Thoughts on images

I’ve done a fair amount of professional (and unprofessional, haha) work in graphic design, photography, applied art, layout, writing and other creative pursuits, and one area that I continue to be perplexed by is the idea of giving credit online.  I wouldn’t think of publishing something in print that wasn’t properly sited or without getting permission to use it, but online this seems to be more flexible, and hence, more confusing.

I was reading a blog post (which made it to the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress.com) all about giving credit for images.  The end statement was basically to find out who took the original photo or created the original artwork, get permission, credit him or her, and link if appropriate.  However, just as the author of the post has found, blogs are fairly image-heavy, largely because blogs with photos or artwork are just more appealing to the reader.  Unless you are making a photography blog, it’s inevitable that you’ll be using someone else’s images to accentuate your point.  As I’m learning more about WordPress, I’ve also found that cross-promotion (using the publicize feature to post blurbs on Facebook for now) is all the better with a nice, vibrant, interesting photo.

Although I would love to have photos and sketches of everything I ponder in this blog, most of the time I am relying on linking to images.  Since often enough I am using other people’s images for inspiration or to focus my thoughts, it seems normal and natural to use the original inspiration (with a link back to the source of course).  Back in “the day” I would copy images to my computer and load them up to my own website, but with bandwidth issues being somewhat less of an issue than in the past, I generally consider this to be an acceptable practice, with the knowledge that if the owner moves the image, my link will be broken.

I’ve noticed on file-sharing websites like Flickr, that many photos allow sharing with link back, and the original creator gets to select how much sharing they’re willing to do, so perhaps that’s a good middle-ground, though often enough I’m finding things not on sites like Flickr (which I find actually quite hard to navigate) but on other places on the internet.

What are your thoughts?  I still don’t know entirely how I feel about this.  I feel confident knowing that I’m not claiming anything of my own, am driving traffic back to the original source, and am typically only putting things up with positive comments – but where do you think this line exists – between copyright infringement (or just plain bad karma) and the seemingly natural features of this medium?

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More goodies from Etsy

mini brass divers helmet

A week or so ago, the remainder of the Etsy orders I placed came in, and I thought that I’d share some of the goodies.

The first item is a really super cute miniature divers helmet in antiqued brass.  I think this is absolutely adorable, and can’t wait to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with it.  (!)

Skull cameos and small settings

From a different seller, I purchased a few small settings for the cameos, along with the skull and crossbones cameos.  I keep going back and forth on the cameos – if I like them or not, but they actually look much nicer in person than in the photo.  They were kind of hard to photograph actually.  The small frames are significantly smaller than the other ones I got in a previous order, and I like that they make for a much smaller, but still ‘finished’ product, but they don’t actually seem to FIT as well.  They have four holes on the back for rivets, but I just ended up using glue to attach the pin backs that I ended up using.

Brass lovelies

Along with the diver’s helmet, I also got a lovely Egyptian scarab, a cute rockabilly-styled bird, and a telescope that actually collapses.  It’s adorable.  And, again, no idea what I’ll do with it! I have a strong suspicion that the bird will go into a fascinator, though it kind of bugs me that I just bought one that is similar (albeit in my more preferred silver-tone) from the craft store.

Bats and cameos

Finally, I also got a new tan octopus cameo and bat cameo, along with an antiqued brass pendant setting.  Plus… three brass bats.  How fantastic are these?  Before I saw them in person, I didn’t realize that the small brass bat is exactly the same as the cameo!  The setting is actually much more brown than I anticipated, I had hoped for something more tarnished-brass looking, rather than so smooth and perfect…  Still, it will work well for what I’ve subsequently used it for! Want to see some final products?

finished cameos

Super cute!  With so many new pins though, I’m definitely going to have to work out a better way of storing/displaying them to make them easier to wear on a regular basis.  I also am going to see about getting some flat-back bails, to make pendants from the remaining cameos I have yet to set.

Just for the pretty

We can’t escape the loveliness of the beautiful people… however this isn’t just trolling, this is costume research!  Honest.

From the WOMEN of Steampunk Myspace group

Ok.. maybe not so much for me, for the first link, but the second, surely it counts!

The Guys of Steampunk MySpace photo album – a number of handsome men in their steampunk finest…

The Girls of Steampunk MySpace photo album – assuming that the majority of these photos are of individuals over the age of maturity I’m going to re-name this in my head (and below)  the WOMEN of Steampunk, or even just the Gals of Steampunk.

Of course, since these are MySpace groups, it means the albums are a wild assortment of musicians looking for more publicity (Yes, I see you Abney Park), models, actors and designers looking for the same (Kato and Gem), and folks who take photos of themselves through bathroom mirrors.  There are convention shots, professional studio shots, bar photos, and back-lawn photos as well.  Apart from the eye-candy, I really do like looking at the photos of costumes, hair, accessories, props, etc.  Two complaints – too many “sets” – I understand the desire to load up your 30 favorite photos from one shoot, but 2 will usually do (full length and close up).  Also, the photos are not particularly easy to go through – the thumbnails are too small, and you can only scroll through an album at a time, rather than the whole collection.  Still… pretty!

From the WOMEN of Steampunk Myspace group

From the WOMEN of Steampunk Myspace group

Steampunk – Accessories – Muff

Steampunk – Accessories – Muff

Muff

Muff from Fashion-era.com

A while back I was thinking a bit about my evolving Steampunk costume, and suddenly thought of “muff!”.  I’m not entirely sure why,  but there it is!

I figure it will make a nice accessory, albeit only one for winter, which makes it rather silly at the moment as spring is just around the corner (I hope! I’m tired of all this snow!) but it often seems that I sew off-season, more out of being behind than in an effort to capitalize on sales or anything.

While pondering it however, I think that I would like something that was fur-lined, with a fabric outside (except on the edges, where I want the fur to show – as though it was so furry that the fur couldn’t be contained!).

I did a quick search for “muffs” on google, and although there aren’t too many, those that were shown all had chains to carry them, which certainly seems practical, but.. eh… I’m not really feeling it at the moment.  I did see one or two with wrist straps which seems practical, but at the same time cumbersome.  The idea to me isn’t to hang my hands from a strap around my neck, but rather to have a way to get the muff out of the way when not needed.  Having it dangle from my wrist seems like a bigger pain than the alternative.

My other thought on how I’d like to design my muff – a pocket.  More specifically a zippered pocket on the side that faces inwards – kind of like a fuzzy bar purse!  It seems kind of silly, but also somewhat practical in the long run – I wouldn’t want to be carrying both a muff and a purse, but I’ll still need something to hold my ID, keys, etc.   I picked up some grey fun fur at the recent church fabric sale, and although I’m not sure if I want to go with the smaller striped piece or the larger solid piece, I bought it with the muff in mind.  (Actually, I’d much rather use the striped piece, but I have the sneaking suspicion there won’t be enough, and I don’t want to piece fun fur more than I have to!)

image circa 1902 from wikimedia.org

Here’s a fashion plate circa 1902 that I found via the wikimedia.org website – not much of a picture really in terms of muff detail, but such a pretty picture otherwise!

From the Hollister Hovey blog

With this photo from a 2007 fashion show, the designer has used a strap instead of a chain.  This works better for me, but I’m wondering if something fancier wouldn’t be nicer – the strap almost seems like an afterthought on this one.  This photo is credited from Copenhagen Fashion Week and is designed by Baum und Pferdgarten according to the blog I found it on.  The style of the muff is similar to what I have in mind though, although it kind of looks as though the striped area is also fur, and that’s not my intention.

muff from a project on renaissanceitaly.net

From another dress diary – how beautiful is this muff?  I love the embroidery (though I would be lazy and just couch gold cord myself…) and the matching buttons, and the richness of the velveteen, and the way the fur just slightly pokes out from the edges.. lovely!  (Oh, and thumbs-up for the recycled fur… if you have to use real fur, it’s a much better solution IMO)  I really like the buttoned-up muff, and imagine that it would be somewhat easier to store if nothing else.  Would there be other advantages/disadvantages to a button up (or some other method of closing) muff?  The overlap should keep the chill out, so warmth probably isn’t a factor, and construction would likely be easier… (rather than having to turn all that fur)  Something to think about!  Ah.. looking at her website, makes me want to revisit the Venetian costume I had planned a while back.  *wrist smack*

One other thing that I noticed between all of the different reference images- the difference in size.  Some seem to be quite big, while others are almost tiny.  Perhaps it’s notable that the two extremes are both illustrations instead of photos, and a more moderate take on the size is more realistic and practical.  While I don’t want my hands swimming inside the muff, I also don’t want to have to jam them in, especially if I’m also wearing gloves or mittens as well!


Making duplicates

I really like some of the resin/brass things I purchased recently, and I got thinking about using them in ways that might not work wonderfully with those materials – or simply I just don’t want to have to buy so many and have them shipped here like the originals.

So, I started thinking about molding material – both making molds of the originals and then casting them with different mediums.

Mold, original, polymer and resin copies.

I started off with the molding material – it’s a two-part chemical which is sort of a putty.  I found that I had to work really fast – it sets up quickly.  I also found that I needed a large enough ball of putty – too thin and it didn’t seem to work as well.  I tried the octopus twice, my wings from the Military Medal twice, and then a cameo and some gears which didn’t turn out very well either.  However, there were some successful molds, and from them I made a few things just to start off.

In the picture above, the copper necklace is the original, obviously the purple circle is the mold itself, the white is a resin casting, and the gold and silver are both polymer clay castings that have been painted and sealed.  The castings don’t have quite as much detail as the original, but I still think they’re pretty good duplicates!  The resin didn’t set up as quickly as I thought it would (I’ve added a white pigment to it btw, it hasn’t been painted yet) but next time I do it I’ll either mix up less, or have more molds – because I ended up using the molds I had, and then trying to quickly make some more to use up the rest of the resin.  FYI, the molds need to be really dry before pouring in the resin.  Oops!

Now, just to put these things to good and crafty use!