Friday, May 31, 2013

Firstie Fridays: Working on Badgertastic Organizational Skills

Happy Friday, Badgers, and welcome to another edition of Firstie Fridays! Two weeks ago we talked about setting goals. I hope you’ve got yours recorded, because today we’re going to talk about how we can achieve those goals:
Firstie Tip of the Week: GET ORGANIZED!
Even if you’re not a spreadsheet-loving, Container Store-shopping, checklist-making crazy person like I am, you can still get organized. If you are that kind of organized person, let us perform the secret handshake and then get to color-coding.
Being an enthusiastic First Year, I definitely suffer from the disease known as Do All the Things-itis. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, though. If you’re having fun and it doesn’t interfere with your work, family, or other Muggle obligations, then I say do all the things you want to do!
With that said, it is PSA time. Since I am in the Do All the Things Club, that is the perspective from which a lot of my posts will be written. However, I hope that my suggestions can help everyone, regardless of the number of classes you turn in or the number of extracurricular activities you do. I love trying to do every class and every activity, but I don’t think that you have to Do All the Things to be a great player. Have fun and craft what you love, my friends! As long as you’re trying your best, you’re doing it right.
If you stare at this picture long enough, a sailboat will appear.

Confession: I have a First of the Month Planning Ritual that I get way too excited about. Don’t worry; I’m not going to get into it here. I play in 4 different competitive crafting groups on Rav, so my ritual is probably more involved than anyone wants to hear about. But if anyone ever wants to geek out with me over planning and my method of taking 60 different prompts and making 10 projects fit them all (those are randomly chosen numbers, but they’re not too far off base), please earburn me! I will geek out like you wouldn’t believe, and you might have some great tips for me! Right now, though, let’s focus on these tips:
             Gather all the information before you act. Before you get excited about a project and turn it in to the first class thread you read, take some time to read all of the prompts. Part of my planning involves gathering every single prompt from each of my groups in one place. The Den has a handy-dandy thread that does that for you already: the Pantry. After you check out the rest of the prompts, you may find that your amazing project works better elsewhere and that you can make another exciting project for that first class. Now you have two assignments turned in instead of one! That’s double the points!

Twin badgers: achieving world domination, one "Aw!" at a time.

             Prioritize. Advanced Studies and Quidditch are really exciting! They won’t help you keep your sorting priority, though, so make sure that you leave yourself enough time to turn in at least one class per month. Don’t wait until the last day of the term to start crafting your class. Someone might put a computer-freezing hex on you when you try to submit it, and you may not have enough time to counter it before the deadline. As a NQFY, I handed in a class on the last day of the term with 7 minutes to spare. I nearly had a heart attack. Do not do that to yourself!
             Speaking of deadlines…Pay attention to dates and times. It is heartbreaking to find out that you started a project one day too early or finished it ten minutes too late. You are playing with people from time zones all over the world on a site that keeps track of the exact minute that you post anything. Dates and times make a difference. Make sure you know what they are before you decide what to start on first. It may sound silly, but it doesn’t hurt to have a POT clock somewhere. Your wall doesn’t have to look like this:
...but if it did you would be the coolest person I know.

Still, it might help on deadline days to have an Internet tab open with Princess Onica Time displayed on it.
             Figure out what accountability method works best for you. Be honest now: if you make a checklist, will you stick to it, or will you just throw it away at the end of the day? If you’ll stick to it, you are awesome. If you won’t, you’re still awesome; you just need to find something that will help you tackle that to-do list. Find the organizational method that best keeps you on track with your to-do list and stick with it. Do you prefer checklists, spreadsheets, or calendars? Do you like some combination of the three, or do you work better with something else entirely? Maybe setting reminders on your phone helps, or maybe you are someone who likes to put sticky notes around the house. Use whatever works, my friends!
To-Do Note #7: Google "how to bandage cat scratches."

Okay! You’ve got your priorities straight and your deadlines figured out, and you’ve picked the way you’re going to keep track of it all. Now what do you do? Well, you make your checklist or your spreadsheet or your elaborate system of Post-It notes, and you stick to your plan. Focus on the top priorities first and work your way down, keeping in mind that due dates have an impact on the priority of projects. For example: if Quidditch is your second or third priority, but it’s due on June 3rd, then it moves up on the priority list over the classes that are due on June 30th. Then start with Priority One and knock those to-do's out!
This may sound like a lot – it may be a lot – but even if you just take away one little tip from this post, I think you will be happier with your crafting life. Getting organized helps you figure out what you want to make and when you want to make it. That knowledge leads to beautiful finished projects, which in turn lead to points! The theme of this term in Hufflepuff is “No points left on the table,” which I interpret to mean: “Don’t miss out on points that are rightfully yours.” Stay on top of deadlines by being aware of dates and times; know where you can turn in projects by reading all the prompts; prioritize your projects; hold yourself accountable. Doing these things keeps you and your projects organized, and if you’re organized, you’ll have a great chance of getting all the points that you deserve for being an amazing, Badgertastic crafter!
Thanks for reading, Badgers! Have a great weekend, and try getting organized when the new classes go up tomorrow! If you have any tips or questions, let me know in the comments!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Newt in my backyard!

Just a check in with our lovely Advanced Studies NEWT students.  Hufflepuff has 5 students this term, so let's see what they're up to, shall we?

I asked our NEWT'ers
1) How close are you to your 50% mark?
2) What's a suprise about your NEWT?
3) What else have you been able to craft this term, besides your NEWT?

1) Handed in a couple of days ago! 
2) Two things: first, it’s gotten a lot easier. I expected it to get somewhat easier but really, I found a rhythm with the technique and it’s going so much faster now. Secondly, I expected it to become a slog at some point but it hasn’t. The pattern changes so much that once I start getting tired of something, the pattern switches to something else. Tired of bubbles? Look, there are pipes just around the corner. It’s a lot of fun seeing it develop. 
3)  Quite a lot, surprisingly. I’ve handed in four classes already; I’m waiting on my partner for the fifth one to hand it in and I’m working on a sixth as well. Those over the break activities really helped me focus.

I handed my 50% in - yey!

I’m surprised by how challenging some parts of my NEWT are. It’s been a bit tricky to figure out where to pick up stitches or whether I need to include an extra row in some squares because I’m working without a pattern.
Other than my NEWT, I finished a Peurperium cardigan for my baby-to-be. I did the first Quidditch, am planning to turn in my 4 HMC projects, and I’ll be starting a secret Mission soon. I’m going to try to squeeze in some charity blanket squares for msoyster, too.


Has been visiting Russia was but sweet enough to show this loving progress shot of a sock.  More soon!

Here are shots of a finished shawl AND a finished 2 ply spin.

1) How close are you to making it to your 50% mark? Hit this mark a few days ago. 
2) What’s a surprise about your NEWT? How monotonous some of the garter stitch is. I don’t mind garter stitch but there’s a heckuva lot with this project. The only thing that keeps me somewhat sane is the 10 yarn colors I get to switch with each section. 
3) What else have you been able to craft this term besides your NEWT? I made a hexipuff for Potions and a Tunisian Intarsia square for Charms (or was that vice-versa?). I’m about to embark on a Mission for Chief Rockinsticks - a Victorian lace bonnet veil.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quidditch - Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  For most of the Nation, today is a holiday.  We are off from work and school.  We say "Thank You" to any Military Service Member we know and see today.  As you share today with your family and friends, think about the families of our Service Members who carry on while their loved one is away (and wonder if they will return) and thank them for their sacrifice as well.

A poem for you.

What Heroes Gave
by Roger Robicheau

Each donned their uniform to be
Defenders of our liberty

Their mission sure, their spirits bright
Guard freedom’s home, be brave to fight

One final day each faced their call
Each gave their best enduring all

We’ll never know what they went through 
But know they loved this country true

Deep down inside we should all feel
What heroes gave, their cost so real

We must stay thankful, grateful of
The gift of freedom through their love

Their loved ones bore the gravest pain
What we can’t know, some now sustain

To God I pray their pain will cease
And each will find long-lasting peace

Remember this from year to year
What heroes gave – shan’t disappear

We’ll never let their special day
Their time for honor slip away

These brave fought for a nation free
If not for them, where would we be?

Hufflepuff is holding on to 2nd place in our Unofficial Goals!  Two more days of play; will you make it to the Pitch?
Speaking of the Pitch.  If you have not been over there just to look at the projects, you should.  Last week I posted a few pictures of Hufflepuff Goals but you should have a look at what others are posting.  Stop by the Pitch and cheer them on!

The Tie-In
Here, in The Cup, we often think of our wizard counterparts who fought bravely in both the First and Second Wizarding Wars.  So, as we play Quidditch today, craft in the name of a fallen Cup hero, in Real Life or in the Canon.  

If you have lost a loved one in any of the Wars, I say a heartfelt Thank You for your sacrifice. 

Quidditch Fans, have a wonderful day.  I hope to see YOU on the Pitch. Until next time; Keep your eyes on the Golden Snitch!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Take a Break

Sometimes we all need a break from crafting.

Wait? Did I just say that?

But it's true. As much as we all love crafting there are times when we need to out down our needles, hooks, spindles, or whatever else we're working on and relax. So this week the HuffleBlog is featuring two great places to take a break in The Den. 

First up is The HuffleTainment Center. Let's start with a little history: when I joined the cup a year ago we had The HuffleLibrary and the HuffleTheater. Those have since merged into The HuffleTainment Center, your place to talk all things movies, books, TV shows, and more. 

Every month there is a theme in The HuffleTainment Center with badges to be earned if you participate. For the month of May the theme has been the 1990s. There is a badge available for watching anything from the 90s (Blossom or Full House anybody?) and a badge available for crafting something inspired by the 90s. 

Not the biggest 90s fan? Don't worry, you can talk about anything entertainment related in The HuffleTainment Center including the latest Doctor Who or that new author you've found that you just can't stop reading. Just be careful to alert anybody of spoilers in your post in huge capital letters...or maybe just avoid them!

Another great place to relax in the Den is to pop over into the HuffleGames thread. They are already on game #2 of the term. The first game was a getting to know you question and answer game where questions ranged from silly to a bit more on the serious side. 

Currently HuffleGames is hosting a word game. You don't even have to catch up, just jump to the last page and join in. Take the five letter word in the last post and create a new word by changing only one letter (rearranging is allowed). For example, at the time of publishing, the last five words had been played:


It's a great place to stop by and join in quickly when you just need a break for a few minutes from that OWL or whatever class you're working on!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Firstie Fridays: IHU and You - A Love Story

Happy Friday, Badgers! Something exciting happened to me this week, and I wanted to share it with all of you: I became the new head of InterHouse Unity for Hufflepuff! I’m honored and excited – have I mentioned the excitement? I have? Good! – but in the middle of all that excitement I found out that a lot of ‘Puffs don’t really know what IHU is. So I’m here not just as your faithful Firstie blogger but also as your Fancypants IHU Lady (trademark pending) to tell you all about it.
InterHouse Unity is all about getting to know people from the other houses and hopefully making some new friends! I know that some of us Badgers (me included) can be shy homebodies who aren’t too sure about leaving the UCR or our cetes, but IHU is really fun and not even a little bit scary. If that’s true for me, then trust me, dear friends, it will be true for you too. InterHouse Unity also helps our friendly house competition stay friendly, which is a very good thing. It’s fun and easy, and I know I could use more of that in my life and in the Cup, so...
Our May IHU with Gryffindor is a tea party where you and your partner make something for one of four classes – Transfiguration, History of Magic, Potions, or Herbology – and tie your projects together. That’s it! You don’t have to do the same project or even the same class; you just earburn each other and write up a story if you like. I have three IHU partners this month, and they are all fun and awesome! Check out the GryffinPuff thread here. There are always students looking for a partner, so it’s not too late to get in on the wonderful IHU action!
Besides making new friends and reconnecting with old ones, you will also earn super-cool badges for your InterHouse Unity efforts. We have two shiny GryffinPuff badges for May:

The activities will change every month, so you’ll have a new house to hang out with and new badges to earn in June and July. I am obsessed with badges. I have a tab in my projects page just for badges. The fabulous LumosKP made our two GryffinPuff badges, and I will be the Fancypants IHU Badge-Maker (trademark pending) for the rest of the term. I love making badges, so there might even be super special surprise badges to be had. (I make no promises! I am a big fan of surprise badges, though, so stay tuned.)
Even if you’re not badge-obsessed like me, there is something for everyone with InterHouse Unity. IHU activities can be anything: they may be craft-alongs or class partnerships, or they may be more social activities like swaps or games. Whether you like to craft all the things or you like to get one class in and then hang out around the castle, IHU has something fun for you that fits with your style of play. So even if you can't make it to the GryffinPuff party this month, be sure to check back in June when we get in touch with our inner HuffleClaws and in July when we explore our SlytherPuff sides.
I really want InterHouse Unity to be fun and rewarding for everybody involved, and I promise I’m not just saying all of this because I am now a Fancypants IHU Lady. I was excited about IHU as soon as I saw the thread pop up. (If you follow that link, you'll see just how excited and how true to my Firstie name I was.) Why do I find it so exciting? Well, because IHU lets you have more fun doing what you were already going to do, and it helps you get to know more of the wonderful students in the castle! Take crafting, which we all love, and add fun and friends – it really doesn’t get any better than that. Plus, did I mention the badges?

Thanks for reading, Badgers! I hope you'll check out InterHouse Unity and spread the Badger love beyond the cozy confines of the Den to let it cover all of Hogwarts. Huzzah Hufflepuff!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

As the Month Draws Closer To The End

It’s time to take another look at some of our fellow Denmates homework assignments.  There have been some challenging assignments this month but we Hufflepuffs have rose to the challenges and in doing so have raised the bar for crafting all around.  This week we’re going to take a closer look at how high that bar has been raised in Herbology and Charms!

Option 1: Explore bast fibers such as hemp. Bast fibers come from the inner bark of many types of plants, such as this list here. If you know of a bast fiber you wish to work with that is not on this list, simply ask the professors, providing proof of the fiber’s origin. You may work in any Ravelry craft with fiber composed at least 50% from one or more bast fibers.

Option 2: Craft using the noble art of macrame. This will be the one exception to the Rav-crafts-only rule for this class. Some sample patterns may be found here.

broknmachin14 tackled working with sisal yarn made from the agave plant. Great job taking on this challenge!

Twirlymom crafted this lovely scarf out of hemp. It looks fantastic.

Krazykt82000 Also stepped up and crocheted this rockin’ bracelet out of hemp.

Option 1: Knit/crochet/weave
Craft something you wouldn’t normally make, completely out of your comfort zone whether it be a project type or the actual method of crafting or something you don’t normally make or work with because of its difficulty, i.e., you don’t like to use bulky yarn or you don’t normally work with cables.

Option 2: Spinners, spindle and wheel
Spin some yarn out of a fiber you normally do not work with or in a color you don’t normally gravitate towards or spin in a technique you don’t normally use, i.e., long draw as opposed to your normal go-to of worsted spin or Turkish spindle as opposed to drop spindle.

Option 3 Dyers
Dye some yarn or fiber with a type of dye that you don’t normally use or in a color that you don’t normally gravitate towards.

HogwartsKnitting crafted something she wouldn’t normally make in this very lovely cabled scarf! You’d never know she frogged her first attempt at cables after a long hibernation and hasn’t knit cables since by looking at how wonderful this turned out!

Kimanneberly went completely outside her comfort zone with this too cute change purse!

Texaninalaska gave hand painting while dying her yarn a go for this homework assignment.  I’d say she got it right! What about you?

As we approach the end of the first month of this term, join me next week for a few highlights to round out May assignments!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hufflepuff Sweeps: BROOM recap

This Sunday all BROOMs were due and Hufflepuff has some daring witches and wizards.  Without going into too much detail, here is the basic breakdown of these helpful, crafty students.  (please note-these numbers *could* be slightly off- but they're what I can figure at the moment!)

We've got 68 badgers daring to apply for an Order of the Phoenix Mission.

Recruitment: 23
Whenever the Floo Takes You: 17 students
Subtle Science and Exact Arts: 6 students
Security Operations: 22
Order Swag - 12 students
Advance Guard - 6 students
Undercover Operations: 15
Undercover at a Concert - 12
Spy on the Death Eaters - 3
Central Command: 18
Central Command - 6
Fallen Heroes - 12

Missions begin this Sunday!  Check back every Wednesday for more Advanced Studies information and highlights on individual projects and students!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quidditch: The HEAT is On!

::In my best announcer voice::
Hello Quidditch Fans!  I am SharonLuvs2Knit2, your Quidditch announcer for day 6 of Training Film 2: Heat Therapy.  Let's start with a recap of the last 5 days: 
  • On Day One, StarryNightSky was the first to Score with crochet blanket squares for Afghans for Pine Ridge!  Way to Score!
  • Day Two brought Torsparkles to the Pitch with hand-spun knit squares for Bundles of Joy!  Great job with the hand spun!
  • jen2291 arrived on the Pitch on Day Three with crochet squares for Blanket Squares for Orphan Homes.  She was followed by LumosKP with knit hats for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  Y'all rock!
  • Four 'Puffs scored on Day Four for their charities: lanismom donating to Bundles of Joy,  Luckynumbers, Timeless1, and brighteyesjessy each donating to Blanket Squares for Orphan Homes.  Woo hoo!
  • On Day Five yarnvista scored for Blankets Squares for Orphan HomesSandy62 for Moms in need, Twirlymom for Cheshire Medical Center, and jaygee scored for Street Outreach!  Awesome sauce!
This is a great start to our Heat Therapy match.  These charities will receive a boost in their support and lives will be enhanced.  'Puffs, you are awesome!

Here are your Unofficial Goals for Day 5 as of 11:00pm POT:
Remember to go to the Locker Room to talk about your project, charities, patterns and motivation (yes, lurking is allowed). Head on over to the Pitch and Huzzah! for Hufflepuff!
Some Inspiration to get you moving:
Check out the links to view the Quidditch turn-in posts!
That's all for now Quidditch Fans, you've been a wonderful audience.  Until next time; Keep your eyes on the Golden Snitch!
::clears throat::

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More Amazing Hufflepuff Talent

Hi everyone! I’m back to bring you some glimpses of how amazingly talented we Hufflepuffs are with our craft!  Check out some of these homework assignments being turned in!  You’ll be inspired for sure.

Practice your conjuring with the Floris Hippurus spell: Conjure a fish or flower. Craft a fish or flower, or something with a fish or flower motif. Non-Ravelry crafts may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Lucamama used the colors of fresh flowers to dye her yarn and then transfigured it into fish shaped bath mitt.

Scrapdash and her Den mates are recovering from a bought of  seasickness after her transfigured school of white fish decided to learn to air swim.

Texaninalaska conjured this adorable flower and attached it to a headband for her granddaughter.  I’m sure she’s going to love it.

Craft something related to a potential use of The Draught of Living Death and/or Wiggenweld potion. Spin the bonds of sleep, knit a lacy shroud for a sleeping victim, crochet something that reminds you of the Muggle Sleeping Beauty story. Or take a more practical turn: how would you use these potions to thwart (or assist!) the dark wizards of the First Wizarding war? Craft a representation of your plan!

The Draught of Living Death is a complicated potion. Study the recipe and craft something that represents one or more ingredient, potion stage, instruction, and/or piece of equipment. Spin counterclockwise, craft something lilac, weave a complicated, time-consuming pattern, crochet lace that reminds you of Valerian flowers, knit with beads that remind you of chopped Sopophorous bean.

Non-Ravelry crafts may be accepted for this class with prior approval.

TexasRachel Did an awesome job brewing up the Draught of Living Death.

KristyRecycles has been hard at work crafting something useful while under the spell of the The Draught of the Living Death.

JMN has been busy drafting her potion as well as and in honor of the vivid purple and hot pink color, she crafted a coordinating bottle cover!  Great job!

History of Magic
Option 1: Insane bravery. Show us how brave you are! Make something epically huge or epically tiny, or intricate and complex.

Option 2: Cadogan’s pony. Craft something using your second-choice materials. Maybe it’s a fiber you don’t usually like to use, or yarn you acquired long ago when your tastes were different or as a gift that didn’t quite suit you, or a type of dye that you’ve struggled with.

Option 3: Second try. Take another run at a project that failed in the past. Start the project over again, changing something to make it more successful.

JessiaSott proved her bravery and paid tribute to Sir Cadogan by knitting this incredibly tiny bunny!

One would never suspect that that VampiratKnits used second choice materials to craft this adorable little guy! What a cute kitty!

trapeze12 showed how brave she was by honoring Sir Cadogan and working up this very lovely and very tiny beaded purse!

Well that’s all we have time for today.  Check back next week, when take a glimpse inside a few more classrooms to OOH and AAH over more awesome crafting!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Happy Friday, Badgers! A few days ago, I was bouncing around the NQFY Quidditch pitch – I really, really like Quidditch, so I bounce a lot on the pitch – and one of our fabulous NQFYs asked me if I was this rambunctious in person. I said no and explained that I am extremely quiet and reserved in “real” life. I started wondering about that answer, though, so I asked my husband if he would describe me as rambunctious. He said, “If you’re around people you’re comfortable with…yeah, absolutely.”

One of the reasons I asked Sir Hat to put me in Hufflepuff was that I want to bring out the ‘Puff aspect of my personality more. I want to get back to being the goofy, happy girl that laughs all the time and can get a little rambunctious. I think I am getting there, and I think a lot of that has to do with being in Hufflepuff. On my sorting form I told Sir Hat this: “I think I can help Hufflepuff, and I think Hufflepuff can help me.” It looks like Hufflepuff is already helping me by allowing me to become more like myself than I have been in years. Now the question is this: how do I help Hufflepuff? My answer, dear Firsties, is this:

Firstie Tip of the Week: SET GOALS!

There are lots of different ways we can help our house become even more amazing. At the end of the day, though, the House Cup and the Quidditch Cup are won by the house with the most points. Don’t worry…I’m not going to tell you that you have to turn in 8 classes a month and do an OWL and an Order mission every term. I am going to tell you that you need a plan, though. If you have a plan, you will have a much better shot at finishing everything that you want to get done.

At the beginning of the term, I like to make a list with 3-5 goals on it. I think about things I want to improve upon or learn how to do, and I see if I have any gifts I need to make time to craft. I take all those things and narrow them down to a list of specific things that I want to accomplish. I usually try to make my goals as structured and defined as possible, because I get lost easily if my goals are too vague. Goals like “get healthy” and “become an awesome knitter” are great, but I don’t know where to start when it comes time to work toward those goals. I get overwhelmed, and then I just throw up my hands and sit on the couch with my laptop and some cookies. So, in the interest of being specific, here are my Spring 2013 goals:

·         Hand in at least 6 classes per month
·         Do all of Quidditch
·         Finish OWL on time
·         Finish Order mission on time

My goals this term are based on my focus on points. I want to earn as many points as I can the best way I know how. Everyone is different, though, so your goals may look nothing like mine. And that’s great: if your goals are important to you and you make them challenging but realistic, then you have an awesome list of goals, my friend. Setting goals helps you accomplish things you want to do, and those accomplishments earn you points, and those points help Hufflepuff get closer to winning ALL THE CUPS. It’s win-win!

I've got a favor to ask now, Firsties. I'd like you to think hard about your goals, because next week we’re going to get organized and start talking about how to achieve them! Don't go just yet, though. I'd like to share our Firstie Questionnaire with you so you know what to expect. Here are my answers:


What’s your Rav handle?


What’s your favorite part of your First Year so far?

I’m going to cheat and give more than one answer: getting my OWL and BROOM approved, and being a Beater on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.

Is anything about the Cup confusing you?

Only how students finish gorgeous projects in a couple of weeks that would take me decades to do!

What do you like to do when you’re not playing in the Cup?

I just joined a roller derby league, so evidently I like being the most obviously out of shape person in the room. I also love to read and spoil my dog.

What are your goals for this term?

Besides the ones you’ve already seen, I want to be active in the threads and improve my storytelling.

What is your dream crafting project?

One day I want to knit a sweater. Not just any sweater, but a sweater that fits me properly and looks good on me. So, basically, I want to knit The Perfect Sweater. No pressure. :)

What is your favorite type of crafting to do?

The only thing I know how to do right now is knit, so…knitting. I also like making collage journals.

What are the three words that describe you best?

Indecisive, insecure, silly.

If you could choose any fictional character outside of HP canon to be your best friend, who would it be and why?

Dorothy Zbornak from “The Golden Girls.” She’s no-nonsense, she’s funny, and she understands the wisdom of eating dessert at midnight.

Thanks for reading, Badgers. If you have any stories about ways that Hufflepuff has helped you, or if you know what your term goals are, please post them in the comments! I would love to hear about them. Huzzah!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Charities are the name of the game!

First, straight from the Quiddy Page:
Training Film #2:  HQ15Heat               
Heat Therapy
May 15 - May 29
For this Training Film, choose and craft the following:
  • Make as few as 1 and as many as 5 hats for charity
  • Make as few as 1 and as many as 5 blanket squares for charity
  • Make any combination of 1-5 hats or blanket squares for charity
Students may make up to 5 items (hats or blanket squares) worth 15 points each, a maximum of 75 points will be awarded. Items must be for charity. The charity must be listed in the header for points to be awarded.
Size Guidelines for Charity items: Your finished hats/squares must meet the requirements of the charity you plan to send them to. This will be done on the honor system.
For example: If you say your squares are going to Knit-a-square, we know that they want 8 x 8” squares, but you turn in 2 x 2 squares, we’re going to call foul.
For Charity Squares: we know that some charities ask that you leave long tails for joining. However, per House Cup Standards, projects must have ends woven in. If you are sending to a charity that asks for long tails left on, we require that you hide these ends while photographing. If you do not, we will ask you to change your photo. If you don’t change your photo, we won’t count them.

Now, if you need charities for your donations, check out our Quidditch Pitch.  As of this Post going to press here are the charities fellow 'Puffs have suggested:
BrighteyesJessy: blanket squares for Orphans.  Mail your blanket squares to her!
Larcyarn: Chemo Caps for the Ravelry Group "Star City Chapeaus"  Mail your caps to Larcyarn.  PM for her address
You can also check these January blog posts for more charities: Charity Crafting, Part 2 and Charity Crafting, Part 1

***Also, application for our Quidditch Speed Sprint team will be up, soon!  
Watch the Hufflepuff Quidditch Pitch for your chance to show off your speediness!***

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What the Heck is HECK?

"Help is always available at Hogwarts to those who ask" and here in Hufflepuff we have a wonderful place called HECK (yes, you read that correctly) for when you could use a little help.

HECK stands for the House Elf Crafting Klatch and was created to help you fit what you want to craft into those crazy class prompts.

Upon entering the HECK thread you'll see a plethora of helpful links for your crafting and house cup needs. 

Followed by that is normally information on any -Alongs going on in HECK. These vary by month and are not mandatory but a great way to earn a badge! Currently in the month of May they are focusing on Mothers and also have a dishcloth-along happening. Craft something for your mom in the month or a dishcloth and earn a badge (or craft a dishcloth for your mom and earn two!)

Also in HECK you can find some beginning ideas for what to make for different classes. Need some inspiration? See what suggestions they've given and run with it. 

So what if you're still stumped on how to fit a project into a class? This is a great place to ask. You can try to "Stump the Head Girl" for what classes your projects fit in or just ask around and somebody will always be there to help shortly.

Here in Hufflepuff we want you to craft what you want to and HECK helps you do that. So go find a pattern you've been dying to make, get started, and then let HECK help you fit it in!

Friday, May 10, 2013

First Firstie Friday - Say That Five Times Fast!

Hello and welcome to the first Firstie Friday of the term! I'm JessiaSott, your intrepid Firstie blogger. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences of life as a First Year Hufflepuff with you all, and I hope I can help my fellow Firsties successfully navigate their first sorted term in the House Cup.

One of my plans for this space is to have a Firstie Tip of the Week (tip of the hat to Skrewkat for the suggestion!). I wanted to write this first post about organizational tips, but I struggled with each draft. I still plan on posting soon about ways you can organize your crafting, but I realized that I was struggling because I want my first tip to be about the most important part of the House Cup. As much as I love organization, it's not the most important part of this experience. No, that would be...drum roll, please...

Firstie Tip of the Week: HAVE FUN!

We're all here because we love crafting and we love the magical world of Harry Potter, right? Right. Points are awesome; spreadsheets are awesome; doing ALL THE THINGS is awesome. The point of playing this game, though, is to have fun. Check yourself lest ye wreck yourself: are you having fun? If you're not having as much fun as you can - and really, you can always have more fun - check out this handy-dandy list:

  • Relax. I know that this is easier said than done, but try it anyway. Even just taking five minutes to breathe deeply and think about happy things can make a world of difference.
  • Hang out in your cete. I have visited all of the cetes, and I can confidently say that they are all awesome. No matter which one you got assigned to, you have a great group of people who want you to have fun. Get to know your little HuffleFamily!
  • Find an activity in the Den that you like. Trust me: no matter where your interests lie, there is something in the Den for you. Explore the threads! Find badges to earn, recipes to make, movies to watch...I really could go on and on. Go see what's going on when people aren't in class!
  • Take a look around the rest of the HuffleBlog. My fellow bloggers can't wait to tell you about the cool things to do and the amazing projects to admire in our house. You might even see your name in print! HuffleBloggers love to brag on people, so be sure to cheer on your housemates and squee a little (or a lot) if you see your name here!
Speaking of bragging on people, I am going to be sending out a Firstie Profile questionnaire that I would love for my fellow Firsties to fill out. I'll show some love to different First Years each week, and we may have a round table of sorts if the opportunity arises. Be on the lookout for that in the weeks to come!

Well, 'Puffs, I appreciate you reading my first HuffleBlog post. I hope you are having a fantastic term so far, and I hope you remember our first Firstie Tip. Have fun, Badgers! Huzzah!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hufflepuffs On The Go

We are one week into Spring 2013 term, and we already have some rocking Hufflepuff homework assignments completed and handed in!  You guys have been on the go and very busy over the last week.  I want to put everyone’s projects up, but sadly I don’t have that much room.  We are just that good!

But I will take a moment this week to spot light a few classes and homework submissions.  Don’t worry, I’ll grab up some more next week to spot light from some of the other classes.

Take a look at what your fellow Hufflepuffs have been up to for DADA.

Defense Against the Dark Arts
Option 1: Practise conjuring your corporeal Patronus and craft something that evokes it.

Option 2: Craft something you could hang on a hook. Please note that when we say hang, that’s what we mean. No balancing things on hooks for this class, please.

Lea67000 an upper classman conjured her patronus. Fantastic kitty patronus it is too!

Torsparkles also conjured her patronus. What an adorable badger!

Piggdiva choose to conjure something to hang on a hook. Awesome!

Next up we’ll take a quick peek in on what our fellow Hufflepuffs are up to in CoMC

Care of Magical Creatures
Summary: Craft something to keep a werewolf in check or to soothe the werewolf so he retains his human sanity OR explore the duality of the werewolf by crafting something with a dual purpose or comprised of TWO different things. The key for this option is TWO. And the number shall be TWO. TWO. Dos. Zwei. Deux. (And that exhausts the languages in which Professor frick can count.)

BinkyBean has been hard at work soothing a werewolf with this awesome paw print stocking full of treats! Great job!

LumosKP is doing some werewolf soothing as well with a topical infusion of some Wolfsbane Potion. Nice work!

PprmntMochaMama has been hard at work soothing werewolfs as well.  Check out her wrap that represents both the uncontrollable aspects of the beast as well as calming nature of the human side. Lovely!

And finally, at least for today, we’ll pop our head up into the Divination tower to see what is crafting up there.

Option 1: Craft something which may be used for or represent a future career.

Option 2: Show us something that you can be a bit fanatical about. Are you always knitting socks, crafting everything in the colours of your favourite Quidditch team or do you tend towards using owls or snitches as decoration?

Option 3: Your natal chart doesn’t just show the inevitable, it shows aspects of your character that you need to challenge in order to lead a better life. Challenge an intolerance. Is there a certain yarn, colour or technique that you avoid like the plague but which might hold you back in your crafting?

Non Rav Crafts allowed if pre-approved, see post 1 for details.

Clmnj58 is fanatical about her NY Mets! Check out her grandson’s new baby blanket! Great going!

Timeless1 choose to challenge an intolerance and dye some roving yellow! Gorgeous color!

Quiltyone showed everyone just how fanatical she is over Dr. Who, Hexepuffs, and Quilting! Very nice!

Well, that’s all we have time for today folks!  But be sure to check back next week when we take a peep inside a few more classrooms.