Nov 9, 2012

Golf Punk

My hubby has developed an interest for golf and so the first thing he and his co-workers wanted was a trophy cup to play for. I got the task of prettying up the one they bought.

Golf punk trophy -
Golf-punked Trophy

It was strangely satisfying sewing tiny pants.

Oct 24, 2012

A weekend in Steam, but not a steamy weekend

Over the weekend I attended several of the Steam Festival events with the Dunedin Steampunk group.

At the festival opening, held at the Dunedin Railway station (poured with rain, typical) my no-sew bustle pad was put to good use as I dressed up as my character: Cadet Peasgoode, Misinformation Corps.

Not quite Victoria's secret: The no-sew bustle pad in action

The Steampunks weren't the only ones taking the opportunity to show off. The rayguns and goggles had competition for the limelight with another bunch of pretty frocks, a group who go by the name of "Images of the Past" and who enjoy making and wearing Victorian/Edwardian Fashion. I feel I shall have to investigate them further, possibly consider switching of teams...

Dunedin Steampunk attend the opening of the Steam Fest 2012

The punks won the show-off showdown however, their group photo graced the pages of the local newspaper the following day (So if you're keeping score that's Rayguns: One, Parasols: nil.)

Another day, another outfit: On Saturday the steam train Ka 942 brought down to Dunners especially for the festival, ferried passengers on a round trip from the central city to Sawyer's bay. I ventured out as: The Widow Peasgoode, (a golf widow, mother to Cadet Peasgoode) who is rather controversially an anti-suffragette, proclaiming as NZ was the first country to receive the women's vote, we should be the first to give it back...
The Widow Peasgoode and chums ride the Steam train
Despite the dreary weather, the train running out of fuel both the Widow and I had a good, slightly surreal time, especially when being photographed by tourists. Nice to think me and my big fake bum are doing our part in promoting lovely Dunedin in our own unique way.

For a more detailed account on what the festival was actually about, please read this blog post by my friend JT Webster, perhaps soon to be the embodiment of Queen Victoria?

Oct 10, 2012

Crafty Adventures at the Gasworks

 Over the weekend as part of the up-coming Steamfest, I helped out with the "Children's Model Airship" Workshop, run by the Dunedin Steampunk group and hosted at the Gasworks Museum. Needless to say, hot-glue gun burns aside, much crafting fun was had. 

Oct 4, 2012

Teacup score!

Sometimes I wonder which is the best charity store in town. Just when I think it's one, I get an excellent bargain at another. Recently I purchased two of these pretty blue teacups for 50 cents each from the Salvation Army thrift store in Mosgiel.
Vintage Teacup

I think I shall have to keep a running score, so currently that puts the Sally armies in the lead with two op-shop scores, including my lovely vintage sewing machine.

& now what to do with these cups? Turn them into pincushions...or dare I say it? Drink tea from them?

Oct 1, 2012

Things to do in Lawrence

Yesterday, I ventured down to Lawrence to join in the festivities at the Daffodil Fields located on the ruined brewery site of the former Hart's Black Horse Brewery as this year their gala day had a steampunk theme.

Hart's Black Horse Brewery & Daffodil Fields in Lawrence.
~ I didn't find out what the bees were warning people of

 I also had a chance to look around the (tiny) township of Lawrence. Established during the goldrush days of the mid nineteenth century, Lawrence abounds with ye old buildings of by-gone beauty.

Historic Buildings in Lawrence ~ The Goldfield Capital of NZ
Lovely buildings aside, one of our group knew of something even better. Located at the top of Peel Street in a very unassuming converted garage is Fossickers, and within, a treasure trove of pre-loved items for sale. I could have spent ages looking around, but alas the bus waits for no punk. Anyhoo, I scored this very tidy Gladstone-esk handbag.

"Fossickers" secondhand shop, 28 Peel Street, Lawrence
*Sigh* Scenery. Steampunk. Shopping. A perfect girly Sunday.

Sep 21, 2012

Spring Pin - In orange

Spring Pin, jewellery by Kura:
Orange stick pin 'Spring Pin'

Here's a Spring Pin brooch in orange. It's not a traditional brooch , but stick pin brooch, you can see the construction detail better in the image than then pinks ones which I had 'planted' for display in a pincup I made.

Sep 20, 2012

Spring Pins

Spring Pins, crafted by Kura:
Spring Pins - Brooch Design

Here are some brooch pin designs I've been crafting to celebrate the return of Spring.

Sep 19, 2012

Vintage Sewing Machine Parts - Stitch Pattern Cams

When I bought the Empisal sewing machine, she (I've named her Iron Beauty) came with a retro container filled with plastic knobs. There was no mention of these knobs in the manual - which is a scant document - so I asked a few friends. The consensus was they might be attachments altered the stitches, in order to do decorative stitching.

After googling I was pretty sure they were correct, and in fact what I had was a box of plastic Cams, also called 'stitch patterns'.

However, google has really let me down (for the first time ever). There is next to no info about the Iron Beauty and her Empisal family. But after much searching I saw a grainy low quality video where a cam was put somewhere on top of a vintage Singer.

So my next step is open up Iron Beauty, but as I couldn't figure out how to thread her without the manual, my hopes for this mission succeeding are not high. Possibly the box of cams isn't even for this machine. We shall see...

UPDATE I have figure out how to use the cams! READ HERE
Vintage Empisal (Brother) Gold Line Sewing machine & plastic Cam stitch patterns
Vintage Empisal (Brother) Gold Line Sewing machine & plastic Cam stitch patterns

Sep 10, 2012

Hooray for Spring

I found this old preserving jar in our basement, it was covered in dirt and cobwebs, but a hot soapy washy later and it's the perfect compliment to spring blossoms from my garden.

Aug 23, 2012

Steamfest 2012 - Dunedin Steampunk Events

Here's the flyer I did for my local Steampunk group, listing all the Steam Festival events coming up this October:
Steamfest 2012 Dunedin Steampunk Flyer of events. Graphic Designer: Kura Carpenter

Aug 22, 2012

Kanzashi Inspired Fabric Flower Brooches

Kanzashi Inspired fabric Flower Brooch by Kura Carpenter:
Kanzashi Inspired Brooch

Here's a selection of some Kanzashi inspired fabric flower brooches, which  I've been making for a couple of years now.

There are plenty of tutorials online how to make them, but if people are keen I'd be happy to share my methods. 

Kanzashi Inspired fabric Flower Brooch by Kura Carpenter:
Kanzashi Inspired fabric Flower Brooch by Kura Carpenter:

Aug 21, 2012

How to make a no sew Bustle Pad from an 80s handbag

No-Sew Steampunk Bustle Pad tutorial : Kura Carpenter, you're interested in Victorian or Steampunk clothing you'll be familiar with the bustle skirt and you may even be aware of the bustle-pad, a cushion-type device for accentuating ones...silhouette.

If you haven't tried using one with your bustle skirt I highly recommend you do. When I started working on my first Steampunk outfit I came across an excellent blogpost and tutorial on the Steam Ingenious blog "How to make a bustle-pad and why you should"

At the time I didn't have a sewing machine so I actually hand-stitched one following her instructions by hand.
Did I mention I sewed it by hand? It was worth the effort but by sheer dumb luck I've now come up with an no-sew version.

A while back I was browsing the handbag shelf in Butterflies ** ,one of my favorite local Op-Shops (thrift store), when among the black PVC bags an orange beacon of 80s ugliness enthralled me. I couldn't pass it by and I didn't know why. Slowly I realised that beyond the fulginess the bag was the same shape as a bustle pad...

So here's what you do:

First, take your 80s bag 'o ugly and stuff it with full of batting. Tie on a couple of strips of cotton - or whatever. [If the bag has big bulky handles you'll probably need to remove them, but in my case the straps were just soft cloth and as the bag was in good order,  (and not being a complete vandal) I decided not to cut the straps.]

And with an over-skirt in place, and a cummerbund to hide the ties I think it worked a treat. So if you can't be bothered sewing one, I suggest keeping your eye out for this shape of bag instead.

** If you haven't been in there, Butterflies is tiny, seriously tiny. St Patrick's day is their busiest day of the year, when ALL the Dunedin students, suddenly overcome with a hankering to dress up in green and drink green beer, descend upon the tiny shop. Do not go to Butterflies on St Patrick's day unless you want to risk suffocation by shoppers.

UPDATE If you're looking for more Steampunk ideas, please check out my

 How to Make Ruffle Cuffs mini-tutorial, 

or you might like my  

Steampunk DIY board on Pinterest.

Aug 20, 2012

A belated Welcome

Over 2 years ago I had the plan to start blogging my creative projects, while I kept on making things, I didn't carry on updating the blog. That's about to change. Promise.

So anyway, my day job is a freelance graphic designer, you can view examples of my work over on my other blog HERE.

I love graphic design, but I've always been a 'maker' and when not at the computer tinkering away on Photoshop, I'd be tinkering away on some craft project - usually jewellery.

In May this year I became involved in Steampunk. Steampunk and DIY go hand in hand and pretty soon I was up-cycling belts and clothes into Steampunk outfits. To begin with I wasn't doing much sewing and relied more on *cough* hot glue to alter my outfits. If I absolutely had too I would do a little bit of hand sewing, or go and use my mum's sewing machine.

Then three weeks ago, as I was scouting through my local Salvation Army charity shop, I saw a small, retro-looking, green suitcase labelled "$40. As is". Perhaps Fate or sheer nosiness made me open the case. When I did, something within glowed...

There inside the travel case, the shoplights reflecting off its gold-plated trim, was a beautiful 1950s (?) "Empisal" Gold-line deluxe sewing machine. I had no idea if was in going order, if all the parts were there, and the 'as is' label didn't ease my mind. All I knew was from now on this beauty was mine.

Empisal Gold-line sewing Machine: