Steampunk Tiaras

The first steampunk tiara I made was in collaboration with my mom for Marry Me Indie and my second (and favorite) fashion show I put together.

Steampunk Bride(Modeled by the fabulous, Alicia Astaire)

I’ve purchased a few tiaras since then with the hopes of making more steampunk bridal pieces with a bit of flair, daintiness, and fun. I’ve finally finished a number of them (the right materials came along to compliment them) and wanted to share them with all of you!

Steampunk Springs tiara Steampunk Springs tiaraThis rhinestone tiara is marvelously bent, and I finally found the prefect accent to its wonderful, simple shapes–springs! The dulled luster of the spring pairs the subdued sparkle of the rhinestones.

Steampunk Peaked Gear Tiara CollageSimple and elegant–I love mixing rhinestone, silver, and the brassy gold of gears!

Steampunk Tiny Tiaras Collage 2Tiny Tiaras! I found 3 in Guthrie a few weeks back and I was so excited to sit down at my studio table and steampunk them.

Steampunk Tiny Tiara Collage 1I am now on the hunt for more tiaras to steampunk. I had so much fun transforming each of these! What have you all been making?

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Wooden Wedding Spoon Set

Rhys & I received our very first wedding present, and it was handmade with a lot of thought, love, and imagination! The very best kind of gift! I wanted to share it with all of you because it’s a truly wonderful steampunk creation…a set of wooden spoons with steampunk images wood-burned onto the backs to make them not only decorative, but personal.

Steampunk Wedding Spoon Set

The first spoon is an ornate monogram, “M” for Martin. Even though I’ll be keeping my last name, I do consider myself a Martin. I love all of the beautiful work surrounding this letter.

M Spoon

This next spoon has two clock hands wood-burned on it. I love clock hands–they are one of my favorite materials to work with.

Clock Hands Spoon

This next design is three gears and a heart shaped key hole–and it’s stunning the amount of detail.

Heart & Gear Spoon

This spoon is perhaps my favorite; it’s a compass. Rhys proposed to me with a compass, and compasses now bring such memories of joy, promise, and love.

Compass Spoon

The next three designs are simply stunning: a skeleton key with elegant scroll-work, a dirigible airship flying away, and a pocketwatch with tiny gears turning.

Skeleton Key Spoon

Airship SpoonPocketwatch SpoonIt’s no secret that I love cooking & baking, or that I am passionate about steampunk. I can’t wait to get cookin’ and am grateful already for the thoughtfulness & talents of friends.

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Queen of Treasures from the Past

This weekend Rhys and I ventured down to Guthrie, Oklahoma for the Queen of the Prairie Festival–the first year they’ve put on the folk music festival. It was truly wonderful. Guthrie is known as “the Queen of the Prairie,” but I’d contest that it could also be called “the Queen of Treasures from the Past” for its wealth of antique and junk shops.

On this trip, I visited a new shop called Recollections Antiques. It’s now one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Guthrie. Like any great antique shop it was stuffed-to-the-gills with unique treasures from days past.

Recollections is the perfect place for those of you looking for antique cookware and kitchen tools. They also have an entire section of vintage cookbooks.

An apple peeler fit for any steampunker!

An apple peeler fit for any steampunker!

Among their many items, Recollections has an impressive array of ladies gloves and Victorian ephemera. Here are a few of my faves:

Victorian Sensation Fiction–I was very tempted to dive right in & read them! Pictured here are Edward Salisbury Field’s A Six Cylinder Courtship and George Barr McCutheon’s Beverly of Graustark.


Elaborate toiletry, like this Collars & Cuffs box.


And this painted velvet-lined ladies glove box.


Gilt gold dressing table sets.


Recollections is also a must-stop for anyone searching for fine china sets or delicate tea cups & saucers. I marveled at the many hand painted beauties so much so that I did not snap one photo of them! They also had a great set of button collections. I may just have to go back for this jar–I have such a weakness & love for vintage buttons.


I walked away with a few things that I just couldn’t leave behind–a reproduction Victorian Photo Album which I am going to put my wedding photos in.



I found this great necklace that I am going to steampunk. I just loved the gold of the beads and pattern of filigree in it.


Of course, I couldn’t visit Guthrie and just go in one shop. I also discovered Treasures & Books–an amazing shop with a trove of used and antique books as well as handmade items from local artists. I found 3 mini tiaras and a great postcard!


So my antique lovers and fellow garage sale junkies–visit Guthrie soon. You will spend hours walking through their many wonderful antique shops, and if you’re there on Saturday–from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. is their flea market for even more great finds!


As Always, Happy Junkin’!

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A Very Steampunk Christmas

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I’ve missed writing (but I do get to do plenty of that at my new job at Tulsa World where I am now feeling quite at home). Although we’re well into the New Year, I thought I’d still tell you about this Christmas. It was very Steampunk indeed! My mom sewed me an exquisite Steampunk quilt. I love each of the blocks–the Victorian ladies are part human, part sewing machine & dress form, and sewing notions are strewn about their hair. It’s a quirky quilt that reminds me of both my mom (who first introduced me to steampunk and jewelry making) and of my grams (who taught me how to sew & quilt). IMG_3697Each of the blocks is interesting and fun with bright bursts of color. What I also love is that each piece of fabric has a subtle background with quotations about sewing & quilting or just the act of creating things.



quilt collageIMG_3712This is my favorite block. It sums up the feeling of being in my gram’s kitchen at the table, everyone tinkering, sewing, baking, and filling the room with our imaginations, laughter, and conversation. We truly are knit together in love–a love of each other & a love of making things.

IMG_3713My Uncle John (who I lovingly call Uncle Crab) found a neat pair of old goggles for me to steampunk. He is one of my best scavengers of junk. He and the rest of my family send me care packages of flea market treasures. I love getting my “snit supplies” (Snit is his nickname for me).

IMG_3715A tradition of my mom’s is to get my brother, Caleb, and I a new calendar every year as one of our presents. A practical gift, but one I look forward to getting every year. My mom always finds us calendars with art or styles we like. She outdid herself this year! I absolutely flipped when I unwrapped mine.

collage calendarThe calendar is titled “Things Come Apart” by photographer, Todd McLellan. Each month is a different object–broken apart and photographed to show its various components. Some were more complex than I had guessed–like a Swiss Army knife! What I love about repurposing old objects is taking them apart, and often I am surprised at the inner mechanics and the sheer amount of pieces.  IMG_3717

My favorite present was given to me by my future mother-in-law. Lory gave me her mother’s periwinkle rhinestone choker. Jewelry that’s passed down is precious. It’s heritage, and I was so deeply moved by her gift. Rhinestones are a love of mine to begin with–when I was a little girl my mom gave me her rhinestone bracelet–it was broken and missing a few of the stones–but I felt like a queen whenever I wore it. It still has the same effect as it did then. I still have that bracelet, and to this day I prefer rhinestones over diamonds.

I won’t be a stranger; I have been busy in the studio and wedding planning is well underway. More about that next week!

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Enjoying a Chilly Day in my Cozy Studio

It’s been a while since I have blogged–sorry! It’s been an intense couple of weeks: gearing up for Indie Emporium & The Alliday Show and making jewelry for Dwelling Spaces & Made for the upcoming holiday season. It’s a busy time, but one I relish!

My mom and grams visited me & Rhys last week (a whole delicious week) on their way to a few quilt shows out in the Midwest. I always love it when I have house guests–most of the last week has been filled with baking yummy sweets, tipsy games of Mexican Train dominoes, sewing, watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a movie all 3 of us know by heart), and crafting all together at the same table. It has been wonderful! IMG_0157Last week I also interviewed for a full time position and got the job! I am now the Community Relations Coordinator for the Tulsa World. I can’t wait to start work next week and it was wonderful that my family was here to help me celebrate!

So today, even though it’s not yet Thanksgiving, I am counting my blessings. I am lucky to have such supportive family & friends; a fiancee who bolsters my confidence and tells me to keep dreaming; and a community that inspires me.

It’s a lovely day to be in the studio–with some tea, a good book (the newest installation in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series–Waistcoats & Weaponry), and lots of things to tinker with. IMG_0165Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to in my studio today:

IMG_0279Making earrings…as always, I love to make earrings. IMG_3545And I’ve finally finished making the table place cards for my wedding. Each place card was hand cut, colored, and punched. I added a reproduction tin gear to each place card. All that is left is the calligraphy! What have you all been up to lately?

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DIY Steampunk Filigree Halloween Mask

Here is my last DIY Halloween mask for this season…and it may just be my favorite. I love the gleam of metal once light touches it and this mask gleams brightly! SamGoldThe wonderful thing about a detailed accessory such as this is that your costume can be more subdued (paired with a simple dress, gloves, and jewelry) and still be breathtaking & memorable.

IMG_3639Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Metal Filigree Mask (I purchased mine from Party City for $14.99)
  • Gold Ribbon
  • 1-2 inches of gold or brass chain
  • Jump rings (assorted sizes)
  • Gold foil beads (or any beads that suit your taste)
  • Headpins
  • Clock Face
  • 1 brad (preferably matching the color of your clock face)
  • 2 clock springs (preferably from a wristwatch–they are the easiest to manipulate & cut)
  • Clock gears (I used 5; you can use more if desired)
  • 34 gauge jewelry wire (or any fine wire)
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat nosed pliers
  • Needle nosed pliers


  1. Begin by adding your chain to your mask. To attach the chain, use your flat nosed pliers & jump rings. IMG_3641
  2. If desired, add a gear to the chain too using your flat nosed pliers and a jump ring. IMG_3642Then attach the gear to the mask. IMG_3643
  3. Next attach the rest of your gears to the bottom of your mask. Use preexisting holes (this is what’s so great about working with filigree!).  IMG_3645IMG_3646Be sure to close your jump rings well as many gears are paper thin and can easily fall out of even the slightest of gaps. IMG_3647
  4. For added elegance & sparkle, add gold foil beads to your gears (or other areas of your mask). IMG_3648For each bead, you need a headpin. IMG_3649Place the bead on the headpin. Be sure to slide the bead all the way down to the end. Make sure there is no space left over or you’ll have an excess of the headpin showing. IMG_3650Using your flat nosed pliers, bend the headpin wire 45 degrees (so that the headpin wire is horizontal).IMG_3651Using your finger as a measure, cut off the excess headpin wire (the amount that sticks out past your finger) with your wire cutters. Discard the excess wire. IMG_3652Using your needle nosed pliers, create a loop on top of your bead. To do this, hold your bead in one hand. With the other, grip the very end of your headpin wire with your pliers and twist upward and around to the top of your bead. (Think of a making a motorcycle revving motion.)IMG_3653Once your loop is made, open it with your flat nosed pliers (like you would a jump ring). IMG_3654Place your bead into your gear (or mask). Close your loop again, using your flat nosed pliers. IMG_3655Repeat the above process for each bead.
  5. Now it’s time to create our “clock spring eyelashes.” This is what makes this a really different, ultra feminine DIY. First figure out the placement of your clock springs over the eyes of your mask. IMG_3657Once you’ve figured out placement, cut down your springs. To cut your clock springs, use your wire cutters, and also gently move the spring back and forth. IMG_3663This allows for an easier, cleaner break. Once you’ve cut your springs you may need to file them down a bit. Sandpaper or a metal file is preferable. IMG_3664
  6. Now you can begin attaching your clock springs over the eyes of your mask. Cut a medium length piece of your 34 gauge wire. IMG_3658Using this wire, wire wrap the spring in place by weaving through the preexisting holes in the filigree mask. Be sure that your clock spring does not twist as you are wire wrapping it in place. IMG_3659Remember to pull the wire taut. Twist the wire together & around each other to “tie” it off. Cut off any excess wire. Be sure to push all raw edges of the wire away from your eyes & face. IMG_3661
  7. (Optional) Add a clock face to the top of your mask using a brad. First, load the clock face onto the brad. IMG_3665Then push it the brad through a hole in the mask. Flip the mask over to the back, and pull apart the brad’s prongs to secure the clock face in place. IMG_3666Be sure that when you pull apart the brad’s prongs that you firmly hold the clock face in place on the front side of the mask. Otherwise, you may have a slight gap in between all of your layers which will cause your clock face to slide out of place. IMG_3667
  8. Now all that is left is to attach the ribbon that will hold your mask onto your face. (You can also use elastic. An elastic band came with this mask but it was really cheap looking & flimsy so I decided to replace it). Measure the amount of ribbon you’ll need–take into account knotting both sides of the mask, knotting the ends (if your ribbon is prone to fraying), and the amount you’ll need to tie the ribbon in a bow. IMG_3668Once you’ve measured the amount you need, cut the ribbon with your scissors. Then cut the ribbon in half (one for each side of your mask). Take the first piece of ribbon and tie it to your mask. I used a simple knot. Knot the end as well. IMG_3670Repeat for the other side. Cut off any excess ribbon. IMG_3669You now have a completed mask! Pair with an elegant dress, pair of long gloves, and some fabulous jewelry for a posh Steampunk Halloween costume! IMG_3672SamGold-4Thanks to Rhys for the amazing pictures! SamGold-3As always, Merry Making! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Halloween DIYs this month! Check out some of my past steampunk costume & Halloween Decor DIYs for further inspiration!

SamGold-5For websites where I find costume inspiration, visit: A Mighty Girl and also Take Back Halloween (which I blogged about last Halloween). Both sites have excellent ideas & costumes for girls & women that empower & celebrate what it means to be an imaginative, creative woman–which for me, is what Halloween is all about!

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Swap-o-Rama-Rama Live Pinterest Board Projects

At Swap-O-Rama-Rama again this year we have a live Pinterest Board–with examples of the projects already made to inspire you. Here are a list of instructions (and links) to make these projects on your own:

1) Update an Old Mask (brought to you by Bohemian Romance)IMG_3580

2) Headband Crown (brought to you by Hello Bee & tweaked a little) Follow HelloBee instructions, and if you would like your crown to be a headband instead. Simply Make your crown from a single piece of felt (the size you’d purchase from many craft stores) and cut two small slits in opposite sides and insert the headband! FullSizeRender

3) Military Vest from an Old Vest (brought to you by Bohemian Romance, and inspired by Bifftastica) First, select an old vest that is made of sturdy fabric. Purchase approximately 30-36 military-style or simple metal buttons (approximately 12 per row). First begin by replacing your original buttons with your military-style buttons. Add additional buttons if desired and create new button holes by cutting slits into your vest’s fabric. Next, add 2 additional rows of buttons on both sides of your vest.SORR 7

4) Update an Old Pair of Gloves (brought to you by Bohemian RomanceIMG_3430

5) From Bridesmaid Dress to Princess (this is very simple & great if you have a bridesmaid dress just gathering cobwebs in the closet). Accentuate the dress by adding lace, rhinestone pins, or a sash. On the example dress, we’ve added faux sleeves by sewing lace up and over (from the front to the back of) the dress. Be sure to measure how much lace you’ll need beforehand and leave at least 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch on each side for sewing. We’ve also added a rhinestone pin on the side! SORR 9 collage

6) Spats (Here is a lovely pattern for Spats) The directions for these spats are printed on the pattern. The only step that is not explained fully is how to add your closure (meaning the buttons, hooks, or ribbons that you want to use to fasten your spats to your shoes). When adding buttons or hooks, place the spat around the shoe and mark where you’d like your closures to go with a fabric pencil or chalk. Then sew the buttons/hooks onto the bottom layer of your spat. Create buttonholes if using buttons; sew the second portion of your hooks to the other side. If using ribbons as an enclosure, sew a piece of ribbon to each side of your spat and be sure to leave enough room for you to tie your spat closed. SORR 8

Thank you to everyone who came out for Swap-o-Rama-Rama, Halloween Edition this year! Thank you to all of our volunteers & orgainzers: Hollyrocks, Bifftastica, Bohemian Romance, Made, Indie Emporium, The Workshop, and as always, The Philbrook Museum of Art.

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