Bohemian Romance Jewelry

steampunk wedding

Custom Order Spotlight:Wedding Earrings

UncategorizedSamantha Extance

I love custom orders, especially custom orders for weddings. I am always so honored that someone trusts me to create jewelry for their special day. It's also a great excuse to sing sappy love songs in my studio at the top of my lungs and just have a good time making. Besides singing "Chapel of Love" and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," one of the other things I love about custom orders is the challenges they present. Fitting the jewelry to the person, their style and their personality and often keeping within certain parameters.

My latest custom wedding order came from one of my co-workers, Sarah. She had a jewelry set from her grandmother that she wanted to wear on her wedding day. The necklace and earrings were beautiful, but the earrings were posts and not the dangle-ly, long earrings that Sarah wanted for her wedding.

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So, my challenge was how to turn posts into long, dangle-ly earrings. That itself is not much of a challenge, but creating temporary dangles are a different matter.

In a lot of my pieces I try my best to respect the original object, and not create new holes or altering it, and thereby keeping the original piece in tact.

To create dangle-ly earrings out of posts the answer was to build on top of filigree and essentially fasten (as you would to your ear) the earring to the filigree--keeping the earring in its original state and not altering it. Especially since Sarah will want to wear these again.

What's fun about fastening earrings posts to filigree is that you have 2 pairs of earrings, 2 different styles, and 2 different looks that you can easily change up yourself.

Here's the "After":

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Sarah's wedding earrings are made with vintage brass filigree that my mom and I found at a Paris flea market (I used some of my private stash because the metals matched perfectly!), antique gold watch chain links, clock cogs, rhinestone rondeles, brass chain links (that matched the necklace's chain links), flat mother of pearl buttons,  pear shaped pearls, and Sarah's grandmother's crimson flower earrings.

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To match the earrings, I added pearls and a rhinestone rondele to the bottom of her grandmother's necklace.

I couldn't wait to go to work Monday morning and see Sarah's face. She is someone with such a big heart and I am so happy that she is getting married in September. She is going to be a beautiful bride. Congratulations Sarah!

For those of you who are interested in custom orders, email me at I'm ready for the next fun challenge!


Broken Eyelash Dream, A Royal Steampunk Wedding Fashion Collection!

Fashion, ShowsSamantha Extance

Few people know how much of a wedding geek I can be but I'm finally ready to admit it--I nerd out over weddings, well handmade weddings mostly.  I love the attention to detail and most importantly the attention to the happy couple's story. It's no surprise that I've been asked to be a maid of honor (twice now!), and a bridesmaid (I won't admit how many times but I might give Katherine Heigel's character in 27 Dresses a run for her money).Steampunk Wedding Fashion 1 When Marry Me Indie approached me about putting together a collection for their indie, handmade wedding show I was certainly up for the challenge (and I certainly wanted the chance to upcycle all of those bridesmaids' dresses hanging in the back of my closet). I transformed each dress into a simply steampunk creation--both tasteful and elegant. I can't wait to share how I did it in a few DIYs to come later this month (so stay tuned)!Steampunk Fashion 2

I had so much fun transforming each of the dresses, thrifting for vintage tuxes, and the piece de resistance came from my mom who found (at an estate) the most exquisite wedding dress I have ever seen. It is an off-the-shoulder dress made of gauzy white handmade lace with a long flowing train. It was sold with white ballet shoes (still with a penny for good luck taped into the inner sole)!Steampunk Fashion 3

Accessorizing was easy--I was inspired by vintage rhinestone pieces, gleaming brass gears, and these embroidered Royal crests & patches. I had so much fun ruffling through antique photographs of Victorian weddings and ogling all of the dresses, floral arrangements & nosegays.

When June 1st finally arrived I could hardly contain my excitement! Everything had fallen into place  and sure there were a couple of hiccups but the show was a complete success (much like a wedding day I expect). I couldn't have done it without the encouragement of Christine & Renee; the help of all of my wonderful models--Melissa, Joe, Michael, Karen, Caroline, Ryan, Mitch, and especially Alicia (who was such a hauntingly beautiful bride--she looked as if she had stepped out of a shroud of ghostly invisibility to corporeal form to remind us of a bygone era); the help of Sherri, who filmed the fashion show for me; and last, but not least, my collaborator and co-designer, my mom (The Salvage Steamstress).Steampunk Bride

So for those of you who couldn't make it--here's a video of the show. Hope you enjoy it!


Rainy Saturday in the Studio

InspirationSamantha Extance

Rainy days are wonderful--perfect for naps, reading, and working in my studio creating all kinds of steampunk jewelry while watching a frightening amount of sci-fi movies & television. Suffice it to say--rainy days are something I look forward to. shot_1363713657927 I just finished reading the last book in Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments trilogy--Clockwork Princess. I rarely review the books  that I read for fun on my blog (I save that for my academic life) but I will make an exception for this last book because I want to encourage you all to read it. I won't spoil Clare's carefully thought out and brilliantly executed plot--so do not fear reading this modest review any further. As an ardent bibliophile, the epigraphs to chapters & the poetry & fiction quoted fervently by the characters creates a story informed by a kind of meta-narrative. Though anyone can enjoy Clare's exciting trilogy--it is the well-read person of Victorian literature that is rewarded (for it helps clue in the reader as to characters' true feelings and establishes another layer of Clare's already vivid world--a literary one in which she situates two of her main characters, Will and Tessa). Not only are Will and Tessa voracious readers--but literature becomes for them a language, or shorthand in communicating with one another. Literature is also a coping mechanism for both characters--when faced with moral ambiguity or great challenges both imagine themselves as other characters and then pose the same obstacles & questions to the characters they imagine so that Will and Tessa may arrive at answer/action.

Literature also offers comedic relief. Here is one of my favorite passages from a Clockwork Princess (which pokes fun at a very strange, and often overlooked, instance in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre):

"Mr. Rochester never courted Jane Eyre," Tessa pointed out.

"No, he dressed up as a woman and terrified the poor girl out of her wits. Is that what you want?"

"You would make a very ugly woman."

I laughed out loud when I read that. Not only did I enjoy the book's humor and literary play but also its subtle feminism. Tessa is a sturdy, complex character who is not defined by the love triangle in which she finds herself (and also might I add--there is no obvious choice--as a reader I was rooting both for Jem & Will). Tessa does not stand idly by while others fight and indeed she rescues herself throughout the series. More importantly, on a more miniscule level Clare's writing does not undermine the strength of her character--despite at times when Tessa falls into the role of damsel or love-interest because, in the words of her suitors, "She did not belong to Will--she was too much herself to belong to anyone, even Jem--but she belonged with them" instead. The novel vilifies the objectification of women (represented by the villain & his thoughts and actions toward Tessa) and champions gender equality & love based first and foremost on friendship and respect. Besides all that--it is one of those trilogies that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning reading.

As a result of this fantastic story--and vivid steampunk world--I have been so inspired and been creating all kinds of new pieces. Here's a little of what Clare's book inspired & what I've been making this rainy Saturday.

shot_1363466673779Rhinestone, Washer & Gear Necklaces--I have had steampunk weddings on the brain now for a while. shot_1363480284507

shot_1363984361267And here's a pair of gearrings--for that sweet bookish someone in your life! I've also been working on some new displays (will reveal more in my next blog post so stay tuned--until then here's a sneak preview)!


What have you been reading? What do you do on your rainy days?

DIY Steampunk Illumination, Live Demo

D-I-Y-Samantha Extance

I had so much fun Thursday morning on Great Day Green Country filming a live DIY! I made 2 versions of Steampunk Candle Holders (one for tea candles & one for candlesticks). They are easy, elegant, and cheap to reproduce (bet. $5-10 to make). In case you missed it, here it is! Enjoy! And as always, Happy Making!

Steampunk Wedding Fashion Show!

FashionSamantha Extance

I am excited to announce that I will be creating a steampunk wedding fashion show for Tulsa's first indie wedding show--Marry Me Indie! Mark June 1st on your calendar! There will be 30 vendors, a fashion show, a surprise (wish I could tell you it's so good!), and grab bags! I have been so inspired and already created a number of pieces. I'll be fashioning looks for a Royal Steampunk Wedding--think pearls, lace, gears & soft golden brass, and vintage rhinestones and you're only halfway there! Here's a sneak peek at what I've been making for you ladies...Steampunk Wedding 1

Steampunk Wedding 2Steampunk Wedding 3And don't think I forgot you gents--I'll have more steampunked bow ties and accessories in lieu of your more traditional menswear pieces--cufflinks, tie clips, and boutonnieres! Here's a little preview...Steampunk Wedding MensI really love these boutinneres! They're made with brass construction co. tags, pins, bits of blue ribbon, gray pearls, and the piece de resistance--vintage cigar labels! Here are a few more things I have in store for you gents--

Steampunk Wedding Mens 2Check out the Marry Me Indie website for updates & more details! Can't wait for June 1st!

DIY Steampunk Wedding Bouquet

D-I-Y-Samantha Extance

Materials & Tools:

  • Flowers, real or synthetic (your choice)
  • Floral wire (or any green colored wire) & wire cutters (or toenail clippers)
  • Needle & thread & scissors
  • Lace & ribbon (or you can choose any kind of fabric you'd like instead of lace)
  • clock gear
  • Pin



  1. Arrange your flowers.
  2. Cut your floral wire using your wire cutters/toenail clippers. Wrap your flowers tightly with the wire to secure them.
  3. Measure your lace by wrapping it around your flowers' stems for your desired width/look. I wrapped the lace 2-3 times around the stems. Once you are done wrapping your lace tuck the end into the top of your lace. 
  4. Next, measure  the amount of ribbon you'll need to fit tightly around your bouquet. Be sure to leave yourself at least a 1/2 inch on one side for sewing the ribbon to your gear.
  5. Loop your ribbon through the gear. Sew your ribbon to your gear. Keep your stitches small and close. (You can also secure the ribbon to your gear with a hot glue gun.)
  6. Next, wrap the ribbon around your bouquet. Be sure to hold the gear in place in the front of your bouquet when you pull the loose end of the ribbon through the gear. Pin it in place with your pin (or hatpin). Cut off excess ribbon and tuck it under.
  7. Promenade proudly down the aisle!Variations:

Instead of a gear, maybe pin a cameo to your bridal bouquet. It's a romantic & nostalgic twist and yet is elegant & simple.

Or look for any other kinds of pins that you could attach to your fabric or lace that ties into your wedding's theme, your heritage, or your story as a couple. Here is another variation that combines both the cameo pin & clock gear, ribbon, and simple pastel pink fabric. It's more textured & intricate--offering a much more Stemapunk vibe.

This last variation is more simple than the above pictured cameo & gear bouquet & offers a hint of sparkle. Clip-on earrings are easy enough to find at vintage stores, flea markets, & estate sales which makes them even more appealing as materials for your bridal bouquet.

Happy Wedding Planning (or day-dreaming)!

D.I.Y. Steampunk Flower Vase

D-I-Y-Samantha Extance

Here is a simple & elegant way to steampunk your dinner table or wedding reception--a clock part vase!

Materials Needed: Bud vase (or any glass or metal vase that fits inside your clock's mechanism), flowers & clock (or machine) part.

1) Fit your bud vase inside of your clock mechanism. (If you want to conceal the vase, choose a metal one that blends in with your clock part's metal. Also for another variation, you can use test tubes too & fix them throughout your clock's mechanisms for a wilder, more overgrown look). Fill with water.

2) Arrange your flowers!

And for a completely different look for your wedding or dinner table, you can either make paper flowers or purchase beautiful fake bouquets and splay them across your clock mechanism.

As always, Happy Making!