25 Jan 2013

So many Interviews so little time!

As I'm getting some lovely email requests for more information for people writing Steampunk dissertations and projects and things, I thought I'd make it easy for those adorable academics amongst you and pop all the links together in one place.....

So this is just a short list of links to all the blogs/articles that I have been invited to contribute to over the past couple of years... you should find plenty of background information in this lot!

I also have no doubt that with two new books out later this year! (woohoo and more about that later....) I shall have plenty more wisdom to impart, (why is Mr Woppit laughing?)

Let us start with a fun one I did with for the adorable Magda at Mookychick

Next, this is a nice introduction to my world and art with Altered Bits Blog

This is from the Steampunk Community blog!

Then a lovely one with the team who featured me in the Steampunk Bible...and theres even a part two...

If you love my dresses and would like to hear more about how I started out in costume design, this one with Triskelle pictures is for you!

To watch an interview about steampunk fashion I did with The Muse TV click here for part one and here for part two!

Oh and a heres a radio interview with The Geek Show

A crafty one with the Sweater Surgery and a fun one where I rant about gear wheels and Cogs for Steamed Blog.

To learn about my place within the virtual worlds of Caledon and second life you may enjoy The Primograph

Last but not least, of course, another two parter with Steamunk Chronicles here and then here

There are probably more loitering about.... do let me know if I've missed yours or forgotten any and I will add them!


16 Jan 2013

The Shortbread Cog Machine!

You may have occasionally heard me mention Chief Engineer.

He makes marvellous things in his sheds (note I say Sheds plural) and one of his latest constructions is a Pantograph.

This is not actually a machine for creating frilly bloomers,oh no. It is a very clever mechanism designed for creating exact copies. It was first used in 1603 to copy diagrams and plans accurately.

Chief Engineers machine has been designed to use a fine tipped router to carve an exact copy from a three dimonsional original, reducing the carved design by a 2:1 ratio. This means that from one original model he can create any number of exact half sized replicas.

So, he created me a gorgeous gearwheel shortbread cookie biscuit mould!

It is carved in mahogany and is a beautiful object in its own right. while it can also be used to mould fondant icing, or marzipan, I wanted to test it's cogs upon some biscuit dough....

This is my recipe, it is very delicious but because it's quite buttery the gear wheels do spread slightly when baked....

125g butter
40g caster sugar
20g rice flour
170g plain flour
1 dessert spoon powdered cinnamon

preheat the oven to 150degrees C

  • cream the buter and sugar together, mix in the flour and cinnamon to a firm dough. Cut into roughly the right size slices for the gear wheels.
  • leave in the fridge for half an hour. 
  • Oil the mould with a brush and wipe out any excess with paper towel. pour flour into the mould, tap round so every area is covered, then pour all the flour out.
  • press a slice of the dough into the mould and level off with a blunt knife.
  • tap the mould gently to release the biscuit.
  • repeat with the rest of the dough, though you only need to oil the cog at the beginning of each batch, for the second cookie onwards just flouring the mould is fine.
  • place on an oven tray, a little appart and return to the fridge for an hour, this should help stop the cookie spreading when baked.
  • bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
leave to cool on the tray for a minute then finish cooling on a wire rack.

There may be a limited number of these available to buy in my etsy store soon, all hand carved by me and The Chief, so do let me know if you'd like one!

9 Jan 2013

The Steampunk Gin Bustle

Whilst thinking about cocktail cabinets and the dificulty of getting to the bar at a crowded soiree, I came up with the idea of a bustle that concealed a hidden drinks cabinet!

The construction of the outfit is described in detail here and you can also see me talking about it in a video for TheMuseTV

The actual gown has been featured in a few different exhibitions and books now, and it is so much fun to wear, it always turns heads....

 It features a quite traditionally victorian cuirasse bodice pattern cut, unboned but worn over a steel boned corset, with a velvet front panel and sumptuous peacock patterned satin sleeves. The actual bar is made from buckram and is rigid enough to support cocktail shaker, hendricks gin bottle and is lit from above with white LED's. 

The bustle swag is created from a piece of Saree fabric which drapes much like a venetian blind over the rigid bar structure. when a tassel is pulled the swag swishes apart and upwards like theatre curtains to reveal the bar!
It is quite heavy when the bar is fully stocked and also because it's rigid (unlike most of my other costumes collapsable bustles) it's not the greatest thing to sit down in!