Pie Again

In honor of Pi Day (3/14), I’m writing about pie again.

And (because of the way I am) if I’m writing about pie, that means I’m also writing about words, too. For me, baking and writing are nearly inseparable. They are both things I enjoy doing and experimenting with, and while only one can actually be eaten, both can be consumed. They can both show care for others, bring warmth and comfort, and nourish the spirit.

In my opinion, both are absolute necessities. Continue reading

Steampunk to Me: Be Splendid

These past few weeks, I have presented some principles I find indispensable for the steampunk genre: Be Mindful, Be Courteous, and Be Creative. This week, I offer you the last, perhaps the most important one.

 

If there were a battle cry for steampunks, the words “Be Splendid!” would ring out the globe over.

Splendidness

You see, “splendid” is more than a word to express interest when someone asks if you’d care for tea and a biscuit. It is a call to rigorous and deliberate excellence in all that you do. This characteristic has the potential to hold all the others inside of it, but there is a very important aspect to this principle that I wish to talk about.

Splendidness is an active, on-going process, and, above all, a mindset.

Continue reading

Steampunk to Me: Be Creative

Imagine moving your kitchen table, carrying off the chairs, and clearing the floor to lay out history like a scrapbook, centuries of design like sketchbooks, biographies like storyboards. Standing in the midst of it all, you can make anything. It’s a mosaic of potential.

Fusing these various parts into a coherent whole takes a massive amount of creativity. If this character, this world, this outfit, or this gadget you’re making is going to work, you’ll have to get your mind in gear.

And it’s here I see the third tenet of steampunk: Be Creative.Creativity
This directive comes naturally to the genre. The DIY community thrives in steampunk and values unique, handcrafted things. There are so many neat applications of this, ranging from hand-tailored clothes to overhauls of modern computers into technology that would be at home on the Nautilus. Old-fashioned methods and skills from past eras are learned and preserved here.

However, tinkering is only a symptom of a truly creative person. Continue reading

Folds

Measure twice is the advice, but in my experience, it seems that even measuring thrice still results in some crooked lines. I think it may have something to do with spacing out while I cut, but let’s not rule out a bad pair of scissors just yet.

In sewing and in crafts, cutting a material is the ultimate end. It is decisive. Once you commit to do it, there is no turning back. The fabric won’t come back together; the cord won’t braid itself back together; the thread won’t fish itself out of the sewing machine.

It’s here, trembling on the threshold of do or retry, that I found the beauty of folds. Continue reading

Filling the Well

I always grow excited for the turn of autumn. I eagerly await the leaves, the first golds and oranges to be burnished into brilliance by the first wisps of chilly breezes that say snows, scarves, and socks are on their way. I find that this year, I am looking forward to autumn more than usual.

This past summer was a hard one, filled with many extremes of happiness and pain and just as many lessons. Perhaps it is for this reason that I find myself looking towards that time of year when everything else is changing, too.

A few days ago, I returned from a long vacation up north to the unknown wilds of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. Idaho may not seem too wild to you, but for someone who has never been there before, it held mystery enough. My family and I stayed several places during our travels, and we saw many lakes in all three states we visited. Now, I’ve seen the ocean from many parts of the world, and I’ve seen lakes in just about as many places, but no matter how many times I’ve seen them, I am continually in awe of large bodies of water. Blue is my favorite color, and water, often dressing in the color of the sky, astounds me in the way it can be so many other colors at the same time. Continue reading