Tag Archives: opshop

Photo Friday: Opshop/Library treasures.

I’ve been in opshop heaven this week. I’ve found two pairs of shoes – a pair of blue ‘suede’ shoes to wear with my TARDIS skirt (and a possible future Nerfpunk costume). I wore them to my writers’ group. They are soooo comfy.

…And  – be still my beating heart – another pair of ‘granny’ boots for everyday steampunk outfit. And they are leather! They just need a bit of buffing and a new pair of laces. Both were only $12 each. Huzzah!


I also scored in the library (cancelled item) sales shelf. Six audio CD’s of Sarah Jane Adventures (for $6 total). Have I mentioned lately how much I love my local library? This week they had a display of banned books (well, not currently banned books – but ones previously banned).

And the library also had a find-the-Houghton Howler (with a prize of chocolate) for the fiftieth anniversary of first recorded sighting (in newspaper) of the mysterious Thylacine, similar to the Tasmanian tiger. There have been recent sightings: in 2016 and even one this week, on the York Peninsula. The Houghton Howler was the inspiration for my short story, ‘Hunted’, which featured in the 2016 Tea Tree Gully Fringe Exhibition, A Trail of Tales.

A Trail of Tales on youTube:

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Photo Friday: Costuming Catch Up/Inktober

I haven’t had time to sew for a long time. This month I’ve tried to catch up on a few projects. Last week I showed you the beginnings of my new steampunked gun. This week I’ve been helping my daughter with her latest costume.

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And catching up on clothing bits. I’ve finished an upcycling project for the weekend, creating new ‘work’ skirt from and old one I would otherwise not wear again. A shorter skirt is now a long skirt, after making a new skirt top and adding the original skirt on the bottom.

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More pics to follow after Halloween Con this weekend.

And a few pics from this week’s #inktober project:

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World Squeeze is now available as a t-shirt from my Redbubble store.


Art and Photos:©2016 Karen J Carlisle. All Rights Reserved.

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.

#SteampunkHands Around the World Link List.