Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back on Track(s)

Sorry for the blog neglect! I seem to be struggling to find the time since returning from our trip, or maybe I just got used to actually going to bed at a decent hour and now my night owl internet ways are suffering ;) Not to fret though, as this post has turned out to be one of epic proportions!

Wool Knickers

So, maybe you’re wondering what’s with the getup? Maybe not. I admit this “costume” doesn’t stray too far from the realm of normal attire for me.

It is however, what I threw together sort of last minute for our town’s
2nd Annual Great Handcar Regatta and Exposition of Mechanical and Artistic Wonders. This Steampunk extravaganza, the brainchild of a group of local artist types whose grassroots efforts have brought the fun and fanciful event (complete w/ concocted backstory) to fruition now two years running, is both free to the public and the coolest event our humble suburban town has to offer.

As for the getup, we returned from our trip just in time to make it to the final flea market of the season, which is where I came across this pair of genuine vintage woolen knickers (for $5!) which I then built the outfit around. The white cotton peasant top was also a flea market find ($2). I came across the vintage leather wrap skirt thingy complete with awesome vintage cub scout pins ($6) in the Halloween costume section of my local Hospice Thrift a few days later and found the vintage engineer cap there for a dollar as well.


Among the accessories I added was this necklace featuring a compass that belonged to Lucas’ grandfather. Hard to see, but the engraving on the front says "ENG. DEPT. U.S.A. 1918" and legend has it that it’s the very compass he used as a kid in the scouts!

I should probably tell you though that the day turned out to be a scorcher with a high of 102 degrees! Yup, wool knickers… maybe not the wisest choice after all. Discomfort aside, I very much enjoyed the day’s festivities.

The event, which is a smaller-scale mix of maker-faire meets burning man meets kinetic race with a distinct Steampunk aesthetic centers around the racing of hand-built railcars on the old railroad tracks in the historic section of downtown. With live music on three stages, food, drink, arts, crafts, sideshows and curiosities, not to mention the handcar races themselves, there is no shortage of wonders to behold!

On that note, I took photos until my camera battery died:


People milling about on the tracks between races. It was awesome that so many people dressed up and really got into the spirit of the event.



The scene had a very Vaudevillian vibe with lots of old-timey circus touches. Always fun!

This amazing rotating sculpture was built by a local artist for this year’s Burning Man festival.

Live music and an eclectic cast of characters on the “Front Porch” stage.

One of my picture taking strategies was to find people posing for a professional photographer and then stealthily (or not) sneak my own pics. Such was the case with these dolled-up gals.

This crazy makeshift percussion instrument was played by various passersby throughout the day.


As you’ve probably already noticed the parasol turned out to be the must-have accessory of the day.


Fabric flags and lace doilies strung up to add a crafty and festive vibe to the live music and vendor areas.

These suspender dresses were super cute, oh if only I had had some extra pennies to spare!


More random stylish folk melting in the heat. The music and races and sideshows and such are all really fun, but I must say, my favorite part is the people watching… so much amazing style to take in!

My sister-in-law and niece looking mighty adorable! If I do say so myself : )


Frilly Victorian frocks, feathers and fanciful hats were in no short order and this ship-toting top hat was definitely one of the coolest I saw.

This would have been the way to travel if for nothing other than the portable shade.

Clownin’ around. There was a whole team of these ladies who rode a handcar in the races. They were adorable!

One of the more impressive handcar entries.

Lucas took this shot of me with my friend Laura Jane. She looked adorable in her outfit! I guess I ended up going more the tinkering-tomboy-ready-for-adventure route with mine, but next year I think it would be fun to do it up a bit more and get all girly and frilly.

As you can see, it was quite the spectacle, and for anyone with a camera, just bursting with photo-ops! I did a little flickr searching and found some really excellent ones that I thought captured the mood of the day quite beautifully. Just to be clear, I did not take the following photos (each can be clicked to link to it’s source on flickr):











That’s our good friend Joey helping the cute stripey clown gals onto their handcar and then sitting in the back seat on the left racing with his own handcar team. Go Joe!



Found this video on youtube. It’s got some clips from the actual races (including the take-off of the above barrel car) along with some live music and other random silliness, enjoy!

33 comments:

Chlo√ębug said...

Wow - what an awesome event and what a super fun community! You're so lucky!

Mamushka Marie said...

incredible shots! i love how everyone is covered in tattoos! especially loving the girl by the fire truck with the ripped tights and high waisted shorts, those ruffles! ugh. adorable stuff!

Renee[Q][C] said...

Wow what an awesome event! I would love to attend something like that. Looks like you had a great time!

Caroline said...

Okay, looks like you live in a pretty fun town. Maybe I need to visit you rather than the other way around. Loving those outfits!

Jocelyne said...

That looks like so much fun, a perfect day! You look adorable. I absolutely love the steam punk aesthetic, is's so vaudeville and fun. My halloween costume from last year would have fit right in.

Thrifted Treasure said...

Oh WOW! That looks like so much fun! your outfit was perfect!!!

Julie said...

I am drooling over all of this!!! Your outfit was genius, I love that you took the tomboy route. I think I might have to find myself there next year....

Missa said...

Thanks ladies!

Caroline and Julie: You girls need to plan a trip out together next year, I'm sure you'd love it!

...love Maegan said...

I love love LOVE the knickers ..with the striped socks. so great.

Manja said...

Oh man, this looks like such a sweet event to go to!

You also look adorable, I absolutely love the knickers and the leather skirt!

The Wandering Writer said...

That has got to be the weirdest and most wonderful festival in all the world! I can't believe I ever missed it. 19 years in Northern California and I've never once heard of it. Shame on me. :(

Looks like you had a lot of fun though! I love your wool pants, but that's a shame it was so hot! lol

Natalie xx

The Wandering Writer said...

oh...haha...nevermind. it's only been going on for two years. Still bummed I missed it.

muchlove said...

You look great! I LOVE your compass necklace. What an amazing find.

Thank you for sharing these wonderful images from the event. Looks like there's something interesting to see all over the place!

Danielle Combs said...

I am so jealous. That looks like an amazing time.

And where did you get those boots???

A Thought Is The Blossom said...

JEALOUS!
this event looks like more fun than I've ever had in my town. All the costumes and parasols and festivities look like so much fun! I really like those black & tan striped tights in the photo from the flickr source...sooo cute! Your outfit was to die for as well....I would kill for those knickers and the scout skirt!

xx
Starr

Gabriel said...

Love steampunk and your pictures! I swear, fashion needs to rediscover the joys of zany hats. Hats and caps are two things that should just be brought back into everyday life.

AdoreVintage.com said...

Oh my goodness I wish I were there! This looks so fun!

Liz said...

wool knickers! Omg those and the boots. love love love!

I'm glad to see you back, and glad you had a great vacation.
This outing looks like it was Alot of fun.
((and I love all of the tattoos! :) ))

Eyeliah said...

Oh these pics are fab, I would love to go one year. I've seen many pics of that butterfly from Burning Man. :)

Alexa said...

What a perfect, understated Steampunk outfit you had! And now I want to move to your town.

angelina maria rodrigues wise said...

such a sad sad thing that we missed the big day! but at least you were there looking fabulous! i love your outfit and laura jane's and joey's denim potato sack was pretty nifty, too. hah.

Andrea said...

Love your outfit! Looks like a fun day out :) the parasols are fabulous too.

anne said...

oh my goodness! i really wish i could have been there!!! what a cool event!

a cat of impossible colour said...

This is so cool. What a great event!

Hippie Frou Frou said...

whoa, this looks like a B/L/A/S/T/! I would totally wear one of those mustaches! haha, way cool


jess s//

meg said...

looks like so much fun! i'm glad you are back and can't wait to see more!

Rachel C. said...

this looks like quite an event! and your outfit is adorable!

xoxo

Milla said...

I never thought I'd say this but you are the steampunkest of them all! To heck with predictable frills, train conducting scouts are where it's at.

Diana said...

I have always been interested in steampunk, but never got a good idea on the visuals of it. this is perfect and your outfit is amazing!

elena-lu said...

you get cooler and cooler each post i read!

Razzle Dazzle Cosmic Flower said...

This seems like the perfect event! All the vast weirdness and nomads had my heart in all the pictures! Their outfits are all perfect, I liked alot of the clothes the men were wearing there too! And I fell inlove with all the umbrellas. I imagine you must of had an exchillirating time. Y'know I like your outift lots as well- especially the skirt, the hat, and the compass! I can't believe it's from your husband's grandfather!
I also wanted to thank you for finding time to comment my blog from time to time! It's very nice of you since my blog is a working progress and it's currently quite feeble.
Anyhow happy fall to you as well! Hope you can enjoy it lots with your lovely family!

Kallie said...

I'm in awe of any town that has something this awesome. it looks like you had a fantastic time! *jealous of the festivities*

Peldyn said...

So much fun! My daughter is doing a steampunk themed costume this year. You have given me ideas!