Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Steampunk Orchid

The Steampunk Orchid is the home of the Goth Bunny, who gives tattoos to tourists in Bisbee. Although Bisbee was founded a bit late for the house's Carpenter Gothic style, Arizona architecture prior to the bungalow phase tended to lag the rest of the country, so it wouldn't be unusual for a vernacular style that was getting old on the East Coast in 1870 to show up here in 1885. The house under 400 square feet, making it small enough to be tucked in an odd corner of Bisbee's hills.

The Steampunk Orchid gets its name not from some ribald Neal Stephenson-esque commentary on the nature of being but because it is built from a Greenleaf Orchid kit and my early decorating concept was steampunk. It's an Orchid because (a) Orchids are small and (b) Orchids were the only tab-and-slot kit carried at Hobby Lobby and (c) I had a 20% off coupon for Hobby Lobby, which is always an incitement to riot.

The copper roof is the result of many layers of gold paper with Daler Rowney heavy artists' acrylic in copper, both from Jerry's Artarama, which is the Petsmart of art supplies. There will eventually be fancy trim: I bought the lace to paint and starch when the Joann Etc. on the rez went under in late 2012, but I'm waiting until I no longer need to turn the house upside down for other tasks.

A close look will reveal that the porch pillars are not the originals that come with the kit. Having utterly failed to make them fit, I built columns from dowels wrapped in bamboo placemats and and capped with wooden tires inside wooden checker pieces.

In the kitchen, I'd originally had plans to cleverly decoupage a cheap kitchen set. This went disastrously -- both the oven and the sink eventually broke while being rehabbed -- and only the refrigerator remains, awaiting the glorious day when I go through the notion box and find something to use as a door handle. There is, obviously, a rooster theme.

Goth Bunny sits in the parlor with cat Tonala, pondering the many curiosities in the tansu. Most of the curiosities displayed in it are from my trip to Bisbee and Tombstone back in spring 2012.

The parlor was completely empty the day that I was tweeting with an indie musician about something to do with Victorian horn chairs and came down with the conviction that this house needs a horn chair. This somehow mutated into a cowhide theme, aided in part by the discovery that one of the gift shops in Prescott sells cowhide coasters. The floor is fashionable, eco-friendly bamboo, literally: it's a placemat from Dollar Tree.

The bath is Moroccan, except when it's Chinese. My adventures with a Crysnbon bathroom kit went poorly, other than the tub (which the walls were set to fit, so it was a do-or-die tub situation). Until more bath fixtures arrive, Goth Bunny borrows the bathroom of his neighbors in return for letting them use his oven.

Tonala has gone upstairs to nap with her brother Talavera. The carpet is another Dollar Tree placemat. Someday, I want to know why there exist resin drums that are the right height for nightstands: I found these at the Brass Armadillo with no explanation.

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