EXPECTO PATRONUM!

Though I haven’t been writing about it, I have been slowly been accomplishing or putting into motion or thinking about the items on my 50 things list. Now, I’m finally motivated enough to write a post.

Since the beginning of September, I’ve been working on #32: reread Harry Potter books. I’d read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in August, so it’s as good a time as any to  stay in that world. I also thought it was a appropriate time to start reading the first book then since the Hogwarts school year starts on September 1.

I haven’t read these books in a long time — about a decade, since the last ones came out. But I have watched the movies a lot (thanks to endless reruns on ABC Family/Freeform). So, I know I’ve forgotten a lot of the little details and mostly remember whatever’s in the movies. So, it’s been nice to get back into the books again. Even better, I can now read them leisurely since I don’t need to know what happens next, like I did the first time around.

I’m currently at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’ve been especially enjoying rereading all the details in this book and the previous one. (The movie versions of the first 3 books were pretty faithful, so there weren’t too many details in them that I’d forgotten.)

Another item on my list is #34: 3 new #book2art projects, which is to create art and craft projects based on books I’m reading. (I’d started this with my Twitter friends, but I only managed to do it once, detailed here.) A couple of books into the reread, I decided that I should do a project inspired by the series. One immediate idea came to mind, but, since it is a series, I’d been debating if I should do two projects.

On Monday, Rachel (@barefootcrafter), my Australian friend, decided to sign up for a virtual “summer camp” called Venture Camp, where you get daily prompts of things to do. I, too, signed up, and I actually managed to do that day’s prompt. Monday’s crafting prompt definitely got me into crafting mode, as did chatting with Rachel about it. So, we set a virtual craft date for my  Friday night.

Friday’s prompt happened to be another crafting one: to try an art or craft that you’ve never tried before. While my initial idea for the Harry potter craft would have qualified, I found out I didn’t have a key equipment/material, so I was forced to think of a second project. I already sort of had an idea for a second project idea, but the release of the patronus quiz on Pottermore a couple of weeks ago had had me thinking about what a project for that would look like.

So, since I couldn’t do the original project, I had to do some research when I got home on Friday night before I could start on the craft. That required looking into what materials I actually had, as well as looking for ideas online — this took a while. Since paper of all kinds is what I have the most, and I remembered I have a bunch of old frames that I bought over a decade ago, I eventually settled on doing a shadow box project–something I’ve never done before–involving my patronus.

After looking a while for some free templates, I spent the rest of Friday night cutting these out. I don’t have a healing board, and I don’t think I even have an X-acto knife so I had to cut these with a scissor. I didn’t go to bed until past 1am, and this  (+ 3 more trees) is all I had to show for it!

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By the time I went to bed, I didn’t have a fully-formed plan of how I was going to execute this project. So, I started out on Saturday morning by looking at what I had. If you’re wondering why there’s a horse in this project, I took the patronus quiz twice, and I got a white mare and a white stallion.

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Then, I bit the bullet and just started gluing stuff. I found out I didn’t have Elmer’s wet glue, so I used acid-free PVA instead. I glued regular white paper to the inside top and bottom and behind the black part of the frame, so I could glue the trees to the paper.

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When it was time to add the horse, I quickly realized that gluing it to paper won’t make it stand, so I had to figure out some sort of architecture for it. Then I added the back layer of trees. I tried out a bunch of different papers for the backdrop to figure out which would best give the effect that I wanted. By the time I got to finalizing this part, I had narrowed it down to two choices. Fortunately, Rachel was already up by this time, so she helped me decide.

And, tada, here’s the finished product! The paper I used for the backdrop is made from bark, so I thought not only did it add texture, but it also fits in with the idea of a forest scene.

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I always intended for the piece to be lit up, and this is what that looks like. The first picture was taken in the early afternoon, when I finished it, and the second was taken tonight.
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As I often am when I actually manage to craft, I am quite proud of how this came out. It was tedious, but I think it looks great. And, hey, this project not only counts towards the Venture Camp prompt, but also towards two of the things on my 50 things list. Yay, me!

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