Friday, May 3, 2013

Orlando Steampunks Step Out

Being the shy hermit blogger that I am, I never seem to get out to the smaller geek gatherings here in Orlando; just the big conventions like MegaCon, where it's harder to mingle. So when a few of you told me our local art museum was hosting a steampunk event last night, I figured it was just the thing for meeting some local geeks!
Yesterday dumped rain on us in nearly biblical proportions, but luckily John and I arrived just before the doors opened. Parking was a bit of a mess, and many attendees arrived late because they had to park blocks away and slog through the rain and muddy fields just to get there. I heard a few folks even gave up all together on finding parking and just went home! :(

But enough of the bad news, since that's really all there is: we had a fantastic time, and we met SO MANY cool people!
My first shot of the night. These two were picture perfect!

I figured people would arrive in costume, but I wasn't completely sure, so I dressed "Steampunk Lite." Meaning I blended in, but I left the ray guns and corsets at home. It was just as well, since I was more interested in taking pictures anyway.

Since we were some of the first ones through the door, we got to check out the art before the crowds arrived. Everything for the steampunk event was mostly held in the lobby and this one large gallery, although the rest of the museum was also open for us to walk through.

There was a small gathering of steampunk art displayed, from sculptures to photographs to paintings:

These pieces by Heather Younger were my favorite. Here's another:

The main attraction was our fellow attendees, though, so even though there were plenty of awkward moments when I remembered why I dislike large parties ("Ok, we'll hug this wall for another five minutes, and then move over to THAT wall,") we eventually got to chatting with folks.

It always helps to have a camera, of course, since asking to take a photo is the ultimate ice-breaker. I'm really disappointed with the way my pics turned out - that's what I get for never using a flash -  but trust me when I say everyone looked way better in person.

This chap's shoulder squirrel was one of the night's biggest hits. The squirrel's head turned and bobbed quite realistically by way of an air bladder the gent held in his hand. Super cool!

For entertainment we had music by The Cog is Dead, and I was pleasantly surprised by how great it was:


There was also an artist working on a small scale sculpture nearby, and a troupe of tribal belly dancers - but we missed their show since theirs was the ONLY thing not held in this one gallery. Drat. (Can you tell I'm still bummed? Ha!)

Btw, tribal dancers always have the best hair:

Sometimes I watch tribal hair tutorials on Youtube just for fun. I have determined that someday I WILL wear enormous flowers in my hair.

I like that tribal belly dancing is so inclusive, too; all ages, all shapes and sizes. It's refreshing, and you can tell the women are all having a blast.

Ok, back to the other guests:

This girl had delicate hand-painted gears and scrolls on both sides of her face, and her updo was gorgeous. Plus, check out the boots! I've been drooling over that style ever since I saw a gal ringmaster rockin' the red-and-gold version at D*C a few years back.

Here's the couple we talked with the most last night, Olivia and Michael:

John first stopped Michael to tell him how much he liked his costume - those high-waisted pants are perfect, and it's fun to see more of an everyman worker type versus the usual multi-layered steampunk gentleman -  and after that these two basically couldn't get rid of us. :D Check out this kick-ass leather cuff Olivia made for Michael:

John and I are still learning and experimenting with some leather crafts, but now I want to try tooling some cuffs like this! It's going on the list. (The never-ending list...)

Now that we've been going to the bigger area conventions for a few years, I've started to recognize a few people, like Laura here:

She always has THE most exquisite Victorian gowns - I wish I'd gotten a shot of the back bustle for you guys, and of her hair. GORGEOUS.

I actually took a picture with Jus here as Lady Vadore at the last MegaCon, though of course he doesn't know that. :D (Well, unless he finds this post, in which case, HI JUS!)

Check it out: that's his camera, which he wrapped in leather and then attached to his arm bracer with a hinge, so it flips up to take photos. BRILLIANT. (He has an Etsy shop and also does commissions, if you're in the market.)

At the end of the night they corralled all of the costumed folk into one area for a group photo. This accounted for maybe one third or a quarter of the total crowd, so you can see it was a pretty decent turn-out!

I couldn't quite fit everyone in; I should have brought the wide-angle lens! Here's another attempt:

And here's one with the guy who I believe organized the whole event (I didn't catch his name):

Before we left John and I also met up with a small group of readers, which was a fun surprise! John tells me I need to stop latching on to one person at a time when I talk to people, though, since he had to almost physically remove me from one conversation. Heh. Sorry, guys; I'M NEEDY. And an introvert. BUT MOSTLY NEEDY.

(Oh, and John wants me to say hi to Janelle Janet, Katrina, Christie, Spencer, and Anna - I suspect mostly to show off his new post-Diet-Mountain-Dew name retention. ;)) [Well, he was CLOSE, Janet, right? ;)]

I hope the rest of you enjoyed our local field trip! Now, go have a fantastic weekend. GO! (Saturday is Free Comic Book Day *and* May the Fourth [Be With You], so that shouldn't be too hard!)


  1. So glad you went (brave girl!) AND took photos for us, too! All the pics are fantastic. Thank you so much!

    Oh, and I hope she'll see this:
    Here's a shout out to Storm the Klingon (hilarious contributor to the Epbot and CakeWrecks comment sections) on the occasion of her 45th birthday! Happy, happy birthday, Storm! Hope you and your Vulcan had a blast today!


    1. Storm the KlingonMay 11, 2013 at 6:02 AM

      Well, crap on a crappy crap cracker! How DID I miss this?! Thanks, girl!

      Cheers, darling!


  2. Ooooh, pretty! Such eye candy. I especially love the flip-up camera!

    And I'm with you on the party thing (and weddings, etc.). I get all excited to dress up or whatever, and then once we get there, I remember: I hate parties! And I don't want to get out of the car. I'm cool if I find a person to talk to. Whole room of people? No, thank you.

    Fortunately, my husband remembers that I freak out at the last minute every time, and he talks me down. And lets us leave early sometimes. :)

  3. All the costumes were fantastic. I wish I had that kind of imagination!

  4. Well that's well-timed. I've been slowly working through your archives recently and got to wondering if you were familiar with Tribal Fusion Belly Dance. I'm assuming since you are that you're familiar with Rachel Brice, (probably the most famous dancer) but I'll mention her anyway on the off-chance that you aren't. Her performances and music and costume choices are *stunning.* She's also a really cool person and fun to follow on Twitter and Facebook. Check it out!

  5. Faboo photos and I suspect the shoulder critter is a Midsummer Knights puppet, I own a couple myself. You can find them on Facebook, and spend a lot of time looking at photos of the myriad of critters they make, or through their website :D

  6. Blaster has an article out today celebrating May the 4th called "Celebrate Star Wars Day with 20 awesome Darth Vader costume mods". It has a steampunk Vader and I think your Lady Vadore is pictured as well. Here's the link


  7. I recognize those dancers. They perform at Camelot Days in Hollywood, FL in November. They're amazing!

  8. Love your blog by the way. Just turned me into a reader. But I'm so incredibly upset that we missed this! I feel so ridiculous. It looks like it was amazing. I love Orlando and I LOVE the Cog is Dead. I follow several FL steampunk groups on facebook I don't know how I keep missing the cool stuff. gguurrr.

  9. The Dancers are from Florida Tribal Dance. Thanks so much for coming out in such crummy weather and sharing your great pictures! -James Jessup

  10. Loved the Blog. Me and my Squirrel enjoyed themselves greatly at the Ball

  11. It was great to finally meet you guys too! I don't mind that you monopolized only one person ;-) I hope we get to see ya'll again soon! And John was *almost* perfect on the names. It's Janet(pronounced Janette) not Janelle!

  12. I thought I saw you and John there! I thought about coming over to say hi, but I was unsure and had to work all night at the membership table anyway. I'm glad you came out and had fun!

  13. That heart sculpture is amazing! with all the keys? I love it.

  14. I would totally be ok with you latching on to me! I too hate parties, and probably miss out on a lot of interesting things in my city because I don't want to have to converse with small groups of strangers. :P I feel your pain!

  15. Yes, Tribal bellydancers do have the best hair! It was the hair and costuming that first drew me in, lo, these many years ago!

  16. Wow, looks fun and yay, you guys for doing something local! I'm the same way at parties, tending to get into conversations with one or two people and wanting to continue that conversation rather than moving on swiftly, like: Next!
    Small talk is wicked hard!

  17. So you know, I prefer non-flash photography wherever possible. It's more natural. Your photos are just fine. :-)

  18. Oh! I'm glad you went. Bummer about the parking specially for those who came in the rain in a long gown/coat. But it looks as though you both had a fab time and you were there incognito! Neato!

    That costume with a white dress and a wind-up key would make a fabulous doll.

  19. I would love to have some links to those hair tutorials! I tried to find some on my own but didn't find much.

  20. You're a far far braver gal than I am, Gunga Din. If I don't have someone I know I am going to a new place with, I cannot even step out my front door in that direction before the anxiety attack starts. Going in anything resembling costume? I can't do it. Besides, I'm far too morbidly obese to look anything even remotely good as the people in these photos. I notice only skinny people get their pictures taken.

  21. These are all very lovely photos. I love the art prints. Do you SP's like the Edwardian Movement. It seems like it would be a great time to get out to San Fran.I have noticed some goth related photo shots with the girls wearing the Steam Punk goggles. I wonder if the Bohemians tours will expanding. And yes,who doesn't love tribal belly dancers.

  22. Yay for the tribal belly dance shoutout! It really is an awesome community of women, I highly recommend trying a class (in either tribal or classic style belly dance) to everyone. Just be warned, it's totally addictive!

  23. The one belly dancer's top makes me want Steampunk Beetlejuice. Does that exist?

  24. Hey Jen check out they have amazing steampunk corset eye candy.

  25. Oh my goodness! I've met Olivia on a photoshoot before! If you want to see some awesome shots from that night check them out here: All of her leatherwork was BEAUTIFUL!!

  26. I wish you had introduced yourself to me! I really admire your blog and would have had a fangirl moment. Thank you for the lovely photo and compliments on this.

    Oh, and just to up the geek factor? I'm wearing my TARDIS corset and bustle underneath that gown. ;)
    - Laura


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