30 September 2016

Tolkien-Inspired Fashion/Closet Cosplay

I was recently inspired by the lovely folks over at LootCrate to come up with a post inspired by geeky fashion. LootCrate offers a variety of subscription boxes filled with geeky collectibles for a low monthly rate – boxes range from several categories, including an increasingly popular "Loot for Her" box. There's something for every type of collector, so be sure to check them out and see for yourself!


Gandalf is my absolute favourite Tolkien character. I feel our personalities are very similar: I am a good observer who often knows more than I am willing to reveal, I am a good judge of character and seeing the potential in every person, and I certainly love a good adventure! And since most of my wardrobe is black or grey, it wasn't hard to come up with an outfit inspired by him!

When most of us think of Gandalf, we think of flowing grey robes, a pointy hat, bushy eyebrows, and a grey beard. Now unfortunately, I don't own any hats, nor do I have a beard or bushy brows; but I like to think I have the flowing grey garb down. I threw in the scarf just because it's fall and I like to pair different shades of grey together every now and then.

My favourite part about this outfit, and the accessory which everything else centres around, is the knitted handwarmers. They were given to me last winter as a gift, and my very first thought upon receiving them was "I can totally see Gandalf wearing these!" Needless to say, I wear them all season long, until it's too warm.

Additionally, I was able to pair some of my favourite jewellery: Thror's key necklace and the ring of Narya from Badali Jewelry. I wear the ring every single day and get countless compliments on it. 

As an added bonus, I decided to throw in another look, more on the casual side. I own a lot of Tolkien-themed t-shirts, but I am not a t-shirt person at all so I hardly ever wear them! This is how I would have dressed in middle & high school, though, so it was kind of nostalgic to "dress up". I simply paired my "Hobbit Nightmare" t-shirt (from PopUpTee) with a map of Middle-earth infinity scarf I was gifted (from Etsy) and Hobbit messenger bag/backpack (also a gift; from HobbitShop).

What's your favourite geeky look? Leave a comment below, Tweet me your photos, or tag me on Instagram! I want to see your picks!

29 September 2016

New Exhibition Showcases Tolkien's Links to Staffordshire

From 25 October to 16 November, residents of Staffordshire will be able to view the 'Tolkien – Soldier and Mythmaker' exhibition at the Shire Hall Gallery, which offers more insight into the author's time in the county. Some highlights of the exhibition include original sketches by the Professor himself, on loan from The Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library. The exhibition, which has been on tour since March, has been viewed by more than 40,000 individuals.

“This is a fascinating exhibition with thousands of people already getting the chance to see it," said Gill Heath, libraries chief at Staffordshire County Council. "It’s clear that Staffordshire had a profound effect on this famous writer’s formative years, and we’re very proud of this connection. This exhibition offers visitors a rare chance to learn more about the author’s stay in Staffordshire."

From 7 to 8 pm on 26 October, historian David Robbie will be discussing Tolkien's experiences in Staffordshire, including the effects the Great War had on his writing.

On the 27th, families are invited to join a dragon craft workshop from 10 am to noon with artist Hannah Reynolds. (The workshop is £2 per child and booking is essential. For more information, contact the gallery on 01785 278345 or via email: shirehallgallery@staffordshire.gov.uk.)

The exhibition will move to Stafford Library from 10 January to 27 February.

For more information, visit www.staffordshiregreatwar.com or www.staffordshire.gov.uk.

08 September 2016

Coming Soon: David Day's 'The Battles of Tolkien'

Scheduled for release on 14 March 2017, The Battles of Tolkien is another encyclopedic work from Canadian author David Day, which matches the aesthetic of previous releases such as Tolkien: An Illustrated Atlas and Tolkien: A Dictionary

"The history of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth is filled with epic battles in an ongoing struggle between good and evil. The Battles of Tolkien recounts many of the greatest conflicts over thousands of years, from the earliest skirmishes of the Valarian Ages to the defining battles in the War of the Ring. Insightful commentary by Tolkien scholar David Day discusses how the people, tactics, and weapons influenced the outcome of each battle, and also how the legends of Middle-earth relate to the real-world mythology on which Tolkien based his famous literary creation. Maps and full-color illustrations help bring this rich universe to life, making it an invaluable reference book for Tolkien fans of all ages.

This work is unofficial and is not authorized by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers."

The Battles of Tolkien, published by Thunder Bay Press, can be pre-ordered on Amazon for $15.99.

David Day has written numerous books on poetry, literature, and more; but he is perhaps most widely known for his writings on J.R.R. Tolkien, including:

A Tolkien Bestiary (1978)
Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (1992)
A to Z of Tolkien (1993)
Tolkien's Ring (1994)
The Hobbit Companion (1997)
Tolkien's World (2002)

You can also read my review of The Hobbit Companion here.

07 September 2016

Celebrate Bilbo's & Frodo's Birthday with Badali Jewelry!

For the entire month of September, Badali Jewelry has discounted all of their Hobbit and Lord of the Rings merchandise in celebration of the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! If you've been thinking about buying any of their items, now is certainly the time!

If you follow me on other forms of social media – particularly Instagram – you'll notice I post about them A LOT! That's because I have been a loyal fan since my first purchase back in 2004. I cannot recommend their products enough. Before I discovered Badali's products, I purchased a number of rings from the official movie sites; and now, having bought most of Badali's Middle-earth rings, I can tell you that the latter is far superior. You can just feel the love and attention to detail that goes into each individual item; not to mention it's nice to own some bling that is inspired by the books and not the films. I really like their interpretations of the Elven Rings of Power.

I've posted about some of their items here on my blog; feel free to read up on some of my entries if you need a little help deciding what item(s) to get!

My Badali Jewelry Collection
Smaug Ring and Arkenstone Necklace/Earring Set
Thrór's Key Necklace
Gollum Gold One Ring Necklace

I'm currently trying to decide what I want to buy next; I'm torn between the Dwarven Axe necklace and adding two tracer bands to my Nenya ring. But then I also want the Elfstone... and the Arkenstone... and obviously everything else...

Be sure to follow Badali Jewelery on all of their social media platforms:

Facebook: Badali Jewelry Specialties, Inc.
Instagram: @BadaliJewelry
Twitter: @BadaliJewelry
Website: BadaliJewelry.com
YouTube: Badali Jewelry

3 New Helms from Weta Workshop

Weta Workshop has three new helms from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films available for pre-order this month. Two have already been announced, with the third set to be revealed sometime in "late September".

The Trophy Helm of the Orc Lieutenant – $79.99
"Orc war commander Gothmog’s chief lieutenant was a lean, straight-backed Gorgoroth Orc with a face rent by a savage wound. Determined to stand out amongst his troops during the Siege of Minas Tirith, the Lieutenant wore a distinctive helm of his own fashioning."

The War Helm of Dáin Ironfoot – $79.99
"Fashioned after a boar, a crest rose high above the bowl of Dain’s helm, maned with red and black quills that shone beneath the sun. From its cheeks curled bladed tusks. Of great weight was the king’s helm, but Dwarves made light of such burdens, and in truth the bone of Dain’s skull was every bit as thick. Even helmetless he could render senseless Orcs twice his size with a swift head butt."

What do you think the next one might be?

Folks who pre-order all three by 11:59 pm September 30 (NZT) will be entered for a chance to win this classic helm (1/500 edition):

Visit Weta's official website to pre-order these helms! 
And stay tuned for the final reveal later this month!