February 2019

This has definitely been the year of all things Harry Potter in our lives. I’ve been reading the series to Lucas for more than a year (we’re about half way through the Half Blood Prince), and our trip to England last summer was pretty much based on cramming in as many Harry Potter references as we could manage, including a visit to the Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros studio.

And since Lucas turned 11 years old this week, it seemed only fitting that he receive his official letter of acceptance from Hogwarts. It was surprisingly easy to make our own custom, personalized acceptance letter to the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry!

The Harry Potter wiki gave me the wording I needed. I found the Hogwarts logo on the wiki and used it for the header.

Personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter

It was short and simple, so I decided to add the second page with required list of supplies and books as well. This time I used the Hogwarts crest as a watermark. The wiki even had the signatures for Professor McGonagall and the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions. Details make the illusion hold together!

Home made Hogwarts acceptance letter

I picked up a small pack of parchment-like paper at the stationery store, but you could easily print it on regular, thick paper and use a wet teabag to give it a little colour and character or even burn the edges a bit. The fonts, in case you were wondering, are Luminari for the Hogwarts header text and Copperplate Gothic Light for the body text.

The question of how to deliver it was a little bit trickier. Dangling in the fireplace seemed like a fun but potentially messy option. When I started thinking about owl post, my first inspiration was borrowing an owl stuffie from friends, and then I realized that all three boys are collectors of the Funko POP figures, and a plan was born.

A little fishing line, a bit of shiny ribbon and the chandelier helped our new Hedwig POP figure deliver the scroll tied to her ankle containing the letter from Dumbledore.

Hedwig delivering custom Hogwarts acceptance letter

She’s a little small. In truth, she looks more like Pigwigeon than Hedwig. But, she did an excellent job delivering the letter, right at the beginning of Lucas’s birthday party. His friends noticed her before he did!

Lucas gets his Hogwarts letter from Dumbledore

Hedwig delivering custom Hogwarts acceptance letter

I love the look on his friends’ faces!

This was an easy and fun gift for an avid Harry Potter fan. I only wish I’d thought of it three boys ago! (And yes, I know that strictly speaking, the Hogwarts letter of acceptance doesn’t need to be delivered on one’s 11th birthday — but it was fun that we could make it work!)

If you have any questions about how we pulled this together, or suggestions that will help someone else do a better job, please don’t hesitate to comment!


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What’s that old expression, about never working with children and dogs? Clearly, I never got that memo.

I was looking back over the last year or so of my photography clients and realized that more and more families are asking if it’s okay to bring their dogs along for a family portrait session — and the answer is a resounding YES! (Ahem, as long as they are mostly well behaved and won’t be too much of a distraction.)

How could I say no to this level of adorableness?

Manotick family with dog

Family portrait with dog in Manotick

Ottawa family and dog photography

It, ahem, doesn’t always go as planned.

Family photo of kids with dog in Manotick

But is there any photo more sweet than a boy with his best friend?

Photo of a boy and a dog

I was even asked to be the photographer for an elopement at a local dog park. Now that’s my kind of wedding!

Photo of a wedding in the Manotick dog park

Wedding photography at the Manotick dog park

Lately, I’ve started working with more small businesses and entrepreneurs to showcase their business stories — but there’s still room for a little doggy love – especially in the case of this little doggy!

Photo of an entrepreneur and her dog

Whether you’re looking to capture your ENTIRE family, pets included, or show how your pup is a part of your daily work and home life, I’m happy to tell your story with your pet!


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