Saturday, 30 December 2017

Harry Potter party

On 27th December we had a Harry Potter party.
This started with Hogwarts acceptance letters (invitations) sent by Muggle post.

Sealed with a Hogwarts seal and wax (bought from Ebay)

The letters were addressed with New font, downloadable and easy to find on Pinterest. It's wonderful that so many people have done the hard work first to find fonts and everything needed for a Harry Potter party! :)
Each letter had instructions to turn up dressed in robes (no Muggle clothes) and included a printed Hogwarts Express ticket.

For the day itself there was a display of potions in appropriately grubby bottles with a variety of carefully selected contents.

Other potions featured in Madame Rosmerta's Bar.

Honeydukes was also represented with a fine selection of sweets

And Floo powder ready and waiting by the fire

Guests were (L-R) 
Back row- Harry, Hedwig, Dobby, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Rita Skeeter, Prof Trelawney, Ginny Weasley, a Dementor and Harry (number 2).
Front row - 2 golden snitches, Voldemort, Bellatrix Lestrange (x2), Luna Lovegood.
Some very inventive costumes here!

First stop was Ollivander's Wand Shop with a light to test if the wand was correct (the wand chooses the wizard after all!) If it was the 'right' one, the light came on with the Lumos spell.
The wands were collected by my husband (Dumbledore!), sanded and varnished.
Then the games began!
We had Hogwarts Bingo to introduce people to each other - we had to go round and collect each other's names for our own Bingo sheet.
Then we were sorted, not by a hat but a bag, which had coins in for each house.
Sorting coins

Team games were 
Duelling (each team has to name a magical creature in turn, then a Hogwarts Professor)
Library quiz - naming quotes from the books and completing quotes
Accio Butterbeer - dropping a wand into a beer bottle from a chair, not as easy as it sounds!

Cards in the cauldron - a very simple party game of aiming to get cards into a cauldron; 10 points for the cauldron and 5 for getting them on the paper round the cauldron.
Charms & spells - matching the spells to their descriptions.
Who's in the Cauldron? was the final game. A team game based on Charades where one team member draws out a name and has to describe them without saying the name. Round two is miming the person - very difficult when they are all connected to Hogwarts! Round three is one word to describe the person!

We even had a suitably Hagrid-style birthday cake.

A lucky dip gift for the end of the evening, filled with a Harry Potter keyring or necklace. The bags were made from Marauders' Map paper.

Great fun was had by all. It was a lot of fun planning and arranging everything, and on the day everyone chipped in to help get it all in place. 
We had some pumpkin pasta to eat, but that was insignificant compared to the laughter all through the evening. As I've said before, all the ideas were collected from Pinterest, and I have created a board called Harry Potter themed party. 

And finally, a sad little picture from the morning after! 
(Hope it's not too traumatic for Harry Potter fans!)

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Harry Christmas!

It's a Harry Potter themed Christmas this year, as on 27th December we're having a Harry Potter party! So I decided to go all out and decorate the tree with themed decorations as well. In case you're wondering Pinterest is the source of all amazing ideas relating to Harry Potter crafting! I'll come to the party itself on another post, so I'm focussing here on the tree.
As usual, we have a driftwood 2d tree as it hangs against the wall (great space-saver!). 
This year the decs I've made are -
mini Hogwarts acceptance letters (fonts available to download from Pinterest)

Dementor relief chocs (mini Green & Blacks wrapped in printed labels, on some parchment type paper I happened to have).

Flying keys (keys bought from ebay and decorated with beaded wings).

Golden snitches (mini gold baubles with feather wings glued in place).

Marauders' map stars (origami stars from here. The paper is Marauders' map decorated, from ebay).

Mini broomsticks (thin twigs with unravelled twine glued on and bound with wire).

Mini potions 
These I am most proud of!
The bottles are from Hobbycraft as is the glitter glue inside them. The glue is mixed with a proportion of hot water to disperse it. The labels are a download from here.  

Mini wands
twigs decorated with hot glue and painted gold - fiddly, but worth it!

Left over feathers from the snitches brushed with a bit of blue paint and the ends dipped in ink.

Parchment rolls
photocopied pages from the books rolled and tied.

Stars with mini Harry Potter books.
The books were a great find from Etsy, sold as dolls house decorations.
I already had the stars from Hobbycraft (although only 6 at this point!) so painted them gold and strung the books on them. I decided not to glue the books on in case I want to do something else with them after.

And here's what the whole tree looks like, complete with the set of books, a Marauders' map and Hedwig, who my son kept from his childhood! 

Finally a close up of the decs in situ!
The glass baubles I had already, and added the text about the Remeberall to one of them.

I had such a great time making these decorations, I hope you enjoy them! 
#harrypotter #harrychristmas #mindfulness&creativity

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Peace is every step

No need for explanation!
#Thichnhathanh #mindfulnessandcreativity #papercutting

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Brush lettering

Really enjoying brush lettering practice at the moment, in preparation for a workshop in a couple of weeks. It's a real struggle for me getting to grips with the intricacies of the different pressure on the up and down strokes but I am having fun playing.

Here's a whole collection of thank yous for monastics and lay people who had contributed towards the Miracle of Mindfulness: Nourishing Happiness retreat in August.

And this is what I was working on today. A beautiful quote from Thich Nhat Hanh in his most recent book The Art of Living 
It's so difficult to get the consistency right with the letters but it just takes practice! :) 

#Thichnhathanh #mindfulnessandcreativity #brushlettering 

Monday, 17 July 2017

If you read these words - holiday doodling

After some time sitting in the shade or playing in the pool, I have found time for some holiday doodling and really enjoyed playing with pattern and shapes. This one emerged over several days and on the final day it was obvious to me to add the words, which became a poem on the Mindful Living blog

Here is the complete page (A4) 

And hear of some close ups of the different sections.
Love the fluidity of how the shapes and patterns dance together!

As this followed on the next day. Playing with dots, inspired by @roannawells
I'm inspired to take this further when I get home, and use paint to create the dots,
and probably stitches! :)

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Playing with paper

Lots of playing with paper recently.
Calligraphy cards

This one is from a poem I wrote.

This is one of my favourite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh

And these next two are both quotes from Swamiji.

Lots of playing with squares here

and my personal favourite (for now!)

A paper mandala 
using a brand new, recently purchased bird punch 

Finally a quote from Rumi. Love the way the sunlight shines through the gold droplets :)

Monday, 29 May 2017

Blue furnishings

At last we are having a dedicated meditation space in the garden, in the form of a log cabin. The cabin is up but not yet treated or painted, so no photos of it yet. But I have been working on cushion covers and decorations for the inside. This bank holiday I have been mostly folding origami birds that will hang from the ceiling.

There are 60 altogether in 5 different blue papers. I especially love the paisley ones and the darker blue with flowers!
I have also made denim cushion covers for various cushions I found scattered around the house.

The purple one in the middle is from an old jumper!
Had lots of fun making these, and it has been AGES since I used my sewing machine, and happy to be creating something for our beautiful meditation space. I will post pictures of the interior when it is ready.