Harry Potter and Hedwig Go Trick or Treating

I know people are already thinking about Christmas and here I am still posting about Halloween. Forgive me, please, because I didn’t know where I would find or (buy if I could!) time in the past couple of weeks to blog more often as I wanted to. So let me share this update with you before it totally gets stale. Better late than never! 😀

We never really celebrate Halloween even when I was a kid. We just spend it like any ordinary day though I remember during my childhood days, there were activities that some kids my age would do during Halloween or usually on the eve of November 1 like melting and molding balls of candle wax and pangangaluluwa, the Halloween version of Christmas caroling. 🙂 And watching scary episodes of a documentary show Magandang Gabi Bayan! 🙂 But other that, nothing. No costumes, no trick or treat, no candies, no parties.

But recently Halloween has grown to be huge celebration with all the pumpkins and spiders and all that spooky decorations around and is targeted among kids who are being dressed in cute (or silly) costumes to go around the neighborhood, malls or offices with a pumpkin basket in their hands asking for some candies and sweets.

Personally, I’m not an extremist in my stand as a Christian when it comes to celebrating Halloween. The creepy and gory emblems of this occasion signify its “demonic” nature — black and ghosts, scary masks and blood and all those stuff. But the way it’s being “celebrated” based on my experience does not categorically “glorify” the evil-ish things such that there are rituals that put the dark images in pedestal (that’s an extreme). It’s simply for fun for the kids and the kids at heart — unleashing our creative juices to decorate office spaces with non-spooky stuff, usually Disney and all kiddie decors, and for the kids, enjoying some sweet treats while parading in their cute costumes. I remember when I was a youth in our local church IEMELIF in my hometown, we regularly had a Halloween fellowship not to celebrate the spookiness of the season but to always remind us about the love, beauty and goodness of God amidst all the darkness around. We also had a costume contest once, of course without the scary side.

While Halloween generally appear to stand for something “dark”, I and the kids participate not to celebrate its dark nature but merely to enjoy the artistic, non-spooky decor, the cute and creative costumes and the of course, the treats. 🙂 Therefore, as far as we’re concerned, our participation in Halloween celebration is in no way related to the dark and evil. It’s a mere decoration and costume celebration and nothing else. And hey, this is the only time I can put them in costumes which I find soooo adorably cute so better take the chance! Hehe! 🙂 But I never dress up the kids in spooky, devil-ish costumes and I have never transformed into a creepy creature. I’m totally not for spooky Halloween.

Every year since I had a kid, we participate in Halloween events in my office. As what I’ve said, I enjoy transforming my kids into cutesie little thingies. 😀

Big Boy J was Shrek at his first Trick or Treat in my previous company when he was 8 months old. Adorable, isn’t he? 🙂

The Big Boy’s first Trick or Treat 🙂

I wasn’t able to prepare for his costume the following year so I just dressed him up as a pirate. He joined the Trick or Treat at his Dad’s office.

He apparently didn’t like wearing the pirate’s hat and boots. 😀

I had 2 kids to dress up last year so I had to come up with a theme! 🙂 Old MacDonald Had a Farm was an easy but cute last-minute idea. 😀

Big Boy J as the farmer, the Little Princess A at 6 months as a chick and Mommy as a babywearing nest. 🙂

Themed Halloween costumes is a must now for the two kids. This year, I had more time to think about their costumes but I had to consider the time and ease of preparing everything because I was dressing up 2 kids. I searched the internet and decided to come up with something like these:

Via Diary of a Crafty Lady / At Second Street

I’m not a Harry Potter fan. Never read the book nor watched the movie. So I just relied on the internet for ideas and validated it through my office friends who read and watched Harry Potter. 🙂 Big Boy J was the Harry Potter of course, the Little Princess A was the cute Hedwig. 🙂

Don’t they look so adorable? 🙂

How did I pull off the Harry Potter themed costumes of the 2 kiddos? I had more than a week to prepare so I thought of reusing some available stuff at home, doing some DIYs and using some ready-made items. I had fun putting together their costumes! 🙂

Let’s start with Harry Potter. I listed down the HP elements that I would need. Basically the following:

  • Robe
  • White polo
  • Gray vest
  • Black pants
  • Red and gold necktie
  • Red and gold scarf
  • Round eyeglasses
  • Wand
  • Broomstick
  • Spell book treat bag which the idea I got from Diary of a Crafty Lady

To start everything, I asked my ever-reliable and supportive mother-in-law to help me sew the HP robe. She’s my go-to person when it comes to stitching and sewing stuff since I don’t have a sewing machine and I don’t know how to sew…yet. But I’m gonna learn soon. 🙂 I’m just so blessed that my MIL also enjoys crafting such things especially for her grandchildren. 🙂

Trying on the robe specially made by Lola with love. :) Does he look like he was forced to try it on? :D

Trying on the robe specially made by Lola with love. 🙂 As usual, I forced him to put it on. 😀

For the clothes, I pulled out of the closet the white long sleeved polo and black pants that the Big Boy wore when he became his Ninang’s ring bearer at her wedding last year. The Big Boy didn’t have a tie so I searched SM Megamall department store and fortunately found a maroon tie for only P49. 🙂 I didn’t want to spend so much on it so I just thought of putting some gold or yellow stripes by sewing or painting with a fabric pastel. I ended up keeping it as it is. And btw, a very unfortunate thing happened on the tie. I burned it while ironing! 😦 But nothing much to lose because it only costs P49 and will be hidden with a scarf anyway. 😀

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Poor tie 😦 😀

I bought the gray vest also at SM for P399. I splurged on this because the Big Boy can use it in the future for casual or formal attire. The round glasses was also from SM for P149. I just asked hubby to remove the dark lenses and I don’t know how he did it. 😀 Yay, Dad had a participation in their costumes! 😀 I also got the broomstick from SM for P79. This was a serendipitous find because I was planning on DIY-ing it but realized I didn’t have resources for the materials needed.

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Voila! HP glasses! 🙂

The scarf was the most challenging part for me as I couldn’t find a readily available one. I was at the Fashion Market (tiangge) section of Market! Market! and found a cheap maroon Pashmina at P100 so I decided to buy it and just do something about it. I thought of just getting a yellow or gold cloth to sew on the Pashmina and while looking for the right fabric to use, I discovered this red-and-yellow-striped-a-la FC Barcelona fabric for P180/yard. It took time before I finally made up my mind and use this instead for the scarf to save time from sewing. I also knew I can make an FCB item (a hybrid fitted cloth probably 😀 ) out of it since my husband is an FCB fan. P180 spend justified! 😀

The “FCB” fabric turned HP scarf.

I sought the help of the kids’ caregiver/yaya to handsew the scarf since I didn’t have enough time to do it myself as much as I would want to. I think I should get one soon and I’ll elaborate why later. 🙂

Next is the wand. I tried looking for a ready-made one but to no avail. So I was left with no choice but to DIY and I was surprised to find out that it was just so easy peasy to make! All I needed were chopstick, glue gun and paint which I all have and simply followed this tutorial from Micah C Micah Do that I got from Pieces by Polly. Apparently though, what I had with me were brown and silver poster paint instead of acrylic and poster paint peels on wood so I just coated it with a colorless nail polish. So chic, right? Hehe!

“Alohomora” 😀

Instead of using a pumpkin basket, I wanted the treat bag to blend with the Harry Potter theme. I borrowed the idea from Diary of a Crafty Lady and tweaked it a bit. I used a brown paper bag instead of sewing a felt cloth, and wrapped the bag with brown felt paper leaving the bottom and the right side to resemble a book. Then I printed a “Book of Spells” text I downloaded from the internet, cut the letters and glued them on the bag. I just added some stripes on the side to make it look like a book. I wanted to add some more embellishment on the “cover” but I already ran out of time.

The spell book bag big enough for lots of treats! Hehe!

And now, for Hedwig. From this inspiration, I needed the following:

  • White cloth to be made into a sort of cape and sleeveless shirt/dress covered with feathers
  • Crocheted white owl hat which I could easily buy online OR DIY using a white bonnet and some scrap fabric or cloth
  • White long sleeves
  • White leggings
  • HP acceptance letter treat bag inspired also by Diary of a Crafty Lady

I discussed the idea with my MIL and I guess she got overwhelmed because admittedly, it’s quite tedious to make. 😀 I actually wanted to do it myself make it my trial project but as I mentioned, I do not have a sewing machine. But my MIL loves my kids so much that she just bought a ready-made owl cape! 🙂 It’s not white but not a big deal at all. Though I thought of hand sewing white feathers but thankfully I totally let go of that idea because probably I’m still sewing until now. I’m exaggerating of course but you get the point.

The cutie owl cape! 🙂

Btw, I was planning on being part of the kids’ costumes just like last year by babywearing the Little Princess thus, the cape design of the owl so that it will spread and cover the baby carrier. I thought of being a tree, where the owl lives obviously by simply wearing brown pants and green top and probably just sticking some leaf cutouts on my shirt. Dressing up as a cage also crossed my mind but I realized it was too ambitious so I just stuck with the tree. Haha! But come trick or treating time, I didn’t get to go around with the kiddos because I was dressed up as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland as part of our department’s decor. Good thing I didn’t change and remained to be the Red Queen instead because I won as one of the best in costumes! Haha! 🙂 I’m not going to post a picture of me in my Red Queen costume anymore. I’m shy. Haha! No, I couldn’t find a nice shot, most are blurred so I’ll just leave to your imagination the look of a Queen of Hearts in a P29 red wig and cheap make-up. 😀

Going back to Hedwig. 😀 The owl cape problem was solved, I just needed the shirt or dress with feathers. When I was in Market! Market!’s tiangge fashion section, I saw a P50 white tank top and I immediately knew that’s what I was looking for. Also bought a yard of light gray Geena cloth at Cotton Touch in Market! Market! for P30 to use as feathers along with the old white shirts I no longer use at home. So the tracing and cutting began, then sewing them all on the white tank top. It took me 2 nights to finish the “shirt feathers”. Just the front part, take note. So I decided not to continue it to the back. The cape would cover it anyway. I knew I made the best decision not to sew the owl cape with feathers to make it white because it will take me forever! Ha!

Trace and cut then all prepared for sewing!

I partnered the shirt feathers with a pair of white leggings for P150 from SM. I discovered and I had a hunch that the tiangges have it too, in a cheaper fabric though, for only P50. Too late. 😦 Moving on, a white long sleeve shirt was also part of the plan which was supposed to serve as an inner for the shirt feathers but the best one I found after a long search had no size for the Little Princess and I find the price at P399 to be steep for its purpose. Bye bye inner shirt. Besides, the shirt feathers alone already did it’s job plus it would be too hot for the Little Princess if I added a white longsleeved shirt.

I finished it! Yay! Handsewn with love 🙂

And finally, to complete the Hedwig costume, the treat bag! 🙂 From what I learned from my research, Hedwig is Harry Potter’s messenger so I used the acceptance letter as the design for the treat bag, similar to what Diary of a Crafty Lady did. Same with the HP treat bag, I also used a paper bag, a white horizontal (or in landscape orientation) one. Then I printed on a white bond paper Harry Potter’s address using the original font used in the envelope, the 4 Privet Drive Regular, that I downloaded from 10 Digits Design. I couldn’t thank more the person who made this font because I was already at the verge of giving up finding a file that bears the Harry Potter’s address that I could enlarge and print. He was heaven sent! 😀 I pasted the address on one side of the paper bag to serve as the front side of the “envelope”. Afterwhich, I cut and glued pieces of white cartolina to form the back side of the envelope. I used a long brown envelope as a pattern. Then I printed the Hogwarts logo and the red seal and glued them to “seal” the “envelope”.

Ready to be carried by Hedwig to be filled with candies! 🙂

Here are Harry Potter and Hedwig enjoying all their treats! 🙂

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Treat bags all filled with treats! 🙂

There goes our Harry Potter and Hedwig Halloween! ‘Till next year! 🙂

FC Barcelona Themed 30th Birthday

I love small, intimate parties. I love crafty things. I love DIYs. Putting all these three together awakens the Martha Stewart in me. 🙂 Imagine my delight in conceptualizing what I would do for my husband’s 30th birthday which we celebrated last October 14.

Weeks before his birthday, I asked Daddy J how he wanted to celebrate this milestone in his life. He is a simple, no-fuss person so he is not keen on parties — more so, big parties. As mentioned in my previous post, we thought of mounting a “big” party (big means around 30 people? 🙂 ) to celebrate his “thirtyhood” but eventually brushed that idea off and just came up with a simple celebration at home.

And so, the “artsy-fartsy” me brainstormed on how I can make his 30th birthday a little special and memorable and finally came up with a theme that I was pretty sure he would like. Daddy J is into football recently and is an avid FC Barcelona fan so red, blue and yellow it was! I immediately Googled ideas for an FC Barcelona themed party and listed down what I needed to prepare given the limited time I have. Since I have a regular 9.6-hour job, I only got to do all the DIYs at night after the kids have slept which is at around 10pm. Whew! 🙂 Here are pegs that I worked on:

Via Karo’s Fun Land

Via Crissy’s Crafts

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Via Hip Hip Hurray

To pull off the FC Barcelona theme, I covered our dining table with a cheap green cloth from Cotton Touch in Market! Market! for around P30 per yard and turned it into a “football field”. I got 3 yards to be sure but found out 2 yards would already fit in our table. I DIYed a net out of a roll of white yarn at P14/roll and stuck it on the wall to make a “goal”. I just covered the ugly edges of the net with strips of white cartolina then posted the birthday banner I did myself and a soccer ball printed out on a paper. Voila! An easy and simple FCB party decor! 🙂

fcbbday

I apparently didn’t get to take photos while doing my DIYs because I had to maximize my time but I’ll give a little bit of details on how I did them. Let’s start off with the table cover. I initially thought of painting the green fabric with white acrylic paint to create the football field look but due to time constraints, I had a eureka moment at the night I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the cloth. I remembered I have some sticker papers left in my supplies so I just cut about 3/4 inch strips and connected them together. For the circle and semi-circle, I traced a plate that would fit the size of the sticker paper and just estimated the 3/4 inch width while cutting it. Just a tip: when you stick the round stickers on the cloth, do not peel everything yet because it will crumple and you won’t get the perfect circle. Just peel a portion then lay down the circle then start peeling and sticking portion by portion of the circle. That’s a lot easier than peeling it all together then sticking it.

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The “football field” slash dining table. Upon seeing it, my Big Boy J exclaimed, “Football field!” 🙂

For the net, I was thinking of just purchasing it but I couldn’t find one so I resorted to DIY-ing it. I found this video tutorial on YouTube on how to do a net and just simply followed it. What I did was not so polished as I would like it to be but hey, it was alright past midnight then! 🙂

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DIY net for the “goal”

Next is the birthday banner. I love doing banners myself. I mean manually cutting and pasting them. 🙂 I obviously didn’t print it because it will consume too much ink and as I said, I love holding the scissors and cutting the shapes and letters and getting my hands sticky with glue. I’m crafty! Or I claim to be. 🙂 Eversince I started doing DIYs since the Big Boy’s 1st birthday, I’ve always loved manually doing birthday banners myself. It’s a little time consuming, yes, but I find it fulfilling seeing the banner displayed. Labor of love, so to speak. 🙂 For Daddy J’s birthday banner, I used red, blue and yellow cartolina so it wouldn’t be so light and floppy like a paper but not too stiff like a board. I just Googled and printed a t-shirt pattern then traced with a pencil and cut it out in a blue cartolina. Then I cut 3/”4 inch strips of red cartolina and pasted them on the blue shirt. I looked for a free FC Barcelona font and calculated the font size needed for the letters to fit in the shirt and be visible enough from afar by trial-printing on a paper. Once I got the perfect font size, I printed all the letters needed in shadow or outline format (so as not to waste ink!), traced and cut it in a yellow cartolina then pasted in the center of the shirt.

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Birthday banner handcrafted with love 🙂

Of course, the FCB-themed birthday would not be complete without a cake! So more than a week before Joey’s birthday, I contacted my ever-trusted cake supplier, Nadine of Swirls N Sprinkles Bakeshop to bake an FCB jersey cake. She is also the one who made the Big Boy’s Cars cake for his 2nd birthday and the Little Princess’ Sofia the First 1st birthday cake. (I’ll post them, too as well as the DIYs I did on my kids’ birthday parties. When? Let’s find out. Hehe!). She executes very well the design I have in mind for all the cakes that I ordered and they all tasted good because they were not too sweet — you can actually eat a lot without getting easily satiated. The price is also very friendly. It is one of the most affordable amongst the bakers I have canvassed prices from. She also responds very quickly via email or SMS which is important for me especially when I have clarifications re my order. I’ll continue to be a constant client and I’ll actually recommend her to my relatives and friends. 🙂

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Barca cake! Daddy J loved it! And the kids, too with the Big Boy pestering me to cut it already even if his daddy was not yet home. 😀

To save time and effort in cleaning utensils after the party, I just bought some paper plates (P80 for the 8-pc square one, P60 for the 8-pc round one), paper cups (P55 for the striped, P45 for the solid colored, both 8 pcs), paper straws (P100 for 60pcs) and table napkins (P60 for 24pcs), all in FCB color or football theme, from Celebrations Party Central located at the 4/F Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. Oh, I love that place! A newfound haven for small-party-lovers-and-DIY-ers like me (apart from Divisoria which is quite far from our place)! 🙂 The wooden spoons and forks I bought from SM Hypermart for P72 each pack. I put the straws and the spoons and forks in mason jars and styled them a bit with a red bakers twine which I also got from Celebrations Party Central for P60 for 15 yards. Bakers twine is a must for parties! 🙂

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Good thing we also have red, blue and yellow plates and bowls at home which I bought for the Big Boy’s Superman themed 1st birthday party. That’s where we put all the food that we prepared — grilled pork, fried shrimp, fried lumpia, tacos, pasta and assorted fruits like kiwi, papaya and honey dew. And oh, to make it more healthy and (to add some more reds in the whole party theme 🙂 ), we prepared talbos ng kamote juice, the recipe of which I learned from Velvet Roxas, the lecturer at the Tamang Kain seminar that I attended last week (I’ll also post about that seminar where I learned a lot. 🙂 ). Just a quick how-to on the preparation of talbos ng kamote juice: you will need 1.) violet talbos ng kamote, 2.) calamansi and 3.) honey. There was no exact measurement of the ingredients given, you will just estimate the amount and prepare according to your liking.

  1. Boil the talbos ng kamote then remove the talbos. Leave the juice.
  2. Squeeze some calamansi.
  3. Add honey.

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Going back to the party, the Big Boy and the Little Princess should absolutely have a major part so I dressed them up in Messi jerseys. 🙂 Notice that the yellow jersey is too big on A because it belongs to her Kuya. 😀 Daddy J changed into his FCB jersey, too to match the kids. I was also planning on wearing his yellow jersey to match A but I found out it was already in the laundry. Therefore, OP (out of place) me. 😀

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I actually wanted to put some red, blue and yellow balloons on the chairs and make some tiny flags or pom poms from crepe papers but I didn’t have time anymore. I was also not able to create a large FCB logo on a blue and red backdrop to be placed above the “goal”. But I  think the set up already made a nice Barca theme even if I failed to include other details. What do you think? 🙂

All the time, effort and sleepless nights for making this FC Barcelona party to reality paid off because the birthday boy loved it and it’s all that matters. 🙂