Merchandise Monday: Self-made LOTR Signpost & Jewelry Box

You know what I love more than purchasing fandom related merchandise? Creating fandom related merchandise. Whether it being a seasonal greeting card, or a quick fanart, I love getting inspired by my fandoms. Most of the times, I use pen and paper to get creative, but occasionally, I want to get crafty. A while ago, I’ve done a miniature Lord of the Rings signpost for my bookshelf (with the help of my dad) and re-painted a wooden box I’ve got from a local arts & crafts store.

I’m afraid, I don’t have any real DIY for both items, but I’ll try to explain as best as I can how I did it down below.P1110409

 

While the LOTR signpost serves not function whatsoever, other than decorative purposes, the wooden box holds some of my smaller Tolkien collectibles. Now, neither of these two items were my original idea. If you’ve spend any time on Pinterest, you’ve probably stumbled upon similar DIYs before.

The desire to make a geeky miniature signpost has been on my mind for a while and with the help of my dad, I’ve finally made one. We used various, differently sized pieces of wood you can get from any department store, nails, wood varnish and white acrylic paint. Now, I could’ve cut the wood to the right size without the help of my dad, but he is a hobby carpenter and gets stuff like this done more accurately. We had no particular measurements in mind and just worked with the wooden pieces we found in his workshop. Then, I picked a varnish and acrylic paint of my liking, after everything was assembled. Just a tip for you: after you assembled the signpost, take some sandpaper and make sure every cm or inch of that signpost is smooth before you paint it. After the varnish and acrylic paint dried, I took some Mod Podge and covered everything with a thin layer.

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The wooden box was a lot easier to do. I purchased an inexpensive wooden box from a local arts & crafts store and painted it with the same varnish as the signpost. Again, before painting it, I smoothed out the wood with some sandpaper. As for the decorative elements, I’ve looked through my Tolkien books and decided to copy some of Tolkien’s original design elements for The Hobbit. Once again, after the varnish and paint dried, I added a thin layer of Mod Podge as a protective layer to it.

LOTR box before and after

As much as I love my other, bought merchandise items, there is something special about creating and receiving hand-made geeky stuff.

What was your most recent geeky DIY? Is there an unique DIY you’ve stumbled upon the internet that you’d like to share? Leave us a comment down below!

5 on 15 | September

Last year, we participated in Scruffy-Little Nerd Herder’s  6 on 6 challenge. Since Emma from Scruffy-Little Nerd Herder introduced now a 5 on 15 challenge we wanted to participate again!

Did you know? You can find our 6 on 6 post over here.

So what is 5 on 15?

The aim is continue to take photo’s of things you geek out about, and improve your photography skills, only this time the theme has changed. Instead of taking pictures of things based on a specific colour, you now have a category to interpret. –  Scruffy-Little Nerd Herder.

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5 on 15  | September: Power

 

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One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

 

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They were once men; great kings of men. Then Sauron the Deceiver gave to them nine Rings of Power. Blinded by their greed, they took them without question, one by one falling into darkness. Now they are slaves to his will. They are the Nazgûl: Ringwraiths, neither living nor dead. At all times they feel the presence of the Ring, drawn to the power of the One.

 

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I ask only for the strength to defend my people!

 

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“And now the Ring had drawn [Gollum] here. He will never be rid of his need for it. He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself… Sméagol’s life is a sad story. Yes, Sméagol he was once called. Before the Ring found him… before it drove him mad.”

 

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Darth Vader: There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.
Luke Skywalker: I’ll never join you!
Vader: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.

Will you participate in 5 on 15? What is your take on September’s theme ‘Power’? Leave us a comment down below!

Review: Meniscus Leather LOTR Collectibles

If I had to describe my biggest passions then I’d say that I love all things Middle-earth and travelling. Whenever I’m not spending money on travelling, I tend to add items to my ever-growing The Lord of the Rings collection. Seldom am I able to combine my love for Middle-earth and travel. So when meniscus.nz contacted us to review their licenced LOTR and The Hobbit collectibles, a leather card wallet and a leather keyring, two items I always use when travelling, I was curious.

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Meniscus is a small company situated in Wellington, New Zealand and produces a variety of hand-made quality leather products, including licenced The Lord of the Rings collectibles. What sets Meniscus apart from other stores is the fact that the artisans working and designing the products are also the same artisans that created costume, armoury, and jewellery elements for the LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

Before I go on and give you a review of those two items, I want to highlight that even though this is a sponsored post, all opinions expressed in this post reflect my honest opinion.

The Horse of Rohan Card Wallet

Meniscus offers two types of leather card wallet, The White Tree of Gondor Card Wallet and the Horse of Rohan Card Wallet. After a week or two of shipping, a huge plus point, the Horse of Rohan Card Wallet, alongside the One Ring Inscription Keyring, arrived.

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The Middle-earth Card is a fantastic design by PuckWorks

The card wallet is made out of brown aged premium Italian Veg-tan leather and has embossed Rohan motives on the front and on the back. The measurements of that card wallet are 4″ L / 2.8″ H / .5″ W (10 cm / 7 cm / 1,3 cm). This means that average-sized card, as well as somewhat over-sized cards fit in perfectly. Upon arrival, the leather is rather stiff so it is a bit difficult to open and close the wallet, but even after one week of daily usage, the leather already begins to soften.

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I’m not exaggerating when I say that the embossed Rohan heraldry looks in real life so much better than it already does in the pictures. I love the simplicity of the design and the colour of the leather. To me, it is a perfect mix of showing off your geeky passion without appearing to be childish. As some of you might already know it, I’ll travel to New Zealand later this year. Whenever I travel, I like to separate my cash from my cards for safety reasons. I haven’t had a decent card wallet for a while, but now I have one that makes me want to ditch paying in cash altogether! Unless Meniscus decides to design Middle-earth themed coin purses, of course.

You can purchase the Horse of Rohan Card Wallet over here on meniscus.nz.

The One Ring Inscription Keyring

In contrast to the card wallet, there are six different designs for the keyring to choose from and Meniscus was kind enough to send me the One Ring Inscription Keyring. Similar to the Horse of Rohan Card Wallet, the keyring is also made out of Italian Veg-tan leather. The One Ring inscription is, in contrast to the Rohan heraldry, not embossed. The measurements of the keyring are 2″ wide / 3″ long with a 1″ split ring (5cm wide / 7,6 cm long with a 2,5 cm spilt ring).

Once again, I was in awe when I unpacked the keyring and I just can’t stop staring at it. The gilt details look amazing although I’m a bit worried how it will endure after weeks of daily usage. I’m using (and abusing) my keys on a daily basis so it would be sad if the gilt details would fade over time. Right now only time can tell, but I will try to give an update on that in a few months. In the meantime, I’ll keep staring at it whenever I take out my keys.

You can get the One Ring Inscription keyring and 5 other Middle-earth themed designs over on meniscus.nz.

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Both collectibles side-by-side.

Whether you’re thinking of getting one of the card wallets or keyrings for yourself or for someone else, the Meniscus LOTR and The Hobbit leather collectibles are a ‘must have’ in my opinion. The design and quality is amazing and a perfect way to incorporate your love for Middle-earth into your daily life. Meniscus also just released a beautiful looking One Ring Coaster Set, so why not check their stuff out?

Which of the Meniscus leather collectibles is your favourite? If anyone of you decides to purchase any of the Meniscus collectibles, leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

6 on 6 | December

Happy St. Nicholas Day, everyone! I hope you’ve found many treats inside your boots today. Since it is the 6th, it is also time for another 6 on 6 post! Created by Emma of Scruffy-Little Nerd Herder, the aim of 6 on 6 challenge to take pride in being a geek by posting 6 geeky things we take pride in. Each month has its own colour and in December it is red.

For our previous 6 on 6 posts, go and check out our 6 on 6 category.

 

Alice

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My parents surprised me with three books of The Hobbit Chronicles by Weta last Christmas! I love The Hobbit Chronicles: Art & Design one, because it has the relief of Smaug’s scales on the cover and the shades of red are gorgeous, the inside is amazing too, of course! 🙂

Lily

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Piglet is my favorite character from Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, and not just because we both have a propensity for saying, “Oh, dear!” Last winter, the Disney Store had decked out several of their Winnie the Pooh plushes in winter gear…but there was no Piglet! I decided to do one myself, so this little guy is a combination of the standard Piglet plush from Disney with the “Red Fair Isle Hat & Scarf” set from Build-a-Bear.

 

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My parents gave me J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, and it’s a great way to take a break from all of the hustle and bustle that seems to occur in December. I don’t want to get stuck reading only books that are “seasonably appropriate,” but it’s nice to read a letter or two every once and a while in the days leading up to Christmas.

 

Maria

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If there is one fandom I’m even longer in than the LOTR fandom, then it is ‘The Simpsons’ one. I think I’ve started watching this TV show around age 7 and now, over 20 years later, I’m still love to re-watch the episodes. Sure ‘The Simpsons’ lost their mojo way too many seasons ago, but you cannot deny how awesome some of the seasons were. Surprisingly, I still own just season 5. This needs to change someday!

 

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Two years ago, or so, I’ve been aimlessly browsing on amazon for Tolkien related merchandise when I suddenly stumpled upon this Bilbo bobblehead. Of course, this was an impulse buy. There were several other Bilbo bobbleheads, but none of them looked as similar to Martin Freeman as this one and none of the others were on sale. I’m loving this adorable goofy thing and now its standing with pride next to my various Hobbit editions.

 

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This little beauty is the German edition of Brian Sibley’s ‘The Road Goes Ever On And On: The Map Of Tolkien’s Middle Earth’. It contains a beautifully illustrated, large map of Middle-earth and info on all the important places. I still need to find a suitable frame for the map, so as of now, the map is not displayed on my walls, unfortunately.

 

Do you own any red memorbilia that you cannot live without? Leave a comment down below!

Merchandise Monday | Minas Tirith 3-D Puzzle

If I’m being honest, I’ve been wanting to do a post on this next bit of merchandise ever since we Travelling Geeks decided to do Merchandise Monday. I had been holding off until I finished it, but I realize that I have made so little progress, that I might as well share it now! (Who knows? Maybe a little bit of constructive peer pressure will spur me on to completion!)

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I remember seeing the 3-D Lord of the Rings puzzles in stores years ago, but for some reason, they never sparked my interest. However, my friend Britta recently sent me some LEGOs, and it put me in a building mood, so I thought it would be fun to try one of them.

These puzzles tend to fetch a high price online, but I found someone selling this Citadel of Minas Tirith for only $10! I snatched it up and couldn’t wait to begin. When it arrived, I realized that it had never been put together, so there were many of these small pieces with pink dots and lines that needed to be removed as they were not part of the final puzzle.

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I thought I would be a good architect–one who does all the necessary prep work before pushing ahead on a project–so I took at least an hour and a half to track down all of the unnecessary pieces and remove them. (See those two plastic bags in the first photo? Those are all of the discarded bits!)

Well, I was going to have something to show for my first day, so I found The White Tree and the surrounding green pieces that make up its monument and, though I should’ve gone to bed earlier, I pieced it together and felt accomplished!

So here’s the thing…no one told me that Minas Tirith is the hardest of the LOTR 3-D puzzles. And the “instructions” count on you having figured out a lot of the puzzle before even offering any help. I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten a bit farther. But not much. Some of the ground work and roof bits and towers have started to come together, but I’m a long way from finishing.

You know what I wish? I wish that you, our fellow readers (and many of you are Tolkien fans), could come over and we could do a LOTR movie marathon while putting together this puzzle! Like Frodo and his quest, I can’t finish this alone!

I know that dream is unlikely to come true, so in the meantime, you can make me feel better by telling me about fandom projects that you started but had trouble finishing. Or, EVEN BETTER, give me hints and tutorials on how to finish this puzzle!