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Today we welcome Trish from Sin City Steampunk!

Sin City Steampunk — Creating Wearable Art

sin city 5My my name is Trish Ellis of Sin City Steampunk. We’re an online emporium, but I also do local events in Las Vegas such as First Friday.

sin city 4I make wearable steampunk art and my line includes pendants, bracelets, rings, pin on art, earrings and hair clips. My men’s line includes ear studs, cuff-links, and  tie clips.

sin city 2New additions to my line include goggles, money clips, and iPone 4&4s phone cases. Being in Las Vegas, I’m also adding flasks and shot glasses.

sin city 3So come and visit www.sincitysteampunk13.com for some unique steampunk creations!

sin city 1

~Trish

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First off, I’d like to announce the winner of the ARC of God Save the Queen:

Romance Reader Enthusiast

Also, INNOCENT DARKNESS is book of the month over at Novel Novice. There’s going to be tons of fun stuff including a Steampunk writing contest.

Next off, we have a special contest for you today!

Christine Cavataio runs http://www.steamheatdesigns.com – which makes *very* beautiful Steampunk jewelry. 
 
Here’s what she has to say about why she loves to make Steampunk designs:
 
For the past 30 years I have been an artist and the style of Steampunk has been a part of much of my work. I started out as an artist creating paintings and then moved into graphic art and illustration as a career. The style of Steampunk comes very natural to me since I have explored the contrast of design in industrial elements along with the detail and flourishes of the Victorian period. Although in the past I have depicted these in my illustrations now it seems to work best for me, in a creative sense, to put these ideas into jewelry design. It’s great to develop pieces of art that people enjoy wearing!
 
She has made this beautiful Steampunk bracelet for one of YOU!  All you have to do is tell us what kind of Steampunk jewelry you’d design if you could (it could be serious or silly, realistic or totally impossible). 
 
 
 
 If you need inspiration make sure you check out Steamheat’s site. You can also follow her on twitter
 
Thanks to Steamheat Designs for donating the bracelet. Contest open in North America only.  Prize will come directly from Steamheat Designs.  One entry per person. Contest ends July 8th, 11:59 PM PST .

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I adore crafting.  I do.  But I’m domestically awkward and most things wind up, well…you all remember the glue gun ball gown fiasco.  When I got this book on Steampunk jewelery, Steampunk Emporium, I fell completely in love with it and I want to try to make something from it[s glossy pages–which will end in laughter, paint on the couch, and beads all over the floor, I’m sure.   Today I’ve asked the author, Jema Hewitt, to come on and talk to us.

Jema Hewitt is a jewellery and costume designer living and working in the rolling hills of Derbyshire in the United Kingdom. Her love of all things steampunk gradually evolved through a passion for Victorian costume and an insistence that her friends dress up in bustles and go on picnics in castles with her.

Her steampunk Alter ego is Miss Emilly Ladybird, an adventuress who travels the world on behalf of her employers Dickens and Rivett auctioneers, looking for unusual artefacts and getting into mischief. Visit www.steampunkjewellery.co.uk for lots of stories about the pieces.

Steampunk Emporium is Jema’s latest jewellery making book, taking you on a rip roaring adventure with unusual characters and stories to accompany the crafting. Thrill to the daring adventures of zeppelin pirate “Andromeda Darkstorm” then make her storm bringer device, or take tea with the clockwork dolls then make a pretty chatelaine. This is a book to inspire the steampunk in everyone.

You can follow Emilly Ladybird’s adventures on twitter “emillyladybird” and join her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/emillyladybird for more fun and frolics.

In search of the perfect “cog”

by Jema Hewitt

One of the questions I’m asked most as a steampunk jewellery artist is “but where do you get your cogs?” As the genre of Steampunk rises in popularity in crafting circles, so has the enthusiasm for all things “cog” shaped, but what exactly is a cog? And why is it so important to Steampunks?

Firstly, what is steampunk? Well in a nutshell it could be summed up as Victorian style science fiction, it’s a creative movement which encompasses, art, literature, fashion and music, all inspired by airships, robots, submarines etc with lovely Victorian style in natural materials like brass and wood, with cogs, lots of cogs….

Now, to be pedantic, a cog is in fact just the little tooth part on a gear wheel, a gear wheel is the shape we normally call a cog, a moving part which meshes with another moving gear wheel as part of a larger piece of machinery. Just to confuse the issue further, A sprocket looks very similar to a gear wheel, but it only interacts with a chain or something like that, never another sprocket. (So a bicycle has sprockets, a pocket watch gearwheels)

There are hundreds of types of gear wheels, radial, helical, crown and worm, all of which get engineers terribly excited. This is all far too complicated for most people, so that lovely spiky shape is just called a “cog” for craft and steampunk purposes.

Its rise as a steampunk icon is directly related to its use in Victorian steam powered machinery, in which of course it was an integral moving part. Some Steampunks insist that a cog should only be used in this original form, as a true moving part in a larger functioning machine or artwork, while others are happy to stencil it onto a t-shirt, or embroider one onto a bag for instant recognition as belonging to part of the steampunk tribe.

I like to sit somewhere between these two camps, whilst I always try to make my cogs look functional, intersecting and if possible moving, in the devices and jewellery I create, there is also just no getting away from the fact that a cog is a gorgeous object in its own right. Those delicate little cut out teeth and interior are every bit as pretty to me as a piece of filigree, and I am happy to use them as purely decorative items in my art.

A cog stands for something small but important that is part of a greater whole.

So yes, I use cogs in my work, lots of them, and I mostly get them from watch and clock menders, who, if you pop round with a thermos of tea and some biscuits, show an interest in horology (that’s the posh word for clocks and watch making) will usually let you have a handful or two of old “cogs” (or gear wheels..) You can also purchase packets of new watch parts; teeny tiny shiny bits from specialist watch maker’s suppliers. Then there are the “craft” cogs, specially manufactured by companies like Ranger for use in scrapbooking and jewellery making, these are readily available from craft stores.

I do use cogs in my book quite a bit, but I also tried to find other interesting motifs that are integral to steampunk. Corsets, Keys, zeppelins are all fun, but not components in their own right. Cogs are like beads, totally addictive. You start stashing them, then not wanting to part with them, wondering what they were once part of, what they could be part of again, then it’s out with the wire and rivets and a new piece begins to take shape…..

~Jema Hewitt/Emilly Ladybird

www.steampunkjewellery.co.uk

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Today we welcome Brenda Sue of B’sue Boutiques who’s jewelry supply store not only has everything you need to make neat Steampunk jewelry, but she also has loads of instructional videos for people like me who love to make things, but in all honesty can’t craft their way out of a cardboard box. 
 
STEAMPUNK JEWELRY MADE SIMPLE:  Breaking It Down to Cogs and Gears
By B’Sue
 
Love the Steampunk lifestyle?   Well as this blog has aptly demonstrated, you need the right glad (or perhaps ‘mad’) rags for your look!   And as every fashionista knows—whatever style genre he/she chooses—you need the right accessories.   Jewelry come first for me!   And the fact is, you can learn to make your own Steampunk jewelry, thus reflecting your own perfect Steampunk sensibilities.
 
Check out this sweet Steampunk pendant I made:
 
 
Gotta tell you, there are no hard techniques involved in this piece.   Let me tell you how!  I started with a luggage tag pendant made in the Victorian style, available here:  http://www.bsueboutiques.com/shop/index.php?keywords=fig39   
 
As this piece is raw brass, you’ll want to patina it.  One fast way is simply to clean the brass by washing in hot, soapy water…all raw brass comes with traces of machine oil on it, so gotta do it.    Dry completely, then torch it.   All you need it is a little creme brulee torch and a soldering block.   Torch it til it gets toasty or turns dark.   OR, you can try my vinegar/salt/patina method, which you can watch me do at YouTube right here:
 
 
When you have achieved the color you want on the brass, simply seal it with Renaissance Wax.  Then you will want to add your embellishments.   I added a pie crust bezel from the Bezels, Mounts and Frames section of our website, found here: http://www.bsueboutiques.com/bezels_mounts_frames.shtml    This is a great bezel to build with as it is textural and deep.  Into it, I glued a vintage soda cap, upside down, with the cork still in it.  
 
Into that cap, I poured a bit of mixed ICE RESIN.   For tips on working with Ice Resin, check out this video:
 
I also inlaid a circlet ring found at our website, as well as a tiny propeller.  These propellers REALLY SPIN!
 
The trick is to pour only enough resin to inlay the bottom of the propeller so that it still spins.  This one does!
 
The actual pendant is available at B’sue Boutiques right here:
 
How would you finish it?  Would you turn it around and dangle something from the hole and make it a heavy, cool looking brooch?   Or would you make it a necklace by adding beads, leather thong, old cord and maybe even safety pin or garter clip connectors?
 
Here’s a funky Steampunk necklace I made with our Steampunk components from B’sue Boutiques and scrabble tiles:
 
 
Come on over to B’sue Boutiques and check the place out!  We have a large, comprehensive Steampunk Jewelry Making Section broken down into watch parts, cogs and wheels, wings, keys, and all the components you need—-easy to find! http://www.bsueboutiques.com  
 
And…here is a very popular video we made at You Tube that will demonstrate how to make an easy Steampunk ring: 
 
Another master of  Steampunk jewelry making is Harry Wood of OSCAR CROW: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oscarcrow   Visit Harry for great ideas and great ready-made jewelry at low prices.   Here is a very cool pectoral he made recently:
 
 
And for more Steampunk Eye Candy, why not visit our Steampunk Gallery?   These are pieces shared with me by visitors to my B’sue Boutiques Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bsue-Boutiques/123052674404364, and entered into an archived album at the B’sue Boutiques website.
 
I hope you feel enabled and inspired…..because who knows?  Maybe YOU are the next radical Steampunk jewelry designer!  Soon they may be beating a path to YOUR door!
 
~Brenda Sue/B’sue Boutiques
http://www.bsueboutiques.com

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We have a ton of contests ending soon, so make sure you enter –like  books by Mark Hodder, books from Andrew Mayer, a bag of swag from RT and The Vampire Dimitri.

I’m going to be teaching another online Steampunk Writing Class.  This one focuses more on building your manuscript than the last one I taught, which was more of a Steampunk overview.  Class runs  May 2nd- May 27th 2011  and is $25.  Details here.

Today we welcome Shelly Brooks from Mystic Pieces jewelry Design.

Art and its creation has been my life since the tender age of seven. After majoring in Art History during college; I was blessed with the opportunity to work at The Laguna Art Museum, which was fabulous!   My true passion is creating jewelry. It started about 12 years ago and now consumes my life. Themes in my jewelry explore the dimensions of both art and history itself, traveling through time, inspired by the Victorian Era, Roaring 20s and Industrial Age. Tinkering with vintage watches, and finding that perfect juxtaposition of old and new is the part of the puzzle that keeps me going.   My ultimate creative goal is to inspire and beautify the world with my timeless, MYSTIC PIECES; providing enjoyment and style for all those who appreciate unique creations.

 

Why jewelry, Why Steampunk?

by Shelley Brooks

Creating started at the age of 7 which I started dabbling in painting with oils and watercolor.  In college, black and white photography found my heart and followed me for several years.   However, being the wise college student (ha ha), I decided to finish my degree in Art History and later worked for an Art Museum – oh, I had such grandiose ideas of working for The Getty Museum.   But as I’m sure for most artist, creating comes and goes throughout a lifetime.  So after, the museum, I went on to the Advertising world and spent many years in corporate America and small businesses selling ad space.
 
Jewelry making found it’s way into my life about 13 years ago, after feeling a burning need to create again.   Eventually, I started selling my work to local boutiques in Phoenix, Az and then found Etsy.   About 4 years ago, I wanted to make my living by creating full time.  That opportunity and dream presented its self, about 2 years ago, when I was laid off from my advertising job.   Since, taking the plunge into entrepreneurship and becoming a full time artist, I’m loving the different challenges.   However, being the only person behind Mystic Pieces, the creating part comes in spurts as the business keeps expanding to new frontiers.
 
The name Mystic Pieces came from a collaboration of several different thoughts winding its way through my brain.  I guess the first one, I wanted a name that was easy to remember, then came Mystic Seaport in Connecticut (which I had traveled to when I was in my teens), then Mystic Pizza (the movie) then I wanted to create a name that just wasn’t incorporating one creation such as jewelry, hence the “Pieces”.    The word origin or history of “Mystic” is defined by “spiritually allegorical, pertaining to mysteries of faith” which seems quite fitting these days.
 
Three years ago, as we all wonder, Steampunk found me and my fancy.  I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian Era; it’s romance, elegance, detail to workmanship and the simplicity of another time.  The beauty too about the Steampunk genre, it has so many intertwining aspects.  One can easily travel through time with touches of Gothic, Dieselpunk, Industrial, Futuristic and combinations of all the above.  In my jewelry, I love the detail of the watch movements, like little pieces of artwork themselves.  Yet, Steampunk gives me the creativity license to play with Victorian and Gothic touches.
 
My inspiration comes from wanting to succeed on this entrepreneurial journey.  I love the freedom, challenges and creativity of my artistic lifestyle.  Lately, I feel my brain are gears themselves on a never-ending rotation of new ideas and things to accomplish for Mystic Pieces.
 
As far as the future holds, I’d like to start creating mixed media again or dabble in wind chimes, but for now I’m content on taking Mystic Pieces as far as the dirigible will take me.

~Shelley Brooks

www.mysticpieces.net
Face Book www.tinyurl.com/yb7r4gq
http://twitter.com/mysticpieces

Stores featuring Mystic Pieces: 

Work of Artists – Scottsdale
Evermore Nevermore – Mesa
Level 9 Gallery – Cave Creek
Paris Envy – Phoenix

What sorts of things do you like (or want) to create?

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Today’s guest is Edanna of EJP Creations, makers of clockhand jewlery, including, my favorite, tiaras.  I own a bunch of her stuff.  (The gold tiara is mine.)

EJP Creations specializes in tiaras, chokers, earrings, necklaces, fascinators, and hair combs with a noir, and gothic flair. Creating body adornments with a hint of vampire elegance, a dash of Steampunk bravado, and plenty of Neo-Victorian sensibilities. Perfect for prowling the streets, haunting the clubs, or adding an aristocratic air to any outfit.

 

A little about my love affair with Tiaras…
by Edanna of EJP Creations

I still vividly remember the time I saw my very first tiara. It was love at first sight. I was probably 5 years old and flipping though a book of paper dolls of famous women through the centuries. I had looked at this book a thousand times before. Lady Murasaki always intrigued me in her flowing robes. Joan of Arc took my breath away in her gleaming armor. And then of course there was Queen Victoria the pinnacle of womanly grace dripping with elegance. But wait what was that… was something in her hair… and its making her regal features even more aristocratic! It looked like a necklace but was positioned like an angel’s halo. I pondered … What could this thing be?? I ran over to my mother hoping she would tell me what such a lovely and intriguing article was. The word poured from her lips into my ears … T-i-a-r-a. Such a captivating word. I quickly sat cross-legged in front of her eagerly waiting for her to tell me more. She then elaborated on this completely new world of ornamentation. There were Crowns, and bandeaus, diadems, and fascinators, combs, circlets, coronets, and headdresses. All sorts of hair adornments, it made my head spin! As she went on to explain it seemed to me that almost every time period through the centuries had a magical way of adorning the head in such a regal manner. It made me wonder why this wasn’t still in vogue for our time. The 1960’s gave us the last spattering of the tiara, but they were fashioned more like an elaborate headband. I was determined from that moment on. I had a new mission in life sparked by that little paper doll book. It would be my life’s work to pursue that mythical unicorn that is the tiara until its mysteries were mine.

The years passed, and I ended up going to college to study jewelry making, and metal smithing. Surely my questions about these magical circlets would be answered there. Unfortunately, they weren’t I was thwarted at every turn. One teacher even went so far as to laugh at my pursuit because… “no one wears those things anymore” my mind instantly snapped back with, “well maybe they don’t wear them because they aren’t available anymore, you ever thought of that!” It did cross my mind that the reason my teachers were so against them might just be because they couldn’t figure out how to construct one. Tiara’s might look easy to make, but it really does take some skill and engineering. Unlike a necklace they have to withstand much more wear and tear. Also comfort is key, and fitting everyone’s head is not easy. Lastly there is the issue of keeping it in place. Heads are round, floppy things and anchoring a piece of art work on it is not easy. Thus, I embarked on the lonely mission of teaching myself how to make one. There were oh so many late nights at my workbench. Drawing after drawing that were thrown into the trash can after spending hours making a paper mock-up only to have it fail. But then after a few months small successes started to emerge from my toils. And then finally the break though I had been waiting for. Shortly afterwards my first triumph! A finished tiara, victory at last!!! At that point I was so pleased with myself I decided to have a gallery show with nothing but tiaras made of sterling silver sheet and wire. It took me a full year, and a large proportion of my saving to make all of them. They were so well received that all the doubts about my mission melted away.

Graduation from school came soon after, and then the Steampunk movement wrapped me in it’s warm gear lined embrace. Whisking me away on countless adventures then placing me gently on Esty’s front door. After that the real work began. My two and a half year long odyssey of perfecting my neo-Victorian tiara line. Of course I make other pieces of jewelry, but the tiaras always have a special place in my heart. I still get the odd comment here and there such as, “where would you ever wear one?” I just smile and keep walking because I know once you have one there is an understanding that comes over you. Sure you might wear it out to a club or a formal occasion, but the real joy comes when your sitting at home on laundry day wearing your tiara in your jammies eating ice cream on the couch watching “Gaslight” or “My Fair Lady.” That is a joy those people will never know, and it makes me a little sad for them. Also, I must add that those same teachers who thought my passion was shear folly laugh at it no more.

~Edanna
http://www.ejpcreations.com/

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Welcome to another fabulous week of Steampunkapalooza.  We have super guests for you this week. Monday, April 19th, 2010 we have John from Steampunk Tales, the penny dreadful for your iPhone. Tuesday, April 20th we welcome the one and only Smutketeers, who will be talking about their new series. Simply Willow and her beautiful jewelery stop by on Wednesday, April 21. Young Adult author Scott Westerfeld visits on Thursday, April 22. On Saturday, April 24th we have a very special treat for you, a release party for OM Grey’s debut Steampunk novel Avalon Revisited. Come join us for all sorts of fun and mayhem.

Yesterday the finalists for the Clockwork Couture ensemble contest were announced, was your ensemble one of them? Also, if you comment on that post you will be entered to win a beautiful pair of clockhand earrings from EJP Creations.

Before I introduce today’s visiting Lolita I have another winner to announce–after all, who doesn’t like to win stuff? I’d like to announce the winner of the amazing tatted cameo pendant by the fabulous Totus Mel.

Drum roll please…

~*~*~JENN~*~*~

Congrats, Jenn!  Please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail


Today we welcome Cindi from Creative Habits who makes amazing upcycled Steampunk jewelry.

~*~*~*~


“Why are you buying all that junk?” My husband asked. My answer: for Steampunk Jewelry, of course!

Having been a gemstone jewelry designer for nearly a decade, the idea of making Steampunk jewelry presents itself as a quite intimidating, yet extremely exciting, new adventure in design. With my background and training in visual arts, I find that working with Steampunk jewelry provides a creative and interesting outlet. Throughout my youth, I most enjoyed the challenges associated with mixed media works – weaving (with inclusions), pottery (raku), metal-smithing, and two-dimensional conglomerations (paper with objects; wood and found objects).

The intrigue of Steampunk design arose out of my recent showing at festivals. For years, I had promoted my work solely on a website and at small gallery shows. My husband, and drafted business partner, begged me to begin selling my wares at festivals (too much inventory!). I am never meek about embarking on a quest, so to appease my partner, I applied to the 2009 Texas Renaissance Festival (the largest Renaissance Faire in North America, lasting for eight weekends from October through November) and was fortunate enough to be accepted as a vendor. This festival introduced me to Steampunk culture.

Customers would enter my shoppe, the Red Castle, and inquire as to the “gear” pieces I might proffer (many donning incredibly interesting goggles upon a top hat). Well, what was that all about? My shoppe helper (a devoted Steamer– my dear, Mildred) explained Steampunk to me. Having been a “Dr. Who” fan since the 1970’s (as well as a science teacher), I immediately understood the essence of Steampunk. But, I did not understand the jewelry…..

Procuring the necessary Steampunk jewelry inventory is, in itself, a challenge. One must search countless sites for the appropriate watch works, stampings, and the ever-essential, gears… and be adept as combining these seemingly incongruous parts into a harmonious whole. Thus, my work involves weaving discarded items, intricately engraved watches from the 1800’s, nostalgic ephemera, gemstones, pearls, and new components (cast or stamped from vintage molds) into a fresh, invigorating jewelry piece.

Although my line is new and limited, I anticipate creating many more inspired pieces. I hope you find these creations inspiring as well!

~*~*~*~

Thank you so much for joining us, Cindi!

Today Cindi will be giving away a pair of “ear wings” in the winners choice of silver or brass.  To enter, simply comment below.  For additional entries tweet, post, or blog about this post.  You can also join Creative Habits’ facebook group or the Steamed! facebook group. Or become a follower of this blog. One entry per activity, let us know what you’ve done so you can get proper credit (already being a follower counts.)

Contest closes Thursday, April 22, at 11:59 PST.  Winner will be announced Saturday, April 24th.

Thanks for stopping by and continue to visit us for more special guests, prizes, and mayhem as Steampunkapalooza continues.

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