Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Serene's July favorites

serene's july favorites
serene's july favorites
In an effort to remember Serene at age two, I am capturing her favorites each month. I am a bit late, but in July 2016, Serene has been:

READING: Baby Touch and Feel Animals to her little brother
PLAYING: with mermaid toys
HELPING: to clean up
SAYING: "I’m sorry, mama."
LOVING: swimming like a mermaid

Her favorites from earlier months: JuneMayAprilMarchFebruaryJanuaryDecemberNovemberOctober.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ollivanders wand workshop

ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
ollivanders wand workshop
Harry Potter fever has been at an all-time high around here. I've been wanting a wand of my own for future trips to the wizarding world, so we decided to host our own wand-making party last week. An "Ollivanders wand workshop" sign welcomed fellow witches and wizards to become Ollivander's apprentices for the day. To evoke the magic of the wizarding world, we decorated the dining room with simple floating stars cut out of golden yellow cardstock hung with white yarn, and "The wand chooses the wizard" scrawled in chalk on black butcher paper as backdrop for our work area. Guests had Madam Puddifoot's afternoon tea consisting of assorted tea sandwiches, blueberry scones, and chocolate chip cookies. They washed it all down with Polyjuice Potion (sweet tea) and Felix Felicis (lemonade).

I saw a couple of tutorials online where wands are made of normal chopsticks decorated with hot glue, and then painted. I brainstormed on ways to make the wand-making experience as magical and authentic as possible. Before we all started making our own wands, we had our wands officially choose us by taking the Pottermore wand quiz. Once our wand wand chose us, we knew exactly the unique combination to create since our quiz results tell us the length of our wand, the wand wood, and the magical core. I wanted to figure out a way to insert a core into the wand, since other tutorials online omitted that step all together. I thought about drilling a hole into the wand wood in order to insert the core. After consulting a handy friend, he confirmed it might just work! We used the following supplies to create our wands:

Materials:
18" bamboo cooking chopsticks as wand wood (Chopsticks have tapered ends like wands. I chose 18" because those were the thickest I could find. I got them here although they are also available online)
Red, gold, maroon, brown feathers as phoenix feather cores (available at craft stores)
Silver speckled white string as unicorn hair cores (cut into short pieces. Available here)
Gold speckled burlap as dragon heartstring cores (dethreaded into short pieces. Available at fabric stores)
Tape measure
Pen
Serrated knife
Power drill
Mini hot glue guns (available at craft stores)
Mini hot glue sticks
Craft paint
Sponge brushes

Directions:
1. Take a chopstick and use a tape measure and pen to mark the desired length of your wand. Ollivander states that most wands are between 9"-14" long. Cut to desired length with serrated knife.
2. Drill a hole through the top (blunt end) of the wand wood with a bit big enough where you can insert your core easily. Insert your magical core. Ollivander uses phoenix feathers, unicorn hair, or dragon heartstrings for his wand cores.
3. Seal the opening with a dab of hot glue. Use the hot glue gun to "draw" designs on the wand wood. Let dry.
4. Use a sponge brush to paint your wand with craft paint. Let dry. That's it!

We had a blast nerding out about Harry Potter and making wands together while the movies played in the background. Alex surprised me with a Ravenclaw robe I got to don in time for the wand-making party. It was loads cheaper than the ones at Universal, and it included a Ravenclaw tie, sealed Hogwarts letter of acceptance, Hogwarts Express ticket, and Death Eater tattoo. I was a happy witch waving my 11 1/4" redwood with unicorn hair wand around!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A date in the wizarding world

wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
alex's 30th birthday gift
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
ah at wizarding world of harry potter hollywood
Alex had been pining for a Universal Studios pass since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Hollywood. During his birthday dinner last month, an owl delivered his acceptance letter to Hogwarts (which I made inspired by the one Harry received in the first book). Alex was thrilled. Then our dear friends surprised us with a Universal pass for me so we could go together! I cried in shock at God's kindness through our sweet community. Alex loves theme parks and Harry Potter is my very favorite series. We'd been looking forward to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter's debut in Southern California ever since we visited its Orlando counterpart three years ago (I blogged about it here: Hogwarts Express and Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Owl Post and Ollivander's, and Honeydukes). We had the opportunity to visit for the first time earlier this week, thanks to friends and family who watched the kids for us. It had been ages since our last date; we had a blast spending quality time together in the wizarding world. I've been nerding out reading J.K. Rowling's new content on Pottermore the past few weeks, and I can't wait for The Cursed Child to release. Now that we have the next year to enjoy The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, making robes and/or wands are on my to-do list!