Who am I?
In the steampunk world, I am Lucretia Strange, the Baroness Strange. I run the Promethean Society, and do a variety of presentations at steampunk conventions.

In the real world, I am Cassie Beyer and a historian with a blog, History, Interrupted, devoted to history, steampunk, costuming, popular culture and other eclectic interests.

You can best reach me through the Promethean Society or through Cassie@AlterEgoDesign.netAlterEgo is my freelance web design endeavor focused on small businesses, individuals and organizations.

Ugly Earring
I wish I had taken a pic of this earning before I dismantled it. I was epically horrible.

Recycling Jewelry

My steampunk jewelry tends to be large and ostentatious.  Actually, most of my steampunk wardrobe is based on that principle.  I like to say an outfit is finished when I've added one too many items.  Alternatively, double whatever I've done at the point my husband warns I've gone overboard.  And the overall outfit will be bold, so accessories also need a solid presence.

While creating a steampunk Loki jacket, I needed an ostentatious necklace.  The project incorporates black, olive green and gold, so when I found matching earrings at Goodwill, I just had to use them.

Let me explain the nightmare of this thing.  It's two inches in diameter and originally had multiple strings of similarly colored disks dangling another two inches below it.  And it's an earring, so there's two of them.

I'd say the 80s called wanting their fashion back, but I wouldn't have worn this even in my mid-80s, 13-year-old, stupidly-big-earring phase.

All for the low price of $1.99.

What particularly attracted me to this piece (beyond the challenge it offered) was the fabric rose which

  • Makes it even more hideous, as who uses fabric on a metal earring?
  • Is the same olive green I'm working with.

It's like it was calling my name...with a vuvuzela.

I also found another pair of earrings with a rose motif in a dull, dark grey metal, which were also $1.99, and which I also incorporated.


It'd still be a stupidly ugly earring.
It'd still be a stupidly ugly earring.
All I did here was a paint job. The outer ring was upgraded to a more brilliant gold, with depressions done in black.  The central piece just under the rose was also painted black, and the middle part was made olive green to further incorporate it into the outfit's color scheme.

All four earrings, once painted, were hot glued to pleather backings so they stood out against a dark background.  I then created little pleather hinges to hold the pieces together.

As an aside: I've just discovered a lovely little craft glue gun, which I love, and I've been using pleather on accessories for a couple years because it doesn't fray, it's cheap, you can easily get a needle through it, and it will hold significant weight.

Final Bits

Rough idea what the finished piece looks like. Colors are not photographing properly.  Still, not bad for $9 of materials, counting an entire string of knotwork beads.
There's some knotwork motifs in the main costume project, so I got a string of knotwork beads and used two of them here, one on either end.  The chain is a random chain from some long forgotten necklace I've inherited.  You can also sometimes find them at Goodwill.  Fabric and hobby stores also offer a wide variety of decorative chains.