Tag Archives: humor

Are You Going To Scarborough Faire? (Thoughts on Renaissance Steampunkery)

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:

I was delightfully surprised by this lady jester last year!

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.

Vistual example of goth steampunk.

2) Another has more of a fantasy tone (fairies and elves dressed in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of a steampunk fairy.

3) Yet another has more of a sci-fi tone (human time travelers and other sci-fi creatures in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of sci-fi steampunk.

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.

Visual example of a steampunk hacker costume. Iron Man, a natural choice.

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.

Steampunk Lincoln says it's hard to find a picture of historically accurate steampunk costumes, but they're out there!

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.)

Not so much with the steampunk tag. You probably violated the Etsy TOUs trying to get more views for your item, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

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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Chelsea

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Weird Wednesday – What A Doll!

Elly Mae by bobsimagination

Meep Art Doll by essarah

Cucuy Cuties Plush by studiolongoria

Upcycled Barbie Doll Wall Art by gjarvisjewelryetc

My Little Zombie Finger Puppet by blankpuppets

MIA The Odd Princess of Blossoming Sakura by oddprincess

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Weird Wednesday – Girls, Girls, Girls

Last week, I dedicated a “Weird” post to the guys. This week, it’s all about the weird girls:

For the animal reject lover:

A Girl And Her Beloved Ugly Dog by ElisabethNicole

 For the funny girl who likes to work out (and her eyebrows, thankyouverymuch):

Knitted Eyebrow Headband by wifeofbrian

For the subtle weirdo – a.k.a. “business professional” 

Eyeball Hairpins Green Eye Copper by BeanDoll

And finally, for Kate Middleton, because you’ve got to be a little weird to rock those hats:

Couture Derby Hat by ArturoRios

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Chelsea

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Make It Monday – How To Turn A Bad Day Into A Good Day

Know Someone Who's Having A Day Like Alexander?

I know, I know, it may sound cheezy, but today’s “Make It Monday” is all about how to make a good day.

Are you rolling your eyes yet?

Okay, so you wake up and it’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Your toast burns, your hair is doing that weird thing, you can’t find matching socks – whatever it is, it’s making you really irritated and want to crawl back in bed.

If you just want to wallow in your bad day, stop reading here. I mean, really – it’s your choice. Your family friends, and coworkers will thank you, though, if you decide that you’re not going to spend the entire day glaring and snapping at them.

So, here’s what you do:

1. Stop right there! Are all of these little things that are getting your day off to an annoying start a product of a bigger issue? If so, recognize that and focus your energy on the real issue. Didn’t get enough sleep? Make it a point to take a short nap at lunch today. Having issues with your significant other? List all of the reasons you love them in your head, and focus on those for the day until you have time to talk to them.

If the little things aren’t the product of a bigger bad, stop whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is that’s keeping you from getting ready, and do something else. Can’t find socks? Go brush your teeth and come back to it. My mom has a fail-proof way of getting rid of stress in the moment: Stop it. Take 3 deep breaths. On the last breath, invision putting your problem in a bubble, and blowing it away really hard. Yeah, it sounds silly, and there have been times that I rolled my eyes when she suggested it, but it works.

2. Do something silly. One of my favorite ways to stop myself from being too serious is to dance around like an idiot to one of my favorite songs. Who cares if someone sees you? You’ll have made two people laugh – yourself and them. Another good one is to make stupid faces at yourself in the mirror. Seriously, the more juvenile, the better. We’re going for giggles, here.

3. Get busy.  Get on with your day, and if work is what’s bringing you down, bring something along that makes you smile. An Icee from the gas station is cheap, delicious, and turns your tongue funny colors. Just a thought.

Hope you all have a great day!

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Chelsea

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Whatever Weekend – Oh hi! Are Your Friends Crazy, Too?

Last night was one of the most eventful parties I’ve been to in a very long time. Nope, I didn’t get drunk. I didn’t need to.

Some friends of ours had a white elephant gift exchange, a huge potluck of dinner and dessert, drinks, and a game gone wrong.

The gift exchange was harmless enough, until my turn:

The note inside the bag said, "Put on the hat and blindfold, and wait to be escorted to your gift." Eeek!

Next thing I knew, the lights were low, there was some, shall we say “suggestive” music playing, and the blindfold was ripped off to reveal a scantily clad friend wrapped in Christmas lights and tinsil! After a few minutes of him dancing and me shrieking and pushing him away, it was all over. Thank goodness. Then, since everyone gets a chance to “steal” a gift, my husband chose to steal mine! He leveled the playing field by embarrassing our scantily clad dancer, though, and it felt justified. (For the record, my gift was stolen twice – quite the popular item!) In the end, I ended up getting a rather prehistoric looking necklace (pictured on my head) and a green satin bag of unknown origin:

The hubs got silly bands shaped like sushi. 🙂

Sorry about the blurry pictures. The photographer wasn’t drunk, either, but she did have a camera with a mind of it’s own.

One of my favorites of the night was a plush viking hat, and a close second was the old boombox with one broken speaker. One of the weirdest was the figurine of a wolf nursing human children. Not sure how to feel about that, or the enthusiasm with which the winner received it!

The food, of course, was delicious. There were green beans, potatoes, casseroles, ham … then there was cake and brownies. Enough said. I was in heaven.

Somehow, our usual party game took a nasty turn when people started yelling over rule loopholes and noise level. Then there was wrestling, and we ultimately had to end the game because it wasn’t anywhere near over, most of the boys’ team had retreated outside to escape the madness, and people had to get up early in the morning. Oh well – we’re all friends, right? At the very least, the party was entertaining, and not one we will soon forget! I know I, for one, will be traumatized for life.

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Chelsea

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Weird Wednesday – I’m Dreaming Of A Weird Christmas

Wow. It’s been a week since I last blogged! Quick update: the Winter Wonderland Festival was a success! We raised a substantial amount of money for the church, the vendors did well, the kids had a blast … despite snafoos like the bouncehouse guy never showing up, and the wind being so strong that we had to move games inside, it went really well.

In other news, we’re listing more items in the shop this week to stock up for Christmas! You’ll find inexpensive stocking stuffers, more “just vintage” listings, and pretty, sparkly things to wear for the holidays, like this:

Sparkling Beaded Vintage Applique Brooch

Now, onto Weird Wednesday. Today’s collection is inspired by che4u’s (aka Gypsy Roses) Goin’ Stag Antlers:

Goin' Stag Costume Horns

Lump of Coal Soap by burntmill

Yellow Snow Winter Elegance Bracelet In Brilliant Citrine And Quartz Crystal by OneEyeCatDesigns

Loopy Art Doll - Valerie by loopyboopy

Hoping you’re all enjoying the holidays this season!

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Chelsea

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Weird Wednesday – Gobble, Gobble

Let’s face it – the turkey is one weird bird. “Noble” though he may be, I’m glad the turkey didn’t make it as our national bird. (Sorry, Benjamin Franklin, the bald eagle was just better looking!) I’m pretty sure all of the other governments would have made fun of us for it. Not to mention, the fateful coincidence of the bird’s call becoming synonymous with scarfing down food!

Wild Turkey 8x12 Fine Art Print by rebeccakier

Plush Turkey Soft Toy Sculpture by FurWillFly

Turkey Lurkey Hat by karenswimmer

And, so as to include our vegetarian friends this Thanksgiving, the turkey alternative:

Tofurkey by oliveandearthknits

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Chelsea

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