Thursday, November 15, 2018

Magical Wizarding World Pics & A Little Life Rambling

Well helloooo, you. I have a pile of pretty Potter pictures here, plus a desire to sit and chat. Cool?


I should mention I've decided not to stress (or at least TRY not to) over the fact that Epbot is basically becoming a Harry Potter Christmas blog this month. This is brave, this is mildly obsessive...THIS IS ME.

 I promise after the Hufflepuff party and next month's fabulous Christmas con and then the Festival of Trees and everything I'll get back to other fandom things. Probably. [Cut to me running madly through twinkle lights yelling "I'M NEVER GOING BACK YOU CAN'T MAKE MEEEEE!!"]


Oh hey look, my favorite Alley:

I took this a few weeks ago before all the pretty garlands went up, so it's much sparklier now.

I love looking for new angles; pretty sure you could blindly point your camera in any direction in the Wizarding World and find something beautiful:

Look at that crest and plaster work. LOOK AT IT.

If you stand to the right side of the steps during Celestina's show, you can get some lovely crowd-free shots:

I can't wait to see her Holiday Spell show again. Eeeee!

Goblin armor is best armor.
(The tiny suit is the one that assembles itself when you wave your wand, so you have to time this shot just right.)

Ever notice the corbels inside the Forbidden Journey gift shop?

I need to find a place for one of these in our house. And then, you know, steal and/or make one. 

(Picturing myself standing guard while John goes at one of these with a chisel is brightening my afternoon. Just sayin'.)

I played with a lot of window reflections, with limited success:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dressing To The 9 3/4s At Universal Orlando

Last year John and I went to our first Dressed To The 9 3/4s Day - essentially Dapper Day for Potter heads - and had so much fun it went on our yearly "must do" list. It's a fan-run event, and still small enough to have that intimate, everyone's-friends-here vibe - something I really miss at the literal Mega Cons we usually cover.

Well, yesterday was the day again, and you guys - hard as this is to believe - it was even better this year. 


It's a Jacob/Queenie sandwich!

One of you is friends with Will in the middle there, and sent him to find us for a selfie. HI, SOMEONE!! Also Will stabbed me through the heart later - keep scrolling for that photo, ha.

So sassy. SO EVIL. :p

I missed the big group photo by about 15 minutes, but here's a shot by Travis Kirk to show you how many people we're talking about:

See? Just enough folks so you feel like a part of something, but not so many that you block traffic. (Well, unless you count all the Muggles who stopped to stare and ask questions.)

Last year John and I had a big posse of friends walking around with us all day, but this year we flew solo (duo?) for the first hour, then were joined by one or two more as the day went on. This made it so much easier to mingle and meet folks, though - to the point that John had to drag me away a few times. (I LIKE TALKING ABOUT COSTUMES. What.)

 Let's see if you can guess this trio's theme; it took me a second:

Did you guess? 

They're the Snitch, a Quaffle, and a Quidditch tower! WHAAAAAT. (See how they have Quidditch goal posts for canes, and her Quidditch necklace?

More pretty details:

She has a tiny snitch and quaffle on each wrist, and a Beater's bat in her belt! 

More Fantastic fashions:

 And a stylin' Professor Sprout:
 I want to steal her shoes.

Some people walk towards the light, I walk towards the color:

Friday, November 9, 2018

DIY Cake-Eating Huffle-Plants: Because Flower Arranging Has Never Been THIS Fun

Yikes, where did this week go?! Sorry to drop off the map there; John relapsed from his "cold" - which turned out to be viral Bronchitis - so it's been hectic over here on the party-prepping front. He's still pushing through, and I think may finally - FINALLY - be better, but we're looking at the mountain of projects ahead and freaking out juuuust a little, haha. Still having fun, but also lying awake nights going "WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!"

Let me show you one of the few things I've finished and installed and am actually super happy with, because they were a blast to make AND make me grin:


My Cake-Eating Huffle Plants.

Not canon in any way, so don't hex me, Potter purists; I just needed more magical plants, and after the Mimbulus debacle I've put off making a mandrake for now.

Besides, look at these sweet lil' faces:


Now with their lights on:


I know these give off serious "FEED ME SEYMOUR" vibes, but since they're 'Puff plants I've decided they're on a strict pastry diet, no human flesh.

Plus they were so fun to make! Here, let me walk you through it:

Monday, November 5, 2018

My Funniest Fail: Making A Mimbulus Mimbletonia

Our Hufflepuff Common Room needs a lot of plants, so John and I've been scouring local thrift stores for every $3 bunch of greenery we can find:

It's a jungle in here.

That's filler, though, since of course we also need more magical plants.

On that front I have one "bad" project and one good to show you, so let's start with the bad, since it's funnier. Making one of these:

Oh yes, it's that blasted Mimbulus Mimbletonia. This "quick" project has taken forever and failed on so many levels, but you guys claim you LIKE seeing my fails (a collective masochistic streak, I presume), so here, let me walk you through our many and varied screw-ups.

Screw Up The First:

This started as a great base of Styrofoam balls, but John should have started with it already in a pot, since it's nearly impossible to cram it in one after the fact. Didn't realize this 'til the very end. Oops.

The Problem #2

A crappy expanding foam job that I had to mostly carve off again. I'm kicking myself for not taking a before picture - it was quite funny - but here's the after:

 I later learned there IS a way to build spray foam up in little sections, which is what we should have done instead of letting loose all in one go. Again, oops.

Third Time's The Harm

Thinking, "how bad CAN it crack, really?" I covered the whole thing in air-dry clay. I wrapped it in a wet towel, since Internet People claim that helps prevent cracking.


Four Score & Many Tears Ago

Trying to salvage the clay layer, I carefully smeared on a coat of Crack Shot spackle paste, which doesn't shrink and remains somewhat flexible. (Why didn't I start with this instead of the clay to begin with? Your guess is as good as mine. ::siiiigh::) 

Fortunately Crack Shot smooths out beautifully with just a little water and a rough washcloth after it dries, so I was able to get an OK finish on it:

Friday, November 2, 2018

For John's Birthday I Got You A Funny Story & Cat Photos

John's been sick most of this week, so party prep and life in general has ground to a halt - but you know the one upside to a miserable, sleep-deprived John?

FACEBOOK UPDAAAATES. (Remember all these during the hurricane last year? GOLD.)

Take it away, John:


This story made me laugh and laugh after my night of blissfully uninterrupted sleep. [evil grin]
John included two photos with his post, so I'm guessing this next one is after he caved and let Suki-the-Tank back in the room with him again:

 Look how happy she is.

Oh hey, this is an excellent time to mention that today is John's birthday! ...and I didn't get him anything. Well, I mean, technically I got him that Kreacher painting, but since I surprised him with it early I'm empty-handed today, so here I am, telling all you guys, so maybe you'll share a funny meme or photo or just wish John a happy birthday in the comments or on FOE or Facebook.

And since this isn't really a real post, here, have a few more cat pictures:

The little cat paintings are by our friend Bianca. Aren't they purrfect?

Let's not forget that Eva is the good, NON-door-shaker one. :D

Mostly because Eva prefers jumping on top of them now: