Hubby and I were on our way home from getting fingerprinted (part of the Bulgarian visa application) and I spotted a Half Price Books on the map. I had barely said the word “books” before we were turning into the parking lot and turning a totally boring errand into a nice afternoon out.
I told my companion to go frolic in the Ancient History section while I perused the art books and I found one that I can’t wait to explore! It is called A Practical Step-By-Step Guide to Making Pop-Ups and Novelty Cards: A Masterclass in Paper Engineering, which is a term that I had never heard before. I have been struggling to find a way to describe the work I do with paper, and I think that is a fitting descriptor. I am really looking forward to finding new ways to make things pop out of my shadow boxes, and the book is full of pictures so it is easy to follow.
Next, I hit the Sci-Fi section and pulled up my Steampunk Books page to help me comb the shelves for new books. I am happy to report that I got a hold of my first Phillipa (Pip) Ballantine novel, Phoenix Rising, the first in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series.
Sometimes when I go to a bookstore I search alphabetically through my book list, but after the B’s I put down my phone and drifted through the titles, touching the spines. I ended up with two more books to add to my growing list, Devices and Desires, by K. J. Parker and Whitechapel Gods by S. M. Peters
(Has anyone else noticed that authors don’t seem to have first names anymore?)
Devices and Desires is the first in a speculative fiction series called “The Engineer Trilogy.” From what I gather from other reviewers, it takes place in a dystopic land where deviating from the established blueprints can bring a death sentence. At over 700 pages and with warnings of its density echoing in my ears I think I will set this one aside until after I have done my Steam Tour reading.
Whitechapel Gods caught my attention of course because of Jack the Ripper. I have started to look into which tours and sites I want to do in order to write my Ripper article for Steam Tour so the neighborhood was on my mind. In S. M. Peters’ novel, Whitechapel has become a walled-off, steam-driven hell for its residents, and chronicles the story of the new resistance.
When hubby and I reconvened at the cheap DVDs (The Brothers Grimm for $6 :)) he had a wonderful reference book in hand. Lighter Than Air: An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships. It has wonderful chapter titles like “Clouds in a Bag” and “The Fabulous Silver Fishes” and tons of images of different kinds of flying machines. I am designing a flying machine for my novel right now so this book will be perfect for figuring out how I want it to work.
What’s your newest treasure from the bookstore?
I am really happy with my newest experiment! What do you think?
Once I figured out out how to do a hot air balloon I knew I couldn’t stop there! Here is my first (though definitely not my last) attempt at a 3D dirigible/airship. This shadowbox measures 12” x 12” and the back is finished so it can hang on the wall or stand alone on a shelf. I used a combination of glossy and matte papers, but the shiny parts aren’t nearly as shiny in person as they look on the photos. I have a light source directly above my photo area that can give a false impression with its glare.
Each 12 x 12 shadow box takes approximately 10 hours to complete. They start their lives as canvases and are covered by cardstock and paper, then embellished with mixed media accoutrements. I made the dirigible and the boat using a similar method to my Christmas ornaments. Check out the tutorial here.
Here is another small format shadow box. The centerpiece was originally a dangly bit on a chandelier or the like, but I got it at the Scrap Box in Ann Arbor, MI, because I thought it would make a good hot air balloon. I have one more of these gems that I will put into a square shadow box as well.
What do you think?
I was doing some Pinterest trawling for inspiration for a Steampunk mask and I ran across a tutorial for a beautiful Venetian-style lace mask at http://www.UrbanThreads.com (pictured above). I don’t have the equipment to machine stitch the lace myself, but I started to poke around the site and found a plethora of hand-stitchable design packs for as little as $4. You can check out the whole sets of hand-stitching designs here and machine-stitching designs here.
There are a variety of tutorials for DIY Steampunk on the site, many of which could be adapted for the non-embroiderer. Here are pics of some of my favorites, but you can find all of their tutorials here.
Ever since I ran across this Timeless Type stack at Michael’s I have been hunting around for more steamy scrap-booking supplies. It turns out Die Cuts With a View has several stacks that are now on my must-have craft supply list.
For instance, there is another collection called Tattered Time which is pictured below. If you want to see the whole stack you can visit http://www.dcwv.com/product_view.php?id=2206.