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Archive for December, 2009

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll have a sip of brandy now,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy yourself a cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine !
we’ll have a sip of brandy now,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the skies,
and seduced the strumpets fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary day,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have fought air pirates bad,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

 

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150 years later Charles Babbage’s life’s work is finally made a reality as his Difference Engine is built using period materials.

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I thought I posted this “Steampunk Primer” before, but I can’t find it, so here it is again…

Steampunk is a term that there’s been quite a bit of buzz about.  But, what is exactly Steampunk? 

 Steampunkers party like it’s 1899 (and what happens when Goth’s discover the color brown, lol.)  Steampunk is set in a world where steam and natural gas, not coal and electricity is still the primary power source.  It’s a world abounding with airships, gas lamps, gears, cogs, and brass goggles and populated with mad scientists, philosophers, adventurists, and air pirates.  HG Wells and Jules Vernon are huge inspirations for Steampunk.  Examples include League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Stardust, Treasure Planet, and the Golden Compass.

Even though there’s a heavy Victorian influence and feel to Steampunk, there could still be extraordinary technology all done with Victorian materials and in Victorian styles.  There can even be Steampunk airships, space ships, computers, and brass robots.  Technology may have simply evolved differently–or maybe a natural (or unnatural disaster) caused society to “regress,” though Steampunk stories traditionally lack the dystopian/anarchist elements that cyberpunk has. 

Steampunk stories can be set in the past, in the future, or on another planet.  They can be alternate histories, mysteries with hard-boiled detectives or cozy Victorian ladies, they can be gothic, or horror, or sweet romance.  They can be bodice rippers, erotic, or “tame.”  Steampunk stories can even feature the supernatural or paranormal elements. 

It’s in the setting, the language, the gadgets, and the characters–who could speak like Victorian ladies or fast-talking American teenagers.  With Steampunk, there’s really a great opportunity to be creative and make amazing worlds ranging from gritty to opulent.  Its basis is Victorian in nature, but it’s also fiction so you can do incredible and imaginative things.  Are you ready to write?

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by Marie-Claude Bourque

Steampunk Christmas Ornament by =ValerianaSolaris on deviantART

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A Steampunk Night Before Christmas
© 2009 Suzanne Lazear

‘Twas the night before Christmas and the whole ship was quiet,
Too quiet for the likes of this seasoned air pirate.

The airship was festooned with frippery and green,
With nary a brass polished surface to be seen.

Their stocking were hung by the crow’s nest with pride,
Along with homemade cookies and rum for Santa to imbibe.

I didn’t have the heart to tell the crew.
That Santa wouldn’t approve of what we do.

Sure, we stole from the rich, and gave to the needy.
But he’d probably think taking a cut was too greedy.

It didn’t matter that they had hearts of gold,
Only that it was stolen goods we bought and sold.

Suddenly portside there arose such a clatter,
That I grabbed my spyglass to see what was the matter.

The deck became filled with curious crew,
As I climbed the rigging for a better view.

The sky that had moments before been silent,
Had erupted with a commotion both grievous and violent.

The black ship portside was one that even we dread,
And it looked as if it were attacking a small red sled,

Driven by a fat guy and flying brown deer,
I polished the spyglass to ensure my vision was clear.

“Dread Pirate Fred’s attacking Santa, let’s help him, quick,”
Shouted my trusty first mate old Salty Nick.

What could I do but help out the sled,
“Come on, crew, let’s teach a lesson to Fred.”

I climbed down the rigging.
“There are cannons to load,
Christmas to save,
And pirates to goad.
Let’s kick up our speed,
And give up a fight.
Even we know
Robbing Santa just isn’t right.”

With a cheer, I manned the helm, going full speed ahead,
Nick loading our cannons to aim at the Dread Pirate Fred.

“Don’t worry Santa, help will arrive,
Salty Nick, man the cannons, prepare to take a dive.”

We flew through the air quickly, with all our might,
Fred’s crew had the sleigh on board, a terrible sight

Santa looked frightened, a gun to his head,
“Give me those presents,” growled the Dread Pirate Fred.

Even the reindeer had been rendered immobile,
By a few of Fred’s men in a black dirigible.

Santa shook his head, “If you take them, they will be missed.
Certainly, you all shall make my permanent naughty list.”

“I don’t care,” the pirate growled,
“We just want those gifts,” his crew avowed.

“Unhand those presents,” I called, dashing through the air
The cannons fired, aimed only to scare.

The reindeer bucked, trying to get free,
Fred sneered, “Captain Sno, you don’t scare me.”

Quickly, we secured Fred’s ship and dastardly crew,
But Fred still had Santa—there was only one thing to do.

Fred and I grappled across the deck, precariously,
Nick making sure Santa and the reindeer went free,

“You can’t rob Santa, it’s just not right,”
I yelled as I punched Fred when he put up a fight.

“Now, now, cease that,” Santa said,
Causing me to stop punching Dread Fred.

“Now Dread Pirate Fred, trying to steal presents in wrong,
but Captain Sno, punching him won’t stop him for long.

Christmas is about sharing and caring, not fighting and stealing,
and doing what’s right, not wheeling and dealing.”

Fred and I looked at each other, hanging our heads in shame.
The jolly old man had a good handle on our game.

Both crews made sure the gifts all went back
Into Santa’s giant red velvet sack.

Cook fed the reindeer carrots, and Santa cherry pie
I looked at the Dread Pirate Fred and gave a sigh.

“Why did you do that? That’s low even for you,
to attack Santa and take his presents on Christmas Eve, too.”

“Those presents would fetch prices that are sky high.”
But the look on Fred’s face told me that was a lie.

“There are better ways of getting a present from Santa’s sack,
then trapping the reindeer and staging an attack.”

“You’re one to talk,” Fred replied.
Nodding slowing, I looked at my crew, and again I sighed.

“I’m afraid, Santa, neither Fred nor I have been good this year,
but please, don’t forget our crew, they could use some cheer.

They don’t meant to be bad; they’re just following orders
They’re good men at heart, not drunkards and cavorters.”

Santa said, “Thank you captain, for rescuing me,
I think I my sleigh might hold an extra present or three.

You too,” he added to Dread Pirate Fred.
I shook my head. Was that what he actually said?

“Fred and his crew tried to steal your gifts to sell,
now you’re giving them presents as if all were well?”

Santa winked. “Now, Sno, remember what Christmas is all about.”
Getting in his sleigh, he gave his reindeer a shout.

“Just try to stay off the naughty list, the both of you, from now on.
Now, I have to be off, to get these delivered before dawn.”

Both crews looked up, as Santa took off.
“Merry Christmas, Santa,” my voice went soft.

With a wink of his eye, and a flick of his hand,
Presents flew out of his sleigh; onto the deck they did land.

“Thank you, Santa,” the crews did shout.
“There’s not one for me,” Dread Fred did pout.

“All I’ve ever wanted is a present from Santa, just one.”
I scoffed. “But not enough to stop having all your plundering fun.”

“Stop it you two,” Santa added with a call.
“But I didn’t forget you either, no, not at all.”

Two more presents floated down from the sky.
Turning mine over in my hands I looked up. “But why?”

Santa just smiled. “Just remember what I said.
And for once, Sno, can you stop plaguing Fred?”

With a hearty laugh, the sled flew through the sky,
Both crews waving, tears in their eyes.

“A present for me?” Fred’s eyes gleamed.
I knew deep down, he wasn’t as dreadful as he seemed.

Taking a box from my pocket, I said, “And there’s another.”
Giving it to him, I smiled. “Merry Christmas, brother.

I’m sorry I plague you, but it’s so much fun.
Let’s make next year a much better one.”

Nodding, Fred said, “For once, Sno, you’re right.
I think this should be the last time we fight.”

Santa sped by, doing one last turn.
“I hope there’s a lesson tonight you all learned.

Merry Christmas to you, and remember my lads,
no one says air pirates have to be bad.”

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  With the holiday season in full swing there are countless opportunities to look your most smashing! So I have complied a selection of delectable options for a variety of different persuasions! Enjoy….and if anyone is looking for a last minute gift idea for me or if Santa is reading this….I would accept any of these!! 

For the lovely steampunk lady….. 

I have found a gown that is both demure and beautiful in every detail! This dress would make you the center of every party and leave the feminine occupants green with envy!

  

  

 

 

 

For the saucy steampunk minx……..

Here is the gown for you!! It is sexy and sophisticated while allowing you to reveal your beautiful skin!! Beware though wearing this dress you will turn heads….although that is what you were going for wasn’t it you saucy minx……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the daring steampunk darling that gravitates towards darker pursuits….

You will look seductive in this dress that wraps you in blood-red and black lace, a better combination you couldn’t find. It will go with you from each dark and delightful gathering you attend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the economically minded steampunk maiden..

This is the dress for the steampunk lady whose plunder is running a bit low! It is adorable and will turn heads and no one will ever guess that it came at a lovely, affordable price. So hold your head high and live it up!!

Enjoy your holidays!! ~Elizabeth

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Today we will be having craft time with Elizabeth! I will show you how to make an adorable little metal spider place card holders for your holiday meal or next gathering of the like minded steam folk!! They also double as an inexpensive, but memorable mementos for your guests to keep and cherish! You will need to gather a spool of thin wire, a pair of wire cutters, a decorative tack and a unique button with a hole big enough to stick a tack through. You can also clip off the head of the tack and hot glue it to the button if you can’t find one with an appropriate sized hole. 

 

 

 After you have gathered your materials you need to cut four lengths of wire to a length that they will be the desired size of your spider legs when bent in half. I keep mine a little long so they are easier to work with and just trim them down to size after my spider is complete. After you have your wire pieces, bend them in half so that you have a loop in the middle. Once your wire pieces are bent set them aside and take the tack and insert it into the hole in the side of the button or glue it on. If you are inserting it through the button don’t secure it yet.  Slide your wire pieces over the pointy end of the tack and then line the tack up with the stem of the button and push the end of the tack through. If you don’t have the end of the tack. Take a piece of wire the length of the inside of the button and place the bent wire pieces on it and then glue the wire piece into the button. Once it is secured and the glue is dry you can flip your little guy over and trim and arrange his legs accordingly! 

 

 I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions about the construction feel free to send me an email elizabeth@elizabethdarvill.com I will be glad to help ya out! Happy holidays! ~Elizabeth

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