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Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part6)

5 Jun

I hope you aren’t tired of my Steampunk World’s Fair posts.  This is the last and final one.  I swear its true.  I’m done!  Really truly done.

See the other posts here if you missed them.  Part1 Part2 Part3 Part4 Part5.

cc via Steampunk Family the Von Hedwigs

cc via Steampunk Family the Von Hedwigs

My family was all at the event, and we did split up several times so we all got to see different things and have different experiences.  You may have seen my Dad’s comments earlier.  My Mom was a little slower in getting her response to my request to write about their experiences so I could share here.  This is what she had to say:

Music, clothes, lectures, vendors – what more can you ask for?  It had it all, and I will be going back next year (in persona AND costume).  So many of the people there were in persona – the man in full punk Safari jacket, mega kitted out long gun, and pink tutu (a fairy catcher, he explained just how difficult catching them was, even in camouflage), the IAAC crew (Imperial Amerikan Air Corps), the lady cataloging and tagging all fairies she saw, and too many more to list them all.  Some were costume only, many were persona as well.

Highlights for me this year was seeing the IAAC crew again.  The IAAC is the brainchild of Brian Thomas, who wrote Steam Powered Tales of Awesomeness with Ray Witte.  It is a collection of steam, snark, adventure and just fun stories set in Thomas’s rich world.  They have some of the best advice on world creation I have read, though I wish they would put their (Thomas and Witte) advice in book form.  They are wonderful both in IAAC persona and out.

The Folks Below was my musical fav – her voice is amazing.  Folk Rock with atypical lyrics and sometimes rhythms so good I caught them twice.

Cynthia Gayton, a lawyer in VA and DC, talked about character creation and the law.  She wore a becoming long skirt and bustle with the matching shirt, jacket, and hat.  I was impressed already.  Then she started speaking.  Wow does she know her stuff!  She could have gone on for hours but for the allotted time and next speaker waiting for the room.  She opened the law and made it easy and approachable.  I hope to see her on the schedule next year.

Susan Spencer of Spencer’s Mercantile did the lecture on Victorian sewing, and I hope to see her here again next year.  She did a great overview of Victorian fashion, but next year I would like to hear break down corset construction, or maybe some of the lesser known sewing techniques the Victorians used.  Or obscure fashions and trends.  Yes, I am a historical fashion junkie.

Torture 201 is a surprising fav of mine this year.  Prof. Mark Donnelly is my fav from last year’s SPWF, with his Bartitsu hands on demonstrations.  He reviewed many torture techniques that were historically used, and talked about the real reasons torture was used.  In the end, a victim would say anything the torturer wanted, so according to Donnelly, “then why use it?”.  He did a great job of answering it.  He is a knowledgeable and charismatic speaker that I do not tire of hearing.

Running into Voltaire and other performers mingling and shopping made the event for me.  Everyone with only one exception (and Anna spoke about her in her prior posts) was friendly and approachable.

My only real complaint?   Ladies, FINISH your hems properly!!!!!   I saw several detailed and expensive gowns with the selvedge edge hanging down at the bottom of the front bustle drape.  All the time and money you put into that outfit shot itself in the foot with the raw edge hanging like that.  Susan Spencer, in her lecture, commented on that to the effect of. “I wish I could approach these people and tell them how to improve their costumes.”  That was a paraphrase.  I guess she has tried in the past, and not been received well.  The other thing I saw was a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress ( until you saw the raw hem at the bottom.). It looked like she either forgot to hem it, or cut off a lower part of the dress.  Again, what happened?  Shot that dress too.

Kudos to all the ladies(and men) I saw in home tailored clothes.  Your tailoring was superb.  I only knew they were homemade by the prints and colors you chose.  The cuts suited you, the colors suited you, and the accessories were perfect.  Did you get asked for pics?  If you didn’t, then other people missed what those of us who sew saw.  I hope to see some or all of you next year.”

Steampunk World’s Fair Recap (Part4)

29 May

I may have said this would be posted “tomorrow” about 4 days ago… All I know is somehow a long weekend happened and then a little bit of life, and I’m just way behind schedule.  I’ve actually got a bunch of things to post, I just wanted to finish the Steampunk World’s Fair Recap first to keep it all together.

This was going to be all about the talented writers and artists at the fair, but its turning into a longer post than I intended and I need to do a little bit more research.

Instead I bring you a few words from my dad, whom I think sums up the event in far fewer words than I ever could have, and with much more eloquence.

“Steampunk World’s Fair was like time traveling back to Victorian England and being able to experience what that period could offer.  The experience extended to attire, merchandise, music, literature, entertainment and informational.  I personally most enjoyed the music, especially “The Wandering Cellist”, “Baroque & Hungry” and “Matt DeBlass”.  The singer/songwriter discussion was amazing.”

DreampunkGeek- Peter at SPWF 2013

DreampunkGeek- Peter (My Bro) at SPWF 2013

DreampunkGeek- Juana and Anna at SPWF 2013

DreampunkGeek- Juana and Anna at SPWF 2013

DreampunkGeek- Anna at SPWF 2013

DreampunkGeek- Anna at SPWF 2013

Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part3)

24 May

Here are some of the music and events from last weekend’s Steampunk World’s Fair.  If you are around NJ in Mid-May next year you should try to make this event.  It is so much fun.  Come in costume or in regular cloths.  Everyone is welcome.


Steam Powered Giraffe:

First of all, these guys are so fun to watch in person.  They look, act, and sound like robots.  It’s a little freaky (in the good kind of way.)

I had no idea how popular they were.  They filled a massive tent and overflowed into the parking lot around the stage.  Much fan girl screaming was had.

Check out their site here.

The Folks Below:

My family fell in love with this band and stalked them throughout the event.  Not creepy stalking… just making sure to hit their performances.

Check out their site here.

The Folks Below

Kate Kat:

A lovely Opera singer with a crappy attitude.  One of the only non-pleasant experiences of the entire trip was her laughing at my friend and generally just being a b*tch in an elevator ride upstairs.

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The Events/Talks/Presentations:

There were many, many, many non-musical events happening throughout the weekend.  We didn’t get to make as many as I would have liked, but here is a recap on some of the greats we did hit.


Fire performers.  Need I say more?  My photos aren’t the greatest, but I took lots so hopefully that makes up for the lack of quality.  There were flaming swords, a gun, whips on fire, a fire dancing cowboy, and lots of fire.  Great performances by these guys.

Check out their site here.

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Imperial Amerikan Air Corps (IAAC):

I just love these guys.  Two of them are authors who co-wrote Steampowered Tales of Awesomeness.  All these guys are dressed and act as characters in the book… which is actually really cool.

We may have stalked these guys too.  Still not in the creepy way… just made sure to hit their talks and presentations.  They did a great discussion on world building for authors.  Things that you might not think about like-

  • How quickly information can travel effects the everyday man and how easily he can be controlled.
  • If air travel is only available to the rich or military it might be viewed as intrusive and with distrust.
  • If one nation has air travel it makes physical barrios (like mountains or deserts) no longer important in warfare.

Here is a photo of my mama looking absolutely lovely between the IAAC crew.  (One of my favorite pictures of the whole event.)

Check out their site here.


Stay tuned tomorrow for the final instillation of this Steampunk World’s Fair recap.  The most thought provoking moments from conversations with authors and artists.

If you missed the first parts of this Steampunk World’s Fair recap check out parts 1 and 2 here:

Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part1)

Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part2)

Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part2)

23 May

The beautiful people were everywhere at Steampunk World’s Fair 2013.  Everyone was so sweet when we accosted them asking for photos.  No one turned us down and everyone posed and smiled on queue.  It was fabulous.

I chased this lady down the hallway to get her photo crying “Monarch Lady!  Monarch Lady!”  It was worth it.  A friendly Jedi helped catch her attention for me.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Butterfly Lady at SPWF 2013

The friendly Jedi.  He really was a trip.  His light saber had a power pack that lit up attached to his belt that looks so snazzy.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Jedi at SPWF 2013

Even though it was drizzling outside this gentleman posed for us to snap his pic.  I fell in love with his hair.  Can’t explain it.  All I know is he looked particularly dapper.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Dapper Gentleman at SPWF 2013

His parrot moves and talks.  Need I say more?  When I was wearing my wings he actually stopped me and said “I love your wings, and you know they are pretty good when someone dressed like me compliments them.”  It was not arrogant like I just made that sound.  His costume rocked.  End of story.  Mechanical arm + parrot = success.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk man with parrot and mechanical arm at SPWF

My absolute favorite costume photo is of this lady.  She looks beautiful in the bright reds and had the right attitude to pull it off.  Although her outfit wasn’t as flashy as some (no moving parts, wings, or light up doodads) she had a wonderful look.  I don’t think a lot of people were interrupting her for photos (which is a shame) because it didn’t have the super flashy bits.  She was so tickled that we asked her for a picture that she tossed her purse on the ground and rocked this pose.  I feel like the photo really captured her personality and great smile.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk lady in red at SPWF 2013

Stay tuned for more SPWF recap tomorrow.  I’ll be posting about the actual events and music that were held.

If you missed yesterday’s post on the Steampunk World’s Fair, check out Part 1 here.

Steampunk World’s Fair 2013 Recap (Part1)

22 May

Am breaking this up into a few posts because there was just so much to see and do.

Steampunk World’s Fair (SPWF) 2013 is officially over.  I’m back home on the west coast and beginning to return to normalcy.

There is so much to say and show I’m not entirely sure where to start…

…I’ll start with me.  (Call me self-centered.  It might be true…)

I was dressed in red as the Fairy Catcher Extraordinaire on Friday.  Then I saw Steampunk C3PO, accosted him, asked for a hug, and made Juana take a photo.  One of my fav moments of the night.

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Anna and C3PO

Next day I was the Raven Lady.  Lots of black and feathers, although I don’t think you can see the feathers too well in the photos.  My bustle was made entirely of them, and the faux iron wings were lined with feathers on the top.

The lovely Juana dressed in browns and blacks on Saturday.  She took her lacy black wings off because she kept poking people with them, although it was fun to watch.  (Me on left, Juana on right)

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Anna and Juana

Dad was a fuddy-duddy and did not participate in the costuming.  Therefore, he didn’t make it into this family photo of my brother Peter, Mom, and me.  Pete wore an Egyptian style kilt with some Goth flare.  Mom sewed her two costumes from scratch last week.  This is her “Victorian Underwear” outfit, although because she did it in green it looks a lot like a more modern top and skirt, it is historically accurate, and that counts for a lot. (Left to right- Pete, Mom, Me)

DreampunkGeek: Steampunk Anna, Pete, Mom

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing some photos of the beautiful Steampunk people, dressed in their finest, whom we met while at SPWF.

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