The Right Little Madam is very keen on Harry Potter. This year she’s having a Potter inspired birthday party. The Number One Daughter, who infected the child with the Potter mania in the first place, is doing things in style. Take the party invitations. They are all Hogwarts acceptance letters containing a Hogwarts Express ticket. This means that each letter had to be addressed to its recipient as living in a cupboard under the stairs. This in itself wasn’t the problem.
The problem was getting the envelops to go through the printer and despite our best endeavours two printers failed to show so much as a glimmer of helpfulness. This meant that I was found furtling through cupboards in search of green ink. It’s mildly alarming that I found some. The Number One Daughter then hand wrote the envelopes. Ta dah! You might think. But no. The original acceptance letter comes complete with a wax seal. I could provide the wax but sadly my seal, dating from my early teens, bears the letter J and no amount of extended linkage could make that even remotely Harry Potter.
There then followed a hunt through the house for anything that could be used as a seal; earrings, beads and HWIOO’s cuff links (have you ever tried to remove sealing wax from a cufflink?) . Ultimately I found the charm pictured in this post which the Number One Daughter suggested could be the whomping willow.
There then followed an interesting family interlude. First there was melting the wax. Fortunately I had some tin tart tins that I was intending to use to make pine cone fire lighters. Having seen the occasional film with gangsters and drug dealers I suspect the family gathered around a small candle melting a solid substance in a tin tray may have other connotations in other contexts. Then there’s the matter of getting the right amount of wax on the envelope and pressing the charm into the wax without gunning the charm with wax or leaving it glued to the envelope. Ultimately what to any of us want with unburned finger tips in any event. However, after much trial and error, the knack is to put only a little wax on the envelope and press the charm into the wax for the count of three whilst ensuring that the handy little loop remains free of the wax in order to prize it from the still rather warm and clingy wax.
Oddly I have never seen an entire family singing their fingers during period dramas in order to send a letter. Come to think of it I don’t suppose that was the standard approach in the past either. Further investigation revealed that handy little bronze scoops are available to melt the wax and, of course, the stamps themselves tended to be rather more substantial. Furthermore, for a price a Hogwarts stamp is available on the Internet. Still, I’m sure that it’s a family moment that will live in legend and all I can say is that the lucky recipients of the Right Little Madam’s party invites had better appreciate them.
Right then – I’m off to rehearse the slug jelly and cauldron cakes; find a besom broom and pointed hat (no, I don’t already possess them); create a frame for the Right Little Madam’s friends to do their best Azkaban prison pictures and purchase large amounts of chocolate to make chocolate frogs and mice. There’s every chance that by the end of next month there will be a long post and many photographs on hosting a Harry Potter party. Now, where is that wand?