Archive for the ‘SteamPunk’ Category

Vented Hats going to Amazing AZ ComiCon

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014


I have made a new Vented Hat today. A friend of mine will be taking it and 4 others to Amazing AZ ComiCon for display and sale. It is the black one with brass colored leather gaskets shaped like hexagons on the sides. (I think it’s all the way at the bottom.)


Ceshire Cat Painted Hat

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014


I have spent the last couple of weeks working on painting a hat for a commission. It is the Cheshire Cat Hat! It was commissioned by a patron who will be making a Cheshire Cat SteamPunk Cosplay outfit.

Here is the link to the pictures of the completed hat:

She will be debuting it this weekend at a small local Con.


SteamPunk Interview

Sunday, December 8th, 2013


Here’s the “What is SteamPunk” interview Chris Kurtz, Wendy Raisanen from Scottsdale Public Art, and I did on Wednesday this last week. This reporter is an ASU student and this was a class project for her.


Possible Panel at WWWC3

Saturday, December 7th, 2013


I just put in to teach a How To panel on Vented Hats at WWWC3 for Saturday late morning/early afternoon. This will be a demo, not a make and take class. It is cost prohibitive to be a make and take.

I taught this one last year on Friday and for the rest of the weekend I had people asking when the class “is going to be”. I think Saturday will be a better fit, since there was a lot of interest.

If you’re an artist who goes to conventions, I highly recommend teaching a panel. It gets you and your product in the Event Book. I don’t consider it to be giving away my product or my secrets. I consider it the cost of advertizing. One hour of teaching = one add. It gets me, my name and my brand, and my product out there. It also gives people a sense of how long it actually takes to make this product, which may be enough intensive to inspire a sale rather than making one themselves.

I taught a Make and Take class on Fancy Beaded Pocket Watch Chains at Phoenix ComiCon last year. I made 40 kits, and came home with 5. I only really expected 15 people to show up.

Teaching and sharing information is always a good thing. Art, crafts, recipes, and techniques die out everyday because someone refuses to share the knowledge. That’s why you’ll find a lot of information on how I make things here on this blog.


New Vented Hat Idea

Thursday, December 5th, 2013


I have come up with a really cool idea for a Vented Hat – playing card suits. I have a top gasket cut that looks like spokes (Bicycle playing cards) and four side gaskets (heart, diamond, spade, club). The heart and diamond gasket are both red. The spade and club gasket are both black. I think I will leave the hat white. I don’t know what color the top will be yet, probably black, though. I got the gaskets and the holes in the hat cut today. Next week sometime, I will get the gaskets dyed and sealed, and the the hat will get ribbon and maybe a bit of paint. It should be a really stunning piece and I’m looking forward to seeing it completed.

Photos to come.

SteamPunk Ball on Thrusday, January 23rd

Thursday, December 5th, 2013


Scottsdale Public Art is hosting a SteamPunk Ball in January. It’s a free event, so come on out and enjoy the evening. This is in conjunction with the SteamPunk gallery show happening at the Scottsdale Civic Library, which runs through mid/end of January. This is the show hubby and I have pieces in.


Photos of Vented Hats I have Created

Thursday, March 21st, 2013


Here are the pictures of the Vented Hats I have made so far. The only exception is my husband’s Vented Hat. He has it on his blog. I have three up on my Etsy shop, the rest have either sold, or are on commission in Canada.

I am available to create custom Vented Hats. If you are interested, do not comment here, please contact me at

All my Vented Hats are individually hand crafted. The hats are purchases already made as my studio is not set up to beĀ  millinery. The felt hats are not painted. The silk hats are all hand painted and are one of a kind pieces of art, at this time. (If I get a commission for multiples, that will be a different story.)

The leather gaskets are each hand cut by a leather worker friend of mine, Jana Stobaugh. She has over 20 years experience and does a much better job of it than I ever could. I am all for a more professional looking product and supporting another artist. It’s a win-win situation!

Vented Hats as of March 2013:

My Vented Hat
My Vented Hat photo 2012-06-20130309.jpg

Jennifer’s Vented Hat
 photo 2012-09-15130413.jpg

Shamella’s Vented Hat
 photo IMG_9170.jpg

Lee’s Vented Hat
Grey Top Hat - Left Side photo 2013-03-08170128.jpg

Vented Bowler hat on Commission in Canada
 photo IMG_9156.jpg

Peacock Feather Vented Hat on Commission in Canada
 photo IMG_9182.jpg

Red and Yellow (painted) Vented Hat (For Sale on My Etsy Shop)
 photo IMG_9164.jpg

Black and White (painted) Vented Hat (For Sale on my Etsy Shop)
 photo IMG_9158.jpg

Stained Glass Fall Leaves (painted) Vented Hat (For Sale on my Etsy Shop)
 photo IMG_9177.jpg

More photos of the other sides of these hats can be found on my SAHoltArtist FaceBook page or on my Photobucket.


How to Make Vented Hats

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Hi there,

Here is the link to the PDF on How to Make Vented Hats. It includes the story of how we thought them up, a supplies list, a tools list, the directions, and at the very end a list of where you can purchase the materials. Most are Metro-Phoenix-Area based, as that’s where we live. However, all of the places I listed do have a web presence.

PDF How to Make Vented Hats

 photo 9Gears.jpg



Pocket Watch Chains

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Hi there,

I’s been a while since I’ve actually posted something other than brief little blurbs. Here’s my first post back as a functioning artist! Yippee!

If you’ve been following me on Etsy or FaceBook, you already know that I’ve been doing wire wrapping of some of my porcelain pendants. What you haven’t seen yet are the pocket watch chains. My hubby and I are just getting out outfits together so we can go do SteamPunk for the first time. Part of that look for certain gentlemen is a nice pocket watch chain. If you’re like me, you have no idea that there are basically two types, short and long, or the Albert and the Double Albert, named after Prince Albert of England, Queen Victoria’s much beloved husband.

My hubby was given a pocket watch with a short chain for Christmas by some good friends. He didn’t seem overly thrilled with the belt clasp that came with it. He asked that I make him a short and a long chain so he could switch it up. Being the good wife that I am, I took off that clasp from the original chain and put on a t-bar from my jewelry making kit so he could wear it through the button hole, like any good Victorian gentleman would.

Well, being as I didn’t have any suitable jewelry chain laying about the place, I had to go to my favorite jewelry supply store. (Oh! The humanity! <giggle>) I got him some silver chain and some brassy chain. I know the man likes options. In true hubby fashion, he decided he wanted two silver and two bronze/brass, one short in each color, and one long in each color. Being the Best Wife Ever, I , of course, made him all 4. Well, OK, the first one was an easy fix, as you’ve already read.

What you might not know about my hubby is that he’s not a svelte supermodel type (and honestly, neither am I). Sometimes, one size just does not fit all! So instead of just doubling the short chain for him, I made him go put on his vest and hand draped the chain so I know it would drape the way it should, and look good on him.

Here are the pics of the chains:

Short Original Chain

Long Brassy Chain

Short Silver Chain

Long Silver Chain

The next SteamPunk project will be to make some fobs for the other end of the Long watch chains. Apparently, they need to be “something” that is small enough to fit in the other pocket, but with a little weight to them. We’ll see what I can come up with.

I have another project or two in the works, so I will keep you posted as I get them finished. I’m so happy to be back off the injured player list, and creating art again!


My Art has Taken a Turn Toward the Steamy – SteamPunk That Is!

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Hi there,

Well, a lot has happened in the last couple of weeks! My hubby and I have decided to check out SteamPunk. (If you don’t know what it is, it’s kind of Victorian meets Wild, Wild West, meets the industrial revolution if it had gone differently, meets Firefly the TV show.) We have started to gather the garb/clothing we’ll need, and to modify things (like children’s toy “guns”, you know the kind with the squishy foam “bullets” so one doesn’t loose an eye, that rimes with surf).

Anyhow, I digress. So here is the first mod (modification) I have done. It takes a keychain toy and turns it into a Derringer-like piece. I am calling it the Lilly of the Valley SP (Steam Punk) Gun.


First things first, I took out the 4 little screws that were holding the case on to the firing mechanism.

Then, I took the case off, and discovered a most wonderful thing! If you turn the mechanism upside down from the way the manufacturer had it, 1) it still fires, and 2) it actually looks like the barrels of some of the old fashioned Derringers.

I then realized I needed some sort of handle to go on it. Luckily, I had some left over Padouk wood (an African red colored wood) from when I took wood-shop in art school. So I made a wooden handle.


I then completely threw the original case away, and carved the handle. My favorite flower is Lilly of the Valley, so I decided to carve them into the handle as the design on the front side. I also drilled three holes in it so I could attach it with wire to the barrel. the wire is really for looks, as I also epoxied them together so the connection would be sturdy.


After I was finished carving it, I decided the edges needed some definition, so I wood burned just the very edges/corners of the design.


After that and while the iron was still hot, I wood burned a simple Lilly of the Valley design into the top and bottom of the handle.

Top of Handle

Bottom of Handle

After carving, I turned my attention to the barrel. I spray painted it a brassy-gold color and let it dry. Luckilly, I live in the desert, and it was dry by the time I reached the door to go back inside. Then I painted bronze highlights with a metallic acrylic paint and a brush. After it was all dry, I clear coated it, so the paint was sealed together.


I put a finish on the wooden handle at the same time as I clear coated the barrel, and set them both aside overnight to cure.


When they were fully cured, I glued the handle to the barrel and let them cure together overnight. I used E-6000 for this.


Then, I wired the handle to the barrel, and started gluing brass plumbers fittings, washers, jewelry findings, and clockworks to the barrel, trigger, and the pump.


Here is the finished front of the piece:

Completed Front

I had originally left the back of the handle blank. Honestly, I just didn’t want to spend another super hot summer day outside in the sweltering shed. I then had and idea I really liked! I screwed five little brass nuts, with five little brass screws to the back, following the curve of the handle. Here is the finished back view:

Completed Back

It does still fire the little foam “bullets”.

I didn’t keep track of the amount of time it took to finish it, so I won’t even hazard a guess. But it did take about a week off and on to take it from toy to SteamPunk.