Archive for ‘steampunk’

December 26, 2010

Thar be ducks


Apologies for my absence! No rest for the wicked, etc. I’m afraid outfit shots will be few and far between for the next few days — Valerie has zipped off overseas and so I am minus one photographer. These shots were taken quite a while ago, actually, sometime before Christmas. We were at uni — yes, during the Christmas break —  as I had some books to pick up and some forms to submit.

Campus is wonderfully quiet during the semester break. And with all the paving, it’s more than an ideal place to test Valerie’s cheap Aldi scooter (at $25, it would be epic even if it fell apart after two metres). Aldi is, for some reason, Valerie’s drug of choice for cheap junk. So far, between the two of us, we’ve accumulated:

  • One scooter;
  • One ultrasonic cleaner;
  • Three boxes of wooden blocks;
  • Four Halloween-themed ice cube trays;
  • A toaster (‘????’ indeed);
  • Two iPod docking speaker thingehs;
  • A Wii Fit accessories set;
  • Approximately one kilogram of fairy floss over the space of three weeks, though I’ve most definitely eaten it all. Very sad.


I think there’s more; I just can’t recall. We’ve also tried all the chocolates and most of the ice creams. The stuff is good. Better than good. Chocolates made in Germany seriously pwn any and all supermarket brands.

The Aldi people recognise us, as we’re there far too often and we buy strange things. When we’re not buying strange things, we’re buying ‘snack food only’ or ‘just breakfast’ (like six boxes of ice cream; or one avocado, a small packet of bacon and a packet of English muffins)  standing patiently in line as elderly person after elderly person unloads the groceries for the week.

We don’t just stick to our local Aldis, either. I think we’ve gone to every single Aldi within half an hour — which is an awfully long way to go when there are two within ten minutes of my place, really. When one pops up near uni, it’ll probably become our newest haunt.

Save us all.

Until then, we’ll just stay around campus, wheeling scooters around and chasing ducks. (DUCKS, BOOYEAH.)


At my uni, if you’re interested in the ducks you’re usually (a) a first-year student; (b) an international student; (c) new for another reason.

You may also be (d) drunk, but I’m never around when parties and things are on, so I’m not too sure how true the last one is.

I still like them. Not because they’re new and fascinating but because they’re so used to people that they don’t fly off when you come close. They don’t like people, though, so all they do is waddle away quite discreetly. Such polite birds.

They probably didn’t like the jangling sound my belt made, either. It’s a plain brown  leather belt I found at an op shop, with holes trimmed in gold hardware, like tiny thin washers (you know, the things… in… machines). I threaded a length of brass chain through one of them, and attached an antique brass compass and a large reproduction skeleton key, from an Oroton keyring.

My earrings are little typewriter keys, purchased from KeysAndMemories on Etsy. One says ‘backspace’ and the other is the ‘?/’ punctuation key. I don’t wear them half as often as I should, as they’re a bit bigger than I’d like — but, alas, miniature typewriters don’t exist, so! They just sit around looking very pretty, which satisfying enough for me.

My headband is made of little watchfaces that I glued onto a Diva band (they’re always falling off, too ><). And I’ve just realised I forgot to include a shot of my necklace. Here it is, anyway:

It’s from BirdzNbeez, also on Etsy, and has non-working watchparts in the centre. I’ve posted close-ups of all of these accessories here.

The dress is from Fleur Wood and my shoes are from… I can’t recall. The name has faded, too. They feel like Siren shoes but I’m not certain. I used to have little gold watchgears on the buckle, but they’ve slipped off.

And my little bag is from TamiLyn on Etsy, who makes beautiful pieces made from scraps of vintage tablecloths and old buttons. Definitely worth a look ^^.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

December 11, 2010

Faily scrawlin’

I’ve been pining after a flexible fountain pen nib for a while because it allows for more character in one’s handwriting. Basically, it means that I’d be able to do thin strokes and thick strokes at will, which would mean I’d have awesome looking handwriting. That’s the theory, anyway.

I was considering a vintage pen brand called Esterbrook, which has wonderfully flexy nibs but — and here’s where I start to wrestle with myself — I don’t actually like how the pens look. (Click the link above to see pictures.) Some people like them. I can see why; it’s just not my sense of aesthetic.

A couple of weeks ago, it was a moot dilemma because I was (and am) terribly broke and a cheapie Esterbrook was out of my price range.

But then Valerie (kind, wonderful, albeit rather bratty Valerie), bought me an Esterbrook SJ in cherry red, with a 1555 firm medium nib and a 9048 flexible fine nib:

I missed out on the elusive 9128 extra fine, extra flexible nib but I have heard tell that it is not all that fine nor that flexible. And a 9048 suits me just dandy. It’s my first Esterbrook so I have nothing to compare it with save for my other pens — an exercise which, I suspect, is not so much apples and oranges but more like apples and alien ants from outer space.

I’ve been playing with a pretend-flexible nib while waiting for my Estie to arrive. It’s a cheap dip pen I bought for Valerie aaages ago, and now I’m claiming it till I get sick of it. The nib is fairly springy but not as flexible as an actual-flexible-nib, I think. But I’ve been able to play around, which makes me rather happy. And ink-stained. I cannot play with inks without getting it all over my fingers, which you can see on the photos, lol.

See my scribbles! (And be kind — I’ve never worked with a flex nib before. My lines are all wonky.) These are all done with J Herbin’s 1670 ink on a Rhodia Dot Pad No. 16. Bonus points if you can get the references in the first two. Many bonus points. And virtual cookies.


I did a few others but how many pictures of rather bad ‘calligraphy’ can one handle, really.

November 17, 2010

Dabbling in steampunk

I love steampunk. It’s becoming more mainstream now, which makes it easier to find things but it’s sadly not as satisfying. I’ve absolutely no right to be an elitist steampunker because my DIY accessories are strikingly amateur and I don’t even ‘punk’ up my outfits. It’s really just nostalgic pseudo-Victorian stuff with gears XP.

This is a belt with an antique brass compass and an antique-style skeleton key (actually a keyring from Oroton, lol!) I found the  belt at an op-shop and attached the key and compass with lengths of brass cable chain. The hardware on the belt reminded me of portholes on ships (and, less romantically, of washers — those funny flat rings that you find in hardware stores), which just begged to be realised, so I hunted for the perfect brass compass — I don’t quite recall where I got it, but it was for a nifty $30, which makes me very happy indeed.



BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE GLUE GUN. I can’t believe that stuff actually works. Not as well as actual good glue, of course, but I don’t know very much about craft and this has served me well so far. (Talk to me again when the entire thing shatters, lol!) I believe the headband is a cheapie from Diva — just a plain black double band in a light metal. The watch-faces are from vintage watches. Some of them came from a hairclip I purchased on Etsy, I think.




I didn’t make these, though I may try my hand at them later. These are earrings made from typewriter keys, purchased from Keys And Memories on Etsy. There are some beautiful things there; definitely worth checking out ^^.



This was also purchased from Etsy. It’s part of the Once Upon A Time collection by BirdzNBeez, who does wonderfully delicate pieces with actual watch movements. The collection has changed since I bought the necklace but there are still some lovely pieces. (I’m especially fond of the steampunked robot.)

I think I’ll expand my steampunk collection over the next few months. I imagine a brass pocket-watch would work really well with the androgynous look I posted a few days ago. The thought of ambling around in a suit, some leather oxfords and a pocket-watch swinging from a chain is terribly appealing.