Ideas for making a great Steampunk costume

(even if you’re just throwing it together)


steampunk trio 2


Holy crazy, batman! It’s been quite some time since I’ve delivered a post for you all. My apologies! To make it up to you all, I’m sharing a post about a topic I haven’t yet covered at all: Steampunk!


My soon-to-be-roommate and I decided to completely geek it up the other weekend and visit two awesome themed faire-type events:

  1. Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida. I’ve been to a few of these, and I had even performed at this one last year for a weekend. It was great times. Perhaps I’ll do a Ren Faire post someday :)
  2. Steampunk Industrial Show in Mt Dora, Florida. I had never been to one, and have never attempted to make any Steampunk garb, but we were up for the challenge!  Special thanks to my friends from the awesome Celtic folk duo Jig to a Milestone for posting about it!


What in the world is Steampunk anyway?


According to Google:

steampunk definition google


According to Urban Dictionary:

steampunk definition urban dictionary


Or as US young fiction author Caitlin Kittredge put it:

“It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans…”


When thinking about Steampunk fashion, where do I start?


Wikipedia give the following blurb about Steampunk fashion. I’m altering it to be a slightly easier to read list format for you all:


Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. This may include:

  • bustles
  • corsets
  • gowns
  • petticoats
  • suits with waistcoats
  • coats
  • top hats
  • tailcoats
  • spats
  • military-inspired garments

Steampunk-influenced outfits are usually accented with several technological and “period” accessories:

  • timepieces
  • parasols
  • flying/driving goggles
  • ray guns.

Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-made objects.

Post-apocalyptic elements [can also be included], such as

  • gas masks
  • ragged clothing
  • tribal motifs



So then, effective Steampunk. Guidelines. Standby. and Go:

1. Choose a time-period

The easiest way to look like you’re really trying to do Steampunk is to give it some Victorian influences.

The national garment cutter book of diagrams (1888) via



Ladies, choose a shirt with lace, a slightly ruffed collar, a big skirt, or add a bustle to your garb. I made one quite quickly using an old window covering I had, safety pins, and cool-looking buttons:

make a steampunk bustle

Make an easy bustle: This sun-bleached window covering was doubled over and pinned with the safety pins on the inside and a button on the outside. Gathered into 2 layers and using a standard belt to hold it to the body. No sewing needed!

steampunk garb fire faerie


Other victorian female costume inspirations:


Gents- wear a waistcoat and a jacket, a coat with tails, or a top hat.

I cannot credit this, but would love to if you know the origin!


Steampunk need not be JUST for English-folk. Granted, it is most popular in the realms of British culture, but Steampunk characters can also be from plenty of other countries. The American Wild West is a popular alternative.  Visit this page for multicultural Steampunk ideas.



1. b. OR Choose a character

There are some great ideas for superheroes, disney princesses, fictional characters, and the like.


A friend of mine made a Steampunk Duffman (Simpsons) costume! It was pretty rad.

steampunk duffman



We had fun taking photos where Duffman was being useless but looking cool, and the ladies were “doing all the work” (err- driving the ship, and navigating… or something).

steampunk trio


Want some other inspiration for steampunk characters?

Steampunk Batman and Ivy


Star Wars steampunk! Source: Steampunk Fashion


Steampunk Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter

Steampunk Cyberman. Doctor Who via kyoob on etsy

Steampunk Disney


It need not be a specific character, either!  Try brainstorming ideas for a steampunk pirate, ballerina, ringmaster, US president, playboy bunny, zombie … the options are endless!


Use one of these ideas or come up with your own! Use some of the ideas presented here and do a little bit of research if you need help brainstorming. Feel free to write me and I’ll help you out too! I’d love to see a steampunk version of Winnie the Pooh, Inspector Gadget, Madonna, or Captain Planet for example. Why not?

1. c. OR Choose a mythological creature

My friend and I hinted at the fae with our costumes seeing as we both wore wings. Together we decided we were ice and fire, or sun and moon… or something like that… yeah….

steampunk wings


Let’s take a closer look at my wings (the brown owl-feather ones) :

steampunk wings and bustle close

Cool, eh? You may never suspect that I found these at Party City around halloween time, though you can shop their wings online year-round. I did absolutely nothing to them; that center diamon-jewel thing was part of them from the get-go! The only catch is that they aren’t too fantastically made, so the feathers fall out after a few uses, but that’s where I got the feather for my hat!


Pan, Unicorn, Merfolk, Centaurs, Faeries/Fairies, Narwhals… There are a lot of options. Why do the fae need technology when perhaps they can do it all with magic? Because it’s fun. And they’re Tesla fans. I don’t know. Go ask the good folk.


The joy with being a mythological character is you can always say that something you’re wearing (or doing) is just, uh… magic! uh.. yeah- that’s it.  It gives a bit more freedom.



2. Add technology!

Ideally, one wouldn’t just glue gears to something and call it steampunk (not that I’m above that… check out my home-made mini top hat below).

steampunk hat


One of the coolest things about steampunk is the idea of technological innovation.


A friend of mine made these amazing wings below. Yes, they opened and unfurled as well. Pretty darn cool I must say! (though, he did say they got heavy after a while… The prices one pays to look awesome). He does this stuff professionally, so feel free to contact him for commissions.

steampunk working wings



You can go buy some of your own on Etsy (via someone I don’t know, but they sure look great):

TGTstudios on Etsy


Another gent at the event wore this backpack of gadgetry.

steampunk backpack


It’s quite popular to turn old nerf or play guns into Steampunk guns:


There’s a pretty good tutorial on painting your own gun here


I made one too- you can see it hanging from my belt below:

steampunk girlies


When in doubt, just remember- What Would Tesla Do?

What would Tesla do

What would Tesla do? Yes, this is seriously a shirt you can buy from



3. Accessorize!

Pocket watches, jewelry, goggles, top hats, spats, collars… there are so many ways to accessorize!  Rather than write a whole lot of words and lists, I’m providing you an array of photographical inspiration:


The Ultimate Steampunk for Men Etsy


Yet another photo Im not able to credit. Please let me know if you can help give credit!



Steampunk costume and garb ideas. tree of life. jewelry. diy.

This is a tree of life pendant I made with standard jewelry wire and some gears I found at Michaels. The structure was made from a shower curtain ring!



via poppenkraal on etsy


kvodesign at etsy


black steampunk top hat

I made this mini top hat out of foam! If I get requests for it, perhaps I’ll do a DIY post someday….


DesignsByFriston on Etsy




4. …. But What about….?


Still have concerns? – Don’t worry- it’s all about having fun and making the attempt!

Don’t have the “right shoes”? – If you can, wear simple black heels, boots, or dress shoes.  If you can, make spats to go with them.  If you’re stuck with just tennis shoes/sneakers (depending on where you’re from), don’t let that keep you from trying on the rest of it! If anyone is judging you, they need better things to do with their life!

Not sure where to even start/this is overwhelming?  Take a breath, wear a buttoned shirt and pants, or a suit if you can. Add a waistcoat. Or a coat with tails. Get a long skirt and add safety pins to bustle it up a little.

**If you’re going to a steampunk event, there are usually vendors! Wear something simple and plan on adding to it throughout the day! Easy-peasy.**

But my friend says I NEED such-and-such to be steampunk!  No, you don’t “need” anything to be steampunk. Even what I’ve written is just a bunch of ideas to help inspire. The guidelines are very wibbly-wobbly, so don’t fret. Try it out! You may just surprise yourself.

But I don’t have anything ready/I cannot sew! My friend and I (below) are both seamstresses (ok, ok… *She* is a seamstress. I just sew things). And neither of us really planned our costumes. We didn’t buy patterns from Joann’s, we didn’t break out the sewing machines, we just used items we had and added pins and magic to help make it all come together:

steampunk girls inside



Need more inspiration?? Check out these films/books:

Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Baron Munchausen

Alice In Wonderland

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Back to the Future III

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Return to Oz

Wild Wild West

Sherlock Holmes



The Golden Compass



Also, I do a lot of research on things- do feel free to utilize the research I’ve already done!

Check out (or follow) my Pinterest Steampunk folder

Or just check me out on Pinterest (there’s plenty more things than steampunk on there! Most recently- viking research!)




I truly hope this post has given you some insight on where to start when coming up with your own steampunk garb/persona. Please comment below and share your own makings!

steampunk girls


Want to check out more geeky things?


Click here to see ideas for throwing a thor’s giving (instead of thanksgiving)

thorsgiving instead of thanksgiving


Click here to check out our Geeky British Party and get ideas for throwing your own!

Sir Francis BACON!!!  tee hee!

Sir Francis BACON!!!
tee hee!


  • Have you made any cool steampunk garb? Share it below!
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Throw a Hobbit party!!

or at least get in the Hobbity spirit!




The final Hobbit movie is out today!!!! To celebrate, I wanted to share some inspiration and ideas for creating your own Hobbit and Middle Earth festivities!


how to throw a hobbit party. LOTR party ideas. Lord of the Rings

image given by the Hobbit films!



I actually threw a hobbit/LOTR themed birthday party (yeah, for adults.) a few years back. It was right around Hobbit day, September 22nd, which is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo.


So if you don’t have time to throw a party right now for the final film, just bookmark this page so you can throw a party for Hobbit day next year!


The Shire Sign



Without further ado, here are some suggestions for Hobbit shenanigans (Hobbit-nanigans? Hobnigans?) :





  • Listen to the music from the films! Howard Shore did a fantastic job creating the aural world of middle earth. Give him (and your elf ears) some love by listening to the soundtracks.
  • Are you in a symphonic band? Did you know that there was a Lord of the Rings symphonic suite written in the 1980s? Check it out! It was composed by Johan de Meij.
  • Check out this video of my roommate and I performing “Concerning Hobbits”
  • Want to play the music from Bilbo’s Birthday party? I transcribed it once for a friend. Check it out here:


  • That music (Which I decided to title “Shire shindig”) comes from the scene below:






  • Make some food that one would find in Middle Earth:
    • Though I don’t believe they’re ever mentioned in the books, eating cherry tomatoes in a very sloppy manner would be fantastic, and remind me of one of my favourite scenes in the LOTR trilogy:

  • Cows were never mentioned. So no beef. But Fish, Pigs, and poultry are all game. Rashers of bacon are always appreciated.
  • Berries, mushrooms, pastries, breads, cheese, pickles.


  • Special items from middle earth: lembas bread, honey-cakes, cram.
  • Or just make something that LOOKS fitting or is cleverly titled:
    • A friend brought over a “yorkSHIRE pudding” for my party as well. It was fantastic!
    • I made this “one ring” cake (using a bundt pan. It fit exactly half of the inscription from the ring)

one cake to rule them all


  • Beverages are important of course!
    • Ale, wine, and mead all are quite fitting for middle earth:
      • “you can drink your fancy ales, you can drink them by the flagon, but the only brew for the brave and truuuuuuueeeeeee….. COMES FROM THE GREEN DRAGON!” (sung by Merry and Pippin whilst drinking and dancing on the table)


    • Ent-draught (an invigorating brew from the Ents)
    • Mirovor (a clear cordial from the elves)
    • Coffee, tea, and juice are viable alternatives for those not partaking in the alcohol.




    • There are plenty of LOTR-based games that exist (I’ve not played them. Feel free to leave comments about any of them if you have!)
      • Video: Various ones were made from companies such as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; Turbine, Inc; and Electronic Arts.
      • RPG (Role Playing Games): Middle-Earth Role Playing, Lord of the Rings Adventure Game
      • Tabletop: Other than there being a “Lord of the Rings” boardgame, there are also LOTR versions of Risk, Stratego, Monopoly, and Chess amongst others.
    • I was actually geeky enough to write a LOTR/Hobbit based fluxx game.
      • Since it’s an ACTUAL game written by a company, I will not share the game here as I’m pretty sure that’s against some copyright. But if you’re my friend and you want to play it, let me know! It’s actually pretty cool- and well-written if I do say so myself (I made a spreadsheet and everything).
    • You could write yourself a version of “heads up” in the spirit!
      • “heads up” is that game where the person who is “it” holds a card (or smart phone with app) up to their forehead and the other players need to get the person to say what is on the card.
      • You can write your own heads up game by writing flash cards using index cards or cut pieces of construction paper.
      • Things you could write on the cards include:
        • Characters: Gandalf, Frodo, Galadriel, Tom Bombadill, Fili and Kili, Eowyn, etc.
        • Races/Types of characters: Entwives, Elves, Orcs, Nazgul, Men, etc.
        • Places: Rivendell, Bag End, Green Dragon Inn, Mordor, Helm’s Deep, Erebor, etc.
        • Popular quotes: “It comes in pints?”, “one ring to rule them all”, “you shall not pass!”, “… and my axe”, “my precious”, etc.
        • People: JRR Tolkien, Peter Jackson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, etc.
        • Book or film names: “Battle of the Five Armies”, “Fellowship of the Ring”, “The Silmarillion”, etc.
      • Or just play any fun game they may have played: charades, musical chairs, sack races, horseshoes, etc.





    • Banners, streamers, lights, candles, lanterns, and other festive décor can be utilized in feeling more festive in a proper style!


joannavolavka via wordpress

  • Fireworks (or at least sparklers) would have been brought by Gandalf to add to the festivities! If you don’t have your own and live in the Orlando area, visit SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration, Universal Studios, or any of the Disney festivities to see some fun and festive fireworks displays!
  • Create your own sign!
    • One is a large piece of fabric that I painted with fabric paint to say “welcome to the shire” with the feel of Bilbo’s birthday banner.
    • Another is a door sign that says “No Admittance. Unless on Party Business (in which case, please come in)” J Like the one that Bilbo has on his door (but a bit friendlier). It’s also nice to just let people come in as they wish during a party without needing to get the door for everyone.

Welcome to the Shire Sign and no Admittance

  • Add some Hobbit-style goodness to other things around your home:
    • I made a geeky tree skirt for Christmas this year. The LOTR reference portion is the white tree of Gondor (Other bits include Doctor Who / Tardis, Harry Potter, and Sherlock).

Geeky Tree Skirt Geeky Tree skirt christmas tree





  • Read passages from the Hobbit or LOTR books (out loud or to yourself). Try reading them in the voice of Gandalf. Or Gollum.
  • Learn some phrases in a middle earth language (Sindarin, Entish, Quenya, etc)
    • Gi nathlam hi = you are welcome here (Sindarin)
    • Dol gin lost = your head is empty (Sindarin)
    • Heca = scram! (Quenya)
    • Mara Mesta = Good journey (Quenya)
    • You can just mumble low and long to attempt a phrase in Entish….. no matter what, you’ll likely not speak it correctly, unless you’re an Ent.
  • Poems
    • Have a haiku or a limerick competition. Or just a giant piece of paper on the wall where people can write their own poems.
  • Give the gift of a homemade card for your friends, or draw your own map of middle earth. Use this one I made below as inspiration:
  • tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card





    • Go on an adventure! Go find something new and try it out!
    • Go on a trip somewhere unexpected! Throw a dart at a map of your city, or of the globe! You never know what sort of fun crazy stories you’ll have to write in your own “there and back again” book.

    thereichenbachfall on wordpress

    • Go visit nature! Take a walk in the woods, or some cavern- but look out for dragons (unless it’s the green dragon inn… then go get thyself a pint!)
    • If you’re near Orlando, go on your own quest and visit It’s a Trap! A Room Adventure in Orlando (click here for information)!
      • It’s a Trap is a place where you work together with a group of 8 or less people (you need not know them prior to the adventure. One does not always get to choose quest partners) in order to solve a mystery by finding clues hidden around a room. There are currently 4 games total in 2 different rooms. One of the rooms happens to be a Wizard’s Hut- so it’s quite fitting.
      • I actually helped kickstart this place- and I got to go to a beta test of it. The quest we did was in the wizard’s hut and had a dragon character that talked to us! It’s definitely worth a visit. Below are some poor iphone photographs of the inside of the hut (taken with permission. And no spoilers!)

    Its a Trap TreeIts a Trap Dragon

    • Or go have a pint at the Cloak and Blaster! They have games and hobbit-inspired food as well as Hobbit-Hour (much like happy hour, but more geeky/awesome)

    Click here for more info about The Cloak and Blaster in Orlando




    And last but most certainly not least,



    Click here for the Fandango movie overview

    (Or see the previous films! Or go see the old cartoon one!)


    image from Fandango



    oh, but check with your closest friends first, unless you want to no longer be friends:



    • Have you any ideas for throwing a Hobbit party? Please share them below!
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    Thor’s giving!

    It’s that time of year!


    Thor’s giving!


    Wait, what? You mean THANKSGIVNG…. right?


    No, no… I mean- Thorsgiving!  Thanksgiving is old hat. We need to spice things up- and geek things up!


    thorsgiving instead of thanksgiving


    Yeah, this idea started approximately ONE DAY prior to our “Friendsgiving” (where you get a bunch of friends together- most of whom don’t have families in town. Sometimes called “Orphan Thanksgiving”) festivities. So it was a lot of last-minute silly planning and fun.


    Someone gave me the idea of hulk smash potatoes- and I took the idea and ran with it. Sadly, we had so much fun, I didn’t take many photos of our food :( But I’ll list a bunch of ideas here so you can use them at will!


    hulk smash



    Food ideas for Thor’s giving:

    • Hulk Smash potatoes
      • green food coloring + potatoes.
      • Or add wasabi paste for more spice and oddness!
    • Iron man’s suit salad
      • Using only red and yellow items! I made a salad with yellow bell peppers, yellow onions, red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes. I made a sun-dried tomato pesto dressing.
    • Hawk-eyed peas
      • Black eyed peas
    • As American as Captain America’s Apple Pie
    • Nick Fury Brownies (ours were made with Kraken rum too… for fun!)
    • Black Widow Cookies
      • ours were pumpkin sugar cookies that we decorated with a pomegranate seed for the red spot and black frosting to draw the spider
    • Tony Starch (Stark) bread
    • or Agent Phil Crumbson rolls
    •  –with Doctor Bruce Butter
    • Shawarma
    • Thoreos
    • Lokit-kats
    • Hulk poop casserole
      • Green bean casserole
    • Natasha Stroganoff
    • Erik Stuffing (Selvig)
    • Loki Turkey
      • (or Thor-key)
    • Black (widow) pudding
    • Maria Hill of yams
      • make sweet potato/yam dish- form into a hill.
    • Clint Bacon (Barton)
    • Stark-bucks coffee
      • for your after-dinner beverage



    nick fury brownies and black widow cookies


    Don’t forget to use the OVEN-gers to do all your baking. hahah. ha. ha…..

    Your iron pan is likely to come in handy. hahaahaah. ha…..

    Be sure to provide salt and Pepper Potts so your guests can adjust flavor. hahaa. ha.


    I need a life.




    It was a pretty low-key event (snicker). But we certainly had lots of fun! We ended the night playing Cards Against Humanity. Who doesn’t love that game? Seriously?


    thorsgiving full of friends

    note the hulk-smash potatoes front and center

    Sadly, this year, I will be flying a red eye home from working in Brazil (through my least favorite airport in the world. GRU- Sao Paulo). So we won’t be hosing a Thor’s giving this year. No reason you can’t though!


    Go forth and with the might of all Asgard, have a pun-tastic Thor’s giving (or normal thanksgiving, if you so desire)



    Want more geeky things?

    Click here to check out the top three moments in the Game of Thrones books versus the TV show

    or Click here to get ideas on making your own Hobbit card!

    tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card


    Haven’t had enough puns?

    Click here for food ideas for a Geeky British Party

    British Geeky Party. Facebook Event Cover Photo


    • Have you any great Avengers food puns? Please share them below!
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    Geeky British Party!

    By now, you’re all likely well aware of my geeky tendencies. You’re also likely aware of my love for hosting events. Here is an example of how those items came together in:


    A Geeky British Party!!


    Another awesome geeky friend of mine had a birthday about a week prior to mine, so we decided to throw a joint birthday party of geekery. Not wanting to leave people out by choosing just one geekdom, we decided to give it the theme of “Birthday Invasion of the British Geekdom”

    brit party


    Just in case you have any sort of inkling for doing this sort of thing, here’s a list of the fandoms we pulled from for inspiration:

    Harry Potter
    Doctor Who
    Monty Python
    It Crowd
    Alice in Wonderland
    Peter Pan
    JRR Tolkien
    Mary Poppins
    Winnie the Pooh
    King Arthur
    Downton Abbey
    James Bond
    Beatles / British invasion
    Eddie Izzard
    Stephen Fry / Hugh Laurie
    Peter Pan
    Peter Rabbit
    Guy Fawkes
    Vicar of Dibley
    Black Adder
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Robin Hood
    Father Ted
    Mrs Brown’s Boys
    Austin Powers
    Red Dwarf
    … (etc) …


    Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. But oh boy was it fun to come up with ideas. We planned games (and wrote a few ourselves), asked people to dress up, made themed food and drinks, and added plenty of fun decor to the house.


    I certainly cannot fit all of this into one post, so I will begin with our food planning. Some items were simply British but most had some geeky theme:


    FOOD (with geeky British twists)



    The restaurant at the end of the universe

    The restaurant at the end of the universe (just one of our tables full of food)

    Including plenty of Brit foods such as marmite, HP sauce, Nando’s sauce, Malt vinegar, Hobnobs, and more.

    Though this is the only photo of the Edamame, which we named “Silurian Pods.”


    Cucumberbatch sandwiches- get it?

    Cucumberbatch sandwiches- get it?

    Bread (with the crust cut off, of course), cream cheese, and cucumbers.

    Because I like flavor, I added some extra herbs and seasonings to my cream cheese. I did it the same way as when I made avocado cucumber triscuit snacks (click here for the recipe).


    Mrs. Loveitt's meat pies from Sweeny Todd (sans human)

    Mrs. Loveitt’s meat pies from Sweeny Todd (sans human)

    I wanted to make something like a pastie, which are quite popular in the UK. I knew it would be easier to handle at a party than making a pot pie. These came out great! Writing out the recipe takes a bit too much for this post, perhaps I’ll do another post on it later.


    I am the eggman

    I am the eggman deviled eggs.”goo goo goo joob”

    To make the “pretty” egg swirl, use a pastry or frosting bag with a star tip.


    Dowager Countess Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

    Dowager Countess Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches


    "Always bring a banana to a party!" - 10th Doctor

    “Always bring a banana to a party!” – 10th Doctor

    I also somehow missed getting a photo of my bowtie pasta salad (because bowties are cool). Too bad.


    Because Gingers have no souls.

    Because Gingers have no souls.


    A Bit of Fry and Laurie

    A Bit of Fry and Laurie

    If you haven’t seen the show- go do it. It’s sketch comedy with two fantastic british actors: Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.


    Marshmellow adipose

    Marshmellow adipose

    the fat walks right into your tummy

    …the fat walks right into your tummy

    These little guys were easily made using large and mini marshmallows. Glue the arms and legs on using frosting (or cream cheese) and draw faces on them using frosting. Even one of those little frosting gel pens would work.


    Cassandra Pizza

    Cassandra Pizza


    Here’s a photo of Cassandra (the last human) with Rose Tyler   (from

    One of our friends brought us this awesome homemade Cassandra pizza! If you don’t know Cassandra, check the photo above. She’s the last human, a character we all love to despise from Doctor Who.


    Neverland (with hook's ship), so long and thanks for all the fish. Merging geekdoms is fun!

    Neverland (with hook’s ship), so long and thanks for all the fish. Merging geekdoms is fun!


    second star to the right and straight on 'till morning!

    second star to the right and straight on ’till morning!


    Fish n Chips. Get it? HA!

    Fish n Chips. Get it? HA!

    Neither of us like fish, so we didn’t want to cook any. This was a great alternative- and punny :)



    Tots + curry dip. The potato reference is from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Tots + curry dip.
    The potato reference is from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.



    Smarties Cereal

    Smarties Cereal


    Sir Issac Fig Netwtons, Jammy Dodgers, Shortbread. Elsewhere, we have "Cake or death" ala Eddie Izzard.

    Sir Issac Fig Netwtons, Jammy Dodgers, Shortbread.
    Elsewhere, we have “Cake or death” ala Eddie Izzard.


    Rummy Pooh Bears

    Rummy Pooh Bears

    I actually have a post on this one! If you’d like to know how to make Rummy bears (they’re very easy), click here. I serve them in shot glasses to make it easier to have a single serving, but while they’re “marinating,” I leave them all together.

    rummy bears


    Sir Francis BACON!!!  tee hee!

    Sir Francis BACON!!!
    tee hee!


    Ollivander's wands (pretzel sticks with dip)

    Ollivander’s wands
    (pretzel sticks with dip)

    Nearby we also had “strawberry fields forever” and “apple records” for dipping. Sadly, I forgot to set out the Brie for “let it Brie.”


    Bring us a SHRUBBERY!

    Bring us a SHRUBBERY!


    "I'm in an Ethical Pickle" Gotta love the IT crowd

    “I’m in an Ethical Pickle”
    Gotta love the IT crowd


    Dalek Cupcakes, brought in by another friend of ours!

    Dalek Cupcakes, brought in by another friend of ours (who came dressed as Ferb to the party)

    As for the cupcakes, we were able to “exterminate” them.


    Just a spoonful of sugar from Mary Poppins (in reality, they're pumpkin cake pops)

    Just a spoonful of sugar from Mary Poppins
    (in reality, they’re pumpkin cake pops)


    Note that we did not serve SPAM. Because “I don’t like SPAM!”



    Drinks! (with geeky British twists)

    I wasn’t cool enough to get photos of the drinks we came up with. Sorry guys, guess I was too busy having fun by then.  But here’s a quick list of some of our drink options:


    – Butterbeer! (alcoholic)

    – Your father’s Pimm’s cup (it’s like a normal pimm’s cup, but with added elderflower liquor. “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!“)

    – Pumpkin juice (ala Harry Potter)

    – Mad Hatter’s Tea

    – Champagne Supernova (a twist on a mimosa)

    – Assorted fitting malt beverages including Monty Python’s Holy (gr)Ale, Hobgoblin (we called it gringott’s ale), Samuel Smith’s hard cider (from Apple records).

    – Sonic Screwdriver (Vodka and OJ with a twist)

    – Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (mountain dew)



    If you’d like more ideas, visit our pinterest folder that was used for a lot of our inspiration:



    Thanks to all of our friends who showed up and humoured us with their dressing up (I wish I got more photos!!) and playing our games. We had a great time!

    geeky british party friends

    geeky british party friends



    Thank you all for reading! Stay tuned for more posts about this party including our made-up games, costumes, and fun decoration ideas!



    Interested in seeing other British things?

    click here to learn about my visit to Brew Dog pub in London

    things you drink brew dog




    OR click here to learn about my walk over the O2 in London- you can do it too!

    top of the o2



    • Have you had any similar geeky / awesome parties? Share your stories and links below!
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    Game of Thrones top 3 moments: TV vs Book

    Whether you love Game of Thrones or hate it because some of your favorite people ALWAYS seem to DIE, read on to discover the

    Game of Thrones

    Top 3 moments in the TV series that were not in the book (but were awesome!)

    and the

    Top 3 moments in the book series that would have been strong additions to the HBO show



    I know I just returned from my adventures in Martinique, but since I had to wait an ENTIRE WEEK to watch the season 4 Game of Thrones finale, I figured I’d start with this post before it became too late!  I promise that I’ll share some Martinique photos and stories within the week!



    This post contains spoilers for moments up to and including the season 4 finale of Game of Thrones as well as moments in the book series.





    Top 3 moments in the TV series that were not in the book:

    I’ll be honest, I think D&D made some fantastic choices that veered away from the books. The show creators and writers have ultimately made the story less confusing and added in a number of awesome character dynamics that would not have existed otherwise.

    Let me say how difficult it was for me to chose my favorite three:  “It was difficult.” There. I said it.



    1. Brianne of Tarth vs the Hound

    Season 4, Finale “The Children” gives us a fantastic fight between Brianne and Sandor Clegane (the Hound) as they’re both trying to protect Arya. In the HBO series, Brianne and Podrick accidentally happen across Arya as she’s practicing her “water dancing” whilst out in the middle of nowhere with the Hound. In the books, Brianne and Arya actually DO meet up, sadly without their awesome counterparts, but they don’t realize who the other one is. Though it’s an interesting moment for the reader, the route the show took is MUCH more satisfying!

    Arya leaves the Hound for dead in both versions, denying him a swift, clean, act of mercy.




    2. Where do white walkers come from?

    Season 4, Episode 4 “Oathkeeper” had a magnificent surprise ending. We see the main white walker bringing Craster’s child to the lands of always winter, and we get to experience the creation of a new white walker. In the books, we are told of the walkers but do not get anywhere near this amount of detail.



    3. Tywin and Arya

    In Season 2, there’s an amazing dynamic between these two which never existed in the books. Lord Tywin immediately recognizes the intelligence and bravery within Arya (though not knowing who she really is, of course) and this starts a relationship of mutual respect muddled with a surprising bit of trust. Granted, Tywin is still on Arya’s kill list, but they confide in each other in a way they cannot with other people.

    Click here to view a scene of theirs on youtube.  Or click here for a different scene



    Note that I’m not mentioning the lack of Lady Stoneheart, whom many people hoped would make an appearance in the episode 5 finale. I think leaving her out (at least for now) was a good choice. Don’t know what I’m talking about?





    Top 3 moments in the book series that would have been strong additions to the show


    Though I think the show has made some very smart and fantastic changes from the books, there are a few moments that stand out to me that I feel could have been a lot stronger if the creators of the show took a few more cues from the book:



    1. Arya and the Hound at the Red Wedding

    If you remember correctly, the Hound was just about to deliver Arya to her family at the Red Wedding (with the Freys). However, before they got inside they heard about the death of all Starks in attendance. The Hound realizes this place is bad for the both of them and tries to get out, but Arya is transfixed on trying to get to her mother and brother

    I came so far. “We have to go get my mother
    “Stupid little bitch… You go in there, you won’t come out.”

    Arya runs towards the gate as the portcullis is closing.  Run fast as a wolf, she tells herself as she looks back to see the Hound on his horse running after her.


    And Arya ran.  Not for her brother now, not even for her mother, but for herself.  She ran faster than she had ever run before…



    His axe took her in the back of the head.



    That’s how it is in the book.  Do you see my point?




    AH! No! So many great characters JUST died at the red wedding and then George RR [expletive deleted] Martin takes away Arya too?


    12 chapters go by before we read Arya’s name as the chapter title, and our hearts fill with joy. I think Arya is dead for 25ish% of the book! It was fantastically done, and this moment is completely lost in the TV series.




    2. Robb Stark’s chosen bride

    In the third season of the HBO series, we get to see Robb’s love story with Talisa unfurl. The character Talisa was extremely likeable: a wise and beautiful young healer.  She and Robb fell madly in love with each other, and made the choice to marry for love.


    In the books however, Robb grieves in hearing of the death of his brothers, Bran and Rickon, and seeks carnal comfort from a noblewoman named Jeyne Westerling.  He had a completely human moment with serious consequences.  Robb, like his father Ned, is very much bound by honor. In order to preserve Jayne’s honor, Robb made the choice to break his oath to the Freys in order to marry the woman whose virginity he took.


    By the way, Jeyne doesn’t die at the red wedding.  She doesn’t even attend the red wedding: a decision made so they do not further anger the Freys.


    This one I’m torn on.  The TV series gives us a beautiful love story and the book gives us raw human moments but honorable choices- both of which lead to a horrific end. As king, I believe Robb would have been more likely to follow the book’s path, assuming the Frey’s would understand his needing to follow the code of honor. Though, killing 2 more Starks (wife and child) at the red wedding make it even more glorious of an affair.




    Ok ok, since I’m not completely sold on that one, here’s another:

    2.b. Stannis saves the wall

    In the Season 4 Finale, Stannis Baratheon defeats the wildlings north of the wall. The problem is, in the series, wildlings seem to be much less of a threat after the previous victory of the Night’s Watch. So the first thing I find lacking is that Stannis looks like much less of a savior than he really is.  The second thing can be surmised in this quote from Stannis as to WHY he came to help the wall (remember that no one else – in all the seven kingdoms- came to help the wall when they were called upon).

    “I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne” -Stannis Baratheon




    3. The wedding night of Daenerys and Drogo

    Season 1, Episode 1 we see the wedding night of Daenerys (“Dany”) Targaryen and Khal Drogo. In both the book and in the show, Dany is a young girl going through culture shock at her own wedding and is frightened by what it means to be a wife on her wedding night.

    The fear came back to her then…. she felt like a child once more, only thirteen and all alone, not ready for what was about to happen to her


    In the show, the scene is quick and rough. The Dothraki chieftain has a slight touch of care and compassion towards Dany, but the moment almost feels like a rape scene.

    Click here to view it on youtube.

    In the book, however, this is the moment I believe Dany fell in love with her “sun and stars“. It was beautiful and it showed the loving, compassionate side of Khal Drogo.

    The book and show share the moments where Drogo says “no” a few times, wrongfully answering Dany’s question, “Is that the only word you know?” Then the book continues the story much differently:


    Dany slowly unbraided his hair then he tenderly undressed her. Taking his time, Khal Drogo held her hand, stroked her face, combed her hair with his hands, massaged her shoulders…

    It seemed as if hours passed before his hands finally went to her breasts. He stroked the soft skin underneath until it tingled.  He circled her nipples with his thumbs, pinched them between thumb and forefinger, then began to pull at her, very lightly at first, then more insistently, until her nipples stiffened and began to ache.


    He stopped then, and drew her down onto his lap… He cupped her face in his huge hands and she looked into his eyes.  “No?” he said, and she knew it was a question…


    …”Yes” she whispered…



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    Hobbit Graduation Card

    Has anyone else tried finding a decent graduation card for someone this year? … I looked & have come to the conclusion: GRADUATION CARDS ARE BORING.


    Rather than fork out my money for a lackluster symbol of my congratulations, I decided to MAKE a graduation card for a special graduate I know.


    tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card

    also, this post is out in time for you all to celebrate


    Geek Pride Day (May 25)


    Geek Pride Day is an initiative to promote Geek culture, cosplay, and the like.  So go forth and celebrate time travel, wear your one ring, drink your butterbeer, daydream, assemble!, read a book, fight some crime, and for all of these shenanigans: may the force be with you.


    May 25th was chosen as the date in order to commemorate the first Star Wars release (some people even consider this day “Star Wars Day” over May the 4th), though it also shares a date with references from the Discworld series as well as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


    Click here to learn more about Geek Pride Day



    Hobbit Lord of the Rings card home made


    Oh right, back to the graduation card….


    This was written/drawn with ink and quill (yes, olde-style dipped ink), though you could do it with a pen or a sharpie even…. just try it!


    I cannot draw.  Seriously.  This is about as good as it gets (I cannot even draw a straight line), so I had to choose an idea for a card that would fit with my level of drawing ability and my geek knowledge.


    I also love to age paper whenever I can (look forward to a post later on coffee/tea staining… though if you request it, I can expedite it!), so I purchased blank cards from Michaels and aged them, let them dry, then drew on them with the ink via quill.


    map of middle earth


    One of my first ideas for the inside of the card was to mention something along the lines of :  You’ve defeated SMOG Graduate School! Now you can return to the Shire real life! Huzzah!


    Then I decided I could find some cool Sindarin (one of the Tolkien Elvish languages) phrase of sorts to add to the inside, so I did!


    Had I the time, I would have written the message in Sindarin letters, but alas.


    tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card Sindarin Elvish


    Elvish Sindarin phrase


    If you’d like some Sindarin / Elvish phrase ideas, click here.



    I also wanted the envelope to match and hint at the Tolkien Middle Earth Map.  It worked, of course- he knew that it was Tolkien-esque :)

    LOTR envelope style idea



    And once again, the final product:

    tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card


    I hope this helps to inspire you to do something fun and geeky today!  Enjoy, fellow muggles!


    Want another geeky idea?  How about making some Geeky Cupcakes!  Featuring Star Wars and Superheroes!

    Or perhaps you want to learn about another random holiday?


    • What did you do to celebrate Geek Pride Day?
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    Geeky Cupcakes!! Star Wars + Superheroes

    Most of my friends know that I’m a bit of a geek - so I figured I should be sure you all knew this too!  :)

    Geeky cupcakes star wars superheroes DC marvel

    Once in a while I have an itch to make some geeky cupcakes!  (I will share more later, never you worry!)  I do not claim to be a professional decorator by any means, but it’s definitely a fun thing to do- and is a hit with the right people!

    I apologize in advance for the poor photography.  In the future, I will take better/more photos of projects in order to properly share them with you!


    star wars cupcakes R2-D2 Death Star Yoda Chewbacca Wookie

    Star Wars Cupcakes!!!

    I made these geeky star wars cupcakes for my friend’s birthday- they were a huge hit!  While DEFINITELY not a professional decorator by any means, I enjoy the art and silliness that goes into these.  I especially love the enjoyment my friends get from the geeky cupcakes- imperfections and all.  I know I could make much prettier designs using fondant, but I just don’t like the taste as much as real frosting.

    There are 5 designs in the star wars cupcake series:

    • R2-D2- Light Blue background. White body with blue and black detail.
    • Death Star- White background with black sprinkles.  Black detail over top.
    • Yoda- Background of white it is.  Green, white and black detail you see, hmmm?
    • Chewbacca- no background, just brown “fur” using the standard round piping tip.  Black and White detail.
    • Letters- The base layer is a swirl using the star tip.  Lettering is done with the round tip.  Any contrasting colors will do.  I added green sprinkles to the word “force.”


    Marvel DC Superhero spiderman batman green lantern superman captain america

     Superhero cupcakes!


    There are 5 designs in the superhero cupcake series:

    • Batman- Orange background with black detail. Mini cupcakes.
    • Superman- Blue background. Red and yellow S via the star tip.
    • Green Lantern- White background with green detail.  Mini cupcakes.
    • Captain America- Blue background. Detail in white and red using the round tip.  Mini cupcakes.
    • Spiderman- Red background.  Black detail using the round tip and large white round sprinkle eyes.


    image from wilton tips

    This is the standard round piping tip I use for detail work and lettering when frosting.


    A few notes and tips when trying these designs:

    • I personally use gel to color my icing.  It can be found in some grocery stores, but definitely easy to find in Michaels or other craft stores. Liquid food coloring will work as well, but it makes your frosting a bit more watery. If you need to use this option, you can always add a little powdered sugar to help stiffen it back up.
    • PURCHASE BLACK GEL! I’ve tried making black (or grey) by mixing various colors together.  It works, but it’s extremely annoying.  Just purchase black.  It’s worth it.
    • If you need to make brown icing and don’t have brown gel, you can use coca powder.  This will cause your frosting to have a chocolatey taste as well.  You may add some milk (of any type) to make it more runny if needed, as the cocoa powder will make it dry.
    • Once you fill your icing bag, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  Colder icing will create a stronger form (best used for writing letters, drawing Chewbacca’s fur, and doing detail work).
    • When drawing Yoda’s head or R2-D2’s body, I kept my icing warm (and slightly runny), so that I could mush it around in order to draw the figure more cleanly.



    As a final homage to awesome geeky cake decorating, I present you with these two cakes, made by/for friends of mine:


    tardis cake wedding

    Yes, my friends- this is indeed a Tardis wedding cake topper! Thanks to Kayla and Chad for having an awesome wedding cake topper, and to Brian for the photo!  Extra thanks for allowing me to showcase it here!


    minion cake despicable me

    It’s a minion cake! Visit Custom Cakes by Dawn for more awesome cakes! (based in Ireland)


    (for those who know that I have MORE geeky cupcakes out there to share…. don’t worry- I will be sharing those at some point too)


    • Which cupcake design is your favorite?  Do you have any geeky cake designs you would like to share?
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    Friends, Romans, Countrymen- lend me your… uh… eyes…. and feast them upon this here BLOG for it shall be full of:

    Tidbits from my travels,

    portugal allison castle

    photographs and stories of magical places  


    -and of me doing silly things in magical places, 

    music and fun instruments,

    hammered dulcimer player allison


    tasty things that I’ve discovered,

    pass me a pint!

    geeky inspirations,

    star wars superhero cupcakes


    recipes and DIY info,

    whiskey whisky soup



    tree-hugger and eco-friendly ideas

    hug a tree you treehugger


    - I might even talk about work!

    camera concert allisonstadium outdoor 

    And anything else you all inspire me to share! (feel free to comment or write me with suggestions!).  Honestly, a lot of my post choices will come from requests and comments.  I already have a list from friends asking me for travel advice!


    When you come across things that look like links, but don’t lead you anywhere when you click on them, hover your mouse over them.  It’s just alternate text for a little bit of fun.  This is likely the only time I will mention it, so from now on, it’s just like fun easter eggs to find and enjoy.


    All photography will be mine unless otherwise noted. For anything that requires research, a link to the page I gathered the information from will be available on the page somewhere.  Seriously, if I say something is a fact, or make a list of any sort, I promise to you I will do my research from the source and not just re-write a list that someone else wrote.  If you noticed I have erred in any way, please let me know!  

    Thanks for joining!  Feel free to subscribe or send me post suggestions if you’d like! And until next time- stay inspired!

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