Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday : Professor Tursiart.

 Professor Tursiart, the designer of weapons and accouterments useful to the intrepid adventurer, was one of my earliest encounters with Steampunk as a craft. 
I knew the term from literature ( The Difference Engine, or Mortal Engines) and I was intrigued by the idea on the page. Who wouldn't be? The glamour of the Victorians and the potential of their inventions and industry, with reality tilted slightly to give us interplanetary airships, tunnels beneath the Atlantic and cities that walk..

 However, I hadn't realised this was a genre I could pick up and hold in my hand. 
People were making things!
 Crafting their own items to fit a Victorian industrial aesthetic and make this fantasy world manifest.

And what gorgeous things they were. Tops hats for ladies, at a jaunty angle!



The inspiration for my own humble Steampunk Pistol came from  these weapons, purportedly by the esteemed Professor Tursiart, and found here on Deviant Art. 

Look at the shapes, and the patinated finishes and the colours! Wonderful toys for grown up games.

The crafter of these items is an absolute sweetheart, too,. How do I know? She drew me this!

A Flying Steampunk Bunny!
How cool is that?

So please, pop over to her site at DA. She has some lovely art wort, too (There's a cute picture of Poe and the Raven,) and you can see more at her Etsy, shop. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday: Tom Banwell

I'm not going to need to say much here.

 Tom Banwell's inspirational work with leather and resin are a Steampunk delight 
and you just need to go and see his images. 
Wonderful stuff.
His blog gives tutorials and diagrams and has  wonderful photos.

His is Blog here and his Etsy shop is here.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

From Dr Crupper's Collection.

Obviously these creatures are rare.

This came from the collection of Dr Algernon Crupper 
and he insists in his memoirs that the creature was already dead 
when he discovered it, and as a specimen it was in poor condition.

Either way, it makes a sad and sorry spectacle, 
its bony little face pressed to the glass of the collection jar
 and the fragile and broken wings still spread for flight
 attached to its tiny shoulder blades.

Please note the wings, here clearly seen. 
They resemble those of the Cicadidae family,
 being transparent and well-veined. 
They do seem large enough to allow for short flight. 
Dr Crupper notes that the specimen was found in Western England, 
where cicadas of any kind are rare and small. 

At the site where this specimen was located
 there were also some small items 
which were found in the lair or nest of the creature. 
Some blossoms tied with gossamer,
 perhaps into a primitive robe, 
and a small stick, which had some traces of light, 
"like a glow worm, or firefly". 

Regrettably, Dr Crupper neglected to collect these items; 
we have only his journal sketches for
 evidence of the existence of such artefacts.

This unique specimen remains in the  Dr Crupper Collection, 
now in private hands.

 However, I am able to post these few photographs 
to allow those interested to make their own judgement
 on the existence of small, sentient beings 
who inhabit the folklore of cultures around the globe.

(I know. Isn't it horrible? I always clap my hands during Peter Pan, so I felt really bad making this. Plastic skeleton, (for instructions on how to bend to shape, see here, ) cicada wings. I didn't kill the fairy or the cicada, I hasten to note. Leaf, bits of dry grass, largish jar with spray-painted lid)

Insert Mummy Pun Here

Look, I've seen all kinds of cool stuff in your blogs. Clever and funny and just plain jaw-droppingly brilliant. Into that last catergory comes this post from Crafty Mommy and Me . You want a mummy? A full sized, authentic Egyptian  mummy? For, you know, cheap? With stuff you mostly have already in your kitchen in the Third Drawer Down?   ( Yes, I know I've linked this  before. Parent Alert: It's a cute song and very funny, but he says the rude word that rhymes with 'grit'.) So, do you want one of these?

Unidentified Mummy. Cairo.  A little sad no one knows who she was.
Of course you do. I think a spare Egyptian Mummy in the corner might be perfect for the Study. It's going to be a little Halloween in there all year round, anyway.. 

So, this mummy...

Do you want it LIFESIZED?  And realistic! And easy to move and cheap?

Like this?

Right. I thought so. So, hop on over to  Crafty Mommy and Me and see the details.
 I've used this technique to make doll patterns and I know it can be used to make fitted  medieval dress patterns, but this, this is genius on a stick. Go see!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Have your cog and eat it.

Yes, a pun. A dreadful one, too. But, all for a good cause, because I bring you the very last thing you need. 

Edible cogs.

I found these on Etsy, where I was window shopping one of my favourite shops, Andies Speciality Sweets.  I've never bought anything from them, you understand. I just press my nose to the monitor and drool. 

 That's all this post needs, really.  Except to say, I'm putting these on my letter to Santa.  I've been a very good girl...

Sunday, October 16, 2011


with an 'e'.

To make the Study a place of magic and fantasy, rather than a mere cheap copy of a 19th century room, I need to place in it items of intrigue and delight.  I have my armillary sphere, my Aetheric Pistol and my brain-in-a-jar. You know what would make it complete? One of these...

This is (like duh, obviously!) a Vampire Killing Kit.  There's a tutorial at the amazing  Polish The Stars blog, which you should go over and see, right now. A tutorial that includes costs, which is always dear to my heart.

The kit was made after seeing this little wonder which auctioned for $12,000...

Yah. I don't have $12,000 for my Halloween decorations, either. 

I think making one of these might be right for Hubby's birthday card. He gets an elaborate card because, once and not that long ago, we had nothing, and no money, and a card was all he would get.

So, hasten over to Polish The Stars, for thine own protection. There's all other kinds of goodies, too.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday : Diarment

Rafa Maya  aka. Diarment, is a Steampunk artist with an astonishing imagination and an amazing talent. First, I will show you the astonishing imagination. Because something amazing is happening here...

(Note: It's about to get graphic heavy, so please bear with me)


 Exotic Weapons
Gas Masks

Exquisite, right? Beautiful patinated surfaces and strong original design. And cardboard.  Not metal. Cardboard. That's right. These gorgeous objects are skillfully made and painted and finished from cardboard. You scrolled up to take another look, didn't you? Now they're even more amazing, right?

Close up of the amazing finish. Look at the detail!

Diarment lives and works in Barcelona,  Spain, which goes to show just how international Steampunk  is.

 His work is edgy, without being ugly, with intriguing sculptural designs that hold to his unique personal style.  Diarment's development of simple, universally available media should be an inspiration to us all, no matter what creative field we work in, to fully explore the range of the materials at hand.

Fabulous Notebooks

His notebooks are usually available on Etsy. Of all his items, these are the ones I most enjoy. They suggest journals written on Zeppelin flights to Venus or accounts of exotic submarine cities. Like the best of Steampunk artefacts, they make the world of the imagination palpably real.

See more of his marvelous objects  his blog  or on Deviant Art .

 I'd like to say a big thank you to Diament for his consent to flag up his amazing talent here on Gaslight and Gilt. If you go over to see more of his work, and it's well worth it, please say Hi and that Rhissanna sent you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Yay! Ugly Wallpaper!

The Ugly Wallpaper is going up on the wall.  It's wonderful and I'm so glad I took the plunge and bought it.

At a whole dollar a roll!

 I'd never use it anywhere but this kind of room. The pattern is very dense and dark and the colours, though rich, are solemn.  However, the printing is thick and chunky, almost like hand blocking, and the scale of the pattern is a good fit for the proportions of the room,

Another delight this morning was on my unfinished Halloween Tree where a pair of dollar store plastic crows are hanging out. One of the crows had gotten herself a friend..

I know! Cool, huh? 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday: Plush Possum Studio

I'm going to try to clarify what Steampunk is.  *Takes a deep breath*

 It's essentially an eclectic mix of what-might-have-been if the engineering marvels of the Victorian age, Tesla and Babbage'Difference Engine had all worked together to produce an era of over-the-top design, dressed in spats and bustles and flying to the Moon in a Zeppelin.  Oh, with some alchemy and supernatural thrown in.  For fun.  Fun is the essence of this style.  It's causing ripples in the mainstream world, elements are sneaking into fashion and film; with brass and brown leather, feathers and fascinators. Got it?

Every Sunday I'm going to showcase an artist or artisan who does exemplary Steampunk work and I'm beginning with this entirely wonderful blog,

 Plush Possum produce quirky, witty graphics, using original images and then gives them away.

for free!

There are practical items, like party invitations,  the Steampunk Lady's Mask and even cupcake sleeves , all ready to download and use from the blog.
     For scrapbookers, altered art and such there's a plethora of images you can download and play with happily all afternoon..The pictures embrace a whole range of subjects, carefully checked for copyright and cleaned up. A lot of images are offered in the original foxed and faded condition, as well as sparkly clean B&W.  

 There's Original Victorian newspaper ads and postcards,  all kinds of valuable ephemera  it would take a long and weary search to accumulate.  I've just put up a taster of their content here; the images are all available for print and digi in big, juicy 300dpi or more over at their blog.  Drive the dirigible over there to see the full, glorious range. Guaranteed pure, accept no substitute.

 Plush Possums Studio is run by Rose and her friends and she's a warm and wonderful person, helpful and supportive.  Please,  take a trip over to visit. There's lots of Halloween-y pleasures, too.

Oops Paint and free tape

Ok, so, I scored some free painter's tape. No, really. This is why I love blogging!

 Here at A Sort of Fairytale I entered the draw to win some painter's tape. I was drawn there by her amazing Union Jack chair, initially.
Cool Britannia!
 I'm tickled pink by the emergence of the United Kingdom flag as a graphic image. It manages to be modern and retro and antique, all at the same time.

Anyway, I desperately needed some painter's tape.  There's some clapped-out generic beige masking tape in my third drawer down in the kitchen but it's pretty much dead and I just use it to hold things in place temporarily. I pleaded my case, that the tape was needed for my Timetravellers' Steampunk Sherlock Victorian Study which is for Hubby .Then I kinda forgot about it. I really didn't expect to win any.

I was actually startled to get an e-mail from Stacey at A Sort of Fairytale, asking for my address and sending, post haste, a roll of ScotchBlue Painter's Tape with Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector.. Whoopee! Free! Quality Tape! So, thank you, thank you to Stacey, and to everyone at ScotcBlue Painter's Tape . They get points from me just for using an apostrophe in the right place in a trade name.

Here it is up on my wall. I'm dividing up the walls in the traditional Victorian fashion,  with a freize and a dado and at present I'm painting the frieze with some Oops paint. I don't know what you'd call the colour. If you were romantic, you could call it Vampire's Kiss. If you were more prosaic, it looks like crushed elderberries, or, possibly, that someone has eaten too much blueberry pie...

Free painter's tape in action

I'm intenting to use the tape in an active way, to create lines and stripes and what-have-you. I'll keep you all posted when I do and if it works. So far, the tape does what I'd expect a painter's tape to do and does it well..

(Try the video for the  Third Drawer Down song. If you're not supremely organised, you'll have one, too. In fact, if you're a hoarder/crafter you need one of these. PS. He says a rude word. The one that rhymes with grit, so you might want to select when you play it. It's all tastefully done, however...)

Saturday, October 1, 2011


The original idea for the room came during my first Arkansas ice storm. When I came here from the UK, I really thought the South was peach pie and iced tea all year round. I didn't even bring a decent warm coat. So, shivering through that first ice storm, with no heat or light, made me wonder if the small back room could be made cosy and warm with an just an oil lamp and a thick sweater. Hubby and I could snuggle up and drink hot tea and I'd read aloud to him. Cute, right?

And it needed to look old, because I miss things that are old. And I wanted it to be guy-friendly, so not parlour and  boudoir, but more study/ gentlemen's club. With a bit of steampunk thrown in, for fun. I didn't need it to be architecturally authentic, as this house isn't Victorian. It's barely Clinton.

So, here are some of my  inspiration pictures

I have a version of almost everything in this picture! Everything but the tribal figure with the salver.  Maybe I should do a copycat vignette?

Richard, over at My Old Historic House had the inspired idea of making a day bed from a twin bed and two headboards.  I'd thought about doing it, but until I saw his pictures, I wasn't sure how  it would work.  His looks wonderful and he fitted into an even tinier space than my back room.

Now I'm determined to give it a try. I have a king sized headboard, with an arch and bergere work, and that's going to be the back of the daybed.

Headboard in question. Ethan Allen?

I'm not sure about the sides/arms. Maybe I'll just have a heap of tapestry pillows, for swooning and lounging.  After seeing Sherlock Holmes, I'm seriously considering painting it gold. See?

You are still looking at the headboard, right?