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This year, Tom and I are continuing our tradition of a trip to Scarborough Faire, the renaissance festival in our area. Last year, we dressed up as a fairy and a pirate (our first trip to the faire in costume,) and this year we’ve decided to join the costume contest! You may be thinking, “You’ve seen one renaissance costume, you’ve seen them all,” which is generally accurate, but not always true:
This year, we were so excited to discover that the faire is having a time travelers costume contest, which can be anything from Dr. Who to driving up in a Delorean a la “Back to the Future.” Of course, if you’re familiar with the territory, this also means steampunk!
Now you may be saying to yourself, “I really don’t get that steampunk thing,” and rightfully so. It’s a broad genre of style. So, let me try to clear things up for you. Here are the best definitions I’ve come across so far.
Steampunk (noun): A sub-genre mixing Victorian and Edwardian styles with science fiction, often based on characters inspired by literary figures such as H.G. Wells.
Steampunk (noun): A style that gives the illusion of living in a past in which the future came too soon.
Steampunk (noun): When goths discover the color brown.
See also steampunkery (noun,) steampunk-ify (verb,) and steampunker (noun.)
Okay, so that last one is just funny, but it’s true to an extent! Basically, I’ve found that there are 5 identifiable categories within the steampunk sub-genre.
1) One has a more gothic, dark tone, often inspired by Tim Burton characters with lots of black, red, and black and white stripes, and even some dead or zombie makeup elements. Also incorporates some “carnivale” style.
2) Another has more of a fantasy tone (fairies and elves dressed in steampunk garb.)
3) Yet another has more of a sci-fi tone (human time travelers and other sci-fi creatures in steampunk garb.)
4) Then you have the costume hackers, who “hack” existing characters from other genres (superheros, comic book characters, movie characters, etc.) and steampunk-ify them.
5) The last style is simply made of a group of steampunk purists who enjoy creating historically accurate costumes mixed with scientifically functional machinery, and who usually have knowledge and appreciation of the literature that inspires the style.
Also, you must know that there are people who do steampunk cos-play (costume play,) and there are people who dress in steampunk style every day. Those who have adopted the style as their own in their daily life sometimes don’t know how to respond to those who call it “costume,” but I say please don’t be offended! Costuming is all about transforming yourself into someone (or something) you’re not. When someone takes the time and effort to make or buy and assemble a costume emulating your style, that means they want to be, well, you. That’s a pretty big compliment. (Even with all the steampunk fails out there.)
So, I hope that breaks things down for you if you’ve been unfamiliar with all things steampunk until now. Steampunk expert? Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below! Did I miss a category?
I’ll be posting pics for next week’s Make It Monday with tutorials on how you can make your own steampunk garb, including pics of the steampunk mini tophat I just finished! I’ve never done steampunk before (or made a mini tophat, for that matter,) so I’m pretty excited. I’ll also share other elements of our costumes just for your viewing pleasure.
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Share the Love!Chelsea
Before I delve into the world of embroidery, let me just say what an awesome time we had at the Dallas Comic-Con Sci Fi Expo on Saturday! We got to meet sweet/funny/genetically-blessed-with-amazing-bone-structure Eliza Dushku, and I got her autograph:
Happy New Year from us at BuyMeLove!
Our resolution is to collaborate more on our shop items! What’s yours?
Don’t have a resolution? That’s ok. Here are some pretty things for you to ponder. (New year themed treasuries, of course.)
Wishing you a new year filled with love, joy, peace, glitter, and lots of awesomeness.
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Karyn & Chelsea
Sure, masks are amazing, and costumes are key, but what about the details? The little things that transform your costume into something bigger, take you from dress-up to taking on the character …
Need to show your scars?
Maybe a prop to get a-head? (Snort.)
What will you be for Halloween this year?
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After taking a break from blogging to deal with life, I’m back. A little worse for the wear, but I’m here!
First, an update: My aunt passed away Thursday before last, and her memorial is this weekend. It will be held at the location my aunt and her husband were married, and we’re doing a casual potluck. I’m really glad, too, because, like my aunt, I am not a fan of the “wear black and a somber expression” tradition. In the midst of all of this, though, I had to take my mom to the ER for chest pains and shortness of breath. Luckily, I guess, we were already at the hospital for a different test. She was admitted and stayed for four days before being released yesterday. We’re both exhausted, but the hope the doctors and nurses gave her for recovery is fantastic. The doctor was able to manage meds that should have been managed a long time ago by her primary care doc, and she’s already feeling better than she was before she went into the hospital.
Needless to say, we haven’t had time to make much for the etsy shops. I was able to take some pictures of a few little guys that need to be listed today, though! (Etsy’s site is down, so I’m waiting patiently, looking up youtube videos and blog posts …)
So far, these googly fuzzballs are being turned into earrings, but I’d like to see what they look like on bracelets and necklaces.
Also, some exciting news! The etsy team we’re involved in, Etsy817, is hosting a holiday craft show called Handmade Holidays this December in Arlington, TX!
Hope you’re all having a stress-free week as summer winds down and all the kids and teachers go back to that crazy thing called school!
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