reader really, who might vicariously want to be a teen a girl. Who is Queen. And wields Excalibur. And talks to unicorns sometimes. You probably already know if you’re capable of enjoying this type of classical Victorian steampunk romance fantasy or not. But just for the sake of a fair review, let’s break it down anyway.

Grand Tour is actually Book II in this series by Brandt available on Amazon (Book III is on the way), but I didn’t feel restrained in any way by missing Book I. Everything you might need to know is included within the text. The famous teen Queen Victoria—you know, from the Victorian era—was killed last time and replaced by… another teen queen, this time named Juliette. I don’t understand the merit of replacing one teen queen with another except to avoid all the historical research, but as far as I can tell Juliette is no different than how I’ve seen Victoria portrayed in any number of adaptations dealing with her youthful monarchy. Nonetheless, Juliette is descended from King Arthur so that’s why she carries Excalibur everywhere with her and occasionally talks to it. But that’s all backstory. What’s young Juliette up to this time? Under the guise of husband-hunting, she boards her airship on a tour across Europe to investigate the New World Order (a secret society that wants to rule England or Europe or something which may or may not be run by [SPOILER REDACTED]), but things go horribly wrong right from their first stop in France. This is our premise.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Queen of England: Grand Tour, by Courtney Brandt” »

Designs X Debbie

We were kindly contacted by Debbie, who asked if we would be interested in reviewing a couple of her pieces of jewelry. After seeing some of her pieces, obviously we said yes!

You can see the full collection of her handmade pieces here:

Right, so lets get down to business. First of all, I wanted to compliment Debbie on the lovely packaging. It came well packed, and inside I was delighted to find this:

2015-07-03 13.06.39

Its not every day you get something quite so well packaged, which then gets you ready for whats inside!

We were kindly sent 2 necklaces to review. The first of which, is entitled “He Lost His Marbles“.

2015-07-03 17.39.292015-07-03 17.45.44

This is a lovely piece, made from large brown glass beads that resemble marbles, small glass bead accents, Vintage style key accents and to top it all off – a lovely rustic wooden portrait of a man wearing a stove pipe hat, and smoking a cigar. This really would work well with most costumes.

Continue reading “Designs X Debbie” »

1950’s Italian Olivetti Typewriter with Hindi script

A 1950’s Italian Olivetti Typewriter specially made for India with Hindi script.

The inspiration is from Indian Royal era. If an Indian Maharaja had a typewriter… 🙂 The Imperial Illuminator is a dictation taking machine. It types out when something is spoken to it..

Again, made from recycled parts including Edison blubs, elegant watch pieces, pipping,

You can really appreciate the workmanship that has gone into this piece, by looking at what a standard version looked like!

1950's Italian Olivetti Typewriter Original

Continue reading “1950’s Italian Olivetti Typewriter with Hindi script” »

Steampunk Gameboy

I’m always in awe, when people turn such a mundane thing as a Gameboy, into such a thing of beauty! While still retaining the ability to be played, it has now been retrofitted to make it look AWESOME! Here is how the original looks:

Nintendo Gameboy Colors

..and after:


I remember when a child, how much I wanted one of these things… but had I seen Abhisek’s one, I think I would have been the envy of the street … no wait … village, if I had owned it!

There isn’t a huge amount more to say on this item – apart from the fact, you can’t buy it! If you would really like one, I’m afraid you will have to commission one yourself! You can find out more from his site. So, all that remains is to show you some more lovely pictures of the Gameboy, for you to look at in awe 🙂

1926 Imperial “The good companion” typewriter lamp

Today we are going to review a “Typewriter Light” that was created by Absynthe Designs.It was created using  a 1926 Imperial “The good companion” typewriter:Imperial Good Companion

As you can see, its quite a nice looking typewriter – before any work has even begun!

The next stage is to add all the decorations. This was done using recycled parts from a fridge, gas valves, antique pocket watch parts, and then the crowning piece – a miniature gramophone!

The lovely wooden platform it sits on, is made from recycled old furniture.

The lights are Edison bulbs. Teflon coated concealed wiring, Cloth covered  external wire.

Although this piece is not for sale – we thought you would appreciate it. If you like this kind of piece, or would like to commission something yourself – please check out his site:


Chad Schimmel Steampunk Pens

Chad Schimmel  has been creating pens (and other items) out of reclaimed materials, for many years now. While they may not be to everyone’s taste – there is no denying their brilliance and beauty (as well as being functional!). Today we are going to pick out out our personal favorite pens created by Chad. Why not also check out his complete collection?




Copper Aluminum and Black Titanium Rollerball pen.


This is a handmade pen from Schimmel Fine Pens.

This pen has an aluminum and copper body with Black Titanium. One of a kind look to it. This pen takes a standard rollerball refill.

Continue reading “Chad Schimmel Steampunk Pens” »

Steampunk LEGO Book

Guy Himber – the man who has rich knowledge, and is well experienced in special makeup effects and animatronics. To trace back his achievements, he has worked on more than 50 feature films including Edward Scissorhands, Independence Day, Stargate and the Underworld Trilogy. He is also known as V&A Steamworks. Another remarkable achievement of Himber is the award-winning title: LEGO builder. His work has been featured extensively in BrickJournal magazine before.

Through the No Starch Press publisher, Himber released a book entitled Steampunk LEGO in 2014. The book contains 200 pages. The language used in the book is English. The size is quite standard with dimensions measure 1.3 x 17.8 x 25.4cm. It is available in Kindle edition as well as hardcover.

Just in case if you are wondering what ‘steampunk’ means; it refers to a subgenre of science fiction and sometimes fantasy of recent years’ fashion and lifestyle movement, that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by the 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery. Hence as the title of the book suggests itself, this book contains these kind of things in the form of LEGO.

Steampunk LEGO book preview

The content has heavy amount of Victorian-era sci-fi treasures, all built from LEGO. To be more specific, it ranges from dirigibles and floating cities-farthings and pirate ships, curiosities and robots galore. However, most illustrations’ colours are made into coffee-liked, which is sepia overlay and grayscale. This has caused some readers to feel disappointed because they expect to see colourful illustrations. Continue reading “Steampunk LEGO Book” »

The Blend Cafe – Steampunk Café

The Blend Cafe was the brain-child of Greg Bridges – a world renowned artist in both Steampunk, and also other futuristic landscapes.

He created the café 5 years ago, as a place to expose and showcase his steampunk works – as well as offer a place for like-minded people to catch up, and have a drink / some food. Its currently the only steampunk café in Australia, and has helped to bring steampunk into the mainstream over there. Prior to it, most people had not even heard of steampunk.

The café has even made it to #92 on the “Sydney’s top cafes” awards:

Facebook page:


Do you fancy checking it out?

[column size=one_half position=first ]Address:

20 Portico Parade,
New South Wales,

[column size=one_half position=last]Opening hours:

Mon – Wed:
Thurs – Fri:


We asked Greg a few questions about The Blend, and here are his answers:

When did you first have the idea for the cafe?

About 5 years ago

How many hours would you say you have put into decorating the cafe?

We spent about a month building the first one, and 4 months designing and building the second one. I also designed and illustrated the steam punk look for the the cafe logos , the coffee brand , bag labels, and the interior architecture of the cafe.

Continue reading “The Blend Cafe – Steampunk Café” »

Cryptex USB Drive

A Cryptex is a special container which has mechanical combination lock (rotating rings with letters or digits), which people used hundreds years ago to keep secrets. Inside the cylinder there’s a container, where you can keep piece of paper with secret data. Today it’s better to use a USB flash drive for data storage.

The Cryptex USB flash drive was engineered in the accordance with original sketches of Leonardo Da Vinci.

While a thing to admire on its own, it doubles up as USB drive as well! Unfortunately its only USB 2 (I have it under good authority that USB3 versions, and different memory sizes, will be coming out soon as well), but the speeds are still more than bearable:


It comes in nice packaging, which means its ideal as a gif  t for a friend, family, co-worker, or anyone really!



The drive itself is quite heavy – as almost 100g (the whole unit). The USB drive that comes out of it, is almost 50 grams. We tested it on the USB drives found at that back of PC’s, the front, laptops, etc…. and it sat in comfortably in all situations (I was a bit concerned to start with, as its quite heavy – but to be honest – I’ve had much heavier USB drives before, and they were ok in my USB ports as well.


Ok – so the code. This is the nifty part! You have 5 different “spinners” on the device. On the box (and also a sticker at the end of the drive), you have a 5 digit code. What you need to do, is line up the numbers given to you along the “grooved” side of the Cryptex (there are obviously 4 sides – but only one will get you in =))

Be extra sure to keep a copy of the code somewhere, otherwise you could be there a while trying to crack your own drive 😉

Ok – so the run-down:


  1. Super stylish USB drive – brings a breath of fresh air to the market
  2. Conversation starter. You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked about it already!
  3. Well made – Antiquated brass. None of this cheap plastic lark!


  1. If you really wanted to – you could take out the 4 screws on the device, and it would come apart. Obviously this isn’t meant to be CIA level security – its a bit of fun, and pretty obvious if someone has broken into it – as its all in pieces!
  2. Could be faster (we will be keeping an eye out on the USB 3 versions)
  3. Little bit expensive for a USB drive – but that’s what you get for quality and the stylish nature of the item. At the end of the day, a cheap bit of plastic from China (that will most likely break in a couple of weeks), was always going to cost less – but you get what you pay for!

We hope you have enjoyed reading this run down. If you wish to purchase a Cryptex, you can find it at any of these places: