Steampunk Crocheted Wig Progress Report #2

It’s getting a bit more difficult to show and tell what I’ve been doing with the wig.  In order to give the hair a bit of ‘puff’ around the hairline, I crocheted a long tube and stuffed it with some green netting I had lying about being useless, then attached it firmly all around the edge of the cap. You can see a bit of the netting peeking through the stitches here, but it won’t matter in the long run.

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Flipping my Wig

A few months back, I stumbled on a blog entry at “Rocking the Frock”, showing how a circus clown wig was made. Take a look – she did a wonderful job of it!

This inspired me to try making a crocheted wig of my own, since I love to crochet and am always looking for new projects. And of course, my brain being odd, I decided to attempt to incorporate the wig into full costume for Up in the Aether in May. Now, I haven’t been 20-something for a long time and really can’t do cutsey skimpy costumes (I sure would if I still had my long-ago waistline), so I started thinking about costumes for more mature women.  Since the wig will look constructed rather than natural, why not make all of me look constructed? And really, what proper Steampunk home wouldn’t benefit from the presence of a Clockwork Housekeeper?  I’m not talk French Maid here. Housekeeper. Roundy, dressed in a simple gown, metal legs peering out below the hem, metal hands to hold a feather duster, shiny metal face.  The notion appeals to me.

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The Busiest Two Weeks Of The Year

Today may have been my peak day in the seasonal cycle of Spring, which masqueraded as Summer today, being in the 90’s. As usual, the yard and gardens have turned into a jungle. Michigan likes to dump endless rainstorms, laced between heat waves in the Spring. This is very annoying to gardeners, but the plants sure seem to like it. A little too much if you ask me.

This weekend has been a good one for taming the growing beasts. And of course, since I am lucky enough to have not just a First life, but a Second life too, there’s a huge convergence of activity all across both Terra, and the Grid.

Next weekend brings World Steam Expo. We’ve enjoyed both previous years of this con and are *definitely* looking forward to round three! I am not by nature a con-person. I am not blase about these things, I don’t go to heaps of them, I don’t know con protocol… I’m the happy clueless steampunk who just loves going down to Dearborn and soaking up the fun with people that feel ‘right’ to me. The first year, I threw together random bits of clothing and just bumbled along. It didn’t matter, I wasn’t looking for a best-dressed honor. I got to meet some Second Lifers and I had a great time. Last year my costuming skills grew a bit, I wore an actual Serious Corset (fake alligator skin, brutal boning, loved it anyway), a pith helmet, crafted a skirt and a butterfly net and SteamEarthMomma’d my way through the con.

This year I’m aiming for a ‘casual steamish pirate’ look. I handmade my corset (yep, the entire thing, it’s doubled thick yarn single crocheted to be very firm, thick cord X-lacings up the sides and spine, seven sweet little metal cloak-clasps attempting to tame my belly), acquired shiny accessories, such as my brass compass which I cannot stop playing with and a silly little pirate gun – and of course a battered old tricornered hat. My logic was that I love corsets, but driving 90 miles in one is not very fun, nor is trying to sit for long spells with boning jamming my thighs. So we will see how this goes. Life is an experiment!

Anyway… with Expo coming, and lots of crafting and plans for that – and the Annual Yard Explosion – and a need to be out of town on the coming Tuesday – there’s a lot to do. It’s been one heck of a weekend and it’s nowhere near done yet. I’m just taking a little breather (insert mandatory dwarf joke here) with a cool drink and thought I’d babble a bit.

I noted SEVEN, yes SEVEN events in Second Life I would have loved to attend today. The Home and Garden Expo is underway and you REALLY need to go enjoy that – especially Prim Perfect’s sim, which I’ve been lucky enough to help a bit with from behind the scenes. Go see! It’s lovely, and based on a wonderful conceptual binding theme. I am very proud of everyone involved! We’re hosting a full series of “Meet the Designers” talks all week long. Some of your favorite designers will be there and you know you want a chance to meet them and hear them speak their minds. Follow the Prim Perfect Blog for all the details through this amazing week of the Home and Garden Expo.

Well, there’s a bit of sunlight left and I shouldn’t waste it. But here’s a little view into what sort of gifts Spring gives me, and why I am happy to sweat and ache and burn the calories every spring, out here in some very beautiful countryside – and also why I’m happy the internet reaches out into little cowtowns like mine.

Fresh rocket lettuce to compliment tonight’s crab and pasta salad
A HUGE bundle of fresh spearmint stalks, tied and hanging from my herb-hooks in the kitchen to dry. Smells amazing.
A bundle of catnip stalks up on the hooks. Have I mentioned I grow my own teas?
Chamomile flowers in bloom, which I will go pick as soon as I post this.

Kitchen Therapy:
Crab, Pasta and Veggie salad
Brownie Bites (mini muffin pan FTW)
Fresh strawberries sliced and sweetened to go over brownies
From-scratch lemon-limeaide (did I mention it’s 90 degrees out?)
Lemon Poppyseed muffins
Huge breakfast yesterday of cheesy eggs, sausage, and from-scratch hashbrowns

Second Life:
I have snuck around the Expo under cover of darkness. And I love love love it.
Am very gratified by the success of Armada’s Treasure Hunt. Tis just a handful of stops, maybe a dozen? – you can do that! And you’ll enjoy getting to know our city built on the bones of boats. The hunt runs till the end of the month.
I plan to watch the lanterns for peace be released one night this coming week. You should too. Read this amazing, touching explaination by Alchemy Immortalis to see what it’s all about.

Crafty Therapy:
Finished the pirate corset since my cloak-clasps arrived in the mail yesterday
Experimental crocheted boot-cuffs. May be a Fail. Maybe not. Will see.

And off I go again…. dinner will be late, as  sunlight is precious and must not be squandered.  I’m going to seem very scarce through next weekend, but be assured I’m not really very far away.  And with any luck I smell like mint. 🙂   Or gunpowder, arrrgh.



Treasure Hunt

I work at a Very Old University (established 1855). Over the decades, various storage rooms, closets, and little-used offices have accumulated a lot of paper, steelcase furniture pieces, broken chairs, cartons of floppy disks, and lots and lots of mystery items.  All the stuff that gets shoved aside in favor of The New.

Recently we decided to have some fun with the little ‘lounge’ area leading into the ladies room in my office suite. I knew I’d seen some interesting pieces lurking in the dark corners of my building, and so I suggested we go on a treasure hunt to see what could come upstairs and find new purpose.

I already knew the first treasure I wanted to nab – I’d lusted over this piece for years, but never had a place to bring it back to light. Now I do! This cabinet has set the theme for our decorating project – we’re going (yay) Victorian! Pardon the tilt of the shot, I literally was scrunched up against a counter and couldn’t get a decent angle. It’s about six feet tall.

And that set our theme. Next!  I stumbled over a newer piece, but well built, and dark wood. This is SOLID wood and with some lace atop and some sort of decoration, will work on a side wall.

These two little chairs are oddities – and we have had them in the ladies room for at LEAST 25 years.  But they’re cute-kitchy.  I’m thinking to pull some ornate pillowcases over the backs, tie them off at the base with thick plush ribbon, and call it a day.  I don’t want to get rid of them as I am sentimental about them.  The countertop and mirror will get some sort of treatment… the old linoleum is blech.  Not sure what I’ll do yet.

I’m saving the best for last. Not sure how these will be used, but damn!  The tallest piece is about a foot tall. They need polished. But they are beautiful, heavy silver pieces. Maybe something on the little countertop, with flowers in them?  I DO know their history.  One of our deans, back in the 1960’s, used to like his afternoon tea. His secretary would prepare it, and serve it to him and guests on an ornate tray.  The tray seems to be undiscovered so far, but we did find the rest of the set!

(And the silver is sitting on my beloved 1940’s era credenza in my cubicle. Mine! You can’t have it!)

With all these bits collected, I think we have some good ideas for gathering in artwork for the walls, and bits of frippery to complete the look.  We were given a $50 budget to buy anything we wanted.   I’m hesitant on adding a rug, knowing how the custodial staff treats the floors. But maybe.  I know a really good second hand store for rugs…

Shall be nice to have a bit of genteel Victorian times in our otherwise drab 1948 institutional building.