As I look forward to the impending year, and all the challenges and joys it shall hold, I find myself seeing it as one enormous, lovely, game. Well, like all games, it needs rules, structure to keep me from straying too far, and boundaries to force me into creative thinking. So here they are, the terms of my bet with myself, the guidelines I must uphold to ensure the purity of my experiment:
Rule 1: Steampunk needs historical accuracy like an airship needs a goldfish.
This is to say, that I should not fall into neo-Victorianism or pure reenactment, but ever strive to use the chosen aesthetic as a lens through which I shall create a life which is a work of art.
Rule 2: D.I.Y. Does not mean “Dirty Inbred Yaks”.
This rule places stipulations upon how I may acquire things by putting in place a set of preferences to guide my behavior. This is as follows from first to last choice.
1. Handmade objects made from found and second-hand materials.
2. Handmade objects made from new materials.
3. Modified items from found and second-hand materials.
4. Modified items from new materials.
5. Items purchased as is second hand.
6. Items purchased as is from a local artisan.
7. Items purchased as is from a non-local artisan.
8. Items purchased as is from a small establishment.
9. Items purchased as is from a large establishment.
Rule 3: Thou shalt have a design plan and follow it in all of thine endeavors.
This requires a uniform design ethic for all of my projects, so that they will work together as a whole. It will include selected colors of finishes for various sorts of projects, trims, embellishments, and an overall look for the whole thing. This will also allow me to know what materials I will need on a regular basis and stock up when I find them second hand (see above purchasing requirements)
Rule 4: Honesty is the best policy.
This rule requires that I not only disclose my triumphs to the world, but also my defeats. Everything that happens on the journey will be shared. This rule also forbids me to hide this part of my life from anyone; regardless of how it may change the way they see me. If this experiment is to serve its purpose, it must be a part of my whole life, not just select parts.
Rule 5: No Man is an island.
I must strive always to use this experiment to reach out to others, and never use it as a way to separate myself from them. Connection is at the heart of this endeavor.
Well that’s the list! Feel free to offer advice on these rules or suggest additions!