Friday, December 28, 2012

Edible Christmas Coal

I've baked and cooked so much over the holidays, but really only paid enough attention to take photos of one project, but it's a funky recipe so I hope you'll like it. Christmas coal! It's great for anyone on Santa's good list or his naughty list!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Canvas-Covered Cork Board

In the move between Nevada and Montana, I found a HUGE piece of canvas leftover from something of Andy's. It had a zipper down one side--might've been a mattress cover or big tent bag  or something like that at one point. I didn't care, it was mine now!

So what could I do with canvas? I had tons of ideas! I did want to make a fabric-covered cork board for my future craft room, so why not? I got to work!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

My grandmother has made these for years and years. They're easy and quick and absolutely delicious. They only take about fifteen minutes to whip up and will satisfy any chocolate craving. Who can say no to chocolate on top of chocolate?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mirror Ornaments

I read on Pinterest somewhere that if you glue little mirrors together and hang them in your tree that it will add to the glow of your tree. I made 25 of them, and I'm not sure if it helped but it certainly didn't hurt! And for the two bucks it cost me, I'm not complaining.

Spiced Applesauce Bread

 A year ago a friend and I spent a day making homemade "Apple Butter." It's been in my pantry ever since, waiting for a use. I knew if I opened it that I'd never be able to use it all before it went bad (no preservatives, of course). And we accidentally over-spiced the apple butter, so I wanted to mix it with something rather than just using it as a spread.

Luckily recently I found a recipe for Spiced Applesauce Bread that sounded perfect for my situation. Instead of using applesauce and spices I just swapped them out for my jar of apple butter.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Got Bulbs?

Christmas bulbs, that is. And a picture frame and ribbon? Then you've got a fun little craft project!

This is a fun one because there are so many combinations you could do with picture frame shapes, ribbon styles, and crazy amounts of ornaments you find these days. You could make tons of these with all different kinds of themes!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cincinnati Chili and Sweet Cornbread

With the big winter storm we had the past few days here in Montana (11 inches of snow before Thanksgiving!),it really put us in the mood for chili. Ever since I was a kid I've enjoyed Cincinnati Chili which is a chili that is made up of exclusively meat (as in, no beans or vegetables). People are often alarmed at the idea of putting cocoa powder & apple pie spice in a chili recipe and eliminating beans, but have no fear! It's perfect for a cold winter day. And you can always add beans if you want to anyway!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Halloween Wreaths

I just love a good day of shopping with Micael's coupons! I had a coupone for 20% of my entire purchase--including sale items--and also a coupon for 40% off any one regularly-priced item. I've been wanting to make a Halloween wreath for a long time, and today I made two!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Berry Cobbler

I once made a cake using nothing but a can of soda and a box of cake mix. It came out wonderfully (and you can use diet too, though, it IS cake we're talking about...). And you can make so many different combinations! Orange soda and cream cheese frosting, or rootbeer and cream cheese frosting...I'm a cream cheese frosting nut!

Recently I became aware that the same could be done to make cobblers! So I gave it a try, and here it is.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Strawberry Shortcakes

....with homemade whipped cream and biscuits! Strawberries were on sale today--$3 for two pounds--and they looked like they were in great shape (not mushy or moldy), so I thought, why not? I love strawberries. When I got home I wasn't sure what to do with them, but then I realized I had picked up whipping cream with a different intended use (I will hopefully post about a creamy basil pesto sauce sometime). I've always wanted to try making my own whipped cream, and I had Bisquick in the cupboard, so.....you know how it goes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Salsa with Cabbage and Avocado

There is an excellent Mexican restaurant in town called Fiesta En Jalisco. Nobody can ever remember the name so everyone just calls it "the mexican place." One of my favorite parts is the salsa and chips that is served beforehand, two kinds; one is spicy and chunky and the other is mild and smooth but with shredded cabbage. My preference is the latter and I wanted to try to recreate it. I think I made it close enough to satisfy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Presto Pesto!

I love pesto, and I would make it all the time if I had a reliable source of fresh basil around. Unfortunately, for years the best I could find was the little .75-ounce packages in the fresh herbs section for like 3 bucks. But since I've moved I found a 4oz container for 3 bucks--plenty for the Crispy Baked Caprese Chicken with Bacon, the [Almost] Margherita Pizza, and now pesto!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

[Almost] Margherita Pizza


I say "almost" because Margherita Pizzas come in some variation (onions, parmesan, etc..), but always have three basic toppings: fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and sliced tomatoes. Seeing as how I don't like whole tomatoes, I used sauce instead. And it still turned out amazing!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Crispy Baked Caprese Chicken with Bacon

I've moved from Wells, NV to Livingston, MT now, and here's my first post from my new home!

I received a Caprese Chicken with Bacon recipe from Taste of Home in an email, and it looked good enough to try. I thought it would be better with breaded chicken instead of plain, so I tried looking up an oven-baked recipe so that I wouldn't have to [try to] fry anything. I found a recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken on AllRecipes, so there we go!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Chicken Skewers


Today for dinner we knocked out the rest of our frozen chicken and peanut butter all in one shot. Accompanied by teriyaki rice and corn, it made a pretty tasty meal!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Twice-baked Potatoes


Tonight I decided to do something different with our potatoes rather than simply baking them or mashing them. I've never made "Twice Baked Potatoes," so why not? Seemed fool proof enough!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Steak Tostadas

As our time here in Nevada is winding down, we are trying to power through our food in the freezer, fridge, and cupboards to minimize what we need to move or give away. Today our main dish was steak and I had to find a way to whip that up into something interesting. I sifted through the cupboards and fridge and found the makings for some tasty tostadas!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchiladas are a very versatile meal that can be changed up with infinite combinations of stuffings and toppings. My most recent enchilada fascination has been with black beans and sweet potatoes. A delicious match! I decided to try it after reading about black bean and sweet potato chili and the combination intrigued me. I will have to find the chili recipe again sometime and try that too!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sunflower Seed Butter

I had a bunch of sunflower seeds in the cupboard that went unused for-ever. Like, the "best used by" date was December 2010 for-ever. They were in a resealable package at least, and still tasted fine to me. So I figured I'd do something with them and try to make a seed butter. I looked up a recipe and got to work.

Horchata!

I had Horchata for the first time with my coworker last summer at a Mexican fast food joint called 9 Beans and  Burrito. I'd never had it before and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Horchata, if you don't know, is rice-cinnamon drink; sometimes it's made with nuts as well. I haven't tried this yet but almonds might be nice to try.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I need a rat on my head!

That was the thought that was running through my head today as I was working in the kitchen. We have a bunch of ingredients that need to be used up, but I didn't really know how. I thought having a Remy on top of my head, like on Ratatouille's "chef" Alfredo Linguini, would be helpful. Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar movie, if you didn't know.
Broccoli was the main component I wanted to get rid of tonight. I don't like broccoli much--I actually bought it a while ago intending to use it with the Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi, but I completely forgot about it in the fridge. Unless it's smothered in cheese sauce or blended in a soup, neither my husband or I like broccoli much. And I wasn't really in the mood for a cheese soup, so I just whipped up a different kind with things we had on hand--including a sweet potato and cream of mushroom soup!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Living Planet Aquarium



The last time Andy and I were in Salt Lake City for a concert was the middle of April, and we decided to finally check out the The Living Planet Aquarium. The first time we tried it was jam-packed full of people. We couldn't even find a parking place! So we decided on our next trip that we were going to try it on a Sunday morning--I hate to say it--specifically because we knew all the Mormons would be in their services at that time.
Well, the strategy worked and the place was half empty when we got there! It's a small-ish aquarium, but it had enough to keep us occupied for a good 4-5 hours!

Stuffed Burgers (& More!)

 My sister sent Andy and me a little contraption that helps you make stuffed burgers. Since we're trying to plow through our perishable food before our big move (3 weeks!), this allowed us to cook up 2 pounds of beef and a package of bacon I found in the bottom of the big freezer.
To go along with our meal, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try my hand at making homemade buns. They turned out a little small for our giant burgers, but otherwise great!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dirty Snicker Milkshake

Ever since I went to the Cheesecake Factory and tried one of their alcoholic milkshakes, I've wanted to try my own. I decided to make one that includes chocolate and peanut butter because they're my favorite, and add whatever alcoholic properties we had in the house to achieve some heaven in a glass.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Frying tortilla chips

I went to the store the other day to get some tortillas. My husband likes breakfast burritos and we have a bunch of sausage in the freezer that needs used up before we move, so I opted to make him some with eggs. We spotted some corn tortillas that were the right size and decided to give them a try since neither of us had ever tried them before.

Lo and behold, they were too dry and stiff to use. The tortilla ripped as soon as I tried folding it over. What now? What else can you use them for? Tortilla soup, I suppose...but a whole package of tortillas? I think not! Instead I decided to try making my own tortilla chips out of them.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Decoupage TV tray

After painting The Orphaned Chair, I went around the house in a frenzy to find something else to paint. We've always had these old, sad TV trays that Andy got from who-knows-where, and they've always been used as end tables next to our couch for lack of better furniture. I thought my trusty blue paint would be some sort of improvement for them compared to their current state, and I always have wanted to Mod Podge something like a table since I found the idea on Pinterest...so, why not?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snazzy makeup brushes!

I came across this idea on Pinterest. Lovely Pinterest.
I love to make things pretty and fun. Through Pinterest the idea came from Lemon Jitters. It's so easy and cute and Lemon Jitters suggests using the idea for gift-giving.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baking Bakery Bread


I love to bake bread. There's nothing I like more than the smell of fresh baked bread, and tearing off a chunk from my loaf dipping it in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When I first started baking bread I had a really hard time because no matter how much I kneaded the dough, it would always come out dense. I wanted light and fluffy bread with lots of holes in it! I don't have a kitchen mixer so my search for recipes was inhibited right off the bat by that limiting factor.
Finally, I found the perfect breadmaking recipe that produced the holes I wanted!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Avocado & Crab Pizza

I know, it sounds weird. At first it was weird. But the more bites I took, the more I liked it. I saw recipes for this two ways--one with red sauce, and one with pesto. I made it with red since pesto is hard to come by around here (or, rather, basil is extremely rare and I don't buy the jarred stuff). I recommend this pizza if you'd like to try something different for a change!

Homemade Pizza Dough & Sauce

This recipe is from 500 Pizzas & Flatbreads: The Only Pizza & Flatbread Compendium You'll Ever Need by Rebecca Baugniet. It's never failed me. Before I started using this recipe I always seemed to have the problem of my pizza dough being too tough and springy. I could never get it to roll out easily at all and it drove me crazy! The Basic Turkish Pizza Crust contains more fat, and therefore results in a softer, more pliable dough.

My "red sauce," which I call "homemade" even though the ingredients come from a can, make delicious pizzas. I used to use jarred pasta sauces but they never seemed to taste that great even though there are different varieties. And they're more expensive! A big can of tomato puree is cheaper than jarred pasta sauce.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Orphaned Chair

When my husband bought this house, the previous tenants left a lot of junk around that they were supposed get rid of or take with them. Why do people do that? It happened when my mom bought a house too.

So this chair was among the pieces left in the back yard and it ended up sitting next to the wall of the house ever since. That was three and a half years ago! Pathetic, I know.

It has endured rain, hail, dirty wind, and all the snow that upstate Nevada can throw at it. But after seeing so many transformations on Pinterest, I saw potential in the forlorn abandoned piece of furniture.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

One day last summer or fall we got a knock on our door from these meat delivery dudes out of Reno. Apparently they travel around for this company with a freezer for a truck packed full of all kinds of beef, chicken, pork, and fish. They suckered us into the deal--we got a TON of beef and a TON of fish for a couple hundred dollars. We probably wouldn't have done it but Andy knows a thing or two about beef pricing and knew it was a good deal (they gave us 50% off I think since we were "new"). That stocked up our freezer and we're still working it off!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Painting the Bedroom (Blue!)

Back when all of our innocently ignorant hopes and dreams to renovate our sickly old house were ripe and bright in our excited minds, we had the brilliant idea to paint the bedroom, if not reinvent the closet space in there as well. After that, we were going to remodel the bathroom which is probably the one room that needs help the most in the entire house.

However, recent news has us scrambling to do what we can quickly because we're moving to Montana in less than two months! Thank goodness we've finished the kitchen; now we're tackling the bedroom.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations


The cabinets in our house are plain and in bad shape. We can't afford to replace them, so we decided to try this Rustoleum Cabinet Transormations kit for $75 at Home Depot (good for up to 100 square feet of cabinets). It can be used on all wood, laminate, melamine, and metal surfaces! The Cabinet Transformations series comes in a few different options: they have kits for dark colors or light colors, one specifically for white, and one to refinish wood. Depending on the kit/color, I think you can achieve a stain-like affect for your cabinets, but our color was too dark for that. Instead, I think our cabinets ended up looking painted but still much improved in the long run.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easy Canvas Prints

Easy Canvas Prints Product Review

After I got married, I had incentive to write reviews of my vendors over at Wedding Wire. At the time, the free gift you'd get for reviewing at least five wedding vendors that you used was a code for a free 8x8" canvas print at Easy Canvas Prints. The smallest print at 8x8 starts at $40 and they have sizes that range all the way up to 30x40" for $175, as well as custom sizing. These prices do not include changing your photo to black & white, sepia color, or "retouching" which all add to the price in ridiculous amounts (you can do these things for free in online photo sharing sites like Photobucket or play with Windows Photo Gallery as well). Here is a chart for a guide to their "most popular sizes" and pricing, including how much they charge for the special features. At the moment they have a sale going on (which I suspect is akin to Michael's constant framing sales--so never pay full price and just wait a few weeks until another sale is on): 25% off and free shipping. The free shipping is actually something to really take advantage of, as I will explain later.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Herbed (but not too herby) roasted turkey breast

We bought a deboned turkey breast from costco, so I went searching for a recipe since I had never cooked one before (it was actually precooked, but, ya know what I mean....). I found a recipe for Moist and Tender Turkey Breast that included, of all things, mayonnaise. Sounds nasty, but the mayo makes it so that you don't have to baste the turkey and it stays moist.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project Runway All Stars 3/22 Finale!

Did I call it or what! I totally did! Mondo deserved it from the beginning of his original season, let alone the All Stars. I did genuinely like his collection the best, so I'm not just being loyal to Mondo for the sake of it. I really enjoyed his collection! I actually really liked Michael's collection too. There are so many ways that "Safari" could be overdone, but I didn't think it was over the top at all. I thought the safari theme was more subtle than outrageous and costume-y. Austin's, however, was what I've come to expect from him--more for costumes on Broadway or outlandish outfits for stars who really want to draw attention to themselves. Entertaining, but like one of the judges said, I didn't see the connection between the pieces very much (though looking at it a second time, I think I can see the connection better). Overall, the designers made it very easy for me to pick out first, second, and third place for my opinion. I was surprised that Michael got 3rd place, but whatever I guess....the winner was who I wanted it to be and that's what matters most (to me!).


Sunday, March 25, 2012

DIY Dry Erase Board

Just a quick post for this because it's so wickedly easy.

I wanted a chalkboard for the kitchen so I could write down the dates of foods in the fridge. So where did I go? Michael's, of course! But when I got there I couldn't find any chalkboards! I asked about them and apparently they had just gotten rid of them. I have no idea why because Michael's always has chalkboards! People need them! People like me!

Oh well. So I went to Walmart and found a cheap magnetic dry erase board instead so I could just put it on the side of the fridge. Easy, right?

Friday, March 23, 2012

A few tips on formatting a written manuscript

I've been doing tons of research on how to format a manuscript properly. It's frustrating because in order to get published, you've got to follow dozens of rules just to get your book/paper/whatever glanced at before thrown in the trash. And it's doubly frustrating because one website will tell you to always do it one way, where another website will tell you to always do the opposite, if you want to get published. Example: one website told me to always put two spaces in between sentences, whereas another website said not to do this, and another website said it doesn't matter either way. Annoying.

I'm going to list here a few things you need to do to at least start formatting your piece the correct way if you need to submit it electronically (If you're simply printing and mailing, you probably won't need to bother with this and instead follow the rules for formatting a hardcopy, such as coverpage, font selection & size, margins, paragraphs, etc...)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ash Meadows NWR: part 2

During the year I spent at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, I took a remarkably small amount of photos of the scenery. Most of my photos were of flowers and animals, and here is a collection of my favorites. Even though the Mojave Desert is hot and dry and prickly, I couldn't help but love all the flowers and the animals we found there.

Ash Meadows NWR: Part 1

My sister and I worked at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge for 11 months between 2009-2010 as Ecological Technicians. It was an amazing experience and a lot of hard work. Ash Meadows is home to at least 24 species of plants and animals that are endemic to the refuge--meaning they are found nowhere else in the entire world. Erin and I worked on eradicating--or at least trying to control--the crayfish population (which are an invasive species that like to eat the endangered species), sprayed and pulled weeds, planted hundreds of plants, put together irrigation for said plants, helped create a new habitat for the endangered pupfish and dace, and lots of other fun stuff. You can also check out Ash Meadows at their facebook page. It's right next to Death Valley National Park, so if you're passing through you really must stop by for an afternoon to see the amazing springs and wildlife.

This blog post will be photos from my recent visit last week. A lot has changed! Part 2 will be photos from when my sister and I worked there, which will have plant and animal photos (it was the wrong time of year for that this time!).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars!

I've never made any cookies or bars that are no-bake because every recipe I've seen has always included oats. Oats oats oats. I hate oats! I came across this recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff, which is a great blog and you should check it out!




Sunday, March 18, 2012

Origami envelope instructions

These are the instructions on how to make your letter into its own origami envelope in 10 easy steps! I got the original idea here, but the instructions are missing a step so I thought I'd post my own. I thought it came out looking neat for the OWL exam results, and was an envelope that I could see being delivered by owl post. ;)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Harry Potter documents gift

sure what I should give to my twin fI thought I'd get creative and make somethieptance letter. After I got that idea and started Googling, the whole project grew into more than just the letter. I decided to make the Hogwarts acceptance letter and the envelope to go with it, an Ordinary Wizarding Level results letter, a deposit slip for a checking account (vault) at Gringott's, an Undesireable No. 1 poster, a letter from the owl postmaster, a few origami envelopes, and a Hogwarts diploma.

First off, here is a list of the fonts I downloaded for this project and the links where you can find them:

Aquiline (harrypotterfanzone) or Aquiline Two (dafont)
Colwell (dafont)
Fortunaschwein (dafont)
Hogwartswizard (fonts2u)
Jane Austen (dafont)
Lumos (dafont)
Nathan Condensed (dafont)
Olho_de_boi (dafont)
Parseltongue (dafont)
Zenda (dafont)

The rest of the fonts were already in Microsoft Word/Publisher.

To upload a font to your computer for use (using Windows), here is a list of steps:

  1. Download (save) a font from a font site (ex: dafont.com) and save to whatever location you prefer (I usually download them to the desktop to begin with so that I don't have to scroll through all the already-existing fonts to find it).
  2. The font folder on your computer will be a zip file--to unzip it, right click on it and choose "extract all"
  3. A new folder should appear that is unzipped--trash the zipped file (you won't be needing it).
  4. Go to Control Panel >> Appearance & Personalization >> Fonts (or simply Control Panel and type font into the search bar).
  5. Right-click on the blank/empty/white space in the window where you do not select an already-existing font, and click on Install New Font...
  6. A small "Add Fonts" window should pop up. In the boxes where you find the location of your font.  Follow the various folders to find the location of your font, double-clicking all the way. My computer usually has it pre-set to show the hard drive (c:) but the folder is not usually in the location I desire. In order to get back to my desktop, I double-click on the c:\ in the Folder window >> scroll down and double-click users >> double-click on April (my desktop) >> and then desktop (where the new font's folder is).
  7. Double-click on the folder of the font you want to install in the Folders window. Sometimes when you download a new font, you can elect to download others that are "alternate" or "condensed" or "expanded" etc... of the same font. Simply choose which font you want to install in the "List of Fonts" box. You'll be able to see which font it is by a sample sentence they show below. You can install more than one version of the same font at a time, but you can't install multiple separate fonts (folders) at once.
  8. After you select the font you want, click the Install button. Voila! Font is installed and you should see it show up in Microsoft Word. You can now move the new font's folder to the location of the rest of the fonts if you haven't already, but don't delete it. 
Just FYI, installing and using a new font on your computer will not transfer to another computer unless you install it on their computer as well. I did all this work on my laptop, transferred all documents and new font folders to my USB, then copied it all onto my husband's computer to print. I had to install the new fonts onto his computer before they would show up in my documents.
However, a year and a half after I made this it occurred to me that you can make these on one computer and save it as a PDF, then print it on a different computer. It won't be editable, but that way you won't need to put a bunch of new fonts on another computer in order for it to work!

For the whole project I used cardstock paper from Michael's since I couldn't find real parchment. I had two different colors but the photos make it look even worse because of flash/non-flash/night/day. I tore off the straight edges of the paper to give it a more authentic look. 

I searched the internet for the different crests and seals and I think I found all of them on Harry Potter Wiki (click here  for the Hogwarts crest and house crests). I will post the links to the crests and crests as photos too. I don't know if there is any copyright infringement involved in this--I assumed if there was, they wouldn't make it so easy to "right-click-and-save" these little pictures.

Exhibit A: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry Acceptance Letter

I did a little research on the internet to see how others have formatted this letter. The text, itself, is from the first book. To make the envelope look "sealed," I used an a plastic Hogwarts seal/sticker that I had saved from the scrapbook I had made for our trip to Harry Potter World last year. If you don't have one, I've seen a lot of tutorials online about making your own by melting crayons or getting a kit.
I think I got McGonagall's signature from this Harry Potter wiki page, but there are a lot of places on the internet to find it and save it if that one doesn't work for you--all you need to do is Google "Minerva McGonagall signature."
I've blocked out my sister's last name in all of the photos.





The font for the envelope is Lumos.
The font for the acceptance letter is Nathan Condensed.
The font for the "written" student's name is Aquiline.

Envelope Crest


This is the scroll I used as a separator.


Exhibit B: School Supplies List


The font for the school supplies list is Nathan Condensed.


Exhibit C: Owl Postmaster Letter

I borrowed the idea from this person because I thought it was cute. I didn't have an owl (stuffed or otherwise) (and I'm evidently not talented enough to fold an origami owl), so I thought it'd be funny to make an excuse for the lack of owl. It's a letter from the Owl Postmaster, whose name and signature I fabricated.
Go here for a list of seal designs for different departments of the Ministry of Magic.
Here is the link to the Owl Post seal.



The font for the Owl Post letter is Fortunaschwein.
The font for the Postmater's signature is Jane Austen.


 


For the Owl Post letter, I thought it would be nice to make an official envelope since it was from the Postmaster and, by extension, the Minister for Magic. I found an easy origami envelope online that I made out of more cardstock, and the instructions are on this blog.





Exhibit D: Gringotts Deposit Slip

I got this idea while searching for Harry Potter documents (this seller on Etsy sells a whole set including a "bank book" and deposit slips). It's supposed to show a deposit of a certain amount of wizard money into a vault. On the back I wrote the warning that is posted when you walk into Gringotts, and thought a goblin would probably have to approve the deposit so I made up a goblin name (Gapnug Kugrat) and created a signature for it with another font. I got the Gringotts crest and the corner logo from HP wiki (here).













The font for the Gringotts Check is Blackadder ITC in Microsoft.
The font for the "handwritten" part of the check is Freestyle Script in Microsoft.
The font on the back of the check (the warning) is Parseltongue.
The font for "Approving Goblin" is Nathan Condensed.
The font for Gapnug Kugrat's signature is Olho de boi.

  




Exhibit E: Ordinary Wizarding Level Exam Results

Who doesn't love the scene where Hermione has a black eye and makes her owl tremble as she gets her OWL exam results? I made up the grades for my sister according to what I suspect she would achieve.


The fonts for the OWL Results are Nathan Condensed, Papyrus (in Microsoft), and Poor Richard (in Microsoft). 

Since I didn't have a seal with real wax and I had already used the scrapbooking plastic one, and I didn't want to roll it up like a scroll (how I'd imagine it was attached to the owl's leg in the book), so I decided to fold the paper iteself into an envelope. I found the instructions for this one online as well, but they are missing a step and not that great so I will post my own instructions and put a link in here for it. I liked this origami envelope because it reminded me of an owl's beak. The crest is a rub-on decal that you can get for scrapbooking.





Exhibit F: Undesireable No. 1 Poster

Warner Brothers created this program on their site so you can make your own "wanted" poster. All you have to do is upload a photo and they make you Undesireable Number One! It's not the best picture, but It's hard finding a straight-forward shot that is the right size because they don't let you zoom in or out or crop it when you upload it.
The link is here, and you can skip the video that plays automatically if you want.


Update: When I made this they had the program to make your own poster, but I'm not sure if you can make it anymore on their website. It probably wouldn't be *too* difficult to make your own though with some creativity!


Exhibit G: Hogwarts School Diploma

This was my favorite one to make. Here is the wiki link to the crests of Hogwarts and the houses again. (By the way, I "faded" the large Hogwarts crest in the background on Photobucket to make it look like a sort of watermark). I did a lot of research (Googling) for this one since I'm not all that creative and tons of people have made plenty of versions of the diplomas already. It was mostly inspired (copied) by this diploma on Etsy...it's amazing what someone can print at home and sell online--and people buy it! She sells these for $12, plus $3 shipping. The shipping price, at least, is honest according to my calculations (from Seattle to Miami in a large envelope at 12oz). Assuming the piece of cardstock cost 59 cents (which is what I paid for it because I bought just a dozen pages from the open stock. If a value pack was bought, it comes out to about 14 cents per page IF the 50-page pack was a whole $7, which is a gross overestimate for most regular cardstock + coupons), and the ink to print the page would cost, say....the rest of that dollar (so, 41 cents--another overestimate)....that comes out to a 91.67% Gross Profit Margin with 1,100% markup (I know I'm pathetic for working this out). Must be nice to sell to suckers. Instead, I suppose I ripped off this person's idea and made my own for a dollar instead of shelling out $15 to order one. And mine is better anyway.

I got the Albus Dumbledore signature here, McGonagall's is linked in Exhibit A, and I made up the Kingsley Shacklebolt signature with a font. I know Dumbledore wasn't alive by the time Kingsley became Minister for Magic, but I wanted the best of both worlds so I did it anyway!




The fonts used for the diploma are Zenda, Fortunaschwein, Vivaldi (Microsoft), Old English Text MT (Microsoft), Jane Austen for Kingsley's signature, and Papyrus (Microsoft).





I faded the Hogwarts crest for the background of the diploma.



***On the diploma, the last line of the paragraph includes the date June 15, 2011 and you'll need to change this if you want to be a current date!***

I think that's everything that is needed to remake these documents.

If you leave a comment or send me an email, I can send blank copies of these documents through email so you wouldn't need to put them together yourself. Blogger doesn't have a function that would allow me to upload the documents and post them on here.
I have versions of the documents in both Microsoft Word and Publisher (I prefer Publisher but not everyone has it). I would hope that they would stay intact through email without any of the formatting getting messed up, but you would need to make sure that you have all of the fonts downloaded and installed for it to work! Otherwise, you could always use other fonts of your choosing. No guarantees, but we can always give it a try!


I hope you enjoyed this post!




Update 5/26/2014: Because it's been two years and I'm still receiving requests from people to send them my documents (which I gladly do!), I've decided to open a Box.com account so that the public can freely access it and download the documents from there instead of having to play email-tag with me. 

1. Go to Box.com
2. Sign in with this email:
albus.percival.wulfric.brian.dumbledore@hotmail.com
3. Use this password: ExpectoPatronum
4. Read the Disclaimer
5. Download the documents you want and follow my instructions on this blog!