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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the soggy Victorian (Christmas parade pics)

Last night my Renaissance faire crew and I participated in our town's 30th annual Christmas parade. We like to participate in parades every chance we get because it's a good way to spread awareness the faire. The night was extremely cold, windy and it never stopped stopped misting. My toes were numb, my head ached from the heavy fake pony tail, my gloves were soggy - I was miserable, but it was pretty fun.
This year's parade theme was steampunk - which we found to be pretty hilarious because my group helped to bring steampunk to Texarkana a few years back.  No one even knew what on earth steampunk was so we shoved it up everyone's nose and they loved it. We hosted the town's first steampunk event a few years ago and we have annually every year since. Now the whole town's on board and I'm tickled pink about it.
Out of over 100 entries, we were only about 1 out of 8 floats that followed the theme. Many people still have no clue what steampunk is and didn't even attempt to try. One of the rules of a float entry is, your float must be made from recycled materials and be illuminated with Christmas lights so we made an industrial steam powered machine from liquor store boxes, plastic water bottles, soda cans,vacuum hoses and other junk. This is the float below - too bad we didn't get a photo of it all lit up. We even had a smoke stack that blew steam! It was SO cool! We took third place which is great but we got first last year and I really wanted to be on top again.

Machine construction started in my kitchen last month. I started assembling junk that was donated to us from family and faire supporters. Then we met up two days before the parade, pooled the rest our junk together and got to work. Everything is held together with TONS of hot glue and tape. It took about 8 hours to complete.


I'm not sure what Elvis has to do with steampunk, but this kid was great! He didn't represent an organization or anything - he just wanted to be Elvis in the parade! How cool is that?
See our steam power? Neat, huh? My handy husband rigged up a fog machine just right so it would give off the impression of a smoke stack.
Brave, brave people.
We didn't buy a thing for our costumes. We already had everything we needed but dressing in warm, Christmas themed, weather proof steampunk garb was kind of a challenge.... and I love a good challenge.
Vintage 3-piece suit: handmedown
Shirt: from Civil War reenacting days
Bow tie: Ebay, 99 cents
Husband usually wears a top hat with this outfit but we loaned it out for Herod to wear in a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar two years ago and forgot to get it back.
The poor man forgot to wear his thermals and almost froze to death.
(looks like the rifle above the door is pointed at my husband's head! EEK!)
My outfit came out a little more "Dickensy" than steampunk, but this is the best I could do with so many factors to consider. Especially the effin' nasty weather!!
Mini top hat: from party supply store bought years ago, decorated with poinsettias
Sweater: handmedown
Scarf: gift from H&M
Blouse: thrifted with cuffs altered to make billowy sleeves
 Plaid over-skirt: wool cape turned backwards and safety pinned closed
Black skirt: old belly dance costume base worn over full crinoline
Steampunk divider GIFs by Gasara on Deviant Art

Alrighty folks. I gotta scram. Time to go take my unicorn to the groomers. See you all soon!


  1. I love your creativity on a budget. Your costume looks amazing! Xx

  2. Congratulations! That Father Christmas is utterly fabulous, I love his hat!

    I was in a Victorian Christmas parade once and it was horribly cold and wet but my it was fun! Well apart from the drunk woman in front of me who was swinging her candle lit lantern with such gusto it kept hitting me. Most of our group were drunk mind you, I think Andy and myself were in the sober minority. The whole parade fell apart behind us due to lack of sober participants!

  3. I love the float! It's so cool. I love steampunk. Hey, want to come help me steampunk-ify my house?
    You and your honey look great in your costumes. You have a talent for making great outfits on a budget.

  4. You are so darn good at costumes, it blows my mind. You guys both look amazing, as do your gang. And your float is excellent too. Way to go! So good.

  5. I'm in awe! You really should be snapped up by a theatre or a TV company, over here your skills would be very much in demand! That float is incredible as are the costumes. xxx

  6. That looks like a blast except for the weather! ha! I love the whole steampunk theme though, I like the costumes.

  7. You guys did fantastic with the steam punk theme! Awesome job, Hollie:)


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