Sunday, September 24, 2006

Party On

Caution: No quilting or knitting content.




House Banners?


Cauldrons, Eyeballs, and Spiders?
Check, Check and Check

As the veteran hosts of 3 Harry Potter birthday parties, we've developed some strategies. Make very simple felt hats, provide foamies and stickers for decoration, and let the kids at them as soon as they get there.
The allure of glitter glue is strong, but must be resisted in this case. Experience shows that heavy applications can take up to 48 hours to dry, and then the hats are unwearable during the remainder of the party.

We made Bingo cards using Harry Potteresque words (house names, Harry, Ron, Hermione, potions, charms, etc.) using this website. We used small foamy dots as markers, but you could use jelly beans too. The game was successful enough that I had time to put Hedwig on the cake.

Not my best effort, but not bad under the circumstances.

Wand safety is always an important part of the spells class. Remember, wands are not swords, they're wands. They don't need to touch anything! Print out a list of spells from here, and you're ready to educate the young wizards in training. "Stupefy" and "Ennervate" should be taught in tandem. Have them practice their spells outside if at all possible.

Potions are another matter entirely.
This concoction uses troll blood, ground pixie bones, and lake water. Maybe there's a little screwt gall in there too. (OK, red cabbage juice, made by putting red cabbage in a blender with water, baking soda, and vinegar, plus pop rocks. Adding a base to red cabbage juice turns it blue, adding an acid makes it pink. The pop rocks add sizzle.) Note the tiny cauldron - it helps if your children have fall birthdays so you can buy Halloween stuff like this.

Another favorite potion is made using the Glitterati charm. Put ground up pixie bones and a generous helping of fairy dust (glitter) in clean cauldrons. Add Ogre slime (vinegar with a little green food coloring added) while each child waves their wand over the cauldron and says, with feeling, "Glitterati!!!" It's a real crowd pleaser.

"Find the Snitch" has also been popular. Make snitches by sewing (yes, sewing) glittery leaves to plastic Christmas balls. Get balls that have prefab rings on them.

Our in house studies have shown that glue alone cannot withstand the rigorous use of the snitches. Hide the snitches in the bushes and have the children look for them. Today they wanted to hide them over and over again (????). Maybe it was because it poured rain for half the party and they were just glad to be outside.

I was afraid that this time around wouldn't be sophisticated enough, since half the crowd was 9 years old, but the video replays show that fun was had by all. And even at this age they still get a kick out of playing with helium balloons.

Party on!

Friday, September 15, 2006


First, thanks to everybody for all the nice comments on my last post. You guys are great!

I had a great time on Saturday at PNQE. The new exhibition space is quite spacious, and was very easy to get around in. I've seen some others post about the competition quilts, so first I'm going to post pictures from the special exhibit ARTQUILTSimages. (Click on any image for a larger view.)

I have a quilt traveling with the exhibit, so I was very interested to see what some of the other quilts were like. Many of the quilts were larger than I anticipated, and I thought the way that images were used in most of the quilts was both intriguing and innovative.

First off, our own Gerrie's quilt:

I was delighted to see this quilt in person - pictures don't do it justice. Well done, Gerrie!

This quilt is by Peggy Brown. The transparency was lovely.

This is Linda Colsh's work. Her use of repeating images that are similar, or perhaps the same photograph manipulated differently, was very effective.
I took some other pictures, but they didn't show the work to good advantage. Overall I thought it was a very well put together exhibit, and it showed that many artists are doing wonderful work using image transfer techniques.

The World Quilt &Textile quilts were also there, and many of them were stunning. I particularly enjoyed seeing Judy Coates Perez's award winning quilt There's a Place Called Mars.

OK, now for just two of the competition quilts that caught my eye. (There were others I really enjoyed, but I was kind of distracted - the first big show I've gone to in 4 years, so I wasn't very organized.)

Sue Reno's "Castor Bean" was one of the competition quilts, and I was struck by it's elegant simplicity.

This is Maxine Burkholder's Utah Textures #1. This quilt quite simply drew me in. Every time I passed by it I had to go closer and each time I discovered something new. The way she integrated the small landscapes with the free form piecing was exceptional.

I accosted several unsuspecting show goers and got them to take my picture by my quilt, but we'll just save those for my mother (vbg).

Whenever I've gone to a "big" show I've come home raring to get going on a quilt. This has once again proven true, and I've spent a little time in the past week working on a large quilt that's been in the works for several years. (Not photo worthy yet.)

It's a very busy time here at Chez Ooh!PC - we have four birthdays between today and November 7, and three of them require party planning and prep. Not to mention Halloween. I've gotta go, as there's no party today, but we do have some cupcakes to frost for the family celebration of the first birthday!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oh Happy Day!

I just found out that my quilt "Grotto" won Best Machine Workmanship in the Innovative category at PNQE! This is extra exciting for me because a) since the birth of my third child it's the only somewhat large quilt I've finished and b) I'm going to PNQE this weekend, and it's the first national level quilt show I've gone to in four years. Please cross your fingers and toes for me! I've never made it to a "big" show where I've won a ribbon before.

I wish I had some fabulous photo to post, but not much quilting etc. has gotten done around here since the postcards. School started, it rained a lot, a child was sick for 4 days - you get the picture. Some things around here are a little more organized, but none having to do with fiber art. Hopefully once pre-school is in full swing I'll get more quilting done.

Many thanks to everyone for all of your nice comments about the postcards! They were fun to make, and I'm happy to contribute to a worthy cause like FFAC.