Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Reality Shot Thursday...

Welcome to "Reality Shot Thursday", hosted by the fabulous Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage! Just keepin' it real here in Bloglandia, by posting a glimpse at the little, un-styled, un-fluffed images that are normally not included in our posts.

This image above is a snapshot of the "reality before the magic" as I was creating my floating pumpkins that were in a previous post. There's a lot going on in this photo... carving tools, the light that goes inside the pumpkin, glue (to fix "Jack's" broken tooth), graph paper with sketches of the jack o' lantern faces, plastic bags from the craft supplies purchased for the project... you get the idea. There's even a newly purchased Dash & Albert rug that I had thrown on the table the other day when I came home from shopping.

Thanks for stopping by for a little dose of reality~~ hope I didn't ruin the magic!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Welcome Muggles, Part II

Welcome! Welcome to my Harry Potter Shrine! (Yeah... I'm cool like that. He he. Hey- please just let me indulge in my Harry Potter nerdiness, okay?) You may remember my shrine from last year... well, it's out of control this year. Halloween is the perfect time of the year to indulge in a bit of Harry Potter goodness. I'm not one to leave this collection out all year, but I do love it at Halloween time. I guess it's my version of "grown up" Halloween decor... not too scary, too gory, or too juvenile. Yeah, yeah... I know these decorations are based off of a book series written for children, but it's such a wonderful, imaginative world.

This shrine is situated near the entry of my house. I've got a lot going on here, so how about a little tour? (Warning: Lots of photos and hyperlinks for your viewing pleasure.)

J.K. Rowling's books are so descriptive, imaginative, and amazing that it wasn't difficult to gather ideas and inspiration. In the above photo is the Sorting Hat that is introduced in the first novel when the children are being sorted into their houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The sorting hat in the book speaks, and so does this one! If you come by to visit me in October, you can count on being sorted as soon as you walk in the door.

These are some of my favorite props... The Marauder's Map, Hermione's wand, and Harry's iconic spectacles. I have to admit, I got goosebumps the first time I opened the Marauder's Map. It's folded, and opens up just like the one in the film... minus the magic. (Bummer!) I would have tinkled my panties if there were footprints on it that appeared and moved, like the "real" map. The wand is hand carved mahogany. Isn't it beautiful? I purchased it from a "wand shop" at the Renaissance Faire that I went to recently. The wand vendor was fun... he really played up the part and presented the wand just as spectacularly as Ollivander himself would have...well, almost.

Here, we have Hagrid's lantern, Professor Dumbledore's phoenix named Fawkes (a fabulous gift from my fellow Potter-lovin' friend Lisa), and a beautiful gold foiled ticket for the Hogwarts Express... departing at Platform 9-3/4, of course!

Here, we have a ticket for the Knight Bus. Hmmmm... I guess I need a shrunken head to go with this, like the one hanging near the driver of the bus. Maybe next year...

This is the flying winged key with the broken wing, as written about in the first book. Actually, I've changed this to a silver key since this photo was taken. It's actually supposed to be a silver key with bright blue wings. (That's if you're die-hard-into-details. I'm sure I don't have all the details perfect, so please go easy on me.) Anyway...I was so excited to find skeleton keys at Michael's. All I had to do was create a pattern for the wings, trace them onto vellum paper, cut them out, fold them, and glue them to the key. How's that for a tutorial?

This is just another gratuitous shot of the flying keys over my dining room table, because... well, I just can't get over myself. He he. I really, really love how these turned out.

These lovely spectacles are Luna Lovegood's "spectrespecs"...they allegedly allow her to see wrackspurts.

... and this is Luna! She's one of my favorite characters in the books. She's sort of a kindred spirit. She's also the best dressed character, in my humble opinion. She knows how to accessorize, that's for sure. She created her own dirigible plum (radish) earrings and her butterbeer cork necklace. (She claims that her butterbeer cork necklace repels nargles.) I love her quirkiness!

And last, but not least... you can see Hedwig (Harry's owl) in his cage and Harry's "beginner broom". (Better view of the broom in photo #2.) It looks just like the one in the first film, when the first year students are learning how to fly their brooms for the first time. According to the lady I bought it from, this broom came from England. Hmmm... could it be? Oh, and no-- I didn't buy it in a back alley or an old, spooky pub. I bought it at a vintage fair a couple of years ago.

Oh, and how could I forget my favorite? Hagrid felt that it was only proper that he was included in the photo. Dang, that's a cute dog.

Well, thank you for touring my Harry Potter Shrine. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to having a few close friends over this weekend. After all-- having gone to all the effort to display all these Harry Potter Halloween decorations, I might as well celebrate the magic!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome Muggles, Part I

Welcome! Welcome! I've been as busy as a house elf, preparing for Halloween~ Harry Potter Style! You may remember my Harry Potter Shrine from last year. Well, it's official... it's become out of control this year. I've always loved the magical details of the Harry Potter Series of books and films. I just can't help myself. Sooooo... now that I've worked my magic, I thought I'd show you my Harry Potter Inspired Halloween Decorations! I've split these posts so that it's not so overwhelming. Beware: lots of photos!

Yes, those are floating jack o' lanterns-- inspired by the floating pumpkin lanterns in the Hogwart's Grand Hall. I've dreamt of replicating them for several years, so I decided that this is the year to conjure up the spell. These are floating over my dining room table. Yes, they are floating. Those are not strings you see.

I love love love these flying keys!!! Those of you who are familiar with Harry Potter, can you spot the key with the broken wing?

These keys are flying around above some jars of candy, inspired by the Halloween Feast...

Here's another snap of the table.... do you notice anything special there from the first film? (No, there are no Bertie Botts All-Flavor Beans. I'm saving that for next year... I couldn't buy the whole lot...this time.)

Yes, it's a Chocolate Frog, like the one that Harry purchased from the trolley on the Hogwart's Express~ complete with trading card! Every chocolate frog contains a trading card with various Hogwart's professors on them. In the book, the subject in the photo moves. This one did too. (Read: holographic.) The card that I received was of Salazar Slytherin. On the back of the card it states, "One of the four celebrated Founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Salazar Slytherin was one of the first recorded Parselmouths, an accomplished Legilimens, and a notorious champion of pureblood supremacy." (Now is the time to boo and hiss.) In other words, he's not the nicest guy. Do you notice that little white note? It's from the person that I purchased this from. Notice, the note is sealed with "The Dark Mark" wax seal. I should have known. (Actually, it's very cool!)

Oh, and yes~ there really is a chocolate frog in that box! I heeded Ron Weesley's warning and held on to him so he wouldn't escape and jump out the window. Ahem.

Ooooh! It's starting to get dark...

Wooooooo! Look at those lanterns glow! Look at those keys fly!!

*SQUEEEEE* I can't even explain how excited I was to see these guys lit up!

I love how these floating jack o' lanterns turned out. I studied the lanterns in the film and duplicated the original spooky faces as closely as I could... but I did break down and add a smiley face in there.

Oh, and this guy showed up! (Hey Jack!) I guess everyone is welcome here, correct movie or not. Thank you, sweet muggle friends, for coming by to visit. I've been so excited to share all this Harry Potter goodness with you!

Next up: Welcome Muggles, Part II. Stay tuned!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Under Construction

Busy as a house elf over here... stay tuned!



I remember visiting a friend studying computer science at UC Davis back in the mid 1980's. In her tiny dorm room sat this funny little box with a screen. She seemed so excited about it. I could tell it was kind of a big deal. Being the non-techi that I was, I thought "Well, I guess it's better than a typewriter." Oh, how little I knew. I didn't know that the man behind the box was changing the world in a big way.
I have a confession to make. I'm still not a techi. I don't own a Mac. I don't own an iPhone. I don't own an iPad. I don't even own an iPod.
But I do have a little blog. A little blog that has enabled me to connect with amazing people around the world in a way that I never dreamed.
Thank you, Steve Jobs~ the visionary, the man behind the funny little box with a screen... you changed my little world in a big way.