Monday, December 10, 2018

Potter Party Pajamas: Come See What All Our Friends Wore!

As we all wait impatiently for me to get my exhausted kiester in gear and start posting final party photos and videos already (HURRY UP, JEN), let's take a look at what our friends wore! 

We had nearly 40 people crammed in our little house, so I won't show you EVERYONE - just the highlights that made me laugh the hardest or screech the loudest.

First the obligatory blurry selfie:


My badger hat is the creation of our friend and fellow CW writer Sharyn, who was our party's secret Santa Witch, giving away goodies left and right. (The badger hood I made way back when was too hot to wear, plus this one looks so much better!)

Now let's see what everyone ELSE wore:

Bahahaa! That's Dennis, Bonnie, Rachel & Matt. These two couples don't even know each other, but birds of a feather and Slytherins of a... scale?... flock together.

They all made their own Azkaban signs, and Matt and Rachel even brought their own pillows:

Plus Rachel socked it in the footwear arena:

A bunch of people made custom PJs using their Cricuts, and I was DYING over all the funny t-shirt slogans:
"The party don't start 'til I Slytherin" and "I believe in Thestrals." (I need a Thestral shirt now.)

Both Tim and Bianca are artists (along with half the crowd), so this is perfect. (Even the House stripes on their sleeves were made on the Cricut! Seriously, I need to get one of these magical machines.)

Katie and Kevin have more hysterical shirts, plus THE BEST SLIPPERS ERMERGERSH:

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Final Potter Party Update: Witches Get Snitches, A Niffler Repaint, & Our Goblet of Fire

So last night John and I filled the whole house with grease smoke from the banger we were test cooking, this morning John's foot went through the outside deck from a rotten board, and just now the garage door spring snapped (AAAAA), locking us out.


It's times like these I most love being married to John; the man is unflappable. He's a rock. He's an unflappable married rock with a cute Superman curl. Calamity strikes, and John just tilts his head, says, "Huh," and then sets about fixing every thing.

So, we have a garage repairman coming tomorrow (even we don't miss around with garage springs; they can kill you), John's already replaced the rotten board (mercifully a fluke from a pile of wet dirt underneath; the rest of the deck is sound), and the house, well, it may smell a little like sausages on Saturday. But that's OK, because we're serving sausages.

Speaking of our sausages (heyooo), quick shout-out to Whole Foods, of all places, where this fabulous meat department guy named Mark custom-made gluten-free Bangers for us - on all the properly cleaned equipment and everything, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. Wha whaaaaaaaaat? They taste amazing, too - probably even better when you eat them in a house NOT filled with grease smoke.

Now let me show you more party crafts! Our final Big Build is in the Puzzle Room, so that's staying under wraps for now, but I have a ton of small silly stuff to share:

The second I spotted these gold ornaments at Dollar Tree I knew exactly what they were:

Giant Snitches! They even have the swirly design! 

All I needed were some of those silver glittery leaves/feathers you see everywhere at Christmas... until you start LOOKING for them, at which point they evaporate into the ether. I finally gave up searching and cut some thrift store leaves instead, which John spray-painted silver. Drilled two small holes, a little hot glue, and bam:

Giant snitches!

I even had the perfect place to put my big balls. (Oh, like I wasn't going to use THAT joke):

 Right over the Kitty Quidditch Tower! Which you can see I decked out with a little garland wreath around the window. (And you get a bonus kitty action shot.)

Eva says hi.

I hope to have better photos for the official party post, btw; these are all phone pics taken at night.

I assumed the cats would try to destroy the snitch garland, but amazingly, not a single nibble. They're too busy eating every other piece of garland and greenery I have out.

I'll walk you through all the Puzzle Room builds in a separate post, since there are a lot and I don't want to spoil it for the guests, but here are two small things:

Remember my $3 thrift store cage? I suspended my Soot Sprite (by the amazing Monster Cafe, go follow them!) from a bit of fishing line inside, so it's floating. This made me unexpectedly and ridiculously happy. :D I think it'll be staying out year-round in the Game Room after this.

And a slightly more complex craft:

I made all these rune markers from rolled out clay, which I cut with a bottle top. I used a straw to poke holes for the leather cords, pressed the symbols in with a wooden stick, textured with a stiff paintbrush, then painted & dry-brushed with craft paint. I already had the clay, tools, and paint, so this was a freebie craft. Love those. Plus I think they turned out really looking like stone!

The runes are attached to various potion bottles around the room, and are part of my favorite puzzle. You'll see all of that later, promise.

Not my craft at all, but I think you'll like this:

"Beware the Nargles" mistletoe, hanging over the doorway to the deck! This was a gift from one of you readers a few years ago (I'm sorry I don't remember which one!), and I love having the perfect spot for it this year.

The weekend after Thanksgiving - when I was still so weak from being sick - my one and only outing was to stagger to Box Lunch with John to buy this Niffler game:
 It was $20, down from $30. Honestly it's barely worth that much, but it's a ridiculously easy game for parties (you stack coins 'til the plate tips) and super cute, so, SOLD.

All the plain plastic pieces were making my eye twitch, though:

So... plasticky.

You know the drill: I slapped a bunch of black paint on everything, then quickly wiped it off again. Annnd:

 Look what a difference! Aaaaaa, bliss.

The coins took a teensy bit longer (HA), because I aged both sides of all 64 coins, then Rub N' Buffed both sides of all 64 coins. My hands looked like they'd been tarred and gilded by the time I was done.

Now you can see the designs in the coins, though, which look surprisingly cool!

This is mostly a game of dexterity; it's VERY HARD to pick up the coins with the little wand shovels:

I also aged the base, but the Niffler didn't need anything; he's great as-is:

And I found the perfect plastic tray at Walmart for $2! This way I can move the whole game around while keeping the pieces together. (It'll be on the coffee table in the Common Room.) 

 I have so much more, you guys, but let me end with the one that's made us laugh the hardest:

A few weeks ago we found the most incredible urn/vase thing at a thrift store for $8:

The inner jewel thing is orange swirly resin. I didn't realize before this, but WOW does that look cool in photos! It's actually a little less impressive in real life, ha.

Anyway, at first I thought it would go in the Common Room, since it looks like a trophy, but I never found the right spot for it. Then, as John and I were brainstorming ways to give out some door prizes, a FLASH OF INSPIRATION.

(Brace yourselves.)

We are hilarious, you guys.

(When I texted this photo to John he reported back that half the aisle at Walmart now thought he was insane, he laughed so hard.)

I should mention John has a long-standing, much vocalized dislike for Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore (#NotMyDumbledore), so a lot of our friends have sent this meme his way, and love to bring up the famously "calm" Goblet of Fire scene. (If you're lost, a quick Google will give you all you need to know - plus some laughs.)

We've also determined that, during the drawing, John will wear a long fake beard and attempt to body-slam the winners into the wall. You know, for authenticity.

And on that note, I'm off to try to finish this baby:

We won't stop thinking of new things to make 'til the moment the party starts. It's a sickness. A beautiful, stressful sickness. :D

Stay tuned for so much more. Just... just so much.  

Love you guys. TTFN!