Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Harry!

Today is Harry Potter's birthday (and J.K. Rowling's). I can't even describe in words how much this series has meant to me ever since I first opened up "The Sorcerer's Stone" on my 9th birthday. I grew up with these characters and they have become a part of my childhood, teen hood and adulthood. I love these books from the very depths of my soul. Oh, I know I am incredibly cheesy when it comes to Harry Potter and beloved books in general. It is who I am and I love books and I love them hard. It is a very convenient and happy thing that Becky (upstairs neighbor) loves them as much as I do and so of course we threw Harry a birthday party this weekend.
Tyler and I were Harry and Ginny, of course and Elanor was our owl.

We had a lovely time eating Mrs. Weasley's meat pies, Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, Butter Beer, Harry's favorite, treacle tart, and Hagrid's birthday cake.

 Speaking of Hagrid, look who showed up!
Sorting Hat
Becky (Prof. Sprout) and Grey (he was supposed to be an owl as well--but would not wear his wings)
 Tyler looks exactly how I pictured Harry in the book and not at all like Daniel Radcliffe.

 Becky and I put together a ton of questions for a trivia game. We had different sections for the questions, for example questions about Hogwarts and another section about the Weasley family. We divided everyone up into three different houses (there were no Slytherins present). Ravenclaws won, of course.

This was such a fun Harry Potter party!

Thank you Harry for being such a large part of my life and making me into a better person. 

Thank you J. K. Rowling for writing these books and creating characters that I would count as my friends (I know them so well, after all).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Little Owl

I love this little owl costume.  Sewing does not come easily for me and I got some much needed help from my sewing champ of a friend, Becky. I did sew everything completely by myself and I even enjoyed it! The trick is to either sew with a friend or listen to an audio book (I have been listening to HP 7, since it is Harry's birthday and all). I made this for our Harry Party this past weekend, since wizards/witches use owls to carry their mail and they are pets. It was Becky's idea and it turned out so cute!
 This owl costume was pretty easy to make--and this is coming from someone who has to have anything sewing related explained to them like they are a toddler. Yeah... I am talking about myself.
 The wings were surprisingly fun to make. I just cut out a wing shape the length of Elanor's arm (using Becky's already cut out wings as a pattern) and also cut out tons of feathers. I cut them into two sections for each row, but I have seen it where they cut it out all in one piece. Then, starting from the bottom, I sewed on each row. I used white felt, grey flannel, and the cotton blue feather fabric to make my feathers. The felt helps to give the wings some sturdiness.
 The dress was really easy. Elanor already has a dress that is exactly like this one and very simple. I just made a pattern from the dress and then cut it out of the blue feather fabric. I simply hemmed everything and sewed it all together. I also cut a slit in the back so we could get it over Elanor's head. I hemmed the slit and added a button hole and a button at the top. I don't really know how to sew button holes, but I just used the zig zag stitch and made it quite small and went around the hole. I am sure it will be good enough for a costume. I also cut out some feathers and sewed three rows of each color on the front of the dress to make the dress more owl-like. If I can make this dress, then anyone can.
 I decided to attach the wings to the dress. All of the tutorials I looked at were just for wings and they were attached around the shoulders or neck with ribbon. I did not want Elanor to have the option to take the wings off and I wanted the costume to be comfortable. I attached the wings at each shoulder and then sewed down the wing (just on the blue fabric) a little ways to make sure it  would stay and to make the wings more flappable. 
 For the wrists, I used two hair ties. I sewed them on the wings (being careful to sew underneath the feathers, not on top) using the large zig zag on my sewing machine. It worked perfectly and was super easy and comfortable for Elanor.

 The mask was easy and fun to make--so I want to make some more! Becky had already cut out owl masks for her boys, so I used hers to cut Elanor's out. We cut out two felt owl masks and sewed them together so that they would be more sturdy. Then, using a cup I cut out the large circles and hot glued them onto the mask. For the beak, I cut out a yellow triangle and glued it on. Tyler had the idea to add in the black spots since many owls have those sort of markings, especially snowy owls. I loved the way it turned out!

Tomorrow is Harry Potter's (and J.K. Rowling's) birthday, so tomorrow I will post about the very fun Harry Potter party we had this past weekend. Today is Neville's birthday, by the way! Happy Birthday Neville!

Is anyone else as into Harry Potter as I am and are having parties in his honor? Let me know, because I always love finding Potter friends!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I have been having far too much fun/ have not really wanted to blog. It has been sunshiny and hot. We have been swimming, backpacking, celebrating Harry's birthday, playing with the hose/kiddie pool with friends everyday, and generally having a very fun summer. So, I have not felt too much like blogging since I am outside most of the day. When I am inside, I am doing the necessaries such as cleaning, dishes, making food, etc. and I made Elanor an adorable owl costume for our Harry Potter party.

Here are some pictures of what we have been doing to tide you over until I feel more like blogging (I do have several posts I have been meaning to write!):

 Pioneer Day is big here in Utah and you generally celebrate with fireworks, much like the 4th and just as fun.

You might have noticed how unclothed Elanor is in many of these photos. It has been difficult to keep her in clothes lately. As mentioned above, we have played in the kiddie pool and with the hose a lot, and Elanor seems to think that if her clothes get a tiny bit wet then they must all come off.

Be ready to read about the Harry Potter party and Elanor's owl costume this week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Highland Games

Oh, you know, that place where Merida lives (at least that is what Elanor told me).

 My family went to Highland Games every summer, because well, we're Scottish (Scott is my dad's last name and my mom is half Scottish as well) and my mom's soul is rather attached to Scotland (as is mine). Rightly so, as Scotland is one of those soul places, where the land, culture and music become a part of your soul. Virginia is one of those places as well. Cheesy, perhaps, if--- you do not have a soul. Back to the point of this little blurb, we went to Highland Games every year and I want that to be a tradition for us as well. We found Payson's Scottish Festival, which is free, and we have gone there for the last two years. We love it!
Elanor watching the Highland dancing competition--which she loved! She kept asking us to go back and watch the "ballerinas". Maybe she has Highland dancing in her future...

I was trying to get Elanor to look at the camera...and now I'm the one who looks silly.
Showing off this little kilt, which used to be mine and was passed around to my sister and our cousins as well!

 Elanor saw a bunch of other kids getting their faces painted, so Elanor really wanted it done as well. It was only a dollar and she had never had her face painted before, and watching her get her face painted was completely worth it.

Here is the video of Elanor getting her face painted. It is not particularly intersesting, but we like it.

 She loved her butterfly and kept wanting us to take pictures of her so she could see what it looked like.
 We also got her a $5 wooden sword and this tree just happened to be a dragon.
Watching the Games.
Sheaf toss.
Elanor pretending to play a bagpipe as a pipe band comes marching in.
Elanor loves the pipe bands and especially loves dancing to the music. Elanor keeps opening her arms and looking expectantly towards someone you can't really see in the video. She is trying to get this guy to clap for her, but he is judging the competition; however his wife/girlfriend loved Elanor and kept trying to get him to acknowledge her. Cute, of course, but I hope she was not bothering him too much.

Heading out looking like quite the little Scottish heroine.
 Also, it does not seem like many people were dressed up based one these pictures, but there were a lot of people in kilts and traditional garb, plus a lot of women using this as an excuse to wear those corsets that are supposed to go over those billowy white blouses, but were instead worn over a normal shirt with shorts. Odd? A bit. 

It was a super fun day and we will be going back next year for sure!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Weekly Photo(s)

Here are four weeks worth of Weekly Photos since I could not put pictures up for the past four weeks. Most of these (except the picture for this last week) were taken with my sister's iPhone. I got a new camera and I have loved being able to take pictures again!

Monday, June 24th
My sister Jessica was still in town (in SLC) and we did a ton of fun things while she was here, including going on a ferris wheel. (photo by Becky)
Monday, July 1st 
My family.
Monday, July 8th

I know, two pictures, but it was a big week!

Saying good bye to Uncle Ian & Playing by the seaside.

Monday, July 15th
At the Payson Scottish Festival