Monday, February 26, 2018

Harry Potter Bash!

On Saturday, February 17th, I had my first major Harry Potter event.

When I first planned for this event, I put out a FB poll asking if people wanted the program on a Thursday evening for an hour and a half, or on a Saturday for five hours. The response was highly in favor of a 5 hour Saturday program.

Due to a limited budget, a lot of the decorations were done by hand rather than purchased. I had the help of one of my coworkers, N, who made some of the most amazing candles I have ever seen!

To make them, we collected toilet paper rolls, N covered them in white construction paper, used construction paper for the red and yellow flames, and hot glue drizzles off to make it appear that the candle was melting. When it was hung up and moving, the way the light hit the glue made it seem like it was really melting!

I used dollar store poster boards to make the House Banners and they came out pretty amazing! We printed and cut out the letters and House Crests. A different coworker (J) had given me HP animal stamps a while ago so we used those to give the poster a bit of  a background.

(I'm Slytherin, so obviously that goes first)

(My coworker (N) who helped is Hufflepuff)

 I started to re-read the books in order to have trivia questions at the ready but I didnt give myself enough time so unfortunately I only read 2.5 books which was NOT enough. I was told about the online game site, Sporcle, so I went there in the hopes I would be able to find something I could use.

I found the BEST game boards that someone could use for a HP activity! They are called Logic Puzzles. When I tried to do it myself it took me about 20 minutes, when I used it as a game puzzle it took them about 45 minutes to complete each one. The first House to complete the puzzle board received 4 pebbles which amounted to 400 points. The second House received 3 pebbles, the third House 2 and the last one got 1 for effort. Competition was high! And I loved it! I also joking awarded Slytherin House random verbal points (they didn't actually get a pebble) for being an awesome House and verbally deducted points from Houses for various reason. Attendees found it funny except when I was taking points away from their House and complained that I was favoring Slytherin (which I definitely was).

Here are the Logic Puzzles I used:

Here is how the program went:

I went downstairs and in my best Headmistress voice asked all the first years to follow me up the stairs. When everyone was in the room I played the Sorting Hat song off of YouTube. I then had students pick a paper out of my hat and yelled out which House they got sorted into. Overall, people were happy with the House that they were sorted into. This helped mix things up and split friends to cause more engagement.

We started with two Logic Puzzles and then ordered pizza and soda. Attendees who did not bring food with them chipped in 5 dollars for pizza and soda. While everyone was eating, I played the YouTube movie Voldemort: Origins of the Heir - An unofficial fanfilm which was followed by a short discussion. Only one person had seen it on their own so it was a nice was to give peoples minds a break from the logic puzzles.

After the movie, we did another Logic Puzzle then I pulled out the Trivia Questions I had prepared and awarded house points to individuals who answered very hard questions. This was an every man for himself activity. After about 4 rounds, I was asked to go back to the Logic Puzzles because they enjoyed that more and they liked talking with each other about the questions. So we went back to the last Logic Puzzle, unfortunately we couldn't finish it because the library was closing.

The program was supposed to run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It ran from 11:15 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. I quickly awarded first place in the costume contest to an attendee who came dressed as Hermione Granger when she took the Polyjuice potion and turned into a human cat. She had on a cat mask, a tail, Gryffindor robes, and even a gray pleated skirt! After that we counted points and found that Slytherin had won the House Cup (no, I did NOT bug it), followed by Gryffindor, Ravenclaw and then Hufflepuff. As they were walking out the door people were so happy and I heard a couple of "cant wait to do this next year!"

Unfortunately, I had drawn HP on a poster board and was going to do a 'pin the bolt on Potter' activity but we ran out of time. Will definitely be doing it next year! I had 4 people leave at 4 p.m. but everyone else stayed until 10 to 5. There was a total of 13 people at the program.

(Please done laugh at my artistic skills!)

SO I guess, I will be doing this again next year. I saved a lot of my decorations for next year and will be creating my own Logic Puzzles. I will be ordering pizza early on and will try to have more hands on activities as well. Maybe a wand decorating or a mug decorating craft.

And thats a wrap! Enjoy the room decorations!

(what they saw before entering the room)

(a reference to the spiders in book 2 and Umbridge in book 5)

(hung some HP letters in our fireplace and placed some Honey Dukes containers, Hedwig toy, some candles and Ollivander Wand box on the mantle)

(made with Boomerang)

I decorated the tables with House colored tablecloths.
Put a cup on each table for their 'House Cup'.
Cut off the long parts of the tablecloths into strips for decoration.
Put up the candles using fishing line. 
Placed the House Banners near each House Table.

(People working hard on their Logic Puzzle)

(quick group photo before everyone left)

(me, working my magic)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Calligraphy Program!

Its been a while since my last post, but I have a lot to share so I will be splitting them up!

First things first, my Calligraphy Program!

I've played with this for a couple of months and finally decided to go for it. I hit up Google searching for Calligraphers in the area and found two. I reached out to the first person who came up and while he did professional Calligraphy, he had never taught a class before. The second person I reached out to does Calligraphy but was also an Art major and taught middle/high school for 5 years. She was as excited as I was to offer this program!

I set my date for Thursday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. I set my limit for 18 people with a wait list of 10. Both filled within 3 weeks. While the program was originally geared towards 18 - 35 year olds, I eventually opened it up because I was paying for the program and wanted to fill as many seats as possible.

I purchased THESE Calligraphy markers off of amazon. 

Printed out the worksheets the presenter wanted and was all set! 
Find a good one HERE.

(Each seat had a set of worksheets and a pen they took home)

I had 14 people show up even though I sent out email reminders and made phone calls. While it is not the 18 I would have preferred. I was happy with the result.

(sample videos!)

Overall, I felt like people had a great time. It was fun walking around and see attendees take those up and down strokes. To hear laughter as they realized that it wasn't as easy as it looked but still enjoying themselves. And at the end, having them say that they had a great time and are glad they came! 

Now, enjoy some photos!

(listening to instructions)


(working hard)

(some more pointers)




(Proud of their work!)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Galaxy Jar Craft!

A couple of months ago, I came across a blog post of something called a Galaxy Jar Art Craft (I have since lost the post).

Feel free to skip through my process and go straight to the pictures that hold the good stuff!

I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I had witnessed. Anyone who knows me knows I love anything outer space related. I have an inaccurate spray painted 3 part art piece of the solar system hanging over my dining room table.

The guy who spray painted them.

The finished product! Aint it glorious?

 Solar system cups (one of each planet, including Pluto, and one of the sun) gracing my TV stand with a little astronaut bank up high. Plus the countless other things. 

ANYWAYS. I wanted to do this glorious craft I had come across and decided that for December I would host an art program at work and it would feature this out of this world jar! I googled Galaxy Jar and stared at the work of others. I went on YouTube and scrolled through videos and got the basic idea of what I needed and how to make it.

(STEP 1)

1) Glass Jar 
2) Cotton Balls [lots of them]
3) Food Coloring [cheap brand will do]
4) Water [tap tap tap]
5) Paper Towels [to soak up escaped liquid]
5a) Old Sales Ad [to protect your work space]
6) Straw [or anything else to push the CB down]
7) Glitter [if you want to get a little bit extra]
8) Paper Cups [to mix those colors]

*Everything purchased from the Dollar Tree except the food coloring.

(STEP 2)

You can leave your cotton as balls but I preferred to stretch some out to stuff into the crevices.

(STEP 3)

If you look a little closer you will see I left some as balls and some are not.

(STEP 4)

The first color I made was purple. I mixed red and blue food coloring together for this. I also tossed in some white glitter in the hopes it would reflect in the jar. 

A little cheat sheet if you want to create more colors:
Red + Blue = Purple
Red + Yellow = Orange
Red + Blue + Green = Black

(STEP 5)

I poured the liquid over the cotton balls. As you can see the white glitter did NOT do what I was hoping it would. I didnt use it again.

Here is some excess liquid. Before getting started on your next color make sure to put more cotton balls in and push them down with your straw in order to soak up the excess liquid. If you don't the colors will run.

(STEP 6)

I ended up going online and looking at real Galaxy pictures at this point. To make things a little interesting, I then placed red only in two areas and waited to see what happened.

(STEP 7)

When the red didn't run, I added more cotton balls and dripped in yellow and green as well. Before pouring over my next big color, blue. I also tossed in some silver glitter and was happy to see that they shined through.

(STEP 8)

Make sure to continue to add in cotton balls to take up any excess liquid. My final color was Green.


And here is my final product! I aimed to make all my colors dark but I didnt do so well with the purple. I believe that is due to the fact that I did not add enough food coloring. The more food coloring in your water, the darker your colors! But I LOVED how it came out in the end. I really enjoyed how some of the colors DID run together because they created a whole new color on their own. There was a whole lot of trial and error with this jar. But for my first jar, it came out great. Now go make your own and show me!

I will post pictures from my program later tonight/tomorrow. So excited to share their work with you!

For additional reference: 
The main one I watched YouTube Galaxy Jar 1  
I took a look at this one but decided to not go this route Youtube Galaxy Jar 2

EDIT: Here are some of jars attendees made!