Last weekend we (Hubby and I) took an amazing trip to celebrate our anniversary early. We hit five years married in April, and sometime late last year we were looking into something fun for just the two of us to go do together. It didn’t fall exactly on our anniversary, but what we decided to do fit the bill for what we were looking for: fun, a get-away-from-life distance, and something that was really “our thing.”
What was it? The Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention in Old Tucson! Old Tucson is a wild west film set that’s become a tourist attraction, but it’s the perfect setting for that Wild West kind of steampunk (there’s obviously that one movie, but also think Trigun, the comic Calamity Jack, etc.– it’s funny to me that there seem to be plenty of characters, photos, and art of this theme, but relatively few major pieces of media, where so much of the Steampunk genre is shoehorned into London…). You can fully immerse yourself in the experience of “the future that never was” in this setting– not to mention, take some really great photos!!
I can’t even.
So, that was fantastic! We had a great experience, and Hub’s costume (a be-jetpack’ed Aerial Surveyor) got Men’s 2nd Place in the costume contest! Woohoo!!
But, all that to say, we came home with a fair bit of memorabilia. Our passes, the 2nd place ribbon, some artwork, etc. And we had nowhere to put it. This is not the first time we realized that we didn’t have the kind of place we really wanted for our fun things. Hubs and I had discussed previously doing some sort of “nerd wall,” as he called it (I prefer Geek, myself 😉 ), and we looked into some options. Our first thought was magnetic paint, so we could switch things out from time to time without having to frame or re-hang things, etc. But, after looking into it, most people don’t seem entirely satisfied with the hold on magnetic paint, and it gets expensive pretty quickly . At $25-40 per quart, depending on brand, and with a quart only covering 16-25 square feet (for those of you counting at home, that’s a 4’x4′ or 5’x5′ patch), we would need $75-80 in magnetic paint, plus a quart of regular paint to cover, plus disposable paintbrushes, etc., not to mention taping off the project wall (ugh, taping off…), painting the whole thing multiple times (most of the magnetic paints recommend three to SIX coats!!), etc. Ouch. Not what we were hoping.
Well, Hubs did some poking and found out that for the price of all that, or less, we could pick up a 5’x10′ piece of sheet metal, some spray paint, and some cheap tin snips (yay, local tool pawn store!). In 1.5 days (the 0.5 only added because I wanted a new switch cover and that took an extra store trip), we had THIS GLORIOUSNESS:
Isn’t she a beaut?! It has a chalkboard look, but isn’t full black; I lightly layered Rustoleum Metallic finish Oil Rubbed Bronze and Hammered finish Dark Bronze, and they let just enough silver come through that it has a little shine and shimmer to it, so it’s not too heavy and dark. The magnets stick great, and we have no worries of anything falling off. See that impressionist piece at the bottom? That’s a canvas. We layered magnets in the hollow of the back with a couple on the front and they’re holding it up fine.
We put up several select pieces from our trip, as well as several fun things we’ve collected over the years. An enormous map of Ankh-Morpork, a diagram of the Up Goer Five, my Pinot’s Palette class TARDIS painting, and some small art pieces my sister picked up for us at a convention (don’t worry, seestor, I know where the signed Mal picture is, I just haven’t brought him down yet!). And there’s room to spare, or rearrange with time.
I think, so far, it’s my favorite house project we’ve done so far!
What would you put on your Nerd/Geek wall?
Thanks for reading!