Photo Friday: Updates, Surprises and Fortuitous Finds.

A few weeks ago I had a fall and damaged my spectacles. Since then, my anxiety levels had been escalating; just contemplating returning to an optometrist was bringing on palpitations. (It had been three years since I had  new specs and my vision had changed - due to avoidance. ) But I defied the Black Dog and collected my new pair yesterday. (Thank you to my Dearheart for providing emotional support.) Huzzah. I can read comfortabley (and breathe) again.

  

On a happier note: This was delivered this week. We'd found a discrepancy in a pack of pretzels (nothing horrendous, just some cooked dough that had bypassed the production line).  Thank you Smiths for a lovely surprise.

This week's opshop treasures include some Nerf guns and a 'fart blaster' - all destined for steampunking up for future costume projects - and a book on Early Settlers' Household Lore, with hints and recipes from 19th century Australian sources (perfect to add to my research pile for an upcoming writing project.)

I have a new photo app now I have my phone back in one piece - so I've been tinkering.

And lastly, I've been making some new signs for future events.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Photo (and Video) Friday: Celebrating 30 Years of (official) Steampunk

Thought I'd share some photos and videos from the Celebrating 30 Years of (official) Steampunk event from last week.  We discussed the definition of steampunk, chatted about costumes, events and music..

 

We talked recycling and upcycling and opshopping...

I showed off another sonic screwdriver...

and we did some did some surveys:

Had some live videos...

I did a talk On Steampunk - what I love, costuming, writing and history... and what if?

[embed]https://youtu.be/DW6S2OSoe6s[/embed]

and Lynne's did a talk on Australian Steampunk Writers (and cosplay and writing).

[embed]https://youtu.be/329B0kKzpSo[/embed]

I'll be posting two more videos from the day on my youTube channel. Thanks to everyone who participated. Thanks for sharing your stories and photos.

Here's a list of the steampunk forum/webpages compiled on the day:

  1. Steampunk Dominion (refugees from Steampunk Empire) http://thesteampunkdominion.ning.comhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/1276453745780039
  2. Steampunk Writers and Artists Guild.(SWG) http://steampunkwriters.ning.com/
  3. Steampunk Writer’s Library https://www.facebook.com/groups/SteampunkWritersLibrary/
  4. Steampunk South Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/386014630031/
  5. Reddit Steampunk https://www.reddit.com/r/steampunk/
  6. Brass Goggles http://brassgoggles.co.uk/
  7. Steampunk Sunday Queensland Australia https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkSunday/
  8. Steampunk Tendencies https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkTendencies
  9. Queensland – steampunk events Steampunk Affaires https://www.facebook.com/groups/1673295336234933/
  10. The Talk of Punk Fiction: https://www.writing.com/.../2117337-The-Talk-of-Punk-Fiction
  11. Rail Baron https://therailbaron.wordpress.com/
  12. Ged Maybury: https://steamedup.wordpress.com/
  13. Steampunk Scholar: http://steampunkscholar.blogspot.com.au/
  14. Travelers steampunk blog http://daily-steampunk.com/steampunk-blog/
  15. Airship Ambassador http://www.airshipambassador.com/
  16. Beyond Victoriana https://beyondvictoriana.com/
  17. Steampunk India: http://www.steampunkindia.com/
  18. French Steampunk https://www.facebook.com/frenchsteampunk
  19. German Steampunk site: http://clockworker.de/cw/page/2/
  20. Steampunk Canada: http://www.steampunkcanada.ca/
  21. Steampunk Worlds Fair http://steampunkworldsfair.com/blogs/

If you have a favourite steampunk forum or webpage, please let us know in the comments.

Firing the Imagination: Steampunk Hands Around the World #3

Certain groups seem to have a higher percentage of creative types. And steampunk is no exception. It's a creative culture. It nurtures the imagination - through a good book, a stunning costume or breathtaking images. But this is no cookie-cutter culture. Steampunk fosters individuality. Give a group of steampunks a box of similar items, and they will create their own, unique masterpiece; no two things alike. Writers, artists, costumers. We have the lot. And you don't have to spend a fortune. I found a second hand 'Nickelodeon Slime Blaster' (water gun). It resembled the old Mortein fly spray pump-action squirter. My imagination took over and, voila! A Pump-Action Fairy Eliminator. And hence was born my Steampunk Fairy Catcher outfit. It's so much fun wearing this outfit to conventions! Just let loose your imagination; what would you have made?

  

I started doing photography in high school. (What better way to get out of PE than joining the photography club and taking photos for the school magazine? Back then we did it all in a dark room, with enlargers and smelly chemicals). Steampunk has re-kindled my passion for the art form. It's not just portraits. There are some gorgeously intricate gadgets -themselves inspiring - with intriguing shapes. Or the way the light catches on the brass...

   

Then there's my greatest passion: writing. Where would I be without steampunk?

Over the years, I've started writing. Stopped. And started again. I just couldn't find my niche. I'd been a member of the steampunk community for about six years before I tried again. But what to write? They say: write what you know. So, I started writing a fantasy novel; a story that had been mulling around in my brain for over fifteen years. I got sidetracked by Viola. She wanted to tell her story. And her story was steampunk. I've now expanded my steampunk world, with two more planned series. Each is different. The Adventures of Viola Stewart were darker, Victorian mysteries (closer to gaslamp). The Department of Curiosities is a rollicking adventure. Then there's The Wizard of St Giles, set in the shadowy world we rarely see.

I can ferret around in familiar settings (like Victorian England or Colonial Australia), meet interesting historical characters (Tesla, Queen Victoria, Jack the Ripper), throw in a few of my own and see how they interact. Like costuming, I can immerse myself in history and indulge my passion for science and fantasy. I get to play the ultimate 'what if?' I get to cross-pollinate genres, postulate on alternative theories leading, or resulting, from historical events. I get to twist history. Or, if I prefer, I can create my own world, complete with steam-powered engines and cog-driven sentient beings.

Want some first-hand inspiration? Check out these drawings of how 19th century envisioned the year 2000 (in full steam) and what they imagined future space ships would look like: Science meets art in Le Sortie de l'opéra en l'an 2000 and Maison Tournante Aérienne (both from 1800s) can be found on the Library of Congress webpage.

So how has steampunk fired my imagination? Ideas come more readily and I speculate in many directions - adventure, paranormal, fantasy and science fiction - all enhanced through steampunk goggles.

Photos ©2013-2017 Karen J Carlisle All rights reserved.