After ages of waiting . . . snow is finally here! It is much more wintery feeling with snow on the ground, and it's kind of fun to be stuck inside. This is a slideshow of tons of photos that Elizabeth just took. Lots of snow coming down, and we already have about five inches. More later . . .
Elizabeth got a new engraver for Christmas. She already had one, but they wear out, and she was going to need another one very soon! Well, she's been engraving different things all week to put into our Etsy store, so I wanted to post some pictures. Keep scrolling, because there are two different slideshows of photos in this entry. :)
First of all, she has been working on engraving some real Labradorite stones. Kili's Rune Stone in "The Hobbit" movies was a real Labradorite stone. The souvenir stones that you can buy from Weta (which are very cool and we've got them!) are some sort of resin-like plastic painted to look like Labradorite. Durable but nothing like the real thing. All of the Kili rune stones that we've been making and listing on Etsy are engraved black river rocks, because they are gorgeous in their own right, durable and come in the traditional Kili shape rather easily. Besides, real Labradorite is hard to get in quantity and can be rather pricey. Still, in the back of our minds, Elizabeth and I have wanted to get some Labradorite and make realistic replicas of Kili's stone for ourselves. Elizabeth stuck at it and kept looking and looking for some nice pieces. In the end, she found a very lovely couple on eBay that were selling off the end of their polished Labradorite pieces (they are mineral dealers) and gave her a nice deal on eleven pieces. Two of the pieces were large and beautiful. We're just keeping them polished how they are and not spoiling their overall beauty with engraving! The others are all perfect pocket and hand size stones, so Elizabeth has been engraving Kili's "Return to Me" on all of them (soon to appear in the store!).
Elizabeth has also been working on engraving some other stones, which are showing in the slideshow below. She also tried her first engraving on brass and engraved a small door-knocker. This is for the Etsy shop, too, so she put "Bag End" on the knocker (the name of Bilbo's Hobbit Hole). Everything in the shop in themed on Tolkien's Middle Earth from "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". She has also made some different stones that are paired with hand-sewn pouches and prop replicas of Dwarven coins from Erebor. Some stones come with pouches, and all stones are offered with a pouch addition. Elizabeth sews all of the pouches by hand. She's amazing!
So, this gives you all an idea of what we've been up to for the past couple of weeks. It is that time of year when we get to actually work on all of those "this Winter" projects. Hopefully, I'll have more project pictures to post soon. I'm working on two felted dolls at the moment, and they are coming along great! More later.
Today is a big day. Oliver (our little feline "brother") is ten years old. It's hard to believe. He just walked up to our house nine and a half years ago, and he's been King of the Place ever since. We've had a lot of other cats in those years, and we have loved every single one of them. Oliver rates not as a cat, but as a family member. Elizabeth and I joke that he's like our "little brother". He gets away with almost anything! Well, he is SO cute! In honor of his birthday, here is a photo slideshow with some various photos of the "The Bunny", as we call him around here.
Having met some new friends who are as nuts about Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films as we are, Elizabeth and I decided to take some photos of various Middle Earth souvenirs that we've collected and made over the years. We bought the Extended Edition DVD of The Fellowship of the Ring in December 2002 and have crazy fans ever since. Our dream vacation (besides our trip to England, of course!) is to go to see the real Hobbiton in New Zealand. Sigh . . .
Elizabeth and I thought that we would burst while waiting a whole year for The Return of the King to come to theaters. A thrilling experience came with the announcements that a limited number of theaters across the US would be hosting "Trilogy Tuesday". This was an event meant for all of the loyal fans who had been supporting the three films as they came out. Extended editions of FotR and TTT were shown, with RotK starting at 10:00pm (two whole hours before anyone else could get a ticket to see it!). Tickets went on sale in October, and the price was fixed at $25.00 a seat. This was New Line's way of saying "thank you" to fans, since they weren't even charging extra on the tickets. Purchases were first-come-first-serve, and every last one was sold within twenty minutes of going on sale. Thankfully, we were able to actually get five tickets --- enough for us to go and take our friend, Sarah, with us! In the end, Dad had to spend a week in Cleveland in a training class, so we sold his ticket to someone who hadn't been able to get one and wanted to go with friends.
We kept scrapbooks (starting with "Trilogy Tuesday") all about RotK, and we've added to them since. Still have some stuff to stick in for the "Hobbit" films and the pages at the back aren't finished yet. The first spread with the detached black pages show Two Towers tickets that I had put into a different scrapbook (since torn apart). I took this scrapbook on trip to Tennessee once, and we were with our little cousin, Kelly. She decorated the inside of the back cover for me in her best Middle Earth style. (She was 7 years old at the time!) Click on the thumbnails to see my scrapbook:
As special "thank you" gifts, everyone in the theater was given a frame (made by Weta Workshop) featuring three film cells, one from each film in the trilogy. Elizabeth and I have ours in display boxes in our room. Mine has a picture of Frodo, Aragorn's hands and Aragorn. Elizabeth's (in the photos below) has Elrond, Haldir and Samwise. You can click on these pictures to see them at full size. I tried to get the film cells to show, too.
For Christmas that year, I made a handwritten book of Elvish for Elizabeth. The paper is handmade paper and all the pages are written with a fountain pen. Below are photos of some of the pages. The first pages are all of the Elvish lines spoken in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are also pages with the Lord's Prayer in Elvish, Psalm 23 (in Sindarin and Quenya), assorted translated Bible verses and Galdriel's poem in Quenya as written by Tolkien himself. Again, you can click on the pictures to see them at their full size.
That same Christmas, Elizabeth gave me the most fabulous present of a drawing and frame that she made herself. Well, Dad did help her with the frame, but she did the woodburning. She drew the picture of Aragorn's sword hilt, the Evenstar and the Leaf pin. She has the poem from the book written along the edges of the mat board and the Tree of Gondor wood-burnt into the frame itself. She's fabulous! Click on the pics to have a good look.
The waiting lasted another year, since the Extended Edition was not released until November 2004. Mom and I ordered it and gave it to Elizabeth for Christmas. Not that it was much of a surprise present! ;) All of Elizabeth's presents that year were Eowyn-themed and wrapped in gold and white paper. We decided to hold our own "Trilogy Tuesday II" on December 28 and watch all three extended editions back-to-back. Elizabeth and I made our own "rule sheets" (made just like the originals handed out at the theater the year before) and tickets (complete with Tree of Gondor background) with a ticket deposit box. We decorated the TV room with some of our Lord of the Rings posters and made food and snacks in advance. Here are pictures from that day (except the first, which shows E. with the RotKee still wrapped on Christmas!).
Between the years of the LotR and Hobbit trilogies, we made a set of mini dolls based on the nine characters of the Fellowship. We even entered them in our local fair and won Best of Show! :) They were really fun to make, and we even got Dad to make miniature accessories and weapons for each of them. The tallest ones are four inches tall (not including Gandalf's very pointy hat!).
Somehow, we have always forgotten to take the camera to the theater for any of the Hobbit films. Too bad! However, we have gotten some really fun Hobbit souvenirs, as well as making them. We've got full-size sword replicas of Sting, Arwen's sword and Eomer's sword, but I don't have pictures of those. They were made by United Cutlery. These four pictures show souvenirs that we have from either Weta or the Noble Collection.
1) Kili's Rune Stone, a Dwarven Erebor coin from the premier of The Desolation of Smaug in Berlin (2013), and a keychain with the Key to the Lonely Mountain and Thorin's Map.
2) Letter Openers from the Noble Collection. going from top to bottom on the left column and then the right column they are:
Tauriel's Dagger, Hadahafang (Arwen's sword in LotR and Elrond's sword in "The Hobbit"), Anduril (from LotR), Sting (from "The Hobbit"), Orchrist and Sting (from LotR).
3 and 4) Prop replica of Thorin's Key to the Lonely Mountain from the Noble Collection. It weighs a lot!
During the Lord of the Rings films, we saved up and bought matching Evenstar pendants from Noble. They are sterling silver and have Swarovski crystals in the center (fitting, too, as all the gems in Erebor are Swarovski!). We've had a lot of fun with those over the years. Just a month or two ago, we found someone on Etsy who has a store and sells miniature Evenstar pendants for your doll. Of course, our dolls just have to have those! So, here they are side by side:
Finally, we've made some Hobbit-themed dolls in the past two years. I made Elrond and Tauriel needle-felted dolls for Elizabeth. She is 9-1/2" and he is 11". I also made Beorn as a needle-felted doll, but he is actually made at 1:12 scale (making him 8-1/2" including his hair), as Elizabeth would like to make a "room box" of his house. We've also been making some more mini dolls. So far, we've done Thorin, Bilbo, Legolas, Bard and "The Bardlings". On top of that, Elizabeth has taken up engraving Hobbit-themed Rune Stones. There are tons of those (which you can see by clicking here), but one is shown here. The stone is engraved with the symbol of the Arkenstone. Photos below are clickable.
Well, this is now a loaded blog entry with an awful lot of photo galleries, so I'll call it quits. :) More later.
Elizabeth and I were so thrilled, because we were actually able to surprise Mom this year! She had no idea what we were giving her. One of the presents that we got for her was a painting of Oliver. We have yet to have it matted in the frame, so I'll do a separate post on that later. Anyway, it's really fun!
On Saturday we had our annual dinner with the Keultjeses. It was one of the best times ever. We had soup and snacks for the meal and a "pudding" bar for dessert. I made vanilla, chocolate, mocha and banana pudding, and we had all kinds of toppings --- including absolutely divine whipped cream that Mom made fresh. Wow!
This slideshow shows pictures of our house all decorated for Christmas on the day that we had the party.
Well, I better go now. We're going to have our "Farewell to Lord of the Rings" Day tomorrow. For years, since Return of the King came out, we've watched the trilogy back-to-back on New Year's Day. Well, Elizabeth informs us that the tradition is about to end, as by this time next year we will be able to change for all three Hobbit films back-to-back. :) We saw the final Hobbit again on Monday. It only gets better with each viewing, but that could be another entry! More later. Happy New Year!
I can't believe it. After thirteen years of watching and waiting, Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga is just about to be completed. We're hoping the weather is good enough that we can make it to the theater on Wednesday. More on this subject in a few days, of course.
It has been a sad month here. We lost little Frodo on November 7th, and little Avis went to sleep yesterday. Frodo was just eight years old and Avis was eight-and-a-half. This leaves our house with just four kitties --- Oliver (still King of the House and knows it), Max and Iveta (last two of the first litter of kittens born in our dining room) and Samwise (last of the second litter born in the same room). All are having a little trouble getting used to these two lover babes being gone. They were everybody's friends and cuddle buddies.
Frodo had a heart attack or something, so we took him to the vet and found that he had advanced cardiomyopathy. That is a condition where the heart actually dissolves and just fades away. Several of the kittens have passed from this condition, though they were all under a year old. Poor little Avis has been struggling with some kind of mouth or stomach cancer (the same that her sister, mother and a few others have died from). Both kittens were wonderful babies, and God certainly blessed us with every day that we had with both of them. They were wonderful.
Sadly, we started the year with eight cats and now have four. It is hard to get used to for us, as we did enjoy the house with lots of kitties. Samwise is having a little trouble adjusting without his brother, so he needs some extra attention. Getting ready for Christmas here and putting up some decorations. Got the trees up last weekend --- now all we need is some snow!
After ages and ages, here are photos of some of the different kinds of food that we have gotten at the auction and canned, cooked or frozen. Captions will tell you what each thing is. Of course, Oliver is represented in here enjoying his green beans!
I really miss my little Honey Bee. Every day we had with her was such a blessing, and I know that God gave her specially to me, but it is so hard to get used to being without her. I feel okay for a little bit in the afternoons (since she was usually sleeping then), but the mornings and evenings are so lonely. She was always frenzying around me, or bringing her little mousies to me as presents. And she was always in the bathroom wanting to drink in the shower or just have a frenzy.
Elizabeth did a really sweet thing the other day and made a little felt Beatrice-y for me --- and she is even holding one of her green mousies. I bawled for ages when she gave it to me, but it's so perfect.
The two of us went out and put some flowers over Little Bee's spot and put a little metal bumble bee on it. She was such a special kitty. Samwise is missing her --- particularly in the late afternoon, when they would play together. He walks through the hallway calling her and then comes down to the living room all lonesome, so I'm trying to give him some extra attention.
It has been really cool here, and we're still having quite a bit of rain. We have managed to finish our salsa (unless we decide to do a little more to get ahead on next year!), and tomorrow we are working on canning tomatoes. It is also time this week to pick up the dolls from the State Fair. Not bad! So, I will have to post more later. I've got all kinds of flower pictures, but with little Beatrice, I'm just all behind in e-mails, posting and the like. God certainly blessed me with a wonderful baby for eight and a half years. She was so good. More later.
Poor Little Bee died last night. It was really rather unexpected, as she had seemed so healthy for the past months. She was my little baby girl kitty. Very small, all black, short hair and knock knees. She was nine years old in May, and we had had her for eight and a half years. Someone had dropped her off at the local shelter, along with her Mother and litter mates, when she was six weeks old. That's her kitten photo on left. When we adopted her, she had been at the shelter for six months. No one wanted her because she was all black. I'll post more of her story later on.
She has always had asthma, but it seems that her heart must have been bad, too. She was sitting on the stool at the kitchen window last night when she got startled. She fell off to the floor and had a little seizure or heart attack and in less than a minute she was gone. God really blessed us with all the years that we had her. She was super special. She was always bringing me presents of her toy mice --- the green ones were best! I'm really missing her.
SAMWISE: MY HONEY-POT
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
BEATRICE: MY HONEY-BEE
Edward James Eliot
My "favorite" member of the Clapham Sect. Not very much is known about him, but what is preserved keeps a beautiful memory alive of an exemplary Christian man.
William Wilberforce Quote:
May I look to Him for wisdom and strength and the power of persuasion, and may I surrender myself to Him as to the event with perfect submission, and ascribe to Him all the praise if I succeed, and if I fail say from the heart thy will be done.
For you Jesus Christ came into the world. For you he lived and showed God’s love. For you he suffered the darkness of Calvary and cried at the last, ‘It is accomplished.’ For you he triumphed over death and rose to new life. For you he reigns at God’s right hand. All this he did for you, though you do not know it yet.
Where there is one, there is a majority of one; and when the rights of the majority take away from the rights of the one, then the many will themselves suffer.
~Henry David Thoreau~
I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. You see, that's where I belong. That's home. That's why I came back, because you don't have one. A home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.
~ Bilbo Baggins ~
FAVORITE BOOKS & FILMS
Gone With the Wind (Mitchell)
Genesis of a Legacy (K. Ham)
Prisoner of Zenda (Hope)
Amazing Grace (2007)
Bertie & Elizabeth (2002)
Farmer's Daughter (1947)
Ride Clear of Diablo (1954)
Secondhand Lions (2003)
He was born with a gift of laughter & a sense that the world was mad.
The future is to be read with certainty only in the past. Man never changes.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE:
Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.
WINSTON CHURCHILL ON
KING GEORGE VI
"His conduct on the Throne may well be a model & a guide to constitutional sovereigns throughout the world today & also in future generations."
"For 15 years George VI was King. Never at any moment in all the perplexities at home & abroad, in public or in private, did he fail in his duties."