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:
OOH LA LA
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, Rachael & 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 Rachael even brought their own pillows:
Plus Rachael 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.)
Her shirt says "Wingardium Mimosa" and his is "Too Legit To Quidditch." Then Kevin made himself a pillow version of Godric Gryffindor's sword!
But let's talk about their feet, please:
WHA WHAAAAAAT. Luna Lion slippers & Butter Beer Kegs that lit up when he walked!
I am not worthy to have these people in my house.
If I may continue to rave, those two ALSO brought Sorting Hat cookies that had us all losing our minds:
We had soooo much food here, but these cookies went like hot cauldron cakes. I can attest the GF ones were completely delicious, and gave me my last smile of the night when, around 3AM, I cracked open the very last one and got sorted into Hufflepuff. PERFECTION.
(Since it's a FAQ: the inside is colored Marshmallow fluff!)
Robyn and Christie were probably hating our 75 degree house more than anyone, but look how adorable they are:
A lion and a raven kigurumi! I love the wings!
And here are their parents - who John and I've also adopted as our "Florida parents" - Anna & John:
I told Anna I want to steal her whole outfit. Thank you, Christie, for convincing her the socks weren't too "silly." :D :D :D (They're both total geeks and gamers, and every major holiday they throw open their house for all of us without relatives in town. I love these two to bits.)
Warren and Jaimie wore Dementor and Patronus Pjs:
His floating impression is worth adding another GIF here:
Alexie made a matching sleep cap for John - you'll see that soon.
Dana is the one who also throws an amazing Potter party every year - it was just last weekend, you saw pics if you follow my IG Story - and he makes and sells custom wands like the one he's holding. Getting his approval on our Party each year is like getting that extra gold star from the teacher.
In addition to crocheting all our House mascot scarves and more fantastic hats that I'll show you in a minute, Sharyn also provided Niffler cupcakes:
These are so funny, and easy to make: just stick Milano cookies and sugar eyes on store-bought cupcakes! Brilliant!
Remember I told you Sharyn made more hats? LOOK:
She brought these to give to people at the party. Her Slytherin sleep cap is my favorite by far (modeled here by its new owner Tim), and the Gryffindor one gives you a mane if you tie it under your chin. SO CUTE.
John and I invited some friends we haven't seen in nearly 10 years, and despite their being self-described "Harry Potter newbies" they showed up IN THIS:
YASSSS. I love it when friends are good sports. I told them we'll explain all the stuff they bought to wear soon enough. (Sue is wearing a full wig, headband, and Ravenclaw robe, haha.)
And the last one I'll show you is Traci, in the Ravenclaw jammies she made herself:
She also made a matching dress and tiara for her doll:
It's glittered craft foam, but even up close, I thought it was real metal.
And finally, LOOK AT HER EAGLE FEET:
She modified Chewbacca slippers to turn them into eagles, and I love this so much I can't even.
(In the books the Ravenclaw mascot is an eagle, not a raven. So Traci has all her bases covered here.)
More treats - these are from Dennis the Slytherin, so I especially appreciate his ingredient card:
It's pretty awesome having geeky friends, you guys.
It was also wonderful seeing this room that we've been working on for so long bursting with people!
They even played the Niffler Challenge - though instead of trying to tip him over, they did the opposite:
And as Christie reported later, "WE WON." (These are her photos. :D)
I was so busy hosting I only took outfit photos as people came in, so I'm stealing some of these group shots from our friends. It makes my heart happy to see people who'd never met before tonight taking photos together!
SHOE-FI. (Pic by Kevin Grab)
And hey, for those of you feeling a little sad, wishing YOU had a ton of geek friends - because I hear from a lot of you after posts like this - let me just say: it takes time. I'm amazed myself when I look around, because John and I used to have very few local friends. They were all online. But we went to cons and theme park meetups and even [gasp] PARTIES, and we talked to artists and cosplayers and people we kept seeing at the same events, and we took some chances and went on a lot of awkward friend dates and eventually, over a lot of years, we found Our Tribe. It takes time. Keep trying.
I've saved one or my favorite parts - and photos - for last.
Well, once the time for the drawing came, John made his big entrance wearing this:
It's like Duck Dynasty meets Harry Potter.
John bellowed at everyone, demanding to know if they'd put their names in the Goblet of Fire, and he gave a few shoulders a good shake, and the whole crowd was laughing and it was pretty much the best.
Then we gave away a bunch of stuff provided by Sharyn, which I'd wrapped in that cute Badger paper from Ikea. The rules were if you didn't like your prize you could give it to someone else in the crowd, but amazingly only 2 or 3 people did.
I really should have brought the wide angle lens for this.
The crowds tapered down significantly after the drawing, with our final group lasting 'til about 2AM. Then John and I were up 'til nearly 5 cleaning and putting away everything outside, since it was about to rain and we're not sure our Thestral is waterproof. Picture me and John wearing our ridiculous PJs *plus* headlamps, carrying a life-sized undead horse around the side of the house in the pitch dark. Our current neighbors moved in about 2 weeks ago, and I was SO HOPING someone would peek out a window right about then. ::evil grin::
After far too little sleep that morning, a group of about 8 of us headed out to Universal to see some of the holiday shows. They canceled Celestina's show because of the rain? I think? ::SOB:: but we saw the castle projection show, which is lovely. Plus I took this photo:
... and we got to spend more time with friends we don't see enough, so it was a good day.
Stay tuned for the final photo gallery of all our party decorations, including a video walk-through, once we film it. ::nervous grin:: I can't wait for you to hear our drunken singing suit of armor, and see our magical fireplace in action. I have plenty more crafty surprises, too, since we were building and adding things right up until a few hours before the party started.
We'll also be filming our entire Potter-themed escape room, which went off better than I could have hoped! All night folks were waiting their turn at it, and the best part was hearing the whoops of victory and amazement through the door. I'll show you all our builds and puzzles, AND the super secret prizes for the room that I've been keeping under wraps 'til now: our custom made Huffle Bumble Pygmy Puffs.
John and I have my parents visiting this week and Holiday Matsuri this weekend, so there's no rest for these weary 'Puffs, I'm afraid. It's all good, though; I hope you guys are as excited as I am to see all our months of hard work finally coming together!