Teslacon

So I’m going to be going to Teslacon this year, and I’ve already started planning out my outfit. One of them, anyway. And it is gonna look super classy.

I’ve got the black bustle skirt that my sister made, and a black jacket that looks kinda like a Victorian riding jacket. The skirt is a bit big, if I recall, so I’ll have to take it in. I bought some fabric to make a sash, which will also help to hide any gathers that I take in.

For the sash, I bought two fabrics: one is called Cathay Spice, and the other is called Wine.

And here they are next to a Pepsi bottle for color comparison, and they look less washed out. Aren’t they pretty?

Then I got bored and decided to make some medals. So I did.

This one kinda looks like an SS medal or something. I dunno.

And then these I’m going to put on the collar of my jacket, because it’s got a mandarin collar.

I’m also going to make a hat. Eventually. Pics of that when I get around to it!

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Published in: on August 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pretty Steampunk!!

So I found this article today, and it’s about the market for a steampunk disney princess movie or show. It’s a good article, and features artwork like the one above.

link

Published in: on January 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Decisions, decisions

So, I have a bit of a decision to make. Well, I say a bit, but really it’s kinda big. And important. And I’m not sure what to do. So I need some advice. I figure if I just go through the pros and the cons, Myriad will ignore them all and tell me to come visit her. Why? Well, let me explain.

This November, in Madison, WI, will be the second annual TESLACON!! Super exciting, yes I know! Another lovely wonderful steampunk convention. This one is “set” aboard a submarine, and so I think everything is underwater themed. Last year was on an airship, and next year is Steampunk on the Moon!!! Whoo! The convention will be November 18-20, and I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I should go.

So here are the details:

The event is Friday-Saturday-Sunday. There is no schedule online yet, so I have no way of knowing when any of the events are. Now, I’m a bit of a ways from Madison, but I can take a bus/train combo there. IF IF I decide to go, I would need to figure out what days I want to be there. Either I can skip work on Friday and head out on Friday, meaning that I would get there in time to do things on Friday evening (possibly) and then be able to be there first thing Saturday morning, or I can skip a class on Thursday and work on Friday, head out on Thursday afternoon, get in around midnight, and be at the con Friday morning. Or afternoon. Whenever I manage to get out of bed.

Then I would have to decide when to leave. If I leave on Sunday, I could be back Sunday night (I think, I don’t really remember what time the trains/busses leave). But, I would probably have to miss most of the events on Sunday in order to catch the bus. Or I could skip work on Monday, and just come back on Monday.

I should point out that when I say “skip work” what I really mean is “squeeze all my hours from that day into another day or two so that I still get 20 hours a week.”

So, if I decide to go, do I want to be able to be there all day Friday or just the evening? Sunday, or just Sunday morning?

And then, of course, I need to figure out whether I actually want to go.

Pros:
1. I can see Myriad.
2. Steampunk convention!! Whoo!!
3. …I can see Myriad?

Cons:
1. Depending on the day I arrive/leave, I would have to miss work/class. (But I can reschedule my work and I hate that class anyway, so I guess this point is moot.)
2. It would cost me money.
3. It would cost me time when I should probably be doing homework and stuff like that.

The money thing is kinda important. First off, I’d have to pay for transportation to and from the convention. I’m too lazy to look it up right now, but it’s a lot. Then, I could either volunteer for 10 hours and get in free, OR I could pay another $50 to register for the event. I’m not sure if I would want to volunteer. Then there’s food and stuff while I’m at the convention, and there will be vendors, so of course I’d want to go shopping … Now, I’m kinda hoping that if I were to stay in Madison I could stay with Myriad … but I would then need transportation of some kind to and from the convention itself. Unless of course Myriad also wanted to go to the convention. Want to go to a convention, Myriad?

I don’t know if I really want to go. Since there is almost nothing on their website in the way of scheduling, I can’t really tell whether there would be events that I’m interested in. So it might be awesome. It might suck. I have no way of knowing.

What should I do?

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm  Comments (3)  

Steampunk Music

So, I have a playlist of what I call “Steampunk Music”. Now, not all of it is actually steampunk. In fact, some of it I am sure is not at all related, but I like it, and I think it fits in the genre, so who cares. So, I decided to share some of my favorite steampunk songs!

First off, of course, is Abney Park. They were the first steampunk band I had ever heard of, and they are awesome. By far their best song is Airship Pirate (which Myriad says makes her feel badass. It does have a nice beat to it). The video is cool, too, because they do have steampunk outfits and props, so they’ve got the whole persona down.

The next one (in no particular order) is The Cog is Dead. These guys go all-out steampunk. Their songs are all on steampunk topics, as though they really were about a steampunk world. Each song is a different genre, too, so they’ve got a nice mixture to appeal to everyone. One of the best is Death of the Cog (no vid, just the song):

But my personal favorite has to be I Want Only You. It’s so cute! (Also no vid tho)

Another Steampunk persona is Professor Elemental. He does steampunk raps, and does rap battles with his nemesis, Mr. B. One of his raps, Fighting Trousers, is hilarious and really ridiculously awesome. My sister sent it to me a while back, right before I made my epic cross-half-the-country roadtrip of DOOOM, and we immediately downloaded it and added it to the car playlist.

Now, some bands don’t have steampunk personas, but still like to have fun and make a steampunk video. Like Panic! At the Disco, and their video for Ballad of Mona Lisa. They got some help from the League of Steam, who have a cameo in the video, which is also super cool.

I also managed to find a video by Alex the Kid, called Future. I’m not sure if he has a steampunk persona, but this video is steampunk, and the song is pretty catchy. EDIT: He posted this comment on his own video: “Hi, just thought we’d make a note: we are not a steampunk band, and this is not steampunk music, we just like steampunk so thought we would make a video inspired my its visual wonders… ” Also, Professor Elemental’s director commented on them, complimenting their vid.

In my playlist, I also have the song Brother by Murder By Death. I’m not sure where I found it, or when, but it’s cool.

And then of course, there’s my favorite: Jeffrey Straker. Now, he’s not really super steampunk, but I first found out about him on the website for the Steampunk World’s Fair, so that’s why he gets included. And he wears smexy vests and hats. And his music is freaking awesome. (Still haven’t caved in and bought his first CD. There’s no preview online that I could find!) Anyway, the first song that I heard, which is super catchy and upbeat and awesome, is Hypnotized:

Also, from his new CD, Brand New Ocean. Right as I was pulling into my new house for the first time when I drove out here for grad school, this song  came on my ipod, and it was the perfect metaphor. Totally awesome.

And finally, one last video, that has nothing to do with steampunk or music or anything: Cats With Thumbs (you know you wanna watch it! It’s short, I promise)

Published in: on September 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm  Comments (1)  

How to Make Stained Glass Windows

My house is right on a main road, so there are always a lot of people driving by. It kinda freaks my mom out that people can see into the house, but she hates mini-blinds, which is what is currently on all of the windows. So she decided that she wanted to do something that would prevent people from looking into the house, without having to have blinds. And instead of just going to the store and buying some sheer curtains, she decided to paint the windows so that they look like stained glass.

Now, my mom has actually done the stained glass painting before, so she knows how it works. This was my first time, however. Thankfully, it was super easy, although kinda tedious. So here is a quick little tutorial on how I made my stained glass windows, so that you can go and make your own!

First of all, you need to figure out what you want to paint. So step 1 is just to find some inspiration. Now, I knew that I wanted my windows to be something steampunk, so I just googled that for a bit until I found something awesome. Also, I have three windows in my room that are together, and I decided to make my windows into one larger mural, instead of three separate pictures, but you could do it either way.

While I was browsing the search results for steampunk, I ended up finding photos of this awesome office.

This company, Three Rings, is actually a gaming company, and while their front office looks totally normal, the back is completely steampunk! In an interview somewhere on the web, one guy called it the mullet office: business in the front, party in the back. The guy was also wearing a bright red military jacket, which he apparently does rather often. Go here for more photos.

A couple of the photos really caught my interest, however. These are walls in the office, and I thought they were super cool, so I decided to combine the two images and use that as my window.

To make it more steampunk, I added some gears, using the border of this image for the gears.

Got Steampunk by NadeshdaVasile, found on DeviantArt

When I combined it together, this is what I got.

I also measured all of my windows meticulously, so that I had everything to the right scale, with the space between the windows blocked out. I originally intended to paint on the wall between the windows, but I haven’t gotten the chance to do that yet. Maybe later.

Now, you can always just work directly on the windows, and paint it free-hand, but since I had a lot of detail in mine, I decided to draw a template. I traced the pattern right off of my computer screen onto some newsprint, so that I could tape that onto the back of the window and trace it.

Making the pattern is step 2. Step 3 is to clean your window. You want the surface to be clean so that the paint and the lead stick to it, and not to all the dust and cat hair that might be on it. Naturally I forgot Step 3 with the first window that I did. Whoops.

Before you go on to Step 4, let me point out that this paint is NOT waterproof. It washes right off with soap and water. (It also peels off rather nicely in one large sheet if it needs to.) Because of this, you do NOT want to paint the outside of the windows, or the paint will wash off in the rain. So make sure that you are painting the inside of the windows.

Now we can begin Step 4. Get some Liquid Leading. Like the paint, this is sold at most craft stores – Michaels, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore – but you may want to call ahead and check, because the AC Moore near my house apparently recently stopped stocking it, and it also may be out of stock in some places. The clear paint was always out of stock, which makes me wonder just how many people are doing this at any given time.

Anyway, Step 4. Tape your template to the back of the window (the outside) so that you can see it through the glass. Some windows can come right out of the frame, which is really nice, because then you can lay the glass flat on a table, making it much easier to work on. However, it can be done while the window is still in the wall, it’s just a little bit more difficult. Now trace the template with the liquid leading. The lead will shrink a little when it dries, so don’t make the lines too thin, or they will break. It can always be touched up later, though, so don’t worry too much.

The liquid lead is kinda hard, so you have to really squeeze the bottle to get it to come out. If you have tendonitis in your wrist and thumb (hi!!) this can get pretty painful. But don’t despair! The paint is much easier!!

Once you’re done with your leading, it should look something like this:

Let the lead dry. I think the bottle says it takes something like 8 hours. I usually left mine overnight, but once it’s no longer wet and sticky you can probably add the paint. Even dry it will be able to squish a little bit, so don’t use that as your measure for how dry it is.

Step 5: Paint!!

When you buy your paint, pay attention to the name of the color, not the color that you can see through the bottle. The paint will change color as it dries, so it’s always best to do a little test spot to try out what the paint will end up looking like. You can just put a spot right on the window that you’re working with, because once it dries you can peel it off cleanly, so there won’t be an obvious test spot sitting there.

Start painting right onto the glass, making sure that it touches the lead. As the paint dries, it will also shrink a little, so if it doesn’t attach to the leading it will pull back and you will get gaps. Remember, all gaps can be filled in later once it’s dry and you can see what needs a touch-up.

Here’s an in-progress shot. You can see the darker red, which is dry. The pink is what it looks like wet, and what it looks like in the bottle. So, you can see how the colors change as the paint dries. I had a lot of trouble finding the right colors for some of my design because of this. I actually ended up mixing a couple colors to get the paint the way I wanted it at one point.

The paint comes in little squeezy bottles. Because it is so liquidy, you really don’t even have to squeeze the bottle to get the paint to come out, it will just pour out nicely, and then you can smooth it around with the tip (much easier on my tendonitis!!). If the paint stops coming out as well, there might be an air bubble, so just tap the bottle on the glass a couple times and it should start working again. Try not to squeeze too hard, or you may get a sudden outpouring of paint, which can get messy. For different effects, you can also experiment with painting it on with a paintbrush, which usually makes the color a bit lighter.

That sand is 2 coats with a paint brush. So light!

Let the paint dry completely, and do any touch-ups where they are needed. If it’s just a small spot, you really can’t see where the new paint was added. However, I don’t recommend painting half of a section, letting it dry, and then finishing it, because you can see a line where you had left off in the first place. I got a bug in my paint at one point, and I had to peel off the paint in that area in order to get the bug out. When I went to add more paint to fill in the gap, there was a definite line where the new paint had been added. Sorry I don’t have a photo of that to show you, but it was not very pretty. I ended up adding some more to try and even out the area, and it worked ok. I bet no one else would even notice, but I know that it’s there.

I found that the best thing to do was do the lead of one and let that dry. The next day, I did the lead of another window, and while that was drying I painted the first one. By the time that was finished I could paint the first one, or lead another one, so that I didn’t have to sit around and wait for them to dry in between.

All in all, my windows took … forever. The smaller ones I finished pretty quickly, and it only took about a day for each one. Mind you, I really wasn’t working that much each day, so I probably could have finished the entire thing in less than a week if I really worked at it. But I’m lazy, and I ended up going away for a couple weeks in the middle, so … yeah, it took forever. It was made much easier by having a more or less symmetrical pattern, because then I really only had to make one template for all the four corners, and then I turned it to fit whichever window I was painting.

It is kind of tedious, and it tends to get boring if you’re painting for a long time, so I usually just put a movie in and worked while I listened to the movie. Books on tape would probably be better, if you have any, because you can’t actually watch the movie and paint at the same time. So I always picked movies that I’ve seen a lot. And really long ones, like the Jane Austen mini-series, because then I would get more of the window done.

And, ta-da!! My steampunk porthole windows! (Please note the octopus hanging on the bed … and the underwater bedspread … complete coincidence, I assure you.)

All in all, the colors that I used were ruby red (border), gold sparkle (gears), metallic copper (porthole), crystal clear (water), cocoa brown (connectors on the porthole), snow white (fish), orange poppy (starfish), orange poppy mixed with a lot of snow white (octopus), peach (coral), and I think the sand is gilded oak. Or amber, but I’m pretty sure it’s gilded oak, painted on with a brush. Oh, and there’s some turquoise in the fish’s fins.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm  Comments (2)  

Jetpack Part 2

Ok, so I’ll finally get around to the end result with my jet pack, I promise.

Step One: Wake up in the morning feeling like P diddy and realize that your jetpack looks like crap. Go to Home Depot. Buy a couple pieces of flexible tubing (which naturally my mom had in the basement THE WHOLE TIME) and a pressure gauge (which I probably could have gotten for free as well). I also bought a light switch box which would eventually turn into the on button box, and a dimmer switch dial which became the on button.

Step Two: Paint everything. Really really start loving this color of spray paint, because it will be everywhere. I literally just got the last bits off my fingernails today, about a week later.

Step Three: I also bought some black woven ribbon stuff, that I used as the straps. I also spraypainted this, but just a little because I didn’t want it to get too stiff.

Step Four: I sewed the black straps around the crisscrosses that I had tied on the back of the jetpack parts … You can see it in the last post. I also sewed a loop on the end of the straps that I could fit the belt into, so that the backpack-like straps would connect with the strap around my chest.

Step Five: I glued the gauge on the front, actually gluing it to a piece of cardboard folded into a triangle to fit between the pieces. Then I glued the flexible tubing things one on top of the guage and one underneath it. The one underneath it connected to the back of the jetpack.

Step Six: The dimmer switch got glued to the back of lightswitch box. I ran wire through the screw holes and used that to tie it to the backpack straps. Then I glued the end of the flexible tubing to it. And voila! A jetpack! Sorta!

This is really the only picture I’ve got of it, I think. And since it promptly fell apart and I haven’t reglued it yet and its in my basement hidden behind all my college stuff that I FINALLY took out of my car today … I’m not taking a new picture right now. Maybe someone else got a good one.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hi, Remember me?

Wow, so it’s been a long time since I updated, and there have been a lot of pivotal events in my life that have happened since then, so naturally I’m going to tell you none of that and skip right to the fun stuff.

This weekend is the Steampunk World’s Fair. And I’m going. And somehow I decided to make myself a steampunk jetpack to wear at the event. I finally got around to starting it today, two days before the event, because I’m totally on top of everything like that. So I figured I’d share some progress shots.

Step One: Dismantle a dehumidifier. I don’t actually have any photos of that, but I’m sure that Myriad does somewhere, and I’ll post them once she shares with me. I also dismantled a super soaker and a surge protector, but I don’t know if I’m using any of those pieces.

Step Two: Paint everything a pretty copper color.

Note: some of these pieces are from the supersoaker. Also, it turns out that the paint I chose makes a gorgeous metallic color if you paint it on something black. So naturally everything I had was white. It also helps if you’re spray painting on a day when it’s raining, because that really helps things dry faster.

Make sure to cover everything, including yourself.

It’ll come off eventually. Hopefully.

Step Three: Pet the cat.

This really has no practical application, but hey, the paint has to dry anyway, and maybe then the cat will look less angry. Flashing cameras really help that.

Now is also a good time to get dinner.

Step Four: Start gluing things together. One of the pieces that I had didn’t have a bottom, so I made a cardboard bottom and glued that on. It still needs more paint to cover the writing on the cardboard. I also glued a canning jar lid to the bottom to try and match the thing on the bottom of the other piece (this is all highly technical terms).

Step Five (am I up to five? I’ve lost count): Cut up a pair of old boots. My snow boots had laces up the front, and they’ve got these cute little leather straps with grommets to hold the laces. Being as those boots are all ripped up and I don’t use them anyway, I chopped off the laces and started gluing them to the sides of the “jetpack”.

Like such. I then laced the laces through the grommets a couple times. I have another strap that I will put around my arms like the straps of a backpack. Then I started gluing a belt on below the laces. The belt will strap around my chest (below the boobs, if you were wondering Dea/Myriad).

Now is a perfect time to run out of hot glue. Naturally I found an almost-full package of 100 glue sticks, but they don’t fit my glue gun (really, how many different sizes of “mini glue guns” are there?). So, being as it is almost midnight and I’m not about to run out to Walmart now, we’ll just leave it there, and figure out what to do with it tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll actually make it look like a jetpack.

Published in: on May 18, 2011 at 11:41 pm  Comments (4)  

Crafty

So I’ve been trying to put together my steampunk outfit. It’s kinda working. I’ve got an apron-y thing, and a shirt, and an idea about the pants I want, and I have some shoes that should work with the outfit just fine. I’ve even got some jewelry.

But then I made myself this belt:

It was originally a purse, one of those little clutch purses that you really can’t do anything with. But then I cut it apart and sewed it back together, attached a couple strips to the strap in order to make it long enough to fit around my waist, and found out it’s actually almost too big. Which is AWESOME. I love it when that happens. So I’m going to make some tucks in the leather that I will be able to use to hold pencils or a screwdriver or something ridiculous, but it’ll make the belt fit better. It actually looks pretty good, fits right on the side of my hip, and curves around my hip nicely, due to the way it was originally constructed. So that worked out well.

And I’ve wanted goggles for FOREVER but I can’t seem to find ones that I want and I was having difficulty coming up with materials to make my own and I was looking online periodically but I didn’t want to spend a fortune, and then I found these:

Not really the most steampunk, I know, but they’re kinda perfect. The loupe is 20x magnification, and there’s an LED light to help me see whatever I’m working on. Exactly the kind of thing that I would need. And then if I needed to weld something, I could have separate goggles for that.

The other thing that I’ve been meaning to work on it making hats. I really want to know how to do it. So I bought a couple books, neither of which were terribly helpful, and found some websites, and eventually I want to try and make a hat. From scratch. If I do, I will definately be posting it on here. Because I’m sure it will be TERRIBLE and therefore I will want to share.

Also, I found an etsy store where they sell steampunk notebooks that are made by cutting the shapes out of cardboard and just gluing them to the notebooks. My first thought was “that’s so cool” and my second thought was “I can do that!!” So that is my new plan. Eventually. When I have the paint and glue and notebooks and time required.

But that’s about all the crafty stuff that I’ve been doing lately. Pretty boring. Wish I had done more.

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm  Comments (1)  

New humidifier!

So last year, when I said that I wanted a humidifier, my dad gave me his old one. It had a crack in it, but he had sealed it up so it worked fine. Eventually, it cracked again, breaking the seal. I tried to patch it up with a hot glue gun, which sort of worked, but then when I tried to use the humdifier, the glue melted again. And it leaked all over my rug.

So this weekend, when I went shopping with my dad, I said I needed a new humidifier, and he gave me the one he got to replace the first one. I brought it back to the apartment and set it up. This is what followed:

K: I’ll just throw this one out …
M: You’re going to throw out the whole thing?
K: What else could I do with it?
M: Well, you could steampunk it.
K: Hmmmm….
M: Oh no, I’ve given her ideas.
K: It could work, actually …
M: You could just stick it with all the disassembled stuff under your bed.
K: I COULD DISASSEMBLE IT!!!!

I just put it aside and did some homework. Fastforward a couple hours, though, when Myriad comes back from her club and the humidifier is in pieces all over the floor.

M: Hey.
K: Hey. How was (club)?
M: Fine …

Notice anything weird? Like the complete lack of comment about the ex-humidifier spread all across the room? Apparently she’s gotten used to that, after I took apart the supersoaker and after I took apart my laptop …

Next is her laptop …

Published in: on November 14, 2010 at 8:46 pm  Comments (1)