Friday, December 23, 2022

Wishing You A Happy Hobbit Holiday!

Happy Friday, friends! It's almost Christmas, WE MADE IT. I do hope you get some time off this weekend and/or next week to recharge and hang with loved ones. I know I'm looking forward to some much-needed down time. And pie. (Mmmm, pie.)

I won't keep you long today; I just have to show you our decorated Hobbit Door!


It's a point of pride with me that we didn't buy anything new for this, other than a bag of cotton batting for "snow." The wreath is scrap Pex tubing from the garage, then two different garland remnants I painstakingly disassembled and zip-tied in place.

Speaking of wreaths, here's another pretty one:

I made the Hobbiton sign for craft night several months ago. It's made of foam with googly eyes for rivets.

K, back to the door:

The garland is the one we use almost every year over this doorway. It has sparkly fruit in it, perfect for Hobbitses.

I spent so long trying to get the "snow" to look right.

The snow in the bottom of the wreath hides the battery pack for the lights. 

So hey, ready to go inside?

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

"The Beacons Are Lit!" Our DIY Tree of Gondor Menorah

Happy Tuesday and Happy Hanukkah, hobbits and friends! Whether you celebrate or not, I think you'll appreciate this quick Middle Earth DIY:

A White Tree of Gondor Menorah! (Gondorah? :D)

I originally had grand plans of sculpting the tree, but the menorah part stumped me. (Ooooh, unintentional pun! Best kind!) So instead I layered a paper tree over our existing menorah, which is MUCH easier and also turned out rather lovely.

The contrast of the shiny silver and chunky white glitter looks super cool in the light, and I like that the tree is a little more subtle.

SO HEY. Want to make your own?

All you'll need is some white poster board, glitter, and this menorah:

Friday, December 16, 2022

Let's Visit WDW's Dapper Day, Fall 2022

Happy Friday, my friend! You made it through another week, and get bonus points because it's a week in December. Those go twice as fast but take twice the effort, so, YAY YOU.

No stress here; today we're gonna travel back to last weekend, virtually don our FINEST frock coats (note to self: google "frock coats"), and take a leisurely promenade down main street gawking at all the dapper lovelies.

Shall we start with a little video?

I think we shall.


I hope you can see (and hear!) what a fun day this was, despite the heat. You know two of my great loves are cosplay and Christmas, so throw Disney in the mix and I'm just about in heaven.

 Of course people will be quick to point out Dapper Day is about fashion, not costumes, but the vintage styles, Christmas theme, and Disney Bounds are more than enough for me.


Plus the Dapper crowd is so friendly they'll spoil other Disney trips for you; you can't go more than 50 feet without someone smiling at you, complimenting your outfit, and/or wishing you a happy Dapper Day. It's wonderful.
And then there are all the bounds! That's a Christmas twist on Mary Poppins & Bert, aren't they practically perfect?

Check out this 40s style Sorcerer Mickey on the right:


Her headpieces was full of silver stars, so pretty. Also loving the peppermint Christmas goodness beside her!

A few Dappers do frown on Disneybounding because it's "costume-y," but I say FOOEY to them. 'Bounds are like visual riddles you get to find and solve, they add so much fun to the weekend.

The two on the right are bounding as Grinch & Martha May! Aaaa! Made me regret not wearing my own Grinchy lederhosen.

When I told Jessica her Dapper "Darlin" pin matched John's outfit, she immediately plucked it off and put it on his lapel:

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Our DIY Dragon Hoard Christmas Tree

John and I had such an amazing Dapper Day Saturday that we went back for more on Sunday. Which means I'm a day behind and have twice the content, oops. So I'll bring you those photos and fun stories on Friday, k?

In the meantime, here comes another Hobbit Holiday build: our Dragon Hoard Christmas tree!

Yes, our mini Smaug has amassed his own treasure pile in our this corner tree, and is fiercely protecting it from the cats.


The tree is full of giant gems, strands of pearls, medallions, mirrors - basically every gold and/or sparkly thing our house had to offer, plus gold Christmas balls for fill.

I re-painted a plastic Tangled goblet to make that fancy chalice, and I think the gold box held candy?

I also hit up my friend Traci's cosplay closet for some foam swords and a bunch of sparkly tiaras, which make a fantastic tree topper:

I plan to keep adding "treasures" as I either find or make them, so the hoard should grow by party time.

In fact this would be a great thrift store project! Paint lightweight tchochkes gold, maybe bedazzle them with plastic rhinestones, and boom: instant treasure.

These are parts of a Christmas sprig I glued to a broken chain belt. :D

A Dollar Tree mirror from my stash. I had to get creative since we haven't had time for a thrift run.

"Ok, Jen," I can hear you saying, "That's great. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DRAGON?"

Ahhh, that's the best part!

Friday, December 9, 2022

We Made A Life-Sized Hobbit Door For Our House!

Happy Friday, po-tay-toes & hobbitses! Remember when we made these?

What do you say we make a life-sized one? With a functioning door? For a Hobbit party?

I'm getting strong "yes" vibes over here, so I'll assume those are from you.


John and I turned once again to our trusty not-sponsor - but we're open, Pink Panther, just sayin' -  pink insulation foam.

Blocking out the basic shapes - and quickly discovering that threshold was a face-plant waiting to happen, ha. That'll get lowered later.

This will not be Bilbo's iconic door, because we wanted something less character-specific. And red, to be more festive. Our inspiration was this other Hobbit hole in New Zealand:

via Rachael Christian

So pretty, right? Just imagine it all decked out with lights and snow for Christmas!

Once we had all the pieces we starting adding wood grain texture:

I used an awl for the lighter grain and knots, then John sliced V grooves with a craft blade for the deeper cracks.

Four pieces of foam stacked & glued to make these honkin' corbels:

My wood grain's not great on this side, shhhh.

Once we painted everything brown it really started coming together:

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

I Went As The Grinch To A "Dress As Your Favorite Christmas Movie" Party

Hallooo, early December survivors! Have you watched your favorite Christmas movie yet this year?

Many of you know my somewhat-controversial favorite...


... so when our friend (and FoE) Arielle invited us to a "Dress As Your Favorite Christmas Movie" party...

... there was only one clear choice.

This look is so hot this season.

Which is why I can't wear fur in this 85 degree heat, and decided on more of a Grinchy cos-bound.

This took more work than I expected, so I'll link you everything I used at the end of the post. Also keep scrolling, because I have LOTS more party costumes coming up!

Here's a better reference for the embroidery I tried to match:

Aaaaand here's my finished look!

The "extra large" heart is a purse I clipped to my belt, and it's so chinchilla-soft I couldn't stop petting it. Ahhhh.

I'm also wearing paper earrings made on our Cricut:

Friday, December 2, 2022

Turning Our Friends' Place Into A Life-Sized Gingerbread House, Final Reveal!

Happy Friday, my festive Festers! Ready to get your gingerbread house on?

This project has had a lot of ups and downs since we last spoke. Or downs and ups, as things kept falling off, hehehe.

That's the slightly unhinged chuckle of a woman who is one more mishap away from renting a flamethrower, btw. BUT WE MADE IT. And so far, knock on gingerbread, the Gingerbread House still stands.

Our battlefield of candy carnage.

So now that we've learned absolutely everything the hard way, let me show you all the things we did wrong last time, and our fixes that seem to be working.

Btw, to the person who so sweetly commented last time that we "make it look so easy!" - this is for you:

First let's jump in with some beauty shots, because I'm a desserts-first kinda gal:

::trumpet fanfare::

Eagle-eyed readers will spot the difference in these shots, but shhhh. We'll get to that.

The house doesn't look too different from my last sneak peeks, but the icing trim on the roof line got a major upgrade.

Originally we made the icing from plastic tablecloths, which was thinner, more translucent, and VERY wind-catchy: