Thursday, March 23, 2017

Storing Memories in the Miniature World of Harry Potter

For several years, I have been thinking about how to create this in miniature...
As you might guess, I spend a lot of time online looking at miniatures and I came across this little cabinet...
 which I thought I might be able to transfigure into something a bit more elaborate.  First it needed to be gilded. And then I began to add some ornate elements made out of sculpey and beads.
The brooms and chocolate frogs will all be baked together.  The chocolate frogs are a much larger scale sized for an American Girl doll.
I could not get the sculpey to form a sharp point, so added beads to cap the arches.
Beginning to look like the inspiration photo!
Shopping for little glass vials to hold the memories made me wonder why I ever thought Dumbledore's office even needed this cabinet!  $6.00 to $8.00 dollars apiece stymied me for awhile.  Then, when I was cleaning out a drawer, I discovered a small package of replacement bulbs for a vintage set of Christmas lights...long ago thrown away.  Prying the bulbs out of their ugly green plastic holders and gluing them into silver beads made a pretty convincing little glass container.  Sadly, I neglected to determine that all the shelves in my cabinet were the same size and the top shelf was too short to hold these.  Thank goodness the glue was not yet set up and I pulled the bulbs back out and went in search of shorter beads.  No shorter beads but I did find some silver grommets that were just the right size.

I left the taller beads on the bottom vials since the wood part of the cabinet made raising the height of those important in order to be see with the doors closed.  

Altogether this was much easier than building the cabinet from scratch, and although not exactly a replica, I bet none of the children at Harry Potter camp this summer will know the difference! Although some obsessed Harry Potter fans might...

If any of you have an old set of Christmas tree lights (clear white) that you are planning to replace with LED's, I would love to have many more memory vials since the original cabinet had hundreds of vials.  My cabinet could hold 12 per shelf and I only have 9.  

Did I say Harry Potter Camp?
Shopping in Diagon Alley
Indeed I did.  Every summer for the past ten years, I have helped to organize and run a week long fantasy camp at Camp Stoney.  This year it will be during the Fourth of July week.  Camp Stoney is just a bit east of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It is for children from grades three through eight.  For more information visit
This is a Christian camp which includes worship and Bible study each day along with the magical world of Harry Potter re-created in props, plays, crafts, Quidditch, classes on potions, wand practice, care of magical creatures, divination (and yes, we talk about how only God really knows the future), astronomy, herbology, and runes.  The staff all wear costumes and play the parts of professors and prefects.  

One summer a younger camper came up to me at the end of the week and said, "Professor McGonagle, the lady they got to play you in the movie doesn't look a thing like you!"  Somewhat taken aback it took me a moment to respond, "Honey, you know that we have just been pretending this week?  I am not REALLY Professor McGonagle."  If only I could have stored all the memories of Camp Stoney more efficiently than just a few photos and my somewhat limited recall from weeks packed so full of fun and friendship.

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