Sunday, October 31, 2010

Start of Term Party

Our Halloween party last night was wonderful if I do say so myself. We had butterbeer which was quite good. We made the butterscotch base ourselves, but I think it would be just as good to use premade butterscotch syrup. Basically you blend a little syrup with cream soda, top the glass up with more cream soda, and float a dollop of slightly whipped cream on top. Just like what is served at the Three Broomsticks.

We also had Scabbers scampering around...

and Crookshanks was seen soaking up some late afternoon sunshine.

And bless his little heart, Dobby nearly wore himself out cooking, cleaning, serving and cleaning up. I heard pots and pans being clanked around in the kitchens all night long.

Dumbledor gave an inspiring Start of Term welcome speech...

and introduced the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Mad Eye Moody.
We had several promising new students; Luna Lovegood, Cho Chang, Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, young Bellatrix LeStrange, and Moaning Myrtle.
But several characters that showed up seemed to be at the wrong party; a SWAT guy, a crack dealer, Abraham Lincoln, Indiana Jones, Dr. House, Pyramid Head, and the Mad Hatter.
This strange woman was lurking around all night with a clipboard. Does anyone know who she was and what she was up to? I don't really trust her.

Friday, October 29, 2010

House Elves Only!

You know how when you have a party and everyone ends up in the kitchen no matter how nicely you have set everything up in all the other rooms? I'm hoping this will keep a few of the kids out of the kitchen. What do you think?

It's just an old sheet with the message stenciled on in green spray paint. Then we tore it up from the bottom so you could pass through it easily. The cats are having a lot of fun with it, but I hope
I didn't just make a plaything for them. Oh well, on to the menu.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Fat Lady

Our library is going to be the Gryffindor Common Room for our Halloween party and of course we needed a portrait of the Fat Lady in the Pink Dress on the door. I cut two pieces of brown paper; one to fit each sliding door and found a photo of the Fat Lady on the Internet. Then I sketched her in and colored her in with oil pastels. Then I finished out the edges to look like a stone wall. Now, if we can just remember the password! Was it Caput Draconus? or Fortuna Major? or Pig Snout?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Inside the Three Broomsticks

The Three Broomsticks is all set up now. I tried to make it look pub-like, but I really think it needs some antlers, don't you?

Anyway, we have a preponderance of red plaid, pewter mugs, playing cards, and even

a shrunken head that Teen2 made out of an apple.

And a bat flew through too. So what do you think?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hogwarts and Hogsmeade

Here is the set up for the front of the Three Broomsticks. I had to position a spot light up on the siding to help the name show, but I'm quite happy with it. Next I'll start decorating the inside to look like a pub.

And here is the Hogwarts sign over the front door. It too is made of Sintra (that PVC sign material). It was more difficult to illuminate and I'm not exactly happy with how it looks. Maybe I'll try another spot light from a different angle. I want it to be easy to read and right now the shadows are too confusing. Maybe the green light isn't right? What do you think. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Three Broomsticks

One of my plans for our Harry Potter Halloween Party is to turn our little cottage/shed/studio into the Three Broomsticks. I figure the kids will want hang out there just like they did in the books, so I'm trying to make it authentic yet kid proof. I plan to arrange two small tables and eight chairs like you'd see in a pub. I've put away the girly stuff and hung some red plaid curtains. I'll set out pewter mugs and cups, and a few bowls of snacks. I've even found a recipe for Butterbeer which I plan to test sometime this week.

LOM has already made the sign for out front. It's about 24"x30" and made out of Sintra. (Sintra is a PVC product that we use all the time in the sign industry.) That font is called Hogwarts and I found it online. Isn't it perfect? Has anyone got any more cute ideas for decorating the Three Broomsticks?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Grain Painting

We get some interesting jobs at work.... Like this grain painting on antique automobile parts. The owner is restoring the vehicle and the original parts were grain painted but worn, so he came to us to get them redone. Grain painting is not something we ordinarily do, but this man is an old and loyal customer so we are willing to try just about anything for him.

First we photographed all the parts and got color matches for the background and glazing. Then we sandblasted the parts, primed them and painted them this ochre color. Here is the glove box door.

I don't have any fancy graining brushes so I cut V shaped chunks out of a throw away brush to make one. Then I mixed equal parts faux painting glaze and a very dark brown color. Here is the "graining" brush loaded with glaze.

Step one is to apply the glaze in slow steady strips across the piece. If the lines are a little wiggly it doesn't matter, but the thickness of the paint should be consistent.
Notice how the curved window frames are even more wiggly because it's harder to do irregular shapes. But seriously, it won't matter.

Step Two is to drag a soft dry brush across the grain. This is where consistent application of paint in the first step really shows its importance. If you applied too much, it just makes a big smear, if you applied too little, it won't pull out the horizontal marks.
This is how you want it to look.

Step three is to stipple the wettest areas with a stiff dry brush. Stipple means to tap the surface with the tip of the brush. Above is a window frame and below is the glove box door after stippling.

Step four is to drag the soft dry brush back over the wettest areas with the grain this time.
I repeated those four steps again and again as I worked my way around the six window frames, the dash, and the glove box door. And then I repeated them again and again and again for the second coat.
This is how it finally looked. So don't be intimidated by grain painting. It just takes some faux painting glaze, a few simple tools, and lots of patience.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Locks of Love Again

It's been two years since Teen2 cut her hair for Locks of Love, and here she is doing it again, but this time, it's a lot shorter. I just love it and can hardly wait to see her elf ears peeking out. Well done, Teen2!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

And a Murder Mystery Too

Remember when I showed you this and said it was the start of something big? I'm glad to say it's almost finished. We have been invited to a murder mystery party this month and the Lord of the Manor supposed to be... No, wait, I'll let you guess.

I got the shirt, vest, jacket, and pants at a thrift store and I made the tie and added some lace to the cuffs of the jacket and pinned together some odd ribbons to hang from his pocket.

Then I checked the Halloween store for the hat and they had it alright, but wanted $35.00 for it. Too expensive for me, so I shopped online and found it for $25.00! I added two hatpins, and a real peacock feather and, Voila, his Mad Hatter costume is complete!

Isn't it a lovely hat? I had nightmares of myself trying to make one. I'm sure glad I found it. It has plenty of hair so I can snip off a bit for the wild red eyebrows too.

Now I just need to get busy on my costume. I'm supposed to be...No, wait, I'll let you guess...


Friday, October 1, 2010

Harry Potter Halloween Party

Hello, hello? Is anyone there? I'm sure you all thought I'd dried up and blown away, but no, I'm still here slogging through life one day at a time. It's been a wild and busy year with one crisis after another; health issues and surgeries for family members, business woes and the stress they bring, money going out and out and out, and just today $600 for a new motor for the washing machine! Don't get me wrong, there have been some good times too, but I for one will be glad to wave Bye bye to 2010. 2011 has GOT to be better, right?

This time of year I always start thinking of Halloween and planning a party. We are doing a Harry Potter theme this year. I've printed the invitations to look like Harry's acceptance letter and I've started setting up the rooms. The living room will be Professor Trelawny's classroom; Divination.

To create a smaller door, I built stone walls between two of the openings from the entry hall. Well, they aren't really stone walls....

they are brown paper that I colored to look like stone walls and taped into position. Then I hung tablecloths in the opening and pulled them back with some old tassels and made some glittery letters to say D I V I N A T I O N.

Then I moved the sofa out and substituted three small tables with red tablecloths and arranged comfy chairs around them.

At each table is a crystal ball. Ok, it's not really a crystal ball, but a glass globe from some old light fixture. I found them at thrift stores. I spent less than $2.00 for all three of them. I set them in some gadgets I found at the thrift store and around the house. I think maybe I'll spritz a little white paint in them to cloud them up a bit, but they look pretty good, don't they?

I think Professor Trelawny made them read Tarot cards too, so I scattered some of them around on this table too. I wonder what the King of Swords means?

At this table the students are studying tea leaves. Remember when Trelawny sees the Grim in Harry's cup? That's not the Grim in there now, is it? Gosh, I hope no one gets the Grim at our party.

Now I'm off to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I've been watching a lot of Harry Potter movies lately for inspiration and we can HARDLY WAIT until November when the next movie comes out. Are you a Harry Potter fan? Which character would you be if you came to our party?