Monthly Archives: October 2012

Steamcon IV – Victorian Monsters

Halloween used to be my absolute favorite day of the year – you know, back in the day when I only had one day a year in which to dress up in costume.  Since then, I’ve discovered the world of renfaires and cons, and suddenly Halloween is barely a blip on my costuming radar.  This year, it was kind of an annoyance, actually, coming as it did a scant two days after I got home from a  fabulous three days of non-stop costuming with the creative, intelligent, and all-around fabulous people that are steampunks.

There is just something special about steampunks.  I’ve never felt such creative energy anywhere as I do when I’m with them.  It’s really hard to describe – it’s almost electric!  This year was especially amazing because I was invited by Steamcon to be a panelist.  I was very honored and more than a little nervous, as I’ve never really done anything like it.  I also expected to be on ONE panel, and I ended up on THREE.  “Wardrobe Rescue”, which as a completely interactive panel giving suggestions and advice on how to accomplish different costuming techniques or effects.  I think I learned way more from the audience in this one than they learned from me!

I also did a panel on the Well-Dressed Zombie, which was great fun, but I think hands-down my favorite experience of this year’s steamcon was doing the panel on “Style of the Skeuomorph” with author/bard Kiri Callaghan.  Basically, the panel was on how to take other genres of costumes (like Harry Potter or Doctor Who) and put a steampunk twist on it.  This is my favorite thing to do with steampunk!  And Kiri and I had a blast.  She can draw, so we basically asked the audience what they would like to steampunk, and then brainstormed together as she sketched it out on her tablet.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we had a few steampunk Scheherazades next year!  And I really, really hope the guy does something with the straight-jacket idea I gave him….I’d love to see that!

Anyway, I ended up not being nervous AT ALL once the panels actually started.  It was just complete fun from start to finish, and I hope I’ll be invited back again as a panelist next year!  Kiri, Amanda, and Alisa G – you all rock.

But now to the costuming – which is such an incredible part of Steamcon.  Here are my costumes:

Steampunk Hufflepuff   (Click the costume titles for a link to more pictures and a making-of)

Steampunk Grey Ghost:

Zombie Corset:

I also saw many, many more awesome costumes, and here is just a very few of my favorites:

Baba Yaga.  The detail on this was wonderful.  Lots of little bits and pieces, and everything tied into a specific story about her.

The skulls on the birdcage?  Those used to be PEARS.  So clever.

Medusa.  Loved how the whole costume tied together, and how beautifully the snakes turned out!

Doctor Jekyl and Mister Hyde.

Mummy with mummified cat!


Indian Goddess?

In addition to the costuming and panels, there were music events.  Friday night the League of Steam hosted a musical variety show and demonstrated their monster-hunting techniques.  David Tennant invited me to sit next to him at that concert!  Well, okay, not really…but he was a dead-on look-alike!  🙂

Saturday night was the BIG concert.  I was mostly excited to hear the Nathaniel Johnstone Band live.

Nathan used to be the guitarist/violinist for Abney Park, so I was very curious about his new band.  While not being as great as AP, I did enjoy their performance a great deal.  Plus, they had bellydancers!

And I have to show you this – a friend I made at last year’s Steamcon made me a gift!  She painted me a steamy chicken!  I love this so much – thank you Jilynn!

I think it looks a bit like my Antoinette.

Next up?  Lots and lots of costuming to get ready for Gallifrey One in February.  Can’t wait to hang out with the Wench Posse again – you ladies have GOT to come to Steamcon with me one of these years!

Sexiest Men?

While falling asleep last night, I got to thinking about a conversation I had with a friend.  She couldn’t really name any celebrity men she found attractive.  I kept coming up with names of guys I like, but she’d just shake her head.  We finally came up with one actor, but only in a specific role.

Last night, I got to thinking about mine, and I narrowed it down to four.  The Top Four, the only celebrity guys who always make me swoon no matter what role they’re in.  I always thought Ryan Gosling was at the top…turns out when I really think about it, he’s not.  Same with Jason Statham, David Tennant, and Alan Rickman – they are very near the top, but not quite at the top.

I even tried to come up with another guy, just so I could have a nice sensible five, but I couldn’t do it.   So who are these swoon-worthy men of mine?  In no particular order, they are:

Jason Isaacs.


Robert Brown

Mark Sheppard.

Neil Gaiman.

And once I had my short list, I got to wondering what is it, specifically, about these men that appeal to me so much.   It’s not their personal life or private personality, because I know absolutely nothing about Isaacs or Sheppard.  I don’t want to know, really.  Most of the time, celebrities disappoint me with their personal lives, so I make a point of not knowing anything.  I really don’t care who they vote for, or who they’re dating/married to, or what their favorite colors are.  When they aren’t on the screen, at a convention or other public event, or in some other way working, their lives are their business.   Not mine.

The exceptions are, of course, the celebrities who chose to open up sections of their personal lives and share with their fans.  Gaiman and Brown do this, and as a result, I know a very disproportionate amount about those two.  I know Gaiman raises bees and has two very handsome white German Shepherds.  I know who he’s married to, and I’ve grown to understand some of the reasons why they love each other.  I know Brown is very soft-hearted toward animals, and enraged and saddened by people who chose to be cruel.  I know he puts his family first, and I understand just enough of his childhood to know why that’s so very important to him.  So there are a few cases where I end up learning about a celebrity’s personal and inner life and find them admirable.  But that is definitely the exception, not the rule.  So that can’t be why they are on this list.

I’d say it’s their looks, except that in the case of Mark Sheppard, he’s not physically my ‘type’.  (A bit too short, a bit too bearded, a bit non-lanky.)  And there are *plenty* of men who absolutely fit my physical ideal who don’t even make the top 100.  So, after considerable thought, I’ve decided it comes down to a perfect mingling of two things: a certain twinkle in the eye, and that voice.

Yes.  The way to my heart is definitely through my ears.  And that’s why I included video clips…go listen….

So what about you?  Which celebrity men are you most attracted to, and why?