Finnish Folk Hop Ensemble Tuuletar Lends Wings to Game of Thrones Ad

Arts & Crafts, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

Alku (‘Beginning’), a piece by the Finnish vocal folk hop ensemble Tuuletar, appears in a Game of Thrones commercial. The band’s website says,

“’Alku’, the opening track from Tuuletar’s debut album “tules maas vedes taivaal” has been sold for the use of one of the most popular tv-series in the whole world, HBO’s Game of Thrones. The song will be heard in the season 7 DVD and Blue-Ray [sic] commercial, which will be broadcasted worldwide. The deal was made together with Finnish record label Bafe’s Factory and ThinkSync Music from London.”

The ThinkSync news page on the sale links to a German-language DVD / Blu-Ray trailer for GoT season 7 on YouTube with Alku in the background:

GAME OF THRONES Staffel 7 – Trailer #2 Deutsch HD German (2017) by Warner Bros. DE

Tuuletar mashes up a cappella, beatboxing and Finnish folk music and poetry into a unique combination. Their debut album, Tules maas vedes taivaal (‘On Fire and Earth, in Water and Sky‘), won the prestigious Emma Award (the Finnish version of a Grammy) for the best ethno album of the year in 2016.

Tuuletar IMG_0510-1024x683

Tuuletar.

Vocalists Venla Ilona Blom, Sini Koskelainen, Johanna Kyykoski and Piia Säilynoja make up Tuuletar. More videos at YouTube or Tuuletar website.

Congrats, Tuuletar! I first blogged about the band two years ago just before they released their debut record, and am absolutely delighted to see them doing so well. And Alku is so amazing it gives me chills – always a sign of greatness!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Discoveries: World-Class Costume Embroidery by Michele Carragher

Arts & Crafts, Movies & TV

Costume hand embroiderer, illustrator and artist Michele Carragher has produced work for several historical or historically inspired tv series and movies, including the Elizabeth I miniseries, Stardust, Prince of Persia and Game of Thrones.

Carragher uses her experience in textile conservation and traditional embellishment techniques to combine various materials and styles from around the world into breathtaking garments. The workmanship is exceptional!

Michele Carragher Peaky Blinders Graces Evening Dress

Grace’s evening dress, ca. 1921; Peaky Blinders. Via Michele Carragher.

Michele Carragher Sansa Wedding Dress Detail9

Detail from Sansa’s wedding dress to Tyrion Lannister; Game of Thrones / HBO. Via Michele Carragher.

Michele Carragher Dragonscale Detail HowTo

Detail from Daenerys’s dragonscale dress; Game of Thrones / HBO. Via Michele Carragher.

Check her website for the image galleries – gorgeous, detailed, layered work in such a range of materials and techniques! Carragher has also included a short how-to for Daenerys’s dragonscale dress embellishments (picture above) that might be of interest for Game of Thrones cosplayers out there.

Highly recommended for costume enthusiasts!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Room Re-Do: Daenerys’s Reception Tent

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

Just about every set in Game of Thrones is meticulously designed and gorgeous. One of my favorite spaces is the tent that Daenerys uses as a reception room at the gates of the slaver city Yunkai. My description below is based on season 3, episode 7, The Bear and the Maiden Fair.

GoT Daenerys Tent Dais Seas3 Ep7

Game of Thrones, season 3, episode 7. HBO.

 

The tent is an elegant combination of simplicity and luxury. Basics like removable wall panels – it is a tent, after all – get elevated by fabulously rich accents and details. Woven surfaces of grasses, reeds or the like repeat throughout the space.

Plain panels reminiscent of bamboo shades screen the tent from both sun and stray looks, and turn the tent into a more room-like space. At the head of the room, there is a wood dais. On the floor, there is a large, undyed grass rug with a stripes-and-diamond pattern made with naturally darker materials.

The real show-stopper is the furniture: Daenerys’s upholstered sofa with lavish textiles and carved end tables on the dais, and a table and visitor’s chair off to one side. There is also a wooden chest of drawers on the opposite side, which can be seen briefly during the episode. An elaborate decorative element hangs behind Daenerys, leading the eye to her and framing her head almost like a halo.

Game of Thrones, season 3, episode 7. HBO.

Game of Thrones, season 3, episode 7. HBO.

I started my room re-do with imagining a sofa set against a window with bamboo shades to imitate the tent. The bottom edge of Daenerys’s sofa looks like leather that reaches all the way to the floor. Based on that, I went with an armless but chunky chestnut-colored leather sofa. Unlike Dany’s, the end tables in my re-do are not gilt and there’s and extra shelf on the bottom, but the general shape is similar enough. To disguide the oh-so-very-not-Westeros-or-Essos glass surface, I chose round 23” brass trays to top the end tables. An ornate mirror (sometimes called a peacock mirror) stands in for the decorative element behind Daenerys.

Other than the leather sofa and wooden end tables, it was quite difficult to match materials. I chose therefore to try and find the best pattern match I could. For instance, the rug I found is made of wool instead of reeds, and I selected a fleece blanket to drape over the sofa in my re-do.

GoT Dany Tent Re-Do Collage

  1. Arrow orange body pillow cover, 20” x 54”, Vintagechicdecor on Etsy, $50
  2. Orange sunset ikat diamond pattern fleece blanket, 50” x 60”, by JKLDesigns, Zazzle, $59. This print is missing the olive green on Dany’s sofa, but otherwise it’s close.
  3. Vintage Beni Ourain style rug, BoutiqueMaroc on Etsy, $1,211. Not a bad resemblance.
  4. Kasbah large brass trays, Jayson Home, $72 / ea.
  5. Vintage Turkish kilim body pillow, 35” x 16”, Sukan on Etsy, $290. Olive green and orange!
  6. Churchill end tables, Standard Furniture, $300 / ea. No gilding, but the concave leg shape and volute ornamentation are close.
  7. Gold velvet bolster, 13” x 36”, Monsoon Craft, $56
  8. Tuscan bamboo Roman shade, 74” long, Overstock, $29-$59
  9. Golden medallions mirror, Pier1, $100. Almost an exact match!
  10. Belgian Classic Shelter Arm armless sofa in chestnut leather, Restoration Hardware, $2,745-$4,495
  11. Large metal fruit bowl, RawRevivals on Etsy, $31
  12. Vintage copper pedestal compote bowl, Rebekahsretro on Etsy, $9
  13. Oversized pillow-bolster in veranda red, 6” x 48”, Swings ‘n Things, $60
  14. Nuno felted neck roll pillow, 6” x 13”, by AlfalfaHill on Etsy, $118

That was fun. 🙂 What would you change or replace?

Geeky Room Re-Do: Maester Pycelle’s Entryway

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

While I may have some qualms about the adaptation of The Song of Ice and Fire cycle for the screen, there’s no doubt that the production values are amazing. I am in awe of the costuming, lighting and set decorating departments especially. They do such gorgeous work!

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here’s a room re-do from season 1 of Game of Thrones: the entryway into Maester Pycelle’s room in King’s Landing.

GoT Maester Pycelle Entry Seas1 Ep10

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 10. HBO.

This corner of the room is seen in episode 10, and it’s where Maester Pycelle dons his official-old-dude posture. In the screencap above, the door is at the left, behind Pycelle’s back. There’s a wooden char in the lower right-hand corner and a mirror on the wall. The shelves are filled with small chests or boxes, jars, some candles, herbs in vases and other doodads.

Finding a chair similar enough was a challenge, just like the furniture in my Eddard Stark office re-do. You might find a replica by searching for x-frame (or x-form) chair, Dante chair, Savonarola chair or scissors chair. It’s much easier to find modern bookcases resembling Pycelle’s shelves, though, and I found an exact match for the mirror. Chests, wooden boxes, old bottles and vases are probably easiest to find in thrift and antique stores, but I’ve listed some online options below.

GoT Pycelle Entryway Re-do Collage

  1. The Edge Mirror, Kirkland’s, $140. Exact match!
  2. An ‘X’ Frame Moorish style chair from Spain, 19th Century, Bonhams
  3. Verona six-shelf bookcase, Cost Plus World Market, $175
  4. Antique Style Wooden Small Trunk, Wayfair, $34
  5. Pirate Treasure Chest, Wayfair, $50
  6. Vintage Polish Hand Carved Box, Ebay, $18
  7. Vintage handcarved wooden box, DragonflysVault on Etsy, $9
  8. Wood Fired Bottle, MBrownCeramics on Etsy, $25
  9. Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Cathedral. There are also several other muted teals you could pick from.
  10. Antique Bottle With Handle, WeeLilGlassie on Etsy, $13 for two
  11. Venetian Rib Candle, Target Australia, $5
  12. Vintage Pilgrim Crackle Glass Vase, JaysRoom on Etsy, $18
  13. Light Green Vintage Glass Bottle, willandbequeath on Etsy, approx. $17

(Herb image: Stylish Spoon.)

Anything you’d add or remove?

Discoveries: TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy

Geek out!, Thumbs Up

Elisabeth Holmes runs an Etsy shop called TheNaughtyRabbit. She sculpts small rabbit figurines out of polymer clay. Elisabeth’s rabbits aren’t your usual garden variety, though: they are leporine takes on popular fantasy / scifi characters. And adorable!

Rabbit Collage1

Top row: Harry Dresden, Robocop. Bottom row: Arya Stark, Captain America, Buffy the vampire Slayer. Elisabeth Holmes / TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy; collage by Eppu Jensen.

Rabbit Collage2Rabbit Collage2

Top row: Sam the Eagle, Star Trek. Bottom row: 4th Doctor, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Elisabeth Holmes / TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy; collage by Eppu Jensen.

I’m impressed how much detail she can include on figurines 2” tall, and how well she can match rabbit-ness (if that’s a word) with something from each character’s personality. They are apparently inspired by her pet rabbit, who is full of tenacity and spunk and stubbornness. (Sounds exactly like my sister’s rabbit, who has sadly passed.) Holmes herself describes her creations with one very apt sentence: “These rabbits act as a small reminder of the resilience and exuberance of rabbits and how each of us can add a little bit of that to our lives.”

They are indeed adorable! Must. Resist. Temptation. Must. Resist. Must.

Darn – I’m probably going to be assimilated! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Room Re-do: Eddard Stark’s Office in King’s Landing

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

I’m excited that season 3 of the Game of Thrones is available on disc now! To celebrate, here’s a room re-do from season 1: the room in King’s Landing that Eddard Stark used as his office when he was King’s Hand.

Like all the GoT sets, the space is gorgeous. Unfortunately, the room doesn’t get much screen time, but some clear details emerge. The walls are mostly bare stucco (or the like) in a muted yellowish tone. There are no rugs, drapes or curtains. The doorway to the balcony is bare like the windows, and large planters with greenery are seen through the opening. Apart from the windows, light comes from candles on a multitude of metal candlesticks.

The furniture is ornate and made of golden brown or dark wood. A desk with inlay decoration around the edges and on its legs sits in front of the windows. Compared to the elaborate chair inlays, however, the desk is staid. There are papers, supplies and knick knacks on the desk. There are also two other chairs that don’t feature prominently: a visitor’s chair in front of the desk with what looks like turned, Renaissance-style wooden legs and a wooden arm chair to the side of the room.

The details of the back of Eddard’s chair, the edge of the desk and the floor candelabra can be briefly seen in episode 6…

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 6. HBO.

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 6. HBO.

…while a wider view of the room, including the desk and a small glimpse of the chair legs, is visible in episode 7:

GoT Kings Hand Office Seas1 Ep7

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 7. HBO.

The main problem with a re-do of Eddard’s office is furniture styles. Comparable pieces found today are almost exclusively antiques, which are not only hard to come by but expensive. My re-do is therefore approximate and includes some DIY elements.

GoT ES Kings Hand Room Re-do Collage

  1. An Indian-style mother-of-pearl inlay wood chair, via Bonhams, $300-$500. An almost exact match to Eddard’s chair!
  2. Table accents: small wood chest, BrightwoodLane on Etsy, $18; antique toy – primitive horse with rider, YourHeart on Etsy, $38; vintage 4-arm Baldwin Brass candelabra, LampAndLightingDecor on Etsy, $95. You could add pretty much as many candlesticks as you’d like.
  3. Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Beacon Yellow. There are also several other muted pale yellows that would work quite well.
  4. Table with DIY-stenciled Indian-style inlay decorations around the edge and down the legs: Bishop double extension dining table, World Market, $700; Indian inlay furniture stencil kit by Kim Myles, Cutting Edge Stencils, $35. Large bone inlay desks are hard to find, and if you do find one, they tend to be expensive antiques. Painting small decorations on a modern dining table is a cheap alternative.
  5. A 13-light tree floor candelabra, Koch Originals, $300
  6. Planter with lavender: Marchioro 15.75-inch terracotta planter pot, Home Depot, $25; 10 Lavender Lady seedlings, Garden Harvest Supply, $5 each. Those with a green thumb could easily plant their own lavender.
  7. Large pot with black & white DIY chevron pattern: white 17-inch fiberglass planter, Fiberglass depot via Amazon, $75; black Rustoleum plastic spray paint, Home Depot, $25; thin chevron stencil, TheStencilCloset on Etsy, $23
  8. A smattering of candles everywhere!

 

How did I do? 🙂

Geeky Color Combos: House Baratheon Sigil

Colors, Geek out!, Inspiration

You know those design recommendations that urge you, especially when hesitant, to start with a picture and base your color selections on it? Here are some ideas on how to achieve it with a geeky starting point. I’ll select a photo, a painting, a still, a screencap or the like that is geeky in some way, and use mainstream photos to illustrate how a color combination pulled from that model image might work in real life.

House Baratheon is the royal house in Westeros at the beginning of George R. R. Martin‘s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire and the popular tv adaptation Game of Thrones. The house sigil is a rearing (or rampant) stag with a crown around its neck on a field of gold. The visual created for the HBO tv series is probably the most commonly seen version of the sigil, here on a cookie from the official online store:

HBO Shop Baratheon Cookie

House Baratheon Sigil Cookie. HBO Shop.

In heraldry, gold is often depicted with yellow. I will, therefore, include both gold-black and yellow-black combinations below.

The combination of gold and black is luxurious. It can also be overwhelming if overdone. Choosing a neutral background like white, cream or tan and using gold (or yellow) and black as accent colors will deliver just enough of a punch, but not a “Hulk smash!” – like in the white, yellow and black bathroom by Cerasa, for example:

Cerasa; image via Home Designing.

Cerasa; image via Home Designing.

This gorgeous library below by Jerry Jacobs Design actually uses both yellow and gold in addition to black:

Jerry Jacobs Design San Fran Library

Jerry Jacobs Design.

Sherri and John at Young House Love added red brick to the mix when they painted their front door, with great results:

Young House Love FrntDr-After-Straight

Sherri and John at Young House Love.

Apart from adding other colors, you can also tone down the intensity of the yellow towards softer shades, or substitute dark greys instead of black. Or, like in the living room below, use dark metals to incorporate black:

Centsational G yellowaccentsmarthastewart

Martha Stewart; image via Centsational Girl.

Smaller home accents work particularly well, since the amount of color will be limited:

Gold Black Decor Collage

Top row: Mini black with gold interior drum shade from The Accessory Store; custom knobs by Alison Brent on Etsy; color block pillow by Mazizmuse on Etsy. Center: Painted credenza by Kathy at Petticoat Junktion. Bottom row: tiger lily photograph by Audrey; gold and black garland by HoopsyDaisies on Etsy.

You can of course also carry the Baratheon sigil colors on you:

Gold Black Wearables Collage

Clockwise from top right: Baratheon eye makeup by Thedethlands; fingerless gloves by Anna Richardson for The Yarn Cafe Blog; custom felted baby shoes by Shannon at The Kitty Pad; Kate Spade Rainey dress; tie from GentlemanJoe; Sears gold bowtie vest suit; Arkel backpack / bike pannier from Universal Cycles.

What do you think – a keeper combo or not?

P.S. Access other posts in the series with the geeky color combos tag.