Saturday, August 20, 2016

Steampunk Paris Mural

Our extremely talented friend Ben Short painted this incredible mural for us on our dining room wall.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Clockwork Alchemy

I'm deviating briefly again from decor to share our experiences from a day Clockwork Alchemy Steampunk Convention in San Jose, CA.  This was the first steampunk event I've attended although I've been obviously a fan of the concept for some time I've been hesitant to participate in the subculture part of the genre because I really didn't know what to expect or what kind of crowd it drew.  I was rather pleasantly surprised to find that the significant majority of the con attendees seemed to be there truly to celebrate the "maker" aspects of steampunk, which is my particular desire out of the experience as well.  There was a photographer doing tin type photos, Mr Science had a nice display on magnets, basic switches, electricity etc and rows of buttons to push that out 2yr old was in love with.  I really hope we see him next year.  Another man had two fully restored telegraph machines running which he had the ticker from the associated press.  The other one he had connected the phone to his cell phone so it  was was printing out messages that people could text to it and then a runner would send the telegram to the listed location in the convention, rather silly but very clever and lovely to see the machines running.  There was a certain amount of "put gears on it and call is steampunk" but that wasn't the dominate example and didn't seem to get all that popular with the con goers which was a relief since internet searches overwhelming seem to be the other way so it was rather refreshing actually.   My personal "maker" goal for next year is to restore and use at the next convention two Kodak Brownie camera's that we got from the previous owners of our house.  These are a bit late for steampunk but will be a fun project to do.

 They had a group, that turned out to be old friend's of Fenn with whom we had lost touch, that had very thoroughly researched various forms of Victorian street fighting and combat and were doing lectures and basic demos on it (they are all very skilled martial artists with YEARS of training do it so it was not intended as a class per say).  Overall very interesting, we couldn't attend many panels due to our little guy's attention span but next year I think we'll try to tag team child amusing and attend some of the panels.  Some of the panels from the guests of honor sounded really interesting but were spread out over the weekend so we couldn't attend and they didn't seem to have displays by many of the guests, which was a bit disappointing.  

I was also pleasantly surprised that most people's clothing were very nice, some had some, uhm, interesting choices, but overall it was very nicely done.  My only "issue" so to speak was that I don't seem to agree with what is classified as steampunk musics, such as one of our favorite swing bands was a guest there, which just seemed odd even though I do love their music there is nothing about swing music that is part of the "steam engine" time period to me.  I guess that  genre is used rather loosely as a category.  

The best part of the con so far is I have a lead on how to recreate a 150 year old wooden gear from an antique yarn winder my great-great-grandfather (maybe a few more greats in there) build.  The gear broke from generations of children playing with it.  Thanks to 3D modeling and 3D printers now being readily available to the public I think I'll be able to made a new piece fairly soon!

                    From the artist gallery:   A clever engine that powers a model of the solar system.

            A fun coaster made by Steamy Tech.  YES, the gears are all FUNCTIONAL!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our secondlife steampunk ... the crew of the E Brown

We plan to attend Clockwork Alchemy convention possibly as out alter egos ... the crew of the E Brown, perhaps our paths will cross there?

Evie reread the lines of typed invitation on the viewport of the personal messaging attachment of the E Brown's difference engine addressed to the associates of the airship with the instructions to rendezvous at Emperor Norton's ball.  The airship pilot tapped the keyboard thoughtfully as she read, absentmindedly tracing the shapes of the familiar enamel letters on the keys.  She had to make it brief to protect their business interests yet contain the specifics of the meeting.  Their benefactor, codename Dragon, had been cryptic as always about the exact nature of the scheduled meeting.  They were to meet Dragon's associates at the ball, escort them to the airship and transport them to their requested destination.  Simple enough on the surface but Dragon's business wasn't always as it seemed with some of the artifact hunting destinations they had escorted Dragon's contacts to the past.  "Nothing to be done for that" she thought, at least Dragon was being his usual gracious self and arranged the entire crew of the Brown to make it to the ball guest list so they could all enjoy the party, in theory.  She sighed but pushed the key that sent the messages.  She turned to her map table and her astrolabe and picked up the notes for the calculations she had begun earlier.  She carefully typed in the information into the difference engine, checking each line she before entering it.    She had to be efficient to complete her calculations before little E awoke from his afternoon nap since toddlers and difference engines don't get along well.   Her husband, Captain Fenn, was also waiting for the updated information from the command deck so they could depart from dock now that the messages had been sent and their business completed.  When done she closed the gleaming metal and wood cover over the difference engine and it locked into place.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Steampunk shelving

A friend passed on another etsy find from Vintage Pipe Dreams using upcycled pipes and creating shelving.  My hubby dreams that if we ever redo our bathroom (which someday will happen ... eventually, when the kid's in college maybe) he wants to use traditional ideas to make a towel heater.  His idea is to run part of the pipes exposed out of the wall upon which to hang the towels.  The system would have a bypass switch of course so by turning the switch one could run hot water through the pipes and heat the towel as one takes a shower.  We think its clever and is inspired from classic Roman engineering concepts, but we're not repiping just yet.  These fun shelves do inspire us to spruce up the bathroom a bit.  We'll probably make our own since we've got sufficient tools to do so.  However if you want to buy some or just admire the possibilities here you go!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steampunk piano?

I love this VERY creative recycling of an old piano.  I suppose its not exactly steampunk but  I love the upcycle and it makes a beautiful computer desk!  The old phone and radio set next to it makes it extra special.  I've never seen anything like this before.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My idea of perfect gear jewelry

The etsy artist behind Winter Woman Designs makes what I prefer as steampunk jewelry using upcycled gears.  My reasoning is because gears in early industrial revolution would have been hard to manufacture and require a lot of skill and precision,  and this would be valuable items, you wouldn't use a new one for jewelry but you could use an old or broken one.  I also like the quirkiness of warn parts.  Her designs are all from bicycles, since the artist appears to work for bicycle shop, but if this was steampunk they would be airship gears etc so one can use your imagination in that way.
To stick with my main blog theme of home decor she also does fun mobiles, that I also count as steampunk style possibilities.  Who knows what an airship cog would look like, after all.   I also like the blend of organic and industrial,  I think it fits well in the form and function concept that I associate with steampunk.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

After a long hiatus with holidays, cold and flu seasons etc ... I found a few fun inspiring objects on Zulilly today.  The same sale also had some rather odd pieces.  I don't understand buying a sculpture of an antique telephone, or camera, typewriter etc as object d'art.  These are still readily available in antique stores and yard sales.  I also prefer anything with gears in it to be upcycled rather than resin or new items.  That said,  I do love some of the photo frames and mirrors so here are a few samples  that could add some steampunk touches to any decor.

I don't get this for example .... 

I LOVE this ...

I think this is also fun ...

VERY fun nautical style mirror, I like something similar from pottery barn ....

And a nice twist on a starburst mirror (I will overlook that the gears are not upcycled due the rarity of this size of gear) ....