Thursday, October 31, 2013

Harry Potter Halloween: House Points Ceremony

Every year we have a costume contest. I also hold a contest for food. There are always multiple prizes as I am a believer of spreading the love... This year our prizes were courtesy of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. The bags were filled with joke items and some ton-tongue taffy (carmels). No, I didn't get a picture of them either...

The voting ballots were next to the Goblet of Fire. After one was done voting, they placed their paper in the Goblet to be counted and we held a little ceremony to award the prizes. I am so glad everyone will vote, it makes it a lot less stressful for me to present the awards. I like to see what everyone else thinks too!

Thanks to those who made this party a HUGE success! I couldn't have pulled it off without a TON of help from my husband and my bestie (the Bogart). They really are the best!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Harry Potter Halloween: Honeyduke's Sweet Shoppe

Honeyduke's Candy Shop is THE place to get all sorts of magical treats. I had a fun time in the bulk candy section at the store and when I set it all up, the Harry Potter Wiki was a tremendous help. 

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans

I set up a list of the possible flavors you might get if you dare to serve yourself some beans.

Yes, I made the chocolate frogs

I used these little cauldrons for the kids. They each had a few pieces of each of the candies, so the moms could better control the amount of sugar they wanted their children to consume...

I also found this recipe for frozen butterbeer. It was the highlight (in my book) of the food table. I was tempted not to share it... Somehow, I failed to get a picture... 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Harry Potter Halloween: Quidditch

I did a little research and found that there is an International Quidditch Association. There are over 300 teams worldwide who play this co-ed contact sport... for real! I kinda want to go to a match! Well, if you are interested, I based my game off the official IQA rulebook, found on their website. Who knew?!

The biggest project of the party was the 6 Quidditch hoops. The adventure started at the home improvement store. The associates there are trained on all sorts of things... I do not think Quidditch hoops was on our particular helper's list of questions he'd been asked... His face was rather priceless.

Well, 2 1/2 hours later, we came out of the Depot with tubing, electrical tubing, rebar, and gold spray paint. Our hoops measure 6 ft, 4.5 ft, and 4 ft tall. The actual hoop is 33 inches wide.

They are kinda hard to see in the picture but they turned out awesome!
 The rest of the supplies needed are 14 brooms, a sock, and 5 balls: the Quaffle (ours was a deflated red dodge ball), 3 Bludgers (I found some smaller balls at WalMart for cheap), and the Golden Snitch (I spray painted a giant bouncy ball gold).

The rules are fairly simple. Each team has 7 players. Each of the players has a broom to "ride." There is a Keeper who mans the hoops, two Beaters who use the Bludgers to "knock out" the other players, three Chasers who try to score a goal through the hoop with the Quaffle, and the Seeker who tries to catch the Snitch. You will need at least one other person to be the Snitch. It is this players job to attach the snitch to the back of his pants with the sock and do anything and everything to avoid getting caught.

Each time a ball goes through the hoop it is counted as 10 points. The Seeker that catches the Snitch earns an extra 30 points and the game ends. If you are hit with a Bludger, you are considered "knocked out." If you are knocked out then you must touch your team's hoops to return to play. If you score a goal after you are knocked out, it doesn't count. The game continues until the Snitch is caught.

I have wondered what the neighbors thought of us playing in the neighborhood park... Everyone was dressed to the hilt in wizarding garb running around with brooms between their legs... But it was a blast!

The guy on the left is the Snitch. He was amazing! 

Despite not being able to see through his hair, Hagrid was rather good at this!

As it happens, the Bogart was the winning Seeker! She was the winning play in both games we played!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Harry Potter Halloween: Wands and a Wizard's Duel

Every party needs a favor. I was crazy enough to think that everyone should have a wand! This was my labor of love this year. I think everyone had a fun time with them as well...

Professor Sprout and Mad-eye Moody's Wands

I found this wand making tutorial online. These are made out of paper and hot glue (aka. super cheap), but they took a lot of time to assemble and design. I was originally going to finish them all and set up an Olivander's shop for each guest to find the wand that had chosen them... It would have been a cleaner way to do it... but not nearly as much fun as having them choose a base wand and painting their wand to fit their style! When my guests arrived we directed them to Olivander's Wand table where they could paint and decorate their wands.

After they dried some, a few of the wizards tested them out in a duel. The wizards start with their backs together. They then take three steps away from each other and quickly strike their best "spell casting" pose. I wish I had better pictures as these don't do it full justice. But it was a lot of fun!

Harry Potter Halloween: Costumes

I asked all of my guests to dress in the likeness of a character from the Harry Potter series. They did not disappoint! The costumes were amazing! I thought everyone was so clever and creative with their costumes, I was glad I opted to vote on costumes. I couldn't have picked one out myself... The photos could be better... but you get the idea!

Professor Quirrel and the Sorcerer's Stone
Quirrel even brought He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!

The Grangers (aren't they dentists?)

Nevill Longbottom (with the sword of Gryffindor) and Luna Lovegood

Fleur Delacour and Hagrid

We have a Ravenclaw student, Rita Skeeter, the Bogart (Snape dressed in Nevill's Grandmother's clothes), and the Muggle. :)

Just as the party was starting we had a knock on our front door. When we answered the door we found this on our front porch...

This is baby Harry(etta) Potter. She got points for best arrival!

Professor Trelawny and Baby Harry(etta)

These are the Messers. Moony, Padfoot, Wormtail, and Prongs. (The Cutest Wormtail. Ever.)

The Troll and the Lovely Hedwig

A better look at Nevill's Bogart

Mad-eye Moody, Dobby, Professor Sprout and the Baby Mandrake
The Baby Mandrake up close. When she cried, everyone covered their ears. Classic!
Dobby showing off his sock. Yes, he's a free elf!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Harry Potter Halloween: Decorations

Our new house turned into a version of Hogwarts for the month of October. The thing about Harry Potter decorations is that they can be as simple or as complicated as your time and imagination will allow. This year, budget and time (something about having a newborn baby...) did not allow for decor as extravagant as my imagination allowed... But I gave it some effort and I had a lot of fun getting things ready for my guests. Most of my "decorations" this year consisted of signs...

The first thing my guests got to see the entrance to Platform 9 3/4. I wanted them to go through the "platform" so I put up the sign Hogwarts has on its front door should any un-suspecting Muggle walk up to it.

I purchased a brick wall photo backdrop from Amazon. I took a part of it and hung it over our gate and cut a slit to create a way through the "barrier".

I printed my signs on parchment paper and hung them in various places around my house. The bathroom of Moaning Myrtle. The entrance to the Chamber of Secrets.

Hermione has been up to something sneaky with the Polyjuice potion in progress...
The family room became the Gryffindor common room complete with Christmas tree! (Yes, I did.)

Its a terrible picture... but there are presents for Harry under the tree and Crookshanks is keeping watching.
A few Educational Decrees from Delores Umbridge plaster the walls.

I put this on our bedroom door to keep the crowds where I didn't want them to venture...

The final (and major) bit of decorating is my Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe. More on that later.