Friday, August 26, 2011

Max's Party: Part 4 - Honeydukes!

Once the students completed all their classes, they earned a trip to Honeydukes-the sweet shop Harry and friends visit in the books. I filled some jars with Jelly Bellies (Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans), chocolate frogs, gummy worms and giant lollies.

Instead of a cake, we made golden snitch cake pops, except I cheated and used donut holes instead of making the pops from scratch. What a time saver! The original idea was found here and definitely put mine to shame, but the kids still loved them.

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Max's Party: Part 3 - Classes in Action

Check out the students in action!

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Max's Party: Part 2 - Hogwarts

After a trip through Diagon Alley, the kids proceeded down the steps where they stopped under the big banner (which was a Japanese Obi that I found at Goodwill that just happened to be Gryffindor colors!). Here they were sorted into their houses. In order to avoid hurt feelings, we left Slytherin out of the mix and only used Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Kids found out their house by choosing a class schedule and looking on the back to reveal a house sticker.

On their class schedules they had 5 classes: Quidditch, Divination, Broom Riding, Potions and Care of Magical Creatures.

For the Quidditch field we were blessed to have found 3 metal hoops when we dug up our yard for our remodel. The bases are old tiki torches that we had in our garage. We gave these items to Jeremy and let him work his magic. As usual, he made something truly amazing.

The Quidditch robe was a score at a thrift store in San Francisco!

For Divination, we filled white balloons with prophecies, stuck them in our black fire pit and let each child choose one to pop.

For Broom Riding we held a relay race. We sorted the kids into two groups and had them race to put on wizard cloaks, scarves, glasses and hats and then race across the yard on broomsticks.

Potions class gave the kids a chance to mix baking soda and vinegar for the chemical reaction and then add all kinds of items to their pots. They were then filtered into bottles so the kids could bring them home.

Mane of Thestral (corn silk) and Forbidden Forest Herbs (herbes de provence) were two of the ingredients.

Crystalized Fairy Breath (sea salt) and food coloring were also added:

Corn husks made great Dragon Scales:

Care of Magical Creatures class was where the kids had the opportunity to paint their owls. Some chose to leave them white since Harry's owl, Hedwig, is white, while others went wild with the colors

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Max's Party: Part 1 - Diagon Alley

For Max's 7th birthday, he chose a Harry Potter Theme. I had such a blast putting this all together!

The kids entered through the upper gate into Diagon Alley. Everything was handmade by Mark and I and certainly not fancy, but the kids loved it!

Here's the entry sign on the gate:

Their first stop was Gringotts Bank where they deposited their canned food (which we asked for instead of gifts) and withdrew wizard gold:

They then used their gold to "purchase" their school supplies. Potages Cauldrons had little black containers that I found at Target in the $1 bin. The kids used these to hold all the items they collected throughout the day.

Eyelops Owl Emporium had ceramic owls that they would later paint in one of their classes.

Ollivanders had a wand for each child (with a special official Harry Potter wand waiting for Max).

I had found a bundle of chopsticks at a garage sale for $1.50 so I used those for the wands. I added a list of useful spells, put an Ollivanders label on each box and -voila- wands!

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San Francisco: Part 4 - the Deyoung

On my first day I wandered through Golden Gate Park over to the Deyoung Museum. I had actually gone to see the Picasso exhibit that is currently on view, but when I arrived I was so intrigued by the building and its collection that I decided to skip the exhibit and just spend time in the permanent galleries. I was certainly not disappointed. Here are just a few things that caught my eye:

(You'll notice I don't have artist information. Unfortunately I only had a pen with me and, being a former art history/museum studies student, I can't bring myself to write with pen in a gallery space. I told myself I'd look everything up once I got home, but I couldn't find information for everything. I figured I'd just post the pictures without any words or explanations)

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San Francisco: Part 3 - the Homes

I didn't photograph too many homes since I felt a little weird about it, but I did snap a few photos on my first-day morning walk (same area as the succulent gardens).

I loved this home for its modern wood & steel combination and the mies van der rohe Barcelona chair front and center in the large window. The potted balcony garden was really lovely too.

This is a much more traditional home, but I took a shot of it because we are thinking of repainting our house and I love the light grey, white and reddish-orange combination:

Upclose this building kind of looked like it was going to fall down, but I absolutely love it. The windows are to die for! This home is perched high up on a hill so I can only imagine that the view from those windows is stunning!

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San Francisco: Part 2 - The Succulents

On my first day out and about in San Francisco I walked from Market up by Buena Vista Park on my way to Haight St. It was a lovely area with amazing homes that had even more amazing gardens. I absolutely love succulents and was blown away by some of the succulent gardens growing in this area. I had to stop and photograph them for my inspiration file. Check them out below:

The photo below is of a vertical wall garden. I want to do this so badly! It was stunning to look at.

Love the pink hues in this one:

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