Sunday, December 18, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday and Time Travel

For reasons beyond my control, Steampunk on Sunday was actually on Tuesday. Here 

Apparently, my Time Machine really works. If only it could give me a few more days before Christmas...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Merry Steampunk Christmas

Mary Ann's blog, A Cloth Doll Maker's Diary  
(a wonderful source of all kinds of dollmaking videos and tips and some amazing steampunky goodness,)
 has posted this about Macy's Christmas Windows for this year.

If you want to see Christmas and Steampunk and glitter and excitement, fly over at once to  


The windows are in support of the Make A Wish Foundation, 
and visitors to the window can crate a 
virtual Christmas ornament, from their own wishes 
that they can then post to their  facebook or, I guess, their blog.

It's funny, I've read several reviews of the windows this morning, 
all very happy with the display but not one of them has used the word 'Steampunk.'
And I thought we'd gone Mainstream!

Have a wonderful day and get Christmassy! It's coming!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday and the Wallpaper Film

What, you may well ask, is a wallpaper film?

A Wallpaper Film,. in my household, is a film that you love, but you don't actually have to watch. 
You have it on in the background  because it keeps you company. 
Or because you and your heart's desire  (ie, Hubby) are doing separate things but you'd like to feel you're having a shared experience.  
Or because you're doing something that requires your attention, but you  want to be entertained. 
 In other words, visual, aural wallpaper.
I'd imagine you're familiar with the concept, even if you haven't given it a name

Now, why would you need a Wallpaper Film? 
Because you have to be wrapping presents and writing cards, that's why.
In fact, you feel guilty about sitting here reading this blog.
because you're supposed to be adding glitter and spraying
glue and stuffing mittens with polyester fibre.

I have a lot of Wallpaper Films and a fair number of those film are Steampunk. 
and  some are Steampunk and Christmassy

La Cité des enfants perdus, or The City of Lost Children
is my favourite and possibly the best expression of Steampunk in a film, 
without actually mentioning any steam. 
It is weird, disturbing and
probably more scary for adults than children.
Apart from the scene with the eye...
. Or the opening with the scary Santas.
Or the fleas with the brainwashing poison.

Maybe it's not suitable for children?

Well, how about something a little more family friendly?
How about 
Howl's Moving Castle?

(Sorry about the wierd script. Blogger hates s it if you cut and post.)

This appealing film is from the same source as
 the wonderful Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.
I'll not give away the plot and the trailer tells you what you need to know.

Incidently, the book is also wonderful, but very different to the film.
The title is actually a play on names.
 Howl (spelled Hywel but pronounced 'howl') 
is a frequent boys' name in Wales 
and a portion of the book is actually spent in contemporary Wales, 
with Howl's exasperated family.
It's really worth a read if you're looking for books
 for ages 9 to about 

Howl also has the nicest bedroom in any film, ever.

Maybe you're not into fairy tales.
Maybe you like things a little gritty?

Cute but gritty?

I always had a crush on Edward Scissorhands.
(A different kind of Team Edward)

Right from the opening, with the cookies and the snow
 and the wonderful machines making them.
. I used to show this film to classes as an example of a 
Creation Myth.

How is it a creation Myth?
Edward makes it snow...

Here is the wonderfully absurd cookie making machine
(Which is, oddly enough, what I am doing right now!)

 More recently, there's been the new and steamy Sherlock franchise

(I haven't seen the new one, so don't tell me what happens!)
It's steampunked enough and I'm happy with the intetrpretation.
Conan Doyle wrote about Holmes as an unstable man of action and Watson as a war hero;
it's about time that aspect of them was made apparent.

For the flavour of an exciting alternative world, 
and Mr Downey's fluid acting 
and the genius of Holmes the man,
 here is the Irene Adler scene with Sherlock on her trail in disguise.

If you can suggest any Steampunk films, I'd be grateful.
And I wish you a Merry Christmas 
as you wrap presents to Wallpaper Films of your own.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday : Fairy Lights

Who invented the electric lightbulb?

This is not a steampunk mash-up. This is the real deal!

That's right.

 Joseph Swan!

What does that have to do with fairy lights?

In 1882 Gilbert and Sullivan premiered their new production of Iolanthe

at the Savoy Theatre. 

Joseph Swan created the lights,
 making it the first public building in the world to be lit by electricity.

 That's all very well, but, 
what does that have to do with fairy lights??!

The plot of Iolanthe has a lot of disaffected fairies,
 death sentences and satire.

To offset the satire,
(and the rather dumpy fairies)
Gilbert and Sullivan wanted their costumes to be magical.

The costumes were fitted with little lights,
 powered by a battery on the shoulder which was covered by flowing fairy wigs.
and the singers carried glowing wands.

Yes, yes. I know we've all seen this fairy picture.
But it's a nice fairy picture and it's bleedin' three o'clock in the morning

(And you thought your LED Christmas earrings 
were cutting edge technology...)

The effect had such a charm for the British imagination,
 they call Christmas tree lights 'fairy lights' to this day.
The idea of little lights seems to have caught on rather well.
 Huzzah for Joseph Swan and the invention of the light bulb.

Edison? Never heard of him. 
Wasn't he a poor second to Tesla?



The Fan

Want to add a little Victoriana to your tree?
Something pretty, antique-y and yes, a little girly?

Go and see these lovely graphics, 
all cleaned and spruced
 (that's a Christmas tree pun, for those of you who missed it)
 and ready to use, from Plush Possum Studio.

Here's my own effort. 
I have a  load (like, a coffee-tin full) of 
little gold tassels I bought for a dollar somewhere.
They're perfect for these little fans, looped through the base to hold the layers together
 I hot-glued the vanes of the fan, 
partly because the blobby bits of glue give a little three-dimensionalism
and partly because 
and I don't have time for glue to dry...

Then I glued it onto a peg (Clothes-pin) 
and hung it on my Fairy Tree 
which should have its Christmas transformation soon.

Go make one!

Or lots!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's not Halloween...

 I hope you've been good! 

I'm not making this up. 

Krampus is a companion to Saint Nicholas,
and while dear Saint Nick is handing out
dolls and toy trains and comfits to good children,
Krampus is walloping the bad ones with his bundle of sticks,
 before shoving them in a sack and carrying them off.

In between abducting and beating the mischievous,
 he also has a weakness for teasing pretty girls
In some villages, men will dress up as Krampus
to catcall and pester comely young women!

The very thought!!. 

So, anyone else bothered by St Nick  here? Is he concerned? A voyeur?
Making a list and checking it?
Bwhahahahahahahah.... *coughs*  

Wow, The evil laugh thing is hard....

This is the photograph I was looking for.
 It looks evil and like the child is a victim of some sect
and should be placed in care at once.
However, we know better, don't we, boys and girls?
The lolling tongues and the bundles of switches, give them away.

Those are some guys dressed up as Krampus
and the kid's about to get some toys and sweets.

No, really. He is.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Steampunk on Sunday: I Saw Three Airships Come Sailing In...

Chime the First

(this is a work in progress...)

Yes indeed. Christmas is coming, whether you've been good or not  And here to help you, with but THREE FREAKIN" WEEKS to go, is Rhissanna with her helpful hints and tips on what to get your  batman, your parlour maid and your rear gunner for Christmas.

Cue a Christmas Song

Ah, I hear you say, no one in my social circle is at all interested in steam, top hats or monocles.

Upright Gentleman from Plush Possum Studio

I quite understand, but trust me, my dear adventurers, 
there is an inherent charm and worthiness in all things steamed.

Plastic does not acquire a patina. Digital delights need batteries
Vinyl will flake and screens will crack.

But  brass and leather, paper and glass,
these are materials that reward our senses,
 that improve with age and care
and have an inherent worthiness.
Read on.

It's a problem finding steampunk goodies for Christmas, but then,
 it's hard finding the ideal present for anyone..
And like true adventurers, we're racing the clock..

I'm starting with  my go-to favourite gift.
The Pocket Watch

Pricey?  Not so.

I buy all my watches from Ebay. 
In fact, type in Steampunk Pocket Watch
and you'll get pages of watches
for absurd prices,
 Some will be mechanical

To put that into context for
some of you young whippersnappers, 
that mean the watch needs to be wound.
 By hand.
It means the ticking you can hear is the
 beating of its little clockwork heart.

Think of it as a temporal tamagotchi.

Most of the mechanical watches have a window 
so you can see it working.
All those happy cogs, tick tick tick!
Now tell me, who wouldn't want one of those?

(Gentle reader, this is a work in progress, 
Watch this space for more hints and tips for the festive season
And, if you are a seller of steampunky goodness 
or can recommend something,
 Link it to Steam Tea Travels. from noon 4th December.
Details of the Linky Party here at Plush Possum Studio)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Not a knocker, but Marley's face...

Ok, look, I promise there will be more later, but for now...

This is just amazing! This is just the best, most amazing Christmas Wreath you have ever seen. 

 If you hate it when Halloween is over, you're gonna love this! 


 And I'm so bowled over by  this, I'm posting it  right now.
Without even spellchecking or anything.

Please, please, do yourself a favour and go over to 
 He is very talented and nice and he MADE this amazing thing!