Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Steam 6/1/13

File this under "When I Win The Lottery:"

"Walktopus" is a 20 inch bronze sculpture by Scott Musgrove, and can be yours for a mere four thousand dollars.  It's based on this five FOOT tall version, though, which is even more impressive:

And while we're furnishing our dream homes, I'd also like to add this bar cart, please:

It's from Restoration Hardware, and is made from a 1920's Light Bulb Voltage Tester, whatever that is. Only two grand, though, so hey: CHRISTMAS PRESENTS?? :D

Shilo linked me to a really fascinating article this week on something called a "chatelaine:"

The chatelaine is "a device popularized in the 18th century that attached to the waist of a woman’s dress, bearing tiny useful accessories, from notebooks to knives." So kind of like a Swiss army knife, only cooler.

Considering that they're both decorative and useful, I'm amazed this is the first time I've ever heard of chatelaines; we should totally be incorporating them in our steampunk and Victorian cosplay, ladies! Go see more examples and read about their history over at Collector's Weekly.

Oh, and here's another great article Amber L. found on the same site - and quite relevant after my corset-for-cramps post, too -  Everything You Know About Corsets Is False. (Well, assuming you think they're bad, anyway.) More than just addressing common misconceptions, this article actually gives a quick overview of the history and development of corsets, which is really intriguing.

And now some more amazing Victorian age gadgetry, this time spotted by Genevieve over on io9:

Pocket watch camera! See a few more Victorian-era spy gadgets at the article here.

Julie M. found an etsy seller with the COOLEST handmade "pocket holsters":

"Steampunk Metamorphose Holster," $220 by Chateau Nifty Pop

Its convertible, too, so you can wear it on your hips or as a cross-body bag:

Lots more designs and finishes at their shop, and all about the same price.

Next up, here's Cassandra rocking her steampunk Wonder Woman costume:

Her lasso even lights up!
Oh, and I got a neat surprise the other week from May B., who e-mailed to show me her own steampunk, Darth Vader inspired cosplay! Hers is based on Victorian mourning wear, and she tells me my Lady Vadore mask was just the inspiration she needed to add that finishing touch:

 Amazing, right? And check out her mask detail:

May used conductive thread to add LEDs to her necklace - which is SO going on my craft "to-do" list.

John saw May's pics first, and he told me it was surreal to open an e-mail and see such a familiar "face" on someone else's costume. Ha! I like how she used all silver accents, though, and really made it her own. Fantastic job, May! (Oh, and May makes and sells some gooorgeous fairy wings - you should totally check 'em out.)

And finally, remember that awesome steampunk AT-AT I featured a few months ago? Well, Mark - aka Captain Bayley - is back, and this time he's made that steampunk AT-AT a baby:

D'awww. An AT-ST! So perfect!

Mark also put a website together since my feature, and it's fun to see how his engagement present to Caroline - along with all the positive attention it received - has catapulted him into a full-blown... hobby? Obsession? Career? ONLY TIME WILL TELL. :D 'Til then, I look forward to seeing what else Mark dreams up! (More pics here, and thanks again to Mark and Caroline for sharing the steamy fun!)

Hope you're having a great weekend, everyone! As always, please share your own steamy finds/creations in the comments or over on the Epbot Facebook page!


  1. Omg I LOVE the chatelaine! I wish it was socially acceptable to wear them all the time now, but they wouldn't look nearly as cool with jeans and a t shirt, I don't think.


  2. Omg those fairy wings are *stunning*! I need to get myself a pair - which means I need an excuse to buy wings - which means I need to get costuming... though I've got this one dress I could pair wings with :D
    Evil, evil Jen - showing us stuff we can't possibly afford. I want that bar in a seriously bad way, and that sculpture too.
    Love the costumes too :) wonderwoman looks good steampunked - and I want that mourning outfit (*steals*)
    ~erin kristine

  3. if you have not heard yet, look up My Little Pony: Equestria Girls


  4. Oh, so THAT's what a chatelaine looks like. I did know they exist (Reading all those trashy historical romance novels has finally paid off!). Preeetttttyyyy . . . Wonder if I could get away with wearing one with my everyday jeans and t-shirts?

  5. Medieval Re-enactor / Blog LurkerJune 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Fun fact: Versions of the chatelaine have been around since Viking times (and were worn by both sexes), so one could say they were actually re-popularized in the 18th century. Actually I didn't realize they had any popularity past the early medieval era, so this is GOOD NEWS for my Steampunk cosplay!

  6. That chatelaine is totally in Downton Abbey. The housekeeper wears it, but all with keys. I remember telling my mom that I wanted one to wear. I loved it!

  7. The chatelaine gave its name, eventually, to the person who wore it. Therefore, a chatelaine could be both the chain and doodads itself or the housekeeper. So you could be described as "The chatelaine of Castle Whatever" if you were sufficiently reknown as a housekeeper.

  8., they are local pewter smiths at always sell at our historical festivals. They make wonderful Chatelaines, for very nice prices. I'm getting one this weekend.

  9. So my last name is "Chatelain." Which is awesome, in this context!

  10. Hey Jen! Our local steampunk group had classes on how to make your own chatelaine - you easily can make one yourself using parts available at Michael's, HobbyLobby etc. I'd be happy to send you either a finished one or a kit, your choice. Having read your blog(s) for a while, I already know your fave colors!!

  11. Wow, tidbits of historical geekery! Up here in Canada (eh?) Chatelain is a popular women's magazine. I've always wondered how it got its name. You learn something new every day!

  12. I have seen chatelaines sold at Hobby Lobby in the needlework section. I don't know if they are reproduction but they looked close enough. Very good price as well.

  13. Ok, I've got to ask: May's necklace has LED's... um, where? The red gems? I tried googling 'conductive fabric projects' and saw some 'this is what you will need' and I admit it's late and I really do not need to stay up all night looking, so what can be done with this technology aside from a conductive glove/finger tip that will keep you from getting killed while using your phone while riding a motorcycle. (a worthy goal but um, even more than a car driver a motorcycle should be hands and texting free!!)

  14. Hook me up with the five foot tall Walktopus! The mini version isn't going to cut it!

  15. Wow, so much goodness in one post. I so want my own "Walktopus" now, and I'm going to look into making a chatelaine for my outfit :)

    I love seeing the different Lady Vaders!

  16. if you want an affordable and still awesome octopus lamp!

  17. I love this octopus chatelaine

  18. Excuse me while I flail about in pure joy. I'm so glad you liked the spy gadgets. I think they're ALMOST as cool as me getting mentioned on your blog!

  19. May's costume was amazing - so glad you got to see her!!

  20. I love chatelaines! Pretty and practical.

  21. Curse you, Jen! Always posting such lovely things that I never knew I needed. Chatelaine? Never heard of it before, but now I HAVE to have one. And yes, I will be wearing it with my jeans, too. I'm picturing it as a belt worn low 'round the hips? Research time.

    Walktopus? MUST HAVE. I actually like the look of the smaller one better. Looks like I'll be saving my recycling money for a loooong time.

    Cassandra and May both look spectacular. Much kudos lovely ladies!

    Captain Bayley: there are no words. Such awesomeness.


  22. Jen, my mother makes chatelaines, only she does them out of fabric. Her style goes around your neck. Here's a picture of mine that she made for me recently, as I do cross stitch:

    (Please excuse my collie looking forlorn because I told him NO when he wanted to come smoosh on me while I was taking the pic.)

    It has a pair of foldable scissors (although I might replace them with some stork scissors), a little pouch, a pincushion, and a strawberry for sharpening your needle. This sucker has been a godsend because I lose my needle ALL THE TIME, and I just stick it on the pincushion when not in use! :)

    If you want one, let me know--she can whip one up for you! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

  23. P.S. She'll put whatever you want on your chatelaine, too. Mine is specific to cross stitch, but she can add a thimble, a small watch face, anything you want. And of course do it in orange ribbons!

    (I am always volunteering her services because I can't sew to save my life...but I think she's flattered by it.)

  24. So I've never commented before (although I love reading) but the chatelaine inspired me. Have you ever read the Amelia Peabody books written by Elizabeth Peters (a pen name). The main character, Amelia, wears something similar, more of a full belt with all types of useful tools, including brandy! Based on your blog I think that the series would really be something you would enjoy, great inspiration for Steampunk too!

  25. How funny that I'm reading this now, when I just got back from the Renaissance faire. I saw a chatelaine on a different blog (or maybe a tumblr I follow) and had to have one for my costume. My mom and I made on up out of a couple of old chain belts we had. Mine wasn't very useful...I did hang a small bag and my fan on it, but mostly used it to hang pins and stuff on. Not too much steampunk at this festival, but I did see a guy as the 10th Doctor!


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