A friend and I were having a discussion about why I’ve been so wizard-obsessed lately. Yes, we recently went on our dream vacation to Harry Potter World in Orlando, Florida (we need a do-over, btw), and yes, I’ve been re-reading all of the books (on audio), and we’ve been flipping through the special edition illustrated book. And yes, Myla and I both LOVED Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. So perhaps all of those things happening at once is why I’ve been inspired artistically. But in talking with my friend, I think it might also be a lovely distraction from some difficult times we’ve been going through lately.
We got these lovely wands from Ollivander’s when we were at Harry Potter World…
(That’s mine on the left, which (according to Ollivander’s) represents “persistence and renewal…boundless energy…and a habit of burning the candle at both ends,” and Myla’s on the right, which is for someone who “delights in helping others…and uses their powerful imagination and resourceful nature to make their dreams come true…” which seemed to fit us both quite well.)
Recently, I drew a little wizard portrait of her, and she surrounded it with funny creatures and pranks from the Weasley twins…but she was most tickled that I included her skull wand…
In any case, I’m still wizarding-obsessed, and that’s OKAY. I mean, my birthday was the 5th and look what my sister’s gift card got me:
It’s Newt Scamander’s suitcase wallet/purse, from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them! I absolutely love it, and I just happened to have a tiny niffler keychain to go along with it, which makes me smile.
If you’re not familiar, the movie takes place in America, MANY years before Harry Potter. Newt Scamander is a wizard interested in the study of magical creatures, and has a suitcase sanctuary (MUCH bigger on the inside), where he keeps all of his creatures in their own little habitats.
Myla is such a fan of magical creatures, she added them to this drawing I did of Newt:
Would you believe that she even built her own suitcase full of magical beasts?
(The “MR,” she says, stands for “muggle ready”–a setting on the suitcase (according to the movie) that will allow humans to see just a plain suitcase inside with no beasties…)
This girl is a wiz with paper, and makes the most wonderful things, most of which don’t translate well to photos, as they’re so perfectly 3-d, and often require some sort of action to make them work. In this case, however, the suitcase is a little “tube” in which she stuffed all her magical beasts…
There’s a niffler, a murtlap, thunderbird, occamy, and sweeping evil. (If you’re not familiar, all you really need to know is that they’re unusual magical creatures…)
Her creativity is impressive, and quite a fantastic thing to be able to witness.
While the normal world goes round, I’ll remain in the deep end, up to my nose in wizarding things, surrounded by lovely beasties. It’s nice to have a place to step away to when the regular world gets you down….
So enjoy your happy place, and all the lovely things in it!
Only one week away from our trip to Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, and we’ve got Potter fever!
At some point, Myla and I were talking about the creatures in the Harry Potter movies and books, and I mentioned how I stumbled across this pattern kit by Mieljolie for a Cornish Pixie–One of the little creatures from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that Gilderoy Lockheart releases in his Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
Myla even carried it around in a little wire birdcage we had…
But then I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and I fell in love with the niffler. I told her all about it, and showed her video clips and pictures, and she fell in love too.
The niffler, for those who don’t know, is a little platypus-looking creature from the movie, with a bottomless pouch, who is very much attracted to shiny things.
They even have niffler Funko Pops! We found these adorable Pocket Pop keychains and had to snatch them up:
“I bet he’d make a CUTE doll,” Myla said. But when it came to dolls, I couldn’t find a single pattern online. I heard from a reader that Harry Potter World / Universal doesn’t even have the rights to the characters yet, so they don’t even have plush dolls in any of their shops.
So like I often do, I rolled up my sleeves, and made my own.
It’s a big wonky, and a whole lot strange, but Myla LOVES it.
There’s a great scene in the movie, where Newt Scamander catches the niffler, and shakes him so all the gold coins and jewelry fall out of his pouch, and land in a giant pile on the floor. So fun!
I haven’t made a pattern because I’m like one of those cooks that add a little of this and a little of that and can’t explain to you how exactly they prepared the food? Yeah. Like that.
But its arms are hinged, and can move up and down, and mine even has a little pouch!
Myla LOVES bringing him places. She even took him when she found the nerve to go to the movie, and see the niffler herself, and she LOVED it.
The unfortunate part is that none of the other kids know who or what the niffler is, so they can’t really appreciate it. But Myla’s a bit used to that. She’s learned that she comes from a long line of weirdos, and that even though they’re not always understood by other people, weirdos are the best kind of people. And that just because you’re the only one who knows what something is, it doesn’t make it strange or uncool, it makes it SPECIAL.
One more week til Potter World!