Author: Ginger Kate

I'm an American Ginger dancing through life creating art! I'm an Actor, Photographer, Painter and Writer who dabbles in Music. I'm a total fan girl, old soul, history and Latin geek with an addiction to Rock and Roll and Fashion.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

 

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A week ago, today, I visited the brand new, Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, Orlando! I’m so fortunate to have the friends I have for making this incredible dream of a day come true. When we woke up Tuesday morning, we greeted the day with news that the super-awesome-all access-pass-card was obtained and available for our use to enter and play in the park! Ron, Nicki and I met up with Brad at Islands of Adventure to obtain this “golden key” a hopped on the Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station. Having explored Hogsmeade multiple times in the past, we were eager to get to Diagon Alley.

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Fancy status: The three of us were granted our own car on the train for our trip to London upon Brad’s polite request after not waiting even a moment in line. Phones and cameras weren’t allowed on the train, but we managed to snap a quick couple before the ride really got going. After a delightful trip into the city, we arrived at Kings Cross Station.

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The station felt real. And I hadn’t even seen the best part of Kings Cross yet… And then we turned a corner. We were in Diagon Alley. I promised myself I wouldn’t but I couldn’t control myself and tears welled up (a couple may or may not have escaped.)

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There are shops everywhere! And all of the details surround you! You are in a completely different world. You’re in the Wizarding World. You’re in Diagon Alley.

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I simply couldn’t contain myself. After some exploring, we ventured into Knockturn Alley. Never have I ever wanted to be Slytherin more than there and then. It was absolutely incredible! I even did some dark mark shopping at Borgin and Burkes.

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DIagon Alley had lots of really amazing shops including Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Magical Menagerie (pet shop) and a Quiddich Shop. One particularly beautiful store was Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.

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Being super-duper VIP did have one downfall. Because we don’t wait in lines, I didn’t get to experience the queue for Escape from Gringotts the ride. From what I understand it is completely breathtaking, taking you through the grand bank lobby and into an elevator. I look forward to experiencing that on a future visit. The ride was pretty fun! It could’ve ended a bit more exciting but overall I really enjoyed it.

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Connecting and disguising Diagon Alley from the rest of Universal Studios is [Harry Potter's] London. The shrunken head on the knightbus hit on me which was awesome and I got to see Kreacher in the window of 12 Grimmauld Place.

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While on the Universal Studios side we also rode the new-ish Transformers ride. It was my first time on that one and we grabbed lunch at Moe’s Tavern in Springfield. We headed back to Kings Cross Station for our trip back to Hogsmeade and this is where I realized just how amazing Kings Cross Station was here. We got to blatantly skip a super crazy packed line and I shouted “silly muggles!” at the on-lookers (rather, hard-starers and stink-face-makers).

Back in Hogsmeade, I did some more shopping and we rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. (We skipped Flight of the Hippogriff this time around.)

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I had such an incredible time! I can’t thank Ron and Brad enough for making this trip not only possible but also so special with the VIP treatment. I already can’t wait to go back and when I do, I’m going to eat my way through the Wizarding World.

During the day, I took a lot of random videos. I put a few of them together and as long as you don’t mind shoddy camerawork and up-the-nose shots, enjoy a peek at my very first time visiting Diagon Alley.

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

In honor of my very first trip to Diagon Alley, I wanted to share some throwback shots of my first trip to Hogsmeade. I would’ve had to break out one of my other hard drives to share all my favorite pictures from that day and I simply didn’t feel like it. Instead I threw in some pics from another one of the times I visited the Wizarding World – Hogsmeade/Hogwarts in the past.

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Orlando Shenanigans

A week later, I’m finally getting the time to post about my recent trip to Orlando. One of my friends was visiting home from Chicago, where she currently lives, and we decided to make the short drive north to Orlando where one of my other friends lives with his fella.

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With a rad playlist ready to go, she and I hit the road Monday afternoon. Upon arrival, Nicki, Ron and I jumped headfirst into some liquor and shared the night catching up and then painting for a while. There was also a small, impromptu photo session with Ron’s huge clock.

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When Nicki and I first checked into La Hotel De Ron & Brad, Ron had gifts waiting for us in the guest bedroom. For me: Ron framed prints of a series of paintings he had done that are inspired by Harry Potter and the four house uniforms. So adorable! I can’t wait to hang them!

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Now, speaking of Harry Potter, Ron and Brad were able to arrange for us to explore the new section of The Wizarding World at Universal, Diagon Alley, on Tuesday. That post is set for tomorrow so check back to take a peek at my first time visiting Diagon Alley! -yes, I cried.

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Tuesday night, we all enjoyed some good wine followed by a fun evening at Universal’s City Walk. We had dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margarittaville (which was actually quite disappointing) and then drank and sang karaoke with a live band at Rising Star. A fantastic couple of days with a couple of fantastic people.

Thanks for reading!

Love, GK

 

PS – Last night, my sister and I saw Guardians of the Galaxy. I thought it was amazing! I really loved it. (I went into it knowing next to nothing about the comics though.) I didn’t even think Zoe Saldana was as horrible as she usually is compared to Amy-Stupid-Pond’s desperate reach at acting. I didn’t even believe her when she was just standing there. On a sexy note: when did Andy Dwyer get so ripped and dreamy? And, of course, I’d be remiss not to mention Mr. Sexy-face Pie Man as Super Douche.

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Comic Karaoke

Last night, my little sister, Sarah and I kicked off her birthday week with a night of karaoke and vodka! Since we are in a SDCC frame of mind, she and I decided to take on the town in coordinating comic book inspired ensembles.

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A bit less obvious than Sarah’s Batman dress layered with a red peplum pencil skirt, I built my bright blue and yellow outfit around one special accessory: my Batman/Superman headband.

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It was another fantastically fun night and I’m looking forward to what today has in store for us. (It was also the season premiere of Face Off on SyFy and I’m eager to watch that!)

Thanks for reading! Love, GK

DIY :: Weeping Angel Barbies

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Recently, Nerdist shared a DIY craft tutorial from Off Beat Home on how to turn Barbie Dolls into Weeping Angels from (one of my favorite shows ever) Doctor Who! Having both come across the tutorial separately, my sister and I decided to take on the task together and had a lot of fun doing it!

While working through this project, Sarah and I discovered that Off Beat Home’s post and instructions left some of our questions unanswered. We also encountered some issues along the way which we were able to solve with a little creativity. I wanted to share our experience so others might avoid making some time consuming mistakes.

What You’ll Need

  • Barbie Dolls (or rather, knock-off dollar store fashion dolls – you don’t want to waste money on a new barbie or mess up an old one… she’s an American icon!)
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun (and glue sticks. you will use a lot)
  • Spray Bottle full of Elmer’s (school) Glue and Water mixture (use a 50/50 ratio)
  • A ruler or measuring tape.
  • A base (for the stand)
  • Dowels (for the stand)
  • Fabric (suggested color: Gray.Also, choose a fabric that is lightweight and “flow-y”)
  • String/Yarn (suggested color: Gray.)
  • Feathers (you can buy a bag of feathers or rip them off of a feather boa like we did)
  • Primer Spray Paint (Gray)
  • Stone Spray Paint (Gray)
  • Thin Cardboard for Wings (or thick card stock)
  • Small Rubber bands
  • Cotton Balls

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Phase One :: Prep Materials

Prep Dolls :: Fix her hair by putting her hair in a low pony tail. Then, twist hair into a bun. I chose to have my angels with big beauty queen buns on the tops of their head but you may decide to cut the dolls hair shorter and form the bun lower on the head, closer to the neck. It’s your preference. It is also helpful to spray the crap out of her do with extra hold hairspray. Tie string around head.

Then, cut off your doll’s arms at the elbow. The dollar store fashion dolls that my sister and I purchased have hollow arms. This made it very easy to cut off the arms. If you use a legit Barbie Doll (which, again, I strongly advise against) you will have a significantly more difficult time cutting the arms and may require a more advanced cutting tool than ordinary scissors since an authentic Barbie’s arms are quite solid.

Prep Wings :: Using a thin (yet sturdy) cardboard, I drew out one wing. From wide top to pointy bottom, each wing was about 9 inches. (Best described as an elongated Yin-Yang shape). After cutting out wing #1, I used it to trace the amount of wings my dolls would require. (3 dolls = 6 wings.) Make sure to leave a section of board on each wing to attach them to the doll’s back (Note the shape of my wings in the above photo.)

Attach feathers to the wings using hot glue. (Pay attention to your edges!) Don’t even begin to stress about perfection when attaching the wings, once you spray them they will look very different. Just covered the cardboard enough.

Cut Strips of Fabric :: Cut fabric into rectangular strips about 18 inches long and 5 inches wide (I only cut mine 4 inches wide and wished I had given myself a bit more in width). I used a green fabric from an old long sleeve tshirt. This fabric ultimately proved to be almost a bit too heavy once covered in glue and paint. I suggest using a thin, lightweight fabric that will crinkle/flow nicely. I also suggest a gray or other light color fabric.

Assemble Stand :: I cheaped-out in this department and am still regretting it. I built a base out of layers of cardboard and then stuck a dowel in each. I would recommend purchasing a small circular piece of wood (typically found in the wood painting aisle of craft stores – usually among giant wooden letters and such.) Your biggest challenge when using a solid wood base is being able to drill a hole into it to insert the dowel (wooden rod). It is easier in the long run to put the time and energy into building a sturdy, heavy base for these dolls. My cardboard creation ended up absorbing all the paint, making it mushy and thusly flimsy and prone to tipping. (I will be improving upon my bases before displaying…)

I purchased one long wooden dowel and cut it into 9 inch pieces using a wire cutter. (You could also use heavy duty scissors)

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Phase Two :: Assembly

Glue Arms in Weeping Angel Positions :: My sister ended up mastering this step in the process. Using a small amount of cotton (cotton balls) she filled in the inevitable gaps in the elbow of each doll. By really manipulating the hot glue and cotton, she was able to secure the arms in position. We did a variety of positions including fully hiding their face, beginning to let their arms down and arms reaching out (which you don’t even have to cut-off and reattach arms if you’re making one in this position).

I wish I was better able to describe to you the arm-glueing process or even provide pictures of the process but when working, I simply forgot to document this step properly. I will say not to stress about perfection here either. Hot glue is easily detached if you need to try again and remember that you will be blasting these gals with rocky spray paint; any imperfections and lumps will blend in the end. Just have fun playing Doctor Frankenstein.

Glue Dolls to Stands :: Before dressing your ladies, glue her to her stand. Glue the feet to the base (I left my dolls’ shoes on but that really doesn’t matter. Use as much hot glue as you need her, it will be covered they fabric and paint anyway. I also used hot glue to attach the wooden dowel to each doll’s bum (right in the crack).

When gluing your dolls to their base, keep in mind the shape you’d like them to be in. I knew I wanted my three dolls to be in a series of motion so I glued the 1st Angels legs completely together and straight. The 2nd Angels (who is beginning to take her hands away from her face) is stepping forward with one leg and my 2rd and final Angel (whose arms are stretched out to claim her victim) is stepping forward with the opposite leg.

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Dress Dolls :: Fold your 18in strips of fabric in half and cut a small, half-moon shape in the fabric. Now, Slip each dolls head through the hole. The Strip of fabric is now draped down the front and back of each doll.

Next, use yarn/strong to tie fabric to doll. I chose to: tie around the wait, tieing in the back. Then, bring string up over each of the dolls shoulders. Cris-cross across the doll’s chest and then go around the waist again to tie off on the side. – You can tie your string however you like to/need to. I used bright red yarn and this became difficult to cover with paint later; I suggest gray or another light color yarn. I also suggest yarn over other types of string because it real provided the shape and texture I wanted.

Spray Dolls with Glue & Water Mixture :: This part is vital! Do not skip over this step! Spray your whole doll down with your glue and water mixture. Do multiple coats of this. During this step, you can mold the dress the way you’d like it (I wanted to make sure the motion in the angels legs was seen so I made sure to spray the fabric down to each leg.) Spray the string down into the position you’d like. Spray the hair and string in the hair. Spray the crap out of everything with this glue-water. The solution also creates a first layer barrier for paint to be applied. It stiffens the fabric and hair.

DO NOT ATTACH WINGS YET.

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Phase Three :: Spray Painting

Primer :: Spray your dolls with primer spray paint. I initially purchased a white primer, this was silly; use gray primer… (duh).

Attach Wings :: After the first coat of primer dries, use hot glue to attach the wings to each angel.

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More Primer :: (It is at this point in the process that it became clear to me that my shoddy cardboard base was not going to cut it. The dolls are now becoming quite heavy and a flimsy base won’t hold them up.) Give your dolls (now with wings attached) another coat of primer. Make sure to spray them down from all angles so as not to leave any places unsprayed. (Pay attention to nooks, crannies and creases.)

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Get Stoned :: Finally, after allowing the dolls to dry completely. Spray them with your gray stone spray paint. Let dry completely.

Wrap-Up

The most time consuming steps in the entire process were cutting out the shapes for the wings and attaching the feathers. Drying was also a bit of a problem since we were working in our back yard in south florida and humidity is not a friend of the paint drying process. If possible, bring the dolls inside to dry between each coat. (Cool, dry air is definitely necessary).

Once finished, you can go back with a fine tip sharpie and accentuate the facial expressions. I chose to skip this step. If you want to go the extra mile, before spraying your dolls at all, use molding clay to shape out a scary mouth and maybe even eyebrows and glue them to your doll’s face.

I’m actually kind of happy that my Angels retained their “Barbie look” with their big hair and hidden smiles. It looks more like “Weeping Angel Barbie” rather than mini Weeping Angels and I like that. You may chose to make yours more sinister.

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I’m happy to answer any questions you may have and would be excited to see your Weeping Angel dolls!

Thanks for reading! Love, GK.

Here’s a peek at how I displayed my Weeping Angels on top of one of my bookshelves. Eventually I’ll find a better spot for these beauties.

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July 2014 :: Ipsy Glam Bag :: Sensationally Sunkissed

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There won’t be a lot of break-down for each product this month. Mostly because I’m just not that thrilled with this month’s glam bag from Ipsy. Maybe Ipsy has just lost it’s appeal for me or something but I find myself underwhelmed in recent months. I’ve been redeeming a lot of my Ipsy points for extra products and I’ve found that Ipsy has been better about offer more products more frequently for redeeming. (Which is nice because it’s been a complaint of mine for several months.) Without any further ado, here is what I received in my July Glam Bag:

  • BareMinerals – 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude - It’s a neutral cream eyesahdow. BareMinerals is one of my favorite brands and I’ll definitely put this to use. But still: *snore*
  • Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm in Pretty Pink - I’m really digging this lip balm. My only complaint is that it’s a mini version and, in the past, Ipsy has featured full size Pixi products (including lipsticks)
  • Pur-lisse Pur-protect essential daily moisturizer spf 30 – Another f*cking moisturizer/sunscreen. Yay.
  • Marrakesh Hair Care Marrakesh Endz – Is there really such a thing as a split end fixer?
  • Models Own Nail Polish in Red Sea - I paired this transparent red with glitter polish over Essie’s Serial Shopper (a coral shade) and I like the bright results. My over all opinion, though, is that this product (and maybe even this brand) is a bit cheap and cheesy. 11 year old me would’ve had no problem at all with it.

There it is. Thanks for reading! If you’re interested in becoming a Ipsy Subscriber, please CLICK HERE to sign up. Once a member, you’ll receive your own personalized link to share with others (and be able to collect those Ipsy Points redeemable for goodies!)

Love, GK