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Party-Planning Anne of Green Gables

When you want to have an Anne of Green Gables party, (because it is of course when, not if), here are my suggestions for elements that you can include, based on recent parties I’ve organized for myself and some of my friends. First of all, PUFFED SLEEVES!  Don’t let Marilla tell you that it’s a waste of fabric. You know watching Anne recite “The Highwayman” at the White Sands hotel and Gilbert lead the standing ovation afterward will be way more fun if you and your friends are wearing giant puffy sleeves while you watch it.  My easy, no-sew tutorial video for sleeves that you can pop on over any outfit is below, (filmed & edited by Bianca Brown–thanks, lady!). The elastic should keep the sleeves on well enough for movie-watching, but if you’re going to be wearing them while being more active, such as three-legged-racing with your new bosom friend or climbing onto roofs to walk ridgepoles on a dare, you may want to use a safety pin or two to hold them in place.

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Gandalf Beard Appreciation Post

Gandalf beard in progress

Gandalf beard in progress

I mentioned in my previous post on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Musical that I made a Gandalf beard to add to my collection of homemade Hobbit-inspired dwarf beards, but I wanted to give the Gandalf beard its own post since the other dwarf beards got one.

I made it very similarly to the dwarf beards, but I had to tie the mustache to the side (and then hide the fact that it was tied with more “hair” on top) so that it wouldn’t fall into the wearer’s mouth.  Most of the dwarves had braided mustaches so I was able to keep the hair out of the way by pulling it into braids on them.

When I added the hair on top, I tied it to the side in a similar way to the mustache so it wouldn’t fall in the wearer’s eyes.  You can see the knots on the part pretty easily, but I knew they would be covered by a hat so I wasn’t too worried about it.

 

Completed Gandalf beard

Completed Gandalf beard

Gandalf beard

Gandalf beard

And here’s the actor in his test fitting, wearing his stilts so he’s towering above the doorframe in the background.  Not wearing his hat here, but it still looks pretty great, I think!  You can see him in full-Gandalf garb in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Musical that I posted about earlier.

Gandalf beard in action

Gandalf beard in action

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NaNoWriMo Fail, Midnight Hobbit Showing Win?

There’s no way I’m going to reach 50,000 words in the few days remaining this November NaNoWriMo month.  I’m okay with the failure, though.  I intend to keep plugging away at my story on lunch breaks and weekends that aren’t already full.  I just wasn’t able to get much writing done at all in the last week, because as I predicted, my dwarf beard project took over.  One cannot commit to two massive time-consuming projects concurrently with any success, or at least not if one also wants to continuing such habits as “sleeping at night.”  So, yes, I chose to crochet dwarf beards and sleep when I wasn’t working this last week.  The beards have a December 13 deadline, and even though I did nothing but work on them through this whole four-day Thanksgiving weekend I only have 1o of the 13 crocheted, and then there’s still the additional, who-knows-how-much-time-it-will-take step of adding yarn “hair” to be braided and styled for each character.  I’m pretty sick of yarn at the moment, and depressed about the likelihood I will be able to finish or that they will turn out looking great.  But, extreme pessimism is a natural phase of my party planning method.  I come up with great ideas, I start executing them, and in the middle I think it’s all total crap and too much work and why do I even bother, but then (usually) it turns out fine.

This is basically what the crocheted structure looks like for all of them, in various colors depending on the character. I think this is Oin’s.

This is Kili’s; I’m cheating and just giving him a goatee because, really, how does one make a 5 o’clock shadow out of yarn?!

Bless you, Balin, and your lack of a mustache, which makes it so much easier!

The one that’s worrying me the most right now is Nori, because I’m just not sure how I’m going to do the three cone things with the hair on his head.  I’m also going to have to crochet eyebrows for that one since his eyebrows are braided back into his hair, which is just so…dwarfish.

Nori character poster from The Hobbit.

I hope the 12 friends that will be standing in line with me will have fun wearing these beards and keeping occupied with themed activities while we wait for midnight.  I’ve started collecting Hobbit-related prizes for people to win, so I’m trying to nail down what sorts of competitions we can have to pass the time.  (I’m also hoping they release some movie-merchandise stickers or buttons or some cheap tokens like that; I bought a calendar thinking I could cut it up into 12 small posters to give out as individual prizes, but the design of the calendar is making that difficult as each picture overlaps onto the date-page beneath it!  Tricksy hobbitses…)

Activities I’ve thought of so far include dwarf markmsanship, (recycling my toy boy and arrow from The Hunger Games premiere and aiming at a goblin target; potential second round could be throwing a foam axe at the target, assuming I can make a foam axe in time…), riddles in the dark, (obviously! Although it probably won’t be dark, and I’ll just have people pull a random riddle out of a jar to test their opponent with so it’s fair and they’re all guessable), a rune memory game, (I’m thinking I could use the Dwarven Word of the Day posts on the official The Hobbit facebook page to create cards where you have to match the runes to a picture of their meaning; I could include the runes in smaller print on the picture cards to make it do-able for anyone regardless of rune knowledge, but people who studied up would have an advantage), and then maybe something like who can pose for the best picture or who can read a passage from The Hobbit in the best dramatic voice.  I want to do something with music, too, especially since the soundtrack will be out by then, but how do you make that a game?  “Describe what you think is happening during this song”, most creative answer wins?  Maybe we can all just sing the Misty Mountain song from the first trailer together.  And for that we all win the prize of being awesome.

As far as themed snacks, I’m trying to come up with a way to incorporate Sting with something blue, like maybe blue raspberry candy canes with handles attached to make them look like swords?  I’m definitely going to have an accomplice bring us hot pot pies to eat at some point, possibly with runes carved into the tops for air vents.  Maybe I could do something with the trolls or the ring, since they’re sure to be in this film and I haven’t incorporated them yet…or Gollum, for that matter.  If I can’t come up with something better, I can always just make sugar cookies in whatever shape is needed, but sugar cookies are so unimaginative!  Maybe there’s a way I can make dwarf axes out of, like, pretzel sticks with candy bars on top?  Help me out–if you have ideas for Hobbit-related snacks, (other than the infamous Denny’s menu), let me know in the comments.

Despite the temporary depression I’m feeling due to the intimidating amount of preparation I need to accomplish during the next three weeks, I’m incredibly excited for this movie to come out.  I watched the extended editions of The Lord of the Rings two and a half times each this weekend while I crocheted, first just with the film, then with cast commentary, now I’m halfway through the director and writer commentary.   I love these filmmakers and I love this franchise, and I can’t wait to see their latest portrayal of Middle Earth while I sit with my face covered in a yarn beard surrounded by fellow nerd friends.  It’s going to be awesome.

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