Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Very Mirkwood New Years' Eve


How can the holidays be anything but merry when Party King Thranduil presides? After all, it's now movie canon that he doesn't shirk on the quality of the drink. And I found this gem in Weta's art and design book for the movie (Mr. Cation good-humoredly let me choose my own Christmas present from him):

See that? The open collar symbolizes his rockstar-ness! I think that's as close as we're going to get to admitting that he really is as fabulous as tumblr makes him out to be. It does rather unfortunately bring to mind the vampire Lestat, though...
Gorgeous concept sketches for his throne.
When I saw this in the movie, I was ready to swoon. Much as I liked Rivendell and Lothlorien, they can't hold a candle to how the Woodland Realm took my breath away.

As I mentioned before, my sister Emily and I have a holiday tradition of building things, and this year, it was only logical that we build the Elvenking a throne. I cannot say enough how much I love Alan Lee and John Howe's imagining of what the Thranduil's underground halls looks like, and the movie was every bit as fabulous (actually, more!) as what I had in my head when I first read the book. The challenge was to make our cheap cardboard version do justice to it. Thankfully, we had plenty of large boxes in the garage; the flatscreen TV box turned into the antlers, the vacuum box turned into the top layer of the seat back, and a monitor box turned into the backing.

I sketched out the design onto the box, then Emily cut it out with a box cutter. Gosh, I just love elvish design elements. All those curved lines and intertwining branches! If I could outfit my whole house with Art Nouveau furniture, I would.

After that, it was just a matter time, paint, wooden chopsticks to stabilize the antler points, and plenty of hot glue before we had a throne. As always, things started out looking awfully dubious, but then it all came together spectacularly in the end (as my mother once again grudgingly admitted...poor lady, I'm sure she thought that a mess of cardboard scraps and the threat of paint on her white carpet should have ended once her daughters became adults).

Brown, black, white, red, and gold acrylic paints can transform cardboard.
It's really too bad the boxes had so many folds in them, though; it really messed up the painting.
If we'd had more boxes, we could have built up the sides more so that the back wasn't so narrow. Considering that we spent zero dollars, though, I'd say it turned out pretty dang well.  
Welcome to the Woodland Realm, mellon. Check out my fabulous throne (and not my hideous seam allowances).

We broke out the Christmas decorations after that and had entirely too much fun taking pictures and trying to get the cats to cooperate.

I need Oonaballoona's expertise in coming up with an appropriate cocktail for Thranduil. 
You know it's a good party when the Elvenking starts throwing tinsel boas in the air?
Celebrating the fact that my son's not pledged to a lowly Silvan elf!
Gummy got interested and came over to check out the bar. 
Oh hello there, fey creature! Would you like to party with us? You're welcome as long as you're not a dwarf.
Have you been a good cat this year? What would you like in your oversized hosiery?
The answer: Gummy would like to not be roped (boa-ed?) into such shenanigans. 

I'm not really sure what's going on, but I know I look good.


I thought about apologizing for the ridiculous spate of Thranduil posts this past month, but then I'm not actually sorry. I guess I'm sorry that I'm not more sorry? Anyway, now that 2013 is almost over, it's time to start thinking about my year-end wrap up. There's been rather less sewing than in previous years, but it'll still be interesting to see how my making has changed in this last year. Thanks to Gillian for organizing a way to reflect on the year; without her helpful lists and guidelines, I'd probably be too overwhelmed to even start!

A very happy new year to you from Party King Thranduil and the Party Elk!

28 comments:

  1. Hahaha! We got to see the movie this past weekend and I kept waiting for King Thranduil to break out into a party but he was a real jerk in the movie.
    You and your sister are amazing with paint and cardboard! Never would have guessed from the photos that was all it was. Hope you have happy New Year celebrations.

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    1. He was a jerk in the movie, totally. lol. Love this rendition though :D

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    2. My first thought in AUJ was that he was a jerk too, but on second viewing of DoS and further reading, I've concluded that he's not so much of an unequivocal jerk as he is a morally ambiguous character. After what he's experienced with dragon fire and the encroachment of Dol Goldur on his lands, he's really being more cautious and protective of his people. He doesn't have any good reason to put himself out there to help Thorin when things look so risky, and it's probably served him well in the past to just buckle down and hide away...hahaha sorry but I have a lot of Thranduil feels and I really don't think he's that bad of a guy!

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  2. I like that the party king uses a red go cup! Party on, and Happy New Year, Beth

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    1. Red cup = party!! Thanks and happy new year to you too!

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  3. i love your cardboard project! it looks amazing, and nothing like it's humble origins!

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    1. Even though I love sewing, cardboard will always be my secret affair, because it's so much fun to work with and you can do so much!

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  4. LOL! LOVE IT. You are quite the rock star.

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  5. Don't be sorry, such a fabulous costume deserves celebration! Love the chair. Your cardboard creativity gives me hope that I can fulfill my ambition to have Rivendell bookshelves!

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    1. You can do it! I am a firm believer in Elvish interior design :)

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    1. Party King accepts the tribute he believes to be his due ;)

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  7. LOL! I don't know what I like most about this post - I love it all! Such a fun photo shoot!

    Beautiful painting! You and your sister magically transformed that boring cardboard. I want to come do Christmas crafts with you at your mom's!

    ~ Brooke

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    1. If you're ever in the SF Bay Area, you better hit me up...I'll make Christmas cardboard crafts with you even if it's summer!

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  8. I love it! I saw the Desolation of Smaug over the weekend. I think that a fun addition (if time and occasion allows) would be a barrel. The barrel could be used as an end table and if there is an opening, Walnut might like playing in it (not that I would send the barrel (and Walnut) into a river and down the rapids. Happy New Year and thank you for sharing your sewing experiences--I enjoy reading about them.

    Rose in SV

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    1. Ooh, Walnut would not enjoy floating down a river in a barrel! Also, we are out of cardboard :(

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  9. I lovelovelove this costume and how much fun you're having!

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  10. Oh, this is so good! I'm with on you the filling-my-house-with-art-nouveau-furniture thing. If only. Though now I'm tempted to make something like this for my living room. It'd totally go with the Mucha print we have over the couch, right?

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    1. It's too bad that Art Nouveau furniture is so expensive...and it doesn't seem to really be in production in anymore. And Mucha is one of my favorite artists!

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  11. If I had Party King Thranduil's outfit would I suddenly not be shy anymore? That's the question that comes up looking at these photos (and the last post too). There's something magic going on here...

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    1. I think cosplaying (especially as a character as ridiculously out there as PKT) definitely helps me be more outgoing...it's like by putting on the costume, I'm putting on another personality that gives me license to be someone else. I think that's probably why I enjoy cosplay so much; it gives the very tiny sliver of extrovert in me the chance to run amok for awhile!

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  12. Gummy speaks for all cats all the time in saying 'I don't know what this is all about but I know I look good.' Love it!!!!! :)

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  13. You are so awesome. Period. ^__^ XOXO Happy New Year's! :D

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