Category Archives: Coffee

CoffeeMania Design Project

It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog. But now I’m back, and I hope that the project I’m going to show you will help you to forgive my absence. 

In New York State (on the other side of the Atlantic to me) there’s a marvellous coffee company called CoffeeMania. They have drive-throughs and cafes as well as selling their delicious coffee online (I can testify to it’s deliciousness cos I’ve tried all their blends, you should try them too). I was commissioned to design a series of steampunk labels for their ten special coffee blends, and here they are-


There are two decaf blends and eight blends to suit any taste from mellow and soothing to deep, rich and dark, including a special holiday blend that’s perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you’re in the area you can buy the whole beans in various sized jars directly from the stores, as well as the bags that are also available online.



Please visit to find out about each blend and how to order them.



Filed under Art, Coffee, Nouveau, Steampunk

Day 14 – Favorite Character In A Book

Mug courtesy of

I tend to get obsessed with characters more for the inspiration they represent than for their representation in the original book. As my name suggests I’m a huge fan of The Phantom of the Opera, but not for Gaston Leroux’s original book, which lets face it, is completely terrible. I love Erik in all his forms, in versions official and fanfiction, from Susan Kay to Andrew Lloyd Webber via Brian De Palma, but I don’t especially like his portrayal in the original book. Same goes for Dracula, whilst I appreciate the original book, I’d much rather have the Gary Oldman , Christopher Lee or Richard Roxburgh version.

So for this prompt I decided to choose Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling, a character that I love as much in the original books, as for his portrayal in film and fanfiction. Saying that I originally only agreed to read the Harry Potter books because Snape is played by Alan Rickman, one of my very favourite actors.

I was a Snape fan before it turned out he was a good guy, he always struck me as the only sane and sensible teacher in the whole school, since he was the only one to react to Potters constant acts of near insanity with anything approaching the appropriate response. He was also in charge of the coolest of the four houses and taught the most awesome subject. By the end of the books he turns out to be the most powerful, and in many ways the most important, character in the whole series, without whom the entire endeavor would have failed with Harry’s death at Quirrell’s hands in the first book. And yet in the end, his life ends with the same sense of waste as when it was lived, with insufficient recognition and a pointless death for ridiculous reasons at the hands of a lunatic. He never even gets a funeral! It’s all so depressingly tragic.

Even Better 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 14 – Track You Only Like For Its Sentimental Value

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Filed under Books, Coffee, Even Better Thirty Day Song Challenge, Music, Thirty Days of Books

Bookshops – Bricks&Mortar Vs Online Shopping

Du Has Helpfully Filed Herself Under C for CatA great man once said-

“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.” – Sir Terry Pratchett

And that is absolutely true. A good bookshop should contain significantly more books than you could ever imagine it containing, and it should distort time and space in such away that ten minutes of browsing turning into three hours and a budget of £10 should mysteriously turn into £70 worth of purchases.

My person heaven of book shopping is Fables Book Shop in the village of St Marychurch near Torquay. If you ever happen to be in the area I strongly recommend it. It’s tiny, not just compared to monsters like Waterstones and Borders (RIP) but tiny compared to the average living room. However it’s literally packed to the rafters with books, and you always get the impression that the owners have read every one of them before adding them to their stock list. It’s the kind of store where every shelf has multiple rows of books, stacks of books, tottering piles of books! I found a gorgeous hardback set of The Larklight Series by Philip Reeve hidden away the first time I visited and I’ve made a point of going back every time we’re in the area ever since. And there in lies the problem- this store is about as far away as its possible to be from my home town and still be in England. On a good day its a 6 hour drive.

So what do we have closer to home?


Filed under Books, Coffee, Essay, Steampunk, Stores

Down With Tea!

Down With Tea
by =phantoms-siren on deviantART

The following statement is probably going to lose me my steampunk card but I can’t keep in any more. I HATE TEA! There, I said it. I hate the smell and the taste of tea. It’s just wrong. I like chai if its spicy enough and I love coffee, but I just can’t stomach tea. And I’m tired of the assumption that all steampunks love tea. There has to be someone else out there who agrees? Surely? No? Awwwww.

    In Other News –

A friend pointed out this video on the Abney Park channel last night.

See the image at 3:28? That would be my Herr DrosselMeyer’s Doll fan art. I don’t know how I never noticed this before, YouTube seems to suggest the video has been up since 2008, clearly I need to pay more attention. Thanks Abney Park!!!

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Filed under Art, Coffee, Media, Nouveau, Steampunk

Exciting! Interview and Traveling Museum

The lovely and talented Chaz Nouveau has just published an interview with me about art, inspiration and international steampunk.

Read it here!

For those of you who missed it, I was also lucky enough to get this piece included in Dr Geof’s First First Tea Company Traveling Museum!

The Island Of Doctor Geof

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Filed under Art, Coffee, Interview, Nouveau, Steampunk