Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A "Harry Potter" meets "Dr. Who" Themed Magical Tea Party at Whimsic Alley in Los Angeles, CA

Whimsic Alley is not just a Harry Potter merchandise store, it is more of Harry Potter meets Doctor 

Who Experience.  The store stocks Harry Potter, Doctor Who,


Games of Thrones and other cool merchandise, like the "Bad Wolf" teapot,


wands, toys and so much more.

When you walk in the door, you are immediately greeted by the fun and friendly staff at the store.


The store is closing its "Great Hall" at the end of October and expanding the merchandise area,  so this was our last chance to attend an afternoon tea in the hall.  The tea I attended was a "Harry Potter" themed tea.  It even came with handmade invitations.

The hallway leading to the "Great Hall" is very Harry Potter themed and features a cute alcove that features some great photo spots like the one below.
The side wall also has been covered in wall paper that depicts Hogwarts (another great photo spot).

Another spot depicting the owl and poster of Sirius Black.


The tea offered traditional tea fare of tasty sandwiches and treats.

It was decorated in a Halloween theme.

You could even have Butter Beer.

They even had a treat trolley that came through offering some fun Harry Potter themed merchandise.

Our tea was a Halloween Costumed Themed Event which made it even more fun with all the fun
photo opportunities the store offers.  One of our friends decided to dress as a "Weeping Angel" from

the Dr. Who fame.  Since the store had a Tardis, these made for some fun and silly moments like the Alice in Wonderland meets a Weeping Angel moment below.



If you are looking for hard to find Harry Potter merchandise then this store may be helpful to you.




5464 Wilshire Blvd, 

Los Angeles, CA 90036

310-453-2370




Saturday, October 11, 2014

Candy Aisle Crafts by Jodi Levine : Create Fun Edible Craft Projects for Your Family





Candy Aisle Crafts by Jodi Levine


Candy Aisle Crafts: Create Fun Projects with Supermarket Sweets by Jodi Levine helps you start your holiday plans with some very creative and easy candy craft projects. Jodi Levine was a craft editor for Martha Stewart for 19 years.  She is very experienced and Knowledgeable in creating exciting craft projects.  With her new book, the focus is on on Candy crafts and the many sweet creations that can achieved with them.  The reader gets to pick the complexity of the candy project they want to tackle.  From a simple candy bowl made from hard candies to themed lollipops.  This book is geared towards families, you don't have to own fancy equipment (beyond an oven to melt candy) to do the projects in this book. Most of the supplies to make the projects in this book can be purchased at your local supermarket or Target.  Below is a picture of one of the projects in the book.  I have removed the instructions so you will have to look at the book to actually read them.  However, the photo gives you a great example of how well the steps are photographed and presented.  A child could easily follow these instructions (except for the oven part) to create these darling flowers.
Easy Cookie Flowers by Jodi Levine

This book has enough projects and tips to help the reader plan some fun holiday crafts.  A lot of these projects would be great scout craft projects to celebrate the upcoming holidays.  There are some great kids projects that require minimal tools, that they can do on their own.  I found that most of these projects are perfect family craft night.  You can work with your children to create some really fun projects to use for gifts or just treats.  There are some projects in the book that involve melting both hard candies and chocolate, so I would recommend working with the kids if they decide to try some of the more advanced projects like the "Dot Flowers" project on page 16.  That project involves melting hard candy in an oven, so it is best to have the kids work with an adult to avoid any potential injuries.




I love that "Candy Aisle Crafts" provides excellent DIY tips and project tutorials for fun edible gifts for a birthday party or holiday celebrations. The are some fun ideas for combining cupcakes and candies to make darling table top decorations for a baby shower or birthday party. There are also projects for decorating some whimsical cakes.  I am not a fan of wearing candy as jewelry but if you are then there are two candy necklace projects you may want to look at in the book. There are some great projects for crafting with preschoolers.  If you love to home craft then this book will appeal to you.

Personally, I love all the creative ways that the author uses gumdrops throughout the book.  One of my favorites is the Necco Gumdrop Bees that are created to decorate drinking glasses at celebrations.  The book has some great photos that clearly show the proper steps to achieve success with the candy projects.  If you need some great kids craft inspiration or just love crafting with candy, the easy to follow instructions and photos will inspire you to try creating all types of fun candy decorative treats.


Note: I received this book free from Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest review.  


Monday, October 6, 2014

Fun and Fantastical Hats to Knit by Mary Scott Huff Provides Great Knitting Hat Patterns for Men, Woman and Children.

by Mary Scott Huff is a great collection of knitting patterns for hats.  This book offers some great creative and whimsical patterns to knit for kids and adults then consider this book. It offers a great selection of knitting patterns for hats.  I was looking for a creative kids knitted hat pattern to make and I was delighted to find so many fun patterns to choose from. My favorite is the Mad Hatter Style Hat that is a great knit hat pattern for kids. I love that the author has included the pattern for the ears, which really make the hat more whimsical. My daughters love the pattern and can't wait for me to finish the hat (hopefully in time for Halloween).

Animal and character knit hats are becoming more and more popular and luckily this book offers some fun cool patterns. There is also a great Green Man Pattern, Medusa Pattern and the Chlamydosaurus Pattern that I found to be quite fun. The Green Man pattern is for the more advanced Knitter. The Gargoyle hat is cute and not too scary for the little ones.   The book does offer some easy knit hat patterns as well that make great knit hats for boys and girls.




Here is a short list of the patterns that you will find in this fun book:

Architeuthis (a Cephalopod), Baldy (Eagle Head), Blue Crab (would look great in other colors too), California Roll (a Sushi inspired hat), Cherry Pie (looks like a homemade cherry pie), Crown Royal (looks like a kings crown), Elfin (cute), Flower Fairy (whimsical), Frilly (Chlamydosaurus), Gargoyle (adorable), Green Man (Challenging but do able), Hedgehog Helmet (cute), Jellyfish, Medusa (fun), Mercury, Rabble of Butterflies, Scotty, Sugar Skull, Tea Party (my kids love this one), and Tortoise (another fabulous idea). Additionally the Book has some very helpful technique and stitching information for the reader.

I really love the creativity and easy to follow patterns that this book offers. If you are new to knitting and do not know how to read a pattern, there are great videos on YouTube that teach it. I would recommend this book for anyone looking for new fun hat patterns to knit.


What type of patterns do you enjoy knitting?  Leave a comment below to let me know.

Customizing an American Crafts Details to Enjoy Patriotic Pocket Frame Insert

If you enjoy fun DIY desk top holiday decorations for the holidays, then the "Details to Enjoy" pocket frames and inserts fr...