Muggles Mixed with Magic

         

            Hermione Granger broke the Horcrux. It hissed angrily. The golden cup had belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, one of the four founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hermione and her friend Ron Weasley were kneeling in the Chamber of Secrets while a ferocious battle raged above them. They had needed a Basilisk fang to destroy the goblet Lord Voldemort had turned into a horrible Horcrux.

Suddenly Harry Potter burst into the Chamber, wrapped in a bathrobe, wet with colourful bubbles clinging to him, like he had just come out of the Prefect’s bathroom. He was clutching a large, golden false egg.

“I can’t figure it out,” he said, frustrated. “I don’t understand what the egg means.”

Harry had gotten the egg from the Dursleys as a present for leaving their house. When he had brought it to Hogwarts, it had turned into a Portkey and led him to the merpeople.

Suddenly the egg burst open and let out a bout of ‘Weasley is Our King’:

Weasley is our king,

            He cannot block a single thing,

            That is why the Slytherins all sing,

            Weasley is our King.

            Soon Professor Slughorn walked up to Harry.

“I just love knitting,” he said.

Harry nodded and handed the professor the Elder Wand.

“Here, knit with this,” he said.

Slughorn took the wand, popped a Pepper Imp into his mouth, and walked away.

            Harry got up and stood among a crowd of Hogwarts students. They were looking at a crude sign painted in what looked like blood on the stone wall of the corridor. The words read:

DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY

Suddenly Hagrid jostled through the crowd and made his way to Harry.

“Yer a wizard, Harry!” he exclaimed, beaming cheerfully.

“Er … I know,” said Harry, quite confused.

He looked down and saw Scabbers the rat.

“Why, Scabbers!” he exclaimed.

Soon Scabbers transformed, his snout shortening and his tail thickening, into Crookshanks, Hermione’s cat. The cat hissed.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” it said, and ran away.

Then Harry dipped his head into the Pensieve in front of him. The silvery liquid rippled as he entered a memory.

Harry gasped in astonishment. He saw himself and Ron’s sister Ginny riding together on a hippogriff. The hippogriff was flying through the starry night, with an hourglass attached to a chain around its feathery neck.

The memory-Harry and Ginny leaned toward each other, and kissed.

Suddenly memory-Ginny turned into Draco Malfoy, Harry’s archenemy. They were flying on broomsticks through the Quidditch field.

“Hey, Potter, bet you can’t catch that Hungarian Horntail,” he said.

Harry lifted his head out of the Pensieve and turned to Ron.

“Ready?” he asked.

Ron nodded.

They shifted their trolleys. Harry’s pet phoenix, Fawkes, squawked in his cage and sang a long, sorrowful song.

“One … two … three!” Ron shouted, counting down.

They ran into the wall between platforms nine and ten, and disappeared.

 

            And the moral of this story is: do not read a book series out of order, or you will find yourself hopelessly confused.

If you want more creative Harry Potter ideas, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Wearing Face Masks

Hello! Today I am going to blog about wearing masks. For those of you who protest against them, you may want to stop reading, for this is not a rant, but a supportive argument to wearing masks. During this pandemic, I believe they are very helpful.

I am very glad to wear masks. During the summer, my family and I did not have masks yet, and I felt very vulnerable when I went in any big store. I was glad, and still am, that masks are mandatory in my school.

I sewed our own masks so that my family did not have to buy them. I looked through many mask patterns, and a friend told me about a great mask pattern from Twig + Tale. Twig + Tale is a sewing community website with many great sewing patterns, including the one for their masks. There are two versions of face masks you can sew: pleated and panel. I sewed the panel mask because of its nice fit and easier instructions. However, the pleated one works well, too. But instead of using elastic loops or fabric ties, I sewed a long length of bias tape to the mask and fit a small bead on, to make an adjustable ear-loop. I also included a nose wire to make it fitting for those, like me,  who wear glasses. These masks are shown in the picture at the top of my post.

It frustrates me when people do not wear masks properly. When I see people wearing their mask under their nose, I almost want to go and shove it above. Sometimes I wonder if people can be so ignorant to not know that if you wear your face mask below your nose it does absolutely nothing.

There is an abundance of science-proved evidence that wearing a mask reduces the spread of COVID-19. When you talk, you release small droplets that span a range of 2 metres, thus the social distancing rules. “Surgical masks and cloth coverings can reduce viral transmission by 70% if everyone wears them and wears them correctly over [their] nose and mouth.” If you wear a mask, you reduce the spread of your saliva and the possible viruses contained within.

Coronavirus is literally taking over the world, and if you want to be able to go to restaurants, get manicures, and throw large parties, the sooner you wear a mask, the sooner those events will be able to happen. I don’t know about you, but I want this pandemic to end.

If you want to buy your own face masks so that you can feel safe and help others feel safe, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

“Healthifying” Baked Goods

Hello! Today I will be blogging about how to make your baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, and biscuits, healthier. I grew up doing this, and it creates delicious baked treats guilt-free, because you don’t have to worry about the weight you’re putting on, but rather feel great about all the healthy nutrients you are filling your body with.

It is very easy to ‘healthify’ baked goods. Just follow the recommendations below:

  • For every twelve servings, it is a good idea to add 1/4 cup of flaxseed.
  • Also switch white flour to brown flour, or at least half it.
  • Another way to make your treats healthier is to use only brown sugar, and not white.

Of course, you don’t want to do this for everything. If you are baking a birthday cake or a different celebratory treat, you will want to stick to the recipe. But if you feel like baking casual muffins, it is a great idea to make your snacks healthier.

The picture at the top of my post is of a healthified chocolate zucchini muffin. When I baked these, I added 1/4 cup flax, switched the flour to brown flour, and used only brown sugar. I also halved the chocolate chips. Of course, there is also a 1 1/2 cups of grated zucchini in there, as well. In spite of all this, I can’t tell the difference and feel like I’m eating a chocolate cake every time I bite into one.

If you are a stickler for eating healthy, just add some flax and use brown ingredients. It’s easy, healthy, and still delicious.

If you want the recipe I used for the zucchini muffins, CLICK HERE. Please note that the recipe I used is not already healthified, you will have to do it yourself.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Quilted Coasters

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to sew quilted coasters. These coasters are fun to make, and work really well for isolating hot or cold drinks from your table with thick layers. The coffee mug design also gives them a cute look. Here is what you will need:

  • Flannel
  • Quilt batting
  • 2 colours of felt
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
  • Thread

Step 1: cut out two squares of flannel material and one of batting, each one 5 inches square. Pin these together with the two flannel pieces together and the batting underneath.

Step 2: Stitch around the edge of the squares with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, leaving a space for turning right side out. Clip the corners and turn out, and overseam the edges to help the coaster keep its shape, pulling out the edges with a sewing pin so that no material is bunched up inside. Make sure you turn it out so that the batting is inside the coaster.

Step 3: Cut out a coffee mug or teacup shape from paper and pin as a template onto your felt. This pattern should not be hard to draw, and if you have no success, print out a simple clip art from online. make sure your hap is about 2 1/2 inches tall, and 2 inches wide. Cut out the shape on felt, and sew it will a 1/8 inch seam allowance onto the coaster.

Step 4: Cut out two small ‘steam’ shapes, and sew those above the mug or teacup. Iron your coaster.

 

Ta-da! You now have a coaster! You can give it away as a gift or keep it for yourself.

If you want more coaster patterns to try out, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

The Princess Bride

As you wish.

Hello! Today I will be blogging about  one of my favourite books called The Princess Bride. First, here is a general overview:

  • Author: William Goldman
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: 10+
  • Please note: Includes violent scenes and battles

The Princess Bride is a classic book written by William Goldman. It was oublished in 1973, and since then has had multiple editions made, including a 20th anniversary edition and 30th anniversary edition. The copy I own has three intoductions, specialty paper, elagant designs, and fantastic illustrations. It is also much bigger in size, making me feel like I am holding a real wonder, which I am.

In The Princess Bride, Buttercup is a poor girl living with her parents and ‘Farm Boy’, Westley, their servant, in the country of Florin. When the Count comes to inspect their cows, Buttercup sees the Countess staring at the Farm Boy in a very peculiar way, leading Buttercup to begin to love Westley immensley. When Westley leaves to seek his fortune in America, he is killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and Buttercup begins to shrink into herself. But soon Prince Humperdinck wished her for his wife, and she lives with him in peparatino for the wedding, but one day while she is riding, she is kidnapped, and must depend on the Man in Black to save her…

Throughout this incredible book, there is wondeful laugh-out-loud humour, valiant fights, despairing captures, and ripping adventure that brings you to the very end….I have read this book twice and plan to read it again soon.

A movie of The Princess Bride was filmed in 1987, starring Robin Wright as Buttercup and Cary Elwes as Westley. The script was written by William Goldman, the author of The Princess Bride himself, so the movie takes a wonderful perspective on the book and is just as enjoyable, yet shorter, so read the book first! 

There is also an extra chapter that acts as a sequel to The Princess Bride called Buttercup’s Baby, a story of the brave group of heroes (yes, group, but saying so would be a spoiler) continued from the The Princess Bride. It is just as enjoyable, yet unfinished.

Many people may be decieved by William Goldman’s claim that The Princess Bride was orginally written by an S. Morgenstern long ago, and that Goldman abridged the 1000 page book to 300. According to Goldman, The Princess Bride was orginally a history book on the countries of Florin and Guilder with a bit of story in between, but in reality, those countries don’t exist, and neither does Goldman’s ‘S. Morgenstern’. I was very frustrated upon finding this out the first time, but Goldman’s lie does not directly affect the story, and I love the book just the same.

If you want a quick, uplifting, suspenseful, funny, and adventurous fantasy in your hands, then read The Princess Bride, for it classifies as ‘all of the above’!

If you want more information on this book, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan