Thanks for visiting my blog again! I'm going to post some pics and links from the Wild West Steam Fest. It's a small yet really cool steampunk festival in Santa Ana. The festival combines steampunk with the Wild West and I thought it was a lot of fun. I met some new professionals and acquaintances. Plus, I had a chance to reconnect with some familiar faces. So, take a little time to explore my post and I'm sure you'll find a lot of interesting things.
My sister and I met a writer and steampunk personality right at the opening gate. Katherine L. Morse is a steampunk author who writes about a variety of adventures. She and her husband, David L. Drake, also host panels at steampunk events like the Gaslight Gathering in San Diego. I didn't have a chance to use my camera yet, but she had a Wild West type of steampunk costume. You can follow Drake & McTrowell on Facebook or learn more about them at http://drakeandmctrowell.com. It's always nice for me to meet other steampunk authors. Maybe I can get to know them a little better down the road.
The Steam Fest had a real blacksmith at the Heritage Museum of Orange County. I don't get to see vintage trades very often, so this was quite a treat for me. Gil Ramirez works as a blacksmith, actor, and prop maker. I thought his merchandise was really cool. Gil uses coal, fire, and various types of hammers to create his metal items. The guys were working directly on the property and it worked quite well with the Wild West theme. I'm leaving links to his Twitter page and official website.
We met a really cool cosplay group who also appears to be a conglomeration of history buffs. They're called The Atlantean Foundation. The group has a big emphasis on exploration, antiquities, research, and unexplained phenomena. One of their youths runs Dang! Industries. She's a very creative young lady who makes interesting gadgets and gizmos. I felt amused with the steampunk Pokémon items that she created. The round iron ball on her table is a specialized type of Poke Ball that was designed to catch Pokémon.
Everyone else from The Atlantean Foundation had unique findings too. They're very good storytellers and collectors of many things. I thought their costumes were great too. You can find out more about their group at https://www.facebook.com/atlanteanfoundation. Take a look at my pics to view their collections. I also took a really nice group shot of them.
So, I had an opportunity to meet a steampunk Wookie. That doesn't happen very often. I'm getting to know several members of the Star Wars Steampunk Universe or SWSU. They're a group of cosplayers who take Star Wars characters and add a lot of steampunk elements. The SWSU also participates in a lot charity events. This was my first time meeting the steampunk Chewbacca character. He was actually quite generous, allowing me to have one of their badges. It's a collectible item, so I felt very pleased with his gift.
This is Tracy Davis. He's the steampunk C-3PO persona in the SWSU. We met each other at the Long Beach Comic Expo back in February. I think his costume is really inventive. Some people have a knack for DIY projects.
I featured this vendor on a previous event post. Gears & Roebuck, Rusty Junk Emporium makes a variety of steampunk merchandise, including prop weapons, masks, hats, and more. The owner makes appearances at conventions throughout Southern California. I think she's also going to be an exhibitor at the Gaslight Gathering this year. Her prop weapons are pretty cool. I'm still thinking about commissioning her at some point. Gears & Roebuck is available on Facebook and Etsy. www.etsy.com/shop/GearsandRoebuck.
We were fascinated with a vendor called Everythingz Steampunked. The owner is Dennis A. Tauriello, but his wife and daughter were working the stand when we strolled through the area. Most of their work is created from antique watch parts. I thought it was an interesting concept. Check them out on Facebook.
Is this a robotic Cthulhu? He definitely stood out in the crowd. Inventive to say the least.
I snapped a picture of Lindsay Rae. She's the owner of Rae Wolf Designs. My photo isn't doing her merchandise justice because everything looks so small. She makes little octobots and other steampunk items. I noticed some flowers in one of the briefcases and little craft bugs on her hat. You can find out much more about her work on Facebook and www.raewolfdesigns.com.
Sherry Ramaila owns the Steamtorium. I really enjoyed her merchandise. My sister bought a booklet with some patterns that she can use for sewing projects. The Steamtorium sells handbags, clothing, jewelry, and teacup holsters. I thought the teacup holsters were adorable. They would fit into my book series really well. Characters could travel and then stop to have afternoon tea on the wasteland. Awesome! You can purchase the Steamtorium's merchandise from Etsy and find out more information through Facebook.
This is the second time I saw an exhibit for the Gaslight Expo during 2017. It's a huge steampunk festival in San Diego that's held every fall. I never attended in the past, but it's definitely on my list of things to do next year. The Gaslight Expo is running from October 6th through the 8th. It's a separate event from the Gaslight Gathering. The Expo's primary theme is focusing on fantasy worlds, including Wonderland, Oz, and Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Their guest of honor is Tim Powers this year. I think it's great because he's one of the original steampunk authors. If you want to find out more information or feel inclined to buy tickets, look at their official website. www.gaslightexpo.org.
I don't know a lot of details about the next vendor. However, his merchandise is really cool. Hornsmythe sells all kinds of steampunk goodies, including goggles, satchels, belts, jewelry, masks, hats, prop weapons, etc. I didn't obtain any links to social media or online stores, but you can probably find their merchandise through a Google search. Take a look at my photos to see their merchandise.
We found some cool and whimsical merchandise from Wyngd Lyon. Colleen Rodriguez is the owner and it seemed like her merchandise was a little different than what I saw from the other vendors. She sold books, playing cards, hair clips, and some decorative items. I bought a Daredevil pin from her. The Daredevil television show is awesome. In fact, I think his fighting style is somewhat similar to the protagonist in my book series. So, I wanted to have a little bit of Daredevil spirit with a pin on my lapel. Her friend at the stand was Cynthia Diamond. She's an author of fantasy romance novels. I'm sure many of you guys would enjoy her work. After all, romance is a very popular genre. I'll leave a list of links. Keep in mind, you can also search for Wyngd Lyon on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
www.cynthiadiamondauthor.com- Cynthia Diamond's Author website
http://wyngdlyon.com/- Wyngd Lyon Official Website
http://store.wyngdlyon.com/- Wyngd Lyon Store
All right. They were holding tea dueling at the Steam Fest throughout the day. What on earth is tea dueling? Apparently, it's a way for two people to settle a dispute in a civilized manner. They sit down at a table with warm tea and a biscuit. The biscuit must be held between two fingers. A moderator will count down and then the two opponents will dip their biscuits in the tea for five seconds. Then the opponents will withdraw their biscuits from the tea and hold it up. At that point, the biscuits will be very soggy and potentially fall apart. The opponents are supposed to wait for as long as possible before stuffing the entire biscuit in their mouth. If the biscuit breaks, the opponent loses the match. There are also varying degrees of losing. A regular loss happens when the biscuit breaks and falls on the table. It's worse if the biscuit breaks and splashes inside the tea cup. The worst type of loss happens when the biscuit falls on the opponent's clothes. It's also possible for both of the opponents to lose. I guess that's how it works. Tea dueling doesn't seem to be much of a talent for me. I failed epically twice.
Meet Dr. Artemus Peepers. He's a steampunk cosplayer with a very elaborate costume. Check out those wings. In 2016, he was also the winner of a joint competition from the Syfy network and Trolli candy company titled the Weirdly Awesome Costume Contest. I thought his outfit was pretty cool, so taking a pic seemed like a good idea. You can read his posts on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/drpeepers/.
I ran into my buddies from the Star Wars Steampunk Universe again. Actually, I probably saw more of them at the Steam Fest than any other event this year. We took a group picture together. You guys should check them out on social media. If you're curious about joining the SWSU, send a message to their Facebook page. They're a really friendly and active group of people. https://www.facebook.com/starwarssteampunkuniverse/
Look at that. We make a photogenic group. I think this was my first individual photo with the SWSU. You might be able to see me holding a prop wrench. Funny story. The attendees at the festival were really fascinated with my wrench. They asked a lot of questions. How much did it cost? Is it heavy? Did you make it yourself? Basically, it's a foam wrench that I bought for nine bucks at a Halloween store two years ago. I believe it was a Spirit of Halloween shop. The prop is very light weight and you might be able to find it on Amazon too. Ironically, you can find a lot of useful props for cosplay in the serial killer section of any Halloween store. Usually, the props are made out of foam or plastic and pretty cheap. That's my helpful tip to anyone who's putting together a steampunk costume.
Many of the attendees had great outfits. It was a little challenging to snap pictures. People were on the move and it was crowded. But I got a few good ones. I thought this couple was very creative with their Voodoo take on steampunk.
James Graham is the Lando character on your left. We met earlier in the year at the Long Beach Comic Expo. Really nice guy. On your right is the Mace Windu cosplayer for the SWSU. He's going to add more elements to his costume throughout the year. Most likely, I'll run into him at later events and his costume will probably be more elaborate at that point.
I thought this pair was also quite interesting. They made good use of black and purple with tinted goggles. I like it when cosplayers try different colors aside from brown and cream.
Bailey-Denton Photography was the last vendor we visited at the Steam Fest. James and Valorie Denton have a vintage style of photography with tintypes. It's totally appropriate for steampunk. They took a picture of me and I had the opportunity to see it develop in the solution. Really cool experience. Click on http://www.baileydentonphoto.com to find out more information about their photography.
There aren't many steampunk conventions in my area, so this was a nice change of pace. The property at the Heritage Museum of Orange County is fascinating. I just wish the weather wasn't so hot. It was nice to see so many steampunk fans gathering in one location. I can tell the genre is thriving quite well with a lot of variety. Leave comments if you want to say anything about the Wild West Steam Fest. Stay tuned for my next post and I hope you enjoyed the pics.