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Archive for December, 2014

1883More on activities for cold winter nights! There are two activities detailed in this section of Peterson’s Magazine 1883 – December edition.

The first may look familiar… In my childhood we called it Telephone… but when I think about it now, Telephone wasn’t a good name for the game… after all who whispers to another person on the telephone… strange but true. The Victorian name for the game seems to fit the activity better!

CHRISTMAS GAMES.

CONFIDENCES is a capital game in its way. One lady whispers a remark to her neighbor about someone present. She would say, perhaps: “Young Mr. jones was coming home from a party last night, and lost his way in the fog, and had to leave his carriage, and walk home with two boys carrying lanterns.” And this is whispered hurriedly from person to person round the circle, and the amusing part of it is to discover how the story has become altered by being passed on in this manner.

Many games are played entirely for the amusement of children, and only joined in by the elders with that object. It is not always easy at the moment to hit upon something to please children, other than romping-games, such as “Post,” Blind Man’s Buff,” “Puss in the Corner,” “Hide and Seek,” “Magic Music,” “Oranges and Lemons,” “Throwing the Handkerchief,” etc. But these games, although very well for the nursery or for the play-room on a wet day, or for the garden on a summer’s day, occasion a good deal of noise when played in a drawing-room. Children are apt to become rough and quarrelsome when these boisterous games are indulged in for any length of time, and parents generally prefer to see their children amused and interested in a quieter way. “Shadows is a good game where with to amuse children, but it is best to play it in the school-room or in the dining room. The plan is to fix a linen sheet across the room, and to place a lamp on the floor behind it; the actors dance and perform a sort of pantomime, with much gesticulation and many quaint antics, and the shadows thus formed on the sheet are a source of great delight to the young spectators.

What games would your characters play on a snowy evening when kept indoors? Could you play these games in the public rooms on an airship? Hmmm… what do you think?

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The Steampunk 12 Days of Christmas

It’s that time of year again.

" Steampunk Santa"  ©Jennifer Koopman on Etsy

” Steampunk Santa” ©Jennifer Koopman on Etsy

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12 Air Pirates

11 Painted Ladies

10 Clock Hands

9 Ray Guns

8 Pairs Brass Goggles

7 Aviator Caps

6 Cogs and Gears

5 Mad Scientists

4 Flying Cars

3 Top Hats

2 Pretty Corsets

And an Airship in a Pear Tree!

Suzanne Lazear writes steampunk tales for teens.  INNOCENT DARKNESS, book one of The Aether Chronicles, book two, CHARMED VENGEANCE, and book three, FRAGILE DESTINY, are now available from Flux. Visit her personal blog for more adventures.

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childrenFirst, my apologies for my disappearing act. It was not my wish. Diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in both my hands, I have done my best to recover the full use of my hands, but still have bouts of pain and I can’t feel my fingertips. So, I owe you folks posts.. and I will make them… just horribly late. So very sorry for the wait. – Raye

Since this is the winter, hopefully of much content for all of you… I wanted to post about Victorian Era entertainments and crafts. Hoping that if you do end up with some ‘snow days’ you might have something to occupy your time in a Steampunk way!

Peterson’s Magazine – 1865

PARLOR GAMES.
FOX and GEESE. – There must be an even number of players in this game, and a circle is to be formed standing two by two, so that those who are on the outside have each one person in front of them; these are called the Geese, and there must be some space left between the couples, to allow the one who is chased to run in and out of the circle. Two must be left out, one a Goose, and the other the Fox.

The Fox is to catch the Goose not belonging to the circle, who can run around the circle and also within it, which the Fox cannot be allowed to do; but when the Goose, who is pursued, places himself before one of the couples composing the circle, there will necessarily be three in the row, and as this is against the rule, the outside one of that three immediately becomes liable to be caught instead of the other, and must endeavor to avoid the pursuit of the Fox by darting within the circle and placing himself before some one of the players.

It is the object of the Fox to catch the player who makes the third one of a row and it is the object of each Goose to avoid the third place. The Fox can only catch the Goose as he stands the third in a row, or before he succeeds in escaping to a place of safety. If the Goose is touched by the Fox while in the position of third one in a row, or if touched in passing from this third place to one of safety, he becomes the Fox instead, and the other becomes the Goose again. It will be observed that the amusement of this game will depend upon the spirit and animation with which it is conducted. Great rapidity of movement is necessary.

While I was reading/typing out the instructions, it struck me that the game was still around when I was in school. Back then (in the 80s) we called it Safety Tag and played it in the school yard during PE Class.

Would this game occupy children in the common room of an airship? In a village in a remote part of the world after a long voyage? Aboard a submarine to entertain the families of crew?

What kinds of games would children in your stories play on long winter days/nights?

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Christmas Past

It wore a tunic of the purest white;- “I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”

It wore a tunic of the purest white;- “I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.”

Thursday, the Houston Thanksgiving parade included Queen Victoria in her carriage, the Ghost of Christmas past and other splendid characters from Dickens On the Strand. It’s that time of year for the annual Victorian/Steampunk event in Galveston Texas. It’s this coming weekend, but here are some scenes from Christmas past.Yuletide carols sung by a choir2013-12-08 15.43.45 (640x480)

And some ways to get ready for Chris tmas present to attend Christmas Steampunk or Victorian event in your area. First you may want to brush up (with make-up brushes that is) on Victorian make up with this tutorial. http://www.mookychick.co.uk/alternative-beauty/make-up-tips/victorian-fashion-ideas-makeup.php

No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle

In Galveston

Here is more help with a video on Victorian hairstyles.

Ring a Ling Hear them ring

And in addition to the hair and makeup tips, there are plenty of costume ideas in the photos above. As well as a workshop on Literary Consuming on how to turn a page from a book  into a costume.

~                            ~                            ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 24 published books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, and happy endings. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus. This Saturday December 6th you can find her at the Maud Marks Library Local Author event and Sunday December 7th she’ll  be enjoying herself at Dickens On The Strand.

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