January 2, 2012

Steff Metal 2011 Recap

Makes me Giggle, Steff, Tr00 Metal Life

2011 – what a fucking year.

While, for me, 2010 was mostly a year of frantically saving money and struggling to keep our heads above water, 2011 was a year of serious growth (both business and personal) and some of the most amazing fun I’ve ever had. Most of the things I’ve been able to do this year wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing group of people who have somehow come to surround me – both through this blog, and my friends and family in NZ and across the world.

Here are some of the amazing things I’ve been able to do this year:


Mixing honey for mead

Together with a group of girlfriends and a very wise teacher, I brewed my first batch of mead, which tasted amazing. I’ll be sharing some mead-brewing tutorials and adventures in 2012.

I reviewed and interviewed some amazing up-and-coming bands, and my musical tastes and understandings broadened and deepened.


Dressed up steampunk for MOTAT's Aether and Iron day

I had my novel Thorn rejected by my editor. I discovered Thorn is actually the second book in the series, not the first. So I wrote the first book, then realised this needed to be split into two books. I’m currently doing the final edit on Metal Messiah, the REAL first book in my (hopefully publishable) steampunk horror series.


We travelled to Taupo to attend the annual Taupo Joust, then to Hawke’s Bay for NAARMA, a 4 day camp for medieval re-enacters. I slept in a replica viking tent, made a chainmail bracelet and partied with some genuine awesome folk.


With my friend Andy at Wacken 2011

In July/August CDH and I once again travelled to Germany, visiting Munich, Nurmburg, Hamburg and the Harz Mountains. We got press tickets at the Veldensteiner Festival and spent a glorious week at Wacken Open Air, the Holy Land of Heavy Metal. We saw all of these wicked bands, as well as Blackmore’s Night playing in a castle. We visited our favorite German friends, went on a ghost tour, ate lots of sausages, drank more beer than we normally do in an entire year, and stocked up on metal t-shirts for the next five years.


I’ve extended my writing and blogging clients to include columns and features on Lip Service, Think Like a Label and Made Loud, as well as regular articles in 2 for Couples and Abilities magazines.

I was nominated for a NZ Bloggers award for best music blog, as well as a David Aaward for Heroes in Small Business in the category “Most Innovative Use of Marketing”.


I got drunk and partied with Alestorm in their hotel room.


hotel party \m/


Lee and Chrissy reciting their metal wedding vows

I applied for, and received, my NZ Wedding celebrants license, and got to marry two very special friends on the stage at the King’s Arms – the best venue for live metal in Auckland.

I drove a mother fucking steam train.


A corpsepaint kitty Christmas decoration I made from polymar clay

On Halloween I celebrated my third-year wedding anniversary to an amazing man.


Amazing friends (and crazy norse aunties) Kelli and Amy next to the pirates vs ninjas cake we made for Amy for her birthday.


Devouring German sausages, spaetzle and pommes frites at our poor-man's Wacken party


His name was Harold the Hearing-Impaired Dragon

We had some of the most killer parties and adventures with our amazing friends, including a Poor-man’s Wacken party where we tried to recreate Wacken in our living room (picture: Wacken cups, drinking horns, tents, festival clothes, Wacken DVDs, A feast of German sausage-fest, spaetzle, and, of course, copius amounts of beer). Dressed as a software pirate for a pirates vs ninjas party (but no one got a photo! Boo :(). Dressed up as Cleopatra for our annual Halloween party, made a dragon pinata complete with golden dragon eggs which we slayed with a broadsword at our annual Metal Christmas party, and played board games and drove our car around a parking lot (scarier than it sounds, owing to the whole being blind thing) at Awhitu for New Years.


With my two friends Jaimee and Becks, who both did some stunning makeup for Halloween.


Playing Articulate. Aaron "Tim's personality is ..." Tim "Abrasive?" Aaron "That's right. Next card!"

steffmetal-dragon pinata

Constructing the dragon pinata of DOOM


The new years crew


That's me behind the wheel. I don't know WHAT CDH was thinking ...


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I finally decided to do something with the piles of my artwork strewn all over our house, and started Corpsepaint Kitty – a webcomic for heavy metal cat lovers. With the help of Brutalitees, I also designed my first t-shirt.


Levi models for one of my most ambitious paintings yet.

I rented a house in Tauranga with 4 friends to chill out for a weekend and got far too competitive at 500.


Happy Steff clambering over rocks at the Mount

I was invited to work with Sheri Moon Zombie to promote her Total Skull Clothing range, with MayRey Designs on a Gothic Wedding shoot, and also did promotions with Guitar Master Class and the Promised Land of Heavy Metal film.


Photos from my Total Skull shoot with Jess Manning

steffmetal-Jess Manning

Photo by Jess Manning

I chatted on the blog, via email, and in person with literally 100s of amazing metal fans who read this blog. Not to get too soppy on it, but I heart you guys.

2011 killed it, but 2012 is going to be even better. What did you achieve last year that you’re proud of?

8 Comments on “Steff Metal 2011 Recap

January 21, 2012 at 5:31 pm

After reading this Steff, I am excited to see what 2012 will bring for you! 2011 was such a good year for us too… thank you again for making our wedding day that little bit more metal and perfect! xoxoxo

January 19, 2012 at 1:55 am

*Meant to say ”in November of last year” haha.

January 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I went to Rock the River SA – a New Year’s Eve music festival held twenty minutes’ drive from Cape Town, where I live. This year was the festival’s third year, and the first year that there was a stage for metal (the stage also had punk, goth and hard rock bands). I went with my sister, her boyfriend and a gal pal of the boyfriend. We camped for two nights in a campsite that throbbed with dubstep until the wee hours – both from the dubstep/electro tent and people’s car stereos.

There were some spectacular performances on the metal stage! On Saturday, power metallers Strident ( were glorious and fun, and knighted three loyal fans and their new bassist – all became Knights of the Order of Stridentia. Crow Black Sky (; blackened death) welcomed in 2012, and performed on a stage decorated with skulls while wearing armour and warpaint, with pyrotechnics blazing throughout their set. Sunday evening saw death/thrash stalwarts Mind Assault ( take to the stage wearing South African flags as kilts, with black SA flags hanging from the back of the stage (symbolising ‘Black Tuesday’, which happened in November of this year, when SA’s proposed Protection of Information Bill was voted on in Parliament). They put on a crushing set. Thrashers Wargrave ( sapped my last reserves of strength.

I met some great people at this festival, and I look forward to many more future festivals!

Joshua Russell
January 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Steff Metal for prime minister

January 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

Passing my university Chemistry practical with distinction after a mostly stressful two weeks, procrastinating less, improving the sound of my guitar chords, doing hammer-ons with my little finger (the weakest of my still-weak fingers haha), making friends with metalheads and surviving my first music festival.

January 9, 2012 at 1:08 am

Congrats on your distinction! And I distinctly remember how difficult hammer-ons with the pinkie are – my finger felt like it would drop off! Which fest did you go to?

January 3, 2012 at 12:28 am

dawh! we heart ye too! thanks for making my 2nd period business class so entertaining, i really am diggin’ corpsepaint kitty and just about anything ya post! And I am really looking forward to more stuff next year, Keep it kreig \m/!

Rob Liz
January 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

The big thing was of course getting TDM on it’s own domain and being able to conduct interviews with some influential names in metal like Liv Kristine and Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa. But yeah…nothing compares to how busy you kept yourself:)

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