Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hogwarts Party part 1: Invitations, Decorations, Diagon Alley

We sent out letters just like we did for the last Hogwarts Party with the same owl cookies. (This was when I couldn't find my camera battery charger, so we just took pictures with my husbands phone) I have seen much cuter owl cookies out there, but we had a lot to do, so we just did the same ones. The green ink, Hogwarts emblemed letters got a lot of kids pretty excited...
We had 23 kids, but I think 2 showed up later.
the little girl in the front on left is my 4 year old daughter, wearing an old pillow case so she could be a house elf.
Diagon Alley was accessed through the Leaky Caldron.
I made my appearance as temporary head master, and instructed all the students that they will need to purchase: a quill, book, and wand. No animals today! And, their accounts at Gringotts would be charged for all their expenses.

My daughter tapped the bricks, and I pressed the garage door opener in my pocket.
confession: the brick drop cloth was supposed to go up with the garage when it was opened, but we ran out of time to get it working. Apparantly we don't have any duct tape on hand. So, it just opened behind the drop cloth and the kids walked around. They didn't seem to mind.

Diagon Alley:
After the bricks were tapped, the kids walked into this:

The empty table actually held the wands on a silver tray. They were caramel and chocolate dipped pretzel wands, and so I had kept them in the fridge until just before the party... yes, it's still that hot here!

The books and other items were displayed here. Not sure if you can read it, but the glass box says, "Invisible Spider. Caution: extremely poisonous" (it was empty)
We also had a few rats and snakes around.

We also had a Vanishing Closet. (which hopefully you will see in a later post, all painted and nice) we put a few little yellow and white feathers at the bottom.
This is my friend, Maria, who also taught the Potions class. She told the students that she did a potion wrong and grew another head! (That's the vanishing closet on the left)

I guess my daughter decided to risk disappearing for a moment...

This was a combined party for my son who was turning 11, and my daughter who turned 10.
Confession: I bought fabric to make 2 sets of wizard robes. I only got one finished. Luckily my son is a good sport, and was just as happy wearing his new US soccer jersey:)
The kids had lots of fun exploring all the cool things in Diagon Alley.

With supplies in hand, students made their way to:
Platform 9 3/4
This was hung from the balcony above the front entrance. Each student ran through, and then we made our own train (Hogwarts Express) on the other side before entering Hogwarts (the front door)
Here is the view looking from the front door.

After I get 10 comments, I'll post about the Sorting Ceremony and the Classes, but here are some of the decorations for you to see:

We had a house banner for each of the 4 houses, which hung from the ice cream parlor:

And we had all 4 house crests above the house cup displayed here:

A few more signs put around the house:

I couldn't get my portraits to talk and move, but we included some pictures of famous Hogwarts students:I still owe my son a game of this:

We also had some chains and an Azkaban wanted poster of Sirius Black, and lots of posters all over the house. Like "Cupboard under the Stairs" under the stairs, a "Privet Drive 4" outside, and on one of the doors we had an eyeball stuck on (Mad-eye's, of course) and on the bathroom mirrors we had written: "Moaning Myrtle was here"
I had 4 friends come over the day before to help get all the decorations up... it took all of us, but it was fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Princess Cinderella Cake

Here is the inspiration for the cake: Look at the carriage in the bottom right hand corner:
That's what we decided to make the cake look like
The white pumpkin carriage, with curly golden wheels. My daughter also wanted a little Cinderella doll cake. We used a polly pocket doll (who had already lost her legs anyway)

As usual, I was down to the last minute on the cake. I tend to do that a lot. I get so busy with all the other preparations for the party, I don't give myself enough time to really do the cake well. So, I didn't make the fondant in advance like I should have so that the wheels could have hardened more. And late at night, knowing that the party was the next morning, I was trying to put on the finishing touches. Try to ignore how I could NOT get those icing loops to look right AT ALL. (Note to self: No making cakes after bed time)

I made the skirt for the doll out of the Pampered Chef 1 cup glass things. They are bigger than cupcakes, so are perfect sized. You could probably use a tea cup if you didn't have those. I had made 2 so I would have an extra. I used the extra one, after dousing with chocolate frosting, to put a castle on. This was left from a cake my oldest daughter had a few years ago (yes, I save those crazy things.)

I wanted to make it look like the castle was in the distance:
So we put the castle on another cake stand with chocolate cupcakes, and put it behind it. (the slipper is also from a polly pocket)

So, if you look with a cake decorators eye, you will see that I made a lot of mistakes...
Now close your eyes, imagine that you are a 4 year old little girl... then open them and look at the cake again:
See, it's perfect!
We served the pumpkin coach to all the guests, and the doll cake got to be her very own.