Monday, November 25, 2013

Yes, Virginia, You CAN Steampunk Christmas

Season's Greetings, everyone!  The days are getting chillier and shorter, and thoughts are veering toward Christmas, even for those of us who strenuously avoid such thoughts til Halloween and Remembrance Day are over. 

This is a post far longer in the making than needed, for which I apologize.  When I had to create a steampunk display for our group's table at a Christmas Faire, I started the seeds of this article.  While creating the visual display of steampunk, I decided I should have a section fitting in with the Christmas theme, so I decided to investigate Steampunking Christmas.
A bit of Googling online (see below), and I found some great steampunked Christmas images, including the Steampunk Santa, by CyborgNecromancer (found here on deviantART), Ms. Koobickle's Steampunk Santa in Airship, from her post in 2009 at her blog, and some awesome embroidery designs on Urban Threads.  There were several others images I found as well, but these ones particularly caught my eye.
The Steampunk Christmas crafts I've encountered range from from Jennifer Dove's crafted Christmas card masterpiece (apparently made with stamps, gears, weights a lot, and it even ticks! details here), to Desert Rubble's wonderful polymer Steampunk Santas, on Deviantart here and here.
And of course, there are Christmas ornaments for a tree with a difference.  I quite like ValerianaSolaris' polymer ornament made from a glass ball and Fimo.
Jen, at Epbot, posted an article about steampunk Christmas ornaments, showing off some beauties she found, including this stunner below, which she names The Ultimate Steampunk Pine Cone of Craftiness (awesome!) and which a fellow crafter sent to her!  
In addition to these, there are many steampunk Christmas collages, gift tags, and Christmas trees bedecked with gears out there.  Then there are the many vintage images of Victorian & Edwardian Christmas cards with a very steampunk feel to them, as this small selection from my vintage image collection shows:
So, the whole point of this post is to say, Yes, Virginia, you CAN steampunk Christmas.  And from all the cool stuff I've seen online, we really, really should.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Steamwench's Jewelry Box, or, Come See What I've Made!

Hello, all.

As I frantically prepare for my 4th ever experience as a vendor (and all within the last 12 months), this time at my second Christmas Fair, at Imaginarius Fantasticus III, I thought I'd share the contents of the Steamwench's Jewelry Box.

Making jewelry was something I had done just a couple of times, for myself.  I had thought about making it to sell, but I seemed to have so many other things to do, and I wasn't sure how to go about it.  Then, just under a year ago, the opportunity to vend essentially fell into my lap, and even I realized it would be foolish to not give it a whirl. 

What followed was a frantic two solid months of getting all the basic supplies I needed and tinkering away at my tiny work-desk every evening after work, and each weekend.  The pace was frankly insane.  I spent more than I had intended on supplies - which shouldn't have been a surprise, as a costumer, I generally seem to run on the "buy more" principle, since nothing is worse than running out of supplies mid-project.  I also had a bit of misunderstanding about just how much product I needed to make.  I could have made half of what I did, and still had plenty.  Good news is, it has meant I have not needed to create things at such a rabid pace since.

For several years, I had been collecting lovely vintage keys, broken pocket-watch and watch parts, and oddments of broken old and neglected jewelry with interesting detail bits or pieces. I enjoy taking all these old items, and combining them creatively with new or other old items, to create jewelry that has a steampunk or neo-Edwardian aesthetic.  I've also been enjoying creating a few entirely new pieces.  

As we come up to the next Imaginarius Fantasticus, which has a steampunk theme, and at which I will be both vending and running the local steampunk community promotional table & info table, I thought I'd share some photos of some of the jewelry I've created.  (And a shout-out to local Vancouverites, come on by the show if you want to check out my stuff in person!)  

Wish me luck this coming weekend!  And as I hastily put this to press, I have actually changed some of my pieces shown here with some awesome improvements!  (The hot air balloon earrings and pendants now have lovely little silver baskets under them!)

And now, adieu!