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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Seasons Greetings!

Wishing all my customers, followers, Likers, team mates, fellow Etsians and supporters across the world a Wonderful Mid-Winter (Mid-Summer!) Holiday }:o

Sally-Ann ♡
P.S. You are hereby cordially invited to visit my shop between 26th - 31st December for a nice surprise! 

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

SALE! Just in time for Santa :)

Every item is giftwrapped!

FREE GLOBAL POSTAGE until midnight GMT on 22nd November with the coupon code EARLYBIRD1 

Postage will be the cheapest option I can use to get your parcel to you before Christmas.

More good news: from 23rd - 26th November, the free postage continues for all SALE items. Use the search terms 'black friday etsy' and 'cyber monday etsy' for Etsy-wide, on sale gift ideas!

Even more good news! If you visit The Navigatrix on Facebook and go to Etsy through the My Etsy Shop portal, you automatically get 5% off your order. 

Do please share this blog and anything nice you have to say about The Navigatrix. Every sale makes a much appreciated difference. Most of my materials are bought from local charity shops and the more you buy from me, the more I buy from them.

Do pop by soon...remember, everything I make is a one of a kind, each item patiently awaiting its perfect owner :)

Wishing you pleasant, relaxed, seasonal preparations,


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Treasury Challenge

Etsy is more than just a shopping destination, it is also a community. Likeminded artists, vintage collectors and enthusiasts of many different genres gather in teams for mutual promotion, advice, support, inspiration and fun! I myself am a member of several teams but there is one in particular that I'm fond of. Probably because, of the five woman leadership team, I am one!

Recently, one of the leaders came up with a brilliant idea: to make treasuries based on one team member's shop, using items from 16 different Etsy shops. The chosen team member's shop is picked at random each time and placed in the top left hand corner. Here's my contribution:

To visit the actual Treasury where you can explore each of these items and shops in depth and Favourite ♡ them, visit Guardian of Dreams. From there, you can also explore other treasuries that I have curated. 

If you would like to visit our team, pop by In Here Life Is Beautiful and see what we're currently talking about.

In other news, I've recently begun using Instagram and having fun, both with pictures related to The Navigatrix and others. My username there is 'thenavigatrix'. Genuine followers are more than welcome; likewise, if you're on there, show me your pics! I follow those that really interest me.

Remember, you can also look up 'thenavigatrix' on Facebook, Pinterest and Wanelo. This being the first Winter Holiday season that my shop has been around, I'm doing as much as I can to promote it and I sincerely appreciate any and all help in this regard!

Remember, FREE SHIPPING until 22nd November!

Be well,

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Free Postage Offer!

For all you earlybird Christmas shoppers, a limited offer:

FREE standard postage, worldwide, on anything in my shop until 22nd November!!! Visit and use the coupon code written there at checkout. Share as much as you like! 

I am currently working on a few more Victorian inspired Christmas decorations and can now also offer you Gift Vouchers (For other amounts over £10, feel free to enquire!) In other news, I have added a policy to allow models and photographers to borrow items. I have set a limit on the number of times an individual piece can be borrowed so that it will still reach you in 'as new' condition (if you can say that about items made from upcycled goods! If something has been lent out, there will be a note at the bottom of the item description.

Luxury Beaded Christmas Bauble...more colour variations being added this month!

Gift Vouchers now available in £10, £15, £25 and £50.

Visit The Navigatrix on Facebook to catch up with my latest news and offers!
I've been enjoying my mornings and evenings by reading Gail Carriger's The Parasol Protectorate series, five novels about a strong female lead character, Vampires, Werewolves and Tea, with a healthy dash of Steampunkery! Written as though Jane Austen and Joss Whedon had become entangled at an aetheric level, these books are wonderfully verbose and full of witty humour. They are now available as a boxed set. 

The Navigatrix looks forward to seeing you on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter (@Reikiblossom) or on Pinterest! I love comments and feedback, so talk to me, folks! All the best, Sally-Ann  

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Featured Etsy Shop: Arcane Armoury

There are so many wonderful Etsy shops out there! I've decided to  feature some of them that are, in some way, relevant to The Navigatrix. So, every month or so, there will be a new designer/creator/collector/artist to meet...but I knew who I was going to feature first:

Matt of Arcane Armoury at the Victorian Steampunk Society's 'Weekend at the Asylum event in Lincoln, September 2012 

I'd like to introduce you to my younger brother Matt. He's the reason that I have a shop in the first place, encouraging me to take my little Steampunk hairclip idea and build on it. 

Having grown up playing Lego, building Airfix kits, painting fantasy miniatures and building replica film props (from the cardboard Ghostbusters' Proton Pack to a wood, plastic and metal version of a 'pulse rifle' from Aliens), it's no wonder that Matt became a modelmaker.

At the age of 14, he did some work experience at Jim Henson's Creature Workshop, back when they had a branch in London. For his A-Level in Design Technology, he made a fully animatronic Troll head, affectionately known as Cornelius.

Matt now has 16 years of modelmaking experience under his belt and has worked in various areas of the craft. He's been an in- house architectural modelmaker, done exhibition design and has also done some film work: 'Daylight Robbery', 'Kangaroo Jack' and Five Seconds to Spare'. 

Now he concentrates on his own business which he began in February 2012, with occasional modelmaking excursions to the capital. I spent a couple of hours at his workshop recently (not that I've far to go!) and caught up with what he has been producing lately. With kind permission, I can tell you - and show  you - that he is working on a microphone stand, commissioned by a new band called Alice's Night Circus

So, over to Matt:

1. How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?

"I wanted something for the name that implied a history and Magic about what's found there. I'd spent many years as a professional model maker working to the designs of others; opening the shop gave me a chance to persue my own interests and designs.
2. What do you create and do you have a signature product? If so how did it come to be?

I'll make pretty much anything ! I built a prop for the lovely Kato of Steampunk Couture recently , and I'm currently working away on a prop for a band , but I've made a desk light and I have plans for a steam clock.
I guess my signature pieces are the weapons , they have a continuity of design style ...I think in time people will come to recongise one of my pieces from the CNC [C] details , and crisp engineering style I hope I convey. I guess they arose from the fact that while there are many builders of Steampunk weapons, I find many far too over complex and busy. I wanted to make pieces that could look like they dropped through a warp hole and had been made by some distant artisan in a functional but decorative way.

3. Where do you find your inspiration and what makes you different from the other people that make what you make?

My inspiration comes from real world items like the original Babbage Calculation Engine,and I guess I like that very functional but ornate look they gave to components back then. I guess what sets me apart from alot of Steampunk  Weapon makers is my use of the real materials brass,copper,wood and steel. Many steampunk guns are painted Nerf guns and they look good if you're on a budget , but there are lots and lots of gold painted Mavericks about because they are easy to do. I do the odd Nerf mod[ification] but try to add real customisation to them when I do .
 I want my pieces to be considered display items as well as convention props. You get no chipping of gold paint if you're using brass, and the weight of each piece is solid and satisfying .

Another Steampunk Weapon prop in progress.

4. What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I guess one of the things I enjoy the most about what I do is that moment the piece comes together , little elements work nicely as you build them  and then you see the piece as a whole item and think "yeah that will find a home somewhere". It's very important to feel the design "click" aesthetically. Whilst my style may not suit everyone's taste, it's my vision of how steampunk would be ...and that's the great thing about the steampunk genre, it can be whatever you want,  all things are possible and it's great to see them all mingle at conventions. 
5. What is your best advice to newbie Etsians just opening their shops?

My advice to new Etsians is simple: get a good range of stock in and make things to suit all price brackets. I have badges at  £1.25 and Rifles at £350.00 and guitars at  £795.00. Keep the range broad, I think variety is key.

6. What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?

Favorite 3 Etsy shops is difficult... there  are so many run by such wonderful people. I have a soft spot for The Navigatrix because it's run by my sister and we both opened at around the same time. I'd have to say  Steampunk Couture as I love Kato's style and she has become a good friend recently and I love the sculptures of  Kreatworks.

7. Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online?

I have a domain for and but as yet the websites have not been built, so Etsy is the place to find me or you can follow me an my Arcane Armoury facebook page . I often post shots of current projects in progress.

8. Do you have any coupon codes / special sales / upcoming or current promotional events going on in your shop?

As yet I haven't produced any coupon codes, though I'm considering doing a  give away when I reach 300 likes on my facebook pagemaybe a gun ring or a custom engraved plaque. Look out for the latest in a range of steampunk pistols I'm hoping to get on Etsy before Christmas.

Thanks, dude! 

If you've enjoyed this visit to the Arcane Armoury, do share this blog post with anyone who might appreciate it. 

Matt is also a member of the Etsy team In Here Life Is Beautiful, a group of keen, imaginative creators and sellers of vintage treasures.

Matt is always happy to discuss commissions. It doesn't have to be steampunk or sci-fi. 

If you know of any UK Steampunk events that welcome traders, do get in touch. We both had fun at 'Asylum' in Lincoln - our first trade stall and our first Steampunk event (though we are both seasoned Live Roleplayers). Thanks for reading ♡

Me and my 'buv' :)


Monday, 24 September 2012

Weekend at the Asylum - Part 3

Matt and I were at our posts for most of the event, but I did manage to have a little wander round and chat to various participants. In so doing, I gathered a fair posy of calling cards, the links of which I shall display below for your delectation.

Please follow whichever you are drawn to. If one of these links is yours, send me a couple of pictures, if you have them, and I will Edit them in.

Firstly, our lovely neighbours: Curious Fashion who also have a shop on Etsy . The creatrix also has another venture: Alice's Night Circus I can't wait to hear more!

Our other neighbour sold (out of) beautiful parasols and various things, including the squeaky hamsters. They made me smile :) Templarcraft 

'Second Coming, Ms D-.'s Costuming Empire is so often gadding about at events that she hasn't tethered her shop to the aetherweb. Instead, contact her (Second Coming) at Type it as you would a normal email address (hopefully we'll spare her from spam).

A talented chap by the names of John / London Jack creates multi-period, hand crafted, custom built leatherwork. He does such a splendid job and is just reaching out into the realm of Steampunk, having mainly focussed on the Wild West re-enactment scene. He can be found at: 

More lovely costume pieces were to be found at Designer Rags. Contact June Cragg at for details. 

 I got chatting to a pleasant author fellow called Craig Hallam. His purpose at the convivial was to invite people to purchase his new book, Greaveburn. He can be found on Twitter as @craighallam84. Alternatively, visit his blog: 

Tom and Nimue Brown's stall, covered in beautiful graphic art, made me stop and goggle. Their Gothic webcomic looks interesting and I'll be paying them a call when I can. 

Dr Geof's page has an assortment of sciency, tea related, Steampunky and occassionally gothy things. Another one I need to explore more! 

If you are interested in the 1940's, do take a look at The Anderson's page:

ESPTV were wandering around filming and caught ArcaneArmoury and TheNavigatrix on film, briefly. They are officially launching their internet TV channel in October. 

Also in attendance was a photographer from the Lincolnshire Echo. I'll be checking out to find my portrait :) She did like my mirror..

When you follow these links, do take a moment to let them know that The Navigatrix sent you, many thanks.

Feel free to share these around, backlink to this page and to The Navigatrix and Arcane Armoury's Etsy shops. Your help is much appreciated. I do hope these links prove both useful and amusing. Thankyou to everyone who gave their card for giving permission for me to share.

Weekend at the Asylum Part 2

I have a stack of cards in front of me from various other traders and participants, so many goodies for you to take a look at! You will find a list of links later on but first, some more pictures from the event:

A new friend
One happy customer :)

Arcane Armoury

Matt and 'Magdalena' 
Snow White

I am The Navigatrix!
The Bustle Balloon Skirt 
 The standard of costume was very high, with so much attention to detail. There were a fair few nods to existing characters and creations. I particularly liked the wheelchair done up as a Time Machine, the family dressed as Steampunk versions of Batman, Robin and Catwoman, The Invisible Man (hats off to you sir, to walk around in that heat completely covered by long, heavy dark coat, black fez, sunglasses and bandages!), Lady Cottington from Brian Froud's book of pressed faeries, Judge all gave us much amusement, thankyou!

If you see yourself or someone you know, please leave a comment below, thanks! I'll add captions if you ask. 

Castle Square, full of bemused tourists!

Silhouette Brooch. Does she look like someone you know?
 Well, there were so many photos I'm going to have to do a Part Three! Thankyou for looking. Do Follow and share this Blog, many thanks.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Welcome to the Asylum - The VSS Steampunk Event, Lincoln, Sept 2012

We set off early, squeezed into the car with two stalls worth of stock, my hubby driving and our daughter snug in her carseat, excited to be off to see Grandma and Grandad. Matt could hardly be seen underneath two large packages. (Oh how I wish I'd taken that picture!)

We sat through the trip, which took the best part of an hour, in full Steampunk costume. It is not an easy matter to sit corseted in a low automobile seat! We arrived in good time and met Trevor of the impressive moustache and deerstalker, a very nice chap and in charge of the market stalls.

Sister shop and brother shop, side by side. We were both happy with the way that our styles and colour schemes complemented one another's. The damask patterned taffeta cloth that I found from eBay, one on brown, the other black, really worked to tie our two stalls together and helped show off our wares admirably. 

The Navigatrix
Arcane Armoury
The Navigatrix and..

Matt's display
The display
Almost half of the stock I took was made for this event along with a few pieces that had not been listed from a local Steam and Vintage Fair during the summer. Of those pieces that came home with me, I only have about ten left to add to my Etsy shop.

The gloves (both now sold) that you can see at the front of the stall attracted a lot of attention. I could have sold 12 pairs easily, had they been a little larger. 

It is very interesting to see what people are most interested in. Having a market stall gave me some good ideas as to what to make next - more gloves, for one!

The atmosphere at this event was lovely. So relaxed and welcoming. We were both quite happy to sit and watch people passing by as there were some wonderful costumes, the overall standard of which was very impressive. I'll show you some later!  

Lovely weather for it!

THE Steampunk Guitar

Matt's original design Steampunk Electric Guitar attracted a lot of attention. It is still waiting to find its rightful owner, though a few were sorely tempted. It was allowed down from its place of suspension on the Sunday, plugged into a mini amp and played. There was a lot of music in Castle Square on the Saturday! Matt has, however, recently received a music-related commission. Have a look at his Facebook page for updates on his work:

ArcaneArmoury on Facebook

I'll leave you with a few more pictures. In part two of this blog article, I will introduce you to some of the people at the event and share lots of great links...I went round collecting cards from all sorts of  creative Steampunk types.

Do take one!