Helloooo! So our big Potter Christmas party happened Saturday night, and I have pictures.
This is by no means complete, and the pictures are just cellphone snaps, but I'll show you the main attractions, a little of the food, a little of the decorations, and a lot of our awesome friends' costumes. Just know that I'd have you all here if our house was a TARDIS, and I desperately hope this doesn't come across in a "look how cool we are" kind of way, but more of a "wish you were here, 'til then come be happy nerds with us" kind of way.
Right, 'nuff talk. PEEKTURE TIME!
You've seen our Potter tree before, I know, but gotta start at the beginning.
I'll have a whole House Tour later this month, taken with my DSLR; there are just too many little things to photograph for this post!
Right, turn around, and here we go: the Big Attraction.
Diagon Alley brick archway!
...and walk through it for...
The Big Reveal:
An entire room of floating candles!
There are "only" 80 candles. Next year I'll go for an even hundred.
A pretty panorama:
The flickering candles make the ceiling look like stormy clouds, which I looove.
Here, you really have to watch them in action:
(Sorry it's a bit wobbly at first; I took this just after the party ended, around 3 in the morning. o.0)
We arranged some of the candles so they'd look like they were gently floating down to light the tree:
If you look closely, you can see several candles actually ON the tree. I'd like to add more later.
In the back corner is my HoneyDukes table:
John found the table at a thrift store for $8. I like the fun little display cubbies around the bottom!
I'm too cheap to buy all the fancy unwrapped candies, so we made do with Wal-Mart candy canes, butterscotch, peppermints, and gummy bears:
We used Jelly Belly beans for the Bertie Bott's boxes, and those Chocolate Frogs you see are getting their OWN post, coming soon. Stay tuned for a fun surprise & tutorial.
The stained glass doors just beside this open out onto our deck, which was almost as magical as the floating candles, but much harder to photograph:
John threw 300 feet of LED lights into the yard, set to a slow twinkle. Then we placed torches around the deck edge, and set up speakers playing this "epic fantasy" music for ambiance. (I also recommend the Dark Winter mix. Very pretty.) There were some literal "ooh"s and "ahhh"s when people stepped out here!
John built all new wooden benches for seating, and we had a table set up for Smores assembly. Our final little group of revelers ended up out here 'til 2 in the morning, chatting and watching the embers die, when a cute armadillo shuffled over to say hi. MAGIC, I tell you!
The food disappeared faster than I could photograph, so I don't have a pretty table shot with platters overflowing, but here's one my friend Christie took before all the food was out:
And a kitchen photo of a few Treacle Tarts:
And Cauldron Cakes:
We've been working on recipes for a while now. The Treacle Tarts went through 5 revisions before we nailed it, and we put a few delicious twists on the classic recipe. John has declared them - when combined with clotted cream - "the best thing I've ever put in my mouth." Ha.
John also made amazing sausage pasties & savory pumpkin pasties. Don't worry, I'll be posting allll the recipes later, since you're going to want to try these.
Our Pensieve Punch got it's own special spot in our apothecary alcove:
We also had Fizzy Pumpkin Juice Cider, hot Butterbeer, and shots of Felix Felicis and Fire Whiskey:
The Felix Felicis tasted different to everyone, which, talk about perfect! It was a combination of flavored vodkas, and had notes of chocolate, orange, whipped cream, and butterscotch.
For entertainment I made a Scavenger Hunt, because I love - LOVE - making riddles:
It was fantastic watching everyone hunt through the house, and since it was spread all over (and even on to the deck) folks were able to avoid spoilers pretty easily. I really wish you could all do this hunt; not gonna lie, I'm quite proud of it. It's hard enough that it took folks a while to do, but in the end - with a few generous hints - everyone got them all!
Now, can we talk about how awesome our friends are? Because, I mean:
(Merlin and Mad Madam Mim! Bahaha! ... I'll allow it.)
... they're pretty awesome.
Professor Sprout (aka Steph) had magical seed packets stuffed in her pockets, while Ravenclaws Jen & Jeff brought mini copies of the Quibbler to hand out!
Melissa here made me the sweetest little Floo Powder pin, explaining it was perfect for folks like us with anxiety:
She's wearing two of them clipped to her sweater.
The perfect emergency get-away. Maybe if I believe it enough, it will work? :)
Tim here helped John assemble nearly 100 pasties the day before the party - so he's earned that plate.
I actually forgot to start taking pictures until several hours into the party (o.0) so here's the only shot I have of Traci wearing her Ginny Weasely Yule Ball gown:
(Traci is on the left.)
This is also my only shot where you can see John's ridiculous elf socks. Ha!
Speaking of which, look how cute John is:
He's an Honorary House Elf! He made his own hat, no pattern, and I painted his apron. That's a S.P.E.W. badge on the pocket, and there's also a silhouette of Dobby on the other side. Since John spent the night running out more food from the kitchen, the apron was perfect for his costume.
I kind of forgot to plan my own outfit 'til the last minute, so I'm wearing things from my closet with this $12 hat from Amazon, which I Christmas'd up with the biggest poinsettia flower I could find at Michael's and a little sparkly ribbon.
(I'm also wearing this metal Felix Felicis necklace I bought at a convention.) The hat is surprisingly comfy - though hugs were tricky - and it has a wire so you can bend the tip any way you want.
After about half the party-goers had left, we attempted some group shots:
Though I do like Danny's Newt-inspired ensemble:
(Taken from Danny's Instagram account.)
These two showed up at the front door like this:
I thought it was a sparkly Dementor - turns out it's an invisibility cloak. Ha!
But now I want to see a sparkly Christmas Dementor.
"Pardon me, could you direct me to Knockturn Alley?"
Look at his creepy wand!
It has a hand sculpted on the handle! And I love his lil' Dobby in the pocket.
Merlin up there (aka Charlie Thurston) made us our very own sleepy delivery owl:
And Facebots, check it out: Traci made us a custom R2-Squee2!
And finally, here's a crazy little video Tim (the one with the creepy hand wand) put together of the party. I think you guys will get a kick out of it:
The rainbow cloud part made me LOL.
Oh, forgot to mention the music! What I wanted was all Celestina Warbeck songs, of course, but since only one of hers has been released online (the rest you can only hear live at the park show), I did my best to match that vintage feel with a mix of Big Band numbers, old jazzy Christmas songs, and things like Frank Sinatra's "Witchcraft." I made a Youtube playlist so you can check it out. Then I tacked on the entire album of Craig Duncan's Irish Christmas, just because.
Here's the vintage playlist:
Here's the vintage playlist:
I realized after the fact that we know almost every single person who came to the party because of this blog. They're a combination of readers we met on meetups, cosplayers I've photographed, artists I've featured, or friends/spouses of one of those groups. Talk about amazing, this blog has given John and me almost all of our closest friends today! It's really quite humbling. That's why we do so many meetups, and why we hope to never ever take you guys for granted.
So, thank you, for making this party possible. Whether you know it or not, you were here in spirit, and John and I were able to do and make all this crazy geekery because of your support.
Oh, who am I kidding, we'd have done it all anyway. But it's nice to know OTHER people like to see our geekery, too.
Right. Now John and I have to go hand assemble 900 Epbot pins to mail out this week. o.0 Hope you guys enjoyed the photo blitz, and look for more later!