Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Steampunk Details!

Once upon a time I read this blog post by Jen at Epobt, and I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. I'm no where near as crafty as Jen and John are (although Trevor could be if he had as many cool toys as they do!) but I thought I'd give it a try. It took pretty much two years to pull together, thanks to school keeping me busy and me being a perfectionist whose fine motor skills don't function to perfectionist standards, but I went steampunk on the Sunday of this year's Calgary Comic Expo.

My friend Teresa Rehmann asked if I was interested in doing a photo shoot, so I ended up with some waaay better photos then I would have gotten doing them myself. :) (And she made us dinner!) All of the photos of me in this post are by Teresa! If you want to see some behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot, I've posted some here.

The ray gun is super fun! Trevor gave it to me for Christmas in 2011 - he bought a toy gun, took it apart, and spray painted it, and we added the gears on later. It makes very non-period-accurate noises, but I like it. :)
My earrings I got at Comic Expo, but I'm not entirely happy with them. Modifying them before next year is on my to do list...
I'm also wearing a watch on a chain that you can't see - Mom gave me the watch, which actually does keep accurate time, and I got a chain from Value Village for it, so I didn't keep pulling out my anachronistic cell phone to see what time it was. :)
And the hat! My mother-in-law picked it up somewhere, and while it was the general look that I wanted, what a lot of work it was trying to figure out a way to wear's a burlesque dancing hat, and came with an elastic chinstrap, which was not at all the thing.

I ended up sizing a paper bowl to the opening of the hat, sewing a headband to it, and then Trevor glued it inside the rim of the hat. It took like, a year of thinking to come up with that... Sadly in the end, the hat was too heavy to stay on very well, so I only wore it for the photo shoot when I wasn't moving around much! I have NO idea how burlesque dancers would have been able to keep it on...hopefully I'll come up with a better solution in the future!
(Dax wants to know why I'm trying to take a picture of something that isn't her...)

I really like this's my second favourite! This is an old building in Union Cemetery.
I'm thinking about how nice it'll be to go back to my airship and have my clockwork butler serve a cup of tea just the way I like it. :)

This one is my favourite - I love the light!
My cuff bracelet is one of the pieces I'm most happy with. I got it for a few dollars from Value Village, and it was just a tacky, battered, faux-silver discard. Add a coat of copper paint, glue on a few gears and a key charm, and voila! EXACTLY what I had in mind. The glass amber beads on copper wire, on the other wrist, were also from Value Village, and all I had to do to them was wash them. :)
The goggles were never really meant to be worn. They're the flippy-bit off a pair of welding goggles my brother gave me, painted copper (seeing a theme here?!), with some added gears, and a brass button with a military-ish logo on it. I glued gears to the sides and sewed a brown ribbon to them, for hanging them from my belt.

This is my third favourite shot! I'm aiming for the airship piloted by my arch-enemy, that French scoundrel called Jacques Pierrot.
My blouse I had in my closet - bought on a whim and never worn. The navy velvet skirt was Mom's, passed down to me randomly, and also in my closet, never worn. The black velvet vest is a total credit to my mother-in-law, who modified it from a weird sort of housecoat with odd sleeves (bought at Value Village for a few dollars...) into what is now EXACTLY what I had in mind. Why not a corset, you might ask? Well, have YOU ever tried to fight off airship pirates in a corset?

This little hat I adore - I got it at Claire's pretty cheaply, and liberally adorned it with dollar store feathers. It came with really awful fake pearls, so I chopped them off and replaced them with buttons that are shaped like gears. My friend Shelli found them in a button store in Vancouver! (She also brought me a large antique silver belt buckle that I love, but haven't found a use for...yet...)
The earrings I'm wearing in this one were a gift from my mother-in-law as well, 'Demure' by lia sophia. They're not exactly steampunk, but I like them!
I'm also wearing a vintage cameo pin, which I think Mom must have given me, but I'm not sure of its provenance at the moment.
The 'silk' parasol I got in Chinatown on a memorable rainy day...and Trevor sawed off the bamboo handle and attached a brass candlestick, and added an eye hook on the end so I can clip it to my belt or bag. (He's SO HANDY!)

The slightly 'Oriental' aspect of the costume was influenced by (a) finding a velvet jacket-thingy with a mandarin collar and clasps, (b) watching Firefly, and (c) the fact that the Opium Wars are frequently steampunked, so it all seemed to fit together rather nicely!

I still have lots of things I want to do. I'd like hot air balloon earrings like these, or maybe earrings from this Etsy vendor, I'd like to turn an old powder compact into a gage, kind of like this:

I'd like to turn some of Dad's old air force pins into a medal,

I'd like a cloak, and a white lace petticoat,

And a chatelaine,

adorned with keys and little vials, like this!

Shoes that are more steampunk would be nice too - I quite like these!

And last but not least, I would love an arm bracer! I haven't been able to find a picture of one that's exactly like what I want, but this should give you an idea, if you don't know what I'm talking about. :)

I have this 'leather' holster in brown, and I got it on a heck of a sale, but I don't love it. It's a smidge big for my ray gun, and you can't really see the gun when it's in it. So if you have any ideas on modifying it, I'd love to hear them!

Ok, there's my steampunk life! Now, back to student life...midterms start tomorrow!


Elaina Louise Studios said...

Thanks for linking to my hot air balloon earrings. Feel free to use and share the coupon code RETURN10 for 10% off in my shop.


MichelleH said...

Thanks Lisa, I just might have to do that! :) You have beautiful products!