Monday, 28 May 2012

Harry Potter Studio Tour....The Costumes, The Potion Room and Dumbledore's Study.

Recently I dragged my husband to the new Harry Potter Studio Tour mostly as a camera back up! He has never read the books and has probably slept through at least half of the films but he likes a day out if lunch is offered!
Due to his lack of Potter pedigree we pre-ordered a digi-guide for him and he found this a great gadget to play with and he could astound me with all sorts of film facts as we wandered round.
Now before I move on with the tour I do have a terrible confession to make.......I have found all of the HP films a huge disappointment. I can't bear Daniel Radcliffe, I think he has been an awful HP and if it wasn't for the tremendous performances of the truly talented adult actors we would have been stuck watching all those terrible child actors.
I did, however, adore some of the sets so this trip was a must for me both for inspiration and building ideas.
The door to the Great Hall is the entrance to the exhibition and hardly a child in sight! If you are thinking of taking younger children be prepared to spend more time in the shop than the main exhibition. This is definitely a look but don't touch tour with a few interactive gadgets along the way.
Well on with the tour......Scattered through the halls are the costumes we all know so well now.
 The Grey Lady in the Great Hall.
 The Slytherin costumes of the later films.......
 ......and Gryffindor of course!
 The staff: Professor Flitwick,
 Mad-Eye Moody and Sybill Trelawney
 and Severes Snape.
 The gorgeous costumes of Beauxbatons School from 'The Goblet of Fire'.
 A collection of Death Eaters......
 .....including 'He who must not be named'.
Pretty in pink for Dolores Umbridge.
A lot of the props and sets are from the later films probably because so much of the earlier stuff has been destroyed or dismantled (or on the walls of lots of lucky crew and cast members!!).
 The set for Dumbledore's Office is really interesting for those of us doing HP scenes or steam punk themes. 
 You can walk around most of the set but this part has a barrier. The blue lighting is due to the changing lighting within the halls for day and evening. This makes it very atmospheric but a pain to take photos!
 One of the many cabinets all full of marvellously interesting brass pieces. A trick I noticed that I will definitely copy, the same pieces are repeated in the different cabinets but set next to different items each time. This makes the cabinets look very individual but easier to fill.
 Lots of ideas to take away here too.
 This was gorgeous. 
 I am sure we could make lots of these items in miniature to liven up our wizarding shelves.
The Potion Room was huge. Maybe even the biggest of the room sets.
 There was everything in this set that you could possibly want to see for any wizardly project inspiration.
 Jars and jars of potions....
 .......and magical mixing equipment.
 What I really found interesting was the use of over-sized jars and bottles. This will be a great way for me to use all the glass ware I have that bought thinking it was miniature!!
 Everything is covered in a fine layer of dust which certainly adds to the dungeon feeling.
A table ready and waiting for a group of students.
I have created a folder of all the photographs I took on the day if you would like to see more of the exhibition. No labels yet but I think they are pretty well known!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Magical Menagerie Interior Preparation.....

I am planning to have lots of wall cages in the Menagerie and inspired by the work of Peter Clark I am going to try and build them using crates. 
 I have been playing with various layouts and am not quite sure how I will stack them yet. I need to put in a false door on the back wall but the 19 crates still don't look enough while the side wall looks very bare with the smaller pile.
 I will stain them and then fill them with all sorts of magical animals.......eventually! I am intending to use netting and cocktail sticks as ways to make the animal crates safe for customers. Lots of cats of course but I want it to look very chaotic plus all the pet supplies needed to look after you magical pet!
I am hoping to get a few ideas from my studio tour, if the Menagerie is on show.
 I also added to my cage collection when I visited Miniatura this Spring. This is a lobster cage made by C & D Crafts but it looked so unusual I knew it could find a home in the Menagerie. Do have a look at their website, they make lots of marvellous pieces including a pet carrier that I have shown in a previous blog. They even have an eco-friendly cane coffin!
I started tiling the roof of Flourish and Blotts today and have completed the two small sides. Lots more to apply but with the weather as awful as it is at the moment I am wiling away the time.
Have a dry weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Where Has the Time Gone?

Gosh it has been an age since the last time I posted. Sometimes life just whizzes by without you even noticing. My children all returned from Uni for Easter and created the usual happy chaos which always means very little time for my mini world.
I did, however, make these.....
 ......for the little princess in my life who celebrated her 21st birthday at Easter time.
Like all little - and big - girls she was a huge Disney princess fan so it seemed like a fun thing to make her. My first attempt at decoupage which is a lot harder than I thought!
My girl is very hard work when it comes to presents so as she is finishing her third year studying Archaeology and has been accepted onto a Masters course next year I decided to treat us both to a trip to Pompeii.
 Here is the birthday girl enjoying a hot chocolate on our arrival in Pompei town square. We had to have a hot drink because unfortunately for the first couple of days the weather was not wonderful.
 This was our first visit to Pompeii and it absolutely poured down!! We kept smiling though because despite the rain we were so amazed by the site. It is huge and having only seen the ruins in Rome before I could not believe that now we were walking down whole streets.
 Then every so often you would peer in a 'house' and see a frieze like this looking like it was painted a couple of decades ago. 
It is a truly fantastic place to visit.
You can find drinking fountains all around the site and place a hand on the same place as a Roman citizen as the stone is worn away where thousands of Romans leaned over to take a drink.
You can even cross the street using a Roman pedestrian crossing!
Of course we had to see one of the eerie victim casts. You can even see the markings of their clothing.
We had such a nice time not only doing the history and culture but having lots of girl chats and gossip!!
Plus the pizza was to die for and once the weather cheered up I was able to enjoy a glass or two of my favourite tipple, Prosecco.
I have had some time for a bit of mini shopping that I hope to be able to share with you over the next fe days. 
Plus work has continued on Flourish and Blotts. Lots of brick work and tiling. Not very exciting but sooooo time consuming.
Lastly, I have booked to go to the Making of Harry Potter Sudio Tour next Wednesday which is very exciting. I am hoping to get lots of inspiration and intend to take 100's of photos. Having seen some already I know there will be a thousand thoughts in my head when I come home!!
So, that's me. Now to catch up on some blog reading.