Browsing Tag

movie

Holidays Lifestyle Seasonal Uncategorized

A Fantastic Halloween and How to Make it

November 2, 2017

Oh my goodness, it’s November already. October was such a whirlwind. I spent a lot of time putting together our fantastic Halloween costumes and trunk for my church’s annual Trunk or Treat, so October flew by. I’ve been super excited to share with you everything that we did for Halloween. With getting married last November,  I didn’t have a lot of time to think about Halloween last year. I was glad to get back to it again.

This year’s Halloween theme was from the  movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If you haven’t seen the movie, you totally should. It’s not as good as Harry Potter (because what is?) but it’s still delightful and charming and cute. The Hubs immediately took to Newt Scamander, because he is a fellow Softie Towards Animals, and also because his clothes were cool. So we just took the theme and ran with it! 

Newt Scamander’s Costume

Fantastic Halloween 1

The Hub’s costume is made up of a LOT of parts, and we even skipped a few. In total, the costume included:

You have already seen the Hufflepuff Scarf, so you know that I made that. I also made the vest using the Butterick B6502 Pattern.  I say that I made it, but really my mom provided a lot of help. We simplified the pattern by not making real pockets, and we only did 4 button holes rather than 6 to give The Hubs a little wiggle room. The coat and bow tie are both by elope, which you can find either on Amazon or Ebay. The tweed pants were bought off Poshmark, and hemmed. The wand was also from Amazon. The suitcase was a gift from my Grandpa and I have been using it to store yarn. It made a great candy holder on Halloween

I mentioned skipping some parts of the costume, and that mainly refers to the suit jacket that Newt wears under his coat. Some fine sleuths online had discovered that the jacket is in fact NOT the same material as the pants(though still tweed) and we were worried that it would be too bulky under the coat. I also skipped a few embellishments on the vest, due to time constraints.

Porpentina Goldstein’s CostumeFantastic Halloween 2

My costume was much simpler to deal with. I chose to use Tina’s flapper look. To do so, I used:

The dress is an  Adrianna Papell beaded dress off Ebay. I added the signature strappy bits myself using a sequenced elastic that I folded in half and hot glued (because I’m classy light that!). The shoes were on sale at Payless a few weeks ago (and they’re 3 1’2″! Yikes!). The wig is the Skyelar Classic wig from Arda Wigs in Deep Brown. I paid one of my friends who used to be a hairdresser to trim the wig for me. The wand is make from a clearance knitting needle, clay and acrylic paint

The Trunk

Fantastic Halloween 3

Oh gosh the trunk. This is where my crazy really comes out. The trunk actually came out looking pretty close to my vision, and meshed elements of Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter. I spent about a month collecting paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make my floating candles a la this tutorial. They were a little precarious as first, but we found that taping the invisible thread to the sides of the candles helped to stabilize it. I was glad we had our candles, because as the night got darker, they helped us to see the balls for our little quiddich game.

Most Trunk or Treats recommend that you have a game for kids to play at your trunk. This is mostly to:

  1. entertain the children; and
  2.  slow the stream of candy.

We chose to make little quiddich hoops for the kids to throw balls into. I bought a three pack of bug nets and cut the nets off. We stuck the nets into tin flower pots filled with concrete. This worked out really well, since the bug nets could still telescope and we could vary the heights of the hoops. It would also work great for quiddich pong, which I’ve definitely never played. And yeah, we totally used ping pong balls for this game. They can be found at Dollar Tree.

Fantastic Halloween 4

Other trunk additions included in our trunk was a plush niffler on a pile of gold, and some silver occamy eggs.  I also made a bowtruckle using floral wire and tape (also from the dollar tree). The tutorial can be found here. Finally, I included a Monster Book of Monsters, which is more Harry Potter than Fanstastic Beasts, but it was fun to make. There’s lots of tutorials out there, but I used this one.  Most of the other embellishments to my trunk were printed from the internet. 

Finished Object Holidays Knitting Seasonal

Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf

October 6, 2017
Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Oh my goodness. It’s been a week. First there was the terrible news out of Las Vegas. Then we heard that Tom Petty had passed. Then we heard that Tom Petty maybe was still alive. The Hubs tells me that this is because you can stand him up at the gates of Hell, but he won’t back down. But then Tuesday his death was confirmed. Now The Hubs has a 102 degree fever, possibly because he is mourning Tom Petty. On top of all that, work has been crazy and I’m pretty worn out.

One of the things keeping me chugging along is thinking about Halloween. Yes. I am that white girl. Except that I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes, but I like chai lattes, so that’s probably just as bad. The Hubs and I decided our Halloween costumes last December, but I’m only just started working on them. We are going to be Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Not only do these costumes fulfill requirement of “pick a costume with shoes you’d wear again”, but it includes some knitting!

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

A long time ago, I knit a Hogwarts House Scarf in Ravenclaw colors. Not long after that, Pottermore happened, and I was sorted into…Slytherin.  Yes, this still upsets me because 1. Snakes. 2. Dungeons and 3. Not a single Slytherin defended Hogwarts in the Battle of Hogwarts? Not a single one? I call BS. Anyways, like a true Slytherin would do, I created a new profile and got sorted into Ravenclaw.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

This was before I knew that you should trim your tassels to the same length.

A short time after that, I moved to Texas and wore my Ravenclaw scarf, to which someone said, “Nice scarf. Dallas Cowboys colors.” Ugh. Nope. So despite my previous Hogwarts House Scarf failures, I was willing to attempt another for Newt Scamander.

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

The Pattern

Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts House Scarf is a little different from the ones in the original series. Firstly, the color has more of a vintage feel to it. It’s the 1920’s after all! I actually  like the vintage style colors better than the originals. I think it makes it look more refined. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who didn’t recognize it as a Hufflepuff scarf, but still really liked the colors. 

Newt Scamander Hogwarts House Scarf

Newt’s scarf also differs from the original Hogwarts House Scarf in that it’s stripes are not exactly even. The yellow stripes are just a wee bit shorter than the gray. Karen Stewart Longest did a great write up on the exact number of rows of each color here. The original scarf has 11 yellow stripes, but that came up looking really short on The Hubs (who is about 2 inches taller than Eddie Redmayne). It’s actually a pretty short scarf, since it’s not meant to be worn looped.  I knit 13 yellow stripes instead of 11. I found that looked much better on The Hubs that way.

The construction of Newt’s scarf is exactly the same as the original Hogwart’s House Scarf in that it’s basically a flattened tube with tassels. Nothing really new or challenging here. I didn’t even bother making my stripes jogless. I just folded the tube along the edge where the new color starts and it’s not noticeable.

The Yarn

I used Lion Brand Heartland for this yarn because the colors were right and it was cheap. This yarn is the wooorst. Okay, it’s not as bad as full on Red Heart, but it’s pretty bad. It’s actually fairly soft, but that’s part of the problem, because Lion Brand Heartland is hands down the slipperiest yarn I’ve ever used. And I’ve knit with silk!

Seriously, this yarn would not stay wound in a ball and it made my life miserable. It tangled at any opportunity and just felt loose and slack no matter how I wound it. I was never really attracted to Heartland in the first place, but I will certainly avoid it from now on. It just goes to show that you get what you pay for with yarn.

I don’t have all the the other pieces of the costume put together yet, so if I’m dying later in the month, that’s why. I’m hoping to put together a pretty epic trunk or treat with it all, so I’ll keep you posted. What are your Halloween costume plans? Are you knitting anything for a costume?

 

 

Lifestyle Mini Monday Seasonal Uncategorized

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

April 3, 2017
10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Happy Monday to you all. You guys are getting two Mini Monday posts in a row because, quite frankly, I was attending a funeral last Thursday and blogging didn’t feel right. It was a good time to reflect on the people close to me and think about how we’d all like to be remembered, and I sparked some good family bonding time.

One of the things that we did during family  bonding time was go and see the new Beauty and the Beast movie with my cousin. This was her fourth time seeing it, but my first. I enjoyed the movie, but I had a few thoughts. My family refuses to entertain my thoughts any longer, so you get to hear them. Please keep in mind that critiquing movies is how I enjoy movies, and I really did like Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast. Also, please note that I have a history degree. That is all.

Also, if you haven’t noticed, this is your last chance for no spoilers. You’ve been warned.

1. When is Beauty and the Beast set?

I know, I know. “But Tori, this is a fairy tale”. But Beauty and the Beast is also trying to evoke a certain time period(kinda). From the attire of the townspeople, and the assertion of people in production, this movie is set in the 18th century. If I had to guess, I’d say the 1780’s or 1790’s. That being said…

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

Left: Historical Interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, Right: Ren Faire

2. What is Belle wearing?

I recall reading that Emma Watson insisted that Belle should not wear a corset because she is an “active” princess. It makes me want to show her pictures of the historical interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg doing manual labor in period correct undergarments. And yes, I am weirdly passionate about period correct undergarments.  But girlfriend was like centuries off in every costume. Her blue dress is some sort of Ren Faire kirtle (the pockets are period accurate though), and her yellow dress, while pretty and swooshy is like…1830’s or beyond? Don’t even get me started about the celebration dress at the end…The fabric prints on some of Belle’s village attire is pretty accurate though. Like, I’m pretty sure you can buy it at Colonial Williamsburg…

3. What is “the war” that Gaston keeps referencing?

Please let it be the American revolution. That would be amazing. Gaston would have fun in America. I’m still clinging to the late 1700’s here…Also, Luke Evans was excellent as Gaston. His performance probably amused me the most. I didn’t think I’d like him as much as I did.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

4. New songs! Yuss!

Seriously, the new songs that were added to this Beauty and the Beast film fit seamlessly with the rest of the music and I really enjoyed the additions. The obvious favorite is “Evermore”, of course, but Belle’s song’s were very sweet as well.

5. So Belle’s washing machine…

One of the new story developments in this Beauty and the Beast is that Belle is also an inventor and she makes a washing machine. I’ve heard that this is part of the reason that Belle has so much time to read. I was hoping that it would explain why her dress is always tucked up into her waistband like some toilet tragedy, but no luck. Maybe we get more details in a deleted scene. Also, Isn’t Belle totally monopolizing the washing area with her invention? No wonder they dumped her stuff out!

6. Why do all the castle furniture manage French accents, but everyone else sounds British?

Except for Ian McKellen. He can do what he wants. But like no one outside the castle really attempted a French Accent. Also, props to Ewan McGregor. I didn’t know he had all that in him and he did a great job.

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

7. Fricking Black Plague??

This is where I lose it. This version of Beauty and the Beast delves into some backstory about the death of Belle’s mother, but quite frankly does more harm than good. They chalk up her death to the Black Plague…yeah, like the medieval disease. The one that had it’s heydey in the 1300’s. Where are they pulling this from?! They had like the leather bird mask and everything. This was supposed to be the catalyst for Belle and her father to leave Paris for the remove countryside. We presume that Maurice went to a “poor provincial town” to escape the spread of the Plague. But for real? The last outbreak of the Plague is Paris is in 1643…so not even close to the 1700’s. And Belle’s mom already had oozing sores and all by the time that Belle and Maurice left so…they probably would have caught it by then anyways.

Why does this bug me so much? First, you didn’t need to explain how she died. The Beast gets his dead mom backstory too, but her exact cause of death is never named. Why even go there? Second, you had a perfectly legitimate disease that would have worked just as well and been historically accurate. It’s called smallpox!

8. The Storming of the Castle/Fight Scene was delightful.

I love that the furniture got to have a little more agency in the defense of the castle. Plus this was just a really amusing and well done scene. It was very creative in how the furniture got to use their cursed forms to fight. Cadenza is my new fave.

9. Dan Stevens is pretty. That wig is not.

If you’re going to make allowances and stray away from historical accuracy, when why oh why did you force Dan Stevens to wear the curly wig? Ya’ll couldn’t have gone with a nice low ponytail? You had to have the struggle curls? Dan is an attractive man (Helloooo, Downton Abbey!) but you’ll killing me here!

10 Thoughts I had while watching Beauty and the Beast

10. Soo…when is the French Revolution?

Has it happened yet? Are Belle and her new man candy gonna get killed in a few years? There was a guillotine joke during Be Our Guest, so the movie is totally acknowledging that it’s a thing. Did it already happen and the Beast’s castle got missed because of the curse? That could be cool, but unlikely. This is usually the point where my family tells me to chill.

And I gently remind them that this IS how I chill. Honestly, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Beauty and the Beast movie. It was really pretty and fun. I’m not sure it can totally recapture the childhood love I had for the cartoon (now that I am old and jaded), but I still enjoyed it immensely.