Play by Play Photo Shoot

I took pictures all along the way of my photo shoot for my bridals. I may regret showing some of these to everyone but oh well. Here is what I went through that day.
 Walking up at 6AM!!! I didn't sleep at all the night before I was so anxious. So this is me- no make up, puffy eyed, and very very moody. (that pink thing in the background is my yoga mat, btw, it was washed and had to dry)

I stumbled over and started the bath... but I had forgotten to plug the drain so after a few minutes this was all the water I had. :(
The night before I had set out what I would need in the morning. Awake tea, thermos, agave, pot, cereal and bowl.  I know myself well enough to believe that at 6AM this would be too great a feat. So yay for preparation.

I curled and sprayed, curled and sprayed and I eventually liked my hair. It was stiff as a board because the humidity is really high right now and I knew my hair would fall and then frizz as soon as we got out there. (still no make up)
 So of course I was running late and my photographer and miss Jaime (my assistant and life saver for the day) arrived early. So I had to finish my make at the sight. We drove an hour out of Savannah to a spot in South Carolina.  (I totally had to change into my dress in this grove)
 During shooting. I was still so nervous. It's odd, I don't think I have felt nervous at a photo shoot in years.

But I did have a great time- nerves, exhaustion, soreness and all. I can't wait to get the real pictures. I think they are going to be really great!


I'm not Dead, I promise

My wedding is in two weeks!!! I'm absolutely freaking out.
That is also my blanket explanation for why I've been so MIA.
But I did my Bridal shoot yesterday (still waiting on pics) saw Batman tonight and we are doing a Live Steamy shoot tomorrow. So still go go go, crazier then ever!!


That Little Ache

I'm really missing my cats today. (I had to find them a new home about a month ago) I'm grateful to not have the allergies and I know they are getting much more attention now, since I started working full time+ they had become cuddle neglected. My Travis bought me a bear to help with the loss and sometimes when I'm missing my kitties I'll bring him in the room and plop him on the floor just so there is something fuzzy down there. The hardest part of all of this is that the woman I gave them to promised that she would keep in touch and let me know how they are doing, how they are adjusting. I emailed her awhile ago and never got a response. I know it was the right decision but putting my babies in that car and watching it drive them away is heart breaking.


Convention Track

I would love nothing more than to be selling at conventions! It seems like it would be the perfect situation as Travis and I love to travel and would have a total blast. So when we closed our shop we diligently set about attempting to register to sell at some East Coast Steampunk Conventions. We even set aside some money to pay for the booth and travel and all that. We found dozens of events! How awesome! And every single event we looked at is full on vendors. Oh. Well spite. So we moved onto looking at conventions going on in 2013. And again either they are full or they haven't begun taking submissions and there is no information on when they will open for that. So I'm at a total loss. Is there something I'm missing. Some secret as to how this all works. Is there some ethereal waiting line somewhere that I should be standing in and instead am wandering around beside it going ...uuhhh ..wtf?


Excuse Me Wedding But My Time and Energy is Not An All You Can Eat Buffet

I made my to do list for the wedding, its all nice and compact now in its own notebook.. and its three pages long, front and back! (I cleaned my whiteboard completely because it was just way too crazy at this point) I put all my steampunk to dos in a separate notebook and will make another for photo shoots. Then I'm using the whitboard for day to day to dos. I know I'm a little crazy with the to do lists but I swear if it doesn't make it on there chances are it does not get done. Wedding plans are coming along, it's just so much work!

The only thing I got done on my Steamy work today was to stamp t-shirts. It's funny but my arm and fingers are so sore! It actually takes quite a bit of work for each shirt. But I also did my yoga and push ups today so that is adding to the soreness a great deal. I'm excited about the t-shirts except it's really hard for me to produce recreations. Most of my work is 100% original and I don't like repeating the exact same concept. But I think Travis is right in that it can really help to boost merchandise. And it also allows me to lower prices. When something is entirely one of a kind and will never be made just like that again it bumps up its price. So I do like being able to offer things that are a bit more generally affordable. Also it sucks when you really love something and its not your size. So at least this way I can have a complete size range too. (this is the back of the shirt, btw) :D


But I don't wanna...

I've been waiting all week to get to Monday so I could do a musical monday post but now it's here and I know I should but I just don't want to. Do I have something else to say, some amazing new tidbit of news? No. But my head hurts and I worked online most the day and made another bustle bump. That's all.


Just Like The End of a Good Book

Do you ever get to the end of a book that has just been awesome and suddenly you are bombarded by this terrible dread about your being nearly to the end. Its almost over! That wonderful, beautiful, touching, fulfilling thing is going to be finished very soon. In a way it feels like a loss. I often will put a favorite book down for awhile when I get too close to the end just to drag it out a little longer.

I feel that same feeling now as I'm about to finish my ruffle skirt. It has been almost a two month long project. And a super pain in my bum. But I've also learned so much. Being self taught I'm constantly learning. Sewing can be very technical and takes a lot of planning. And pinning, my God, the pinning! So as I proceed to finish the very last ruffle I take a moment to pause and just feel that tiny bit of sadness that it is almost over. However, at the same time I cannot wait until it is done! What an accomplishment!! And such hard work and dedication. Wahoo! Here is the last 'in process' picture that will ever be taken of my first ruffle patch southern belle skirt.


So... I didn't comment more on my last post or put up a picture. There was really nothing to say. Seems to be that the Flea Market may not be the place for us. And it was so hot, all day. I'm beat.

I really want to get into selling at Conventions! I think Live Steamy would do really well at a convention. My stuff is different and unique and something that can be worn way after the convention is over. We also have the home decor and as the photo shoots continue we will get those printed up on canvas to have that art to sell. I think we could bring something really awesome. But everything is full! Cons way out in Feb. are full. And anything further then that they aren't taking submissions yet. Is there some big secret to this process that I am totally missing? I'm a bit lost on where to start it get on the con track.

But all hope may not be lost. I have a friend that does cons with her art so I'm going to go poke her for some info. She doesn't do steampunk but she's the only person I know on the track so I'll see how she got there.

I'm also wondering if we travel by train can we travel with our two large, vintage, steamer trunks?
I told Travis that they don't charge me for my several bags of luggage when I travel by train he said that he didn't think steamer trunks counted as luggage in this century. Oh what a pity. But we will have to find out for sure.


Flea Market Today

We are off to Keller's Flea Market today and this time we are bringing Live Steamy. I wonder how the Steampunk will fair. But at the very least its a great place to make contacts and build interest. If I just hand out my card all day I think I will be happy. I'll add a photo of our booth tonight when I get back.

Wish us luck.


I Am So Blessed

A few days ago I was dealing with the little green monster that didn't seem so little. I'm not generally the type of person to feel a lot of jealousy but I was just overcome with it that day. It is not a good feeling. I cannot have peace in my heart in that kind of turmoil. My jealousy was mostly focused on another steampunk designer. I was viewing her photos and she is SO gorgeous! And young and seems to be so successful. I know the kind of time it takes to get there, I fully understand it all. That day it just all seemed so... crushing. I was really upset and couldn't shake the feeling. Even the great encouragement from my wonderful fiance wasn't penetrating my heart.
But a good nights sleep, morning yoga, a day of just relaxing and my international sale have turned my attitude right around and I'm back on my own fast track and loving it. I really do love my work. And I do feel that it is really unique. I wish I had more of it posted. :*) apparently I should work on that today. There is just always so much to do. So many fun things to tinker with, so many projects.
Oh, and there is the wedding and we have a ton to do for that today. Oh spite.

We need the downs. We need the low moments. Because with out them you wouldn't notice the highs!! I wish everyone in the world to be as blessed as I am.


Bouncing Off the Walls (no they are not padded)

I just got my first international sale!!!! I'm sending my black 'A Stitch in Time' skirt to France!! I could not be more excited! The stitch in time skirts have been getting a lot of attention and this one sold super quick but if you are absolutely distraught let me be of some comfort; I will be making more! Each one is completely unique even within the theme but there will be many to come in all shapes, colors and sizes. And of course you can enter to win one made special just for you! Check out this post http://livesteamy.blogspot.com/2012/07/greatest-give-away-ever.html to get the info!

Other than that I've just been working away as usual. The wedding is coming up so fast and there is so much to do for that. Planning a wedding is like a full time job (actually that is what my mother does for a living so it truly is a full time job) and so is my art and so is craft and so is keeping up with online stuff. And then there is all the life; errands and self care and relationship and house and making meals and gardening and friendships. I could do very well with like 9 more hours to my day. :D But anyway that whole big thing was just leading me up to say that yesterday we decided we needed a day off and so my Mr. and I curled up on the couch watched Batman and Spiderman cartoons and played LittleBigPlanet! I don't know if you have ever played LittleBigPlanet but it is so much fun. And you run around as a little poppet!! My little poppet started out as a bunny and has gone to a santa muerte bride and a little goth girl and even a poppet zombie for a minute, but the greatest thing ever... I made a little steampunk poppet!!! I love her. I think she is the greatest. :)


Musical Monday Linky Party

Missy Higgins -Scar

I love miss Missy but this is absolutely my favorite. And I love the vid with her jimmy-rigging her piano back together. That's totally me with... well with my entire life.

Thanks for having us..


What's in the Works?

So, just like on my other blog, I haven't posted lately about the projects that are currently in the works. So I'm going to throw out a little update as to what is going on.

My huge ruffle project is coming along but it's really time consuming. Being a self taught seamstress, as it were, it gives me lots of good practice though. I really really want to make some bustles. Maybe after this. And I will still have to find a top to pair this with..

I'm really excited about making some utility belts. This is my latest. >
But I just found two new belts at the thrift store that I'm way excited about. Oddly, it has been quite the challenge finding good, brown belts to use for the utility belts I like to make. But a few will do for now.
Travis says we need to boost our inventory like mad now so that when we finally are able to get into a con we have enough to set up a full booth.
So far we have had no luck, the vender slots at cons fill up super fast! So we may not be looking at anything until next spring! gah.

My other big projects are the photo shoots! I have got to get back into them full force! I have had the military one ready forever but have been waiting on the museum. We finally got the go ahead!! But the lady is out of town and won't be able to give me the schedule yet. But I have a few more ready to go and will be making schedules with Darryl, our amazing photographer, and the models. I can't wait to pour out the goodness to y'all. Must have new photos!!!


The Greatest Give Away Ever!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Seriously this really is the greatest give away ever. I can hardly believe it and I the one doing it! haha.

So here is the deal. I have given you tons of ways to enter. There will be 2 prizes, one guy and one gal. For the gals we have a skirt made especially for the winner from our 'A Stitch in Time' line of skirts (example below).  And for the guys we have a button up shirt hand designed and stamped from our 'Gear Up Steampunk' line, again made special just for the winner (example below).

This give away is being presented to boost Live Steamy as a brand so don't be shy about spreading us far and wide! I have given y'all tons of super easy ways to enter. And it lasts over a month so keep on trucking to wrack up those entries!

I hope you WIN!!!

PS. for all my loves that have already liked Live Steamy on facebook or joined this blog just let me know and I will enter you and don't forget to look at the other things you can do to boost your chances of winning!!

 Both these designs are unique, copyrighted designs owned by Live Steamy. Please support individuality, creativity and small business. 


'Dream a Little Dream of Me' or maybe not

So our wedding is... 30 some odd days away and we are working hard to get the rest of the plans in order. My mom and my sister have been amazing! And though all this planning and everything has been hard and stressful it will all work out in the end. My dress is supposed to arrive today! But last night I had the most awful dreams. In the first everything was so awful, my dress was nothing like what I wanted. The top was essentially a long, glorified tank top. and the skirt was this tight, poof ball, that didn't fit around my waist and looked pretty much exactly like a cupcake (I believe I have miss Nen to thank for that, all that talk of cupcake dresses) and the skirt thing was supposed to tuck into it. And we hadn't rehearsed or even given the officiant a program. So no one knew what to do and I had to coral guests around but really had no idea what to do. In the second dream I was in a hotel room with my sister getting ready for the wedding. I had my dress on but needed to do my hair and so I called down to the front to order up a flat iron but they didn't have any. Though they brought me a curling iron. And while I was waiting I checked the time, the ceremony began at 7:20 and it was 9:00. And we were all kinds of panicked. Awful, just awful all the way around. I know it's not going to happen like that but geez the stress is hard to deal with sometimes.


Steampunk Philosophy

So I've been thinking a lot about Live Steamy as a business and what my future goals are. For one thing I totally idealize miss Kato at Clockwork Couture. She is really well known online and has a shop in Cali. (close to where I moved away from, oh sadness) I really hope that in a few years my work gets noticed like that and we can really make something with this company. But as I think about how to handle things on a larger scale I become a bit afraid that my philosophies will slip through the cracks. My foremost Steampunk philosophy is that it's about making something desirable from absolute junk. That is why I fell in love with Steampunk in the first place. Of course, I have always loved Victorian, Antebellum, Colonial, 1940's, old west, etc. All these eras full of history and tall tales and adventures and amazing fashions! But Steampunk adds something very special. For me it was a feeling of the need to be resourceful, use what you have and get creative.
Most of what I make is the result of a clothing item picked up from the thrift store, a gear we pulled out of a car at the local pick 'n pull, a rusted piece of metal I found on the street and an old piece of hardware I dug out of my tool box. When you can take all this crap and make something amazing from it that's a creative success.
My biggest goal in continuing Live Steamy is to never loose my reduce, recycle, reuse and repurpose attitude. I will make stuff from new things, like we are ordering in a box of t-shirts, for people who want them but the greatest pieces of my work are always the ones that are born of ingenuity.


Flea Market Madness

So today we will be selling at the Flea Market and it's our first time. I'm nervous, mostly because I'm always a bit nervous before I do something new, but there is a lot that goes into selling. Packing and hauling it all, not forgetting anything, set up and proper inventory and making sure everything is tagged and looks appealing. Then there is the talking with customers, preparing to answer all sorts of questions. Having to be cheerful and friendly even when they are not. Oh I totally forgot we will be dealing with the heat. So yea, yea I'm a little nervous. But I'm also totally excited. Today we are going to be setting up and selling doTERRA essential oils. I freakin' love this company and I always use them over anything else you buy off the shelves. Seriously the best quality I have ever had. We also are adding one of Serenity's artisans soaps. I think we can do really well. If you are into alternative healthy living you have got to try these oils. doTERRA sells a lot more too, they have a natural weight loss program that utilizes essential oil, its called Slim and Sassy. They have soaps, facial products (that I use and love!), diffusers, even shampoos. One of my very favorite thing though is their On Guard line. It's a blend of oils that helps your body fight off illness, it cleans the air, boosts immunity. I seriously think it's the best stuff ever! And it has a spicy kind of a smell that is so so nice. Anyway wish us such great luck today at the Flea Market.
If you are interested in learning more about doTERRA or essential oils in general you can email me at missmelaniegrace@gmail.com or you can go visit my doTERRA store at:



July Goals

(Hope I did that button thing right)

Participating in My So Called Chaos Monthly Goals!

Goals for July

Plan wedding entirely-
Sign up for at least 3 conventions to sell at-
Double product for L.S.-
Complete 3 photo shoots-
Do yoga at least 4 times a week-
Be intentionally and aggressively active 2x a week-
Be noticed by social networking my little heart out- :D
Do 2 give-aways-
Complete current To Do List.-


Help! I'm Drowning in 'To Do'

So generally I like to keep my to do list in one column at the far right of our white board and as things get done they get erased and new things get added. Nice and neat and simple. However...
This is my 'To Do List' currently. :I

Good Morning

I'm in love with the most wonderful man, I live in a beautiful home, I have a working car, our garden is hanging in there even with this crazy heat wave, I have plenty of new art projects, I'm going to have an amazing wedding, I'm healthy, I have loving family, and I had a great night's sleep. There is so much to be grateful for!


Kill Mask or Death Mask

     A few months ago I found this suit jacket and skirt at the thrift store and I just had to have it. Rich army green, great cut and very WWII era. It was love at first sight. The buttons adorning the double breasted jacket were awful so those were the first things to go. I set out online to find military buttons. I needed a specific number and size; eight large and two small. But nothing I found was really working out for me. So we decided to go local. After some searching we found an army surplus store and I went in and asked for buttons. There were so many choices of insignia and patches and whatever else. But the woman at the counter pulled out an old plastic bucket and we dumped it onto the counter. I only needed ten of the right style, size and condition but I ended up getting a whole bag of military buttons. ~I’m positive they will get used at some point~ It was fantastic. So the buttons were lovingly replaced.

At this specific moment what the little strap on the shoulder is supposed to be called is completely eluding me. Maybe that is because every time someone tells me what they are called I think its a little ridiculous and then I forget it all over again. gah. But just the same I thought that the outfit really needed these to make it look more military. Lucky me there were shoulder pads made of the same material so I took these out. Cut, pinned, sewed and Ta Da we have those shoulder strap thingies. ~actually it was no way near that simple. I am pretty much self taught so I am figuring all this out as I go. I only had this small circle of fabric to work with and I was so nervous about messing it up.~ But it all turned out ok. So I added the buttons and the shoulder straps. And then I made the helmet.

This is where things get interesting. I found this amazing vintage helmet at an antique store. So excited! I also had a few skull masks that I had picked up at Michael’s around Halloween. Somehow it came about that I paired the mask with the helmet and Travis had the idea of doing different ones so that they could be changed out. It’s awesome. I love it. Think it worked out great. And I have the perfect model and am waiting to hear back from the museum as to if they will let us shoot there and when. So this is all great but as I was putting the full outfit together today something struck me. What if people are offended by this? My intention was always that the skull mask made it bad ass but putting it together I could see how it could also be interpreted as a death mask. At first I was worried that it may not be well received or may cause controversy. I offered to keep it out of the shoot at the museum but as I think about that more I feel that the whole piece completely loses its potency without the mask.

My fiance and I just finished watching “Band of Brothers”. My goodness, I hardly know what to say to express the emotions I felt. It is very well done, very powerful. And what people go through in war is terrible. The mask in my outfit could be a kill mask or a death mask and either way there lies horror behind it. Some see war as a game to be won but we must look at the cost. The soldiers may win the battle but all have lost something more. The power of life or death goes either way as the person may be the essence of those who take life and are destroyed by it or that of a person already lost to death themselves that torment their own life taker.
Another potent point of the mask is that I feel often leaders of great armies lose the sense of connection to the individuals. Soldiers become faceless and when we are able to abandon that connection we tend to dehumanize them. It is easy to make devastating decisions when you have no emotional connection to a few thousand faceless.

Suddenly this outfit just became this huge, important piece of art that I feel so desperate to share with the world. I love my own work, of course, but my clothing and jewelry isn't often thought provoking. I really really hope the museum lets me shoot there. This has become a very big deal to me.