Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Raucus Red Treasury!

Nice!  Katie Rawson of KatieBugCreations4U on Etsy has featured my Alice in Wonderland Hat Pins in an awesome treasury - Thanks Katie!


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!

Monday, December 17, 2012

We have a WINNER!

Congratulations to Jessica Macca, the winner of this awesome little Steampunk Winged Brooch!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prototype Giveaways

You may have noticed that I'm constantly experimenting with new materials and forms.  From time I end up with a prototype that I really LOVE, but it's not quite good enough to put up for sale.  Perhaps it's just a tiny bit crooked, or the colors aren't as smooth as I would like them to be.  But I really hate to throw stuff out.  So, I decided I would give them away, if anyone wants them.

To be in the running for this little gem, just leave a comment* on the Facebook post, here:

Here are some more pix of this week's giveaway item:  

This is a pendant (no chain, just the pendant), that measures about 2" on a side.  It was inspired by my lifelong love of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, as well as my great affinity for Mission-style and Arts & Crafts furniture.  It is made with 2 little brass plates sandwiching a rough amber-colored polymer clay layer.  And I've poured red resin in the center to act as little windows!

The 'bail' is brass wire pounded into an organic shape, and the whole thing is held together with my favorite little brass nuts & bolts.  As with all my work, the metal is nice and grungy :)

To be in the drawing for this piece, just LEAVE A COMMENT on its Facebook posting (here: )

But, if you are so inclined, you can MULTIPLY YOUR CHANCES by:

1.  Inviting other folks to "Like" my Facebook page here:

or you can

2.   "Like" and SHARE the posting on Facebook.

For every new "Like" you bring me (one of you will have to let me know, of course :), I'll put your name in the hat again.  If the person you invite is interested in the giveaway as well, please have them comment on the item's FB post.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Surprise! Suddenly High Tea

So, my long-time friend, Author Debra Brown, called me yesterday and asked if I would like to attend High Tea with her at 11am the next morning?  Oh my!  High Tea.  What do I wear?  How do I act?  What IS High Tea, anyway?

To find out, we would be going to a lovely little spot in Junction City (Oregon) called "Scatter Joy."  First stop was their Facebook page to check out what folks wear to such an event.  Turns out it's pretty much whatever you want, so we opted to dress up nicely in skirts, and wear hats - not something one gets to do in everyday life  :)  This certainly would be an awesome place to hold a Steampunk Tea, though.  Amazingly nice folks, and wonderful food!

Debra pointed out later that there was a video, "The Etiquette of Afternoon Tea," on Scatter Joy's FB page, which I didn't watch until I got home.  Very informative! 

What was High Tea like?  We started out with our choice of two good-sized pots of tea from their generous Tea Menu; we chose to start with a wonderfully fragrant "Creme Brulee" sweet tea, and switched to "Earl Grey Cream" later in the meal.  Just after our tea arrived, our server brought the first course, a delicious mesclun salad with bits of orange, good Greek olives and a sprinkling of Feta - a real mouth-pleasing combination!

Next she brought an elegant 3-tiered stand with a variety of tiny sandwiches, scones, bruschetta and tartlettes.  At first glance it may not have looked like much, but believe me it was plenty!  Debra even took a nice little assortment home to her hubby, who had wished to attend but could not.

One of the items I enjoyed most was the scones - because I had always wanted to know what "lemon curd" was like.   Mmmmmmm!!  So smooth and rich and lemony, spread with just a tiny bit of whipped cream onto a bite of freshly-baked scone.  It was so yummy I forgot to take a picture before I started eating it!

Our little meal ended with sweet slices of triple-layer brownies, complemented perfectly with our second pot of tea, the Earl Grey Cream.  Then we spent our last few moments wandering through the shop looking at all the lovely items for sale.  It reminded me of what a French flea market must be like!

So, thank you SO much Debra for this special invitation, and a big thank you, as well, to the lovely ladies at Scatter Joy for a much-needed break from the ordinary!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adventures in Parasol Repair!

Look what I found on a recent treasure hunt - An amazing Double Decker Asian Parasol!  Unfortunately, it was damaged:  

Well, heck, how hard could it be to fix that?  So, this weekend, being laptop deprived and therefore with some extra time on my hands, off I went into repair land...  First step, clean up the damaged parts.  Fortunately the two bad spots were an even number of spaces apart, so I just cut every-other triangle out with a craft knife.  UNfortunately, I didn't realize there was a string under the paper right where I was cutting, so...  oops!

That's ok.  I just used some strong string and a good-sized needle to carefully thread through the holes and tied it off to the uncut parts.  Presto and onward-ho!

Next I needed to pick out some kind of paper to use.  It was, of course, originally made with rice paper, which I had none of (and, also 'of course' had not the patience to order some and wait for it to come in the mail ;)

But what I did have was some vintage vellum that I picked up at the Brooks Steam Fair this summer with brown-printed blueprints on it - they were selling them 3 for $1.00!  Perfect.  But a little too clean, and a bit bare around the edges.  So first I traced another blueprint onto it with a brown ball point pen, then washed the whole thing with Isopropal Alcohol to blur it a bit.  After I ironed that out (yes, with an actual iron), I measured the umbrella, traced and cut out the right-sized circle.

Then I traced the little circle in the middle and cross cut that so that it would fit over the top nicely.

 I used 'mod podge' (1/2 elmers glue, 1/2 water) to glue it to the spines and the panels that weren't cut out.  Here it is fitted and drying:

Then I very carefully turned the 1/4" hangover and glued it over the edge string in sections.

On the bottom part of the umbrella the spines are coated with amber shellac, so I did the same to the top section, then covered the top part by podging white tissue paper on, then painting that with amber as well.

 Lastly, because once I accidentally inverted the whole thing, I glued a screw into a conveniently-placed hole on the main pole so that it would act as a stop to prevent that from happening again. 

 And Voila!  Works great, looks great - ready to pop into the shop for some lucky customer  :O)