Oh My Steampunk Heart!

As a girl who grew up reading fairy tales and fantasy, I've always been partial to art that not only tells a story, but is part of a story.

That's kind of why I like the  grunge, gear laden, steam punk style, because to me it feels like those pieces came out of a story...

Two weeks after I decided to answer the Kraaft Shaak Design Team Kall - I figured I should come up with the required design project. (post update:  I'm honored to have been picked for the team!)

Good thing this box was slowly taking shape.

If you don't know about G+ groups let me tell you right now, it is one of the best forums for today's crafters,  way easier and more fun than facebook groups. People don't just post and run.  The Kraafters Kommunity G+ group has the best interaction by far because the moderators (and owner of the Kraaf Shaak) is a tec savvy lady who does weekly interactive shows.  If you've been watching the Prima Channel on U-stream -this is much better.  More friendly, more funny and real, more real time, more joining in.  It's just better

. To Join the Kraaft Shaak Design Team Kall you have to be apart of the Kommunity, I believe, and also replace are your C's with K's.

Because that's how we roll!

I have been gathering charms, gears, and what-not for some time, building up my craft stash.  As anyone knows who crafts, it's nice to have a little stash to choose from- mixed media uses a lot of different materials.  And gathering those materials takes time (unless you have a great, inexpensive resource or a significant other with very deep pockets.) I finally feel like I have some (if not most) of what I needed to make a heavily layered and embellished piece.

The Kraaft Shaack now carries some of the really cool Finnabiar Mechanicals in the shop.  They are a little bigger than the largest Tim Holz Ideaology gears and have some really unique shapes.

I started this box last month. It was meant to hold something positive, dreams, not secrets, hopes, not disappointments.  What shape those things take I have no idea, but despite the dark coloring, I wanted the piece to have a positive feel.

 It's an old cigar box winch I painted red, then black then gold and black again with acrylic craft paint.  I used some of the Prima Copper Crackle Texture Paste and the Finnabair Checkered stencil..  This took me about three or four days, just because of overnight drying.

 It was at this point I realized that I would have to be patient.


So I started working on the Gratitude Box (pictured here)  at around the same time because, I am not a patient crafter.  Is there even such a thing as a patient crafter?  ( this is an ongoing discussion in the G+  Kommunity)

I was super excited to start building up the heart shape.  I wasn't exactly sure how it would work , so I kept layering until I felt it was looking like I wanted.  I used Tim Holtz gears, Finnibair Gears, Leaky Shed Studio Chipboard Gears, buttons, beads, micro beads and metal findings.  It was very hard for me to cover up things that I thought worth seeing, but I also couldn't stand it when the heart felt uneven.  So things got covered up...

The heart is painted in a few places with Tattered Angels Gold High Impact paints.  One reason is because my gel medium was not drying the way I thought it should.  It seemed cloudy and clumpy.  It was taking forever.  I couldn't stand it anymore.  So I painted over it.

Once I got started with the whole altering process it was hard to stop.  I added gears from real watches also.

Before this box was finished I knew I was going to need to make another one...really, I need a help group.  I've already found myself searching e-bay auctions at 1 a.m. for watch parts.  This should not feel like  the most  urgent priority in my life right now.  I do not need another steam punk decorated box - but the craft habit is the monkey riding my back! Oh Lawd, help me!

The raised gold you are seeing is embossing enamel.  I loved the texture it added.  I think I used every metallic color I had on hand (except silver) to add highlights and variations to the color.  I used a  little Tattered Angels Aqua Stained Glass Paint just here and there also. 

I didn't worry too much about being exact as I glued and painted.  I'm not a planner.  I don't sketch out ideas or plan ahead when I craft.  It's all "gut art"  I just start and try out ideas.  This usually means that I'm not totally happy with the result.  There are about twenty things (at least) that I would do differently now that I feel like I'm finished with this project.

But if my goal was a prefect project then I would probably have given up before I started.

The feet of the box proposed quite a problem for me.  It's just a cigar box of thin wood.  I was afraid nails and screws wouldn't hold up very well.  But at the same time I regret not using them.  I feel like the box is more fragile than it should be.  The feet are basically glued on, and I wrapped them in wire and glued down the wire for a little added strength. I used black micro beads on two of the feet and left the other two feet free of it.

Sometime in the future I wouldn't mind creating something with working gears. (Maybe one of the really awesome guys at the Kraafters Kommunity would help me put together a box with moving parts?)

I had a great time making this box.  I can't wait to start the next one.  Unfortunately I will be out of town the rest of the month...but that will give me plenty of time to hunt for new interesting bits to put on the next box...



  1. Amazing box. I just love all the little details. Great job!

  2. And extraordinary box, Dana, and perfect for your hopes, dreams and over-the-top accomplishments! Gorgeous.

  3. This is so super fabulous that I NEED one RIGHT NOW!!!
    I loved your process and the final project!
    My favourite part of this blog was "Because that's how we roll! lol

  4. Gorgeous box, clever you. Love it, Angela x

  5. This is really neat, nice job!

  6. Perfect, the feet turned out awesome!

  7. Dana, this box is just "off the chain!" You are a shoo-in for sure in my book! LOL I don't count, of course, but I think your craftiness deserves to be displayed as wonderful inspiration for the rest of us to see! Good luck to you! :))))) Blessings

  8. Grunge is the best!! love love love your Gratitude box. Excellent submission for the DT Kall!!!!!

  9. Wow that is one awesome grunge u steampunky hearty box! Love it.. Well done :)

  10. Dana!

    WOW! This is AMAZING! You didn't tell me about this! You are holding out on me girl! This is just beautiful! I love how you described the process too! I totally think you should do a video on this! So well done! ♡

  11. Oh Dana that is SO much prettier than the one I made!!!! I love it!!!!!

  12. WOW ..... this is amazing. Great job.

  13. Very interesting! I especially like your 'story', the colors, the textures and the interesting use of gears, chains and beads you used in your Dream Box. Excellent!

  14. Beautiful Box Dana. I love the steampunk look as well. Thanks for sharing your talent and time.
    Big Hugs!!


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