I believe that Steampunk is more than just brass and watchparts. It's finding a way to combine the past and the future in an aesthetic pleasing yet still punkish way. It's living a life that looks old-fashioned, yet speaks to the future. It's taking the detritus of our modern technological society and remaking it into useful things. Join me as I search for items for my house that combine the scientific romanticism of the Victorians with our real present and imagined future.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
To continue in the imbibables theme, Robert sent me a link to these poison labels that were featured on Boing Boing.
Print them out and use them on wine bottles or lab glass!
The collection is by SpookShows.com, which also features vintage spooky-gear from the 1920s and 1930s as well as the most amazing Flickr set.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Cocktails -- Fresh from the Lab
Martha Stewart Living this month features a bevy of Halloween ideas.... this one could be adapted for any mad scientist fete.
The putrid green color? It's pureed kiwis.
Fresh from the Lab: Bubbling Cocktails
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Four Foot Wide "Time Eater" Clock
Our friend Rafael Fabre, who blogs often about the steampunk happenings in Second Life, recently pointed out this wonderful clock. From BBC News:
Designed by John Taylor, and unveiled by Stephen Hawking, its Dubbed the strangest clock in the world, and features a giant grasshopper and has 60 slits cut into its face which light up to show the time.
Dr Taylor told the Daily Mail newspaper he decided "to turn the clock inside out... so you can see the seconds being eaten up".
"Conventional clocks with hands are boring," he said. "I wanted to make timekeeping interesting.
"I also wanted to depict that time is a destroyer - once a minute is gone you can't get it back.
"That's why my grasshopper is not a Disney character. He is a ferocious beast that over the seconds has his tongue lolling out, his jaws opening, then on the 59th second he gulps down time." Ferocious and grasshopper are not words you often hear in the same sentence, but this one looks mean enough to eat up all my spare time...It's gold plated and battery powered -- I would have preferred they saved his money (all million pounds of it) by using brass, and designed gear based movements for it. Oh well!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I'm not sure I'd put one inside a house, but they'd be great on a porch (as shown below). I think it would be perfect for a beach house (unfortunately the in-law's beach house that I keep decorating in my head -- my FIL so gets steampunk -- just washed away with Hurricane Ike. Sigh.)
You would think there would be instructions for building one of these on Instructables, but the closest I found was this comment by the owner of the bed below, featured on Apartment Therapy: The suspended bed on our screened-in porch. It took about a day and cost less than $100 to build. Although I confess I didn't do much of the building — my husband and brother are responsible for that. I'm sure you could figure out how to build one, however.
Some of the most charming, old fashioned looking hanging beds are for sale at Bedzz without Legzzz.
Monday, September 15, 2008
DaVinci Decoder Fountain
Some have said it is an early device for deciphering the coding in the Last Supper. A few suggested that when played underwater, large whales flock to it and attempt to communicate.
I worry about linking the DaVinci Code with steampunk, but it's a lovely piece. No, the water doesn't turn the gears, but rather runs down the center of it.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Spice Rack = Medicine Cabinet
This was a clever reuse of a neat spice rack my sister found for me at a thrift shop. My mom cleaned it up, and we thought I'd use it in the kitchen for a look similar to this kitchen. That didn't work out, so I repurposed it for a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It looks even better right after you fill up the jars with colorful vitamins.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
From right to left, an armillary sphere (I found it on clearance at Target), 3 gauges (eBay) destined for some project, an ornate candlestick picked up at a thriftstore, part of my glassware collection (more details below), a small antique brass surveyors level that used to be my Dad's, 3 more candlesticks with decorative balls on top, some natural treasures (geode, polished shell, and some fossils we've found with a steampunklet) and a framed picture as a backdrop. It all sits on a red velvet valance draped over the mantel.
Here's a closeup of my glassware, which I love for it's pseudo-scientific feel. The hourglass is from CB2, one galileo thermometer and "hand bubblers" were culled from Ben's childhood room, and the larger one I found at a thriftstore.
The last of my glass collection, which doesn't actually sit on the mantel, but rather on the stereo cabinet in the same room. Fun modern and reproduction antique chemistry equipment.
The problem with glass is that it's clear. Yes, that's traditional, but it tends to fade into the background. I've been wondering if some colored lab glass would be a good addition.
If you'd like to do your own mantlescape, it's a great place to start, and you can play with it and change it up all the time. Elements of Style has a good post on mantlescapes to get you started.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
My Mad Scientist Lamp
Aren't those great lightbulbs?
An Iron Horse in My House
I wanted to start with this mural I've put above the bed in the master bedroom. It's a high contrast photograph called "Iron Horse" from Mr. Sable on flickr (who has a very nice collection of steampunk pictures). I had WallHogs print it into what's basically a big sticker that you apply by "burnishing" (rubbing with a straightedge). One of the nice things is that it's removable, so this technique could work for rentals or a dorm room.
I suspect it would look better with a frame of some sort, and I do wish it was larger.
Thanks to my sister, who's much better with a camera than I am, for taking this photo.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Cooling the Steampunk
Michael Banks sent me Hunter 1886 Limited Edition.
Tangelia sent me the Fanimation Old Havana Ceiling Mount.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Adrean's Steampunk Easy Chair
Adrean sent me links to her Steampunk Chair project. It's said to be quite comfortable, despite appearances to the contrary.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Diving Bell. Fire Pit. One or the Other...
Heather "TikiMama" Greg sent me to this fire pit -- doesn't it look like something out of Jules Verne?
(She ended up buying a similar one at Lowe's.)
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The Complete Project Precita
(Don't like the slideshow? See them all here.)
What's your favorite part? What ideas could be co-opted for steampunk homes?
Monday, September 1, 2008
Formerly a Car's Transmission
sksullivan667 (I know, but I couldn't find a real or more usable name anywhere) makes light fixtures and other home goods out of car transmission gears and pieces and makes them available to us via Etsy.
The pendant lights are my favorite, but he also has coasters, bookends, and desk lamps.