Steampunk Symposium

Boy, have I got loads to tell you.

Yesterday I went to the Her Royal Majesty's Steampunk Symposium at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.  The decision to go was very last moment, so I went with an old outfit.  I did manage to finish my 50s petticoat in time to wear it underneath my long yellow skirt to give it a lot of poof, but I'll write more about the making of that petticoat later.

I convinced my dad to come along with me.  We through together his outfit in moments and I can only take credit for his shirt and the goggles.  The scarf and neckerchief was his own initiative. 

I wore the same outfit I wore to my friend's holiday party back in December, but borrowed my grandmother's gloves.  By the way, does anyone know how to clean dirt off white leather gloves?  I'm afraid that the gloves got dirty over the course of the day from touching handrails and such and I don't want to give dirty gloves back to my grandmother, who so kindly lent them to me.

The poofy skirt you see here did not last very long.  At some point during the event, the hook and eye closure holding the 50s petticoat closed came undone and it slipped down my waist to my hips, reducing the poofiness at the top.  Fortunately, it never fell all the way down! :)

The Queen Mary is a very large, very beauty ship-turned-hotel/attraction/museum.  I have to say that I was not as impressed with the inside of the ship as I was with the outside.  Also, the ship is docked in such a protected area that there is no movement whatsoever, which sometimes made it feel like we were in a building rather than on a grand ship.

Signs like these were posted around the part of the ship were the convention took place.  The small print on the one above says, "SPECIAL EXEMPTIONS ARE GIVEN for Royal Privateers with current Letter of Marque, parolees, bearers of Amnesty Decrees, Passage of Parley holders, Carte Blanche carriers, King's "X" recipients, corsairs, travelers under white flags, subscribers to Holly-Holly Auction Free, pedigreed pirate nobility, Ephemeral Posse, descendants of Sir Francis Drake, actors, members of Abney Park, diplomats, licensed bounty hunters, bona fide nonpartisans, boondogglers, Men Who Cannot Be Blamed for Nothing, dead pirates, Pittsburg Pirates, or bogus buccaneers."

Other signs reminded convention goers to be safe and use their goggles.  At the ball we saw a sign that said, "What do we want?  Time travel.  When do we want it?  It's irrelevant," which amused us to no end.

The ship itself had lots of fun photo opportunities.  For the convention, we tried to go to a few panels, but the panelists for the ones we really wanted to go to did not show up, which was really disappointing.  So instead we took pictures, walked around and talked to vendors.  I didn't do much shopping because a) it's impossible to get money out of your purse while wearing gloves and b) what money?  I'm broke.

I'm very disappointed that the panels were such a let down.  I think that the convention may still be new enough that the organizers haven't quite figured it all out yet.

At one point, there was a rather uneventful "battle" between a pirate yacht and the Queen Mary.  The royal family was out and about, with the Queen ordering the ship's captain to fire, but I didn't even know they were the royal family!  It was a very unorganized event, but it was fun to see everyone in all their finery on deck.

I adore this man's costume.  I think he accessorized very well.  In fact, I was so taken with his accessories that I didn't notice he was just wearing a dress shirt and jeans until I posted this.  It just goes to show how versatile and creative Steampunks are.

In the vendors room, I met Michelle of Damsel in This Dress.  I met her first at Comikaze back in September, and since then she has become an inspiring figure to me.  She has set up a wonderful, very successful business and I admire her greatly.

I also met Kaja & Phil Foglio, the writers of the web comic Girl Genius, which I absolutely love.  I read the entire archive, all 11+ years in just two or three days the week before exams.  I learned how to pronounce Agatha Heterodyne's name correctly, which is very important if I am going to cosplay her for SDCC in July (Heterodyne is pronounced with an "aye" sound rather than an "eee" sound).

In the afternoon, there was a bird show in between each category for the costume contest.  The birds were from Sky King's Falconry.  The presentation was very interesting and really cool!

We had dinner at one of the restaurants aboard the ship and then went to the ball.  I didn't take many pictures because I stowed my camera, purse, and hat as soon as the dancing started.

I found a TARDIS bustle gown!  You can't see it too well, but the actual bustle part of her gown is a TARDIs fabric.  She told me she had even made a TARDIS hat complete with lights and all but didn't want to risk bringing it in her luggage.  Shame.  I would have loved to see it!
I had seen this woman before, cosplaying as a Steampunk Storm (from the X-Men) at Comikaze.  She has these really awesome shoulder pads.  I wish I'd asked where she got them (or how she made them!).

The dancing was very fun.  My dad taught me some basic waltz steps and was a good sport when I messed up.  We decided to call it quits after my shoe started to fall apart (the outersole of the heel came off.  I fixed it this morning with some glue).

All in all, a great day.


  1. so many well dressed people, it looks fantastic! Is that thing around your waist a watch?

    1. Yes! It's a mini-watch on a necklace.


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