Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Steam 7/28/12

Now, on the surface, a program that makes your computer keys clack like an old fashioned typewriter sounds a little ridiculous. (pun intended) SO WHY DO I WANT IT?

And did I mention it's free? It only works for us Mac users, though. Go grab it here. And then tell me how easy it is to uninstall, because I'm terrified I'll install it and then it'll get stuck on and the sound of clacking typewriter keys will slowly drive me insane. Hee.

My Epbot inbox is both my favorite place in the world and the most torturous. It's my favorite because I get to see SO MUCH COOL STUFF from all you lovely readers, and torturous because I've been working all day and only managed to get the total number of e-mails down to 79. [whimper] But let's focus on the positive here. You know, like Rhiannon L.'s super steamy costume!

Rhiannon, don't take this the wrong way, but MRRROW. Ffffft. Ffft. I'm pawing the air at you, Rhiannon. Like an appreciative cat. Because you look AMAZING. 
(That was clear, right? Or did I just come off like a deranged stalker?)

The boots, the pinned skirts, the cut-off gloves - it's all perfection! And kudos on finding the perfect backdrop, too!

Remember that steampunk Mr. Potato Head that was all the rage a year or so ago? Well, Natalie G. helped her fiance make their own version: a slightly more dapper spud named "Mashter Russet."

 Check it out: he has a real smoking chimney! Natalie tells me they'll also be adding a warm LED inside for a "steamy glow." Too cool! You can check out more of their pics and detail shots here.

Jeanna H. sent in a steamy necklace make-over that is brilliant in its simplicity. One of her favorite pendants had a clasp that kept breaking off:

So she got a little copper wire, a nifty key charm, and voila!

 Steamy make-over!

If you like Jeanna's style you should check out her Etsy shop, too; I spy some sweet Victorian necklaces over there!

Sue A. has been keeping me updated with progress pics of her amazing steampunk outfit - all of which she's made completely from scratch - and now she's done and I get to show off the finished product! Woot!

Check out those pleats on the skirt bottom. I tell ya, Sue, you sewing people are like WIZARDS.

Here's Sue herself in the whole ensemble (although she upgraded to a sturdier corset), and a side view of those fabulous skirt ruffles. It's amazing to think that all started as just bolts of fabric!

Sue also made a matching purse, plus this fun pocket watch and custom spats for her boots!

Head over to Sue's blog for all the details and more pics. And thanks again, Sue!

I first discovered David C. Roy's kinetic sculptures years ago, but I forgot all about them until Ellen reminded the other week. He's got some new designs out now, and this one is going to blow your mind:
Well, ok, the picture might not, but wait 'til you see it in action:

My MIND IS BLOWN. And hey, the design is called "Labyrinth." I APPROVE.

Here's another new one, "The Monarch." I think I like it even better for the simpler shape, although the patterns aren't quite as dizzying and complex:


No, I take it back: I'm still dizzy.

Head over to Roy's site,Wood that Works, to see lots more examples. Oh, and if you feel like you could stare at these all day, but don't have the funds to buy one, Roy offers free screen savers!

And finally, remember how I mentioned my mom was making a bunch of steampunk hats for Dragon*Con the other week? Well, all your comments and demands for pictures made her positively giddy, and she immediately set out to stage a photoshoot just for you guys. So, without further ado: here are my mom's hats:

"Fabulous, Harry, I love the feathers."

 This one's my favorite - and not just because the feathers in front are a hair clip I bought her last year. :)

In case you're wondering, it's on a mannequin head, I think. Or possibly a lamp shade. And the tulle covers the whole face.

My dad repairs antique clocks and pocket watches as a hobby. Needless to say,  his stores of supplies have recently been depleted. Ha!

So there you have it! I often forget my mother even reads this blog, until she mentions it during our phone calls. So, if you have questions for her, ask away in the comments! I'm sure she'll be reading them to see what you guys think of her handiwork. ;)

Have something steamy to share? Then hit me up on Facebook or via e-mai!


  1. Jen!! Great news!! I've downloaded the typewriter app, and it's so easy to turn off. You just have to type a code word and it turns off!! I'm running it now...loving it!! :) :) :)


  2. I think that typewriter program would be amazing to use in places like university libraries. I bet there'd be a lot of people looking around to figure out what in the hell is going on.

    Your mom's hats are amazing! I like the one without feathers the most, though I almost wish there was a watch face in it! If I saw it sitting on a table, thogh, I'd totally put it on and prance around until I got caught. Eeeek.

  3. OooOooo, it must be SO entertaining to be your mother's hat!

    Goddess, I hope you got that ref. ;)

    Love, Storm.

  4. LOVE! THOSE! HATS! I absolutely adore hats of any kind, and these are fantastic! So fun! I recently procured a wonderful piece of millinery from a Renaissance Fair, and I'm looking forward to using it it my own Steampunk costume. I don't think I'd have the patience or creativity to make one, though! Well done, Jen's mom- and don't forget to post pictures from the con!

  5. No need to worry about the typewriter app. It just runs as a faceless background app. If all else fails, you can just fire up Activity Monitor and quit it from there.

  6. I love all of this! Your mom has done some fabulous work there. Is that an eyepiece made out of a watch case? Awesome!

  7. That last hat is completely amazing! Love it! I don't really wear hats at all, but I would totally sport that to the local Walmart for groceries! (Because that is really the most exciting place I go besides the pool and I wouldn't want to get that beauty wet!)

  8. As a hat wearer and decorator myself, I am really admiring your mom's hats. I've been tinkering around with some ideas for steamy hats myself, but haven't found the right look yet. (Came close with the bats flying around the topper for Halloween.)

  9. I am one of those (perhaps) odd people who wishes the wearing of hats had never gone out of vogue. I'd wear hats anyway, but am in a rural area and have a hard time finding decent hats to even trim.

    With that said - love your mom's hats. WANT! They are gorgeous!! My question is, how do you safely store those, Jen's Mom? Or are they on constant display on stands, or something? I just can't imagine getting a tall, feathered confection into a hatbox.

    Also, I must mention Rhiannon L.'s stockings. They are a subtle component of that wonderful outfit. So I have a question for Rhiannon, too. Are they stockings, or are they leggings? And were they hard to find? I've not seen the like since the late 1980's/early 90's. LOVE the outfit.

    Love both outfits, in fact. And the hats. And the potato head. And the outfits and hats, and the hats and outfits, and, and, and... *hyperventilates*

  10. My friend Sam has an Etsy shop of Victorian style necklaces that are copies of Marie Antoinette and the Boleyn sister's necklaces.

    She doesn't have her items up at the moment cause she's out of town, but if you look at her past sales you can get an idea of the necklaces she makes. She should have them back up in a week, and they're awesome!

  11. The hats! I love the hats! My favorite is the middle one with the netting over the face. Gorgeous.

    I want a Mac just so I can have that app.

    I love Saturday Steam, thanks Jen. :)

  12. I like that she has one for each day. They look amazing! So, does she have the clothes to match? Pictures, please! I live vicariously through you guys since I can't afford a con right now.

  13. Hi Jen's mom! I love your hats! I love the one with the feathers from Jen the most. I'd rock that hat all over Detroit. :)

    That typewriter program would drive me slowly nuts. I could only 20 seconds of the video, so I don't blame you for checking the uninstall options.

  14. First Jen, thank you for posting so much this week! When I see a new post, a little check mark goes under the Happy Face column in my mind. I need lots of Happy Faces to call it a good week.

    Your mom is an artist! Love those hats. Wearing any of them would add checks in the aforementioned Happy Face column. Unless my cats saw them. They think all feathers must be destroyed. I have an envelope full of pink spoonbill feathers that I might never get to use.


  15. I really like the one with the purple goggles and peacock feathers! Are the goggles store bought and did you DIY them up? I'd like to make something fun like that. :)

  16. Those kinetic sculptures just gave me motion sickness. I KNEW I shouldn't have clicked play!

    There's a what I believe to be similar keystroke sound program for PCs here:

    It has five sounds to choose from.

    There is another one called ClicKey - just do a google search.

  17. Now that my 2-yr-old daughter's birthday cake is done (dare I send you a few pix? It's got goggles and Lil Cthulhu on it!) I can now focus on my very own steampunk costume. Your mom's hats are even more inspiration for me, so thanks, Jen's mom! Too bad the airline would have frowned on all the metal/wire/construction-site goodies my BIL has rounded up for me. I hope he sends me a care package soon. He built me a gun out of old plumbing bits and doodads, heh.

  18. Kudos Jens Mom! I might hit yuou up for tipa when i make my own for my Halloween-Steampunk-Masquerade ball wedding!

  19. Love, Love, Love David Roy's sculptures. I actually have one hanging in my living room! After years of staring at it on the web, my husband bought it for me for my birthday. (It's called tri-fusion - you can see it in the archives on his site) Everybody who comes to our house loves it. I've been contemplating buying another one for the nursery we're planning - small children seem especially fascinated watching the one we've got.

  20. Ohh, I wish I had a Mac. That typewriter app would be so cool!

    Jen's mom makes amazing hats. I love the one with the gears and watch faces. The blue feathers too since I love that shade of blue. Obviously the talent runs in the family.

  21. OH my goodness thanks so much for sharing, I got my start reading you:)

  22. You Mum's hats are awesome!! Please tell her so and rock on.

  23. Hii! Thank you for your kind comments on my steampunk outfit Jen! It's so awesome to see my pic up there with your Mum's hats. And they all look fantastic by the way... kind of inspired to start work on my own steam punk hat now.

    @ Karen W - they're stockings! :) I got them from a shop in Australia called Dangerfield. They do have an online shop, but unfortunately being at the end of winter here, the only have 1 pair of stockings up.

  24. Oh! Oh! The typewriter thing is the COOLEST. Thank you SO much for posting. I've had a rough couple of weeks (some days, I think your blog is one of the few things that makes me smile), and I can't help but grin every time I type something. I especially love returns.
    So, anyway, thank you. And know that there are a lot of us out here pulling for you, even if we don't always say anything. But seriously. Thanks!

  25. The Mother of Jen should do a guest blog post!!!!

  26. Love the clock parts hat Mrs. Jen's Mom :)

  27. AH! Those hats! They are the BEST. Tell your mom that I am super super jealous. If you go to DragonCon and I can't, I'll be super super SUPER jealous because my favorite video game voice EVER is going to be there. AGH. So. Envious. In a good, geeky way. :D

  28. So I went ahead and looked for typewriter sounds for PCs and found these :

    I haven´t tried them out yet ...but thaught I´d show other PC users that we can have those awsomes sound effect too

  29. Jen, I love this typewriter app! I giggle every time I hit the return button! And if you don't want to continue to switch it on and off, you can just turn the sound on your computer off. Easy peasy. So I recommend it!

    *giggle* The little ding when you hit the return key is SO awesome!

    Tell your mother her hats are all amazing, and that she should feel free to make me one, too!!

  30. I'm so in love with the NoisyTyper app. I'm running it now, much to the annoyance of my fiancée. Super easy to get rid of, no worries.

  31. i didn't read through all the comments. please tell me i'm the first one to notice the Aladdin reference!

  32. EEK! I met Rhiannon @ ComicCon in Melbourne and have more photos! Will dig out and post - go you Aussie good thing!!
    So excited that I met a fellow Epbotter - even if I didn't know it at the time.
    Extra props to her for posing with the Polly Woodside, Melbourne's grand old lady.
    And Jen, you amaze me and never fail to brighten my day. Thanks. :)

  33. All of these are just fabulous, but especially your mom's hats!! I NEED that first one! =D

  34. I love how your mom took two pairs of goggles apart and mismatched them back together (I think ;-p). Clever idea for making unique goggles!

    And of course, I love her hats! Of all the aspects of steampunk costuming, I've fallen in love with the hats the most--I've made for me three feathery, flowery bits of frippery already, as well as scratch-built two leather top hats for my hubby (the first one was a bit too small) and a leather riding hat for me. And I've got at least 7 other vintage hats lined up to be steampunked. It's a surprising obsession for me, given that in any other context, I despise wearing hats!

    Watch thrift stores, ebay, and etsy for vintage hats. Often you can find hats with damaged hatbands/decorations or other cosmetic defects that bring the price way down, but that you can totally cover up with your new decorations. Old blouses in pretty fabrics can be cut up for hatbands or fabric flowers. Feather picks can be purchased in the floral department at the craft store (take a coupon) or you can sometimes buy them cheaper by tearing apart a cat toy from the pet store! Fabri-tac glue is your best friend for sticking it all together quickly and cleanly.

    Last tip--Blue Hanger. See if Goodwill has an outlet store in your area (it's called the Blue Hanger here). This is where they take all the stuff they couldn't sell at their stores--single curtain panels (silk bustle skirt anyone?), broken lamps (brass weaponry), belts with broken buckles (leather strapping), torn shirts (button harvesting!), etc, and it's all sold by the pound ($1.39 here)! Super-cheap way to get a pile of raw materials to build from.

    Happy steampunking!

  35. I have always loved kinetic sculptures since I saw this one On my then boyfriend, now ex's parents wall!
    (yes I just spent an hour+ going through the archives on that sight looking for it lol)

    I did add 1 to my amazon dream wish list though!

  36. LOVE the hats, Jen's Mom!

    I just have to say how freaking cool it is that your mom (and your dad!) does steampunk too! That is ... just beyond. Love it.

    I hope to see you guys at Dragon*Con this year! It's my first year going. I am attempting a (could possibly turn out lame!) steampunk Kaylee from 'Firefly', as well as an assassin Alice in Wonderland. :)

  37. Jen!! Great news!! I've downloaded the typewriter app, and it's so easy to turn off. You just have to type a code word and it turns off!! I'm running it now...loving it!! :) :) :)


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