(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

And Warm Woollen Mittens

orignal post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2016/02/14/and-warm-woollen-mittens/

I love costuming. It all started with fantasy and Doctor Who costumes. Over the years I developed a penchant for historical re-enactment. That is joy of steampunk costuming - I get to do the intense historical research but can deviate from slavish accuracy and let my imagination run rampant.
Steampunk costuming has leaked into my everyday life. And some of my everyday life has absorbed my steampunk costuming as well. 
bowler14      kraken 5 on      firefly 2014
Steampunk costuming also taps into another of my passions - recycling and reducing the carbon footprint to help our environment. Even better!
Here is the tale of my costuming favourites and my upcycling successes.
My favourite steampunk costume items.
Accessories are my passion little details make all the difference. I participated in a panel on Steampunk Costumes at Adelaide Armageddon in 2012 - my specialty? Accessories, of course!
And, as fate would have it, am running an accessories workshop for the Australian Costumers' Guild next week.
Discovering or making accessories to complement an outfit is the most enjoyable part of the process for me.
Some of my favourite accessories are for my steampunk fairy catcher - gun, outfit, hat, fairy, net, boots and soon to be completed 'captured fairy in a bottle'.
You can see more of my accessories (and some on my wishlist) on my  Pinterest Page.
Steampunk allows me to recycle - or more accurately, upcycle -  to create something both aesthetically pleasing and useful from old forgotten treasures, worn out pieces or junk. This is not unsurprising as the steampunk creed promotes individuality, creativity and usually turns its back on the throw away society and consumerism.
I've been a greenie since the 1980s, when my parents attached our first solar hot water system to the roof.  (We were one of the first houses in our area to have solar electricty.)
But, you say, isn't the majority of steampunk set in the Industrialised age? Yes, but look at the stories, the characters. Many fight against big corporations, conformity and strive to control their own fates...
By reusing vintage items or upcycling throwaways into something useful (and often beautiful), I strive for my own individuality and help the environment at the same time. (Okay, rant over)
Opshops, garage sales.
A few weekends ago, fellow Steampunk SA members and I went on an Opshop Scavenger Hunt for a bit of a lark. While we scrounged and sifted through potental treasures, we also searched for items on a scavenger list. (Good news, my team found all but two of the items and managed to find some useful items.)
Here's a little video I made on on our opshop adventure: Hunting for Steampunk Accessories.
My Haul: I found a fur stole ($3 and in a gorgeous colour), a disney toy rotunda to respray to top a backpack contraption, future ear horn (ex-silver plated vase),  a steampunk-ish top, a fill-in 'smoking' cap and tea pot-cups sets.
There is always tea.

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