Showing posts with label Excitement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excitement. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Excuses and the MBU

Another Sewing Scientist reminded me of Tanit-Isis' term "Minimum Bloggable Unit,"which is a pretty apt description for this mishmash of 1) sad excuses, 2) random crowing and 3) a belated Me-Made-May 2014 commitment.

1) Sad Excuses: I've been such a bad blogger this school year! Once again, I play the "but I'm both teaching and taking classes" card, and on top of that I play two bonus school-related cards: we just finished up accreditation in the beginning of April and then I had mad AP exam prep for the rest of the month. Thankfully, both of my classes' exams were on the first day of AP testing, so now I've finally got room to breathe. And blog. In that order.

2) Random Crowing: Remember Elaine's wedding dress? Well, her wedding was featured in Offbeat Bride's book-themed wedding week! I was glued to that site when I was planning my own science-themed wedding, so to have my work appear there was an honor.

3) MMM14: I didn't officially take part in the last me-made month challenge, but now that I have a smartphone and an Instagram account, I figured I'd join in the fun! I won't be posting roundups here on the blog, but I'll post my daily outfit photos on my IG. I'm going lite this year and only pledging to wear something me-made to work, leaving the weekends optional depending on how I feel.

It seems like there are a handful of people interested in a bustier-along, so once school lets out I'll figure out how that's going to work and let you know how to participate!

Friday, December 13, 2013

All Kneel Before Party King Thranduil

It was a mad rush to complete my costume before the Desolation of Smaug midnight showing, but I did it, and it was totally awesome (and worth two consecutive nights of only four hours of sleep). I know I say this with every successive costume I make, but you guys, this is my favorite costume I've ever made. After all, does it get any better than the Elvenking who knows how to party?

The Elvenking of the Woodland Realm also knows how to Instagram. 

My sister Emily and I have been planning for this DoS cosplay ever since the five second scene in AUJ where we see Thranduil inexplicably riding an elk. Of course, comic artist Gingerhaze's ridiculously hilarious drawings expanding on Thranduil's partying personality definitely helped catch our fancy, too. 

Emily made the Party!Elk head out of cardboard and paper-mache, then wired it up with a battery-powered string of lights. The spray-painted tissue-box-boombox was a last-minute solution to the problem of elks and elves not really carrying purses. It was the perfect size for phones and gloves and keys and such. 

Here elk, lemme help you rehydrate. And yes, there was a random bathing nude lady mural at the theater. 

I'll post more in the upcoming week about how I made my costume, but for now, have some more picspam of my favorite cosplay so far!

A friend commented on my IG photo that "eleven parties are the best." As the party king, Thranduil agrees that yes, eleven parties are better than just one party. 
untz untz untz untz
All aboard the party elk!
On our way to pick up Legolas from school. Gosh, dads are just *so* embarrassing, aren't they?

And of course, we can't forget my usual partner in dressing up, Elaine...we were hobbits for the midnight showing last year; this year we were elves. 

Try to look normal. 

And now look goofy. 

The partying got out of hand. BTW, if you're ever in need of Tolkien-themed rap/hip-hop for your Tolkien-themed partying, check out The Lords of the Rhymes!

Oh, how was the actual movie you ask? Definitely liked it better than AUJ, overall, even though I wasn't a fan of some of the more egregious derivations from the books. But hey, Thranduil in the movie was everything I hoped he would be, so I'm not complaining!

Even though we weren't at an official line party like for last year's Hobbit movie, we still got a chance to meet lots of other equally excited, dressed-up fans, and squee over each others' costumes. We even did an entire-theater singalong of the Misty Mountains song before the movie started. You guys, I love geeks so, so, incredibly much. Irving Berlin might contend that there are no people like show people, but I, for one, think that show people have got nothing on geeks. 

The Elvenking deigns to party with his subjects, who are all apparently into jazz hands. 

Post-movie: all the collected denizens of Middle-Earth, including an actual Smaug! 

A part of me is just glad that all the costuming events for this quarter are done with (Halloween! TDW! DoS! All relatively-involved costumes in the span of a couple months!), but I also can't wait for next year.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Am A Boss

I'm not normally one to crow over my own achievements (what with being a self-effacing Asian-American and all...oh but wait, I put my life up on teh interwebs, so maybe not), but this is too awesome not to share. Besides, where else would I find people who would be equally excited about being an official fiber geek, if not in the sewing blogosphere?

To use a Barney Stinson-ism: WHAT UP.  I have no shame in being the Hermione Granger of my textiles class. Allow me a moment to bask in the glory of having the high score on our first midterm. Gosh, I love being a student again and getting praised for reaching concrete, quantifiable milestones. I have to admit to being slightly peeved at myself for missing those two points, though, because then I would've had a perfect score...what can I say, I'm a classic overachiever.

[Also, for those of you who wanted to know what textbook we're using, it's up there at the top: Textiles by Sara J. Kadolph, and my prof prefers the 10th edition since the information is arranged better, and the charts aren't white text on a red background (who thought that would be a good idea?!??!). ]

Oh wait, you're here to learn more about fibers with the help of cats, and not to see some smug celebration of meaningless academic achievement that has no bearing on the truly important things in life, like world peace and neutering/spaying your pets? Well, never let it be said that I wasn't an acquiescent blogger; I present qualities of man-made fabrics, as helpfully illustrated by more cats:

Lyocell, rayon, and bamboo are pretty much the exceptions to every statement about synthetics, since they are regenerated cellulosics. This means that they start out as actual cellulose (from spruce, hemlock, or bamboo pulp), and by the time they are extruded and dried, they once again have the structure of the cellulose polymer, so they still breathe like cotton and linen. However, the chemicals used to dissolve the cellulose to make the liquid solution result in a weaker fiber than natural cellulosics. 

Classic synthetic polymers like polyester and nylon lack the bulky functional groups of natural polymers, meaning that the fibers are very smooth and can pack together tightly, and it also leaves no options for hydrogen bonding with water. The former quality means that you can get very tightly woven cloth that is water-resistant and shiny, and the latter quality means that it has poor absorbency and is harder to dye. You know how oil and water don't mix? We call oils hydrophobic molecules, and guess what -- hydrophobic molecules love each other, which is why when you get an oil stain on a poly or nylon garment, you can pretty much assume it will never wash out. Similarly, if you wash a cotton garment with an oil stain with a non-stained poly garment, the oil may wash out of the cotton and then glom onto the poly.

Also, I never used to pre-wash/pre-shrink my synthetic yardage since I knew it was supposed to be dimensionally stable, but our prof pointed out that even though the fiber itself resists shrinkage, the way it is woven into fabric may still be dimensionally unstable, so it's best to pre-wash even the synthetic fabrics. 

Anyway, I promise I've done some real sewing, too, and not just studying and doodling in my notes. Stay tuned for one of my favorite (non-geeky) sheet dresses yet!

This is Walnut sitting on the dishwasher, staying tuned for those shrimp tails that he can see being peeled.
Look at all that gloriously non-synthetic fluff! Sometimes he doesn't even look real. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm Back!

*haphazard swishing with a feather duster*

Oh hello there, it's been a while, hasn't it? Usually when a female blogger with a steady significant other takes a long-ish break from blogging, I begin wondering if it's because she's pregnant, and then I resign myself to lots of baby clothing posts, but just in case you're wondering, that's not my situation! Rather than finding myself in the family way, I've found myself in an...academic...way? School started and hit me like a ton of bricks this year, especially since, for the first time in almost a decade, I am not only a teacher, but a student as well! But more about that later.

I really wanted to make a quick blog post earlier explaining what was going on, but I had no energy to write and I really didn't want to be one of those bloggers that just posts five times in a row, but each post just says sorry I'm such a bad blogger I promise I'll have more to say soon! So I waited until I had more wherewithal to actually write something of substance. In the meantime, my last few weeks have been absolutely packed to the brim with:

  • Well, speaking of packed, there's been lots of packing and unpacking; we finally moved to our new apartment in Castro Valley! It's so nice to have our own space again! Especially since my sewing stuff is in a fantastically large room! Mr. Cation and I decided to make the guest bedroom our bedroom, and use the master bedroom as a joint office/sewing room, so now we can work on things in the same room and there's lots of space on the floor for me to actually spread and cut things out. No more scrambling to put things away and checking the living room floor for stray pins when guests come over!
  • Before we moved out of my parents' place, I mended/altered things for my family. My dad had a couple of button-down shirts whose sleeves were too long, and my sister had a dress that was too big. I also fixed a lot of my own hooks and eyes and buttons that had popped off, or dresses whose necks needed fixing to prevent gaposis, and those sorts of things that one never gets around to when there are shiny new projects to sew!
  • Teaching and prepping and other miscellaneous school duties: besides my three AP classes, I've also taken over a lot of the science department head's duties since the previous one retired and nobody's been selected as a replacement. Ordering the year's supplies, mentoring the new teacher, and general curriculum overhauling, you know, NBD. And of course there's readjusting to standing and talking in a projecting sort of voice all day. I'm sad that the vagaries of block scheduling mean that I no longer have one whole day free for sewing/picture-taking like last year. 
  • I've spent a good deal of time sorting through my fabric and figuring out what I want to make next. Ever since I started sewing three years ago, I've never taken such a long break from sewing! Besides the bits of mending and altering here and there, I haven't made anything new for over a I had a bit of sewasaurus' block. I still have my half-finished blazer, but I left off at a tricky place and I don't feel like going back and trying to figure it out just yet. And I know what I want to make for my next HSF project, but since the deadline passed already I'm having trouble finding the necessary motivation. Thank goodness for the Sew Weekly Reunion's helpful guidelines and deadline, or I might still be hemming and hawing! Not literal hemming, though. 
  • As for being a student again, I've got semi-exciting news: I've decided to go back to school and get my Theater Costuming certificate! After last summer's blogger meet-up at Canada College, I started dreaming and saving for their Fashion Department's classes. I don't know how long it will take me to complete all the courses, but I'm super excited even though I've only had one class so far. I really love learning (if I could be a professional student I totally would!), but to be honest, I'm a little scared that I've forgotten how to be a good student. I showed up for the first day of class without my textbook, reader, or even a binder or notebook...if I were my own student, I would've given me a stern talking to about being prepared for class! Thank goodness for breaks, so I was able to run out and buy my materials, but let's just say that it's going to be an adjustment, having to study for tests instead of just writing and grading them. 

We learned about fiber cross-sections and how they can affect light reflection, and therefore the general sheen or lustre of the resulting textile, among other things. Our instructor warned us that students have complained in the past that her textiles class was too much like a science class, but I was secretly thinking "what's wrong with that?" At any rate, I was just eating up all the information; I can tell I'm going to like this class!
[picture source]

Here's what I haven't been doing, though -- learning about my new serger! I'm so incredibly grateful for all of you who took the time to give me helpful advice, but I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't felt mentally ready to tackle all the learning I feel like it requires. I even chose to entirely line my next project so that I don't have to think about finishing any seams...I know, so sad, right? Still, at least I'm sewing again; my latest project just needs some buttons and then I'll be ready to reunite with all the good folks over at The Sew Weekly!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Husband Is Actually a Hobbit

It's no secret that I'm a huge LOTR fan -- my dorm room sophomore year was practically wall-papered with LOTR posters, pictures, articles, and calendars, and Elaine and I made it a point to reread the trilogy every year and see each movie when it came out at midnight -- and I always thought I would marry somebody who was an equally ardent fan. I mean, geeky guys are always complaining about finding geeky girls who share their interests, right? I thought finding a geek to marry would be pretty easy. When I met Mr. Cation and found out he was a scientist, it was after a long dating dry spell, so I was pretty psyched that he was normal and into me, and I didn't look too hard at his geek credentials. After all, he had the requisite trilogy on his bookcase and that was good enough for me. It wasn't until after we'd gotten married (and after I'd fallen in love with so many other things about him) that I discovered that he'd never actually read that lovely thick tome, and he'd "only" seen each movie once. In fact, it wasn't until last year's movie came out that he even realized where the line "What has it got in its pocketses?" came from; for the previous five years of our relationship, he thought I just really really liked talking about pocket contents.

Of course, Mr. Cation is wonderful in so many other ways, it doesn't really matter that he doesn't love Tolkien as much as I do. And then yesterday, I discovered that he actually is a hobbit at heart, and here's proof:

Wait, is that really...

Yup, it's what it looks like! I've been talking about wanting a serger for oh, the last year, especially as I was sewing more knits and less wovens (I love seam binding on my woven stuff, but that solution works less well on stretchy fabrics). Well, Mr. Cation got a fantastic Amazon coupon code on his birthday last week, and instead of using it on himself, he bought me a serger. If you've read the chapter "Concerning Hobbits," you know that hobbits love giving other people gifts on their birthday (usually of the useless junk type, aka mathom, but still!), and of course they love eating good food. So I'm feeling incredibly lucky to have a husband who not only loves cooking, but also gives generously. Not reading Tolkien is a pretty minor fault compared to all that (and more!).

Walnut has never even tried watching a LOTR movie, but I love him anyway. 

I haven't opened up the box yet, partly because Walnut likes hanging out on top of it, but mostly because we're moving across the bay on'll give me plenty of time to dream and learn about serger ownership and usage. Sergerers (i.e. people who use sergers, since people who serge is just...sergers), do you have any sage advice for a first-time serger user? If you've got my model, the Brother 1034D, do you have any tips for this specific machine?

Or any tips for getting the cat off the box? ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The One Expected Party

Look, it's Elaine and I in the very front, about to see Merry and Pippin come onstage to serenade us all! [source]

I've been wandering around in a haze the last couple of days, still in disbelief that I got to attend the Hobbit Oscar party. In a year of magical doings, this is definitely raising the bar for fun events -- I mean, I was two feet away from Dominic Monaghan! But let me back up and start at the beginning (apologies for yet another picture-heavy post):

Elaine and I got dressed after a hasty lunch, and then Mr. Cation took some picture of us in our costumes in front the now all too familiar Door of Moria. Here we are showing off our fabulous sleeves. 
The party was held at the American Legion in Hollywood, an appropriately Rohirric-looking building. There was a huge dragon tail hung outside, as well as an inflatable pub. 
As we went in, an elven guard welcomed us to The One Expected Party.
The lobby had a huge statue of Gollum with his fish!
Wandering around the hallways was not unlike wandering the goblin caves, what with the random spiderwebs and piles of treasure and bones. 
The main Oscar broadcast hall featured a huge cave troll peering over the sound booth! 
A shieldmaiden in her natural habitat: I told you the building was appropriately Rohirric!

It's really too bad that the Hobbit nominees didn't win in any of their categories. I didn't actually see Life of Pi, so I can't speak to whether they deserved the VFX award, but I did see Les Mis and The Hobbit definitely deserved the Makeup and Hair award more! I mean, hand-punched eyebrows and beards, all the prosthetics for the dwarves, those much more incredible than dirty Frenchmen. But then, I might also be a bit biased. Fortunately, immediately after the disappointing Oscars, we were entertained by One Man LOTR and Beecake, among other things. 

Before Beecake actually performed, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd entertained us with their ridiculousness (and some singing, too). 

At one point, Billy actually sang Pippin's song from ROTK; unfortunately, I only caught part of it on my phone. 


To help us remember our epic night, we got to take photos at the photobooth, which had a green screen and assorted props. I was inordinately excited to find a Rohirric-looking shield and sword. 

We seem to be trying to kill Gwaihir here, for some unknown reason. 
We took a more normal picture, too. 

Anyway, I'm so incredibly grateful for having had the opportunity to do this. It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and Mr. Cation was very gracious about my spending all the money for the ticket, the time making my costume and Elaine's, and the added bulk of three large boxes that we'll need to move up to SF. Oh wait, what's that about the three boxes? Well, guess what: I never win anything and yet I somehow managed to win the raffle and get these three special edition boxed sets of the LOTR trilogy! I've lusted after these since college, when I was too poor to afford them, and now they're finally miiiiiine, all mine, my precious.

So exciting! This more than makes up for all the years of never winning anything. 
So beautiful...
Walnut does his best scary-Bilbo impression. He wants the boxed sets for himself!
Seriously, this was the most horrifying thing ever. Especially when I saw it for the first time in theaters. 
Besides having the extended edition DVDs with all the extra features, each set comes with a bonus figurine -- the Argonath bookends in the FOTR, a Gollum statuette in TTT, and a Minas Tirith jewelry box in ROTK. Walnut was intrigued by the tiny city and did his best fell beast impression. Imagine a Nazgul scream to go with that face. 

Actually, those pictures were just because Walnut was conveniently yawning when I took the picture.

I love that in this picture, it looks like Gollum is scared that Walnut will take his fish away. 

Many thanks, too, to for putting on such a fabulous party! I'm so excited for the next movie to come out in December...especially because we'll get to see Smaug!

Once night fell, they projected a giant blinking eye of Smaug onto the wall outside. Can't wait!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

For Your Viewing Pleasure

...just a little video of Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck) singing The Beatles' "Come Together" at the The One Expected Party last night, with the help of an envelope with the lyrics written on it. I feel like I'm a teen with a celeb crush all over again!


More pictures (and videos) of our Oscar night shenanigans later!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Hobbit Midnight Showing

If you're tired of reading about hobbits and Tolkien, you can skip this post and the next one and then I promise I really will be done.

I've been to four midnight movie showings in my lifetime: The Return of the King, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Hunger Games, and now The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. With the exception of The Hunger Games, each experience was exponentially more awesome than the last.
Elaine and I got dressed and did a quick mini photo shoot before we left for Grauman's Chinese Theatre. As we got giddier, it quickly descended into madness.

We got to Grauman's at around 5 pm, where we attracted quite a few stares as we made our way over from the parking structure to the theatre. There, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we were not horribly late; there were only about 20 people in line ahead of us. I attribute this to the fact that, unlike the Deathly Hallows 2, it was 1) not summer, so kids weren't out of school yet, 2) not summer, so it was actually slightly unpleasantly cold and damp to be waiting outside, and 3) a much older audience, so presumably more people had jobs they needed to be at. This was very exciting, as it meant that we actually got the goodie bags that were reserved for the first 200 people in line! Not to mention the fact that since we were dressed up and near the front of the line (and the fact that I decided last minute to bring the Eye of Sauron balloon along, which I can honestly say was the only one of its kind there...there were lots of other hobbits, but no other eyeballs), we got interviewed several times about our costumes and how excited we were. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any clips of this anywhere, so unless you happen to have seen us on KTLA5 or KABC7, well, I guess I'll never know if I actually made it onto TV. Honestly, I'd much rather be on TV for something geeky like this, than for WoF.

It was so nice to meet other geeks and bond instantly over our love for Tolkien's work, costuming, and being obsessive enough to attend midnight showings in December (granted, it's not like we were in New York or someplace super cold). We met lots of lovely people during our seven hour wait, got to ooh and aah over each others' outfits, and chat up a storm about where we were when the original trilogy came out, all for a good seven hours before they finally let us inside to thaw. I was glad that my costume had multiple layers and that I wore tights and boots and had a wool cloak; some elves were not so fortunate.
Did you know that they have red holiday cups in Middle Earth? people were there, we made friends with other geeks who could boast about having seen the original Star Wars trilogy in theatres, and there were lots of ridiculously grinny pictures taken. 

But of course, the movie was the main event (although I did say to Elaine that I could probably go home after the line party and feel like it was an evening well spent)! Before I give you my review, though, I'll issue the disclaimer that I was predisposed to like it. I loved the books, the movies were a huge part of my college experience, and I have endless admiration for the conceptual artwork of Alan Lee and John Howe, so I was already looking to be pleased. With that said, I'll go ahead and say that I didn't like it as much as the original trilogy. But! I also don't like The Hobbit as a book as much as LOTR. I prefer the darker story of the latter, and wasn't a huge fan of the snot/fart jokes and Radagast's silliness that Peter Jackson threw into this first movie.

The main thing that bothered me about the movie, though, was the high frame rate and the 3D format. I'll be honest, though, I haven't ever seen a movie in 3D (except for about seven minutes in the beginning of the sixth Harry Potter movie), though, so part of my dislike might be the novelty of it. The HFR was distracting at first, but I mostly got over it after the first hour. I think the combination of the two all together for the first time made things more difficult to adjust. I want to see it again in 2D, at 24 fps, at a civilized time of day, and reevaluate.

So that might sound like I didn't really like the movie, but I did! I just wanted to get my gripes out of the way first. Things I did like [spoiler alerts!]:
  • ZOMG HOWARD SHORE AND THE EPIC SCORE. Errr, soundtrack, but shore and score rhyme. I had such delicious shivers every time I heard the Misty Mountains theme. 
  • Martin Freeman as John Watson Bilbo Baggins. His facial expressions, the timing of his lines, his reactions...perfection. While I loved Ian Holm in the original trilogy (please, PJ, don't pull a George Lucas and go back and replace the original Riddles in the Dark scene with Martin Freeman's!), Freeman is just so right for the role of a little hobbit trying to find his footing in a grand adventure. 
  • More Gandalf the Grey. I like that he's sassy and funny and less serious than the white version.
  • Dwarves are hot now. Hello, Thorin Epicsmolderingshield and your stubbornness and lofty ideals. Much appreciation for Kili and his Legolasian bow skills. 
  • THRANDUIL. Love Lee Pace, love the elk, love the random tiara he wears (Thranduil, not the elk), can't wait to see more of him. 
  • The elves and Rivendell! Gosh, I'm such a sucker for pretty people. And Figwit has a real name now: Lindir! Fangirling aside, though, it was lovely to see more of Rivendell and Alan Lee's hand in all of the architecture and decor. The little bit with the reading of the moon runes was gorgeous. And Cate Blanchett's return as Galadriel! It makes me want to run out and buy yards and yards of white chiffon. And learn metalsmithing/jewelry-making so that I can make elven tiaras for myself. 
  • The wargs don't look like hyenas anymore. I know, that's so minor, but I appreciated it. 
  • Riddles in the dark! Andy Serkis and the new motion capture technology really make Gollum so real and deliciously creepy. 
  • Getting to see what Erebor looked like. If you thought Moria was cool, oh man, the inside of the Lonely Mountain = 10x better. 
  • More Middle Earth history. I know a lot of people complained about how drawn out the exposition was, but I loved getting to see more, even if it did slow down the plot. 
  • That tiny glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch as the Necromancer. I know, it's so stereotypical, but after seeing him in BBC's Sherlock, mmmmm...can't decide who I like better, him or Tom Hiddleston. 
Things I didn't love, but also didn't mind: the new Azog storyline (I can see how it might be necessary in a movie adaptation), the video game quality of some of the CGI sequences (it was definitely there, but I didn't expect those battles to look perfectly realistic), and the crispness of the scenery (I'm just not a scenery person, so I don't feel the need to be transported per se). 

My TL:DR/no spoilers conclusion: An Unexpected Journey isn't as good as LOTR, but it's not The Phantom Menace and Tolkien fans will enjoy returning to Middle Earth as long as they remember that this movie is meant to have a different feel.

Lastly, I got tons of free goodies at the line party, thanks to TORn, the Chinese Theatre, and the 100.3 radio station, and I'd love to share the love with you guys! Don't worry, I've got my own set of these goodies; I'm giving away my husband's stuff since he didn't want his. I know there must be at least one of you out there geeky enough to want the following:

I'll mail you a mini-poster, kids' activity book, bookmark, promotional postcards, the Air New Zealand in-flight magazine with a special 25-page feature on the movie, a large t-shirt (hello, geeky t-shirt makeover!), and two sheets of  gift-wrapping paper featuring the 13 dwarves (one sheet to use for a geeky friend, one sheet to keep for yourself!).

Say so in a comment if you want to enter, and I'll pick a winner on Monday! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Long Expected Party

After lots of party preparations late into the night...
Dwarven treasure in wooden boxes for the trivia winners!

Including last-minute inspiration while looking at our recycling and an ugly shelving unit that needed hiding...
Two cereal boxes + some tape + judicious application of Sharpie to a yellow balloon + black fabric stash = Barad-dur. Since the Eye of Sauron was a balloon, it swayed back and forth with every air current, making it look like it was actually turning to watch your every move. I don't think I've ever been more pleased with myself.

A day spent whipping up Middle-Earth-themed goodies...
It's too bad our door isn't green! We had Radagast the Brown wizard hat cookies, not-coney stew (with taters, of course), some nice crispy bacon ("Put it out, you fools, put it out!"), lembas (actually almond shortbread, with the reasoning being that the added protein would help keep a grown man going at least for an hour, if not all day...and all imprinted with either G runes for Galadriel and Gandalf, or with Bill the Pony, Gollum's fish, or Radagast's animal friends), and nametags with gold rings (actually grommets).

The One Ring was passed from Bilbo to Frodo, Photogenic Hobbit made an appearance, elves looked serene, people gambled on LOTR trivia...

Merriment was had and awkward prom photos were taken.

It was seriously the birthday party of my dreams! I had so much fun and felt so loved, and I'm pretty sure other people were having fun too. Walnut poked his head out twice, only to decide that there was too much going on for him to make an appearance. So of course I had to steal him afterward for a quick photo.

Come on Mr. Walnut, I can't carry the ring for you, but I can carry you!

Even though I asked for people to bring children's books to donate instead of gifts, Shayna (of course) disobeyed and brought me the exact same kind of Rainbow Brite sheets that I had as a little girl! I loved these sheets when I had them and wanted a Starlite of my own so badly, so I was thrilled beyond belief; I think I might have accidentally let loose with a ringwraith scream in my excitement. And the icing on the cake was the LOTR Pez dispensers from my pastor!

And to keep happiness going...the winner of the Care Bear sheets is Trisha! Please email me with your mailing address as soon as possible so that you can get these sheets by Christmas!

One last picture: Walnut the ethereal elf-cat.