Friday, February 3, 2012

Mask, Beetle Wings and Inspiringly Fallible

So this weekend I’m going to a masquerade I’ve known about for oooooooooooohhhh, 'bout a month. Yeah – but did I start anything before this week? Nope. Heck, I didn’t even have any idea about a mask until Monday.
To make it worse, the theme is steampunk/pirate/formal. So of course I’m going to want to do a steampunk costume and mask.
But *nothing* irks me as much as the “Just glue some gears on it and call it steampunk”mindset.
And I almost did it anyway, til my guy talked me out of it (thanks, sweetie!).

To me, if the mask is going to be “steampunk” it shouldn’t have random clockwork on it or anything – it should *do* something clever. Like this kickass mask from Outland Armor.

Dude. Seriously Asskicking Clever.

So I’ll wear a bustled-ish outfit in my fave colors and the below mask I finished waaaaaaaaay too late last night instead.
Yes, the pics suck – and yes, I need to create a photo light box. I’ll get to it. Really. It could totally be part of a weekly project!
I have an idea about making it part of a storage shelf… We’ll see.
Anyway here’s the mask. Hopefully I’ll be able to get someone to take a pic of the whole ensem at the event.

Love this teeny brass rolo chain.  Beads are all from current overlarge bead collection.

I scavenged most of this side from a floral headband that was okay on me, but not spectacular.

The iridescent pokey bits are jewel beetle (sternocera aequisignata) elytra/forewings from Thailand (supposedly ethically harvested – I hope that’s true).

This article says the beetles are used as food and the elytra are a by-product. (plus there’s an amazing pic of a ceiling and chandelier done in them!!)

They’ve doubtless been used as human adornment for as long as people have liked shiny things, but the Victorian era saw some really beautiful uses for them – like this amazing Lady Macbeth dress.

People tend to sell earrings and necklaces made of them for big bucks, but you can buy them in bulk on ebay and make your own if you’re the crafty sort (they call them elytra or "wings" on ebay. The wing label causes my nerd self twitches as they're not *wings* - they aren't used to fly, dangit!).  I’ve had them forever in a jar labeled “fairy wings” (fairies can use them to fly - they're *magic*!) on my apothecary shelf, and true to form I’ve used very few of them as I wouldn’t want to *waste* them on a less than perfect project!
Yeah. Whatever. I have about 400 and think I have enough to experiment a bit. “Get crack-a-lackin” as my friend Julia says.

I want create a hanging cascade sort of like this but considerably longer as a hair adornment:

(photo from an ebay auction for jewel beetle wing earrings)
 Suuuuuuuuuuuuper drama!

Well, I think I’ve gone on long enough. With thanks to Des for sending me this, I'll now leave you with a video by a woman who created her own tardis. "Sillysparrowness" is clever, cute, inspiringly fallible – and has created a device I have no doubt I will make use of in the future: the “bag of shame.” As well as a character that I am very familiar with in my crafting “The Perfectionist”
As a bonus she swears in German. Enjoy!