Sunday, August 19, 2012

Steampunkin' It

Over the last few years my family and I have gotten heavily into the steampunk genre.  "What is steampunk?"  Ah, glad you asked.  If you do a quick internet search you will be bombarded with pages and links.  If you want a more "scholarly" approach you can just check Wikipedia.  Steampunk is a bit hard to describe and define since it covers so many things and is kind of "fuzzy" around the borders of what it includes.  But in a nutshell....take the Victorian time period, including clothing, social structure, and so on, give them modern-ish gadgets that are powered by steam and clockwork rather than electricity and microchips.  It's as much a philosophy and style as it is a setting.  Type in "steampunk" and here is the first image you get...

But since steampunk involves so many things, you never know what you'll see "steampunked".  Steampunk X-Men anyone?

Or what about Batman?  This one is actually a personal friend of ours.  Really!

My husband and I are no stranger to the genre, having first costumed as steampunk versions of Green Arrow and Black Canary.  Yes, I made those costumes!

The following year we joined the rest of the Justice League (and a few villains).

There is something so magical about steampunk.  It's all about honor, adventure, and romance.  Plus the clothing is just so cool!  It harkens back to a time when men were handsome and dashing and women were sexy and feminine without being scantily dressed.

As I write this Dragon*Con is only 10 days away.  And this year we're unveiling a new steampunk costume set...Thundercats!  The costumes are still being made otherwise I'd post props.  But we're very close to being finished, and I think we'll get a lot of great responses and lots of pictures.  Once the con is over I'll post plenty of photos of what we've done.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Award Goes To....

I sew because I enjoy it.  When I don't have a backlog of commissions it's actually relaxing for me.  Even if I didn't decide to do it as a business I would make costumes for my family.  But sometimes you want more than just enjoyment.  Sometimes you want people to say "oooh, I love your work."  A bit of an ego trip?  No, not really.  Just human nature and the desire to be liked.

I've actually won several awards before.  In 2010 we won "Best In Shire" at the Evening At Bree costume contest at Dragon*Con.  Last year we won "Cutest Family" at the Yule Ball (Harry Potter themed) at Dragon*Con.  Last year I won (along with a co-costumer) Best Costume Design at the Pumphouse Players Awards for our steampunk version of Jeckyll & Hyde.  I'm proud of those awards, but I didn't put as much work into them as I did this past theater season.

The Pumphouse Players is a community theater group in Cartersville, Georgia.  My husband and I have been involved with them for three years and have become regular members of the organization.  This past year we did a version of Romeo & Juliet using a pirates/colonial theme to represent the Capulets (British) and Montagues (pirates).  In a four month period I hand-made over 30 costumes!  There was a lot of sweat, tears, and blood (literally) that went into those costumes.  Here are a few....

I absolutely loved doing this show and these costumes, but it was a lot of work.  Even though other plays for the 2011-2012 season did good work, nothing was on the scale of what I did.  So when the awards ceremony came, I was a little worried that I wouldn't win.

Once again, I worried for nothing.  My hard work paid off, people loved my work (it was voted on by all active members of the group), and I won Best Costume Design.

This coming season I'm costumer for several shows, so we'll see what else I can pull off!