This, it is coming to my attention, makes it somewhat difficult for new users to find what it is they are looking for.
So, here are three little tools to help you along your way:
1) Tagging System.
You may notice that pretty much all the posts made here will be tagged with a selection of words or short phrases that are designed to categorize the content. You can find a comprehensive list of tags here. Simply clicking on any one of the tags will give you a list of posts related to the tag. For example, clicking on "goggles" will pull up all the posts that have featured goggles. You can also click on the tags on entries as they appear without having to go to that tag list.
This is an excellent resource to use if you have a general idea what you're looking for, but aren't certain of the specifics. It's also good if you've just come into possession of, say, an excellent topper but are looking for examples of what to do to jazz it up.
The tags are a broad sweeping tool that can give great inspiration, and work marvelously as a general research too.
We as yet do not have the comprehensive memories listing that many fashion comms have, but it's an ever-growing resource. The Memories contain lists of useful material that will not date - tutorials, cultural guides and related communities. As a tool it's likely to develop more material as time goes on - in fact, if you have any suggestions for more categories, pop 'em in the comments. (Please note that online and real life shopping tips are more the purvey of steamy_stitches and as such are not eligible to be added to the Memories here.)
The Memories are useful for timeless information, especially discussions of what steampunk is, anyway, and where the steamers in your part of the world communicate.
3) The Big Guns - LJ Search
If you're still at sea, then there is one big greasy cannon of a tool you can whip out - LJ Search. This is a search engine that will allow you to search for specific terms just within the community.
To do so, click the "User Name" tab, then enter our community's URL where it says 'User's Journal' in the smaller of the two dialog boxes. Then enter what you're after in the larger of the two and you're away. This will search through the just through the comm for that term and that term alone, irrespective of how old the post is, or whether or not it has been tagged yet.
This is a fabulous tool if you know precisely what you are looking for, and find the broad strokes of the tagging system to be inadequate. It's also not specific to us, and you can use it on any journal or community that you're having hassles navigating.
These three tools will make navigating our community much easier. Use them, get to know them, share them with your friends and relatives. Cuddle them and name them George if you like. The best tool you can have, after all, is a compass and a map, and I hope these fit the bill.