Monday, June 30, 2014

Steampunks Ride Again!

This year's Del Mar Fair (cause even I'm old enough to know that this is it's real name) was a fabulous af"fair".  The theme being Fab Fair; a British Fab Four Invasion.  Let me just say that we really did do our share of "invading".  Everywhere we went we heard whisper's, "there's another one of those Steampunk people" and those just asking directly what we were doing at the fair.  Our attendance was to enjoy the fair and meeting to see the Antique Car Races.

For all the wonder of the day, my arrival was rather a rocky start.  Before I explain, however, I'd like to start by saying that I try to find some focal point for each event.  Most of the time it's a breakdown of a new costume & it's design, or a fabulous costume I've seen at the event that I wish to highlight.  Well this time it's a bit more focused on the woes of costuming mishaps.  Now to explain my rough entry.

Fashionably late is not something I like to do, but being new, I haven't yet mastered being ready on time for costumed events.  So I'm already worried about being late, which makes one rush & hurry.  I'd dressed lighter than any guild event up to this point and was looking forward to an easy day at the fair.  Finding parking went smoother and took less time than I expected. (Having happened upon a parking secret that I will use for years to come). So I donned the last bits of costume, locked the car, and picked up my good friend Fredrick Firetail, who had been previously attached to my jacket for the day, and started to walk into the fair. 

Side Note: If you don't know, Fredrick is the dragonfly (well damselfly, but that's confusing to all but dfly enthusiasts) that perches on my shoulder at Steampunk events.

So I purchased my ticket.  I chose to enter the side gate instead of the main entrance and purchased my ticket at the booth in between the two.  This made for a very short line, which made me smile and boosted my confidence even more that I wouldn't be too much later arriving.  I exited the line and turned towards the gate to suddenly hear the popping sound that is the copper wire frame on one set of Fredrick's wings.

I stopped dead in my tracks!  Heart pounding, I tried to maintain the calm that befits Victorian culture.  On my right was a hedge and it sort of made a cut out so that I could step out of the main flow of traffic.  Kneeling down I reached into the pocket of the jacket and pricking my finger on my emergency needle, I pulled the thread out along with it.

While praying that sewing two raw ends of strong copper wire together would hold all day, while bouncing on my shoulder, I quickly cut the thread and threaded my needle.  There were small bits of slag left on each end of the joint that snapped.  This made spots that I could use to bind the two sides together.  If the ends had been smoother, I would not have been able to repair him.  So I made quick work of stitching the copper wire together and continued on to the entry gate.

The gates have had metal detectors for a few years now, so I had come prepared, by carrying in my big metal amphibious "bug".  The guards helped me get him into a box and sent him through on the side.  I stepped through and picked him up, put him on and off I went.  I remember thinking, "coming down the home stretch.  Just up those steps and you'll be there just in time."  I took two steps up and heard another fatal sound, "RRRIIIPPPPP".  Quickly I scurried to the top of the steps, trying not to make the issue worse and sat down in the nearest seat to check the damage.  Upon inspection I discovered that the pleated bottom third of my skirt had been separated from the body of it in a 6" section.  At this point all I can say is I'm glad I had remembered my emergency kit for the first time ever!  Needle & thread mended again with a quick whip stitch and I finally arrived just as everyone was dispersing to wander the fair. 

The moral of the story?  Remember your emergency kit!

Cindy & Jerry picked me up after a bit of mingling in the stands and we wandered throughout the lunch hour together.

 My annual hot dog on a stick & lemonade was purchased and consumed.

Then we made our way to see the side show act I'd heard mention of.  (I have an event in the works that could be in need of circus-like entertainment, so I was really excited to see the show for ideas and possible performers).

 Tickets were purchased & the side show was enjoyed.

We then journeyed through the arts & textile buildings to pass our time before making our way to see the fiberglass ponies.

By now I was quite drained of energy and I decided to opt out of riding the carousel, in exchange for taking photos.  As you may have seen by these photos, it was a great choice & the best of a few, that kept the mornings mishaps from taking root as a fowled day.

The amazing response to my photos from the day, have made me one happy girl!  I'm so excited to get to know all of my new steampunk friends from the fair & those that are now my friends on facebook.  As a person bad at remembering names, FB is a wonderful tool for putting a face to a tangible name.  I can see your name right next to your face & that makes life a whole lot easier.

Thanks again to Cindy & Jerry for enjoying the fair with me.  Thanks to Jerry @ & a few others, for a few of the photos found herein.  Here's to seeing you again soon!  Cheers!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

We could use your help!

We've been working on our yard for the past two years now.  The planting has all been done and most of the yard is looking established & healthy.  We are still working on a few areas as new ideas come along.

Last week, my Mom tried to show me a 2 liter soda bottle, hanging planter wall.  It was right as we were exiting the freeway and you could look down into folks' yards.  Unfortunately I was driving and couldn't really look at it.  I promised to check it out the next time I drove by the area and this week I did.

The wall I saw looked quite nice and since I've seen things like this before on Pinterest, I went to search through my boards.

Click here to see my inspirations for the garden ----->>

Here are a few things we've done & are planning to do....

We are working on completing this project.  This is the inspiration photo for a cinder block planter.  We have the block filled with soil in place & it is just awaiting the plants to go in it.
Along the top of the fence (that you will see below), we put a small wire fencing that can be bought at your local hardware store usually.  It typically comes in 6-8-12 foot segments.  We used a staple gun to attach it to the fence top.  We intend our blackberry vines to work there way along it over the next few years.
Lighting!  We've installed a few battery operated hanging sconces like this, along with the strands of bulb lights in the patio area, hanging from our big ash tree.  They look so wonderful at night.

This is something we plan to do soon too.  While pulling out our inspirations from previous projects & this current one, this one flashed by and we added it to the project list.  This should add a nice touch on either side of the gate.

This is a project we've done.  Having quickly become tired of a messy hose on the ground in our tight walkway, we installed on the stucco siding of our house, an old metal bucket to use as a hose hanger. 
This is also part of our most recent project.  To get our blackberry vines up the fence to the wire fencing attached on top, we will be using some trashed bike tires, minus the rubber, as trellis.
And for the main project, 2 Liter Bottles "Living Wall".  We need your help acquiring enough of these bad boys to cover and entire fence & possibly the side of the storage barn.

 Here's how to help.  Let us know on Facebook, via messaging or as a comment on the blog link post for this article.  Even if you only have a few, we would love to get them from you.  We can come to you, unless you are really far away from East County, SD.

Thank you so much in advance for helping us make this project come to life.  And we promise that there will be photos of this completed area when it is all finished.

You can find all of the links for these photos on the Pinterest board linked here ---> .  Thank you!