Saturday, June 21, 2014

Steampunk Seahorse Makeover

In my ongoing quest to see if it's possible to have too many seahorses, I picked up this little metal silhouette from an antique mart the other week:

 In my defense, it was only $6. And the shape is super cute, right?

It needed a little "something," though, so... I glued some gears on it:

 ... and I think I'll call it steampunk.

;)

The gears are a beautiful shiny brass, so they catch the light like little mirrors.

For the base I painted on & rubbed off first a dark brown and then a black paint to darken it, and then added a keyhole cover:

 
 The keyhole also has some gold rub n' buff on it to bring out the design.

(I thought about hanging the matching key on the side, but my sense of symmetry won out.)
  
Oh, and you can see the little tail propeller I painted brass in that photo, too. I even added a tiny screwhead; it doesn't spin, but it looks like it could!

I'm still a little iffy about the chain harness, but it's not permanently attached, so I can always change it later:


 And an outside shot:

Really love the rust against all that green! 

(In fact, I'm tempted to get a green gem for the eye - or maybe just some translucent plastic? Hmm...)

Happy Saturday, guys!


(PS - I've drastically reduced the file sizes of my pictures for the last few posts, which I'm hoping will reduce Epbot's load time. Anyone noticed a difference? Older posts will still drag, so it'd just be the home page that loads faster.)

52 comments:

  1. Hey Jen! I noticed it loading way faster and thought my internet was extraordinarily happy until I saw your bit at the end. And I think a green jem (or maybe teal??) is a requirement!

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  2. Much faster, thanks!

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  3. This is super cute and I think the chain harness takes it from cute to awesome!

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  4. Yes, the pictures are loading faster. Thank you!

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  5. Yes, your home page does load faster now - thank you.
    Love this little guy! He inspires me to do a seahorse embroidery that has been rolling around in my back brain since the Monterey Aquarium. In 2009. I really need to get on that.

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  6. So cute, and a green eye gem would be perfect! And yes, pages are loading nice and quick now, thanks!

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  7. I think translucent plastic would look excellent - I can't quite picture a gem there, though.

    Noticed the image change before I hit the end of the post, and it is very much appreciated!

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  8. I vote to keep the chains - they make him look like one of the seahorses that pulls Sebastian's seashell chariot to King Triton's concert at the start of the Little Mermaid! (that is what you were going for right? right.)

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    1. Gah - just realized Sebastian was brought in by a goldfish. But the image still stands in my head that your little guy is part of some underwater royal procession. So I vote to keep it!

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    2. I think there was a herald that rode a seahorse in the Little Mermaid. That's the first thing that came to my mind. I say leave the eye open...

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    3. Bra - it's ok Tammy.

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  9. The chain would look really cool if you could suspend it between his "horns", I think.

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  10. Love it! And I think the chain harness makes the perfect finishing touch.

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  11. That is super cute. Also, your smaller file sizes seems to make it easier for feedly to load the images & text properly, which is a great help for those reading on phones & tablets through feedly. When there's a lot of pictures, especially the cosplay posts, the subtitles and text would get moved around.

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  12. OH that is super cute! I like the idea of putting a green gem in for and eye!! I think if you did go with an eye it would look more (dramatic?..Statement making?) to remove the chain harness, but the harness is really cute too :). I love the little propeller tail.. if it could spin i would probably spend all day walking by and flipping it to make it spin!

    As for the smaller file sizes: My computer and internet browser say thank you and want to give you a hug! lol. I mostly notice it on the posts where there are A LOT of pictures like a Con/Parade post and the file sizes are bigger it takes longer to load. The last few days i've been checking its been loading like a snap.

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  13. Super cute :) Whenever I see these posts I wish I lived in my own place so I could have this kind of stuff too! My parents aren't really into steampunk!

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  14. No no no....you've got to leave that little chain harness on the seahorse! :)

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    1. It's definitely staying for now! I'll only change it if I think of something better. ;)

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  15. I love the harness! I say keep it :)

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  16. Very cute! Definitely keep the harness, I think.

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  17. The seahorse is adorable! I agree with everyone else, a green eye would be a big plus!

    I haven't noticed faster load times, but there is one weird thing. The site isn't loading in mobile mode anymore. I can read it either way, but it is easier on the phone in the mobile version.

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    1. Same here - I don't get the mobile version on my phone. On the plus side, the photos used to be blurry in the mobile version, so I don't mind the change too much.

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  18. Thank you for the load times! All this time I just thought my worthless excuse for an ISP just hated me receiving joy from your site!
    And as for the awesomeness of the seahorse - the question is not "does it need the harness". The real question is, do one of your beautifully patina-ed (ack! Can't find the right spelling!) 3D seahorses need a leather saddle?!? :-)

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  19. Count me as another vote for keeping the chain harness! It looks awesome. :)

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  20. Love the quick load time!
    Although if you happen to post super awesome photos with heaps of close up details (like cosplays or pieces of art or amazing Disney floats) that you want to zoom in on a bunch I'll take the extra detail over a quick load time. :)

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    1. Fortunately this reduced file size doesn't seem to have affected the level of detail much; you can still click the photos to embiggen, and I could barely see a difference in clarity between the two. Plus the photo size is still the same; it's just the FILE size that's a lot smaller. (Ahh, technical stuff. I admit it: I had to have John step in.)

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    2. The file size being smaller means that there are less pixels in the photo (DPI or dots per inch). While it's very easy to see the difference in DPIs versus the very low DPI and the very high, photos with similar DPIs will look nearly the same on standard, web-sized photos. It's only when the photos get pretty large that you'll notice a difference.

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  21. I, too, vote to keep the harness.

    Plus, regarding the file size, that means I can try to read it in my phone browser again. I wasn't able to for a while because the sheer data volume caused my phone browser to crash every single time. Thank you.

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    1. PS: I'd go for something like that for the eye: http://www.vitabeads.com/Photo%2013/20130725%20mx%2011.jpg

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  22. Big faceted green or teal or AB eye. Maybe add a little leather bridle and add the chain reins to that?

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  23. So adorable! After reading your recent patina tutorials, I can picture the seahorse all age-y and weathered, as if he washed up on the beach. And with a garnet cabochon (they aren't too pricey) for an eye, so he would look kinda like this:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/oecq3s7

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    1. Sorry -- link thingie didn't work! I was trying to show this photo:

      http://www.aqua.org/~/media/Images/Animals/Longsnout%20Seahorse/animals-Seahorse-slide2-web.jpg

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  24. I didn't notice the faster load time, but I totally do now that you mentioned it! I live in the boonies and our "high speed" internet can just barely run Netflix, so this is a huge improvement, thanks!

    And the seahorse is darling.

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  25. I like the whole look as is. I think removing the chain might make it look a little unfinished. What would you use instead? Leather? Or something woven? As for the eye, something green would indeed be excellent.

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  26. I love your steamy seahorse :) He turned out awesome :) If that chain continues to be iffy for you, you could slip it off and do a faux patina treatment on it and see if helps, maybe that touch of bluey green with make it right... Or add a bit or black leather cording instead or with?

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    1. You said "steamy seahorse".

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  27. The chain harness is my favorite part! He is adorable!

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  28. Cute sea horse and page load time has improved a lot, thank you.

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  29. Denise L. DennisJune 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Needs a steampunk Aquaman to ride it.

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  30. love the chain; love the green eye idea. Where is your own Etsy store? ;)

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    1. Ha, I DO have one - but all I've got listed is my AT-AT rocker plans. I'm too lazy to list anything else yet!

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    2. aha, I stand corrected! Perhaps it's for the best, as your wonderful recommendations are enough of a hazard to our pocketbooks at the moment :)

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  31. I love it! I think the harness is great. In fact, when I saw it I thought how I could never get the harness to look that good.

    I have also noticed the site loading faster.

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  32. I love the little propeller on the tail. That just makes me ridiculously happy.

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  33. The propeller and key hole base made me think of a wind up toy or automaton. :)

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  34. I love the harness! It adds whimsy and makes me think somewhere, just out of view is a water nymph or mermaid just waiting to hop on. Or an Atlantian.

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  35. The chain harness is my favorite part of your finished sea horse. I totally vote to keep it like it is. I love the way you draped it.

    I am very jealous of the find. That sea horse is gorgeous.

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  36. Adorbs! I like your harness, but I agree that it isn't quite right. Where it leads from the "nose" to the "back" is reminicent of reins, but without something to act as a saddle it looks out of place. I would add a 3-D fin to the side and turn what I assume is supposed to be his fin into a saddle by cutting the middle bump to flatten it and using the front spike as a saddle-horn. If you can find a "fin" that is lace-y it would really set the whole thing off. I like the idea of a coloured eye, but an LED would be tops, not just a jewel, not that the jewel is a bad idea. All in all fewer loops of chain and a fin would be my choice although I think it is great as is.

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  37. You could add the key dangled from a bit of matching chain from the seahorse's tail...

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