Saturday, February 28, 2009

Divination Assignment - symbols

The latest assignment for Divination was to create something in any medium which reflected the shapes of some of the symbols used in the reading of the tea leaves.

These little containers (2 square, 2 triangular, 2 circular) will eventually find new homes in sets of 3 with 2 of my friends who belong to Ravenclaw, which is why they are in tones which Ravenclaws will appreciate.

Defense Against the Dark Arts Assignment

1. Who is the author of the books prescribed for Defense Against the Dark Arts? Quentin Trimble

2. When conjuring a Patronus, the user is supposed to produce what type of thought? Happy

3. Who was the teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts in Tom Riddle’s time? Galatea Merrythought

4. Which Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is an accomplished Occlumens? Severus Snape

5. Which of these spells is the Full Body-bind Curse? Petrificus Totalus

6. Lord Voldemort used Avada Kedavra on Harry Potter in the Little Hangleton graveyard. But another spell used by Harry at the same time caused the Priori Incantatem effect. Which spell did Harry use? Expelliarmus

7. Which of the following can the Unforgivable Curse not do? Make parts of the body fall off

8. Which kind of people are known to use Unforgivable Curses very commonly? Death Eaters

9. One of the Horcruxes was a ring. Whom did the ring belong to? Marvolo Gaunt

10. The creation of a Horcrux requires: Killing someone

Extra Credit:
Name the 3 Unforgiveable Curses. Describe how to cast each and the effects of each curse. Why are they unforgiveable and what will happen to the person who cast them?

The Unforgiveable Curses all cause great harm to the person affected. The harm may be emotional damage, physical pain or death, depending on the curse. Using any of these curses, if caught, will result in life-long impresonment in Azkaban.

While someone with great magical abilities and protections may be able to resist the first 2 curses, there is no known counter-curse for the Killing Curse.

All 3 curses are cast by pointing your wand at the intended victim and incanting the proper spell word.

Imperius Curse - spell word "Imperio". Result -the caster then has total control over the actions of the victim.

Cruciatius Curse - spell word "Crucio". Result - the curse causes almost unbearable pain for the victim.

Killing Curse - spell word "Avada Kedavra". Result - the curse results in a flash of brilliant green light and a rushing sound, and the instant death of the victim.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Divination Assignment - symbols

Well, the newest assignment in Divination is to create something in the shape of some of the symbols used for reading the tea leaves. I've found a pattern for what I want to do ... now I gotta get it done before time runs out!

Guess I'd better move my posterior ... and my fingers!

HSS 5 partner

Well, I've received my partner info for HSS 5.

Hello, Morgana Black! ::waves::

I've already found, and ordered, some beautiful hand painted yarn. Can't wait to get it! Haven't quite decided on a pattern yet. I did just get the info tonight, after all! ::grins::

Will probably wait until the yarn gets here. The picture of it looks like the color runs are not going to be really long. I may go with a fairly simple pattern to show off the colors.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My private broom .....

Our latest assignment for Madam Jak is to describe what we would like for our own private broom.

My private broom, like my Quiddith team broom, would be made of Australian Curly Cypress. I have two pieces of this in my private wood stash - unfortunately they are flat pieces, not suitable for a broom. But the soft honey color and the beautiful curly grain in the deeper honey tones make this one of the most beautiful woods I have ever seen. The wood needs no more than an oil finish to look as magical as a 'real' broom might.

I would magically manipulate the wood's own natural growth patterns and twine the resulting branches into a comfortable seat and back rest, since I require both to be able to sit for long periods. The seat and back rest would also help my riding abilities and equilibrium as it would enhance my balance.

The same process would be used to create a platform area behind the rider where either another rider or 'packages' could be accommodated. The platform would be magicked to hold whatever was placed on it firmly in place to avoid accidents.

Like the Quidditch brooms, my own broom would be magicked to control weather in its immediate vicinity to help keep me warm and dry during rainstorms or snowfall or other inclement weather and to keep me from overheating during hot weather. It would be custom-crafted to me so as to enhance my equilibrium, balance and riding abilities as much as possible. It would also, like the Quidditch brooms, be spelled to respond to magick being used against the broom or rider by flashing of the twigs. Such flashing would not stop until the magick was no longer be used against the broom or rider.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Fantasy Quidditch Team

A Fantasy Quidditch Team

Well, this is quite an assignment. I've enjoyed reading about all the 'new' Quidditch teams out there. Let's see what mine might look like.

Team name:
Dragon Flight

Team logo:
what else? A dragon ..... see picture at right

I think we'll stay with the standard Quidditch uniform. It might not show off the svelte forms of some of the players as nicely; but then, not all of us are svelte and those of us who aren't could use a kinder outline. And it does provide protection from wind and sun. Wind-chafing is a real hazard when you are constantly in the wind. And sun-stroke really isn't my idea of how to spend my time, either. Also, a standard uniform does not display your exact outlines to your oppononts. I believe that to be an asset, as it means they don't have quite so good a target for their energies. So ... standard uniforms.

Color, however, has many options. Obviously, colors and color combinations already 'in play', as it were, are not available.

Home game uniforms would be in jewel tones, each player choosing his/her own color. Glitter finish for the fabric and magicked so it will shimmer whether or not the sun is on it.

Away game uniforms to be sea shades. The fabric will be swirled and clouded with random patterns of sea tones. Perhaps lighter tones for the women and slightly deeper shades for the men. White accents at the neck and cuffs will mimic the swirl of sea foam on the beach. This should make it more difficult for at least some of our players to be seen against various sky conditions.

Team players:
Team membership will be based first and foremost on talent, skill and performance. Gender will not be a criteria at all. I see no reason to lose up to half of any available talented, skilled players because they happen to be the 'wrong' gender.

Our brooms will be custom created from Curly Australian Cypress. Like Curly Maple, this variation of Australian Cypress is only found in a small percentage of the wood harvested from this tree. Australian Cypress has a natural resistance to termites. Its strength and durability, its warm, dark honey-gold color and its characteristic knotty patterns, enhanced by the curly grain of this variation, will make brooms that are uniquely beautiful and graceful. The brooms will be magicked to control weather in the immediate vicinity of the broom - helping to keep the rider warm and dry during rainstorms or snowfall, for example. Each broom will be custom-crafted to the rider so as to enhance the rider's equilibrium, balance and riding abilities as much as possible. Brooms will also be magicked to respond to magick being used against the broom or rider by flashing of the twigs. Such flashing will not stop until the magick is no longer be used against the broom or rider.

Home pitch:
Our home pitch will be located in the center of a large forest, well away from muggle airline routes. There will be ample camping space available for those who wish to set up tents, etc. for long games. Port keys will be made available in all nearby towns, at selected establishments, for the use of those coming in from farther out. Such port keys can be requested up to 4 weeks in advance and will be sent by owl to the person(s) requesting them. They will begin to function up to 24 hours before the actual start of the game, for those who wish to arrive early and get set up in advance.

The pitch itself will be crafted from the natural woodscape surrounding it. The greensward will be magicked to be soft and smooth, with no rocks, logs or other hard formations that could injure a fallen player. When not in use as a pitch, illusions will be cast to make the pitch seem just a pleasant meadow that is too rocky for other use.

The spectator stands would be crafted from living wood, by training the branches of the great trees surrounding the pitch to twist and tangle with each other, forming floors, walls, seats and staircases to the ground and to upper levels.

The hoops will be formed by the upper branches of trees especially chosen and trained with enhancement magick to create the great circles necessary.

The area roughly 10 miles out around the pitch will be magicked to gently herd away any Muggles or Muggle aircraft intruding on the space, as well as to create the illusion that any Quidditch player who might be seen by a 'outsider' Muggle will appear to be simply a large bird, an eagle or other protected species, searching for prey. Exceptions to this rule will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on how much the Muggle appears to believe in the rights of others to be different, their bondings and/or family connections to Witches, Wizards and Quidditch players, and other facts as presented by the Muggle(s) in question and those of our community who are presenting the case for consideration. As many of those in the area are related not only to players, but to other Magickal persons, we expect there will be a great many exceptions. And as many, if not all, of the local people believe in independence, individualism, and supporting local institutions/businesses, we don't expect a great many problems with our policy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Charms assignment

Our Charms assignment is to finish up at least one project that we've either started or put off. This one's been put off, and I have to finish this week as the mail out date is Feb. 16. It's one of 3 fabric postcards I'm making for a swap on another e-list I'm on.

Finished. I embroidered the noses, the eyes, the bows on the gold kitties, the ears and the facial accent lines. I only show 1 gold kitty due to space, but I did make 2 of them.

While I understand that, because these meet (or will once they are glued to a backing) the measurement requirements of the U.S.P.S., I could mail them as actual postcards. Since I don't trust the equipment used for sorting mail not to catch on the fabric or the embroidery, mine will go into envelopes tomorrow after they've dried overnight on bristol board.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Apparation class assignment

Our assignment this time is to create a bookmark. Since I already had my black crochet thread & my hook out to complete 3 black cats to finish off some packages I need to mail out tomorrow, I just grabbed some red & yellow crochet thread and created this.

I *nearly* started with the yellow thread ... until I realized that if I did, I'd create a cat, in the Gryffindor colors, with a yellow stripe down its back! Um.... I don't think so, folks! ::grins:: We aren't in Oz here, the buildings aren't green, there ain't no wizard behind the curtain ........ and cowardly lions aren't found in Hogwarts!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Divination Assignment - Drinking the tea

This assignment had two parts to it - having someone correctly drink the tea for the tea leaf reading, and make something that directly related to the act of drinking the tea.

Well, we finally got the tea drinking part finished. My daughter had agreed to help me out here, but she's been sick, so it's been put off several times.

This morning, we got out the Witch Teapot (just seemed appropriate, you know?), made a rather strong pot of tea (I'm not used to loose tea leaves!) and poured the tea into a very large cup.

My daughter's first reaction? "You *don't* expect me to drink *all* of that, do you?" After assuring her she only needed to sip some, while concentrating on what she wanted to know about, she did try. The tea was too strong, not sweet enough and had no milk in it. So after a few sips, we did the alternate method of pouring off the tea.

She went back to bed, claiming the tea had upset her tummy (which has been having some real problems with keeping things down the past week) and I took the cup outside to photograph the tea leaves, so she doesn't have to do this again. 'Cause she says I only had the one chance. ::grins::

I have this really cool black caftan I could have worn for this .... and it would have fit in so well, too! .... but as it happens to be packed somewhere in storage, that wasn't possible. So ......I wore my flannel pajamas. Hey, they're warm (it's COLD here!), they're comfortable ... and I already had 'em on! And since she gave me a time limit if I wanted her to do this for me, I didn't have a lot of time to fuss with my wardrobe!

::sighs:: I'm afraid, tho, that she refused to stick her little pinky finger out while drinking the tea. She said it was just too much to expect her to *look* foolish as well as feel foolish. The trials and tribulations of a mother/tea leaf reader! LOL

The second part of the assignment was to create something having to do specifically with the act of drinking the tea. I made a pair of lips .... it's a bit difficult to drink without a mouth, you understand. Before attaching the lips to the miniature quilt block, I cut out several layers of quilt batting making each layer slightly smaller to create a pyramid shape. I layered the lips over this & pinned the edges more-or-less in place. The edges are hand stitched using blanket stitch, placed very close together. I tweaked the placement of the edges as I went around the shape. After attaching the bottom lip, I used stem stitch across the line of the mouth. That gave me the opportunity to add some extra batting to the upper lip to make it stand up a bit more than the lower lip. Then I finished attaching the edge using blanket stitch.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A new 'kat' in the 'kastle' ::grins::

This new kitty showed up in my bedroom today. Her eventual home will be in Pennsylvania, with a friend of my youngest son. She is quite easy to make. You can find the pattern for her here:

But since kitties are one of the animals found at Hogwarts, I thought I'd show her off before she starts her journey to her new home.


The project this term for S.P.E.W. is a 'chemo hat', used by people undergoing chemo therapy, usually for cancer. My mother died of cancer, so this was one project I put everything else aside to finish once I a/ found the yarn (it was hiding!) and 2/ got some help figuring out the pattern. So here it is. I hope the cheerful yellow, pink and orange colors help cheer up someone who needs a little brightness in their life.

Oops! I didn't realize until I viewed the posted blog that I managed (of course!) to scan the hat with the back seam showing. Oh, well, hey, it's there.