Thursday, October 13, 2016

Happy Anniversary, Harry Potter!

It all began nearly 15 years ago...on November 16, 2001 (in the US)...

And it ended just a little over 5 years ago...on July 15, 2011...

For 10 magical years, we watched a boy wizard and his friends grow up before our eyes.

The Harry Potter books and movies have had a magic all their own, capturing the imaginations and devotion of children and adults (and children-grown-to-adults) alike. What began as a series of books and movies has grown to video games, websites, and theme parks. It is still quite easy to find Harry Potter merchandise, and you will still find cosplayers walking the halls of Comic-Cons everywhere in their dress robes and house-appropriate scarves. Harry Potter is lightning caught in a bottle - that wonderfully rare thing that will live forever.

And now the magic is set to start again...on November 18th...

But before that happens, Potterheads everywhere are basically declaring a month-long celebration of all things Potter. In the States, it kicks off October 13th with a week-long marathon of all EIGHT Harry Potter movies being shown in IMAX theaters across the country. This is a huge deal because, while Prisoner of Azkaban and everything following it was available for viewing in IMAX theaters, the first two films, Sorcerer's(Philosopher's, for my British friends) Stone and Chamber of Secrets never were. So even after all this time, there is something new to experience in the world of Harry Potter.

So pull out your spectacles and scarves, and paint a lightning bolt on your forehead, because it's time to celebrate the wonderful, mysterious worlds of JK Rowling.

Now, for anyone who is going to take part in the fun, you're going to want pictures, and if you're reading this blog, you're probably going to want to scrap those pictures. I mean, that's what we do, right?

To help you find just the right kit for your layouts (because we can't just make one appear with a flick of a wand), I've done some looking around and have a few suggestions. This list is by NO means complete. Harry Potter is alive and popular in the digiscrap world, too, and many (if not most) designers seem to have a kit based on this theme. But this is a starting point, and it's a way for you to see what makes kits different from each other, even when they're all about the same topic.

(BTW, watch closely - many of the designers have been gracious enough to provide coupon codes exclusively for readers of the Digi Geek blog, so you can pick up their kits at a discount.)

Let's start with MagsGraphics' bundle called "Wizard World." 

Mags works to simulate a "paper-piecing" look in her elements, and this particular bundle is really good if you are a pocket page scrapper. (I especially like the serpent-through-the-skull element.)  As with most good creative teams, hers came up with a few sample layouts:

If this looks like your style, now is a great time to grab this bundle. Mags' stores are all 30% off through the end of October, and if you use the COUPON CODE magsBONUS15, you can get an EXTRA 15% off of your entire order at either GINGERSCRAPS or SCRAPS 'N' PIECES.

Or you could use "Academy of Wizards" by Marie H Designs.

Marie is fairly new to scrap designing, so you may not have seen her kits yet. One thing that I LoveLoveLove about this kit is the variety of characters with different hair colors and skin tones, so you can individualize your layouts according to the appearance of people in the pictures. So even if your "Harry Potter" is more of a blonde-haired "Harriette," you can put someone who looks "just like her" in the picture. I'm also a big fan of the "School" element in this kit - it may not be movie-specific Hogwarts, but it has some really neat touches to it. Again, here are a few CT samples from Marie's kit:

If this kit is whispering in your ear, you can find it at With Love Studio and Go Digital Scrapbooking. And again, the designer was so generous - she's offering COUPON CODE mhd_hpotterhal8745 through November 20th for $2.50 off of this kit, which makes the final price just $1.50.

Maybe you like to do layouts where a picture IS the background, or you do pocket pages and just need accent bits between photos. Then Kate Hadfield's "Wizardry" is a great choice for you.

I am a fan of Kate's (and begged to be on her CT) because I love the fact that her doodles are hand-drawn, so they are unique and not to be found in any other kit. They also work really well with MY typical scrap style, which I call "illustrated journaling" - a lot of pictures, a lot of writing, and a few accent bits.

(Remember when I mentioned how popular Potter is? Friends of mine used that as a theme for their Halloween party for TWO years - one year at Hogwarts and one year at a Quidditch match.)

A couple other layouts from Kate's CT folks:

If you want something unique or want just a pop of color to accent your photos, this may be the kit for you. You can find "Wizardry" over at The Lilypad. And Kate is helping us celebrate her fellow Brit (even if he IS fictional) by offering a 30% discount through November 15th if you use COUPON CODE DigiGeekMagic.

Want to try another look? Touched by a Butterfly came up with "Yer a Wizard."

It's easy enough to see that TBAB has worked off of some of the same templates as Marie used in her kit, and if you hang around the scrap world long enough, you'll start to notice that this happens often between designers, because they start with the same basic design templates. What makes a difference is what they DO with those templates. Whereas Marie created characters to match various hair and skin colors, Celeste used hers to create characters more directly out of the movies. It also comes down to a choice of palettes - where Marie used more greens, purples and blues, Celeste has a lot of reds and yellows in her kit. Celeste also adds a texture feature to her papers and elements that people seem to either really like or really not like - it's all a matter of personal preference. See what you think:

If this kit appeals to you, you can find it at My Memories. In lieu of a discount, Celeste agreed to let me offer a couple of freebies created from this kit....but you have to wait until the end of the post to get them. :)

If you're looking for something really basic - and really free - I found these cute little mini kits:

They are still available through a blog called Sparky's Scratches, and even though it looks like these were first created and shared in 2007, the links are (as of Oct. 12, 2016) still active.

I also have two other kits that I've stumbled across in stores. I was unable to contact the designers, so there are no special deals to go along with these, but they may be of interest just because they are different:

First up is the "Ministry of Magic" collection by Dawn Inskip, which I found over at The Lilypad. The hand-drawn paper doll look of this one really caught my eye, as did the menagerie of critters (which will go well with "Fantastic Beasts") and the pastel colors palette.

Second is "School of Wizardry" by Magical Scraps Galore. She has a nice mix of realistic and paper-pieced elements in this kit, if you want to mix it up a bit more in your layouts. I found this one at Scraps 'n' Pieces.

***UPDATE: We should have had Hermione's time-turner on hand, but being mere Muggles, Marina (the creative brains at Magical Scraps Galore) and I took awhile to make connections and bring you this discount - use COUPON CODE MSG_HarryPotter30off to get 30% off of "School of Wizardry" through November 15th!***

I thought about showcasing some of the offerings over at Etsy, but all it took was a search for "Harry Potter digital" over there, and I was shown enough items - particularly designed paper packs - to create another full blog post. (Hmmm.....maybe I'll do that around the time the new movie releases.....) Just take my word for it - Etsy - Harry Potter - Digital. See what pops up.

So, thank you for sticking with me. I know this is a long post. Part of that is to make up for being silent for over a month...part of that is because THIS IS A HUGE CELEBRATION!!!!!! To all you Potterheads - enjoy your month. I probably won't go IMAXing (because the closest one is over an hour away), but I'll definitely have my butt in a theater seat when Fantastic Beasts finally hits town.

Remember those freebies I told you about? I didn't forget them. :D


1. Tell your friends about this blog. The more traffic it has, the more designers will share their kits and have special deals on them!

2. If you're of a geeky nature, come join our Facebook group, Digi Geek! Here is where you can ask for sources for hard-to-find scrap kits to match your fandom. (And if you're a designer, you're welcome to use the group's photo albums to archive your previews and store links for people to find.)

3. If you have certain requests, let me know! I know what MY interests are, but I also know there are many more out there, and I want to give good representation to all of them!