Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Post-Christmas Overview

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

Here is our annual video overview of our holiday:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Crazy Quilt Table Runner and This Year's Christmas Crackers

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas:
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When we had our first steampunk themed Christmas in 2010, I made a set of crazy quilt Victorian boot style Christmas stockings: Then, in 2011 I made a tree skirt that matched the stockings: Last year I planned to add a table runner to the collection, but it didn't get finished in time, so I tossed it aside and didn't come back to it until about a week ago. I could have kept adding things to it, but instead, I have declared it complete.

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Since finishing the table runner, I've been working on this year's homemade Christmas Crackers. I had three colors of metallic tissue paper left-over from last year and decided that we would each have crackers with crowns that matched the colors of the place-card lanterns that I had already made.

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This afternoon, I made the airship metal to be the prize in Blaze's cracker and finished cracker assembly.

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For instructions on how to make Christmas Crackers, here is the tutorial I posted last year:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Downtown Thomasville Victorian Christmas

The adorable little town of Thomasville, Georgia is about 36 mile north of Tallahassee. Every year they hold a Victorian Christmas celebration for two evenings. Last night was our first time attending, though.

Getting ready to go:

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It was a bit crowded and it was hard to find parking, but the town did a nice job of putting on the event. Children could play in a small patch of snow and visit with Santa. The Boy Scouts were roasting chestnuts over an open fire, plus there was free marshmallow toasting. Musicians played, there were carriage rides, a small train, fire dancers, lots of food vendors, and a live nativity (although the only thing I could see over the heads of the crowd were the angles on the roof). Many of the shops and restaurants, also, stay open late for the event.

Here is what we saw:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Tallahassee Winter Festival

Last night was Tallahassee's Winter Festival downtown. Yesterday was also Blaze's 14th birthday, so the winter festival was a fun way to end a fun day.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Paper Lantern Place Cards

To make these little lanterns, we used the first template on this linked file, printed on cardstock at 90% of original size. The original design has a handle, but Blaze said he didn't want ours to include the handle, since it wouldn't be hanging up.

I cut out the lanterns, but Blaze did most of the painting.

I like mixed metallics for decorations with a steampunk look, so we used gold, silver, and copper "Liquid Leaf" to paint over the white cardstock. These lanterns could also be made out of metallic or printed scrapbook paper and avoid the painting altogether.

Each lantern needed four pictures of the person it was intended for, printed on plain white, pearlescent velum. I chose pictures from past Christmases, that also fit with our steampunk theme.
The windows are 2-inches by 2-inches, so each picture was printed slightly larger than that. Do not use liquid glue to attach the pictures (I learned the hard way, that velum and liquid glue don't get along well). A stick of school glue works great for this.

Place a small electric candle inside of each lantern. Do not use wax candles, since the velum could easily catch fire.

Place one lantern on, or just above, each plate on the table, to mark where each person will sit.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jacksonville's New Steampunk Restaurant

The Cowford Steampunk Society held a party Saturday night at Jacksonville, Florida's new steampunk pub and restaurant, Goozlepipe and Guttyworks.

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The decor is amazing! There is so much to see, from steampunk murals around the elevator doors, to walls tiled with pennies, and even walls full of brick-sized dioramas. A person could spend several days just exploring all the tiny artistic details that went into creating this space.

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As you can see from the last picture, the place was very busy Saturday night. The bar was crowded and most of the seats inside and out on the patio were filled, in addition to the steampunk party which had it's own room. Our waitress deservers some kind of medal for surviving the evening with a smile on her face the entire time. It's not easy serving a room where the people are constantly in motion, visiting with friends at different tables and wandering around to look at the decor. The kitchen was overwhelmed  and not everyone was able to receive what they ordered, but what we did get was good and the drinks were generous. The frier was so backed up that we never received the fish and chips we ordered, but our table was given a complimentary plate of sweet potato fries, when the kitchen mistakenly made an order that wasn't needed. The menu is creative American bar food, with many options to choose from, including vegetarian options. I heard from a friend that the vegetarian panini was excellent, as was the spinach dip. Blaze isn't very daring when it comes to food and just wanted a hamburger, which he said was perfect. DH and I tried the scotch eggs wrapped in chorizo, which I never would have thought about doing, but enjoyed so much that I want to try making them at home.

They have an enormous selection of beers to choose from, but did run out of Guinness around 9:30 p.m.

The company was thoroughly enjoyable! The Cowford Steampunk Society is always a fun group of people.

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I would love to go back someday, when things are more calm, and try some of the other food items. There was so much to choose from and I was so distracted while talking to friends, that I didn't give the menu the attention that it deserved.

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Christmas Ornaments

Two new ornaments have been added to my collection of steampunk Christmas ornaments. This one was purchased from Amazon:

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This one, I just finished making today. It is based on Blaze's first steampunk costume.

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Last night, I asked Blaze if he thought anything was still missing from the doll, he said it needed a gun, so I worked on that after he went to bed and for a few minutes this morning. It's tricky making a steampunk gun for a 6-inch doll. He and I have been referring to this one as the "blow drier of DOOM".

Blaze the airship pirate, Halloween 2009:

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Homeschool Halloween Party

The Tallahassee Homeschool Group had their Halloween Party at Optimist Park today.

It had been thundering and raining around noon, as we were getting dressed to go, but it stopped a few minutes after 1:00 p.m. and the sun came out. By the time the festivities began, all the rain had dried up and it was a beautiful day, so we had a good turnout.

I enjoyed seeing all the costumes on both children and parents.

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Many of the parents created game or craft booths.

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This craft was Blaze's favorite. Using just a paper cup, which could be decorated with Halloween stickers, and a balloon, the children were able to make marshmallow or popcorn launchers.

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Blaze and his friend started a popcorn war across the table, as soon as their launchers were assembled.

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There was also a large selection of Halloween theme snacks.

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Crafty Crow