Tag Archives: Fannibals

Flower Crown with Real Antlers: Tutorial


For any Fannibal (that is, fans of Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series), a Flower Crown is essential head wear.  For those not in the know, this relates to both the irony of putting flowers on characters who behave very very badly, and to Shakespeare’s Hamlet where Ophelia gives out flowers to all as she is being driven mad, and ultimately to her own demise; surrounded by flowers.  Also, apparently, we nicked it from the One Direction fans (oh dear, oh dear!)!

Hugh Dancy and Me!
Here’s me looking exceptionally pleased with myself  with my Flower Crown on at Red Dragon Con 3, with a certain Mr Hugh Dancy! (Will Graham in Hannibal).

There are strings of flowers you can buy for hair decoration, but if you want to go BIG, your best bet is to make your own.  There are some examples on craft sites such as etsy, if you feel it’s too difficult…  But I suggest giving it a go, you might surprise yourself!

The Flower Crown in the above photograph is an homage to the “Ravenstag” character in Hannibal.  The Ravenstag is a metaphor for the mental state of Will Graham throughout the series.  It’s a big black stag, with big antlers, and feathers…

Flower Crown 1_small

If you don’t want to add the antlers, then you can still follow this tutorial and skip step 3.  All of the other instructions are the same for creating a “regular” flower crown, use flower and colour combinations of your own choosing.

To make this crown, you will need:

  • Pliers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Eye Protection (for dealing with the wire)
  • Black spray paint (optional, see below)
  • Wire, 2mm diameter.  Enough length to go around your head twice, plus a bit more.  Any colour, as it will be mostly covered.  Or black or green if you want to leave some visible.
  • Wire, of smaller gauge to bind around the antlers.
  • Fake flowers: Roses, white and black (or in my case all white, plus a can of black spray paint!), other smaller white flowers of your preference.  Choose those that have some nice leaves also.
  • Real Deer Antlers… please don’t go poaching for these!  I suggest eBay and other stores where you can obtain these from a legitimate source.  The ones I had are Roe Deer Antlers, 15 cm (about 6 inches) tall.  These were quite large, so I’d actually suggest getting slightly smaller ones that are easier to handle and position on the wire, and they’ll be lighter too.
  • Ribbon, black or green to wrap the band and both colours for optional tassels.

To make the Flower Crown:

1. Prepare the Flowers

If you need to spray paint some of your white roses black, make sure you have a well protected area in which to apply the paint.  Watch your clothing!  Take the heads off a select few of the roses, I painted 4, but only ended up using 3 blacks in the finished crown.  Use sticky tape to secure them to a board or table cover before giving them a few bursts from the spray can.  Take it slow, build up the paint in small bursts from all angles until you are happy, then leave to dry in a well ventilated area.  When dry, put the heads back on the stems.

Cut the fake flowers up: Cut each rose at the base of the wire stem, so that you have long-ish lengths to wrap around the crown.  Select two or three stems with leaves only and cut these with stems also.

For the smaller flowers, either pull off existing detachable stems of small flower clusters (as mine had) or cut them in the same way as the roses, with small stems to allow for wrapping.  Take a few leaves as well if you like the way they look.

Cut Fake Flowers
Cut the fake flowers with enough of a stem to wrap around the band.

2. Shape the Wire Head Band

First, loosely wrap the 2mm wire around your head to get the base size for the crown.  Leave a little room, as the crown will become bulky after you’ve added the flowers.  Do not cut the wire at this point, when you’ve got the right size, twist the ends together and  then begin to wrap a second band of wire around the first, closely to the original circle.  When you get back to the join, cut the wire leaving a little to bend the ends over.  Use the pliers to bend both the ends of the wire over to ensure the pointy ends are covered.

Flower crown wire
Wrap the wire around your head, and around itself, then bend the ends back to blunt the pointy ends.

Always assume that the join in the wire is to be the BACK of the crown.

3. Positioning and Wiring the Antlers.

This is actually the most difficult part, and the antlers will NOT remain stable until you actually start wrapping the flowers around in the following steps.  Don’t worry if they fall over all the time (mine certainly did!).  We just need to get them in the right position on the band.

Put on eye protection!  Place the wire band on your head, and look in a mirror whilst holding the antlers up to find the right position for you – note which is the proper left and right of the antlers, they naturally curve inwards with the points facing outwards.  When you’re happy, mark the points on the band with the pliers – make a scratch or dent for each position.  Take the wire off your head, and begin to make a cage for the bottom of the antlers with the smaller gauge wire as follows:

The base of the antlers usually have large “knobbly” bits from where it grew out of the deer’s skull.  This area is what we surround with the small gauge wire to create a base to attach to the main wire band.  Make sure you wear your eye protection – as this gets fiddly and I was very glad to have some goggles to wear myself.  Use the pliers to help you pull the wire tight, when wrapping over and under.  The image under the descriptions of the steps should help clarify what I mean.

  1. Begin by leaving a 5 cm (2 in) end and then wrap the wire around the base of the antler, just above the “knobbles” 3 or 4 times.
  2. With the end at the side of the antler, wind the wire around the first 4 wraps to hold it’s position, and then holding the antler at the correct mark on the wire head band continue wrapping the wire under the antler, under the headband, and up to the other side of the antler, wind the wire around the first 4 strands again on this side, and go back under the headband to the other side.  Do this 2 or 3 times.
  3. Wrap the wire once more around the antler as you did at the beginning, and then again wrap around and under the wire, this time 90 degrees from the wraps made in step 2 AND between the two strands of the main headband.  You’ll need to cut the wire before threading through the two strands and leave enough length to wrap 2 or 3 more times.
  4. Bring both ends together, twist together and hide the end underneath the antler.
  5. To tighten the structure a little make sure it is in the correct position on the head band and with a new piece of small gauge wire, underneath the antler wind it over and under each of the wire strands and the headband around in a circle.  Use the pliers to pull this as tight as possible, creating tension between our wire “cage” and the headband.  It still won’t be very stable, but this will change once we add more bulk to the rest of the crown.
  6. Repeat steps 1 to 5 for the other antler.

Attach Antlers Diagram

4. Add the Flowers to the Crown

Starting from the front centre, choose your first rose, and thread it in between the two strands of the headband, bend the wire to position the bloom in the right place.  Wrap the stem of the rose around the head band (not between the strands) and then when you get to the end of the stem, poke it between the strands to lock it in place.  You can choose either direction to wrap the FIRST flower, but from then on, always wrap the flower stems on the right to the right, and left to the left.  Continue to add a few large flowers at the front and on either side of the antlers, then swap to the smaller flowers.  You can wrap flowers all the way around if you like, my crown here has no flowers at the very back.

Always insert the flower between the strands of the headband first, then wrap the stem around the outside of the headband, over/around any previous stems already added, and around the underneath of the antlers, and then insert the very end between the strands of the headband.

Bend the flowers to get them to all point in the correct directions, and adjust as necessary.  After adding the flower blooms, do the same with any leaves strands that you prepared earlier.  Fill in any obvious gaps, and if the antlers are still a little loose fill in space around them with the leaves.

Check for any stems which are too long and may leave pointy ends which will be uncomfortable, trim these off if required.  Finish off by using the hot glue gun around all of the ends of the stems, along the inside of the headband, and where any parts of the flowers look like they may fall apart.  Leave until the glue is set.

5. Ribbon Wrap of Head Band and Optional Tassels

With a long length of ribbon, if possible use a single piece, begin at the back of the head band, begin to wrap around the wire and stems, leaving the blooms and leaves visible.  Wrap the ribbon over itself leaving no gaps if possible and wrap tightly around all the ends of the stems, pulling them closer together and making the head band more comfortable to wear.  As you reach the base of each antler, go around it once or twice in a figure eight, to ensure it is completely covered and blends in with the rest of the head band, continue to wrap tightly all the way around until you reach the start (at the back).  Cut the ribbon and fix the ends in place with hot glue.

Optional Tassels:  Simply cut lengths of ribbon and tie them at the very back of the headband.  I like to add a couple of tassels to ensure the ends of the ribbon wrapped around the head band stay in place.

Flower Crown Rear View
View from the back, with the ribbon wrapped around the band and tassels attached.

6. Put the Flower Crown on and practice not knocking things over or scraping the walls with your antlers around the house!

The wire headband should be nice and malleable, so that when you put it on, you can adjust its’ shape to comfortably fit your head.  The bigger the antlers, the heavier the crown, so you’ll need to practice wearing it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and trying this tutorial.  I’d love to see what you come up with, please leave comments and send me pictures!  If I get a few responses, I’ll put them up on a subsequent post for you all to see!

Go forth and be creative! X

rdc3-flower-crown

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A very late report of Starfury: Behold The Red Dragon, Hannibal Con 2.


Cast your mind back to early October 2016, can you remember what you were doing?  Some of us will remember vividly the events that took place.  Us being the Fannibals.  A voracious group of fans devoted to Bryan Fuller’s exquisite, yet short-lived, TV show Hannibal.  This was the second Hannibal Con, and as far as we knew at the time possibly the last (more about that later!).  The first was simply called Red Dragon and was so good that I ended up waxing lyrical about it the second I got back…  This time it was Behold The Red Dragon!  We do have an appetite for the dramatic.

Covering 2 and a half days between Friday 7th October to Sunday 9th October 2016, the celebrity guests were (L to R on header image): Hettienne Park (Beverly Katz), Katharine Isabelle (Margot Verger), Kacey Rohl (Abigail Hobbs), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Freddie Lounds), Vladimir Jon Cubrt (Garret Jacob Hobbs), and Eddie Izzard (Dr Abel Gideon – pictured below).

Behold the Red Dragon - Guests

Each of the guests had one or more Q&A session to an audience of 500+ people (it was a long room!), all of which were entertaining, interesting, funny, heartfelt, loving, and so very appreciative of the fans and our occasionally random and bizarre questions.  Throughout the days each of the guests posed for photographs with most (if not all) of the attendees at organised times, and also sat to sign autographs for several hours on both Sat & Sun.

With a Regular ticket I got to do everything I wanted to do, meet all of the guests and chat face to face.  Photos are always extra, so you need to budget for that (between £15 and £30 per celebrity guest), and any of the “extra” guests – i.e. those that were announced much closer to the event than originally stated in the advertising also cost extra for both photos and autographs.. but these are very reasonably priced considering the experiences had during the weekend.  The main benefit of getting a Gold ticket is to have a “meet and greet” where you have an evening round-table meet up with the guests who circulate around the room, and Golds also get seating in the talks that are the closest to the stage.  Which is why I brought my camera with the telephoto lens!  I always end up a little further back in the audience than anticipated (which is fine).  Still photos (without flash) are allowed during the talks, with flash photographs only allowed for the first couple of minutes.  No video is allowed AT ALL.  With my big camera, I had to keep assuring the stewards that I was only taking stills.  I promise I was!

As for the guests themselves, I cannot praise them enough for their generosity, their excitement to meet everyone, their continued love of Hannibal and us the fans.  “Big Daddy Vlad” is a joy, I don’t know where he gets his energy from!  Non-stop laughs and anecdotes all weekend.  Kacey is a sweetheart, and the other ladies on the show treat her like a younger sister.  Katharine is a fantastic woman, and is always happy to talk about the odd, strong, clever, and sometimes gruesome, roles that she has played; both before and during Hannibal!  American Mary has become one of my favourite movies since the previous con, and I got Katharine to sign the DVD this time around.  Lara Jean (the only Freddie Lounds to survive the Red Dragon!) is a wonderful caring person, she shared many insights in what goes on in creating the character and what she would like to see Freddie get up to in a potential season 4 (if and when we get one!).  Hettienne Park is also lovely, her talk was so interesting and enthralling.  She shared some very personally stories of her work on Hannibal, and of working with other well-known actors on stage and screen.  Eddie Izzard comes across as an extremely intelligent, dedicated and interesting guy.  He literally took a day off from working with Dame Judy Dench in order to visit us at the con!  In short, they’re all super clever, extra nice, and brilliant at their jobs!

The other thing, which is becoming a little bit of a tradition now (I think only for Hannibal Cons) is that those fans that are artistic in any way, will bring along a batch of cool items to give away and share with the group.  I brought with me some home made ID badges for the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane!  And I returned with a whole lot of artwork, bracelet jewellery, and items that I will forever cherish.

bshci_500
Home made ID badges for the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. I brought these with me to give away.
red-dragon-loot_500
Loot! Given away by various fans during the weekend. What a wonderful bunch of people to share so many hours of work with us all.

My best photographs can be found in my Flickr album for the Con, and a select favourites are shown below:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/crownjulesrules/21x9e5

Behold the Red Dragon - Guests Behold the Red Dragon - GuestsBehold the Red Dragon - Guests Behold the Red Dragon - GuestsBehold the Red Dragon - Guests Behold the Red Dragon - Guests

Images above are: Hettienne Park, Katharine Isabelle, Kacey Rohl & Vladimir Jon Cubrt, Lara Jean Chorostecki, Eddie Izzard, and a group shot from the closing ceremony on the Sunday evening.

My photos and autographs with the guests can be found dotted around my social media accounts at twitter.com/crownjulesb and instagram.com/crownjulesb

During the course of the Saturday evening was the infamous Cosplay contest, which is always a highlight (but I was so far at the back of the room this time, that I got no good photos!).  The range of subject matter (not always Hannibal) and the amount of love and effort that is put into every costume, skit, characterisation, and presentation is enormous.  I’m in continual awe for all of you!  The recreation of *that* final scene, with an actual Red Dragon… seriously impressive.

We also found out on the Saturday that Behold the Red Dragon was NOT going to be last Hannibal Con, because our illustrious leader – Sean Harry of Starfury Events – has managed to secure HUGH DANCY for February 2017!  Cue the scramble for tickets…  Yes, I’ll be there (with a regular ticket once again)!  There are still a few more regulars available at the time of publishing, so take a look at starfury.co.uk and maybe you can join us too.

So, all that is left to do is save up some more money for photos with the lovely Mr Dancy, and all of the other guests already announced – and more promised soon!  I’ll be bringing with me another batch of “Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane” ID badges to give away… try and find me, I plan to wear a “Sassy Science” lab coat this year.

There’s only one thing I wish I had done more at the last cons, and that was to spend longer at the evening parties and get to know my fellow Fannibals better.  I know a few of you a little, but it’s just not enough…  This time I must persevere through my fatigue and party harder!  See you in February… I can’t wait.

Friendship, Fake Blood, & Flower Crowns! Starfury Red Dragon Hannibal Convention Report


What a special weekend this was!

The inaugural Hannibal Convention – Red Dragon – by Starfury Events was a fairly intimate affair, with just fewer than 500 attendees meeting six of the stars of NBC Hannibal (& one Producer who popped in on the Friday evening only) at the Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel.  For a cancelled show (there’s still the ongoing #SaveHannibal campaign!) this could easily have been a melancholy reflection of a deceased series, instead it was the most joyful experience of my convention year.  And to think: I nearly didn’t go at all!  If you’ve never been to a convention before, it’s really difficult to explain to a “muggle” what the experience is like.  You have to be there to experience it for yourself, and then you’ll understand why we all come back again and again… and again.  This year, my con-buddy was a friend I’ve not seen for years, and it was her first convention.  Boy, did she pick a good one!

Organised by Sean Harry of Starfury Events (www.starfury.co.uk), the three-day (well, 2 and a half) event consisted of autograph signings, a “meet & greet” (for the Gold ticket holders), stage talks, a costume/cosplay competition, and of course the parties.

The guests were: Hannibal Lecter himself, Mads Mikkelsen; Freddie Lounds, Lara Jean Chorostecki; Jimmy Price, Scott Thompson; Brian Zeller, Aaron Abrams; Margot Verger, Katharine Isabelle; and surprise guest Abigail Hobbs, Kacey Rohl.  Also producer Loretta Ramos was able to visit on the Friday evening, and attend the meet and greet.  Ellen Muth was also originally billed to attend, but was unfortunately ill and had to cancel (there’s always next year..).

Mads (I believe the D is silent!) came to London directly from the Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon, France, so did not attend the opening ceremony.. but arrived slightly later.  He happened to walk past us whilst we were having a glass of wine, which made me audibly *squee* (sorry about that Mads!).  I tried to behave myself for the rest of the con.. I almost succeeded.

The lucky Gold ticket holders got a sit-down meet and greet with the guests, a few extra goodies, and had closer reserved seats for the talks.  Us “regulars” still had a pretty great set up – one autograph per guest on a personal item, and extra photographs for extra autos or vouchers for signatures on additional personal items (“badgers”) could be bought throughout the weekend.  The prices were pretty reasonable also – I’ve been to cons where the lead guests were over £40 for a single signature, but the most expensive one this weekend was £25.  Photos and group photos were costed by the “value” of each guest to be included.  By “personal items” these must be licensed/authorised products, not simply a photograph that you have downloaded and printed!  You have to keep in mind the copyright on these things!  Fan art was allowed, as long as you are the artist bringing your own work.

The atmosphere at the con was the friendliest in the world!  All you lovely “Fannibals” are the nicest people on the planet.  I mean that.  A lot of people came to the con by themselves, but left with a whole new (murder) family!  I didn’t get a chance to stay very long at any of the parties, primarily because I’m getting a little older these days(!), and secondly because I didn’t want to have a hangover in the mornings.  It was going to be hard enough controlling myself long enough to say something sensible to the guests whilst getting the autographs – I didn’t need to battle extra pain at the same time!

Saturday started off with two photo sessions – I chose to do a few group shots: Scott and Aaron together, and Mads and Katharine together.  If you ignore the idiot in the middle – these photos are fantastic!  Just look at those delicious sandwiches!

We regulars had the autograph sessions with all the guests (except Mads & Kacey) on the Saturday, and several talks; Aaron & Scott (or is that Aroon and Scoot?! “Take zee diamond Rose… Rose, don’t srow zee diamond in zee water..!” – seriously, you had to be there…), Lara Jean & Kacey, and Mads & Katharine.  All of the talks were mainly question/answer sessions, with anecdotes thrown in from time to time.  Everyone treated all the questions seriously (even the funniest ones!) and gave heartfelt and honest answers to everything.  All of the guests were lovely, lovely people; not a hint of “celebrity” culture among any of them.  They’re just regular people, who treat their jobs very seriously, are excellent at them, and were genuinely happy to talk to the fans about their thoughts on the stories, the medium, and the surrounding Fannibal fan-creations (if you catch my drift…).  What a wonderful bunch of people you all are.

Saturday evening was the costume (cosplay) competition.  There were some fantastic entries!  The first shout-out goes to the Mason Verger (slicing his own face off) and (feeding it to) his dog “Encephalitis” (a reference to a question in the earlier talks…).  Some other brilliant entries included references to other horror characters, Samara from the Ring was terrific, the Sweeney Todd & Mrs Lovett were very convincing (& supplied the guests with some pies!), a Will Graham, a Dr Chiltern & Dr Gideon combo, American Mary, and various Hannibals…  and finally a special mention to the lady who went as the “Chesapeake Stripper”!  Brilliant!

Sunday morning brought the autograph session with Mads & Kacey.  It was a little bit of a wait to get to talk to Mads, but that was because he was actually spending a good amount of time with each and every person, allowing them to say their bit, and seeming to be actually interested; which was lovely.  So who cares how long the wait was!  There was a pay-off at the end.  I plucked up the courage to show him a couple of photographs of last years’ Halloween pumpkin that I carved with his face on it!  It’s one thing to show the faceless internet the things that you create, but to show the finished project to the subject was a little daunting.  Luckily, he was pretty impressed, asked how it was done (just with a couple of kitchen knives and a craft knife!) – and said that ALL of the bits of art that he had been shown throughout the weekend were just astounding.  He seemed to really appreciate the effort put in by everyone.  Kacey was also really lovely to talk to, and I was able to say just how much we enjoyed watching her as Abigail, and what a terrific job she did.  She’s a sweetheart.

Sunday also had a few more talks: Scott & Aaron together again for more hijinks and hilarity; Lara Jean & Katharine together for more insight into their worlds; and Mads & Kacey had the final talk slot of the con.  After such a high-energy event, the closing ceremony became both a celebration of what had come before, and also a sad goodbye to all these new people whom we had begun to get to know, guests and fellow attendees alike.  I also had a final group photo with Mads & Kacey.. our little murder family!

So what else did we learn from the weekend?  Well, Aaron & Scott are very naughty boys!  Much of what they said, could never be repeated!  All the guests are brilliant, intelligent and insightful people.  How similar the British are to Canadians – we spell things correctly! (and apologise a lot – sorry).  How Will and Hannibal are (of course) in love – but NOT like that!  And allegedly, although Mads has never looked for the “Hannigram” fan-fiction, Hugh DOES (and shows it to him… apparently he’s quite good…)!  And the fans offered an explanation to the guests for the Flower Crowns phenomenon.. Google it..

I came to the con with one friend, and I left with dozens more.  I bumped into a couple of people that I have chatted to on twitter, but had never previously met (and I didn’t know they were going to be there! What a fabulous surprise).  I took loads of photographs, but I’ve only shared the majority of these pics with the attendees of the con – see the Facebook group for the link you guys!  Of course none of this would have been possible without the efforts of Sean Harry, the man behind Starfury Events (www.starfury.co.uk) – GREAT JOB Sean!  Keep up the good work.

Finally, because I had such a great time – I had to write a poem.. Yup, I’m a nerd!  Nerd and proud.  Embrace your weirdness.  And of course: EAT THE RUDE!

If you went to the con, share your experiences in the comments.  Or if you want to go to next years’ BEHOLD THE RED DRAGON – you’ll have to be quick to get in on the second batch of regular tickets, releasing soon – ALL of the Gold have already sold out, and the first batch of Regulars also!  And without even having a single named guest announced yet.  That’s appreciation and anticipation, right there.

Starfury Red Dragon: Post-Con Poem!


Renaissance Hotel
Flower crowns and new faces
Super excited

Badges now acquired
Photoshoots with guests all planned
Look: the guests are here!

Friday night intro
Meet and Greet – for lucky peeps!
Now, show me the bar…

Nerves and butterflies
“Hello!” *hug* *snap* “OK bye!”
Can I go again?

Surprise meeting of
internet friends, I.R.L.!
Old and new combined.

Lets grab a good seat.
“Rose.. Rose.. take zee diamond Rose!”
Crying with laughter.

Attendees and guests
were ALL a delight to meet
Fannibals just rule!

Mads says: “Eat the Rude”
(on my autograph, that is!)
but he’s just acting!

Hieronymus Bosch;
And Hannigram is canon!
The Wrath of the Lamb..

A special weekend
that I will never forget
you’re all in my heart!

Save NBC Hannibal – Sign the Petition


(Header Image Source: aphrodite-in-nyc on Flickr)

So, the breaking news of the day is that NBC have cancelled the show Hannibal.  This makes me very sad.  Hannibal has been the best series on my TV screen for the last two years, and we all know that Bryan Fuller had plans for the story to continue at least for four seasons.  But alas, NBC have not renewed the show for that fourth season..  So what are we to do?

Well, we fans do have a little more power these days, thanks to this good ol’ internet thingy!  (We helped get the Firefly story to continue – albeit briefly – in a follow up movie).  And as such one great Fannibal has created a petition to get NBC, or another network, to pick it up and finish the story.  Let’s not leave things unfinished, shall we?  That would be rude.

EatTheRude
Source: roughtradesint.tumblr.com

Here’s the link to the petition: Resurrect Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal via Change.org

EDIT: And here’s a second petition found through Facebook – 50,000 signatures and counting! NBC, Netflix What Are You Thinking? Renew Hannibal

SIGN IT!

Hannibal Sig
Source: tarantinoed.tumblr.com

Lets remind ourselves why Hannibal is so great.  It’s beautifully shot, exquisitely acted, and above all – food-porn!

Hannibal HHannibal HHannibal HHannibal HHannibal HHannibal HHannibal HHannibal H
Source: sherlocked-love-yeah.tumblr.com

Perhaps it’s all just a bad dream!

Hannibal Bad Dream
Source: hannibalmorelikecannibal.tumblr.com