While driving through Texan suburbia, 20 minutes outside of Lubbock, drivers will find a giant, four-legged UFO standing just across the street from rows of ordinary two-story houses. Upon closer inspection, the strange formation appears to better resemble a massive cicada, or a multiple-story grand piano balancing on the hillside. In reality, this bizarre structure is actually someone’s house—the labor of love of Robert Bruno, an unconventional sculptor who handcrafted it from 1973 until his death in 2008. The house is made of 150 tons of blackened steel, each piece welded by hand, and was created with virtually no outside assistance. The interior is wooden, resembling the inside of a tree trunk, and many of the windows are stained glass. 📸: Photo by Denis Laming.

And the last dragon tail to upload today! It’s made primarily of blackened stainless steel. This one was a short one, only 24 inches long (though coming in at 3 lbs 2 oz, because steel is heavier than aluminum).

I think I need to edit the tip, though. The commissioner’s character had a specific pattern of blue on the tip. I didn’t want to use anodized aluminum there because it tends to get scratched by the steel. Also the commissioner wanted a light blue/teal, where the normal anodized aluminum blue is a deeper royal blue. So I suggested anodized titanium, which I had just enough of left over from a previous project. But the titanium turned out to have rather less contrast with the steel than I’d expected.

I had an idea for how to pad between the steel and the aluminum, so I think I’m going to build an alternate tip, see how it looks, check with the commissioner, and maybe swap it out.

On the upside, this may have been my fasted tail constructed ever. I started it after an early dinner yesterday, and I’d gotten it finished by about 1AM. The short size helped, of course, but man. This was the 5th tail I’d made in a month. I wonder if my speed has improved since the last time I carefully timed myself.

Writers Creed Prompt

Air of the Abandoned…

I come to this place is to remind me of something once thought to be grand. Its an example of construction that could only be thought up by the mind of a brilliant, talented, creative man. Cathedral ceilings ten feet high, marble floors stretch out before my eyes. Mahogany stair cases rise to the sky, stained glass windows bring tears to the eye. Built in the golden age of mistrial shows, now nothing more than a decaying structure, a memory lost in time. Well in the grand scheme of things I guess that’s just how things go, but how it was is fresh in my mind.

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anonymous asked:

Could you please find some tiaras belonging to the Romanian royal family? I am very curious about them. I love your blog, by the way :-)

Thanks, the story of the Romanian jewels like the story of the Romanian royals is a rather sad.  During WWI, the Romanian government decided to send the country’s valuable objects and 120 tons of gold to Russia where it would be safe from the invading Germans.  Unfortunately, Russia was not the best choice because of its impending revolution.  After the Bolsheviks took over the government, they refused to give back the Romanian treasure and Queen Marie’s jewels were most likely dismantled and quietly sold off.  She lost at least three tiaras including these.

Edinburgh Turquoise Tiara

Massin Pearl & Diamond Tiara

Diamond Loop Tiara

After the war, Queen Marie went about replacing her jewel collection with both new and old pieces.  The royals who made it out of Russian after the revolution without being killed needed to sell their valuables to support themselves and their families.  The market was flooded with impressive jewels which meant that they were being sold at prices much less than they were previously worth.  Queen Marie bought quite a few of these cheap but magnificent Russian jewels (as did Queen Mary of the United Kingdom).

Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna’s Diamond Fringe Tiara

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna’s Sapphire Kokoshnik

Cartier Pearl Tiara (newly made, not a Russian one)

The three above tiaras were all inherited by her daughters (Queen Maria of Yugoslavia, Archduchess Ileana of Austria-Tuscany, and Queen Elisabeth of Greece) and were later sold which is not surprising given the unstable condition in the Balkans during the 20th century.  The only tiara still in the possession of the Romanian Royal Family is Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna’s Meander Tiara, which Queen Marie gave to Princess Helen of Greece when she married her son, King Carol II of Romania.

Also, the Cartier Blackened Steel Tiara may have belonged to Queen Marie or possibly one of her ladies-in-waiting.  I find it hard to believe the Queen Marie (who loved a photo-shoot) owned this beautiful tiara and was never photographed in it.  My best guess is that is belonged to Princess Elisa Ştirbei.

We woke from quiet whispers and rose, like zombies hours before the sun.

In the twilight, we prepared. Silhouettes of my brothers shambling quietly in the moondust. Doom clutched in our hands, strapped to our thighs and heavy on our shoulders.

We were the snake with a hundred green eyes, crawling out from the steel grass, on the prowl for prey.

A prey with perfect camouflage, their cloaks made of innocence.

I used to wonder how they crafted such things, where they could possibly find innocence in this land of lies.

The truth would wound me deeply, and it will never heal. I still taste the dust and copper, the carbon and ozone. In the night I still feel my grip slipping, my hands covered in the life that leaked from his body as I lifted it; his hips like chips of porcelain, grinding in my palms.

The price for survival was eternal vigilance.

I spoke their words with a broken tongue and stripped them of their dignity. I did so without remorse, as they sowed the machinings of our destruction in the same earth on which their children played.

What they planted grew faster than any other; watered by footsteps in exchange for flesh.

Who can forget, when in panic that day, a woman covering her shame but cursing our name in crazed despair; held in her arms the broken boy who’d trode on the fruit meant for us.

Cowardice, I understand, for though we were few, we bore hearts of smoldering brimstone clutched from hell with which we were to purge those who stood to harm our own or any who could not defend themselves. We saw through darkness, moved like ghosts in the desert wind and wielded death in tight groupings; two to the heart, one to the mind.

Them, they sacrificed their own.

Infanticide. The word to forge for their sins. A murder more foul than murder can describe.

The silencing of sons and daughters; the first for vengeance, the second for seeking forbidden knowledge.


I have bloodied my hands, I have extinguished the flames of life and I seek no redemption. Not for delusions of righteousness or morality. But because we knew what we were doing. We came prepared, with blackened hearts and steeled minds.

They could not break us, not while we were together; a phalanx of will and peerless determination.

We were the sixth in the first; escorted through the garden of Nakhonay by the Bastards themselves. Lead by a woman so fierce, the Elders dared not ignore her. Every last one of us would follow her to hell and back. Some of us did.

Not all of us returned, and none of us returned unscathed.

Every last one had paid the boatman in advance before we set foot on that foresaken soil. Some crossed the river sooner than others, by their own hand. I never had the chance to say goodbye, but I forgive them for leaving without me.

I still wait on the shoreline with the damned; my sins burning on my soul, content that I tried to do not what was good, but what was necessary.

Years from now, there will be nothing left but ash.

And the blood, sweat, brass and brethren we left in that desert will be our legacy.

A legacy of a lost cause, trying to rescue those who wished to be left to drown in the strife of their own country.

Maybe, just maybe; I changed at least one life for the better.

That’s all I can hope for, with the weight of what I had to do to make it home alive.

—  @cyrusbriar

Thalin laid in his bed at the Flagon for the first time for quite a while, he didn’t feel right returning there without having the whole family there. But the cost of staying in Stormwind’s inns nightly was beginning to add up. Adding on the strange series of events that  had been plaguing him recently, it seemed like the quiet of the Flagon was preferable. He starred up at the ceiling, holding a sleek object in his hand, a dagger of admittedly strange make. 

In the flickering candle light of his room, the shape of the dagger played with Thalin’s eyes. The physical shape of the dagger was that of a small flight feather, like that of a bird”s wing. As the light danced across the blackened steel, strange shapes washed across the blade’s edge. Thalin scowled looking at the dagger, ever since he picked up the damn thing, he’s felt nothing but convulsion to hold and touch it. Sighing, he sheathed the blade in a scabbard that it fit into generally well, sating his curiosity for a moment. 

“Dammit, Ave,” the young man started, “What is this thing?” Thalin recalled his most recent glimpse of his old friend in Stormwind. As he spoke to this strange Night Elf on the origin of the sword his master gifted too him, he caught sight of her down the winding streets of the Mage Quarter. It pained his heart seeing even the faintest trace of Ave’s being, but the knowledge of a mystery surrounding his master was far more important at that time. Thalin set his arm above his eyes, remembering the gift that Sir Baris had given him.

The storms had ruined all the good work that the Silver Bastion had done for Menethil since the Cataclysm. As Thalin wiped his brow, he looked out at his old brothers hard at work. So few of them remained, most taken by the war with the Legion. Thalin lowered his head and watched the swamp water swirl around his feet. Shaking his head, he returned to work, stacking sand bags along what would become a sort of damn to help stem the constant flow of water into the town itself.

“Thalin! Get your ass over here!” A shout rang out. Thalin jumped up, and sloshed through the ankle deep water. The young knight came around the keep to see his old master standing with a group of his order. Thalin gave himself a moment to admire his hero again. Sir Baris the Lionhearted, as was his title, was a mountain of a man, and to Thalin, might even make Thandiroq quiver in his boots. His graying mane was swiped back from the sweat of his work and the dampness of the local, but still held a sense of regalia and pride. His left eye carried a deep scar that left the eye ruined, but only added to the old man’s fierceness. Sir Baris stroked his beard in the setting sun, gazing at the assembled Bastion before him. As he glanced to his side, his glare became a scowl, “Dammit boy! I said get over here! The city make you daft?” he roared in Thalin’s direction.

Thalin sprinted as fast as he could through the flooded town as he brought himself into the formation that was assembled. He ignored the snickers and goading from his old comrades as he brought himself to attention before the “Old Lion”, as he was often called. 

With a gruff nod, Sir Baris started, “Alright shitheads, I know it’s right fucked up that all our hard work was pissed away.” He glared at the town with a sigh, “But remember that we’ve all sworn an oath to these people, to protect and serve them, no matter what is thrown at us. And as you all know, some of us have paid the ultimate price for that oath.” The usual frown upon the old knight’s face was replaced with something that could only be sorrow. “And some of you have taken that oath to a different place.” he continued. “Thalin, post!”

Thalin moved forward and stood before his master, turning on his heel to stand before the rest of the Bastion. “Young Thalin here has proven himself time and time again against the shit in the world, not in the grand campaigns on other worlds or against the powers that be, but here, on the home front.” Sir Baris slapped the young knight on the shoulder, pride filling Thalin’s heart but not showing upon his face. “From the reports I’ve read, this man has been hard at work across the world, from Duskwood to Silithus. And, much to the Bastion’s honor, he stood against agents of the Legion in our own soil!” A roar erupted from the gathered men, which were quickly silenced by a glare from Sir Baris, “And because of this, the world is a bit safer. So, Thalin, about-face.”

Thalin turned upon his heel again, facing his old master. “Present to me your weapon.” the old knight stated. Thalin removed his blade and stood it before the man. Sir Baris took hold of the sword and set it to the side. He motioned his hand and a new blade was given to him. “Thalin Wildname, Sworn of the Silver Bastion, Dragongarde of Dragons and Flagons, on behalf of myself, and your brothers, I hereby gift unto you this blade.”  Sir Baris, leaned the blade forward, and Thalin starred at it for a long moment. While not entirely remarkable in design as zweihanders go, Thalin was mesmerized. He remembered seeing his master wield it during his early days as a squire, he witnessed dozens of foes brought down by this sword, and now he was given it by the man he admired most in the world. With a shaky left hand, Thalin took hold of the blade and brought it to his side. His right hand snapped up to his forehead in a crisp salute to his master. The Old Lion gave a fierce grin and returned the salute, and once more the Bastion roared in approval.

Thalin smiled in his bed, the same pride of that day filling his heart again, but now a small sting snuck it’s way in. He looked across the room to his blade, leaning against the wall. “Windhowl…” he whispered to himself, “Where did he get you?” and reaching back to the dagger, he unsheathed it and gazed once more upon the small blade, “And what am I going to do with you?”


Dragon tail in blackened stainless steel! It’s been a while since I got to make something with this material, it’s one of my favorites. Really sturdy, and I very much enjoy the matte, slightly textured surface finish. Though it can develop surface rust if it gets wet, and when it’s new it has some dark oil and dusty residue left over from the manufacturing process which tends to rub off onto your hands.

This tail measures in at 30 inches from tip to the top of the belt loop, and weighs in at 3 pounds 14 ounces. It’s also got a lobster clasp at the tip, which is good for attaching various things to for fun.

Here’s an in-progress shot of it that shows the texture of the scales better. You can also see the lobster clasp at the tip in that photo.


This dragon tail is primarily made of blackened stainless steel. It’s a material that I always enjoy using, though it’s got its quirks. The black is formed by a particular oxidizing process that turns the surface into magnetite, which is pretty cool. It’s the same process used to make guns black, I believe. The finish ends up being a slightly varied matte black, which I just really like. It does tend to rub off some black for a while when it’s fresh, most of which is oils from the manufacturing process. And while the steel is stainless, the oxide surface can develop some rusty patches over time. Making sure it’s not wet for too long helps, and a bit of oil can be used to wipe off any rust that does form.

That turned into care instructions for the material, oops.

The commissioner for this tail also requested a very small blue underbelly (made of anodized aluminum). Not enough to see most of the time unless you raised the tail up. It was a neat idea, and I found it fun to do.

Tumblrs David Karp’s Brooklyn Loft

David Karp The Founder of Tumblr gives us an inside look at his loft in south Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

With Karp being one of the biggest tech entrepreneurs out there, you’d expect his home to be filled with screens and cool tech wizardry. Instead, his home is warm with exposed bricks, weathered concrete, blackened steel and reclaimed oak, completely beautiful in its simplicity. He says he doesn’t like screens very much – odd coming from a person who built a service that requires a screen.

Tumblr has a minimalistic style and very easy to use system. As expected that minimalistic style is also found in his home. However, Karp is not the type of minimalist who likes everything to be white and completely neutral – he has a very industrial taste.

*Sigh* where would we (yes including you!) be with David Karp? Probably out enjoying the fresh air, socialising in person and getting better grades is where!


Alliance Console Table

Finished project. I made the company logo out of a piece of old pine encased in a “box” of 1/8" steel plate. The 25 carved into the angle supporting the wood top commemorates the companies anniversary. All the steel is blackened with  Sculpt Nouveau’s Magic Black and sealed with their clear guard. All wood parts were brushed, sanded just enough to eliminate splinters while maintaining the character of the wood, then two coats of wax hand buffed.

The company specializes in roof and exterior wall systems so i wanted to create a table that referenced architecture as well as old machinery.

Moor Street Apartment

The Moor Street Apartment by Clare Cousins is the kind of environment where I would hapilily see myself doing overtime in. Located in the heart of Fitzroy, the combined office space and private residence make use of a soft palette with pale timbers and industrial fixtures to create a fresh approach.
Clean lines and a restrained colour palette let the focus shift to fine detailing and highly textured surfaces. The 6m long concrete island bench with a blackened steel framework along with the choice of industrial pendants thought out, help retain that downtown warehouse aesthetic, while whitewashing timber flooring and exposed brick walls add texture and warmth throughout.

Can I also give a special mention to the UH-MAZING large scale artwork that packs a colourful punch in the backdrop of the meeting room, commissioned by prominent local artist Rowena Martinich.

Photography by Shannon McGrath

The three bedrooms and two bathrooms are located on the lower level, the kitchen and dining on the mid-level, and the living space on the top floor. A key factor in the design of the space was flexibility and liveability so with this in mind the Cousins team designed features like a large sliding wall to separate the master bedroom from a study and library space for privacy when needed or open plan living when not.

The studio space incorporates a work space, large kitchen, staff/dining room, meeting room and waiting and display areas within 250sqm.