Sunday, February 26, 2012

Steampunk on Sunday :The Motherlode

So, I'm creating this study for hubby, right? 
You're read the blog title, you have a general idea what this is about, yes?
Today, I discovered that there are at least three 
 recreations of Sherlock's rooms in 221b Baker Street.

One in London at 221b Baker Street 

and two 
in Switzerland, one near the Riechenbach  Falls 
(They need to beef up their web presence. They don't seem to have a website. Shocking!)

and another, to which Conan Doyle contributed.

Real  environments people can walk around, full of authentic Victorian furniture 

and genuine 19th century scientific paraphernalia.
You'd have thought I'd would have found these earlier...

Anyway, seeing these images I'm happy that I made the decision 
to buy the ghastly green oops paint
for the area below the dado (chair) rail.
It fits in just right with all these other rooms I've seen, 
and now I can be a little more confident that 
smearing a wall with paint 
the colour of two-day-old guacamole 
wasn't in poor taste.
I'll be posting pictures, soon. 
After I've washed this nasty stuff off my hands.


Sherlock Holmes' sitting room

Picture from Firepile's Flickr.

Just a taster. More to come

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just Glue Some Gears On It (And Call It Steampunk)

 Credit is entirely due to Sir Reginald Pikedevant Esq.

You know them. You've seen them. Hideous ojects d'art painted copper with a few glued cogs.
Now, I am aware of some snarking  in the Steampunk Universe,  
about what is and is not Steampunk.
 It seems to be a feature of anything that has fans who participate,
 like historical re-enactment societies.
A bit of lightening-up would be nice.

With that in mind, I offer this little song I found,
which, apart from being splendid,
offers a good working definition of 
I also feel, if you're not selling the stuff,
you can call anything Steampunk if it fits that aesthetic for you.

However, he's wrong about the tea cups. 
!9th Century cups and saucers are SO Steampunk.
Can't make tea without steam, can't have Steam without tea.

But it is a pity about the Nixie Tubes.
I think a little rule bending should be allowed.

Created in 1955. Pity. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Steampunk Man

I found this over on Pollyanna Reninvents and just had to share!

Isn't he something? 
Go over and see!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Little Wire Chair

Dr Algernon Crupper writes:-

 This is a little trick a gentleman or enterprising lady 
could perform to delight their guest on a long train journey 
or distract nervous servants during a bumpy zeppelin ride.

It does require you to open a bottle of champagne first.

A person of breeding should know
how to open a bottle of champagne, 
should there be no Sommelier to hand.

Possibly not a Gentleman.


A champagne bottle is to be treated with
the same respect as a loaded gun. 

Do not point it at timid persons or fragile objects...

Take the bottle in your dominant hand
and  place a flute glass ready on the table.

Carefully, remove the foil.

Open the wire cage at the loop and ease it off over the cork.

Firmly grasp the cork with one hand and then, 
this is important, 
twist the bottle, not the cork.
The carbon dioxide under pressure within the bottle
will force the cork out with a refined pop.

My advice is to practise, practise. 

Now we have the items to make our  miniature chair.

To construct the chair is simplicity itself.

I'm sure you will have some kind of small implemented about you; 
pliers, pen knife, Cordwainer's Universal Apparatus?

Remove the bottom wire from the four extended 'legs' of the cork cage. 

Twist the loose wire into a pleasing loop or heart shape.

Replace the metal lid into its original housing in the cage, 
forming the seat of the chair.

Twist the loop into place, creating the back of the chair.

Place delicately on the table, to universal admiration.

I trust my small tutorials will be of use and my lawyer insists that I remind you,
no blame can be laid at my door for injuries due to any circumstance.

Gases under pressure are very powerful forces of nature
and we mess with them at our peril.

Wire can be rather sharp
and persons of low intellect and gentle habits should not attempt
any of these tasks without an informed and resolute adult in attendance.

Your very  humble servant

Dr Algernon Crupper.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Steampunk on Sunday was postponed due to shortage of Sunday

Meanwhile, here is a nice picture of a gift basket, made with a golden swan.

Normal scheduling will return shortly.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Steampunk on Sunday: The Aetherphone

Or, as it became known, the theremin.

Leon Theremin; scientist, saboteur, terrorist, hostage, spy, lover..
I wouldn't say this stuff if it wasn't true

Leon Theremin lived an extraordinary life, 
but he is remembered for his musical invention, 
the theremin,

 which  was played without being touched.

It's a Brave New instrument of the 20's,. 

the shiver in the spine from
 films of the 50's

 and the  sound of
brilliant Californian sunshine
 from the Beach Boys.

The best way to learn about Theremin
is the award-winning
a documentary about his life, 
his disappearance 
and his rediscovery.

Leon knew some extraordinary women.
His second wife was the  gorgeous dancer Lavinia Willians,

a marriage that scandalised Theremin's contemporaries.

A virtuoso theremin player was Clara Rockmore

She really was this beautiful.. See?

That elegant pose is Clara actually playing the instrument.
Theremin designed one just for her and she brought out of it a tone 
described as,'hauntingly poised between the violin and the human voice'
Although other musicians and composers used the theremin for new music, 
Clara played interpretations of the classics.

Here is Clara now, playing 
Le Cygne on the theremin.
Although she is  a elderly woman,
 her fingers gesture with the delicacy of a young girl
as she literally shapes the music out of the air.

This is Steampunk made real.

To try it yourself
there's an online one.

On a side note. 
I've decided on a theme for my Valentine's Day 
and, indirectly, for the Steampunk room.
Like Clara here, I've chosen swans.

I've bought one of those cheesy white plastic swans 
to use as a gift basket for Hubby's Valentine goodies


and I've sprayed it gold to make it look all Victorian and over-the-top.


Now I just need to fill it with wonderful things...

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Most Steampunky Dress Ever!

I'm  a big fan of 
Isis' Wardrobe, a blog run by the 
astonishingly talented Isis;
 documenting her 18th Century costume making and 
showing some fascinating sources and patterns.

I popped in there today to find
a display of 19 th century  Masquerade costumes.

And among them, a gem of steampunkiness!
This genuine Victorian Airship Costume!

I know! Isn't it cute and wonderful?.

For the rest of the costumes, 
some of which are gorgrous

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh! I got an Award! Maybe you got one too!

I did! 
Wendy, over at Art By Wendy
awarded this to me and I'm about to be handing out five more.

I'd featured Wendy's blog in my last Steampunk on Sunday, 
because she does amazing steampunky artwork, like this.

A watch within a watch.

Wendy's a sweetheart and I'm tickled pink to be given this award. 

I'm sending this award to five blogs I admire and who are 
run by some lovely people and deserve recognition.

First, the wonderful Mary Ann, 
who actually has several blogs, but the one I'm awarding to
 is the amazing

Sherry at the irrepressible 

Wonderful Ann at

Beverly and her amazing recipes at
  talented Patricia at

I love your blogs!
I'd award more prizes
but the rules are I 
can give only five. 

If I gave you an award,  
 post it up on your blog with pride,
link back here and send out five awards of your own,
 to blogs you love that have less than 200 followers.

And happy blogging.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Steamounk on Sunday: Ugly Wallpaper and Pretty Jewellery

I'm here but briefly, to celebrate my having completed the wallpapering. 
Just one more piece to go.  
And, yes, the paper is ugly, being dark and faintly sinister and purple, green 
and that most threatening of colours, maroon.
But for a dollar a roll, it was perfect. It looks the right age, fussy and overdone.
 It looks vaguely hand blocked.
And the design is forgiving enough to hide issues on the walls.

Talking of walls, here is the kind of room I'm going for.
 Please note, however, Hubby does not have ginger mustachios...

The Awakening Conscience : Holman Hunt
Holman Hunt actually intended the room to be ghastly
A soulless place full of tasteless new furnishings; the  nasty shiny piano,
the gaudy wall hangings and the brash carpet.
Now, I just want to know where I can find that gorgeous round table.
And I wonder if I can make a feature wall with grapes and roses.
How tastes change.

This week's Steampunk on Sunday featured artist is Wendy
who makes some lovely Steampunk jewellery 

and some highly covetable Steampunk notebooks.

Please pop on over to her blog and her Etsy shop.
Valentine's Day is coming 
and you know you want to get that special someone 
something that shows you care

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Patination, Verdigris and...


Further to The Sum Of All Crafts Steampunk images, 
here is her tutorial for a rust finish for paper. 
If you want something to look old and brassy and vintage. 
this is a good place to start.
 Here is one of her canvases with rusty paper.

 If you go Valerie's main page and scroll down to Steampunk images,
 you can see all kinds of Steamy goodness and 
resourceful and imaginative creations. 
Very inspiring and useful, if you're trying to cut down
on the amount of sugar in your Valentine cards..