Last month, Danielle (From Girlie to Nerdy) & I celebrated St. Paddy’s Day the nerdy way with a Girls Nerding Out evening of beer flights and dessert at my beloved nerdlihood watering hole: The Cloak & Blaster. We had so much fun, and we decided that we needed to meet more frequently than once every six months or so and make #GirlsNerdingOut a regular thing. This month, we decided to embrace our Hogwarts House Colors, and sign up for a paint night worthy of our wands and wine with Painting with a Twist. We learned that there was another local Slytherin nerd, Jess (Oh Hey Jess), in our midst, so we turned it into a mini geeky girl meetup! So what really happens with a Ravenclaw and a pair of Slytherin walk into a bar?1
I See Your House Colors Shining Through!
My wardrobe is very limited, but I had a blast putting together a Ravenclaw Casual Cosplay. The more I look at it, the more I want those Minnetonka moccasins and the straw fedora. Summer weather is fighting it’s way into Florida, so I might wind up trading the skinny jeans for a pair of shorts. What I love about my House is that blue and bronze are the colors. I do not own much bronze, but I think earthtones and neutrals are a great way around it.
I didn’t have much time to shop, so I went to my closet to see what I could pull together without spending money. Knowing that I would be painting, and having the knack to get paint just about anywhere, I selected clothing items that were perfect for casual cosplay, but that I was not particularly attached.
Tops: Plain royal blue t-shirt (Ann Taylor LOFT) and a neutral cardigan. I get cold very easily, so I’d rather have extra layers than not enough. I thought about wearing a scarf, but it would get in the way, and I nixed the hat because we’d be inside and I am not that pretentious.
Bottoms: I picked a pair of jeggings by Diesel which are my absolute favorites! I never thought I would ever own a pair of jeggings until I tried actual skinny jeans and felt like the circulation was cut off in my legs. It’s like drinking wine in yoga pants, one of my other favorite things to do.
Shoes: While the metallics associated with Ravenclaw tend to be bronze (books) and silver (films), my Converse collection is limited to black/rainbow sequinned or gold knit canvas. I opted for the gold for a flash of metallic with my dark jeans.
Accessories: I finally had an opportunity to wear my Ravenclaw House bow by Mad Happy Studio. My friend made it ages ago, and I still haven’t managed to get myself back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When I bought my Jordan Dene tanks, I received a packet with some temporary text tattoos, one of which was Mischief Managed! I wanted a little bit of sparkle, so I wore my New Zealand paua shell (abalone) necklace which a treasured friend from Japan gave me.
BYOB: Bring Your Own Bottled Magic
Unlike my beloved friends at Pinot’s Palette Metro West, Painting with a Twist is a BYO (Bring Your Own) operation. This can be a plus because one can save money by bringing their own beverages, but also tricky because you have to be careful about recorking the leftovers for transport home2.
Red: The Seeker Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Valley, Chile)
- Harry Potter Reference: Any Potterhead worth their Butterbeer will catch the Quidditch nod. For the non-magic folk, a Seeker is one of the offensive side players on a Quidditch team who is tasked with seeking out the Golden Snitch, the tiniest flying ball in the game worth the greatest number of points! Personally, I’d much more of a Keeper (in multiple senses of the word)! I wouldn’t put it past Hogwarts’ Quidditch Mistress and possible Physical Education Coach, Madam Rolanda Hooch, to have several bottles of this wine squirreled away for an postgame celebration with her teammates!
- Pairing: Endangered Species Chocolate in Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almonds (72% Cocoa). Aside from being Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free and Certified Vegan, 10% of the net profits are donated to help at risk animal species. Inside the wrapper, details about various endangered owl species were included. Aside from one of the favorite chocolate bar combinations, our Hogwarts Letters and Owls finally arrived!
White: The Smoking Loon Sauvignon Blanc (2013; California)
- Harry Potter Reference: Being in Ravenclaw House, I wanted something which would be quirky and fun, like one of my favorite Ravenclaw alumna, “Loony” Luna Lovegood. When she is introduced, she is portrayed as whimsical and quite eccentric, but as the series progresses, Lovegood comes into her own not only as a Ravenclaw, but as a powerful witch.
- Pairing: Meyer Lemon Moravian Cookies & Walker’s Shortbread Scottie Dogs! The diverse, fruity notes the Smoking Loon SB were a natural fit to the Meyer Lemon cookies (of the series, they are my favorite!). The Shortbreads were more out of comfort, but also thematic. Of the Professors at Hogwarts, Scottish Highlander Minerva McGonagall (and actress Dame Maggie Smith) has always been one of my favorites. Reading up on her backstory, it seems the Former Hogwart’s instructor was almost sorted into Ravenclaw when she sat beneath The Sorting Hat. Ultimately, McGonagall went to Gryffindor, but she always held intelligent thought and reasoning close at heart. As an animagus (witch/wizard who can take an animal form), McGonagall can transform into a tabby cat. I couldn’t find any cat-shaped cookies, but Scottie Dogs made in Scotland? Walker’s has it on Colloportus (a locking charm; casual: “on lockdown.”; opposite: see Alohomora.)
I wanted to find a special way to celebrate our Girls Nerding Out evening, especially because Jess was joining us for the first time! Until JK Rowling recently released the other Wizarding Schools around the world, Hogwarts was the only option for us darned Yankees to dream about! The running joke for many potential magic folks in the post-Harry Potter era is that our Hogwarts letters simply got lost in the mail! Since we came together to paint the silhouette of Hogwarts, I figured it was about blasted time that our letters arrive, so I made some.
I simply ran an internet search for ‘Hogwarts Letter Templates,’ and a whole bunch cropped up. I selected one that not only had a welcome letter, but school materials and packing lists and a map of the Hogwarts Campus. I used some envelopes I had laying around the house, and printed out accents. As I only have a black and white printer, and this was an impulse craft, I didn’t drive myself crazy with going to a professional printer, buying wax seals and ribbons, or anything. Just a little bit of everyday magic (and stick glue)!
Next up, I need to find time to have a proper go at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and experience both Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and The Hogwarts Express. Definitely need to make a stop at Olivanders because I am in want of a wand!
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Which Hogwarts House are you in? [Don’t know? ask The Sorting Hat!]
- Have you ever attended a paint night or craft social?
- Who is your favorite Harry Potter character?
- This post went live by accident last week due to human error. My apologies for posting an incomplete item.
- I prefer to re-cork bottles and double knot them individually in a plastic bag. For transport, I store the bottles in the trunk. Make sure you sober up before getting behind the wheel!