Would you wear and use a vintage pocket watch?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring SALE - 10% off everything in DreamSteam's ArtFire shop, plus an extra 5% off for my readers

Though spring came to my area many weeks ago, I saw the first hummingbird of the year at my feeders this morning!  As per my yearly tradition, this means that in celebration of the little birds' arrival, everything in my ArtFire studio is now 10% off.  Many items were already further discounted. I hope to see more birds here soon, and also hope some of my jewelry finds a home!

To thank you for reading my blog, if you use the code EXTRA5 when checking out, you will receive an extra 5% off of your order, for a total of 15% off.   Thank you!

Visit DreamSteam's Studio
SAVE 5% Off Select Studio Items
Use Coupon Code:
during checkout.

Time After Time -- Steampunk-Inspired Clocks

Clock by rasslinmiss Erin Keck

Some fairly nifty clocks with a steampunk influence or origin.

Mesmerometer by Ken Patton

Steampunk ClockOS

Steampunk Clock by Dmitriy Khristenko

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Antiqued Silver Steampunk Watch Gear Ring

Gear Ring by DreamSteam, for sale on ArtFire

Finally, I completed a resin ring and posted it for sale in my studio!

I  found some really nice Victorian-esque and even some papers with a more dieselpunk aura to work with for my resin projects; this ring features one pattern/color that I like.  It has greens and browns (I added the rusty browns via a distressing method I use) swirled in chaotic harmony. The band is a minimum of a size 8, and can be adjusted to larger sizes.  I may be able to adjust the size downward, but it would take some careful cutting and bending, which I am willing to do upon request once the item is purchased.

The other ring that I made did not turn out to my satisfaction, so I will try again.  It had two beautiful red Lory feathers and a superb brass watch gear with a watch ruby in the center. 
gear and feather ring by DreamSteam, later dismantled
  Before anyone cries foul (fowl?), the feathers were given to me upon request by a friend who has a red Lory in the house; he collected the feathers from the bottom of the cage, as the bird molts tiny feathers prolifically.  Here is a photo of a red Lory, to give you an idea of how gorgeous the plumage is.

red Lory bird

 My other project worked splendidly.  Two tiny corked glass bottles with fanned feathers and resin inside (they have some other unique features as well, but I shall keep those details secret for now).  Once I get the wire wrapped around the bottle necks so that they can be hung as pendants on a necklace or two, those will be posted for sale, as well.  Let's hope for success!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Steampunk Airship Name Generator

Yar! Need a name with which to christen your mostly-airworthy vessel before her maiden voyage? 

Roguey's Site Ship Namer will generate one for you at random, so as to not offend one's own... acquaintances... who might want you to name it after them.

Fancy a more pirate name for the ship?  Try:  The Seventh Sanctum Pirate Ship Name Generator, which will provide up to 25 names at once.  Names there are guaranteed to be raunchy, confusing, and/or gritty! Yo ho! (No guarantees actually made, it's just a figure of speech.)  Here are some it created for me:

Ocean's Raider
The Disgraceful Killer
The Anger of the Knave
The Black Secret of Tortuga
The Death of the Ocean
The Deceit of Tortuga
The Deceit of the Ocean
The Evil Rage
The Foul Thunder
The Shameful Killer of the East

 Fair winds and smooth sailing to ye, no matter what yer ship be named!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Steampunk Tales from Anachrocon, Part II -- Remnant, a steampunk film by Penny Dreadful Productions

Joe Hernandez as Remnant trooper at Anachrocon 2012
      I had the fortune of meeting the bechainsawed gentleman in the above picture at Anachrocon 2012. (Yes, I made up a word, bechainsawed.)  At that time, I was so overwhelmed with all of the wonders of the day that I did not even ask his name (I apologize profusely, sir!), but under all the excellent armor is Joe Hernandez, actor and workshop manager for Penny Dreadful Productions of Duluth, GA, USA.  Here he strikes an in-character pose from his part in the studio's most recent offering, Remnant.  (He held this maniacal grin and this pose patiently for a very long time as I tried to get both him and his weapon in-frame.  Thanks, Joe!)
     Remnant is the tale of life and death after the collapse of civilization as the world once knew it.  Various groups try to enforce their own visions of how things should be, and many suffer the consequences of these power struggles even as they try to rebuild their lives. "Some want control. Some want freedom. It's time to choose a side."

    If you wish to read the story, you might begin with Drone: A Prelude Part 1.  I found the writing detailed and vivid; it made me want to go and fight, but I would first have to choose a side....  You may read the other short stories by clicking on the posters at the bottom of the main Remnant page.  If you would like a complete explanation of the Remnant story and everything in it, Amy Houser, illustrator of the propoganda posters for the film, has written just that, posted on overburyink.com; she tells the "why" of Remnant, as well as the plans for its' future.

                                  What is Remnant?
"The future is fire and ashes, corruption and decay. The Great War ended in smoke and ruin, and the world as we knew it can be glimpsed under the blackened piles of rubble and in the colossal hulks of buildings long burnt and razed. The fighting continues, though: organized Rebels and rogue pirates in patchwork airships form savage raiding parties with the sole aim of tearing down any progress made to reclaim order and prosperity. The Rebels prefer chaos, but the world needs stability. People need a future that is clean and bright. They need answers. Remnant is that answer."

Part 1 --  Remnant: A Call to Arms
"Scouts located a settlement of free people thirty hectomarks outside Remnant City. A Warden has been dispatched to encourage the groups allegiance. Dreadnoughts have the building surrounded.
“A Call to Arms,” is the first of five Remnant short films created as a collaborative effort between Penny Dreadful Productions, Brothers Young Productions, and an extensive network of amazing creative talent. Stay tuned, the Battle is coming."

     Remnant originated as a extraordinary story to display the costuming and making skills of the artists; PDP accepts orders for costumes from the film (six character types and 23 fashions) both at cons and on their web site.  They will also provide zombies for your events and special occasions.  One could order some of both and have some post-apocalyptic fun!  In the meantime, enjoy the story.  Future installments of the story should appear on PDP's YouTube page and/or linked on their Facebook page.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The World's First Steampunk Bedtime Story ... Steamduck, in "Her Majesty's Explorer"


This adorable little guy is a part of a brand new bedtime story.  A steampunk one!

A synopsis from Amazon.com:
 "Her Majesty's Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story.
St.John Murphy Alexander walks the world exploring for the Queen. He sees the most extraordinary landscapes, creatures and weather. He gets very, VERY dirty. Exhausted, he returns to H.Q. and gets ready for a well deserved rest and some sweet dreams. This gentle book, written by Steampunk novelist Emilie P. Bush and brilliantly illustrated by William Kevin Petty, is the perfect wind-down for your little adventurer. "

The book is in the top 100 of the children's books category on Amazon right now.  I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Petty, the illustrator, at Anachrocon 2012, and got to peruse a copy of the book before it was released to the public.  He even gave me an adorable little Steamduck sticker, which unfortunately got lost as the day wore on. (I was very sad that I dropped it somewhere, as that was my favorite item from the whole event.  *sigh*)

A video with many of the book's illustrations:

An Interview with author Emilie P. Bush and Illustrator William Kevin Petty as they discuss their new children's book Her Majesty's Explorer: A Steampunk bedtime story:

The home of Coal City Steam - author Emilie Bush's blog.

Steamduck's Baby Photo
And here is a teaser for the book, read by Captain Robert of Abney Park.

Book available on Amazon.com, in both print ($11.95) and Kindle ($3.00) formats.

If you would like to follow the book's progress, you may wish to view the Steamduck Facebook page.

"About the Author: Journalist and writer Emilie P. Bush has written two novels. Her first, Chenda and the Airship Brofman, was a "ripping good yarn!" and the tale was a 2010 Semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Gospel According to Verdu picks up the epic tale where Chenda left off - high in the skies. Emilie P. Bush lives, laughs and writes with her family in Atlanta.

About the Illustrator: William Kevin Petty is the founder of Allied Aethernautics, LTD., a Steampunk illustration company and specializes in exceptionally detailed pencil sketches and acrylic paintings. His work has appeared in Steampunk Magazine and across the web. Capt. Petty, when he is not deployed with the U.S. Army, lives and draws in central Louisiana." -- From  The Artifice Club 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Got Ink? Steampunk Tattoo Designs, Part 2

Steam Swallow by Tattoos and Doodles

      Since the single post regarding steampunk tattooos is the single most viewed post of all time on my entire web site, I decided to bring you more ideas and share some photos of steampunk/biomechanical tattoos that I really like.
     The designs labeled with the artist "Tattoos and Doodles" may be used under the Creative Commons license, that is, it may be shared and modified as long as you correctly attribute credit to the author/artist, and as long as you share your own derived work under the same terms.
     So yes, you can have those four designs tattooed on your body, legally.  Enjoy.

Steamoboros dragon tattoo design from Tattoos and Doodles

Another gear tattoo from Tattooos and Doodles

Gear tattoo from Tattoos and Doodles

Now for some tattoos that simply came from the web. As usual, the origins of the photos are often not given. (If you know who did the designs/inking in an unlabeled photo, please let me know by leaving a comment.)

Shoulder tattoo by Stefano Alcantara

by Russ Abbott of Ink and Dagger Studio, Decatur GA USA

by Russ Abbott

by Russ Abbott

by Russ Abbott

Possibilities... from tat-designs.com

I hope that these have offered some inspiration. Want more ideas?  Tat-designs.com has a dozen more steampunk tat design ideas.

 If I can find the design I want and figure out where to have it done (where on me and what establishment/artist can do it properly), I will probably end up with another tattoo; this time it will be steampunk.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

DreamSteam's ArtFire Shop Now Accepts Amazon Payments

     We interrupt this broadcast for quick break for an ordinary but possibly useful announcement.   In order to add more payment options for potential customers, I now accept AmazonPayments as well as PayPal for items in my ArtFire studio.  Don't forget that you may add anything under the sun (at least anything found for sale on the internet) to your Amazon Wish List so that you or others may buy it for you at a later time. On Etsy, I only accept PayPal, but am investigating other electronic options for both sites.  (But first, I would have to stop blogging/reading/slacking off as much and go make more jewelry. *sigh*)  Now back to our originally scheduled steampunk.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Steampunk: What People Think -- by Steampunk Boba Fett

What people think I do, by Steampunk Boba Fett.
This was too perfect to not pass along.  Shared from the pages of steampunk Boba Fett's site.  (I would never have thought that's what you do, bounty hunter Fett.  Really.  At least not out loud....  *grin*)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How to Make Steampunk Wild West Guns for Under $20 -- Construction of My Rust and Copper Revolvers

The (almost) finished product - steampunk revolver by DreamSteam
     If my readers will indulge me for one more post about steampunk weapons, I will share the saga of how I modified some inexpensive toy guns into some fairly awesome steampunk revolvers. (Spoiler alert: if you would rather not know how utterly plastic-y these looked before, then please do not read further.   They were really, really... orange.)

For those who are still reading, here we go!

It all began with a set of two toy cap guns from the store.  Cost: $10.  (Not shown: The set came with a flimsy vinyl gun belt/holsters, which will most likely be disposed of, since no child would want holsters without guns in them!)

Very raw materials
The base toy cap guns were not much to look at, but I saw potential in them. I also knew I needed to make something to go in my holsters, and fast!  Before going toy shopping, I had already gone through my collection of bits and doodads, so A Plan had already begun to form in my devious mind....

The Plan - Fitting the parts
 Said doodads in action!  Heating the metal bits with a torch and then pressing them into the gun enabled me to melt the plastic, creating divots which would both mark where the parts would go and also ensured a secure final fit for the add-ons.  I removed the removable parts, taped over the brass that I did not want to receive paint and proceeded to make a grand mess with a can of copper spray paint made for plastics (no primer needed... hmmm, we shall see about that). Copper paint: $8.

(I could not resist photographing one silhouette left on the cardboard after I sprayed the first layer of paint onto the revolvers.)

Base painting and low-lights done.
     After what seemed like dozens of light coats of paint and many hours spread over a few days of letting said paint dry in front of a heater set on low (it was very humid that week, and I was trying to be careful and obtain the "hammered finish" that the paint manufacturer said was possible), I enhanced the raised designs with black paint in the crevasses and let everything dry overnight. Again.

Before gold highlights
     This photo shows one gun before I added gold highlights to the raised design to both.  Since I was fast running out of time, I simply attached the parts I had prepared with E6000 and added a copper coil to the top of the barrel, then used an "aging" technique on the copper to get some nice green patina/crud for a proper steampunk effect.
   But what little parts did I use?  The small parts list (total from both guns): 12 rusty rifle cartridge casings and four tiny shogun shell casings (picked up off the ground at the outdoor gun range), two coils of copper wire, one brass clock gear, two brass bullet casings, 12 amber glass beads (located in the tips of the rusty casings on the sides of the chambers, in case they were too hard to see), two clock parts, two brass pendant bases, two misc silver watch parts (for the rear sights). I had all of these parts "in stock", so they were essentially free.

Ta da!
     And again, here we have the (mostly) finished product.  I had intended to fill the brass plates on the grips with something, like tiny gears and/or some of the pretty Victorianesque paper I had purchased for the purpose.  I also wanted to add contrasting color to the grips, as the guns are a little coppery. My rather hurried attempts at creating a Tesla tribute by wrapping various sections of the guns in copper wire did not turn out to my liking, so I removed the wire and settled for what I had. (The best laid plans.... Sorry, Tesla!)
     So far, the total cost to me for both guns is $19, including a small tube of the glue that I bought for $1, as the larger tubes that I had had dried out.

      I rather think that this was a good effort for my first pair of steampunk-inspired wild west weapons.  I may continue to work on these and try some of my unrealized ideas for them, and if I do, I shall at the very least add another photo here. I shall not make promises, but I fancy trying to make a steampunk gun from scratch.  Already have some of the materials....
     I hope that you have enjoyed reading about how I made my steampunk revolvers, and may it inspire you to give it a try!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Beautiful Bronze Octopus Table on DeviantArt

Bronze Octopus Table by Isaac Krauss and Alex Friend
This is one of my favorites on DeviantArt.com.

One of the artists, Alex Friend, says of the piece:

 "This is the finished bronze octopus, modeled off the blue ring octopus, my friend (Isaac Krauss) and I worked on. He came up with the concept and sculpted the body of the octopus and I came in to help with the wax work and welding. The glass tabletop sits level on top of the legs. Welding the legs to hold the glass tabletop was a very rewarding and challenging process. I've certainly improved my TIG welding skills a lot because of my work on this octopus. An interesting thing about this sculpture is that the eyes are hand blown glass. are curious the table is still for sale."

View more amazing artwork on Alex Friend's DeviantArt page:


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