Show – Down at the Coral

Princess Blue Holly showed up at noon by the coral in the Gulf of Mexico, her seaweed whip with with poisonous holly berries poised to fight Chainelle.

However, instead of finding Chainelle, she found a surging, gurgling black mass of gulf water. Chainelle’s wicked voice was luring Blue Holly into the black.

PBH knew it was folly to dive into the dark. Luring Chainelle up was a wiser choice. Chainelle’s weakness was her jealousy of the Art Gowns Models, and loathing of Ms. Rosso.

An underwater fashion show was the bait. Blue Holly looked into her Tangle-Heart, and had it send a message to all of the AGMs’ magic trees.

The AGMs were instructed to walk through the tall grasses on Tim’s magic tree sanctuary. Eventually the grasses would become sea grasses, and the AGMs would be transformed into Mermaids.

Dahlings, welcome to the Fashion Show down at the Coral. All the AGM Mermaids are here, and so is our wonderful Art Director, RB.

Don’t you just love RB’s split tail fin, inspired by her famous palazzo pants & adorned with bits of red sea anenomes and seaweed ? Take it away, Rebecca!

Thank you, Rene! What a thrill to be Art Directing a fashion show under water in the gulf of Mexico. We are all Mermaids here, and the Mermaid Art Gowns are splashing!

First out on the Catfish Walk is AGM Marina. Marina is a knock out in her one shoulder mermaid bodice, with rare queen conch shell detail. A double layer tail fin to match the queen conch with extra sea grasses finish the gown beautifully.

Next out on a meandering current is Holly. AGM Mermaid Holly wears a romantic creation. The tail is a multi wisps design with heart inserts. Her arm is adorned with hearts, held together with a long strand of seaweed.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my Assistant Art Director, Mermaid Chicklet Nora & her assistant Skippy. I couldn’t have perfected this under water extravaganza without her.

Now, let’s have a round of applause for the Mermaid Chicklets Beauty Team!

On make-up we have the talented Lacy!

Perfecting the AGM Mermaids’ hair is Ground breaking hairstylist, Michell!

Last but not least let’s hear it for Pearl, Wardrobe Supervisor!

Now it’s back to the Catfish Walk and AGM Mermaid Dale. Dale’s gown is made of bracken with a fine net overlay. Her gown features a tidy tail fin and large dramatic dorsal fin accented by iridescent blue champia laingii. The net overlay has been repurposed from deep water human pollution.

Mermaid AGM Gigi is splendid with her elaborate & massive tail fin, that spreads out like a señorita’s fan. Decorated with sea salvaged ribbons and segments of plastic water bottles, it is one-of-a-kind.

It’s a butterfly! Not quite, but AGM Mermaid Shey’s gown is inspired by the shells of Corolla Sea Butterflies. Shey’s gown shows off 3 dorsal fins that augment her tail fin.

And now, back to our one and only diva, Rene Rosso! Her floating boa, a joyous combo of Starfish and Bracken.

Dahlings, I hope you enjoyed our special presentation! I leave you with well wishes, and a song sung by Robert Plant.

Suddenly the roiling black waters became almost violent. Chainelle’s face appeared out of the dark.

I’m the superior designer! Who does that hack RR think she is? I demand Princess Blue Holly fight it out with me for the souls of RR & the Art Gowns Models!

Characters Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter – since 2019

All music selections in Gowntoons by Holly Rene Hunter

Visit them on their blogs!

Holly, Gigi, Shey, Dale, Marina

Timothy Price from Off Center Not Even is the keeper of the Magic Tree Sanctuary & official nature photographer.

Visit Rebecca’s Podcast and find your way from there to her other blogs.

CHICKLETS drawings courtesy of & © Georgiann Carlson

Stay tuned for the final episode! In case you missed previous episodes:

Episode 1

The Jazz Age

Episode 2

Princess Blue Holly in Erebos

Jade

Have you ever walked away from love?

Yes!? Then you know its bittersweet taste.

Jade has been called by Chinese poets “the concentrated essence of love”.

Well, all that sounds like a Historical Romance novel to me, and Shehanne Moore writes the best .

Art Gown, Jade, is lovingly dedicated to Shehanne.

If anyone knows the twists and turns of romance, it is she.

It all began with 2 vintage decorator pillow shams. My friend, Kat, found them in Wiarton’s Goodwill – 220 km. north of Toronto. She sent them to me.

I wasted no time pinning one onto Judy. It was a natural. Last year Kat sent me 40 pounds of fabrics, much of it stored for up to 25 years. In the poundage was a generous yardage of 60″ wide green polyester faux silk.

That was cut on bias and hung for 2 weeks. I harvested miles of ribbon from an old gown. It was marked with needle holes, so I gathered it to hide the flaws.

The faux silk had been cut without blunting the bottom for a hem. The points were picked up, and attached onto the bodice. This meant no fabric was wasted, and I sewed (by hand)  420 inches of seams & 660 inches of hem.

540 inches of ruffled salvaged ribbon was sewn onto the hem. The decals from the 2nd pillow sham were cut out, and positioned strategically onto the gown. Then began the fun of designing the bustle.

Jade is a dream to drape. That polyester faux silk is like fabric butter. However, it does not biodegrade like butter.

Front lit or backlit, she shines.

OUTTAKES

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m a huge fan of Shehanne’s books. I’ve read all but one, so far. These are just 5 of her titles. Click on the banner to go to her Amazon page!

D. Wallace Peach – Myths of the Mirror has just read “Loving Lady Lazuli”. Her review will appear in her next books review.

However, you can read it NOW! Just click on the book cover!

I read if you hit a piece of jade, it rings like a bell. Whether for pleasant listening or for ritual practices, chimes, xylophones, and gongs have been created from melodically resonant jade.

I kept hearing this song while doing the post. Maybe because Sade looks like Jade, but an “s” instead of a “j”. When I learned about jade being resonant, I put it in.

On top of it all, Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even sent me a gift of LED lights with 4 filters: red, orange, yellow and blue. Jade is the first Art Gown learning lesson. I experimented in night, and day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As Jade retires to the plant room, I’m mini Jade here to say thank you for popping by & come again!

A Tangle of Music

Dahlings, do you just love my hair done as red sails? I feel like I could fly. It makes me think of songs like: Sailing by Christoper Cross, Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin & Come Sail Away by Styx. This brings me to the theme of our Tribute today, Music!

Take it away, Rebecca!

Thank you Rene! We’ve decided to have a bit of fun with “A Tangle of Music”. Each AGM is presented with 2 or 3 bars of 12, that are the instrumental opening to a famous song. There are other clues, as well.

There is an obvious theme running though each AGM’s gown, that pertains to the opening lyrics. Also, as you can see, I am surrounded by the chords in the song. Note: I am holding an A minor in my right hand.

First out on the Catwalk, with the first 2 bars, is AGM Marina in a stunning 1 shoulder, ultra fitted gown with a fish tail hem.

In order to make sure our presentation is sound, we consulted with Trent, & sent him the pic of Marina.

Trent’s reply: “My piano is way off to the side, and I was trying to play it off of the dress, which has the left hand (on the right side) and the right hand (on the left side) with a woman in between. It took a minute.”

Trent’s advice: “It is easier to see if the two parts (called staves) are together. If you can have the line and bracket joining them, a player knows they are played at the same time.”

As you can see AGM Shey holds the next 2 bars, with the staves joined, in one hand. She shows off the full skirt of the drop waist slip style gown in her other hand.

AGigiM is brilliant in pinch tucked trim accentuating a deep v décolletage. Off the shoulder ruffles make for an innocent (don’t be fooled) effect, while a generous side seam insert of pleats adds drama to her every move. Her right gloved hand holds the 5th, 6th & 7th bars.

Dale, our AGM of Thunder feels easy and breezy, as she leans on a fence of the 8th & 9th bars. Inspired by a gypsy’s dance, her gown is full of romance.

Avant Garde is the term for AGM Holly’s asymmetric gown. She stands nonchalantly by the last 3 bars to the intro.

The theme running through the gowns is  gold. “There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold”.

This is an historic tribute performance of the answer!

Now, back to Rene!

Thank you, Rebecca! This is the gown that started it all. It’s a scribble gown, drawn to live music from under Resa’s bed.

Okay, the fun isn’t over yet! Someone’s past boyfriend found them online & sent her the song he wrote for her back when. Perhaps you can guess who? The answer will be on Holly’s blog.

Finally we have many blog pals who make great music. What would a great Tangle be without throwing a few into the snarl!

Click on the cards to visit their Youtube channels!

Check out the music of MK-O – Marina Kanavaki & Oannes (click on above)

Visit them on their blogs!

Holly, Gigi, Shey, Dale, Marina

& Art Director – Rebecca Budd

Rene Rosso character © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Since 2019

Princess Blue Holly in Erebos

After a successful Jazz Age fashion show, Blue Holly’s Tangle- Heart showed her a perfectly rosy pink magic tree sanctuary. She decided to see for herself.

She put on her new Sunny Day Super Hero outfit, for the occasion.

However, when she arrived, the perfect rosy pink was being swallowed slowly by darkness.

Looking to another horizon, the dark sky was giving up a portal. The moon marked the spot. Did the AGMs need to be rescued, again? Their beauty was a curse!

Slipping into her invisibility outfit, she slid through the portal. PBH was shocked to see her old enemy from Super Hero College. It was the insulting shape-shifting spirit, Chainelle; who had managed to usurp the spirit of R. Budd.

PBH took some time to eavesdrop.

“Why is everything so dark and murky?

“Atmosphere!”

How am I here?  Why am I here? ”

 “You aren’t here RB, only your spirit is here. Your lumbersome body is asleep in its bed. You are here to Art Direct a fashion show for the Live Nitoop Network. It will be broadcast over the entire Netherworlds.”

“It’s all Baby Bat SheyGoth’s fault! I was merely planning to usurp her spirit, as payback for her affair with DracGoth.  Then I saw that hack, Rene Rosso, hosting the worst fashion show ever.”

“The spirits of the AGMs are backstage, getting dressed in fabulous gowns that I designed. I’ll be shape shifting into mine.”

“Dahlings, welcome to the end all of fashion shows! I’m Chainelle your glorious producer and designer of all the Zombie Theme Gowns you see here tonight. Take it away Rebecca!”

“Thank you, Chainelle! It is with great disconcertion  that I present the AGMs in fashions from Erebos.”

“First out on the runway is Gigi. Gigi looks totally not amused.  You can’t see them, but the heels of her stilettos are actual stilettos.”

“AGM Holly can barely walk in this prisoner style gown with brick heavy tail. These bondage gowns are quite popular here in Erebos.”

“It’s not AGM Shey’s fault that Drac Goth left Chainelle for her. Nonetheless, she’s stuck here with the rest of us.”

“Check out the accessory of chain, crosses, skulls and spikes. These cost a small fortune in blood, apparently.”

“Marina’s gown is replete with a live snake chained to her arm. Good work, Chainelle!”

“AGM Dale feigns happiness in this, erm, treacle sweet gown designed by you know who.

“Next out on the catwalk is …Blue Holly in a gown!!! Yay!! Pack it up girls, we’re going home!”

“Hello Chainelle. First send the AGMs and RB’s spirits back to their beds! Then I’m going to thrash you”

Chainelle went wild, shape shifting into a new gown every half second.

“That’s hardly a fair fight. What’s say I send the AGMs & RB back, and we meet for a showdown?”

“Fine! Where and when?”

“Gulf of Mexico, by the coral off the coast of Texas. Tomorrow, noon!”

Blue Holly looked into her Tangle-Heart, and could see the AGMs & RB on their way home.

“Okay, coral…. High noon!”

Rene Rosso spoke to the AGMs & RB from Nowhere & Nothing World, her go to  place when dealing with Netherworlds denizens, and their prisoners.

“It will be night when you get home. It will be dark on the way.” Here’s some night travelling music to keep you safe.”

Hack …my foot! Just to let Chainelle know, as a professional Diva, I can change gowns, hair and make-up in one minute: and I don’t have to shape shift!

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso characters © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter – Since September, 2019

You can visit the fabulous AGMs on their blogs!

Gigi – Rethinking Life,  Holly – House of Heart, Shey – Smexy Historical Romance, Marina – Art Towards a Happy Day & Dale – A Dalectable Life

Visit Rebecca on her Podcast Blog– From here you can link on to one of her other fab blogs

❦ All magic tree and nature photos courtesy of & © Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even

The Jazz Age

Dahlings! Rene Rosso here, welcome to the Jazz Age!

Defined by writers, performers and artists of the time such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Thomas Hart Benton, it was more than a Gatsby, Paris or New York moment. So let’s get the full string of beads from our glorious Art Director, Rebecca Budd.

Thank you, Rene! We know the Flapper dress was the cat’s meow and the Charleston was the hoofer’s delight. Still, we should acknowledge that Vionnet and Chanel were the first designers to get rid of the corset, defining the silhouette of the era. Palazzo pants made their debut, and the cloche hat was the keenest.

Here to show you what gowns were all about are the Art Gowns Models! First out on the catwalk is Gigi. Gigi wears a hand painted silk georgette dress, with asymmetric tiers, accentuated by hand rolled satin rattail. 

AGM Marina is a Deco Delight in her Gloria Swanson inspired fish tail gown. The fish tail is made completely of metallic gold diamonds, and spills gracefully out onto the floor.

I’d like to take a moment here to acknowledge the brilliant work of “The Beauty Team”. On loan from The Coop; hair, make-up and wardrobe have done an outstanding job.

© Georgiann Carlson

It was a tough job for Wiggy, to create all those Marcel Waves on the AGMs, who refused to have their hair cut. Nonetheless, between her skill and ingenuity, all the AGMs are finger waved.

© Georgiann Carlson

Jamie copied the smouldering eyes of the era. Thanks to Clara Bow, eyebrows were severely plucked and pencilled in thin. Of course none of the AGM’s could afford to have their eyebrows plucked due to upcoming runway dates, but Jamie managed a faux look.

© Georgiann Carlson

Judy did a masterful job making faux feathers out of scrap fabrics,  for any trims and boas. Instead of fur, she trimmed Miss Rosso’s velvet Opera Cape, with a lusher napped velvet.

Back on the runway, AGM Dale shows off hand embroidered trims with jewel insets, in this fun design. A cloche hat adds elegance.

Holly works poetry in this AGM must show black silk crepe gown. Its lines are defined  with the latest ribbon imports from Europe.

AGM Shey’s gown, made from a glorious silk jacquard, is reminiscent of the late 20’s as the drape flows into the bias cut of 30’s.

I now hand the stage back to Ms. Rosso!

Thank you, RB! I’m thrilled to present our guest performer of the evening. Here’s the bee’s knees, Lala LaSwirl. Lala has been touring the opera circuit under the name “Soprano Charlotte Hoather”! Tonight she will sing Quando M’en Vo from La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini.

Thank you, dahling Rene! I’m thrilled to be here. I could imagine the character, Musetta, wearing this Art Gowns outfit, as it is very glamorous. I could imagine a director selecting the dress if the setting for the performance was the 1920’s era.

After the show, Ms. Rosso was to attend to a Gatsby themed party in a bias cut dress & velvet opera wrap. In a fun mood, she sang along with her favourite entertainer of the era, Josephine Baker.

Out of the blue, RR’s 6th sense slapped her in the face! She stopped dead in her tracks.

She looked into her Tangle-Heart. My, my she thought, things look quite sweet and rosy. It’s, idyllic, so perfect. Something is wrong!

Dahlings, I know  look simply marvellous in this pic of my Ziegfeld Follies gown. Sad, but it was lost with all my luggage while on tour 3 years ago. Now, it is my thank you Art Gown.

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Since May, 2019

🎺 💙 Thank you dear Holly for suggesting this era! 💙 🎺

Visit all or any of these beauties on their blogs. Holly – House of Heart, Gigi – Rethinking Life, Shey – Smexy Historical Romance, Marina – Art Towards a Happy Day, Dale – A Dalectable Life

Check out the land of the AGM’s magic tress and more on Tim’s blog – Off Center Not Even

Visit Rebecca

I adore the new cover for Shey’s book –The Viking and the Courtesan

Let it be known that Shey’s heroines possibly are: strong willed, hard headed, lie, cheat, steal, connive, duplicitous and able to hide a corpse in the cellar. Intrigued? Just click on the book cover and go to her Amazon page!

Visit Charlotte on her blog

Click on the thank you above, to buy her recordings!!

Belle Grâce

Ever wonder how to capture mother nature in an Art Gown? After all, there are many aspects to her.

To name a few, she’s Dogmatic & Powerful

Cloudy & Moody

Sunshine & Sunsets

Seasons & Storms.

Then let me introduce you to Tim, to whom Belle Grâce is dedicated. Tim shares all that mystic with us, via photographs from his magic tree sanctuary.

Belle Grâce is constructed from yards & yards of liquidation curtain sheers. At $0.50/yd. the fabric was an Art Gown in waiting. Acetate lining scraps sent to the Art Gowns fabric bin, by a long time friend, were paired with the sheers.

 First a full skirt liner was fashioned to fit over the Art Gowns Crinoline. The same Crinoline is used for all full skirted Art Gowns. Then a bodice was draped on the Judy.

Using tailor’s tacks, the drape was opened up, creating a pattern. Again using tailor’s tacks the shape was repeated on a stiff under lining. The goal was to create a corset look, without using boning.

The sheers were gathered and and attached to the over skirt.  A diamond of beaded self satin was added to the bodice.

The result – Belle Grâce

Belle Grâce loves all lighting.

The diaphanous layers of sheer over satin solids make for a lot of opportunities.

The natural light this time of year is glorious, as it pours through the windows. A DOP once pointed out to me, you can’t replace the sun.

A gluttony of Outtakes

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are some of Tim’s spectacular, Art Gowns inspiring photos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All trees featured in the slideshow have been dedicated to someone. I am pleased to say that all of the AGMs & AG Art Director, Rebecca Budd, have a magic tree of their own.

Magic Hour Back Light

If you click on the Thank you, you’ll visit Holly.

Art Gown Belle Grâce designed and handmade by Resa McConaghy – 2021

All Photos of  Belle Grâce © Resa McConaghy

All nature photos © Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even

Otherworld Adventure

Princess Blue Holly descended gracefully into Otherworld.

She was led by her Tangle-Heart. A moonless night was falling, as it watched over the defoliated magic trees.

Upon arrival, Blue Holly adopted the garb of the common peoples of Otherworld. She wandered tirelessly through a dark, eternal 3 a.m., searching for SheyGoth.

At first the song was far away, but PBH followed the music. AGM Shey was an incurable romantic. She was sure SheyGoth was behind the music.

As PBH drew near to SheyGoth, DracGoth intercepted.

“Princess Blue, I call you out! You are not in your league here. You have few powers to do anything. SheyGoth is here of her own free will. She can only leave of her own free will. We are Otherworld lovers.”

Blue Holly faced him dead on, albeit a tad cheeky.

“Was it the red hair that tipped you off? Look, I just want to talk to SheyGoth!”

SheyGoth appeared behind her Goth lover.“Princess Blue, I have no desire to talk with you!”

PBH replied, “then at least speak with Rene. You owe her that much. She made you, and all of the Art Gowns Models international celebrities.”

Driven by her love for all her AGM sisters, SheyGoth conceded. Blue Holly chose Nowhere & Nothing World, for the meeting. SheyGoth slipped on a simple gown, thereby becoming AGM Shey for the occasion.

A hologram of Rene Rosso appeared. “Come home dear Shey!”

“Remember the gowns, the colours, the joys of the catwalk? Remember Holly, Dale, Marina & Gigi? Remember how all the AGMs help each other? They wait for you! Rebecca Budd says she can’t do another show without you!”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

AGM Shey’s memories filled the air around her. Soon her true colour  came back.

AGM Shey looked at RR, and asked,”Will you sing “Once I Was Loved”, by Melody Gardot?”

DracGoth was frantic. “SheyGoth, don’t leave me! I love you! I need you! We are Otherworld lovers!”

“Sorry, Dahling! As much as I love our loving, there is no colour, no daytime, no any other time but 3 a.m. here. The Girlfriends and Gowns are calling. Dahling, you can come up and see me any night! I’ll wait in the dark for you.”

With that, SheyGoth slowly faded into a golden glow. The golden glow was cast upon the leafless magic trees.

Soon AGM Shey’s tree and all other magic trees were green again.

One-eye shed a tear for love.

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso characters © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Since September 2019

Shey Gigi MarinaDale Holly

All magic tree photos curtesy of & © Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even

TWO Things of note.

1. I was commissioned to draw Dracula. DracGoth is some of the drawings that did not win. Here is the winner:

2. AGM Shey/aka SheyGoth/ aka Shehanne MooreIS a true romantic. She writes the best historical romances, ever! Of 8 I’ve read 7. I’ve reviewed 6 here on Art Gowns. More will come!

Click on the above banner & go to Shey’s Amazon page!

In case you missed the first episode to this adventure, click on the pic below, and go there!

What Suits Art Gowns?

Darlings! Rene Rosso here, in a suit! Can you believe it?

However, it’s an Art Gowns suit. So when Holly and Resa asked me to host this post, I said “okay!” Still, how did this happen? Well, there was no multi-medium paper at the art store. Resa had to buy a sketch pad.

 It’s been awhile since Resa just pencil sketched. She was excited to rise to the occasion, & started with Shehanne Moore in a Town Suit, very 1980’s come 1930’s.

Then it was GiGi’s turn to model this ultra-uber, never seen before style. No one can wear an imaginary time unknown suit like Gi! (Above)

Craving some colour, Resa added ballpoint pen and turquoise ink pen bows. There was no way I was going to wear a suit with bows! Holly had no choice but to model it.

The musicians were going wild downstairs when Resa came up with a Crazy Free Style Art tulle skirted suit for Marina Kanavaki. Having a colour meltdown, Resa went nuts with felt pens. They soaked through 3 pages of paper, and she had to iron the sketch.

Resa should have drawn me in the above suit. DARN!

This Art Gowns Suit is more like it. Now, I can work on the next song being added to my repertoire “Sweet Love”. I’ve been very inspired listening to Anita Baker sing it.

Their names are hot in the descriptions under the suits they have modelled. They all have fab blogs to visit.

Rene Rosso Character © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Mermaid Holly will be hosting the next Art Gowns post. It’s a feature on Art Gowns Mermaids with surprise guest Mermaids. Don’t miss out!

Eye’ll see you there!

O’Roarke’s Destiny – by Shehanne Moore

Is the line between love and hate so fine you can’t see it? If you can’t see it, can you cross it?

Some women are attracted to bad boys. Are some men attracted to bad girls? What if a good boy became a bad boy? What if a bad girl became a good girl, even when she was bad?

That’s just part of the passion play in O’Roarke’s Destiny. The intrigue, mystery and small matter of an effective curse cast by Diver’s O’Roarke is the story’s action.

It’s 1801, Cornwall; a time when women needed men, more than men needed women. Or, so society knew. 1801, Cornwall; Destiny Rhodes needs no one, nor anything: save Doom Bar Hall, its servants, Aunt Modesty’s porcelain, Lord Tredwynne’s antique armour, Grandfather Austell’s stuffed parrots, garlands in the hall at Christmas, her garden and all the embroidered pillows sewn up mended.  At least that’s what Destiny was thinking. 

However, it all seems somewhat moot after Divers O’Roarke wins Doom Bar Hall, from Destiny’s drunkard brother, Orwell.

It’s a world of smugglers, pirates, excisemen and extreme danger, yet, Destiny needs only her instincts. She’s in over her head, but owns a drive to do what has to be done to get to the bottom of what is going on, and retain a position to remain at Doom Bar Hall.

Still, Lyons busted her illegal casks of spirits. Who tipped him off?  Mostly, why did Divers O”Roarke take the fall for her?

💥 BREAKING NEWS! 💥

There’s gowns in the story.

Tragically, Destiny’s dear husband Ennis, while in his carriage, had cascaded to his death into a ravine.(credit to the curse) Now, Destiny is in an eternal mourning in black. On top of it all, she has pined away her body’s curves, and chopped off her luscious long black hair.

Divers O’Roarke wants her, but black is for widows. He has won Doom Bar Hall … fair & square? So, her gowns are his, to sell at his pleasure. Yet, his pleasure is far from the few bits of coin he could get for the gowns. What he wants is to see Destiny, in any gown other than widow’s black.

Eventually, Destiny must wear a gown for him. She dons her least sexy gown, which is in Egyptian blue. (I don’t have that colour in my caddy, but I came up with an eau de nil). This colour is not her best, possibly her worst, definitely her most disliked.

Yet, what Divers O’Roarke wants is to see her in her most vibrant and glorious red gown. Will she wear it?

1. How did the idea of a curse come up? Are you superstitious, dabble in say; Tarot or Astrology? How/why did the curse entail everything turning to dust? Why not turn to toads, a lowly insect or even a hamster? (a little cheek)

Oh, now there was  a time I  did some work for a psychic  journalist. I did once say what haven’t I done writing wise and other way wise when it comes to earning a crust. And yes I also did some Tarot work for her too as part of that. So I did learn the cards.  At that time I also could do card readings from  playing cards. I had a great aunt who could do the tea leafs.  That totally fascinated me growing up. I think much as we may mock it, we do want to know a bit about what’s ahead, that HOPEFULY there’s a corner that will be turned or some good luck coming. As for the  curse idea? Well, the book started about a house that the heroine had lost. And that idea came from us having to sell up our family home and me jokingly saying to a friend, I should just have flung myself in with it as a housekeeper. Then I thought BINGO idea for a book here. And it started out as fun and frothy but there were things on the table that weren’t right. Like why didn’t the hero just put her out? How can he be so besotted with this family when they were horrible to him as a child? Was light and frothy going to sustain a book? Then for some reason I saw their pasts and how and why he had cursed her and how everything had then gone wrong in her life since. Everyone she cared about has died. So she gets this name locally that way. Now if only I had thought beyond the box though, you are right. He should have said may everything you touch turn into a hamster dude. But then she’d have been overrun.  That might have been a worse curse.  2. Your use of humour helps in feeling the underlying intense emotional states of Destiny and O’Roarke.  With Destiny it’s the simple practical day to day things she plans to do the next day. With O’Roarke, it’s what to dig his grave with. Did you intend these character’s personal thoughts to be a humorous relief? Or did it just turn out that way?

No. Firstly I always like to use humour of thoughts. We all have them, let’s be clear. Maybe not about graves and what to dig them with etc., but we do have little idiosyncrasies and of course we are not always aware of them either.  And I also know my readers expect to have a few giggles. So I couldn’t not. My characters always have some kind of wee saying or attitude. One heroine had sliding scales of things. Another would sooner swallow a crocodile than do whatever and as the book went on, that list grew and grew. One hero–my most impatient one–had Christ on various things.  I did feel this book would be a bit dark if I didn’t have these bits. They are neither of them in the best place emotionally.  However I then have the prob of her being a widow and I did NOT want to tackle it by having her thinking well, she was widow, thank God, because she had every reason not to have loved her husband. I felt that was a get out.  So I thought if I had her, having been hit so hard that her way through is to line up  tasks and tick the boxes, that that actually could prove quite humorous, especially if she’s so busy lining up these tasks, while people keep ‘getting in her face’  she doesn’t see how deep the waters are getting. It was like a wee you may think wink to my readers  she’s going to be incandescent with rage the way my other ladies would be, but you are in for a surprise here. She’s too busy thinking she has that cushion cover to sew and that stool to mend. In a way these are the things that also need to be prised loose from her fingertips. 

 3. I’m fascinated by “Doom Bar Hall”. How did you come up with that name? Had you considered calling it “Rhodes Hall”?

Doom Bar Hall was called after Doom Bar sandbar in Cornwall. Given I wanted to write of curses and smuggling, and not such great emotional states, I wanted something dark sounding and it is quite a fearsome sandbar I gather, responsible for hundreds of ship wrecks down the years. Originally before I went from frothy to dark, from Hampshire to Cornwall geographically,  the house was called Lavistock and the book title was the Lady of Lavistock. Divers wasn’t called Divers O’Roarke either at that point. I just felt all round this was stronger. I do like to create a pervading mood and landscape for each book. This became the one here.

Resa, I want to thank you not just for inviting me here today, but your wonderful friendship AND the talent and readiness to use it to create gowns, for all those you create gowns for AND that includes my ladies. They and I salute you. 

Here’ s the first drawing I did of Destiny. I was trying too, hard with the chopped off hair look. Yet, I still like it, because she looks like a pirate courtesan, with hair for an eye patch.  Yet, perhaps this is a more correct visual introduction to Destiny.

Shehanne Moore is a native of Scotland, Dundonian by birth. She is the author of many Romance novels.

Having read 3 (almost 4) of her books, I can say her attention to the details of an era puts one in a different time and place. You don’t question it. You are there.

As for the flame of love she burns with her words, I suggest you read a book to see the fire!

Click on the pic below, to buy O’Roarke’s Destiny on Amazon!

A cover for one’s book can be as daunting as writing it. After a great search, Shehanne found the image below. The colours were wrong, but they were made right.

Eye’d like to thank all who took the time to read this post. Love you all!

“Destiny” As a Resa one eye

Queen Isabella

Did you ever feel like you were sculpting an Art Gown?

Well, that’s exactly how I felt building Queen Isabella.

Dedicated to my sweet friend Isabella: I said to her and T, I want Isabella in the title, but with another word.

Without hesitation, T said “Queen”. Without hesitation, it made sense to me.

Isabella is creative, and supports all arts. She’s a wife, a mother and devoted to her family & friends. She throws dinner parties fit for the Art Gowns.

As Art Gowns must reuse, up-cycle or repurpose,  I challenged Isabella to donate something she’d been hanging onto for years, but didn’t use anymore.

She challenged me back, and gave me a very textured dress. The colour made me think of a purple peacock, if such a creature exists.

I dismantled it, and draped the texture on a different angle. The bodice texture demanded a skirt to surpass it. The Art Gowns’ crinoline was pressed into service. 

To make mock feathers, random strips were cut from a vintage curtain lace. Acrylic paint with fabric medium was daubed on irregularly. This created a visual texture. Partial ruching created volume, and a feeling of ruffled feathers.

Flowers were made, using leftover bits of the painted lace.

I love it when she’s backlit.

Or on an overcast day

Or at night, in a dark room, when she stands under one ceiling light.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For her first dinner party with all of the Art Gowns, Queen Isabella has decided on live guitar music.

Art Gown Queen Isabella © Resa McConaghy – 2019

Live music – Provided by The Mini-me.

All photos © Resa McConaghy – 2019

🌹 For Isabella, June 26, 2019 🌹

Ta ta for now!