On the Eighth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the eighth day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Eight Tentacled Arms.

"The octopus was brandishing the victim like a feather. " Woodcut etchings from illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville, published in the 1871 première edition of Jules Verne’s Vingt mille lieues sous les mers.

“The octopus was brandishing the victim like a feather. ” Woodcut etchings from illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville, published in the 1871 première edition of Jules Verne’s Vingt mille lieues sous les mers.

Continue reading

On the Seventh Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the seventh day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Seven Splendid Hats!

Hats are the crowning glory of a steampunk outfit.  Most steampunk hats are riffs off of conventional Victorian era hats with steampunk alterations that can range from simple to outrageous.

The Top Hat: The standard men’s hat of the Victorian era was worn by all social classes.

Here’s a standard top hat, with the conventional addition of goggles.  This is my personal steampunk hat with my home-made goggles.

tophat1 Continue reading

On the Sixth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the sixth day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Six Antique Maps.

Map of the California Gold Region. Source: Library of Congress

Map of the California Gold Region. Source: Library of Congress

A good airship captain needs a good map to navigate by.  Fortunately, antique maps are easy to find and, framed and matted, make a great gift.  They can be a little pricy, however.

If you want the look of antique maps to steam up your home decor, there are many sources of high-resolution reprints on-line. Provided you want to go completely DIY, two sources pop out:

The Library of Congress

The British Library

Both of these libraries have digitized parts of their map collections and have made them available for download. There are also additional local and state libraries that have digitized their collections (the British Library has many links for the UK), not to mention the historical map collection of the US Geological Survey. Choose one you–or the lucky recipient of your gift–would like, print it out, and put it in an appropriate frame.  For an extra authentic look, you can print it on printer grade parchment paper such as this.

One other interesting collection in the Library of Congress is of Panoramic Maps, basically hand-drawn aerial views which the artist (with varying accuracy) filled in by walking up and down the streets drawing in the buildings. The picture below is a snippet of a high-resolution download of a panoramic view of San Jose, California in 1869, showing my neighborhood, although I am sure none of the houses shown exist anymore (if they ever did…).

Detail from San Jose, CA panoramic map, 1869. Source: Library of Congress.

Detail from San Jose, CA panoramic map, 1869. Source: Library of Congress.

Antique maps are a great way to add interesting artwork to your home and to give it a bit of an explorer/adventurer feel.

On the Fifth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Fourth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Third Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Second Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the First Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Fifth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the fifth day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Five Brassy Things.

ring  brooch passages boxchoker

Dr. Brassy’s things, to be particular. Dr. Brassy Steamington is an artist and maker in San Luis Obispo, California.  From her website, you can click through to her etsy store as well as her blog.  She is generous in her blog in showing the techniques that she uses to make her creations.

And her creations are quite wonderful.  One of her original concepts are Sightmares which simultaneously delight and scare me. They are a great embodiment the steampunk idea of a mysterious otherworldly creature breaking through into our world.

sightmare1

On the Fourth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Third Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Second Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the First Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Fourth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the fourth day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

a Four-in-Hand Tie.

fourinhand

As far as I can tell, a “Four-in-Hand” is a particular knot for tying ties, but Gentleman’s Emporium sells a line of ties called the “Four-in-Hand” which would be particularly appropriate for a late Steampunk era outfit.

Other neckwear possibilities are: Continue reading

On the Third Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the third day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Three Spooky Eyeballs.

eyeballsThree Spooky Eyeballs in the form of matching cufflinks and tie clip.

Cufflinks are fancy and rarely worn these days, so perfect as a steampunk accessory!  Pair them with a matching tie clip or cravat pin and you’re all set for a evening at the Viscount Montague’s Aetheric Ball.  The photo above shows some cufflinks made out of, it looks like, lightning dragon eyes. Unfortunately, they didn’t include a picture of the tie clip. You can find all kinds of steampunk cufflinks for sale on line–made with gears (of course), watch cases, tiny map swatches, propellers, airships, and scarab beetles.

Where to find a shirt with french cuffs that require cufflinks?  You can find them retail (Macy’s has them), but frequent and judicious visits to your friendly neighborhood thrift shop also works (and you might find some other pieces of a steampunk outfit there too…)

On the Second Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the First Day of Steampunk Christmas…