Saturday, November 19, 2011

Harry Potter changed my life

I am not kidding.

Harry Potter did change my life. A little over-dramatic you say? Well let me explain.

I discovered Harry Potter a little later than others, when the fourth book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was published. I remember seeing it everywhere in the bookstores and wondering what it was all about. I flipped one copy over and read something about a wizard and a tournament. Wizards? Definitely kids' stuff. I did not buy a copy.

However at one family gathering I saw the collection of the four Harry Potter books on my cousin's bookshelf. I asked him about it and what the hype was about and he graciously loaned the set to me.

I started with the first book and I was overwhelmed. At that point in time I was going through a rough patch personally. Without going into details, I felt lost and without a sense of direction, the future was uncertain. I felt like I was a ship cut loose amidst choppy waters. Needless to say I was scared.

When I finished reading the first book, I was hit with a huge dose of nostalgia. I was a kid raised on Enid Blyton. Adventure, The Famous Five, mystery solving, Secret Seven, boarding school, midnight feasts and enchanted woods formed my childhood world. Hogwarts brought back the familiar world of boarding schools with a touch of magic. Staircases that moved and secret passageways? Cool!! But more importantly it was a story filled with a spirit of righteousness, of bravery, of good against bad. JK Rowling's style of writing was like a voice inside my head. I found myself hooked. The books brought me back to a happier , more carefree time and I found solace by escaping into the magical world of Harry Potter. It was a comforting world, a fun world, a world I desperately wished I could be a part of.

Every time a new Harry Potter book came out, I would pre-order it and collect it the day it was launched. I would devour the book from cover to cover immediately, forgoing meals and rest. I sat excitedly in the cinema watching the screen fill with the Warner Brother's logo and John William's excellent soundtrack tinkling out of the speakers for the first movie. I was like, finally! the movie that has been playing my head over and over is going to be on the big screen!

I think the team behind the movies did a good job translating the books onto film. They are all dedicated to staying true to the heart of the books and all this shows up clearly in an amazing book my brother got me as a birthday gift this year, Harry Potter Film Wizardry - From the Creative Team Behind the Celebrated Movie Series.

(All photos taken by my iPhone, edited using the Magic Hour app and posted to my Instagram feed)

The beauttiful cover.

The thing that makes this book one that I would grab if my house is on fire is the fact that it is an interactive book. Puzzled? Well, see that famous Hogwarts' envelope above?

You open it and find your very own copy of Harry's acceptance letter!! And there's like a ton of such treasures throughout the whole book, removable reproductions of paper ephemera from the movies!

This is a great example of the dedication of the graphics design team, the Yule Ball programme. It is not shown in a single shot on screen but you can see the effort that went into the design and details.

One of my favourite pieces in the book. My own full copy of the Marauder's Map.

I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

Not only little treasures waiting to be found, the pages are chockful of information and tidbits.

Like a copy of JK Rowling's handwritten explanation of the Black family tree.

What I am showing here is just a small portion of the book. There are pages and pages of trivia, cast and crew interviews, great prop reproductions and lovely set photographs. This beautiful book can be bought here from Amazon and my brother says it can also be found at the Kinokuniya store here in Singapore. This book is definitely a must buy for any Potterhead. I love it so much.

Also check out my Pinterest board which has the same title as this post. It's also filled with great Potter related stuff that I repinned there. Follow me if you liked it!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Love: Shinzi Katoh and Young Hearts

Zakka lovers alert!

Famous Zakka artist Shinzi Katoh has collaborated with Young Hearts, the lingerie line, to produce a special limited edition collection of home wear and pajamas!

That's right, you can finally buy and wear Shinzi Katoh designs in Singapore!

I was so thrilled to discover this collaboration in Intimate Closet, a store that carries Young Hearts among other lingerie brands and I knew I had to get a set even though I don't wear PJs.

Isn't this just adorable?? I got a set that is a short-sleeved top and shorts in my favourite A Little Red Riding Hood design. They also have the Cheri and Cinderella series. I just have this thing for Little Red Riding Hood, especially Shinzi Katoh's. Now when you buy a set, it comes with a matching little eco drawstring bag where you can keep your precious set in.

A closer look at the pretty little bag.

All ready to go!

Look at the adorable little details. Who could be afraid of this cute little wolf?

I'm a really skinny little person and the smallest size they had was medium, I haven't tried the set myself (couldn't bear to wear it heehee) but hey home wear is supposed to be loose fitting and comfy aint it?

Also as an extra treat, when you buy any set you are entitled to buy his other merchandise at 40% off!! I didn't manage to take any photos in the store but there were an iPhone 4S cover (only one design, a pouch, a card holder and a large tote bag.

I picked the tote bag.

There are 3 designs and I picked the classic red and white polka-dotted one. It's really roomy and great for shopping.

Back view.

You can browse the complete collection here. Hurry get your set now before it's all gone!


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