I must've mentioned it here before, but in case you missed it — I've lost my mind I am a member of the Armitage Army. I didn't set out to join "the service" but apparently if you admire Richard Armitage's work and admit it publicly, you are automatically drafted. I'm not complaining. It's been great fun being conscripted with so many lovely people. And the creativity! Very inspiring.
But I'm not going to start promoting the fandom here. If you are in the Armitage Army, you don't need any links from me, and if you are not, well, what is wrong with you I suggest you search #RichardArmitage on Twitter, look him up on the IMDB, or just smile and nod, read on for the craft, and never mind my fangirling. Besides, even though this project was made with Richard Armitage in mind, it is essentially a Hobbit project so that ought to hold some interest for the rest of you. And if you don't like Tolkien, I'm afraid we may have to part ways. I mean, really. The Hobbit is the first chapter book I remember picking up on my own, and it has been part of my imagination ever since. I was in Second grade. Yes, I do believe I read Tolkien before I read Laura Ingalls Wilder. Which I suppose says more about me than I thought it did, though I'm not going to wade into those waters here, either.
I made this card for a collective project. From what I gather, most participants wrote lovely, heartfelt letters. Well, if you have it in you to do that I say more power to you. But I couldn't think of a thing to say. He hadn't saved my life (figuratively or literally), I wasn't going to propose to him (I'm already happily married, thank-you-very-much), and he doesn't feature in my dreams at night (not kidding, sorry Richard). It's just that he happens to be my favorite living actor, and seems like an all-around decent sort of person. I'd like to invite him camping with the family. Ok, I'm going to shush now before I get kicked out of the Army.
Besides, I'm afraid my version of "thank you" cards are still somewhat stuck back there in the Second grade.
Dear Uncle Schnozzer,
Thank you for the widgetropple. I never knew they made such a thing! I'm sure it will come in handy when I'm galimphing badoodles next summer.
The weather here is lovely. I hope you are well. Please say hello to Aunt Piquentina for me.
You get the picture. No way I'm sending something like that to Richard Armitage. *sigh* Hopeless.
So even though I wanted to be part of this project, I had no idea what to say.
Thank You would have to be enough, and I would leave it at that. But of course I couldn't just leave it at that. If you know me you know I never can leave well enough alone. Besides, the Thank You was already printed on the card, and I could hardly just autograph the thing, could I now. (No, that was not really a question which is why I didn't use a question mark. Shush.)
I began by printing a few copies of the provided image so that I could play around with some ideas. Here's an early prototype:
Hey. Don't judge! Pro-toe-type. For me it's like brainstorming in 3D. And you have no idea how embarrassing it is for me to show it to you. But this post is supposed to be about sharing my process, so in the name of science... Oh, whatever. I was going for an old fashioned hand-painted photograph sort of look, but I ended up with Thorin wearing lipstick. (It's called Perfection and it comes in Pink!) Yeah...no. This one hit the bin rather quickly. Then I had to fish it out and take a picture of it for you. But then it went right back in the bin. You're welcome.
I did finally come up with an idea I could live with. I'll just get to the pictures, shall I?
If you don't recognize a Hobbit door when you see one, is there any hope for humanity?
Now for the inside:
And, as long as I'm being honest, the back is my favorite part:
Once I had it finished, there were several back-and-forth moments where those little annoying voices in my head said,
"You aren't honestly going to send a cut and paste project to a movie star, are you?" "Um... yes?" "Seriously? You are such a dork." "I know. Shut up."
I finally got the niggling from my subconscious down to a dull roar and stuffed the card into an envelope to mail off to Janine.
Only to realize - I'd forgotten to put Gandalf's mark back on the door! *quelle horreur* You see, I'd remembered it the first time but somewhere in the middle of the lovely process pictured above, this had happened:
I can't even explain it. It was a definite Don Music moment. "What is life anyway?"
Actually, it was the glue. Which I continued to use because only in hindsight do you think of the perfect adhesive sitting in plain view five feet away on your other desk. No. In the midst of the creative moment you only see the stupid, wrong, paper-buckling glue that is right in front of you.
So I filed that bit in my Oval Office:
And then I had a panic moment where I realized I did not have any more of the red border paper and what was I going to do because I wanted it to look like bricks and that was as close as I could come and I'd already made a special trip to the store for the stupid brad for the doorknob and .... BREATHE, STACIE.
I found some more of the red paper. I had to take apart an origami Christmas decoration to get at it, and I had to iron a crease out of it, but I found it and I used it and it worked well enough, dangit. Even with that dumb glue that still made it buckle.
Anyway, back to the (nearly) finished card. I got it back out of the envelope (cutting through a Fort Knox of packing tape), scratched Gandalf's mark on it again with my magic staff silver pen and packed it up and sent it off before I could change my mind.
I have no idea where it is now. Unfortunately, when you release a creature like this out into the wild, there is no real way of tracking it. Which, all things considered, is probably a good thing. But my Second grade self still wants to know if it made it to The Lonely Mountain Richard's hands...