Redfield for Mayor Of Steampunk city Tuesday, Jan 10 2012 

Now I know I have been posting a lot of Advertisements recently. This is very important thou. If you have a facebook account I would encourage you to vote, for me of course but if you can’t then remember the time and come and visit it will be very fun

Getting stuck in more ways then one Tuesday, Dec 20 2011 

Wow this one was hard to write, which is why it took so long.  Now this might be hard for the casual reader (so one ether not familiar with or just starting out in the scene) to understand. You might also have an easier time if you are involved with other self-made character culture to understand. Those creation are called personas. Which you have heard many people talk about on this site under steamsona (a steampunk version of a persona)

The everyday world has these too, a friend of mine had a persona named Monique, whom she would use while clubbing, and she called it the fun and outgoing side of her. Those kinds of personas are rampant in the outside world. We know that “Monique” is not appropriate for everyday usage say for work, or meetings. Cultures like steampunk, cosplay, and Goth are cultures built on image and persona but sometimes participants don’t break character at all, which can be very annoying, to the point that people around them can be uncomfortable or insulted. At Cons this over usage happens a lot. You walk down the hall and hear “ Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon can I take your picture?” In this type of situation it’s appropriate. You don’t know the person’s name so you find a distinguishing feature to get their attention. It is like saying “ Hey you with the glasses”

Some however take it to far. To the point where about 2 years ago on the cosplay circuit that a Sailor Moon cosplayer was beating up another Sailor Moon because she was the true and real Sailor moon. Now you may laugh, it is pretty funny but this is a perfect example of what can happen.

In Steampunk it is the same with some – they never break character and some Victorian customs can be snobby and down right rude. Now everyone has his or her quirks. Redfeild herself does not like Neo-Victorians but if I were to go to a con I would never say or act like I did (unless I did not like the person themselves) I would never say “shut up you close minded git “ because it is insulting and Kathryn, the person, me, I don’t believe that. It is important to distinguish between you the person and you the character. I use this rule, if a person comes up to you and acts like himself or herself, than you should have the courtesy to do the same. There are some circumstances where this rule is null and void. This Rule holds especially true if you have decided that your character is an a**hole, keep it to a decent level. Remember I always say Steampunk should be fun FOR EVERYONE. If you are a jerk I can guarantee that you a taking away someone else’s fun and that is not Steampunk.                            greek cubed 

intermission Thursday, Dec 1 2011 

This next article is a little hard to write and explain, and I hate leaving you so long with out a piece. I did find this song and video by  Professor Elemental and it has the jist of what I am saying in this past two and next one articles.

Service announcement Saturday, Nov 19 2011 

Here is just a quick thought to hold you over, within the steampunk community if you need to say Steampunk then you need to work harder on what ever it is. Now I suck at writing but I was reading a book that claimed to be a steampunk book but the only thing that told me it was steampunk was the fact that everything was called Steampunk aka “ steampunk car, steampunk street lights and so on”. For a subculture that was based on literature… really use that extensive vocabulary.

In the case of clothing it is the same; One, unless your friends don’t know what steampunk is and they ask you what are you supposed to be…Or two, you take off your goggles and maverick, look in the mirror and look like a Victorian, Goth or out of style by less then 70 years. Take another look at what you are doing always upgrade and replace as a friend often says . Take more time, don’t jump into Steampunk ‘cause your friends are doing it. Steampunk is about being you and being creative. There are other ways to do it, if Steampunk isn’t your thing. I would say if you do it twice and are not really into it then don’t do it. If your friends are your friends they will understand and still be there, even if you realize you are a hipster… we can’t all be perfect. And I can not stress enough Stemapunk Kits… don’t do it

Halloween Masquerade ball Saturday, Nov 12 2011 

Halloween Masquerade Ball (steampunk bizarre)

Mark twain house Hartford CT

A generally fun event. You could tell the non-steampunks cause they where dressed as steampunks and the people who are all ways steampunk wore different costumes.

Nothing to do with Steampunk but very important Tuesday, Oct 25 2011 

So, one of the sides of steampunk that I like and am really drown to is the Sexy with out being naked. But there are other events when this could be useful… like life in general. It also works in Halloween, here are some good ideas for costumes with out bearing it all and still being sexy. 

SAVERS… Halloween Steampunk Wednesday, Sep 7 2011 

I love savers don’t get me wrong I go there atleast twice a week but really. Now if anyone showed up to anything with real steampunks looking like this you would get laughed out of the party. For one thing it is just insulting to those who are actually steampunks. Lets go down the line and see what is wrong and what is right with this “Steampunk outfit “

Pros: It is not just brown, it actually has no brown in it… good Job

Pros : Men let me introduce you to the fitted coat. Make nice and wear them more often.

Pros : They tell you on the back to be creative …. I CANNOT  STRESS THIS ENOUGH

Cons: I enjoy that pants that fit are now called tight, but if they added a stripe it would make me happier.

Cons: Do you know how hard it is for a man to find a fitted long coat? (usually you should just look for a woman’s coat, it would be faster)

Cons: I would rather see a nice vest than a fitted coat (it will help with the ascot or cravat )

Con: Ascot or cravat, not a tie in any way even a scarf would be better.

Con: Choose either a top hat or goggles not both (sometimes it is good but it is pretty over done)

Cons: don’t use a Maverick ( over done )

Cons: Antique tools…. Really? No… well sometimes

Cons: NO HANDLE BAR MOUSTACHE- if you have one great, if you don’t, just no. Unless you are this guy:

Now I would never leave you like this. This month we are going though the catalogue of steampunk Halloween costumes to tell you how to make it yourself.

Summer Steam Outfit Friday, Aug 12 2011 

I am sorry that I have not been able to post over the last month after working two jobs in theater, the last thing a really want to do is type up a paper. As you can tell writing is not my strong suit, sure I have had hand written papers on subjects but not really for public consumption.
We have much to cover so let me get started. I was at a book signing this weekend which will hear about in the events portion of this website, along with the rundown of Connecitcon.
One of the many topics under discussion was how to dress as a steampunk in the summer months. Now here in New England we have 4 seasons and this might not apply to people in the South. Here we have no idea what to do. I am here to help.

Phase 1-abandon the outfits made of wool, velvet, polyester, and Acrylic and most of clothing with a lining. You want a fabric that breathes like cotton and linen. Be warned thought these fabrics wrinkle a great deal and you will need to iron them.
Phase 2- get rid of the constrictive clothing (this is mostly for woman). Things like Jackets, coats, long pants, and many layered skirts, Yes that does include corsets. Now ladies don’t jump down my throat. I am a big fan of the corset and would rather wear one than not and there is only one way to wear them in the summer if you are desperate.
1- wear as little under or over it a possible
2- if you are still dead set on wearing one, you will need baby powder. The powder will wick the moisture away from the body and prevent chaffing under and round the corset.
Phase3 the more skin the better- Now normally I oppose this theory. In my head I see it this way. You are not trying to be sexy so much as trying not to faint.

Thing of these things while coming up with a summer outfit
Men’s  attire
Put the vest aside and use suspenders
Laborer – miner
Dock worker
Chemist or explosion expert (shirt sleeves and a apron)
Bather (a Victorian day at the beach)

Women’s attire
Just plan Victorian under garments
Tom boy
Street urchin
Steampunk Lolita ( I do it a little different, I wear long skirts and flip flops)

Phase 4 leave the hat on the stand and go with a parasol
It is the reverse theory than that of wearing a hat in the winter. Your hat holds heat and like the corset sweat gathers in the head band and it can chafe. Woman will want to wear their hair up off their necks to let the breeze at there it. We also have
a lovely invention called sunscreen.
Phase 5 drop the macho persona. I hear all that time “but my character would not wear that”. Excuse my French but don’t be a macho ass. (I say macho because I find this more with men then woman). Sometime it does not fit in their story line that they currently have. You can look at this form two angles. One is to make the summer look a younger version. When the captain was a cabin boy, the engineer was a mechanic or the Scientist was a lab assistant. Two Just suck it up and don’t complain.

Spotlight Article- Personas by The Emperor of the Red Fork Empire Monday, May 16 2011 

Persona building is not as difficult as you may think. It does take some consideration and time to have one that is put together well and is likely to become self sustainable. I have found two different but effective ways of getting the foundations of your persona: 1. If you are familiar with role playing games, their character generation is a nice place to start. 2. If you are not familiar or want a more detailed look of your persona from the get go then using the question method is good but lacks the structure of the game path. I recommend the role play books for those who may not have any idea what they want their persona to be.

It would not hurt to use one then the other, you might find an idea that you did not think of and could give you a greater insight to your persona.

I am not going to go into the use of role play books because they do a good job of leading you step by step.

I will talk about the question method. The way this works is that you take different topics and ask more and more detailed questions based off that topic.

Example: For background of the Persona, you can start with: Is your persona from a fictional universe? Is it one someone already created or one you made up? Which planet are you from? Country? State? City or town, village, suburb? What was your House like? Your room? And so on.

You can take any piece of that line of questions and go back to get more details if you want. This method is more fluid, is highly dependant on your imagination, and where you want to start asking questions.

Some start with the origins of the persona while others like to start with what the persona looks like. By this I mean how they dress. You can get a lot out what the persona is by what they wear. If your persona wears a suit, they are definitely not a coal miner. If your persona wears a weapon, why is that? Is it ornamental or have they had to use it? By what your persona wears it is very easy to put them into a class within the society they are from. Another place to begin is the name of your persona, if it’s a fancy name it is more likely you come from an upper class, where if the name is generic or short it means you are from the working class. If your name is more of a nickname, or has a title at the beginning, it says a lot about who you are.

Once you get all the meat of your persona you can then start to get into the nuances of it to make it more believable. The persona’s personality, their mannerisms, and their faults. I am a firm believer that if a persona has no faults and is “supermanish”, then it is doomed to become less and less interesting for a person to portray. “Oh, you hit me with this thing and it should have killed me cause its my one weakness, but look how I lift a whole island of it and toss it into the sun.” If you are new to personas I suggest you stay close to home and keep your persona’s personality similar to you. It is always good to start with what you know then if you want to spend the time to research something of interest you can always incorporate it later.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that this persona is yours, you can do whatever you want with it. That includes changing it as much as you want, never feel that any decision you make about your persona is etched in stone. You will find, as you take your persona out of the box and interact with others that your persona will take on a life of its own. It will evolve and change and it should, there is always things to improve upon to suit what you want so don’t be afraid to change it. Remember that this is about having fun.

The Red Fork Empire 

What to buy, what to make? persona Part 3 of 3 Monday, May 9 2011 

What to buy on line and what not too, these are only suggestions but in a subculture where individuality is key these are some ways to do it.

I suggest making your own clothes. I am not crazy, let me explain before you start in on me, I am going to tell you a secret I am a seamstress but I did not make most of my clothing and I will not make a white button up shirt cause you can go anywhere and get one for 5 bucks.

If you don’t know how to sew, you should start learning. Small things are good to start out with vests, arm warmers, leg warmer, Boot cuffs and covers and cravats they also have great tutorials on thread bangers .

This is easy and I will get more into it in another article where I tell you how to do it, the fun and easy way. These things will make your outfit yours. Try not get everything at one place and wear them together. Try not to make it a big piece that everyone will know the source of like the steampunk arm. 

I have seen great forums for people making armor out of foam and you can never tell like blind squirrel props and the rpf.

I suggest that a person looking for a costume try a thrift store or consignment. Start there and alter them, it is easier than building from scratch. As a teacher of mine once said, touch everything. He was talking about paint but that same thing applies here, put your own spin on everything, don’t use it like you bought it. Every little detail counts.

I would buy small things from retailers. Hair, jewelry and shoes, hats and nick-nacks, all are possibilities. When searching online, don’t use Steampunk as a keyword. The problem with using it in the search is that since the scene has exploded there are a lot of things out there that are either not steampunk or are far more expensive then they should be ‘cause they know they will sell. There are websites devote to this stuff  called Regretsy, it is pretty funny take some time to see what I mean.

These are just some idea to think of while you are working on our personas for Steampunk World Fair and though I did not say this the most important thing is to have fun. Not having fun= not doing it right. Next weeks paper will be our first guest writer, the Emperor of the Red Fork Empire, one of the most well know persona in the steampunk sphere.

Links for this article

 Thread bangers

Blind squirrel props

 The rpf


 Steampunk World fair 

Red fork empire

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