Photo Friday: Costume Diary: From Oz

It's August, and time for the annual Australian Costumers' Guild Costume Ball.  on the weekend. This year's costume had a convoluted evolution. I wanted to try my hand at making a foam 'metal plated' top for some time now; when I was invited to do a talk on steampunk at the recent Terry Pratchett convention, I decided to feed on that desire and twist it. Hence my steampunk witches hat was made. I love this hat. And so do others, it seems. I received dozens of positive comments and even had offers to purchase it. The Ball weekend was looming and I didn't have an abundance of sewing time (I'm in the middle of a writing marathon). I decided to make use of my new hat - and the idea for a steampunk Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. I had an idea: I'd steampunk up a vacuum cleaner in place of a broom. I scoured opshops - but there's never an item when you really want it. Would Ms West make it to the ball? Finally, only a few weeks before the ball, a friend (thank you Veronica) found a steam cleaner (it was meant to be!) It was pulled apart and gutted, then sanded and spray painted (we just had enough of the gold left. phew). I used rub and buff to add some wear and tear, glued on some bits and piping and added a compass (to face West of course). A 'tesla tube' light was made using a cheap plastic test tube, LED and wires. MINI-COSTUME PICTURE DIARY:

  

    

And how could I go without a flying monkey? I made some mini goggles, a matching metal-plated fezz and steampunk wings.

 

And meet Hamish: With all the accessories finished, I decided on an all black outfit to highlight them. I wore a black top, skirt (made for previous costume) and new under bust corset - and some green and black striped socks to add a hint of green in lieu of green makeup.  Vintage motorcycle gloves doubled as flying gloves. And here is my final outfit: my steampunk Wicked Witch of the West (and found out the day before was the 78th anniversary of the movie - woah! Perfect timing.) Thanks to Steamkittens this photo from the Ball.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved. Portrait ©2017 Steamkittens.

Friday: Sounds and Pictures.

In place of Photo Friday - this week I'm talking music. A few weeks back I was contacted by Townsville indie steampunk band, The Littmus Steampunk Band. They wanted to know if I was interested in listening to their work.  Why not, I said.  Richard said he'd send me a CD to check out. I found their youTube channel. I listened to a couple of songs, liked what I heard and awaited my pressie in the post. Not long after I got a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting one CD i the post. I received three! First thing I noticed was the band had female musicians through its various incarnations. This was lovely to see (though many steampunk bands appear to have female members - woot!) Next, was the cover artwork (well, I am an artist). My favrourite was the clock on Grand Hotel (#2). The third album, Watching You We Are, is striking, with a metallic-makeuped model. Richard sent a note with the CDs and recommended I listen to them in order (and was kind enough to number them); I recommend the same as there is a progressive story threaded through various songs on each album. (very clever). These are the 6th, 7th and 8th of their CDs with a steampunk style. I like music that is a little different - with an interesting voice, unusual key changes or a quirky chorus. Richard (The Red Gentleman)'s voice has a steampunky-folksy-cabaret feel, with an accent sliding from Australian to English, depending on the song. The music is fun and relaxing (and great writing music! I got two scenes completed listening to the CDs). I found myself tapping my toe and singing along on many of the songs. The band's Facebook page describes their music as Steampunk Pop/ Folk. I think I'd describe their style as steampunk folk cabaret music. One of my favourite songs is Say Goodbye to Steampunk. (The answer of course is 'I don't think so.') https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pulBkq4qKkc
Band members are:
Richard (The Red Gentleman - Guitar / Vocals) Keith (Mungo Stoker - Electric Guitar) Jemma (Commander J - Bass) Tony (Harbottle Grimstone) - Congas, Ukelele Sam (Countess Victoria Edison_Ives- Violin)
Record Label: Syrup Records
Where to find The Littmus Steampunk Band: Verdict: If you like The Cog is Dead (one of my favourite steampunk bands), I think you'll like The Littmus Steampunk Band.

Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle/ ©Littmus Steampunk Band.