Serviceable Stylish Steampunk

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve made my second trip to the local Renaissance Faire this weekend and purchased something I’m so very excited to use! I will say that while I don’t have a full outfit as of yet, the Steampunk aesthetic has always fascinated me and so I found myself purchasing a teacup holster because one never knows when you are going to need a cup of tea.

This is not exactly mine but very similar!

This is not exactly mine but very similar in idea and performance.

This got me to thinking, what other functional Steampunk accessories are available? Anyone can slap some gears on a hat/necklace/bracer/belt and call it Steampunk but what about those things that actually…work? I’m kind of a sucker for stuff that not only looks good but serves a purpose as well. Here are a few more items I found that may someday find their way into my cosplay attire.

A parasol holster because let’s face it, I’m pretty fair skinned even with SPF50 slathered all over:

Could also hold a traditional umbrella for those unexpected showers!

Could also hold a traditional umbrella for those unexpected showers!

A bracer that holds tailoring essentials because outfit malfunctions can occur at any time in any place:

Or, you know, if you are suddenly inspired to do a little darning while you wait...

Or, you know, if you are suddenly inspired to do a little darning while you wait…

Or even this lovely bandolier with optional pouches and straps for vials, mirrors, or stakes (if you happen to find yourself dealing with pesky vampires):

There is the possibility of an alchemist's panel as well with more room for vials!

There is the possibility of an alchemist’s panel as well with more room for vials!

My summer wandering days are coming to a close so I think upcoming Sunday posts may include more holiday prep, gift ideas, and settling in for colder weather. See you next week and stay crafty!

~Laura


Cool Printed Candles

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Hello Thursday Readers!

 

I am looking forward to a weekend of warmer weather and you know what that means? It means that I get to use my balcony again and enjoy candles lighting it up. I have done a few posts on candles, and I have another one for you. The original tutorial comes from The Shabby Creek Cottage, and I thought it was so cool when I saw it and not only is it amazing, but you can make some really unique and beautiful gifts from it as well. You’ll need some pillar candles (white will probably show best but I can’t see why other colours wouldn’t look nice), tissue paper, some card stock (home printer size), tape, a push pin, scissors, a hair dryer, a printer & computer. Your first job is to choose the image you’d like to see on your candle. I love how the text looks like on the candle and i think it would look gorgeous all light up.  You can find a printable dictionary at Graphics Fairy, but you can print your image from anywhere

Once you have your image, you can trim your tissue to the size of your cardstock and tape it down so that you can print on the tissue without it breaking apart.  Print your image in the direction you would like it to sit on the candle – so if you want to read horizontally across the candle, you’ll need to print in landscape.

You can now wrap the tissue paper around the candle – you can do this ink side down, and trim the ends so you don’t have overlap and you don’t have any tissue hanging off the edges. Use a push pin to hold everything where you want it to stay.

Using your hair dryer, you want to heat the candle all around so that you melt just enough wax all the way around for the candle to grab the paper. It shouldn’t take long and you’ll notice when the paper starts to stick.

And that’s it! Pretty simple and easy huh? For the steampunk in you, you can print out blueprints and old DaVinci schematics. You can do this with texts from Shakespeare, poetry verses, song lyrics, even photos. Whatever your imagination can print!

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Leather Barrettes

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Over the years, my hair has been many different lengths but I generally default to a longer style simply because it is the easiest to pull back out of my face. Because of this, I like to find embellished hair ties, bows, and barrettes. During the convention season this year I regret one major thing: not purchasing a leather barrette from Armoured Wolf Productions. These little beauties are so detailed and eye catching that I couldn’t help stopping at the booth just to take a closer look.

A lovely knot to keep your hair free of knots.

A lovely knot to keep your hair free of knots.

I’ve purchased similar hair accessories in the past but Armoured Wolf had some truly unique designs.

Hair in your face? Nevermore.

Hair in your face? Nevermore.

For the lengthy haired steampunk enthusiast in your life, tentacles and gears are always a good idea.

OctopusBarrette  GearBarrette

Besides unique hair tamers, Armoured Wolf Productions also creates beautiful leather pouches, bracers, and other excellent cosplay pieces. They can be found on Etsy or Facebook and I would suggest making a beeline to their shop to take advantage of their current holiday special coupon!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Meet the Hackers: TeslaCon

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When I looked at TeslaCon I was blown away with the awesomeness of this convention.  I couldn’t describe it so I will let the convention describe themselves:

TeslaCon is, at its core, an immersion event. What this means is that, besides the wonderful panels, talented entertainers and fantastic dealers’ rooms, attendees fully experience the story and time period throughout the convention over the three days they are attending.

Unlike other events that have actors just in costume and chatting small talk, TeslaCon uses “layers of immersion” and creates a sense of believability to take the immersion to a whole new level.

First, we start with our cast and crew. From the villains, known as S.W.A.R.M., to the good guys that include Captain Krieger and Dr. Todd, all the actors and even the security team play a vital role in how the convention feels. Each person has been given a part to portray and, over the three days, they bring the newest story to life with their characterization. The story arch is carried through with small presentations and interaction with the attendees along with specialized, character-driven, interactive events.

Secondly, we have a new part that is known as “hall immersion” where people from the period, place or activity move among the convention members and enhance the main story that the cast is carrying out. Specific characters are created to project a story arch or create a special moment that helps the main story move along. For instance, year six will be the “Wild, Wild West.” You may find yourself talking to a blacksmith that cares for steam driven houses. He might even demonstrate his techniques. The idea is to make the entire weekend believable in your eyes.

Finally, we strive to offer new ways to present panels, in a way that the story is part of them. From character driven presenters to music and song, the panels become just as much a part of the immersion as any other character. This way, even while learning a new task, or discussing a theme, you still are part of the world we have created. 

Not everyone is into immersion, and we understand that. To be truthful, you can just have a fairly regular experience if you wish and not partake in the immersion events. Either way, TeslaCon gives you a Steampunk experience like no other!

I may have to look into attending this convention next year because it sounds amazing.  Oh, and Dryad Tea is going to be there!

TelsaCon

So if you like Steampunk, Role Playing, adventure, and Tea, then TeslaCon is where you want to be this weekend!


Explorium

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As soon as I walked past Explorium’s table at Dublin Comic Con, I immediately fell in love and knew I had to feature them. Steampunk, wood, geekiness- Explorium has everything that I love across a broad fandom based all wrapped in shiny pretty steampunk facades.

Self described as a “timeless universe,” Explorium has a beautiful vintage and steampunk feel. Not all of Emeline’s work attaches to a fandom, so they have a broad appeal to anyone who loves this aesthetic.

When she does bring fandoms into her work, I love how it isn’t always blatently obvious. You could wear her pieces with everyday clothing, knowing only those who knew would understand how amazing the pieces are. I’ve always loved being able to wear my fandom incognito.

Explorium also does wonderful book-related art, with quotes and imagery from the likes of The Fault in Our Stars and this necklace from Alice in Wonderland.

And if you love her pieces but aren’t quite sold on wearing the steampunk vibe, then check out her gorgeous notebooks. They’re decorated in the same vein, and make me wish I used paper enough these days to justify picking one up.

Explorium’s creations are beautifully crafted with just the right amount of whimsy.

If you are interested in seeing more of Emeline’s work, you can find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

~ eliste


With this Ring… Steampunk Style

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Last year, I got engaged, and one of the things that I did not do was get a new ring. I had inherited my great-grandmother’s ring, which I loved, so we saved a little money by just using that. Naturally, this hasn’t stopped me from looking at the paths not taken (after all, my bank balance doesn’t cry just when I look, right?).

Some of what is out there now is just spectacular with big rocks and beautiful metalwork. But some of it has just the kind of quirky sense of fun that I really adore.

Whether your Steampunk aesthetic lends itself to the delicate filigree or to the heavier industrial side, there are rings for everyone out there right now. There are even matching sets for the Steampunk couple. For those looking for truly one-of-a-kind rings, have a look at these.

Mens Steampunk Ring – Sterling Silver – Bolts and Gears by SwankMetalsmithing

SwankMetalsmithing has some amazing rings, period, but her Steampunk rings really stand out for me. I love the recessed details on this one, but her couples rings are just as beautiful:

His and Hers Steampunk Gear Ring Set – Sterling Silver and Black Diamond by SwankMetalsmithing

I love the details of the rivets and screws that have been tightened, but don’t all face the same way. Little details like that make it so unique and interesting.

Silver Mens Ring Handmade Industrial Dieselpunk “Praeirendum” by GatoJewel

GatoJewel also makes incredible rings, with a more futuristic or Dieselpunk slant to them. I love the mixture of metals and colours that GatoJewel works with to bring the Steampunk feeling alive. It gives the rings a depth to them.

Silver Steampunk Wedding Rings “Sustentorum” by GatoJewel

If you really want original, you can even commission a custom design from CindersJewelryDesign:

Custom designed rings by CindersJewelryDesign

I love the delicate intricacies of the gears in these.

Steampunk rings are just possibly the coolest things ever. They have all the elegance and charm that steampunk usually has, and allows you have something that is completely unique.

Now I just have to convince my fiance that some of these are a good idea….

~ eliste


Organization & The Tailor’s Assistant

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Two weeks ago my internet exploded with links to this:

It’s beautiful, practical, and just amazing. R.H. Mardigan Enterprises creates beautiful steampunk inspired accessories, but the Tailor’s Assistant has the added bonus of being incredibly useful. Unlike many costume accessories, this is fully functional.

Everything comes off and can be used. It has a needle case, thread bobbins, scissor holder, thimble, pincushion, and it is all tied together with ribbon that doubles as a measuring tape.

It brought back for me the age old question of “how do you keep all your favorite tools on hand?” when it comes to crafting. For those of us who sew, this can pose interesting problems, as there are a myriad of small, difficult to keep track of, items like needles and pins, in addition to all those other pesky things like clamps, thread, thread cutters, and of course your favorite pair of small snip scissors.

If you have the luxury of working in your own space all the time, this doesn’t become too much of an issue. You can organise your space and the various items you need regularly. However, if you don’t have that luxury, or if your crafting space is shared with, let’s say, your other half or (heaven help you) children, then you’ll know that this isn’t necessarily the easiest task.

When I worked in theatre, it was usually in a costume shop. When you’re in a place like that and especially if you’re as protective as I am about your tools, you quickly learn that if you want to bring in your own tools you need a way to keep them with you at all times lest they go… missing. (I’m not saying it was you, Linda, but I did really like those stork scissors) Even when they don’t go missing, sewing large projects can mean a lot of movement as you shift from cutting to sewing and back again.

My solution was simple, but I tried to make it pretty (although nowhere near as gorgeous as The Tailor’s Assistant). Every pair of scissors I own bears a ribbon tied around their handles. My prized tailor tips have a much longer ribbon that extends over my head, making it possible for me to always have it, no matter where I move in the room. This solution is both handy, and unique. Even when others in the shop began doing similar, we all chose different ribbons.

This also meant that instructing new roommates and partners not to use the “good” scissors became simple (which, considering my set came direct from Gingher at a pretty penny was something I have always been concerned about). They can use any pair of scissors that don’t have a ribbon on the handle. Simple, effective, and it looks well.

This solution can work for other items as well. My Clover travel thread cutter has a silver elastic string, making it function as a flexible necklace as well as preventing it from slipping away and being lost.

But it doesn’t fix the issue for many of the other little items that I’d like to have with me and I’m constantly having to backtrack across the room for my pins or a new needle, or whatnot.

How do you organise your favorite tools or do you?

 

For those interested in a Tailor’s Assistant of their own, R.H. Mardigan Enterprises can be found on Etsy, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

~ eliste

 


Zipping Amongst the Butterflies

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My favorite pair of boots died last winter. They were fabulous, covered in zippers everywhere, which isn’t an accoutrement you find regularly. I find zippers fascinating. There’s something about using zips as adornments that piques my aesthetic interests. It’s what made those boots my favorite boots and what makes me love today’s crafters.


Pete and Veronica’s offers “Zippology” on their Etsy site. What Zippology means I’m not sure, aside from providing innovative, creative, beautiful jewelry and accessories that are based on zippers and hemp.

With a steampunk flair, this mother/daughter team create beautiful moths, fireflies, dragonflies, butterflies and more. Their work is not only well made, but unique and can even be made specifically for you as the perfect accent to steampunk costumes or just a little pop to your everyday wear.

There’s something charming about bringing nature to life in metal that I’ve always loved and Pete and Veronica do so in a way that is interesting, unique and enchanting. How is it that all artists are always drawn to nature no matter what the medium?

Pete and Veronica can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

~ eliste