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Blog

Here's where the magic happens. I'll be posting about all of my experiences and experiments (both failed and successful ones), introducing you to my costumes, sharing fun stories, linking tutorials and useful products, and who knows what else!

 

You're a Wizard, Mikey!

Michael MacWolff

At last, my Harry Potter weekend has come and gone. It was tons of fun and we're all so tired. But anyway, here's how the weekend went.

Friday
Friday night was arrival for most folks, and the highest attendance. I set up a scavenger hunt around the house for people to explore all of the fun rooms and test everyone's knowledge of HP lore (but only a little).  My favorite clue read as follows: "You can see all your heart’s desires in this magical object. But don’t be fooled, for the things it shows are neither real, nor true. Resist its allure if you can, as you’ll have to gaze into it to find your next clue."

You probably guessed that this one is related to the Mirror of Erised, and you would be correct. The best part, however, was that the clue hidden there could only be read through the mirror, as it was printed backwards.

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Sadly, I messed up a little bit because rather than the clues leading directly to the final location, each clue had a piece of a cipher which would eventually have to be unscrambled to figure out the treasure's final hiding place. Unfortunately, I forgot a letter so that tripped a few teams up. Regardless one team successfully found the treasure chest full of Honeydukes candy OM NOM NOM

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Once snacks were procured for the weekend, we had a little welcome bonfire (which took several Incendio spells to conjure since it rained Friday morning so all of the wood was wet. However, with fire being conjured, we also had a very special performance by one of our talented witches, doing a native Albanian dragon mesmerization ritual. Needless to say, it was quite effective on us, dragon or not.

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Friday also marked our first brewing of potions and they were moste potente. It certainly made for a fun evening.

Saturday
Saturday morning started with a delicious breakfast prepared by one of our favorite Hufflepuff chefs, followed by a morning wandmaking workshop. People made some awesome wands for use throughout the weekend.

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Our newly crafted wands did take some time to dry so we took our opportunity to visit a local park for a short game of quidditch and a picnic lunch.

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Fun continued back at the Hogwarts sattelite campus with a magizoology lesson and a series of logic puzzles to earn points for the house cup competition. Most of you learned about many of the fantastic beasts covered, but here's a little glimpse of our care of magical creatures area.

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Ok, yes, mandrakes are plants and not animals, but those lines can be kinda blurry when it comes to magical flora and fauna anyway.

As for the logic challenge, the centerpiece was pointedly Professor Snape's own creation, but involved several other riddles and puzzles for our witches and wizards to solve.

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While on the subject of Snape's potion riddle, I feel it appropriate to add that the other safeguards protecting the philosopher's stone were also employed, as we had a stone of our own to keep safe.

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Saturday evening was by far the fanciest feast we had all weekend, as our head house elf pulled out all of the stops for dinner. Shepherds pie, boiled potatoes, steak & kidney pie, and brussel sprouts were just the beginning of the culinary extravaganza he prepared.

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With all of the witches happy and full, we moved on to games including the much anticipated trivia game. Ravenclaw had the highest takeaway from the match and we moved on to the much less serious game of Cards Against Muggles. Yes, it's exactly what you're thinking and yes, it's just as absurd as you might expect. The House Cup was a pretty even split at this point.

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Sunday
As I'm sure you can imagine, Sunday was a bit of a lazy start, and many witches and wizards who traveled quite far to join us had portkeys to catch, but we did practice some patronus summoning, and we had a few extra special creatures join us for the morning. The first being a rather large bird of an unusual quality, and the second being a very sweet pupper with a few extra heads. They got along quite famously.

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With many happy memories from the weekend, casting patronuses was easy, and our resident boggart-turned-dementor made for good target practice.

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No, Kyle, it's supposed to be a happy memory...

No, Kyle, it's supposed to be a happy memory...

That's better.

That's better.

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And how appropriate that we ended with the happiest memories in our minds as everyone began their journeys home. It was certainly a magical weekend, and an event I hope to repeat in the future!

Hogwarts Satellite Campus

Michael MacWolff

Welcome back everyone! As I noted before my nearly month-long absence, the entire month of September I would be taking off from prop commissions in anticipation of my Harry Potter weekend coming up in the first weekend of October. Well, I've been doing just that! A few posts ago, I gave you all a primer on magical creatures, which I've been expanding my menagerie and now have several  more creatures indigenous to the Harry Potter universe, but also have a number of creatures outside of it. I plan to continue building my collection even after the party is over because I really like magical critters.

But you've already heard about all of them so today I wanted to take a quick second and show off all of the other fun things I've been making to slowly transform my house into Hogwarts. Now I haven't mortared all of the walls with stone, but we do have each of the four house common rooms represented.

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The Gryffindor commmon room will of course have a painting of the Fat Lady on its door. The painting isn't finished yet but I have every confidence that she will guard the room well. Gryffindor common room will also house our hall of relics, where most of the magical objects we've come to know and love will be on display. We'll get back to those later.

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Hufflepuff common room will be accessed through a stack of barrels. for those of you who are not members of the house, the key to getting into the common room is by tapping your wand on the correct barrel in the proper rhythm. Don't screw it up or you'll get a face full of vinegar!
As this is in our master bedroom, there will not be as much extraneous stuff here, but I am planning to hang a picture of our house founder in the room, as it is at Hogwarts.

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Ravenclaw tower is sporting its blue and bronze banners and is entererd by answering a riddle from the bronze door knocker gracing the door. Hope you're clever enough to get in. Though it isn't yet finished, there will be a bronze bust of Rowena Ravenclaw with her diadem.

As Ravenclaw common room is in a tower, it seemed appropriate to have the Owlery located there as well, and as a nod to the astronomy tower, the cieling will be filled with stars.

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Slytherin common room can be accessed through a large grey curtain painted to resemble stone. Sadly we don't have a basement because it would be great to have it there, but we'll make due.

Given that the potions master has consistently been the head of house, the apothecary will be located there. Also (as you can see by the stuff on the floor) this is usually my craft room so I have all of my supplies there. As such, we've modded it into the Dark Arts (& Crafts) Center!

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Along with changing the actual living space for the event, I of course have been hard at work making a bunch of props of magical relics!

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First up we have a Remembrall which glows red when you forget something. Good luck remembering whatever it is that you've forgotten.

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We also have the Goblet of Fire, in case we need to choose any capable witches and wizards to be our champions.

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Don't waste away looking into the Mirror of Erised. It may show you your deepest desires, but it does not show the truth, or what will come to pass.

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We have two new books to add to the magical library: Hogwarts, A History and The Moster Book of Monsters. If I get around to it, Magical Me will also be added to out collection. And although it's kind of hard to tell from the photo, the bits that look like they're glowing do actually light up (including the moon).

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Naturally we need to have the sorting hat around, especially because there will be a bunch of group activities we need to be sorted for. He was quite grumpy when I asked for his picture...

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Here you can see the (nearly) full collection of horcruxes. I plan to add a little portrait of Harry to complete the bunch.

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And of course the one Hogwarts founder's treasure that was not corrupted by Voldemort, the Sword of Gryffindor. So shiny. So chrome.

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And last, but certainly not least, we have some flying keys for the chamber that protects the Philosopher's Stone. They may have their wings but we haven't charmed them to fly just yet. We'll have a few other items for that room, including a wizard chess set, some Devil's Snare, a collection of potions bottles, the Philosopher's Stone itself, and a permanently unconscious troll. And of course the Mirror of Erised will be kept there as well.

I am thoroughly looking forward to this event, and will most certainly be sharing more photos from the weekend with all of you. Cheers!

Selfie!Con

Michael MacWolff

Hey everyone!
Just got back from an awesome weekend at Matsuricon! As usual I'm not great at remembering to have people get photos of me in cosplay, but I did happen to constantly get selfies with people so yay for that!
 

Friday

I went down in Sothe, since I haven't worn him in a long time, and a friend of mine who does every version of Sothe ever was coming! So we decided to do PoR & RD Sothes together and it was glorious!

We went to the FE photoshoot and the person running the shoot didn't know who we were so we almost didn't get a Tellius series shot. Oops. But we did have a third, and made a Green-Haired Trifecta with Stefan!

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After the shoot it was time to put my dance shoes and my fancy pants on because the wonderful Trickssi was running the formal ball and doing lessons beforehand, and I was not about to miss out on any of that.

So my fellow Sothe and I stopped being the same person and transformed into these winners!

God bless her for taking selfies with me otherwise I'd have no photos of my own cosplays from this weekend XD

God bless her for taking selfies with me otherwise I'd have no photos of my own cosplays from this weekend XD

Despite the lack of useful equipment prvided by the con for the lessons, we still had a lot of fun and learned to waltz, rumba, tango, swing, and salsa! I got some practice as a follow, which is always nice, and got to dance with some awesome folks. There was even a guy who asked for extra swing lessons afterwards when he learned that I was semi-competent at that one, so when we were at the actual ball he would come over every time a swing number came up and learn some new moves! Sadly I am not nearly as good a teacher as Trickssi so it was an interesting challenge, but we had a lot of fun! Also, my feet wanted to die.

After the formal I managed to meet up with my Wolf Pack at last since everyone was finally there by that point. We hung out for a while but everyone was tired so we we're up as late as we could have been.

Saturday

My only actual plans on Saturday were to go to the Destiny shoot in the afternoon, but I knew I didn't want to be in the Speaker all day so I went over in the morning in Oliver.

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He's simple and comfy so it was a nice choice for the morning. I'm pretty sure only one person recognized me outside of my group of friends, but I'm totally fine with that since I know it's not a super widely-known game.

Once it hit early afternoon it was time to change into the Speaker and head to the Destiny shoot. The shoot was awesome, and sadly I don't have any photos to share at the moment because I didn't take any.... and let's be honest they all would have been terrible because I can't see anything directly in front of me when I'm in the Speaker. I do, however have another selfie with Genki that is the only documentation I possess that I actually wore him at all.

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The shoot was great though, even though there were only a few of us. I got to make friends with Foundry 13 and Otherworld Cosplay, who were there as a titan and off-duty warlock, respectively. All three of us are planning on doing more Destiny cosplay, particularly with D2 coming out in a little over a week, and I'm hoping I get a chance to play with them at some point because they were both super chill and fun to hang out with. I know I definitely want to make my own warlock at some point, and if I have as much fun playing D2 as I did the original, I know I'm going to maintain that interest. And besides, the designs are so awesome it definitely tickles my creative juices too.
Another bonus was that we had one of the staff photographers running the shoot, so we should have some really nice photos and they should be up on Matsuri's website! I'll be sure to clue you guys in when I see those.

I bummed around the convention for a while longer in the Speaker, hoping there would be a few other people who wanted photos, which there were... along with a lot of questions about what the heck I was doing when the Cabal took over XD

Finally I had enough of being blind and having to walk like a princess, and changed into Penny. Unfortunately the Destiny & RWBY shoots were back to back so I didn't make it, but I did run into an adorable Velvet on my way back over to the con floor.

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I spent the rest of the night hanging out and laughing my ass off with my wolf pack, AROOOO!

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Sunday

Sunday was my usual waking up way too early because my body doesn't understand what it means to sleep pat 6am, so I loaded up my car, ate some free breakfast, put on some yellow shorts, and wandered over to the con center as Banjo & Kazooie.

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The con center was a ghost town at that point so I just chilled and played pokemon for a while, but I ran into a few folks I knew before long and everyone seemed to be back together a lot earlier than I was expecting. We wandered around for a while, I found an artist with a full set of Team CFVY buttons (ok, my friend found them first but whatever) and bought some gorgeous Persona 5 prints from an artist I already have some prints from. Then, it was time for Mikey to go home to his boys. After the not-too-long-but-plenty-long-enough drive, there was much rejoicing, and many snuggles.

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And that was that! I didn't really take many photos, although there were plenty of great cosplayers about.

And as most of you know at this point, my next big event is my Harry Potter weekend at the beginning of October, so I'll be making a ton of stuff for that. I may or may not be posting super regularly here this month, but I will definitely be taking photos of all the stuff I'm creating and will be sure to share.
Until next time <3