Vintage and Steampunk

World Steam Expo 2011

(Ceejay is lounging about somewhere sipping absinthe, so her typist will take the controls of her blog for a post!)

We had an amazingly good time at World Steam Expo this year, and I even cajoled Ken into costuming up a bit. We got him an extremely nice, well crafted bowler hat, upon which he wore his father’s welding goggles. No cheap imitations for him – these are family heirlooms that his dad wore when working in the auto industry, many decades ago. Looked great.

I went for a Steampunk nature girl look – straw pith helmet with mosquito netting, ribbon/brass/gemstones jewelry, peasant blouse, green alligator skin corset, beige skirt (which was a revival of a retired work skirt, lots of lace added, new brass buttons, etc.), brown stockings and brown cuffed ankle boots. Also slung a loose leather belt on over the corset to hold gloves, con pass and just generally steam up the look. And for the crowning touch, a homemade rustic butterfly net. I think the ‘industrial’ side of Steampunk is a bit overdone, and wanted to explore another facet. Besides… there’s a basis for it! I love this blog, it explains a lot: A Steampunk Container Garden – The Victorians Practically Invented Potted Plants.

Pics from the con WILL be forthcoming, as life allows. Ken’s careening through massive amounts of tasks nonstop every day, but when the pics are flickred, I will post a link! In the meantime, if you are curious, there’s a lot of everyone else’s pics in the flickr community.

Besides music and goofing off and ogling lots of costumes and filking and gadgets, we attended some really good panels about distressing clothing, working with metal, and possibly the most interesting, the influence of steampunk on modern design. We left the con with a definite high spirit of ‘we can do it!’ DIY confidence and enthusiasm!

…. which was a good mindframe to be in, as we arrived home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, to find no electricity, water, internet, cable… just a lawn full of storm-ripped branches and the realization that our town had been hit pretty damn hard by a massive tornado-ish storm.

And so, we slid from Steam Expo into living life in the Victorian era for quite a few days. Water was hauled from a neighbors pond, kerosene lamps were gratefully lit. We do have a generator and could keep the fridge, freezer and a couple of lights going, but really, we’d gone back in time. I got a lot of reading done! Oh, and did I mention we were in a heatwave, and no A/C?

Anyway, it was an adventure, and I do believe the con had us in a great mindframe to weather it.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.


    • Ceejay

      You’re very welcome! I quite enjoyed the article. It’s a fun surprise to see a comment arriving… I’m in the process of “moving house” from another blog system to here, this week, and just got this article settled into place recently. Thanks for stopping by!

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