Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hogwarts Summer Session-First a visit to Diagon Alley

At a secret location outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry held it's 2016 summer session for those  36 young witches and wizards that needed a bit of brushing up on their magical skills.  Camp Stoney was heavily disguised during the week to prevent Muggle alarm.  If the occasional flapping of robes disturbed the air, Professor Snape uttered "obliviate" under his breath.  To all the neighbors driving by, the Quidditch matches looked like some weird form of soccer.  But magic was happening...

First, the students must get into Diagon Alley...
Photo by Maria Gair

Photo by Maria Gair
 The Goblins were responding to an attempted break-in of the vaults, so Madam Pomfrey stepped in to mind the till. 

Wand identification is required for a withdrawal from Gringotts.
Photo by Maria Gair

Most young witches and wizards made the wand shop their first stop....
Photo by Maria Gair

Choosing a by Maria Gair

Then lingered for quite some time at the newly opened Weasley's Wheezes shop.
 Charity Burbage standing in for Fred and George who have apparated to a Quidditch match.

Photo by Maria Gair

Photo by Maria Gair
Photo by Maria Gair

Photo by Maria Gair

Photo by Maria Gair
Photo by Maria Gair
Photo by Maria Gair

Photo by Maria Gair

From here, munching their treats, many hightailed it to the Quidditch shop. 
Madam Hooch selling trophies
 Or the Apothecary Shop...
Professor Snape selling Felix Felicis

Professor Sprouts rests her feet at the Leaky Cauldron
Or Eelop's Owl Emporium


Or Flourish and Blotts
Madam Trelawney predicts brisk sales for Advanced Potions

All the young witches were disappointed to learn that Gilderoy Lockhart would not be on hand to sign copies of his new book.

 The Magical Menagerie shopkeeper loves her critters

Although I usually take my own blog photos, I am very grateful to Maria Gair for all the above photos since I, in my role as Professor McGonagle, was busy making sure the students tapped the right bricks to gain access to Diagon Alley.  Hagrid was busy showing several Harry Potter wannabe's the ropes inside Diagon Alley.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Gabriel Picolo-Creative Lives Series


As most of my friends know, I have been immersed in the magical world of Harry Potter as I prepare for the upcoming Harry Potter Camp at Bishop's Ridge Camp and Conference Center on June 12 (or Camp Stoney).  In getting ready for all the classes at Hogwarts, I came across images of the artwork of Gabriel Picolo.  Gabriel is a full time free lance illustrator from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Gabriel has done a series of images based on the Harry Potter books which make me wish he had been the illustrator chosen by Scholastic.  Take a look...

And in memory of Alan Rickman, the late actor who played the part of Snape...
 These works are created as journal pages and make me think of the daydreaming and doodling I did in boring classes...not that the classes at Hogwarts are EVER boring.

To see more of Gabriel's artwork visit:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mischief Managed-Again!

The Harry Potter Mania continues.  My watercolor class members showed up to help with preparations for the upcoming Harry Potter camp at Bishop's Ridge in northern New Mexico.  

Wendy, using an inherited Singer sewing machine for the first time, merrily sewed lots of Hogwarts student hats.

In the background, you can see Barb, Betsy, and Deborah adding glue gun designs to the mirror of Erised.

Deborah took my pinned image of a DIY Deathly Hallows necklace and made a pattern.  She and Betsy made a box full of parts for the campers to finish.

Hopefully, the finished necklaces will look like this...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

My Three Sons

Did you love the old TV show "My Three Sons?"  I thought it was cute and charming, but never really related to it as a child.  As an adult I had only daughters and spent a lot of time on girly things.  It never occurred to me that one day my daughters would provide me with some sons!  And now I have three of them.

With apologies to their natural mothers who raised them, I must say that I love them all to pieces and feel very proud of them (even though I had nothing to do with how they turned out!)

David, Tim, and Colin have brought such richness to our family life.  They are each so very different from each other in their gifts and talents, but have common values and goals.

David, Sara and Caroline
David spent years as a journalist for the Washington Post, but when he married Camille, decided to go to law school so he could afford to better support a family, which he and Camille created instantly by having twin girls, Sara and Caroline, both of whom he is teaching to love baseball.  Don't ask him about baseball trivia unless you really want to know! His journalism skills have been a good foundation for his career as an attorney.  He is calm, careful, cautious, fiscally conservative and politically liberal.  When Camille and David visit, we laugh as we (introverts all) sit with our computers or books in the evenings instead of watching TV.  Occasionally one of us will look up to share something we have read.   David still loves to spend time in coffee shops and read the New York Times and Washington Post.  In his role as an attorney, he works to insure free speech.   We can count on David to always know what is going on in politics and in the world.  Movie star gorgeous as a teenager when courting our daughter, he has matured into a handsome father and husband who graciously shares his family with us and always welcomes us warmly when we visit his home.  Camille and David are loving the small but charming house they purchased in Albany, CA.  You can their Spanish Revival casa at The Vintique Object.

Tim making bread
Tim and Eliza in front of one of Tim's gorgeous designs

Making Connor giggle.

Our "bigger than life" Tim is an architect and artist.  His wide ranging interests include photography, scuba diving, gardening, raising chickens & mushrooms, making wine, brewing beer, making furniture, skiing, hiking, rafting, and camping.  And, of course,  Eliza, (now almost four) his year old twin boys, Alex and Connor, and our daughter Alethea.  His current work projects include homes in Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, and  multi-million dollar homes in the Steamboat Springs, CO area.  To see his stunning photographs visit Tim Stone Photos. If you are a design junkie, you might like to visit his website Kelly and Stone Architects. 

Colin and Brittany
Colin, far right, helping to introduce Sara and Caroline to rafting (Eliza was an old pro)

The youngest, Colin, loves our Brittany.  He and Brit are currently renovating a home in Albuquerque's Rio Grande valley "on the ditch" which in arid New Mexico is a very valuable asset because they can irrigate their land.  You can see some of their DYI projects at Brittany's blog, Kitchen Come Undone.  Colin, a civil engineer is co-owner of a consulting engineering business which he started with a little help from Brit who has her master's degree in Business.  He is has all these titles behind his name.....
                       EIT, LEED AP BD+C and PE.  
I only have a vague idea what they mean!  More importantly he is a favorite uncle to my three granddaughters and two grandsons with his million dollar smile, cheerfully donning his "Wild Thing" Halloween costume to chase the two sets of twins, "flying" Eliza on his feet in a circus move that he learned in a class with Brittany, cuddling all five and reading them stories, and buying all sorts of things like sleds and snow suits and hula hoops to encourage his nieces and nephews to love the outdoors.  Colin also loves to cook when he can chase Brittany out of the kitchen, likes to cross country ski, snowboards, hikes, rafts, mountain bikes and can fix anything mechanical or digital.

After many years of being the only male in the family, Norm is delighted to have some sons to share his interests and I am blessed to finally know what it is like to have a house full of sons and grandsons.  

A Happy Mother's Day to my son-in-laws birth mothers, Kristi, Elsie, and Wendy, and hats off to you for raising such fine sons and sharing them with us!