Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Friday, 2 September 2011

My dolly is a zebra

Haven't you always wanted to work in the movies? The glamour, the adrenaline, the use of children's toys in place of complicated technical machinery ...

The light at the end of the tunnel

There's low budget, no budget - and there's using your toddler's ride-on zebra as a camera dolly. Today I'm reshooting what is hopefully the last scene that needs doing. I think it looks pretty good. By now, though, I may be hallucinating. So, I hope to wrap things up this weekend. After the work, the next thing is - to let go!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

How to walk (2)

Great, I've been looking for an excuse to post some Laurie Anderson:

Nine Old Men

Some very in depth advice here on animation, from two men who were masters of Disney animation.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Racing to the finish post

Today I'm thinking of Kristina as she has her new baby. And I'm wooshing about tying up loose ends and repolishing and adding and snipping. Two more days to wrap this baby up. Then we present it to the world! Hoorah!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Filling in the gaps

Today I had to mock up another wee book for the film. As the actual book doesn't exist yet, I used the front cover and then just winged it for the back as I imagine it could be. I thought the cover was perhaps lacking some male essence. So here we are - nice, don't you think?

In the end, I decided to tone it down and found a lovely torso that echoes the front. Here's the finished pic. Tadaa! 

View from the control tower

Order in chaos. Well, it must be in there somewhere.

Today I'm working on the last scene before I put together a rough cut. Next week I'll be reshooting a few scenes and polishing. Hopefully.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

How to walk

I've been having a hell of a time trying to animate Violetta running. And I just found a wonderful page on the movements of walking and running - here.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling a bit furtive about showing any clips. So here are some clouds instead, in honour of Escape the Clouds' new album.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011


"But Violetta, what shall we do once the filming's over?!"
"Hmmmm. Let me think."

Nearing our destination

I hardly dare say it, but the end is - if not in sight, then at least within screaming distance.

This week and next, while our wondrous editrix is expectantly waiting for something marvellous, I am furiously trying to finish off the last few scenes and tie up the loose ends in pretty bows.

I hope to have something that resembles a rough cut next week. And then - not long til release!

Stay tuned, cosmonauts.

Curious woodcuts

I've just been scrolling through my files for the animation. Wow. Among thousands of images of Victorian buildings, dirigibles, corsets and parachutes, compound bows, steam powered things and ********* all sorts of secret things I have found some odd woodcuts that I can't quite work out the purpose of.

Maybe it'll come to me.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Side on

I'm trying to work out who Violetta looks like.

For one of the last sequences, I'm going to need to do dolls in profile, which is quite hard to make up from a 2D frontal face picture. So, I'm looking for an actor that looks like this face, and then I'll find a picture in profile to use as reference.

At the moment I'm thinking maybe Lillian Gish, but I'm not totally sure that's who I have in my mind's eye. Any ideas, anyone?

Monday, 22 August 2011

New Musical Express(ion)

Wow, has it been so long since I was here? I've been travailing overseas (small seas) and working deep underground (metaphorically speaking).

While I was away, Escape the Clouds, our fabulous musical inspirators, have released a wonderful new album. Go here to listen to tracks from Until The End.

Thursday, 21 July 2011


My studio is currently heated to 24 degrees and filled with the strong, particulary piquant smell of hedgehog.

Friday, 15 July 2011


I've done most of the shadow work and am back on paper doll action.

The next scene is a chase scene that calls for three different moving layers. I need extra hands and lots of plate glass. I think. Can't quite work out how to film this scene.

Here's a sneaky look. (Yes, a dirty bit, at last! But you know, it's antique, so it's tasteful.)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Long road

This interactive animation is fantastic.

Meanwhile, I've broken the screen, the light and my mind.

300 frames today. I hope they work.

Close work

Making slow but good progress on the shadow sequence. Technology promises such glittering futures, but it's so often a complicated maze of cables, drivers, clashing software and miscommunication.

At last I think I've got a setup that works - I've found a fabulous freeware stopmotion programme - Monkeyjam - and I'm using a little webcam for this sequence.

I shot the sequence four times yesterday before my eyes/back/shoulders/patience gave up and ran out. Here goes take #5 - I'm hopeful!

Thanks for sticking with me on this long trip, visiting cosmonauts. Here's a little peek at what I've been doing.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Girl shaped hole

One of the people from the palanquin ... and an excuse to use a title I've been holding onto for a long, long while.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Happy Accident

The babe spills hundreds of tiny stars all over the floor and while I'm picking them up, I have an idea that I think will really help the last scene.

Also, while making the shadow puppets and props, I think - now, where the hell will I get a parachute? And remember the crap one that I bought for the babe, perfect size, readymade.


*Cough. Edited to add: I didn't actually intend to send the baby parachuting. I mean - it's a toy parachute. Not one that goes on him. I mean - oh, forget it. 

Perfect Circle

Something quite soothing about cutting out dozens of small paper circles.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Cool Bike V Funny Bike:

Funny bike wins, because, of course, the rider is all tatts and piercings and hotness, as this film demonstrates:

Oh, yes, this is relevant because today I'm making a shadow penny farthing.  : )

Monday, 6 June 2011

Going underground

- in a manner of speaking.

Soon I'm going to start adding some of the spicier elements to the animation. So, alas, I'm going to have to say goodbye to any younger readers as this blog will now be set to 'adults only'.

For the rest of you grown up cosmonauts, I hope locking this blog with a warning doesn't actually raise anybody's expectations. There may be very little naked cardboard doll action for a wee while yet!  ; )

Meanwhile - how perfectly naughtily steampunkish is this watch?

Shadow dance

The next sequence I'm planning is a shadow-based animation, something like Lotte Reiniger's. With creatures, trapezes and silhouetted squeezes.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Seven hundred

And twenty six frames shot today.

About a minute of film.

And they're mostly not bad!

Hooray! Now, time for a holiday. See you soon! xxx

Waving. Not drowning. Not quite!

Hello to the fabulous Kristina! I'm feeling a little ashamed having just read her blog post on all the things she's doing WHILE PREGNANT. While I was pregnant I basically managed to brush my hair once a week and empty the fridge* daily. And that was about it. So, Kris is an inspiration and a good reason to get my arse in gear today.

Yesterday I was set to film but having located the elusive special cable I needed, I then lost the jiggery screwy bit for the top of the tripod and had *cough* a bit of a meltdown.

Luckily I have a fabulous partner who knows not only how to calm me down but also how to fix the old tripod (Junior hacksaw, drillbits, screwthreads, something) so that today I shall be shooting for sure. Hopefully I'll have the first few scenes down by this evening. The sets, props and set up should be ready to go. So, onward. To the studio!

*into my mouth

Thursday, 26 May 2011


The Brothers Quay are such fabulous animators. Their attention to detail and touches of humour are just beautiful. If ever so slightly odd.

No Comic Sans allowed

Today I'm finally going to get a long run at the film. Looking forward to reshooting the previous scenes (I think they mostly need at least two shoots to fix the unseen glitches in the first run) and hopefully getting a couple more down too.

With explosions.

In copperplate gothic.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Lost in London

Actually it's years since I've been to London, but it's my birthplace. And it seems it's the steampunk city of choice, though I prefer to use an imagined amalgamation of various places when I think of steampunk locations.

I just found a very interesting resource on the city in Victorian times:

Monday, 23 May 2011

Back to the book

I forgot to announce on this blog that my steampunk erotic romance short 'Make Your Own Miracles' will be appearing in 'Steamlust', out this autumn! Hoorah.

The book cover to the left will also be featuring in the film. So it's the book of the film of the book.

: )

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Get Set

I've finally found the solution to my set quandary. In, of all places, a book on decoupage - cut paper collage with varnishing, I suppose you could call it.

Now to find suitable pictures for the street scene ...

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Dance of the several veils

Well, I've finally got into the studio and made some progress on the film. BUT it's starting to get tricky! How much should I reveal? I don't want to spoil the surprise, but I do want to share the process.

First of all, I have a deadline - mid August! So I've got a lot to get busy with. I'll be checking in here when I can to share glimpses of what's going on. Today, I managed to shoot two scenes, although my table is too high, so I had to do them on tiptoe ...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Stories form while we're asleep

I've been neglecting this blog this month, mostly because I'm doing NaPoWriMo (30 poems, one a day, in April) and time has been squeezed. More squeezed than usual, even.

Anyway, I'm working on storyboards at the moment, ironing out a few kinks and working out where to put the other kinks. Once the story and the images are clearer in my head, I'll be able to hopefully work more efficiently. Yes, I can hardly spell efficient, but I think it's time I learned.
So, plotting, clarifying and scribbling in the background right now. More very soon.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Dream sketches

I am torn between several projects at the moment, which are whirling round in my head like slides on a slide carousel. I shall update here when I have more news of the animation - meanwhile, I'm working on it mostly in my head, worrying at the transitions until they shake loose and make sense.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Taking stock

Today I've realised that I can't work like I used to on an animation. I'm used to feverishly bashing away at a project, haphazardly and hopefully, scattering hours and mess all around.

This time, though, I just don't have enough time to fritter. I am going to plan the thing out, set aside a good chunk of time, and then do all the filming at once. So, next week I'll be storyboarding. The week after, set building, and so on.

What d'you think of the new, organised me, eh? How does it look? *swishes*

What, I have to actually put this intention into practise first?

Sheesh. Tough crowd.

Friday, 1 April 2011


Still on the hunt for a stand-in tripod (ta-boom *tish*). Progress has slowed somewhat while I work that kink out and while I do some writing, too.

Meanwhile, I'm in total, heartbroken awe at the wonder of this film:

Things like this sort of make me want to dash into the shed and sort of make me want to give up and go and be a plumber for a living. It's not strictly steampunk, but I think the ingenious mechanisms are enough to make it relevant.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

More elfin helpers

When the going gets tough, what do you do?

If you can, run to your mammy.

My mother has offered to help make sets, and I'm delighted. She's worked on many illustrious theatrical sets, mostly for puppet theatres, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with. Normally I'm very control freaky about animations and things like animation - I want to do it all, dammit! But frankly, right now I'm just very glad of the help. Maybe I can learn to love working collaboratively ...

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Dear Tripod of Crap, I have used you to within an inch of your life and now, it seems, beyond.

One final kick, one more sheared screw, and I think I have finally finished with your fickle, undependable ways. Time for a new tripod! With a lateral arm! Bring the machines!

Monday, 28 March 2011


Ah, this is so pretty. And as it's a time-lapse it's actually really useful for noting how balloons should move in a stop-frame.


You just have to junk the odd hundred frames and chalk it up to experience ...

Fail again, fail better.



Today I'm sneaking in a few frames when I can - airborne pictures for this sequence.

At last I found a use for the burst cushion I've been holding onto for two years ...

Saturday, 26 March 2011

A day

in the shed  ...

with Cupid and Psyche fluttering round my head, Marrakesh playing and - hopefully - curtains swishing back and forth seamlessly.

With luck, I hope to make the first 100 or so frames this weekend. I've assembled scanned silk, proscenium, backdrop, props, lights, camera, laptop, music, title, and a rough plan. Now all I need is tea and time.

Off to play!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Je vous presente!

Cosmonauts - to accompany us on our animated adventures, we shall be listening to the fabulous music of ...

Escape the Clouds!

I'm delighted to have found a wonderful piece of music for the film. It was a very, very tough process, especially for someone as crap at decision making as I am. I had to choose between some beautiful songs and I'm still sorry I can't use ALL of the music suggested.

But, I am very excited to be working with this band, and now that I have a specific piece of music in mind, I'm hoping it will help propel things along a bit. It's all in the rhythm ...

Happy weekend, all.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Centre stage!

At last, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have chosen the music for the film.

I'll reveal all shortly ...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Cover me!

It's gone dead quiet round here. Everyone seems to have their nose in a book ...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

My grandmother's kimono

You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to scan a fragile old silk garment. Right now boyf (the glamorous assistant that I'd somehow forgotten about) is doing something with cardboard and muttering under his breath. Could be because I've been swearing at him for the past ten minutes while he tries to hold down the slippery bits while maintaining the correct fold pattern and appropriate ratio of red silk to gold embroidery over the scanner screen for long enough that I can crank up the programme and run the scan.

We'll get there, unless the perished old thing gives way first.

Or the kimono. Har.

(And if boyf manages not to hit the 'off' button with his elbow. Again.)

Best draw a veil over the whole scene ...

Monday, 21 March 2011


This weekend I got a little time in the studio, which was fantastic. Time to play around with backdrops - Da Vinci drawings, Jules Verne theatrical illustrations, thesaurus pages and some old sketchbook pages.

This stuff is for background use - hardly noticeable, but still very important. It's all in the detail! 

More cool animation

With paper, too!

*Sigh* I wish I had nine months to spare. And a glamorous assistant.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Escape in a hot air balloon 2

Oh, sometimes I just wish I could ...

Escape in a hot air balloon

I have to admit it, I'm avoiding choosing the music for this film.

It's an absolutely essential part of the animation, makes all the difference, and will help to inform how the film is shaped.

The trouble is I am spoiled for choice. I had anticipated having trouble finding music - instead I have been deluged by high quality, fascinating and fabulous possibilities.

I've got to make a decision. But how to turn down some of the beautiful, strange, eerie and atmospheric music that has been suggested, to choose just one piece of music? I could happily use any of the music that has been volunteered.


Thursday, 17 March 2011

Elfin helpers

Really, when you're working with lots of small, fiddly delicate little pieces of things, a fifteen month year old is just a slight liability.

This morning my son helpfully took apart the basket I made yesterday.

Also, it's quite hard doing this kind of work with a Boo underfoot. Normally I'd work intensely sorry did someone say obsessively? on an animation while barely looking up to eat/converse/breathe. This time round I'm having to do furious little bursts of activity when Boo is napping.

Having said that, while looking after a Small, there are long stretches of time during which I have nothing particularly taxing to occupy my mind. These open, empty times are often when the brain unwinds and plays around and comes up with the best ideas.

Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Soft Wares and Onion Skins

Isn't Open Source the most amazing idea?

Here's some free storyboard software. I expect I shall be more likely to scribble messy notes on the back of envelopes and sellotape them to the wall, but for those who are more plugged in, it may be useful.

Meanwhile, I am searching for software that will onion skin for me. This means that if your camera is hooked up to a computer, a ghostly afterimage of the last shot remains on the screen - so that positioning the next shot is much easier. It makes for smoother animations. I haven't used it much for my own animations, being of the bootstrap and homemade type of animator, but I think it may be worth finding one for this film.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dance of the seven veils

Oh, I want to share every little thing on this blog, I do. But then, I need to keep some things back to surprise you all with, don't I?

So some things must remain half hidden, at least for the moment. Glimpses and hints. Keep a close watch on this heart of mine ...


Just when I needed it ... who knew boyf had a secret stash of old pocketwatches in a shoebox? Cogs ahoy!

Tiny little teeth

I'm cutting out lots of these tabs at the moment. The house is sprinkled with a trail of tiny paper triangles. They are surprisingly sharp, and they get everywhere.

Monday, 14 March 2011

More steamy hearts

Clockwork Heart by *Vlahdimir on deviantART


the search for a heart

Clockwork Heart by ~LeggRoom on deviantART

Well, for inspiration for the heart I'm planning to make for the film. This is lovely, isn't it?

Book the book!

Steamlust is now available for preorder at Amazon! Quick!

Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance

Squint Balloons

The balloon is a little lop sided, because I've made it half 3D, which must be a whole new classification. Yes, this film is going to be filmed in 1.5D. (Viewers will be required to wear monocles).

Anyway, the old map paper works well, I think. Back to the drawing board to work out how to make half a balloon ...

Beautiful paper

*Sobbing with Jealousy*

Saturday, 12 March 2011


... ideas at the moment. Exciting things are afoot with the music/soundtrack, of which more soon.

Meanwhile, I'm trying out different ideas, images and storylines. Once I've got something roughed out, I'll be starting on storyboards, which will be very exciting.


The glider's done. It's cute. The rigging was murder, though!

Probably because I accidentally made the small scale model, which is done to the scale of planes for the World's Smallest Aircraft Musem. The model and museum are at Fiddler's Green, a fantastic source of card models.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Note to self

Solvent-heavy adhesives do not make concentrating on intricate work very easy.

But look at the little guy in the hang glider! Look, he's flying!

Also, today I found a Siamese Grape.

You don't believe me, do you? I have picture proof. I shall share, tomorrow.

The sad tale of Otto Lilienthal

You've heard of the Wright Brothers. But spare a thought - or shed a tear - for poor forgotten Otto Lilienthal.

The first man to truly fly with wings, he studied aviation obsessively for thirty years, building prototypes with his brother Gustave.

In 1896, having finally made a power driven aeroplane, he took a flight to check his controls, but was tragically killed.

His brother was heartbroken and their aeroplane was abandoned, untested.

Today I've been working on a model of his hang glider. It's very fiddly, but I hope to finish it tonight.

And their flying machines

If you haven't yet read Janine Ashbless' fabulous erotic steampunk story, I strongly urge you to go and get a copy immediately!

Today I'm making paper aeroplanes, and as I was suddenly reminded of the story.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Oh, Captain

I'm having some trouble fitting George onto the scanner. All that rippling muscles and those hugh thighs (oh my) just CANNOT BE CONTAINED.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Dear Universe

Please send music for my film.  I need a studio quality recording of a song - romantic, atmospheric, with lashings of accordions and violins and thrilling industrial percussion. I'd like dirty, sexy, melodic, lushly layered and deeply seductive.

Do you know someone in a steampunk band? Or any wild and raucous band, who'd like to see their song illustrated with a beautiful stop frame animation? If so, please pass this on. I'm open to all suggestions, and I can't wait to hear from you!

Thank you, clockwork gods. 

nikki dot magennis at googlemail dot com

Friday, 25 February 2011

Is this relevant?

Everything's relevant!

The Museum of Lost Wonder

Gear heart

World upside down

Oh, there's so much incredible stuff out there!

Check out these fabulous erotic paper automata by Sandrine Sheon!

Oscillating levers crank shafts and cam drivers

I'll be honest; I'm putting some of this stuff up here for my own reference. I'm exploring paper mechanics and automata at the moment.

How clockwork works.

Transforming motion.


In a way, that's what a story does too, isn't it? Transforming motion. A character changes as the narrative develops.

Either I'm going totally loco or animation pulls things together beautifully.

: )


'The king stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that anyone would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it began posturing, keeping perfect time...As the performance was drawing to an end, the robot winked its eye and made advances to the ladies in attendance, whereupon the king became incensed and would have had Yen Shih [Yan Shi] executed on the spot had not the latter, in mortal fear, instantly taken the robot to pieces to let him see what it really was. And, indeed, it turned out to be only a construction of leather, wood, glue and lacquer, variously coloured white, black, red and blue. Examining it closely, the king found all the internal organs complete—liver, gall, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines; and over these again, muscles, bones and limbs with their joints, skin, teeth and hair, all of them artificial...The king tried the effect of taking away the heart, and found that the mouth could no longer speak; he took away the liver and the eyes could no longer see; he took away the kidneys and the legs lost their power of locomotion. The king was delighted.[4]
Lie Zi text, written in the 3rd century BC. Encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023-957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. The latter proudly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork.

Wish I had a wooden heart

Gorgeous. Although, I want a clockwork one. I'd like to make a working model.

la chaise diabolique

I thought this chair was my own invention - little did I know that the steam-powered Manipulator was made for real a hundred and fifty years ago.

'Motion properly transmitted to the human system by mechanical apparatus is transformed into other forms of force identical with vital energy, by which the ordinary processes of the system are greatly promoted.'

The lust bit

I just stumbled on this site. Loving the first story, by Honaria Tox, and the illustrations are gorgeous.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A steampunk romance

Ah, this is beautiful.

Films and animations

Have you seen this? A lovely way to spend half an hour.

The Maguffin

Where there is love, there is heartache. The infinitely retellable love story.

I need a central image for the film, something to follow, lose and rediscover.The first one that sprang to mind was a clockwork or winged heart. It may work. I'll run with it for now.

Here's a lovely shadow play, based on Philip Pullman's Clockwork.

"Men are grown mechanical in head and in heart, as well as in hand"

The ever-miserable Thomas Carlyle

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Creating the ship

I like to mix flat and 3D elements in an animation. So, I think I'm going to make a ship.

Here are some beautiful papier mache steamships.

And here is a useful tutorial on DIY papier mache ... now I'm going to get messy.

Weaving in music

As I make the characters and sets, I'm hunting all the time for the right music for the film. One can describe the sound as another character, and it's crucial to have noises that work. I'm losing myself today in this song:

While rifling through this record label.

And thinking of this song:
We have tricky requirements. We need hissing and clanking and industrial noises, whistles and violins and accordions, and of course we need a love song - that should be as central to the song as the melody.
I've created a Spotify playlist to gather tracks. Please add music if you feel moved to do so!

Steam*lust*punk playlist


Like any story, we start with the characters. Now I have my star crossed lovers (in pieces), I need to create a world for them. I had imagined a city, but today I realised I should make their ship first. Look at these beautiful things:

To the ornithopter!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

My hero

George. Prototype model. He has a wild gun with a Van der Graaf bubble and various buttons and cables. I'm toying with the idea of a facial tattoo - something pretty and gritty. What do you think?

One of the nice things about jointed paper dolls is that one can remake and replace any parts at any time. So if you want to make a head looking in a different direction, for example, it's a cinch. 


I do believe I could lose myself in this film.

Perhaps I already have.


If you're ever in Glasgow, it's worth venturing into the Trongate to find the wonderful Sharmanka.

Memories from long ago

Every time I visited London as a child, we would go to see the fabulous Cabaret Mechanical Theatre.

Animation inspiration

Watch and learn, voyagers.

Film by Ladislas Starevich. Via the fabulous Ubuweb

Cherchez l'homme

I'm looking for a man. Not just any man. Captain of the skies! Demon lover who knows how to use an adjustable wrench! Someone with a ripped shirt and high waisted trousers, an aviator's hat and a winning smile.

Today, I'm making the Hero. Back soon ...

Lust for steam?

Thanks to our mistress of the mists, Kristina Wright, who will be editing the anthology that inspired this film and blog. The title of the book remains shrouded in mystery as she works tirelessly to oil the cogs and polish the pistons, before unveiling her creation late in 2011.

Curious? Stay tuned, voyagers.

Cogs are turning

It's still the very early stages of making the film. Yet to find the music and the story. At the moment, I'm gathering ideas, images, sounds and inspiration, and experimenting with some techniques and gizmos. This is the magpie stage. Lots of fun with scalpels and a scanner.

The cogs are cut from black card and dusted with gold/bronze eyeshadow. The split pins you see there will hold together the dolls. The background are a couple of pairs of knickers that I've scanned to use as lace, probably for garments for dolls.

Enter Violetta

The star of the film. Yesterday I created the prototype doll, today I am working on her mate.

Violetta is a mixture of ingenue, fox and devilish trickster. Tattooed and booted, she is yet to be put together, but I'm pleased with the parts as they are. I shall add skirts (and petticoats, of course) and depending on how the plot of the film develops, I may have to make bendable legs and/or an undressable torso.

Stay tuned for a doll template to download and make yourself.

Welcome, neophytes

To the chronicles of an animator as she battles time to produce a Steam Powered film.

This film is made to celebrate the launching of a new and wondrous anthology, of which more later.

Follow me as I create a world of lusty machines. Along the way you'll be privy to insights and marvels I can't even begin to imagine or describe! Corsets! Dirty woodcuts! Accordion-riddled musical delights!

Let us begin.