Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Portland Steampunk Mini-Vacation!

Multifarious Jim and I had a lovely time this last weekend up in Portland (Oregon).  It was one of those mini vacations where we were only gone 3 days, but it felt like a week!

Friday night we had 'ringside' seats at daughter Jenna's debut as the newest inductee to the Wanderlust Circus, and had the pleasure of hearing her sing ("It Might As Well Be Spring") in public for the first time in over a year (Yay!).  The show also included plenty of fire-spinning (Jenna does that as well :), as the BossaNova Ballroom is apparently the only venue left in Portland where fire is allowed indoors. It was SO awesome!  You can hear some of her music here

Saturday our plan was to attend the first day of the Rose City Steampunk Film Festival, and I had noticed that one of the sponsors was a shop called "Wells & Verne," so we decided to drive down to Sellwood and visit before the show started.  We were so glad we did!  Chris Lang's little store has been open just under a year, and is chock full of delicious Steampunk goodies, much of which is handmade goods, including regionally-made rayguns, goggles, mini hats and much more.  If you get a chance to visit - do!

After a delicious lunch at what looked to be one of Sellwood's favorite restaurants (Jade Bistro), we headed for the film festival and got there just in time to see the 1925 version of "The Lost World!"  Amazing!  Amazing that we got to watch the whole silent-movie version in a great old theater (the Clinton Street Theater), amazing that it had been so well preserved by the conservationist, AND amazing because it must have taken quite some doing to even get their hands on it.  Such fun!

Saturday's fare also included LOTS of League of Steam, a small bit of amusing technical difficulty, and introductions to some lovely vendors, including Beca from Etsy's La Vie Macabre, and her beautifully intricate jewelry, like this little spider stick pin!

Sunday, too, was full to the brim, with a trip to visit miss Lola Nova herself (my awesome stepdaughter Alexandra and her family  - including the 2 guinea pigs, "Princess" and "Royalty").  I finally got to hold her new book in my own hands and thumb through it - so many beautiful, unique and fun projects!  Then back to the Film Festival just in time to catch "Airlords of Aria"!  Sweet!  More fun League of Steam shorts, and a VERY entertaining musical interlude - a live performance (with accordion!) of a member of the "Vagabond Opera."

Probably the highlight of Sunday's lineup was hearing all about an amazing ongoing local film project, the full-length feature film "Tess the Inventor."  After viewing a trailer put together exclusively for the festival, we heard from several members of the film's crew who described the project and took questions from the audience. They had also brought along several props from the movie, inluding "Electric Bob."  Of course, Multifarious Jim had to get his picture taken with Bob, lol!

We met several new friends over the weekend which is what we were hoping  :)  One was quite a creative and colorful character, Machaliss Morriarty, who was showing us various pieces he had built, including a double-barreled replica gun.  He had apparently not been allowed to bring it into a recent event, so to insure it was VERY clearly a prop gun, he cut slots into both barrels and inserted battery-operated 'plasma tubes' that glowed blue!

All in all, our little adventure was well worth the time and effort.  I came away inspired, with new ideas floating around my head, and felt refreshed and ready to get back to work - all that a vacation should do, yes?  I think what I appreciated most about the film festival was something I had never considered before.  Several presentations included opportunities for volunteerism, including donation of props!  So, makers who would like their creations to be on film could perhaps have that wish granted.  Food for thought  :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Quintet of Steampunk Wings Tutorials!

So, apparently it ends up I only use this blog for special articles and announcements.  So far  :)

Anyway, this one is special because Pinterest and Facebook just wouldn't cover it well enough.  This morning 5 different "steampunk wings" tutorials popped up on Pinterest, and I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place as a resource!  So, here you are:

1.  Articulated Wing Framework by Rachel -

2.  Steampunk version of Rachel's articulated wings -

 3.  How to make a pair of wings with real clockwork -

4.  Steampunk Wings that really work! -

5.  Steampunk auto-folding wings by CescoAiel -

Have fun, and send us pictures of what you make!