Tantalizing Toppers

Continuing on the Steampunk theme, one’s costume really isn’t complete without some kind of head gear, even if it’s just a pair of goggles you fixed up to look the part. I’ve finally finished the girls hats. I couldn’t have done it without them and John. They were regular champs! John created the pattern for Starshine’s Nut-n-Bolt hat. It didn’t come out exactly as planned but I have an idea which I’ll try at a later date. It did, however, come out pretty doggone cute. You’ll remember this first picture from a previous post. We chose not to try using those can lids at this time. Time is ticking away and we’re seriously running out of it.

Here are the pieces of the Nut 'n' Bolt mini hat

Here are the pieces of the Nut ‘n’ Bolt mini hat.

Work in progress…

I tasked the girls to help me paint the window screen with various metallic fingernail polishes. We set our work on top of some tissue paper that had a shiny side and we now have some interesting looking gift wrap!

I tasked the girls to help me paint the window screen with various metallic fingernail polishes. We set our work on top of some tissue paper that had a shiny side and we now have some interesting looking gift wrap!

Here's the completed Nut-n-Bolt hat. Making hats is a slow...very slow process. I decided to add a black felt fabric to give the hat some much needed stability. The window screen just wasn't sturdy enough on its own.

Here’s the completed Nut-n-Bolt hat. Making hats is a slow…very slow process. I decided to add a black felt fabric to give the hat some much needed stability. The window screen just wasn’t sturdy enough on its own.

Magiba’s hat was another thing entirely. She wanted a hat similar to Sophie Hatter from the movie “Howl’s Moving Castle.” My original plan was to make the same little cherries Sophie has on her hat but it seemed like it would be a little more time consuming. We opted for flowers created with the selvedge edge of some sequin dot fabric and a few metal leaf forms and embellishments. We started with a sturdy mesh skull cap as the base. I covered it with pieces of burlap fabric. I used more glue than was healthy for me or my budget but I think it turned out well.

Here are the parts I gathered to make the Sophie-styled hat.

Here are the parts I gathered to make the Sophie-styled hat. You’ll see some fabulous little ‘medicine’ bottles I wanted to fit into the hat design. I had it in mind to make her persona into an apothecary. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to work them in with the kind of space I had available. We’ll use them another way. They’re too fabulous not to use!

Here's the completed Sophie-Styled hat. It looks deceptively easy, doesn't it?

Here’s the completed Sophie-Styled hat. It looks deceptively easy, doesn’t it?

You can’t really see the lower decoration, which is also the most steampunk decoration on this hat. The metal leaves (there are 3 of them) were scalped from some old jewelry I don’t use anymore and the little charm you can barely see at the bottom was found on sale at Walmart. The fabric was remnants. The brown grosgrain ribbon was something I had leftover from a previous project. The burlap fabric was given to me years ago. I love that I’m finding opportunities to use all these odds and ends to make fabulous things!

Both Magiba and Starshine love their hats, though Starshine is a bit skeptical about how hers will stay on. (I added a couple of metal eyelets large enough for a hairstick to pass through. It won’t be falling off if I have a say in the matter.)

Today I’m working on John’s military Jacket and I’ll post photos of that in tomorrow’s blog post. Thanks for stopping by!

What a strange power there is in clothing.”  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Days of Rest 37

Macro photo of a milk thistle ~ Photo by J.D. Kittles ~ used with permission

Close-up photo of a milk thistle ~ Photo by J.D. Kittles ~ used with permission

Quoteful Saturday: Dark

O radiant Dark! O darkly fostered ray!
Thou hast a joy too deep for shallow Day.”
~George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~ Plato

“Look how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” ~ Anne Frank

“It cannot be seen, cannot be felt,
Cannot be heard, cannot be smelt,
It lies behind stars and under hills,
And empty holes it fills,
It comes first and follows after,
Ends life, kills laughter.”~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

“I am a forest, and a night of dark trees; but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

I hope you enjoy today’s quotes. I found most of them at Goodreads.com today. We hope you are all having a happy weekend!

Fabulous Friday 37

It’s time for another Fabulous Friday post. I have to be honest. We’ve been so busy since the new year began that we’ve had little time to try out new local businesses. So today’s post will be somewhat shortened. I’m going to keep it down to quotes and music and maybe a couple of awesome products we like to use.

Pure ICE fingernail polish ~~~ It dries quickly. It takes about 2-3 coats to cover the nail well but that’s usually dependent upon the color you choose. Most importantly, I think, is the fact that it’s quite affordable. (I get mine at Walmart.) I love having fun with color and I can’t do that if I’m paying $5 – $10 per bottle of polish. Pure ICE fingernail polish comes in so many colors and finishes, there’s really no end to the things you can do with them. I’ve used them to paint clear marbles, give a sheen to other painted projects, and other kinds of painting that I needed something shiny and permanent for.

Recycle idea ~~~ If you need to paint something that you know the color will go through or bleed through, use something like wax paper, heavy tissue paper, or brown paper bags to cover your painting surface. Paint one color at a time, waiting about 10 minutes between coats, and don’t keep you piece in the same place. Move it around a bit so it doesn’t stick to your paper. When you’re done, you should have a nifty bit of gift wrap you can use later. It’s better than using newspaper and throwing it away.

What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.” ~Will Rogers

“I must do something” always solves more problems than “Something must be done.” ~Author Unknown

Today’s song was chosen by Magiba. ~ “Just Give Me A Reason” by P!nk featuring Nate Ruess of FUN ~ I hope you’ll enjoy it!

 

Beginnings Of A Mini Nut ‘n’ Bolt Hat

Starshine’s costume will be topped with a mini top hat, shaped like a hexagonal prism, i.e. a nut. I’m toying with the idea of leaving the top of the hat off. It’s still a work in progress but here are the pieces we’ve gathered for it so far.

Here are the pieces of the Nut 'n' Bolt mini hat

Here are the pieces of the Nut ‘n’ Bolt mini hat ~ The photo was taken and edited by Starshine.

If you’re curious (and I’m sure at least some of you are) I’m using fiberglass window screen for the hat. I have no intention of covering it with fabric. I will however, be covering it with fabric rosettes, the ribbon that you see here, actual hardware pieces, some metal pieces I got from a friend, galvanized steel wire and gold jewelry wire.

It doesn’t concern the same kind of ‘bolt’ but I thought this quote was quite appropriate for other reasons.

“No padlocks, bolts, or bars can secure a maiden better than her own reserve.” ~ Miguel de Cervantes

Heights of Excitement and Pits of Despair

Have you ever encountered this? You plan a project. You get all the items you’ll need to complete the project. Then you read the directions and find out you have to do steps one through ten THREE times. Yes, I wrote that correctly. I’ll have to cut the pattern pieces for John’s simply smashing jacket *three* times. I was muddling my way through it with less than sharp scissors yesterday. (Cue “Pit of Despair” music.) I bought a new pair of scissors at my workplace and I’m going to finish the first cutting tomorrow. While I was at it, I purchased the trim and buttons for the jacket, as well. Here’s a snapshot of what will eventually become John’s jacket. (And now we return to the ‘Heights of Excitement’.)

John's sued cloth fabric, gold trim and buttons.

John’s sued cloth fabric, gold trim and buttons. (Sorry for the poor photo quality. It didn’t look this blurry on my phone.)

I was on my feet all day today so I’ll be sewing Magiba’s dress for the rest of today. We chose Simplicity pattern 2843 option C for her, minus the larger ruffles. Since her inspiration was Sophie from “Howl’s Moving Castle”, the ruffles were out, according to her. Her dress will be a different color and a little more geared to her group. I’m adding the ‘gauntlets’ (what I call vambraces or bracers, though they aren’t armor) from Simplicity pattern 8953. (You’ll have to scroll down that page to see it, since the pattern was sold.) Some of the highlights will be some antique buttons gleaned from a stash my grandmother gave me. It’s anyone’s guess how old they really are but they look as if they’re from the 50’s or 60’s. I’m really looking forward to the finished costume.

“They say that the best blaze burns brightest, when circumstances are at their worst.” ~ Sophie Hatter from “Howl’s Moving Castle”

(I’m almost positive I never heard the word ‘blaze’ in that quote. Not once, in the many, many times we’ve watched it. Hmmm…I think we might need a review!)

Art And Angels

I don’t know about other areas, but one of the trendy things to do around here is “Painting With A Twist.” Our son was treated to one of these painting lessons in a studio that is doing a series of Dr. Who inspired artworks. He really enjoyed it! I find it somewhat quirky that we now have a weeping angel artwork hanging in our home but I think he did a fairly decent job. I took a picture and edited it to look creepy…because a weeping angel just isn’t creepy enough, right?

Our son with his artwork

Our son with his artwork…My sister, who brought him to the art lesson, was impressed that he freehanded the hands. Should I try saying that last bit five times, quickly? Also, I have to say he’s come quite a long way. Painting isn’t something he particularly enjoys. But looking at the painting here, I can tell he really enjoyed himself.

In other news, the sewing and decorating of Steampunk costumes continues, so I’m signing off for today. Stay tuned for further updates.

“As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.” – First Doctor Who William Hartnell

Project Updates

We’re still working steadily on our Steampunk projects. I finished a nifty shirt on Saturday and started building some of  Starshine’s inner workings. The inner workings won’t be complete for another day or so.  Her dress is mostly finished, with only the closure remaining. I’m still deciding on how best to do that. Her apron is complete. The photos I’m sharing here are of my completed shirt and the first day’s progress on the inner workings. I’ve worked on it a bit more since those photos were taken and I’ll upload a photo again when the whole outfit is complete.

First, the shirt…

I created this shirt with some fabric that was given to me several years ago. I used vintage pattern Simplicity Jiffy 7569, option 2. The only modification is the lace edging. Since the pattern photo showed the hem to be a bit shorter than I was looking for, I simply serged the edge and then topped it with the lace. The lace I used was from a 55" bolt (or so) and I only had somewhere around 1/8 yd. I cut it into 2" strips and gathered it. My shirt is quite comfortable and I can't wait to make more.

I created this shirt with some fabric that was given to me several years ago. I used vintage pattern Simplicity Jiffy 7569, option 2. The only modification is the lace edging. Since the pattern photo showed the hem to be a bit shorter than I was looking for, I simply serged the edge and then topped it with the lace. The lace I used was from a 55″ bolt (or so) and I only had somewhere around 1/8 yd. I cut it into 2″ strips and gathered it. My shirt is quite comfortable and I can’t wait to make more.

And Starshine’s inner workings…

I won't go into too many details. I don't want to spoil the surprise. I'll break down the process in another blog post if anyone is interested. The ingredients used here are jewelry and scrapbook findings and wire, needlework plastic, brown acrylic paint, gold hologram glitter fingernail polish, recycled computer parts, and probably more. There was no glue used in the part of the project. I have nothing against glue but ones that would hold all this type of stuff take a while to dry and I still have a lot of work left to do on this piece.

I won’t go into too many details. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I’ll break down the process in another blog post if anyone is interested. The ingredients used here are jewelry and scrapbook findings and wire, needlework plastic, brown acrylic paint, gold hologram glitter fingernail polish, recycled computer parts, and probably more. There was no glue used in this part of the project. I have nothing against glue but ones that would hold all this type of stuff take a while to dry and I still have a lot of work left to do on this piece.

Here's the second part of Starshine's inner workings. I think it's probably self-explanatory but if I'm wrong, you'll have to wait until the whole outfit is done before I'll tell more about it. For this piece, I used gold metallic trim, Fabri-tac glue, a super-fantastic-awesome button I've been dying to use on /any/ project, and some recycled plastic from a broken poster frame that John cut to size for me.

Here’s the second part of Starshine’s inner workings. I think it’s probably self-explanatory but if I’m wrong, you’ll have to wait until the whole outfit is done before I’ll tell more about it. For this piece, I used gold metallic trim, Fabri-tac glue, a super-fantastic-awesome button I’ve been dying to use on /any/ project, and some recycled plastic from a broken poster frame that John cut to size for me.

Stay tuned for more Steampunk fun…

“It is not so for art in appreciation because art is concerned with human behavior. And science is concerned with the behavior of metal or energy. It depends on what the fashion is. Now today it’s energy. It’s the same soul behind it. The same soul, you see.” ~ Josef Albers

Isn’t it pretty nifty that Steampunk is a bit of both? Granted, mine leans far more to the artsy side than the scientific one but given the correct parts and enough time, I’d love to build functional pieces to add to our costumes. What fun that would be!

Days of Rest 36

Happy Greetings to you on this Easter Sunday from Kittles Family Artworks! Photo by J.D. Kittles Photography and used with permission

Happy Greetings to you on this Easter Sunday from Kittles Family Artworks! Photo by J.D. Kittles Photography and used with permission

Quoteful Saturday: Promises

When a man takes an oath… he’s holding his own self in his own hands. Like water. And if he opens his fingers then — he needn’t hope to find himself again.” ~Robert Bolt

Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one who offers faithful service in small matters. This is the person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.” ~Abraham Lincoln

A promise is a cloud; fulfillment is rain.” ~Arabian Proverb

Promise little and do much.” ~Hebrew Proverb

Today’s quotes were found on this page at Quote Garden. Please check out their other awesome quote listings.

As I read through the quotes at the link above, I was somewhat saddened. There were more negative sayings and perspectives on ‘promises’ than positive ones! In my own personal experience, I know that you can’t always put faith in a person who promises to do things. The only way you’ll get to know a person’s character is by giving them an opportunity to prove themselves to you. You have a take a risk. I learned long ago that I shouldn’t promise something when I’m not certain I’ll be able to follow through. I rarely make promises but when I do utter those words “I promise,” I take them very seriously. I make every effort possible to follow through on those promises.