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Rub 'n Restore, Inc.'s new hometown of Paonia, Colorado boasts quite the art scene. The hottest New Year's Eve party in town was a steampunk-themed masquerade hosted by Elsewhere Studios.
What is steampunk? Think Victorian fashion fused with industrial punk or goth with a little futuristic whimsy. The color palette errs monochromatic. Leather, lace, and metal are essential ingredients. Spectacles, goggles, time pieces, and a top hat seal the deal. I also stole an idea a long-time true crusty punk train-hopping hobo friend: large hose clamps. Wear them as a choker or bracelets or string several together to make a halter or holster.
But it's no masquerade without a mask. We have an abundance of scrap leather, and customizations are easily made with our array of fabulous leather dyes and vinyl paints. I invited friends to our studio to aid in costumery but had no idea they would collectively accept the offer and bring the party to us!
Kirk and Katie, glass blowers, farmers, chefs, and artists extraordinarie, arrived first. Kirk cuts masks from black scrap leather salvaged from an old chair. Katie set to painting it with some copper Krylon (which, though an inferior leather paint, was chosen for its metallic finish) and embellished with our Bright White Rub 'n Restore™. Some final holes punched along the brow mirrored the white dots.
In the midst of this, our search engine optimization master, Mr. Web Guru, also known as Peace, arrived in need of a little assistance. Kirk cut a similar mask for him in no time. After much contemplation between painting a Tibetan third eye in white and blue Rub 'n Restore, Peace settled with a copper wheel piece found among the bead and bobble box which we glued with the 3M Emblem & Trim Adhesive. Somewhere between the pot of soup and bottle of wine in the kitchen and the painting party in the studio, Peace paused and reminded me of this excellent blog and social media opportunity and to snap some photos.
In my rush to get rush to get ready, I only managed to dye Grandma Topsy's leather gloves from a caramel color to black. I neglected to customize the grommeted faux leather corset Katie loaned me (the intention was to paint the ribbing with a grey conveyer belt track of some kind), but it was sufficiently steampunked with some old watch faces. I felt like my costume was as much pirate as industrial. Hose clamps would have really sealed the deal, but I received only compliments from the fellow well-dressed Paonians.
The masquerade did not disappoint. There's a lot of talent, vision, and collaboration in this town, not to mention organic, locavore edibles and libations. Jaycee performed her amazing yogic hula hoop routine; Tanya mesmerized us with her belly dancing. The brains behind Elsewhere made a real wheel of fortune. Guests would spin both the inner and outer wheel and choose an animal card. Sonya on stilts would interpret the results and write one's fortune on a typewriter in the rafters. My fortune? The universe conspires in my favor. Relish the joy. February will be a good month. Happy 2017.
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