Saturday, December 25, 2010

Birthstones for January

Of course I need to write about this. Garnet is my absolute favorite stone, much preferred over my own peridot. I've got a well-known preference for all things garnet or burgundy colored. My ribbon drawer gives me away, I think:

The ribbon drawer

The word garnet has two possible sources, either from the old English word "gernet," meaning dark red, or the Latin "granatus," or seed, in reference to a pomegranate seed. Mineralogically, they are from the silicate family. The most common are a dark burgundy red in color, but there are varieties that are more orange in hue, and green garnet, or tsavorite, is growing in popularity.

Green Garnet (Tsavorite) Neo Victorian OOAK

Many powers are attributed to the garnet. In medieval times, garnets were worn or carried for protection while traveling, and were also believed to be charms against poison, wounds and bad dreams, and to promote good health.

Faceted Garnet and Silver Heishe Dangle Earrings

More recently, garnets are thought to be stones of purity and truth as well as symbols of love and compassion.

Garnet Briolette Multi Strand Necklace

In men, it's said to help keep the reproductive system healthy. For women, it promotes hormonal balance and is said to reduce bloating and swelling.

Red Garnet and Pewter Celtic Knot Necklace on Sterling Silver

It was believed that garnets could help alleviate skin conditions, cure heart palpitations, and cure lung diseases and diseases of the blood.

Key to a Hidden Door Steampunk Necklace with Garnets and Sterling

Garnets can be exchanged between parting friends as a symbol of affection and to ensure that they meet again.

Red Garnet and Madagascar Ruby Victorian Choker

And given as a gift, garnet symbolizes everlasting love and devotion.

Garnets and Pearls for My Lady

Here's some more lovely garnet pieces for your January birthday friends and loves.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New parasols listed!

Okay, so they're not really new, as I've posted a picture of most of them here awhile back, when I was prepping for Steamcon, but I've finally gotten good sets of pictures for them all and gotten them listed in dbvictoria on Artfire.

Ivory Embroidered Cotton OOAK Steampunk Lolita Parasol w/Vintage Lace

Butterscotch Plaid Steampunk Lolita Parasol OOAK

Red on Red OOAK Steampunk Gothic Lolita Parasol with Lace Trim

Batik Brown Grey and Ivory Steampunk Lolita Parasol OOAK

I also wrote my first poem in over a year! Maybe my mojo is coming back!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Regency gown, and a Christmas tree

This weekend, I departed greatly from my favorite genres and made myself my first ever Regency gown. The husband just acquired a gentleman's suit from this era, so I needed something to match his splendor. Regency is one of my favorite eras for men's clothing, and one of my least favorite for women's. Men get gorgeous cutaway jackets and tight pants and women get empire waistlines. Trying on this gown, my thought was that my top portion looked like an overstuffed sausage, and the bottom half looked like I was trying to disguise the fact that I was ~6 months pregnant. (I'm not, by the way, but that's what any Empire waistline dress ends up looking like on a body, no matter that body's shape.)

They're very simple dresses to assemble. The only part that was a chore was tacking down the Venice lace I used:

Tacking down the trim

You need to sew down both edges, and that meant somewhere between an hour and an hour and half of sew one inch, turn the needle, sew another inch, turn the needle, ... oh just shoot me now!

I haven't finished the fastener on the robe yet, but here's the 99.5% completed dress:

Burgundy and black regency gown

After I got the gown finished, we put up our Christmas tree. My color preferences have prevailed over the years, and there is an abundance of burgundy and silver on our tree:

Our Tree

There's a few surprises hidden away though.

Here's Drexel, an ornament the then boyfriend/now husband and I acquired for our very first Christmas together, 15 years ago:

Drexel by *dbvictoria on deviantART

And also hidden away is a favorite toon:

michigan j

Keeping the lights going by the power of the Dark Side of the Force, Emperor Palpatine hovers in the tree:

Emperor Palpatine's Christmas by *dbvictoria on deviantART

All three of them are wishing you a happy holiday season, as am I!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Making Holsters

One of the biggest complaints you'll hear about some of the accessories made in the Steampunk genre is having to carry around these BFGs we've all made all day long at events. I wanted to be able to carry and show off the modded Nerf N-strikes my husband spent so much time on, but I needed my hands free for vending. So, holsters were made.

The materials:

Khaki canvas twill and corduroy

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

And for shaping, flexible cutting boards purchased at IKEA:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

The black sheet, which I used for the backboard was just under 1/2cm in thickness, and the floral one, which backed the corduroy, was about 1-2mm.

We used cardboard for a pattern, of a similar give to the thinner cutting board:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

A muslin mockup was made to check the fit:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

A few tweaks were made, but on the whole the cardboard pattern was good, so on to the real materials:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

We both noticed a similarity in the shape of this piece to a certain state in the union:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

The corduroy was not an especially happy material to work with. The shredding and raveling was out of control. Every edge ended up being serged. I got the first one mostly assembled, then got punchy and went to bed and ended up not getting back to them until the Friday evening of Steamcon, so at this point the picture-taking ceased in my frantic last-minute efforts to get them done. I know none of you have ever been in this kind of situation ever before!

Loops were added to string over a belt, and straps added for the legs. The outer edges were finished with bias tape, as the joins got a bit messy. Here's the finished holsters:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

Straps of the corduroy with heavy-duty hook and eyes in an antiqued finish were used to keep the guns from flopping about:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

The belt loops:

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

Holster for the Nerf N-strike Steampunk mod

I never really got a good shot of the whole outfit by myself, but this one with the family gives a fairly decent picture of how they wore:

the Family