Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yes, Please! Steampunk Weddings

I've been laying low on the steampunk front because a few weeks ago John told me I was just *way* too steamy. Or maybe that I was talking about it too much. One of the two, anyway.

However, no more! Prepare for the unleashing of my pent-up steampunk obsession, in the form of....[drumroll, please]...



Stacy and Eric's wedding made the rounds on the 'web last month, but in case you didn't catch it: are those not the best hats? I love Stacy's gown, too:

And don't get me started on my love affair with their invitations:

Anything with a vintage playbill flair to it = instant Jen infatuation.

Their cake will be on Sunday Sweets this week, but you can check it out now at their photographers website, Studio EMP, plus lots more of the wedding goodies.

I'm especially excited about this next wedding, because the bride, Laura M., e-mailed me just two weeks afterward to share some preview pics and tell me all about the steamy goodness. (Have I mentioned recently how awesome you Epbot readers are? You're awesome. There.)

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Look at the little hats on the bridesmaids! (I also have a thing for hats. Can you tell?)

And get this: the wedding was held in a historic old railway station, which is now a restaurant. Steam and trains? Could that... [Chandler Bing impression] BE any more perfect?

The conductor punched tickets for kiss requests! [squee!]

And look how gorgeous Laura is, coming down the aisle:

Every time I see this picture I grin like a big ol' lovesick fool. EVERY TIME. Love it love it love it.

Now, prepare to swoon over their fabulous table decor:

Gears and gems and clocks, oh my!

For more pics go here, and for lots and lots more pics go here (although you'll have to sign the guest book to view them.) All photos by Terry Clark Photography.

At first glance I didn't realize that Racheal here was the bride:

...but I love all the layers and details of her outfit!

Here's a beautiful shot of her dancing with her new hubby, Daniel:

Such a great space. Don't you love the musicians in the background?

There are a couple of gorgeous steampunk flasks in their photo album:

Groomsmen gifts, perhaps?

It looks like this was a small, intimate wedding, and almost everyone dressed steamy! Here's a neat group shot:

So. Fun. When am I going to get invited to an awesome wedding like this? (And yes, you can all consider that a hint.)

Photos by Sergio Villareal, and thanks to Ali H. for sharing the link!

One thing I love about steampunk: it lets the guys shine as brightly as the girls. I mean, c'mon, just look at these gorgeous groomsmen!
Wowza. That is all.

And here's Matt (the groom) with his lovely bride, Michelle:


Matt & Michelle had their guests type on an antique typewriter for their guest book (!!), and they used copper pipe candelabras (which Matt made) for their table centerpieces:


For more pics and an interview with Michelle, check out their feature on Offbeat Bride here. Or go straight to their Flickr album here.

And finally, Anthropologie did a lovely steampunked wedding photo shoot earlier this year, with gorgeous results:

Their theme includes lots of glass, light bulbs, and paper flowers. It doesn't so much scream "steampunk" as it does whisper it ever-so-sweetly. Very nice. Check out the full shoot here.

Ok, that's it for me! Here's hoping we see many more weddings like these as steampunk continues to catch on with more "mainstream" audiences. That said, I'm sure there are more out there that I missed, so please share your steamy wedding links in the comments!

UPDATE: Ok, one more "last one." CJ just shared a link to a few of his own steampunk wedding photos in the comments, and I had to share my favorite shot:

[dreamy sigh] Gorgeous. See more at his photographer's site here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Elevate Your Art

John loves nothing more than explaining to folks how to do things themselves. Back when we were faux finishers, he would frequently talk himself out of a job by encouraging ambitious house wives to faux their own bathrooms, or re-finish their own furniture. So I had to laugh when he came in from the garage last week and asked, "Hey, do you think your Epbot readers would want to learn how to do this?"

I think this blog is growing on him.

So, today's quick project is courtesy of John. It's a back frame - or whatever you call this:

See how the print is elevated off the wall on that wood frame? That's what I mean. We made this one for our bedroom a few years ago. (Yes, my bedroom is orange. And has an India theme. Like you're surprised.) For just a few dollars' worth of materials and a little labor we made it go from "el cheap-o poster" to "wall art."

You'll probably want to do this with a poster or print, like we did, but don't use anything valuable; you'll be gluing it down to a piece of 1/8th inch hardboard (aka Masonite.) You can get Masonite at any hardware store, and most places will even cut it to size for you. Paint the edges of your board black, glue your poster down to the board, smooth out any wrinkles, and you're ready to go with step one below. (The painting John will be using is already on a piece of Masonite.)

Ok. First things first: measure your painting/poster.

I painted this Tigger a few years ago, but we never got around to framing it.

Your frame will need to be exactly the same size as your board, so be sure your measurements are precise.

Next you'll need a length of 1x2 wood. To begin, cut the end off the wood at a 45 degree angle:

CHEATER'S TIP: Don't have a miter saw? Or have one, but are afraid of losing a few fingers? (No judgment here; I'm scared of the vacuum cleaner.) In that case, you can use this instead:

It's called a miter box, and the slots will guide your handsaw into the correct angles. You can find these at any hardware store for cheap.

Now, from the tip of that first angle, measure out your first piece:

Cut the other side at the same 45 degree angle, only in the opposite direction:

Now use this piece to mark out the next:

Repeat these steps for the other two sides of your frame, using your painting measurements as a guide.

CHEATER'S TIP: Don't want to mess with the 45 degree angles? Then good news! You can also do the corners this way:

Just be sure to allow for the difference in your measurements. Since these frames will only be seen from the side, I wouldn't bother with the 45 degree angles at all, myself. John's just a perfectionist. And likes playing with his miter saw.

Ok, now you need to assemble your four pieces. To get the right angles perfect, John has this special doodad:

He thinks it's called a corner clamp. Maybe. (Thanks, dear...) It's unbelievably handy, so I'd highly recommend picking one up. (In fact, I found this exact clamp for less than $7 on Amazon, here.)

Put a dab of wood glue on your end pieces:

Clamp them together:

And then hammer in a few small nails:

You'll want about 2 nails on each side: 4 total per corner.
(Again, no fancy nail gun needed; just use a regular ol' hammer and finishing nails.)

That's the hard part done! Now fill the nail holes with a little spackle and hit it with a coat or two of spray paint:

Black is easy and goes with everything, but you could also use a complementary color from your poster or print.

Next glue your hardboard to the frame using strong epoxy or construction adhesive (Liquid Nails comes to mind.)

If your calculations were correct, your board *should* be a perfect fit.

Once your adhesive is applied, weigh the board down while the glue dries:

I find Harry Potter books to be very useful for this purpose.

And finally, here's the finished product, hanging in my office:

Now, you guys be sure to leave encouraging remarks for John in the comments, so he feels like you learned something. :)

Quick update from john: Hi! A couple of you have noted in the comments that it would be good to use stretcher bars instead of a 1x2 because they are precut and perfectly cured so they won't warp. I would say that while they are precut, that really just limits the size you can make your frame. As far as curing, you should only buy the grade A stuff they sell at your local lumber store. It's usually cured and dry and I've never had it warp on me. It's also important to note the cost difference: 1- 8 foot grade A 1x2 = $3.00. 1- 2'x2' stretcher bar = $40 or more.