Sunday, July 25, 2021

Mini The Knight Bus DIY Project Tutorial

The Knight Bus DIY Tutorial

“Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board, and we can take you anywhere you want to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this evening."

I was recently looking at my Harry Potter shelf and realized I didn't have a fun little Knight (School) Bus in my collection. 

While shopping at Wal-Mart, I saw this cute wooden school bus and gave myself a challenge to turn it into a Knight Bus inspired craft. 

Here's my brief process to create your own DIY Knight Bus. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Sign Up To Participate In Harry Potter Mental Health Study

The Harry Potter series has given readers the opportunity to escape into a magical world of wizardry. Underneath the fantastical elements of wand-waving and casting spells, the books also underscored valuable life lessons and exploration of mental health. One of the reasons generations continue to find new love for the franchise is its ability to help us connect to our deepest feelings, experiences, and the world around us.

A study, conducted by two students earning their Masters in psychology is currently being held and looking Harry Potter fans to participate.

Josefine and Maja from Sweden are currently researching how Harry Potter can be incorporated into Harry Potter and how the books affect mental health. The pair originally met when they started university and began bonding over Maja's Always tattoo and Josefine's Deathly Hallows earring. They have been behind a school bench for 17 years with the past 4-5 years focusing on psychology.
After that we talked every morning before class, I had a safe place and it was her and Harry Potter. I do not know if we would have connected as strongly and quickly without our mutual love for Harry Potter. After this it was easy and we found out every day that we loved all the same things and after some time we started discussing the possibility of writing our master thesis together. We had a few ideas over the years but in the end Maja turned and said “Come on Josefine, let’s finish this the way we started...together”.
After 17 years of study, both Josephine and Maja knew they needed a project that excited them and felt close to home - nothing feels more close to home than returning to Hogwarts.

As for the study: four groups will be divided into two subgroups - the subgroups will read different kinds of material on Harry Potter. Within the subgroups, one will have social interaction with Josefine and Maja, while the other participants will simply read the material without social interaction.

The participants will fill out forms measuring depression, anxiety, stress, and psychological flexibility pre and post the intervention. 

They are currently looking for participants who are 18+, fluent in written and spoken English, have never done ACT or mindfulness before, and love Harry Potter.

If you would like to participate in the study, you can do so at the official recruitment link.

Please note that Potter Talk is independent from the study and any information that you submit into the study is not shared with this blog or blog owner.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Official Harry Potter Flagship Store Opens in New York City

From Universal Studios theme parks to the Warner Bros Studios Tour Harry Potter London, Harry Potter attractions and exhibitions have blossomed all over the world. With various installments in the works such as Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child, the franchise has finally established a flagship store in New York City - a premiere location that will house a vast range of merchandise.

Harry Potter New York joins the ranks of popular stores such as the Harry Potters at Kings Cross Station. But this new magical destination aims to "set a new standard for themed retail, combining breathtaking design, exquisite craftsmanship, hand-crafted props, exciting interactive elements and exclusive products."

With over three floors and 21,000 sq. ft, there's no way that the store won't meet expectations as the largest collection of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts products under one roof. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Book Review: These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling

As an Elemental Witch who can control fire, earth, water, and fire, Hannah's learned to keep a pretty low profile. Humans, or Regs, like her best friend Gemma can't discover her secret abilities or else there will be consequences. With the end of the current school year on the horizon, it seems like the most she'll have to confront is a messy break-up with her ex-girlfriend. 

But when a terrifying blood ritual disrupts a bonfire celebration, her powers will be tested to protect her coven. As the attacks on Salem's witches grow deadlier, she'll have to do the unthinkable and team up with her ex to get to the truth of the supernatural crisis taking over their own.

Please Note: I received a copy of this book from the library. All opinions are my own. I do not receive commission if you click on any of the links in this post. If you'd like to send me a book or product to feature, check out my work with me page. Thank you for supporting my site!

I was looking for a queer-fabulous fantasy book to read for the summer, and I don't think I could've found a better option. I thought the story would at most be a fun witchy read, but I increasingly fell in love with the diverse amount of characters and world-building.

Sterling does a marvelous job creating characters from all kinds of backgrounds, who you can relate to instantly. Hannah, in particular, is a well-rounded heroine who does her best to help everyone she can, sometimes at the expense of her own safety - which creates a lot of fun conflict against the witch hunters. I loved how intimate her crush with Morgan is as well as the complexity of moving on from her ex Veronica. Nobody feels like they were put into the story for checking a box off for LGBTQ+ representation.

The world-building also weaves together a lot of details to offer a little bit of everything - fantasy, mystery, and romance all wrapped up in a contemporary Salem witch hunt. Sometimes the mix of genres inhibited the story because Hannah's relationships outside of the main conflict slowed the pacing down. But Sterling makes up for it with her sharp narrative and descriptions. She truly uses all of the senses to put you in the moment of what Hannah is experiencing whether it's something that will made me swoon or compelled me to find out what happens next. The first half of the book is rather slow, but it truly picks up in the second half where all of the action takes place - subsequently, the violence isn't gratuitous but it might be a little too much for younger pre-teen readers.

What I'd love to see from the sequel This Coven Won't Break is more improvement with the dialogue and development of the villain(s). The former was sometimes pretty cringey and struggling to capture how teenagers talk (something I think is pretty common in a lot of YA books), meanwhile the latter didn't seem to be developed more than: witches = bad = I must do something about them. However, the Hunter does ultimately express that there are motives underneath the surface than just hunting witches because "they're an abomination to humans," so I'm interested to see how much further this goes and expands in the next book. Otherwise, this was a quick and compelling read, and I look forward to seeing how it finishes it up.

If you're looking for a breezy witchy read, look no further than These Witches Don't Burn. Sterling's first book of a duology offers a splendid mix of romance, fantasy, and intrigue that will satisfy readers looking for LGBTQ+ representation and a contemporary setting with magic.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Vera Bradley Debuts New Harry Potter 'Herbology' Collection

Earmuffs on! It's time to embrace your inner Professor Sprout and practice Herbology with Vera Bradley's newest design.

Their latest release - just in time for Muggle's Earth Day - digs a little deeper with a new Botanical (Herbology) collection. The light grey backdrop features Mandrakes, the devil's snare, fantastical, flowers, and more.

Fans can choose from a wide range of items includes backpacks, weekender travel bag, throw blanket, cosmetic bag, pajamas, robes, laptop organizer, wallet, and more. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for enchanting details like a wand pocket. The collection ranges from in price from $19.99 to $140.

This isn't the first time that Vera Bradley and the Harry Potter brand have teamed up. Last year, the popular brand unveiled their first Harry Potter collection with an exclusive pattern inspired by the Hogwarts houses - Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin, and Ravenclaw.

Check out the official press release and a look at the new magical collection below.  Visit the official Vera Bradley website to see the full collection and cast a spell with your clothing and accessories.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

New Universal Orlando CityWalk Store Features Contemporary Harry Potter Merchandise

Universal Orlando Resort opened two new stores at CityWalk earlier this year - the premiere shopping and dining market square for the theme parks. 

The first store pictured above celebrates Universal Studio Florida and Islands of Adventure attractions and characters, while the other secondary store Universal Legacy Store pays homage to popular franchises and historical attractions. Guests can stop by both shops for their favorite movies and and vacation merchandise.

One particular hot spot will be the Harry Potter section at the Universal Studios Store. In contrast to stores in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that echo the same ambiance from the film franchise, this themed part of the store brings a modern edge to the fantastical world. 

Witches and wizards will find Christmas decorations, collectibles of series' scenes and objects, and basic house-based items to prepare for your Hogwarts journey - mugs, robes, scarves, pillows, and backpacks. 

The contemporary element for the merchandise comes more in the form of house decor. Similar to the Pottery Barn collaborations with the wizarding world, you'll find Dumbledore quotes on a variety of items such as journals, wall signs, and decor pillows. Golden emblems of the Hogwarts house crests are emblazoned on ceramic mugs, dining glasses, and dishware. Another display case features lawn decorations and wall art.

Take a look at the store's latest range of merchandise with my photos below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Twinkl Offers Inspiring Study Lessons for Harry Potter Fans Learning at Home

Educational publisher Twinkl has produced nearly 700,000 resources to help those who teach. From arts and crafts to math and music, the platform has offered resources for children schooling at home from Pre K to 5th grade. Now Twinkl is adding an exciting partnership with the beloved wizarding world known as Harry Potter - the boy wizard is joining the ranks of previous collaborations with  Sir David Attenborough, the musical WICKED & Guinness World Records.

Since 1998, these classic books have inspired generations of kids to read and write. Twinkl's wide range of resources with Bloomsbury are now available to help children learning at home delve into the Harry Potter books to learn something new about themselves and expand their imagination of the fantastical world of magic.

With Twinkl's platform, the Harry Potter portal is filled with engaging activities such as inventing magical potions, designing socks for Dobby, and creating a magizoologist profile. 

If Harry Potter fans want to delve further, there are discussion guides available for each other books - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as well as Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows

Each guide offers questions arranged chronically, prompting children with their guardians, parents, or teachers to structure study as they see it - over the course of a semester, dipping into various chapters, or as a discussion between groups. 

The discussions not only support comprehension of the series' text, but also encourage more exploration of the main themes and characters that help readers form their own critical-thinking skills. 

With 1,000+ activities inspired by the Harry Potter series alone, there is plenty of material to conjure full lesson guides for each installment. Activities for Philosopher's Stone includes coloring pages for Diagon Alley and story-based word searches, while Goblet of Fire delves further into the themes of equality, the media, and social justice. The study sections expands to cover Harry Potter and his friends' adventures between the muggle and wizarding world.

Twinkl's platform is free to use by signing up for an account online. With their membership, users can then download activities directly, bookmark content for later use, and much more. Check out the official website here for information and to start delving into their Harry Potter resources.