A British woman has painstakingly created a miniature version of Bag End, Bilbo Baggins' house from "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"--from the round front door and porthole windows right down to the Middle-earth maps and the barrel of pipe-weed.
Maddie Chambers, a 30-year-old mother of young twin boys, started the project in March 2009 when she was taking a college course on child care. It took her the better part of a year.
The project began as a class assignment: create a toy by term's end. Chambers, who lives in Chesterfield, England, set to work on the Hobbit hole in the evenings after her boys went to bed. Other times, she would turn to it while the toddlers napped.
Chambers based the diminutive dwelling partly on Tolkien's stories and partly on Peter Jackson's big-screen adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings." She also used a little artistic license. "The Hobbit" first hooked her when she was around 10. Her love for "Lord of the Rings" followed.
Pay particular attention to the rug in this photo. Chambers at first looked for a readymade rug, but she couldn't find one close enough to the one in the movie. "In the end I used good old Microsoft Paint and drew the design myself from the rug in the movie!" Chambers writes on her blog. "Then I printed it onto cotton and sewed the rest of the rug."
Shown are Thror's map and a replica of Bilbo Baggins' table. For Thror's map, Chambers made the wood frame and varnished it. The quills are made from feathers and the candles out of Fimo, a brand of polymer clay.
Chambers purchased the china for the kitchen, but she made all of the food--again using Fimo. Check out the string of garlic hanging in the corner. Also, all the stained glass windows are made out of thin perspex, glass paint, and glass leading.
Chambers' live-in partner, Graham, taught her how to use power tools. After making the first frame, she decided the walls were too thin, so she started over and added another room. She experimented with three kinds of wood paneling before choosing mahogany.
Shown is a closeup of floor tiling. During the project, Chambers acquired many skills, including carpentry, electric wiring, flooring, and grouting. But she says she's not sure she could apply them on a grand scale, i.e. her own home.
A friend provided foam for the Hobbit hole's exterior. Notice the removable roof. Chambers also used modroc (a type of sculpting material), wire, and filler for the larger areas.
Chambers hastens to add that Hobbits aren't her only hobby. According to her blog, her other pastimes include playing electric and acoustic guitar, walking her dogs, kickboxing, reading, and watching movies.