Monday, August 30, 2010

Steampunk Flash Drive Pendant Conversion Project

I had so much fun creating my first piece of Steampunk art, that I started looking around to see what else I could alter.  My hubby tossed me an old 2 GB flash drive he no longer used and told me to go to town on it - so I did. 

My altered art Steampunk USB Flash Drive Pendant.
(Wearable art and a functioning flash drive - I just love a multi-tasker.)

I wanted to be able to wear the flash drive as a pendant but needed it to be usable too, so I created it so it attaches via a magnetic connector to the necklace I will wear it on.  This way I can easily remove and reattach the flash drive as needed.  You can see half of the magnetic connector at the very top of the above photo.

So, How did I do it?

This is what I had to start with.
It had "good bones" for becoming a pendant piece and I loved the textured sides.

The First Challenge
I had to figure out how to get little bugger apart without destroying it.
(A tiny flat head screwdriver was gently used to pry it open.)

 Next I cut out the company logo to create a "window" for my
 Steampunk display of cogs and wheels and watch parts.

 I used several types of paint to alter the look of the pieces.
A base coat of Brown Neo Opaque was painted onto the textured side part which was originally lime green and I also painted over the letting on the flash drive.  Gold acrylic paint was dry-brushed onto the textured side piece to give it an antique gold patina look.  The flash drive was dry-brushed with a bit of cosmic copper brilliance ink since the watch parts to be added were gold or silver in color.
(I cut a small piece of transparency film to cover up the window opening so my artwork would have a bit of protection once it was finished.)

 The time consuming work of finding the right bits and pieces took the most time in this project. It helps to have small tools and good lighting.  I also like using a glue like amazing goop since if you change your mind about the placement of something you have a chance to remove it and start again.  If you use super glue it is a one shot deal and I don't like working under that kind of permanent pressure.

I rubber stamped a funky pattern onto the silver metal to give it an engraved look.
 I used Staz-On Back ink and the top corner of this Lost Coast Rubber Stamp.

 I sprayed the white outer shell of the flash drive with a hammered paint; which gave the plastic a hammered bronze look.  I actually needed a slightly different color to work with the jewelry findings I was eventually going to use so I distressed the above color a bit with some black ink to give it a more oxidized dark gray color.

I darkened the outer shell a bit with black ink and also did some rubber stamping along the case to continue with the "engraved" look and give it a more Victorian feel.  The new shell color worked a lot better with the oxidized silver bits I chose to use so the flash drive could be easily removed from the chain.

This is what the full necklace looks like. A heavy chunky chain with a key and lock toggle closure at the back and then a magnetic catch (the bumpy, silver ball) is used to attache the flash drive to the necklace.

 This magnet is just the right strength to keep the flash drive in place until it is needed, then it tugs free for use and easily reattaches, you don't even need to see what you are doing - it's so cool.  
(I've used the flash several times and have not had any problems with the magnets interfering with the drive's ability to work and retain data, so I think I'm home free in that department.)

Completed Steampunk Flash Drive
I'm really pleased with the way this turned out.
It's Fun, Fashionable and Functional - could a Steampunk girl ask for anything more?
Well... I understand there are flash drives that light up when you use them, so maybe I'll need to make one that will light up my artwork as well.

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My First Steampunk Creation - but not my last!

I think I'm starting to get a feel for Steampunk and here is my first creation.

Steampunk Pendant I created from parts and pieces.

I purchased a bag of old watch parts from Ornamentea a local bead store here in Raleigh, NC to add along to a bunch of small watch part wheels and cogs I already had on hand in my crafting treasure box of goodies. Then I went through my junk jewelry box to see what old thing I might have that would create a great base for a Steampunk piece and there it was...  a marcasite pin/pendant with a broken cameo on the center. (It's moments like this, that I'm glad to be a pack-rat because that base really made this piece what it is.)

I started off with a partially intact vintage ladies watch movement 
like this one and a box full of cogs, gears and pieces.

It took a  few tools, some Amazing Goop glue, and a whole lot of patience;
but I think the watch part assemblage was worth all the effort in the end.
I'm glad I had some extra watch part rubies in my mix since they made the piece "pop".
(the piece looked good at this stage, but it just needed a bit more.)

Here on the finished piece you can see where I added additional
watch part pieces to pull everything together. I even added sprockets to the bail.

Currently this piece is my favorite jewelry creation and I will wear it as a way to fly my Steampunk flag.  (I created it on Friday night, wore it for the first time on Saturday and already I've had people stopping me to look at it and talk about it. - What fun!)

This project has also revisited the treasure hunter in me so, I know it's time to check out the local thrift stores for old broken jewelry parts and pieces I can use as a base for future creations.  Creative recycling sure can be energizing and I'm looking forward to my next Steampunk creation.

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

Steampunk - My Latest Interest

Well I'm always on the hunt for something fun to catch my interest and a few months ago I noticed one of my favorite stamp companies had a line of Steampunk rubber stamps.  I scratched my head and took a look but did not really understand what this Steampunk stuff was?  The stamps were interesting - wheels, cogs, airships, Victoriana and things like that.

Steampunk inspired card by Joanne Wardle using Scrolls Work Stamps 
from the Steampunk line.

Then a few weeks later I was at the book store to add to my ever growing collection of historical romance novels, when I came across a novel by Katie MacAlister called STEAMED - A Steampunk Romance.  OK, this got my interest up since there was that Steampunk word again.  Well, I liked the books I had read by her before, so I bought it and stuck it on my shelf.

For several weeks the word Steampunk has been going through my head and little by little I've been playing on the web trying to figure out what it's all about.  I've become entranced by this genre partly by the retro aspect and also by the imagination and creativity these Steampunk fans put into their art.  I would not be surprised if this trend hit in a big way very soon.  

Steampunk Paper Doll Man - By Wanda Stivison

Steampunk? What is that you might ask?
Well, there seem to be various versions of what it is or could be. The way I look at it is, that modern technology goes back in time to steam powered Victorian England.  The clothes, the architecture, design elements, and customs of Victorian England but with major technological advancements; however these contraptions are steam driven or mechanical just as they would have been in Victorian times.  Now mind you - Steampunk is a fictional world, so there are lots of ways people can interpret what this world would be like and all the better; since that gives me license to create Steampunk art the way I see it. 

I love the ornateness of the artifacts, the hats, frock coats, vintage glasses, goggles, pocket watches and yes, the corsets. (which many wear on the outside where they can be seen).  Steampunk is just a fun concept and I can see why so many people want to play in this fictional world.


Here are some great pictures I've found on the web while on this quest to discover more about Steampunk and its growing sub-culture. One picture is worth one thousand words so I'll let you see what has inspired me to learn more and to start creating art in the Steampunk style.

 A Steampunk computer by creator Jake von Slatt

Steampunke iPod by creative artist Oscar Blanco

Steampunk USB Flashdrive by Artype on etsy

 Great Steampunk Frock Coats by Kristi Smart

 A Steampunk pendant using old watch parts by nouveaumotley at etsy

A Steampunk cuff bracelet by Perseph

Steampunk Fashion - web photo from Neo-Victorian Living blog

Oh, by the way - I finally started to read STEAMED - A Steampunk Romance by Katie MacAlister.  A modern hunky techno geek finds himself in a Steampunk world after a lab explosion in his time transports him to a lady captain's airship.  She's all decked out in her traditional woolen Victorian Aerocorps uniform and he sporting a black tee-shirt with a logo on the back for a band called "Airship Pirate"...

 Grins and Giggles, 
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Faskolor Paint Background using the Kiss Technique - an alternate to the Polished Stone Technique

Faskolor Paints are used by hobbyists to airbrush on model cars but I enjoy using these paints on my creative projects.  I have also used other brands such as Createx; just check the airbrush section of you hobby or craft store and you should find a comparable type of model car paint. 

Regardless of the brand; I always use the pearlized colors, since I like the shimmer those give my projects.
The key to the look I get is to use the pearlized model car paint on black glossy cardstock.  You need the glossy black to get the bright pop of color in the finished projects you will see here.

An example of a Faskolor Background using the Kiss Technique.

Faskolor Paint Background using the Kiss Technique

  • One sheet of Black Glossy Cardstock cut in half.
  • Faskolor Paint in several colors (or other car model airbrush paint)
  • Lots of scrap paper and tissues to protect your work surface and wipe your hands.

Drop lots of dots of paint all over one piece of the glossy cardstock.
Too much paint and you won't get good swirling, Too little paint and the 
the glossy cardstock faces will try and stick to each other and the surface 
will tear apart when you do the Kiss technique.

Lay the second piece of black glossy cardstock face down on top of the
paint topped piece so the two KISS.

Lightly press down with your fingertips and spread the paint around between
the two sheets. This part gets a bit messy since excess paint will squeeze out the 
edges. You can wipe off the excess with tissue or you can scrape off the paint 
and place it to the side to decorate another piece of paper.

Gently lift from the corner and peal the top away from the bottom.
Pull up slowly to get small veining - Pull up faster to get larger swirls.

The finished product will be two pieces that are mirror images of each other.
The bottom portion was pulled slowly and the top portion was pulled up faster
giving the two different swirling effects.

Using the mirror halves gives a great optical background.

Examples using Faskolor Paint Background using the Kiss Technique:

Buildings were stamped on transparency film and the transparency was 
attached over the Faskolor background using spray adhesive.
Rubber stamp image by Viva Las Vegas Stamps.

Animal print was printed onto transparency film; which was attached
to the Faskolor background using spray adhesive.  
A vintage image was attached on top to create a fun and simple ATC (Artist Trading Card).

Domino Art using the Faskolor Paint Background using the Kiss Technique.
The domino was painted black and the same technique as above was 
used but domino to domino instead of glossy cardstock.
(Inkadinkado Image was rubber stamped once the paint was dry.)


Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Polished Stone Technique on Glossy Cardstock using re-inkers

I enjoy creating funky, colorful backgrounds for my ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) and other small pieces of artwork; especially using the Polished Stone on Glossy Cardstock Technique.

One of my favorite things to do with these creations is to overlay the background with a sheet of transparancy film that have either been printed or to rubber stamped with a design. I just really like the look these combined layers give to a finished project.

This ATC Shrine project uses transparancy film that has been rubber stamped with
imagesby Blockheads Rubber Stamps that are overlayed with spray adhesive 
onto glossy carstock to which the Polished Stone technique has been applied.

Polished Stone Technique on Glossy Cardstock using re-inkers.

Creating a Polished Stone background onto white glossy cardstock with re-inkers is an easy technique but it can get a bit messy, so protect your clothing and work surface when you give it a try.  Basically you want to daub and swirl color onto the glossy cardstock in layers adding color and alcohol till you achieve a look that you like.

White Glossy Cardstock
91% Isopropyl Alcohol
A small spray bottle filled with the alcohol
Dye Based Rubber Stamp Pad re-inkers 
or Adirondack Alcohol Inks (this is what I used for this project)
a Gold Leafing Pen (optional)
Daubing Tool (mine is by Tim Holtz)
Felt Pads (I cut my own from large felt squares)

Start by dotting several colors of the reinker to the felt pad on your daubing tool.
I have two dots of Stream on the top and bottom of the pad and two dots of Lettuce in between.

Next spray the Glossy White Cardstock liberally with alcohol.

Daub and swirl the first set of colors onto the glossy cardstock, spraying with more alcohol as needed.

Load up a clean felt pad with more colors for added depth.
The top two dots are Wild Plum, the middle two Stream and the last two are Eggplant.
I sprayed alcohol again and daubed and swirled as before.

Once I achieved a color combination I was pleased with I dotted on ink from a 
Gold Leafing pen, sprayed on more alcohol and daubed and swirled this into the mix
for added interest.

The process of adding the Gold Leafing adds shimmer to the project but it also
softens the existing colors. This step is optional; however this does put the "polish"
in the Polished Stone Effect.  You can also substitute silver or copper leafing pens for the gold.

This is how my finished piece of Polished Stone Glossy Cardstock turned out.


An example using a polished stone glossy cardstock background:
 Polished stone background & Transparancy printed with animal print pattern.

Transparancy bonded to the polished stone background and cut to 
ATC size of 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.

ATC with additional images over the background.

Every background you create will be unique and there is a large range of possible color combinations. 

4 examples using the same rubber stamp image on different color variations of polished stone backgrounds. The waterfall rubber stamp image is by Third Coast Rubber Stamps and was stamped onto the the backgrounds using Black Staz-On ink.

4 examples using the same rubber stamp image on different color variations of polished stone backgrounds. The map rubber stamp image is by Hero Arts and was stamped onto the the backgrounds using Black Staz-On ink.

Grins and Giggles,
 Evelyn (EKDuncan)