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Plethora of Potter Plus Party Progress!
Of course the Pottermania really started back months ago when I was shocked that Book 7 would be released this year! I've now reached the magic $100 mark where Google AdSense will actually send me a payment, even though Hogwarts has only barely edged out Halloween in my total ad revenue...heh! I've had three party RSVPs by actual owls, two adorable plush owls & one beautiful card, which make me grin from ear to ear! :) Only two press inquiries about my recipes so far this time around, but I'm flooded with email requests for the free download of my Year 6 Marauder's Map...I've had about 120 requests just since June 26th! A rough count since I've started only sending them out via email not quite a year ago brings me to estimate conservatively perhaps 1000 copies have been downloaded for personal fan use. I swear by now it seems like any Potter-themed birthday party, book release party, or movie party will be using my map in some fashion this year...crazy!

Return of Wizard Rock

Actually the recent Potter frenzy started with Monday July 2nd, when I went by myself to see Wizard Rock at the Palo Alto Library! I only caught the end of Roonil Wazlib this time, but I enjoyed the full Harry and the Potters set out on the grass with a definite all-ages crowd...this year I was able to sing along with more than just Save Ginny Weasley! I never found Angie who had said she'd be there, but I did buy some HatPs dental floss in the shape of a tooth and a funny t-shirt and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Yes, I felt a little guilty not doing Potter party prep, but since that was still technically my last day of my "vacation" for the choir competition, plus I didn't want to make extra mess to clean up for 4th of July, I decided to enjoy myself instead, and I had a great time. :)

Harry and the Potters in Palo Alto

IMAX 3D=awesome! :D

I couldn't forgo seeing the newest HP movie for the sake of party prep either. Since we got shut out of some IMAX showings in previous years trying too late to organize ourselves for tickets, 2 weeks ahead I started the call for who wanted to go to the Metreon for Order of the Phoenix in IMAX 3D. We ended up as a group of 14 for the 7:30pm showing on opening day, no midnight show the night before, and tickets were indeed sold out by around a week in advance, so I'm glad we got ours! I was dubious about the 3D because I was not impressed and more annoyed actually by the 3D section of Superman Returns last year, but Potter in IMAX has been excellent before, especially Prisoner of Azkaban, so I knew the rest of the movie would be worth it. Well, the entire time from leaving for the Ministry for the big battle until coming back to Hogwarts after was all in 3D and it was AWESOME!!! Very impressive, definitely enhanced the movie! I still agree it was worth it even after paying my $15 parking plus gas money to get up there for the $16.50 ticket fee! ;) If you have the chance to see this movie in the IMAX 3D version, do it while you have the chance!

14 Witches & Wizards at the Metreon

Potter Party Prep Progress

Of course all those attempts at a social life, even the doomed dating escapade in the spring, cut into my grand plans of having so much Potter party prep done well in advance. I'm so behind now I'm to the point of prioritizing which cool new things might have to be cut yet again. Still just over a week to go, plus I am taking the two days before the party as vacation from work for the final push. I expect very little sleep that weekend, but that's what I do for the sake of making my parties the best I possibly can! :)

done so far:
order for 20 books placed with Barnes & Noble near my house for the midnight release ($20.45 each incl 10% discount & tax)
ice treasure chest complete! (Halloween investment as well)
edible dragonflies done
plenty of paper hats for kids to decorate
plenty of gossamer capes for kids
only need a few more House badges for the Sorting
all flagstone walls done including dining area, hallway & Potions Patio
Hogwarts lighswitch plates on walls - been waiting to use those for 6 years! :D
candy purchased (Bertie Botts & Jelly Bellies, gummy rats, gummy lizards, pop rocks, lollipops, etc)
most drinks purchased
labels for butterbeer & butterbeer light designed, bottles & caps purchased
new Bludgers painted black (one Bludger went missing 2 yrs ago)
new Hogwarts crest on Quaffle - paint is okay
new Beater bats purchased
13 dozen mini cauldron cakes in freezer
6 dozen licorice wands in fridge
6 dozen peppermint toads in fridge
replied to 120 requests for my Marauder's Map since June 26th (holy moly!)

still to do:
edible Hogwarts - not even started - this weekend I hope!
mandrake seedlings - test batch of peanut butter clay in fridge, seems to get gooey while modeling
pumpkin pasties - filling baked, need to make crust & assemble as many dozen as possible
chocolate frogs - have milk chocolate chips & extra molds
cockroach clusters - have chow mein noodles & Mexican baking chocolate
my dragon costume, pants are done, corset cover is done, gloves & shirt half-done, foam for head is cut - need to finish!!!
repair Quidditch scoreboard - just some hot glue will do
make more Hogwarts goblets with stamp
make more Hogwarts plates with stamp
Horcruxes almost complete, but still need to write Horcrux Hunt clues
need new clues for kids treasure hunt
can't make Acid Pops until day of party - Pop Rocks don't pop otherwise
can't bottle butterbeer until day before the party since the bubbles disperse by 2 days :(
...and some more surprise ideas I hope I won't run out of time to do!

Horcruxes in process

...and on that note, off to get more stuff done!

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Try coating your hands with powdered sugar when working with the peanut butter clay, if that doesn't work, a light dusting of cornstarch should work and can be brushed off the final product.

I can't wait to see all the photos from this party! Sounds amazing, your dragon costume in particular.

Best of luck with getting everything put together smoothly! I just sent off my care packages to the friends I won't be able to be with that night, it was so much fun making everything- and I thank you for your map, it added a nice touch!!

The movie was great, GREAT fun. Thanks for organizing.

BTW, if you haven't seen it yet, here's that Daily Mail article I mentioned with Daniel's Details photos (and Emma Watson's hilarious reaction to them):


I couldn't wait for another year to go by without -- finally -- thanking you for taking the time to share all your terrific ideas with the world.

I found your website in 2003 - it has been an inspiration for all the "Harry Potter" themed parties that I've helped with. My family and I have helped out with two at our elementary school and two at our local bookstore.

Of course you know how popular your ideas are - 1,000 requests for the map, for example. But, I felt you should know how inspiring you have been. We took your ideas and adapted them for each of the four parties we did. At the schools, our rooms were very popular -- well, they should be because we incorporated fun and food, what could be better? And, there was a tremendous response for the bookstore parties in our little town.

This year my 17 y.o. daughter and a friend are putting on the Hogwarts Celebration. Because of the great response to a party at the bookstore in 2005 for book 6 (about 300 people showed up for a free party; town population: 3,000), she and a friend have created a party that is now spread all over town! It's an event that is a fundraiser for our local theater's renovation.

(If you'd like to know more about all my daughter and her friend have done, you can visit their website at http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeonbho/harrypotters_midnightmagic_gorhamnh/
or go to www.sau20.org and find the link)

So, thank you so much for sharing your ideas! And, we love the "Horcruxes in progress" Keep us posted!

Mrs. McG

I went on Tuesday night at midnight and saw it at the IMAX theatre here in Montreal. It was the first one of the Harry Potter movies I saw in 3D and it was fantastic!
Now I am frantically trying to read books five and six before Friday. No TV tomight, only Harry Potter ;-)

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