Even as a small girl, Lucinda’s passion for millinery was immediately apparent. As a small tot, the lovely, quiet little girl put absolutely everything on her head and wore it about. Buckets, bowls, wastepaper baskets, lampshades – even pancakes were not safe from her deep need for headwear. Usually a rather solemn child, nothing brightened little Lucinda’s countenance like an unlikely object balanced precariously on her tiny head. As she grew, her efforts became more elaborate and she constructed origamically engineered masterpieces out of the New York Times and fanciful confections out of bits of lace, satin and felt. Her obsession with millinery was equaled only by her affection for all things aquatic, an affinity that became glaringly apparent when she perpetrated a swift kick in the shin against a distant but wealthy relative as he tucked in to an outsized lobster tail. Such all-consuming passions coupled with introversion can prove socially problematic even for strikingly attractive young ladies, but Lucinda seemed to bear it no mind. She simply tucked her sketchbook under her arm and decamped for the aquarium, where she whiled away endless hours designing headwear by the watery blue glow of the undersea exhibit. It was there that she happened to make the acquaintance of the dashing, handsome and equally odd Captain Lucien Octavio (see “Adventures of Capt. Octavio”). He wasn’t a captain yet, of course, but how could he help but be utterly smitten by a lovely young lady with a small coral reef artfully stitched to her cloche? He called for Lucinda as soon as he got his first ship, the Marinus Profundis, and they were wed on Octavio’s famous deep sea expedition to the Marianas Trench. The newlyweds each gained additional companionship on that trip, and Lucinda named hers Olive. Lucinda immediately set to work creating hats that would allow the Octavios’ cephalopodic companions to accompany them anywhere, and what magnificent chapeaux they were! Elaborate gauges and pumps ensured Olive’s moist comfort, and the octopus proved quite indispensable as a hat-making assistant.

This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2009. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!


sepia, sealife, oval, aquatic, victorian, tophat, octopus, gauge, cephalopod, steampunk, sea, coral, industrial, fantasy, collage

When Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a, Winona Cookie) is not being a psychologist in private practice in San Diego,she enjoys creating whimsical children’s illustrations in watercolor, but also loves working with collage and assemblage. Her artwork and short stories have appeared in several publications including The Steampunk Bible and can be seen at www.winonacookieillustration.com. Originals available – check www.winonacookie.etsy.com for availability.
Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Karen Scrimes
    Karen Scrimesover 5 years ago

    This is my ultimate all time favourite work of yours. Both the story and the image!! Absolutely sensational!!

  • maria paterson
    maria patersonover 5 years ago

    thankyou, that brightened up my day

  • WonderlandGlass
    WonderlandGlassover 5 years ago

    Finding a new work from you in my activity file is like waking on Christmas morning… I never know what I will find but am always dazed and delighted. Thank you for your wonderful creations and the stories you weave around the images. Peace

  • WinonaCookie
    WinonaCookieover 5 years ago

    Thanks so much! You’ve all brightened my day :-).

  • Rachel  Aponte
    Rachel Aponteover 5 years ago

    This is fun!

  • Rainer Kozik
    Rainer Kozikover 5 years ago

    Your creativity is nothing short of GENIUS!!! What wonderful, wonderful images you delight us all with.
    Instantly into my favs. :))))

  • WinonaCookie
    WinonaCookieover 5 years ago

    Thanks, Rainier and Rachel1

  • alneaimi
    alneaimiover 5 years ago

    Stunning image.. well done.

  • Margaret Harris
    Margaret Harrisover 5 years ago
    I feel like I’ve really been entertained ..lol ! Love your work and loved your story…quite Brilliant!
  • jewd barclay
    jewd barclayover 5 years ago

    Love your work, fantastical imagery….

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