A Steampunk Summer Adventure Abroad!

This summer was filled with travel. Visiting other states and countries with friends and family is like a fresh dip in a cool pool on those hot, summer months when the weather outside tempts us to do *anything* besides work. So why not give in? Of course, my eye still wandered to all things bookish and steampunky, and here are a few nuggets of fun I found along the way:

Hidden in the depths of the Art Institute of Chicago, below the Serats and the Renoirs, the Picassos and the Lichtensteins, and around the corner of the amazing Chagall windows, are the Thorne Miniature Rooms where one woman's passion for miniatura became an astounding collection of art depicting tiny replicas that peeked into American, European and Asian homes from classic eras to the "modern age" (around 1940). I delved into my love to itty bitty detail and gobs of wish-fulfillment fantasies to have libraries like this one:


If I'm ever shrunk to fairy-size, you can find me reading here.

We happened to be in Quebec during a library's "Reading in the Park" event and stumbled upon these explorers who were touting the adventures they'd just had in books. We munched on our loaves of fresh bread and watched the performers as much as the audience filled of wide-eyed children and smiling adults who sat behind tables ready to check out some of the rolling carts of books they'd brought outside. Reading + Steampunk + Librarians + Acting Adventure? Sign me up! I only wish I'd kept up my French...


Adventures in Reading! How cool is that?

I am a complete sucker for hats. Ask anyone! I have a huge collection of Victorian hats as well as sun hats, formal hats, 80's retro hats, and costume hats so it was no wonder that I tried on a ton of these leather-bound chapeaux at the Head 'N Home booth at the Port Clinton Arts Festival! Corset hats? Cameo hats? Snake hats? Steampunk stove pipes? I'm in haberdasher heaven!


Dressing it up "Mad Hatter" style!

And, of course, I love books! (I know this is a great shock to anyone who's been following this blog...) Mix in steampunk and I think I'm ready for a well-earned read, but this time, I found something new to crave. Art! Ray Papka makes art out of altered books and I literally (literarily?) stopped in my tracks when I saw this gorgeous tome of a clock with brass fittings and splashed with red:


A "Watched Clock" never boils. (I covet this mightily!)

I am currently in a decorating craze, trying to fill the blank walls of my house with things that look like we live there instead of post-college kids squatting in a grown-up house. These little copper houses have windows into gold- and silver-plated wonders. These distressed silver/copper/gold wall art pieces by Robert Farrell are so gorgeous, I had to come back twice to look. Hitting that blend of teeny-tiny and sparkly-rusty that always gets me giddy, I dreamed of hanging one of these in my kitchen. (I'd do my whole house steampunk-style if I could!)


I'll just be inside with a cup of tea and a good book, thanks! I'll ring the bell if I need anything sent up.

Now all I have to do is get back on my next Steampunk Tea Party project; and I have a new copper fondue pot, metallic sprinkle set & theme idea to make it happen! Now where did I put my brass gears...?

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