Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Steam 2/23/13

Sorry for skipping the past two Saturdays, guys! I'll try not to get so behind again. (Although it was nice hearing from some of you who missed it!)

Elizabeth G. first e-mailed me over six months ago to show off her epic thrift store haul of brass bits and glass she'd been collecting, and now she's turned her stash into some awesome steamy goodies!

This thrifted hurricane lamp got an elegant upgrade with that gorgeous chain netting and lighthouse cameo. I love this look so much I've already told Elizabeth I'm stealing her idea, just as soon as I find the right glassware.

And check out Elizabeths' glass-and-metal hot air balloon!

Another idea to steal: use a brass candle cup for the balloon's basket! Brilliant.

I love the seaside details - and isn't the ornament's teal crackle glass perfect withe the aged copper chain? 

Head over to Elizabeth's DeviantArt gallery to see the rest of her creations - there's lots more!

Sue Beatrice of All Natural Arts never fails to astound me with her sculptural pocket watch pieces, but every time I think she can't possibly top herself, she does. Check out her latest, "Pocket Dragon:"

Sue positioned the dragon so it can pivot out of the case slightly when it's opened. She did this to preserve the two hand-etched signatures inside the original case, which is just beyond awesome - I love that she preserved that bit of history! See more pics of the piece on her Facebook album.

Lyndsey G. in Scotland actually sent me this next photo last Halloween - which just goes to show you can never predict how long it will take me to post your stuff, guys. :D Anyway, you'll never guess what Lyndsey used to make this rockin' winged jet pack for her daughter Holly:

That's craft foam, you guys, with a bleach bottle for a base. Lyndsey tells me my foam wing tutorial helped inspire her, so I guess we'll have come full circle if I "borrow" this idea for myself, then - right, Lynz? Head over to her blog post for more pics and details on the rest of Holly's steamy duds.

For you vinyl toy fans, Tamara S. found a neat Kickstarter for these baddies:

They're called Rivals, and while the second guy ("The Nautilus") has more of a Cthulhu pirate vibe,  I'm really digging the first design with the gas mask ("The Cog"). Happily the Kickstarter has already met its goal, and you've still got a week left to snag a figure if you'd like one - or both!

Twenty five bucks (plus $10 for shipping) will get you one DIY (unpainted) figure, or for $30 you can get it painted as shown. I'd really love to see The Cog painted up in some rusty coppers, brass, and leather, so one of you get on that for me, yeah?

Or, ok, maybe I'll break down and buy a DIY version myself... [grumble]

Norene O. spotted a tutorial this week on how to make a corseted leather top hat, and by the famous steampunk artist Tom Banwell, no less!

This is an older tutorial from 2010, but it's new to me. Go here for Banwell's instructions and scale template you can enlarge and print out at home.

Banwell is probably best known for his steampunk masks, btw, which tend to be as terrifying as they are bad-ass. "The Sentinel" is still my favorite of his work, and I'm sure you can guess why:

 You can bet this was in my inspiration folder when I was creating Lady Vadore!

Here's a great photo of it in action, so to speak:

You can buy the gas mask portion of this ensemble at Banwell's Etsy store, where he also has some beautiful filigree masks and wrist gauntlets for those who want to look a little more approachable. ;)

And finally, since I've fallen woefully behind on my own book reviews, I'm happy to share this fabulous Collection of Steampunk Reviews over on Wired. GeekDad James Kelly reviews five works of steampunk fiction in the first part, and then five more works of non-fiction in Part Two. All of them were new to me, so odds are you'll find some gems to add to your "to-read" list. (Steampunk Holmes is going on mine.) And thanks to Amanda J. for sharing the link!

Seen something steamy? Then please, share your links in the comments or over on the Epbot Facebook page!


  1. I've made two top hats (easily scaled up to fit my husband's ginormous head) and a modified ladies riding hat from Tom's tutorial. It's a bit time consuming to hand stitch the leather, but it's not hard to do. Spend a few dollars on a stitch hole punch with 3or4 tines to pre-punch little holes and a good eyelet setting kit (I like the hammer type, not the pliers) and you will save a lot if time and wear on your hands.

  2. Yeah for Saturday Steam - I've missed it! If you haven't seen Chet Phillips' Union of Superlative Heroes and Order of Nefarious Villains, you should check them out at his Etsy shop. He also has a steampunk Japanese monster, Lord Dreadnought that I covet.

  3. Steampunk pug! Too cute!

  4. The hat! The little girl in costume! So...much...fabulousnes...!

  5. I'd never heard of Tom Banwell before - there goes my evening! I also love the lamp and weather balloon. I have a collection of small bottles which I can never decide what to do with. I may have to get my jewelry-making stash out.

  6. Holy crap. I'm on Epbot. *faints dead away* Not sure my spouse gets just how awesome this is - but I DID wake him up to squeal at him. Heh.

  7. Coolest kid I've ever seen! And her mum ain't too shabby, either! So clever making that from foam.

    Excellent examples from everyone, but that kid steals the show. ;)

  8. Jen, you have seriously and utterly made my entire year. Thank you so much for showing off my projects on Epbot! I feel like I now need to MAKE ALL THE THINGS!!! That way, I'll have more goodies to share! :-D

    Thanks for being such an awesome inspiration!

    ~Elizabeth G.

  9. Regarding steampunk reads, I review every steampunk book I can get my hands on over at my blog, Steam Ingenious. I DO NOT recommend Steampunk Holmes, since it is a nearly word for word rip-off of an existing Holmes story, with names changed and a couple of steampunk details added. Here's my review of it.

  10. I am excited to see Saturday Steam back, I missed it. Also, I don't know if you saw yet, but the Bloggess linked to your article "Because We Are Better Than This." You made the Bloggess's list of Shit-She-Wishes-She-Came-Up-With. I love how you both share so truly in order to help others- you are having a huge impact. Bravo.

  11. If you have already read and liked the Steampunk series The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger either in straight novel or in manga (starts with 1) Soulless, 2) Changeless, 3)Blameless, 4) Heartless, 5) Timeless ), you might enjoy her new series The Finishing School series which starts with Etiquette & Espionage. This is set a generation earlier than Parasol and has slightly younger characters.

  12. Steampunk Aphabet Book by Nat Iwata. He raised funds on Kickstarter ( to be able to publish it and now it is now ready for pre-orders. It has beautiful illustrations.

  13. I just finished reading Etiquette&Espionage, Totally worth the time! Can't wait until the next in the series gets released (november?)


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