Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Hogwarts Tea

I am woefully behind on blogging!  Life with a toddler is leaving me much less free time than I had anticipated, but I've still managed to sew for, attend, and even host events this past year.  Case in point, the Hogwarts Tea!

I had originally planned to hold my Historical Hogwarts Tea on September 15, but that was right when Hurricane Florence was supposed to hit our area, so I ended up postponing to October 27.  This was actually fine, as it gave me more time to prepare!  I had grand plans for food, decorations, and games for the party.  Most all of them I was actually able to accomplish.  :)  It helped that I didn't have to make myself anything to wear, so I could focus on the party details.  And my friend Britney brought even more decorations on the day of!

The living room had House scarves, a Gryffindor banner, set of wizard chess:

Banner from Britney
 And a trunk full of "robes" - really saris and more scarves:

I hung various saris and yardages of fabrics in house colors in the inner doorways of my house:

Hogwarts sign from Britney

I made these awesome hourglasses for the House Championship!  Seriously so proud of them:

And I made so many bottles of potion ingredients!  I displayed them in the sunroom:

Britney also brought some potion bottles

The bottles with the fancy labels are the ones Britney brought
She also brought a set of Quidditch balls!
More potion ingredients:  

In the library, we had "The Slytherin couch," and an assortment of Hogwarts letters - in the fireplace, naturally:

Letters courtesy of Britney

Brian the Engineer was kind enough to take some photos of me before the festivities began:

And Brian's Hogwarts chess set

I wore my Hufflebustle, of course - in fact, I had planned this whole event specifically to give myself another reason to wear it!  And so many people had expressed interest in doing their own historical Hogwarts-themed garments that I thought it would be great fun to get to wear them all together.  I made the theme open to any historical era, Hogwarts House colors or just straight-up cosplay.  Everyone really embraced the theme!

Back row:  Glynnis, Janine, Conley, Amy, Taylor, me, Britney
Front row:  Jessica, Megan, Maggie
It was fun to see so many different eras represented!  We had quite a bit of Regency, a couple Victorian, and a few 20th Century ensembles.  And several wands, as you can see.

Not everyone knew each other before the party, so the first thing we did after everyone had arrived and changed was introductions.  This gathering was a melding of two main groups of my costuming friends - the RSV (Regency Society of Virginia) and the Fabulosity Club.

After we all became acquainted, I passed out the party favors:

Each favor was House-themed and contained a winged key charm, a magnetic House brooch, and a list for the scavenger hunt:

I set everyone off on the scavenger hunt while I finished setting out the food and preparing the tea.

They searched high and low!

The sharp-eyed among you may have already noticed one or two of the items, hidden in plain sight.  For the curious, here are all of the items I hid:

The Golden Snitch
The Dragon Egg
The Erumpet Horn
The (possibly) Cursed Necklace
The Marauders' Map
Dobby's Sock
The Pygmy Puff
 After Janine was declared the winner of the scavenger hunt, we all had tea!  

Maggie's photo
We had cucumber sandwiches, chicken cashew croissants, scones (with clotted cream and jam), millionaire shortbread, mini fruit tarts, Fizzing Whizbees and Honeydukes chocolates (brought by Maggie), and citrus curds in House colors.

Maggie's photo
I meant to use these curds to fill eclairs, but my eclair-making skills did not manifest in time.  So I just served them alongside my whole wheat sourdough bread.  They were yummy, though!  I had raspberry lemon curd for Gryffindor, plain lemon for Hufflepuff, blueberry lime for Ravenclaw, and basil lime for Slytherin.  The blue and green are artificially colored. 

Maggie's photo
These mini fruit tarts were my favorite part!  I was going for a facsimile of the Hogwarts crest, and I wasn't sure how all the fruits would taste together, but they were delicious!

Everyone else seemed to think so, too:

After we all stuffed our faces, we of course took many House group photos.

We had a plurality of Slytherins, as you can see.

Some were a bit more extra than others.  :p

Megan was torn between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, so she posed with both Houses.

Maggie's photo
Brian the Engineer took most of the photos in this post, but we were able to catch him in a few!

Maggie's photo
And we took group photos, of course!  You've already seen the nice ones, so here are the silly ones:

Maggie, being the only Gryffindor, got picked on a bit.
More House photos!  

Amy and me, being elegant
Slytherins, being extra
Megan and Maggie, being casual
There were also several themed games:

Connect Four in House colors
Harry Potter Guess Who? (Maggie's Photo)
I also had Harry Potter Uno, Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, and two sets of Hogwarts-themed chess sets.  And people were awarded house points whenever they won a game - yes, those hourglasses were functional!  I wish I had taken a photo of them at the end of the tea, but I forgot.  Anyway, I was unable to declare a winner so everyone got prizes!

They were little bottles of Felix Felicies!
I had even more ideas for favors and prizes that I didn't get to do, so I'll just have to have another Hogwarts Tea next year!  Perhaps I'll have mastered eclairs by then...

More random photos!

All my winged keys, before they went into the favor bags:  

Proof that the hourglasses are functional:

I'm definitely going to do a separate blog post showing how I made them.  It was quite an engineering feat (Brian the Engineer gave plenty of input, as well!)

My potion ingredients, before they were all labeled:

If people are interested, I might do a separate post on the potion ingredients, as well.

Last but not least, the littlest Ravenclaw in her Halloween costume:

These photos are not from the party, as she mostly napped through it.  Also, I only got her little skirt done approximately ten minutes before it was time to pass out candy on Halloween!  She did make an appearance towards the end of the tea, and I put her in her robes for that.

She was a bit groggy.  :p

I might do a separate post about her outfit, later.  It was pretty fun to make.