Monday, November 16, 2015

Craft Project: Harry Potter Monopoly

I mentioned a few weeks ago I was finally back to working on craft projects again. I wasn't able to post about this one until now because it was a birthday gift for one of my besties and he reads my blog. :)

My friend Chance is obsessed a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and movies (he is the person who forced encouraged me to read the series). A few months ago he mentioned how he couldn't believe that there was no Harry Potter Monopoly game. We even double-checked and looked on Amazon but couldn't find one (I'm convinced if you can't buy it on Amazon, it just doesn't exist). Lol. I decided a few weeks later to go online to see if someone not associated with Amazon sold the game. I found this website called Mugglenet and it had a picture of a Harry Potter Monopoly game someone had designed. First and foremost, I want to make sure I give full credit to Robbie, the designer of this game. I just printed the PDFs and made my own game pieces. He was the master mind behind this design. He was gracious enough to provide PDFs for everyone to make their own game. He just obviously asks that no one sells his designs. Please check out this post here if you want the PDFs to make your own game.

I used white card stock paper to print out the property "titles" and red and yellow card stock paper for the "Chance" and "Community Chest" cards (which are called "Spells" and "Potions").

I needed to find a design for Harry Potter Monopoly money (I didn't like the one provided on MuggleNet), so after a Google search, I found this website that provided PDFs of Harry Potter themed money. I originally was going to print out the money on different sheets of colored paper, but instead I took the files and used Microsoft Paint to color the edges so each denomination was a different color. A quick search online let me know how many bills of each denomination is included in a regular Monopoly game.

I used my handy dandy craft cutter to cut them apart (that was such a great purchase a few years ago). :)

I had originally planned to find an old Monopoly game so I could just Mod Podge the board layout on top of it. I looked at four different Half Price Books and couldn't find one (I didn't want to buy one new). So, I had to improvise. I bought art board at Michael's (with my 40% off coupon, it was very reasonably priced) and used Mod Podge to glue it down. My only problem with this is that the board couldn't be folded up, but it wasn't that big of a deal. I figured he wouldn't mind.

The first time I glued it down, it didn't seem even, so instead of ripping it up (and ruining the board), I just glued a second "layer" on top of the first one. There are two PDFs of the board (divided in the middle), so in order to not have a huge line running down the middle of the board, I used Microsoft Publisher (am I the only person who still uses that?) to "combine" the logo portion of the board so I could print it as one piece. That way there wasn't a line down it.

I covered the entire board with several layers of Mod Podge to give it a "glossy" look and less "papery" feel.

I kept wondering what to use for game pieces. I looked online for Harry Potter mini figurines or Legos, and they were WAY TOO pricey ($16 for one piece is crazy). A few years ago I used glass beads in a craft project and had a ton left over, so I decided to cut out pictures of Harry Potter characters and glue them on the back for the game pieces.

This is what the pieces looked like afterward. I know I had more pieces than what was needed, but I figured whoever played could pick their favorite character (I did design two different Harry Potter pieces though).

Since I wasn't able to find an old Monopoly game, I didn't have house or hotel pieces. I decided to use buttons. Mainly because I had a lot of buttons left over from another craft project and I was trying my best to use supplies I already owned. :) I used 36 smaller buttons as the "houses". I tried to use buttons that were the different colors from the houses of Hogwarts, but I had to improvise (again). I didn't have gold, so I used orange. I didn't have silver, so I used clear. I used bigger purple buttons to represent hotels (mainly because it was the only color I had bigger buttons in).

I decided to make a "Rules Book" so I looked online and found a copy of the Monopoly rules. I copied them and "altered" them to fit a Harry Potter Monopoly game. The Rules Book is the one thing that was actually MY design. :) 

I bought this little plastic tote (again at Michael's, I love that place) to keep all the pieces in. I also bought a set of dice and included them in it. I used "sticker" paper and printed out the Harry Potter Monopoly logo designed by Robbie and stuck it on the top and edges of the tote. I also used that same logo on the cover of the Rules Book. 

I gave Chance the game last Friday. I also had bought him the illustrated version of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone (he had not so subtly hinted that he wanted that book). I had bought the book as a back up in case I didn't finish the game or if he didn't like it. But of course he loved the game. :) He has a son (who is beyond adorable) and can't wait to play a game with him and read the illustrated book with him.

I didn't get a picture with Chance on Friday with the gift, but here is a picture from last Tuesday when I forced him to take one at the Stars hockey game. :)

And here is a picture of his dog Dobby (who I like better than him). Just kidding. A little. Maybe. :) I always take a Dobby picture when I see him. HE doesn't complain about taking pictures (unlike someone). :)

Dobby was not happy that Aunt Rachel would not share her Whataburger with him
Hope you enjoyed my craft project! I'm hoping to do more around the holidays! :)


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday 13: My Favorite Episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of legendary actor Dick Van Dyke. I have loved and admired him since I was four-years-old and watched Mary Poppins for the first time (Bert was my favorite character). Since then, anything that he has been in, I have watched it (even when he was the killer in those episodes of Columbo and Matlock).

When I was 13, Nick at Nite starting airing reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and I sat down every night to watch a (new to me) episode. Back then I recorded them on my trusty VCR (oh yes kids, before DVRs and instant online streaming, we relied on these antique devices to record our shows). You had to make sure that you had enough room on the video tape before you started your recording, and if you started recording a show before you got home, you had to wait for it to be over to start watching it. There was no starting the show while it was still recording. The struggle was real.

Anyways, I now own all five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show on DVD, although most of the time I watch them on Netflix streaming (because it's easier than getting up to switch out the DVDs- yes I'm lazy). Looking back at my blog posts, I can't believe I've never done a Thursday 13 on my favorite episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show (this was actually really difficult because I love them all- it's hard only picking 13). If I have a bad day, watching a few episodes of this show always cheers me up (while eating a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream, of course). So, here they are, in no particular order, my 13 Favorite episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show. If you click on the episode title, it should take you to view it on Hulu (the free portion). Some episodes are also available on YouTube. Seriously, if you have never seen this show and need to laugh, check these out!

1. The Ghost of A. Chantz: After a mix up by Mel (Richard Deacon) for reservations at a lodge, Rob (Dick Van Dyke), Laura (Mary Tyler Moore), Sally (Rose Marie), and Buddy (Morey Amsterdam) are forced to spend a frightening night in a cabin that has not been used in years and is rumored to be haunted.

This was one of my favorites growing up, maybe because I like ghost stories. Dick Van Dyke makes being scared so funny. 

2. I Am My Brother's Keeper/ The Sleeping Brother: Rob's brother Stacey (Jerry Van Dyke) has a two week furlough and sends Rob a telegram that he's coming for a visit. Rob isn't thrilled. He explains to Laura that his shy brother has a problem- he's a somnambulist. And Stacey's a great performer when he's asleep. How can Rob get Stacey to perform a great audition for Alan Brady (Carl Reiner) while Stacey is awake?

This is actually two episodes, but since it was a two-part episode, I'm counting them as one. This was the first time that Dick Van Dyke's real life brother Jerry portrayed Rob's brother Stacey on the show. This episode was based on true facts. Jerry Van Dyke actually did have sleepwalking issues when he was younger. Jerry Van Dyke is also hilarious, so the two brothers in one episode made this one great and a definite must-see! Fun side note: Years later in the 90s on Dick Van Dyke's show Diagnosis Murder (which yes, I own on DVD), Jerry Van Dyke portrayed the brother of Mark Sloan (Dick Van Dyke's character) who suffered from a sleepwalking condition. 

3. My Husband Is Not A Drunk: A hypnotist visits the Petrie dinner party where Rob accidentally picks up a post-hypnotic suggestion.

Dick Van Dyke is a physical comedy genius. I couldn't find a gif from this particular episode, so I'm posting this one. :)

4. That's My Boy??: During a flashback about his early days as a parent, Rob recounts why he believed Laura and he brought home a baby belonging to someone else.

I've heard in interviews that a scene in this particular episode got the longest laugh from the studio audience out of any episode. They had to edit out some of the laughter because it went on so long.

5. A Bird in the Head Hurts: Ritchie (Larry Matthews) claims he keeps being attacked by a giant woodpecker.

Larry Matthews did a great job portraying Rob and Laura's son Ritchie on the show. This is one of the handful of "Ritchie-based" episodes. 

6. My Neighbor's Husband's Other Life: Rob and Laura spot their neighbor Jerry Helper (Jerry Paris) at a fancy restaurant with a pretty blonde. They suspect him of having an affair, and his lack of candor seems to confirm their fears. They try to squirm out a confession and save his marriage to Millie (Ann Morgan Guilbert).

I love episodes that involve the Petries' neighbors, Jerry and Millie Helper. 

7. It May Look Like A Walnut: Rob enjoys a scary televised sci-fi movie while Laura cowers in fear from it, but the next day details of that movie, where Earthlings are being taken over, appear to be coming true.

This is probably one of the most famous episodes. The great actor Danny Kaye guest stars in this episode. It also has the very famous scene involving Mary Tyler Moore. 

8. The Great Petrie Fortune: Rob inherits an old roll-top desk from his late great-uncle Hezekiah that contains "wealth" of some sort that is hinted at in a song.

Dick Van Dyke plays the part of two roles in this episode, Rob and his great-uncle Hezekiah. Mary Poppins wasn't the only time he dressed up in "old man" makeup. :)

9. Dear Sally Rogers: For a laugh, Sally advertises for a husband on national television. Among the numerous humorous responses, one serious reply stands out.

I love Rose Marie and always enjoy Sally-centered episodes. She was trying to make it as a comedian in what was then a "man's world". She was awesome at it. The older I get, the more I can relate to Sally's dating woes. Lol.

10. Uhny Uftz: While suffering from exhaustion at the office, Rob sees a flying saucer. Try as he might, nobody believes him. 

I've talked to other people who watched this show, and this is one that not a lot of people remember. I think it's a great episode. A little sci-fi and comedy all rolled into one!

11. Long Nights Journey Into Day: During the Petrie-Helper fishing trip, a cold sidelines Laura. Home alone, every little bump in the night raises fearful eyebrows. Millie's return to keep her company makes things worse. 

This was another one of my favorites growing up, mainly because I hated being home alone (little did I know I would one day be living by myself). Lol. When I got my first apartment without a roommate, I acted very similar to Laura (being afraid of every little noise or "bump" in the night). I never stacked cans in front of my front door, but I used to put a chair under the doorknob.

12. The Man From My Uncle: Having G-Men use their house to stake-out a neighbor brings out the little boy in Rob, who eagerly wants to insinuate himself in a spy game.

I honestly couldn't remember this episode when I first watched my DVDs. Perhaps Nick at Nite never aired it. I was excited to have a "new to me" episode to watch!

13. Buddy Sorrell Man and Boy: Buddy's nervous behavior, testiness, and evasive lying lead Rob and Sally to to think he's seeing a psychiatrist, or worse, cheating on Pickles (his wife).

Morey Amsterdam was another comic genius. I've read that he would improv a lot of lines that would have the rest of the cast rolling on the floor with laughter.

I hope you've enjoyed my list! I'm serious about checking out this show if you have never seen it. It's on Hulu and Netflix instant streaming.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pinteresting Wednesday

It seems the "Oh How Pinteresting" link up no longer exists, but I'm still going to participate today (sans the link up). I really want to blog more, so I'm going to go back to some of my old reliable ideas for posts when I'm struggling to think of something. Lol.

Here's what you are missing if you don't follow me on Pinterest (click here to fix that)

Quotes that I can relate to:

Christmas craft ideas that are super cute, but I'll probably never get around to trying them:

Things that make me laugh for when I need a good chuckle:

Animals. Okay, mainly dogs, because well, I love dogs. Lol:

Supernatural. Okay, this is a private board with me and my BFF, so you can't see it (we like to be obsessed without being judged). But I'll share some pins from it.

Baseball stuff. I know, you are shocked.