Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Ghost of Christmas Past

If you love, LOVE Halloween 
and you're sorry when it's all over, 
you might be interested in this blog post 
from last year about making  a 
Marley Door Knocker Wreath.

It doesn't really need a tutorial.

It just needs a dollar store Halloween knocker,
some round rings
and  metallic paint.

The knocker was inspired by 
this amazing sculpture

Magnificent, isn't it?

 Meanwhile, in the Study, 
Mr Narrator and I have been co-writing away 
on a Steampunk piece.

Go here to

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday: Random goodies on Etsy

So, as it's that time of year,
 I thought I'd take a stroll through Etsy
 and see what Steampunk goodies I can find.


Silver Scissor Bracelet
Cyber Monday Sale


Steampunk Vent Necklace


Geode Roosting Bat


Scientifica 11




Edible gears


Plague Doctor Mask


Steampunk Spiral Time


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday: The Lantern Tutorial

Pretty little glowing lantern

This was inspired by those decorated
glass bottles you see around the 'Net.

Some are really fancy, with 
vintage images, flowers and scraps,
but I wanted one that could be used as a lantern.
or even filled with homemade treats
like this recipe for tiger butter.

You start with a square jar.
This is jam, from the Dollar Tree.
(I've opened it and it's pretty good jam, for a dollar)
Square jars aren't that hard to find
and they're more ecological
than round ones.


Fancy-schmancy resin frames turn up at this time of year
as Christmas tree ornaments.
You may already have one or two.

Dollar stores/pound shops also stock small photo frames.
As long as the frame makes contact with the side of the jar
it's a suitable candidate.

Like this selection, here.

First, remove the card back
on the decoration frames. 
It just peels off.
You can pick at the 
grungy cardboard bits left over.

 take out the back and the glass
on the little photo frames.

You do have E6000 glue, right?
At less than $3 it's probably the most radical thing
to happen in my little crafting life.

Test the frame against the nice, clean, dry jar.

Take note of where the frame touches the jar.
Add the glue to just that area 
where the frame makes contact.

Give it a few seconds to go tacky.
FIRMLY press to the jar,
 and hold.

(Addendum: About hot glue. 
If you check my tutorial
from a broken stemware,
I tried hot glue.
The glass stem shattered...
So, no. No hot glue
on glass)

See me reflected in the frame?

If you want to use the lid, screw it on
and leave it there
for the whole gluing process.

You can also glue the frame on
upside down
with the lid as the base,
for use with battery tea lights
or to build little tableaux.

Keep the jar and frame upright,
as the glue dries,
so that the lantern is stable when it's finished.

And that's it.

You can use tea lights,
real or fake.
 You could put in photographs
or charms or beads.

Or a Christmas tree.

The lantern at work
in Hubby's Steampunk Study.

Shared with
What's it Wednesday

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday: Little Cloches

The original inspiration for this post
 came from the very wonderful Mr Finch.

We've all seen cloches as the latest display item.
They're pretty and redolent of
the Victorian fascination
for focusing on exotic items.

They're also rather pricey.

I found this post on Mr Finch's blog
for a way to use
broken wine glasses.

 Glass and Tin by Mr Finch

Aren't these lovely?
Can't you think of all kinds of things 
to put under one, 
just to make it special?

Now, I break a lot of things.
(I'm remarkably clumsy.)
So, it didn't take long before I had
a broken wine glass
a broken martini glass.

What I didn't have was
Mr Finch's lovely collection
of treen and ephemera
to glue on as tops.

What I did have are those
Dollar Tree
battery operated candles
 that come with
flimsy little candlesticks.
Like these.

The candles will fit into any candlestick
so the plastic bases were pretty redundant.
Until now.

To finish the top, I added a Christmas bauble
and painted the whole thing green.

Then I glued the knob
to the broken stem of the glass
with E6000 glue.

Wine Glass Cloche.

For Halloween, I added
one of those battery operated
tea lights under the cairn of skulls,
so that it glowed, eerily.

Martini glass cloche,
with a dollar store skeleton.

Hubby likes them so much
they're now permanent features
of the Steampunk Study mantelpiece.

Along with this lantern
but more on this 
(and tutorial)

Shared with
Ivy and Elephants.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday : Life and Death

As you know,
I'm a huge fan of 
Nevermore Art Dolls.

and I'm thrilled with her.
So graceful and melancholy.

You may remember 
 Georgina's wonderful
Steampunk Fairy.

She's the star of 
sweet and moving little film
or on Georgina's blog,

Go and enjoy.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Is this Steampunk?

I don't care.
 I'm posting it here anyway.

A record player that
plays music
from tree rings.

From actual tree rings.

Different species produce
different kinds of music.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday: The Maker

You  may have already seen this.
If so, this is a chance to enjoy it again.

If you haven't seen this,
go and watch.

The set is beautiful,
the characters are meaningful
and the story isn't what you think.

When you get to the end,
you'll want to take another look
at the beginning.

The evocative music,
is free to download,
which is a very generous thing
for him to offer.

The amazing rabbits,
which are what drew me to the 
animation in the first place,
are by the wonderful

Her poignant, characterful creations
are just perfect for this 
cosily claustrophobic Steampunk setting.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Steampunk on Sunday: The Narrator's Study

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I'll begin.

Once upon a time, if you were a writer
there weren't many ways you could share your work
unless you were in print.

The magnificent rise of the
changed all that.
Now we can write what we want.
We can share it, we can sell it
we can print it.
We can all write on the Web.

This is known as a writing spider.
I found her in my garden.
Writing spider on the web.

And in this great endeavour,
we're not alone.
People come and read our blogs.
Like you, right now.

And we can write cooperatively.
 Share worlds. Build narratives.
Play with others and have adventures.

I've found a blog that does just that.

Enter the Study

is a writing blog
that allows everyone to join in
and write collaboratively with others
 to create an adventure in
continuous text.

All contributions are moderated
and then posted seamlessly
into the story, and the
contributor given credit
in the body of the narrative.

If you're a role player, especially 
an on-line role player,
you'll be familiar with this kind of thing.

If you've ever enjoyed creative writing
this is just your kind of thing.

 Rules are set up at the beginning
of each tale
to give everyone a basic structure,
and the tales follow familiar genres
so anyone who reads fiction
will know something
about the world they're writing in.

Like, you know:-
Dark Fantasy
More fantasy
Space Opera

This months featured 
writing adventure?

Come along and join in 
the escapades of 
Captain Finn aboard the

The Blog has a mature warning
when you enter.

there's nothing on there spicier than
your Granny's romantic fiction.
(And you know Granny is reading 
50 Shades, right?)

If you just want to write a tale of your own
you can offer it to
The Narrator's Library.

You can write stand-alone pieces;
or start your own story
in your own world,
and have others join in.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pickled Fairies.

Halloween is coming,
and it's time to gather
 those dew-fresh fairies

and doom them to a life
under glass.

The choice is yours.

It's for the best.
They bite.

Of course,
no fairies were hurt
in the creation
 of these specimens.

They've been dead for years.

For a tutorial
on making  your own
 in jars,
follow the link.

If you make one, 
let me know.
I'd love to see.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lucy's Garland

Dracula        Bram Stoker 

I'm reading 
(as in re-reading)
this time out loud
to Hubby.

I wish my book cover was this smexy

On a rainy afternoon it is idyllic 
to read something aloud
to someone special,
and I can thoroughly recommend it.

What I learned from this read-through
is that everyone has it wrong 
about vampires and garlic.

Wiki medieval garlic

Van Helsing has to send to
The Netherlands
for the garlic
and he's very specific 
about what he needs.

He needs garlic flowers.

Wiki photo
Not bulbs, not cloves, not seeds.

It's the flowers that adorn
poor Lucy Westenra
and they work very well
until she tears them away
in her blood-filled passion.

Armed with the knowledge 
that every well-informed vampire hunter
needs a garland of garlic blooms,
I made a garlic flower wreath 
for the Steampunk Study.

I have stands of the stuff
growing in my garden.
So the whole thing cost me
about $1.50

Close-up of my faded garlic blooms. They last a long time.
Yes, I realise these are technically
dead flower heads
but I don't have Van Helsing's advantage
of a freight train from Rotterdam
passing by my house,
bringing the fresh stuff.

This is a wiki photo in case you don't know what garlic looks like.
(Please toggle your irony button to the 'on' position.)

You need a simple  white willow wreath 
as white willow is the same colour 
as the garlic heads
and it will magically disappear.

You'll need hot glue

And you need 
lots and lots 
of clean ,dried  flower heads

I had two dozen
and could have squeezed in a few more.

Try the flower head on the wreath
to see how they'll fit.

Glue them on.


By the way, this isn't the
Steampunk Study's mantelpiece
specially dressed up
 for Halloween.

It always looks like this.