The Perler Bead Addiction Continues

Three weeks ago, I wrote about our Perler Bead addiction.  Since that time (except for a quick Perler Bead-related Rosh Hashana greeting), I haven’t posted about Perler Beads at all.  So clearly my addiction is over, right?


I’ll admit it.  I’ve been holding back.  We’ve been busy working on so many Perler Bead projects and while I’ve posted photos of most of them on Instagram, I didn’t want to become  I wanted to space out these posts a bit.  Now that I’ve waited a bit, here’s what we’ve been doing (in no particular order).

You remember Robin from the first post?

Well, JSL and I worked on the rest of the Teen Titans: Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg.


Titans, GO!

I’ve also been working on some tiny Harry Potter figures.  See if you can guess who each one is.


Accio Perler Bead Tray!

I made a few Star Wars figures as well.


When 900 years old you reach, be made of plastic beads you will not. (Next up: Chewbacca and Boba Fett.)

I also made myself a baby Groot.


Groot, did you eat my brownie?  I AM GROOT!

B made Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and both Perry the Platypus and Agent P.


Oh there you are, Perry!

I made these parrots to turn into earrings for B.


Just don’t ask them if Polly wants a cracker.

NHL made a pair of fishes.


I think the smaller one’s about to be eaten by the larger fish.

Speaking of larger, I’ve also just got this for large projects:


I’ve seen some "turn a photo into a Perler Bead pattern" programs and I might just try a couple.  Those don’t work well with tiny projects.  Also, while you can connect the smaller boards together, our ironing area is upstairs from where we make the Perler Beads.  As it is, walking up the stairs carrying a tray of beads is tricky.  (One bump and not only is your design broken, but tiny, plastic beads could be scattered everywhere.)  The way the boards connect, though, wouldn’t let me keep them connected as I move them.  Now, though, I can make one big design or a bunch of smaller ones, and just carry one board up to my iron to melt the beads together.

It looks like my Perler Bead addiction might be turning into a full on obsession and that’s just fine by me.

(Lest anyone think that all of these projects are a waste of money – that I iron them, toss them aside, and then work on a new project, JSL now has a pile of Perler Bead figures that he loves playing with.  The other day, he had the Teen Titans being visited by the Doctor and Harry Potter.  He’s only seven and is already a master of the crossover.  *sniff* They grow up so fast. *sniff*)

Speed Reading Quandary

reading_ahead[1]Awhile ago, we showed NHL the first two Harry Potter movies.  After he was hooked, we made a deal that we would need to read the books before he saw any more of the movies.  I began reading the books to him starting with the first.  This was a treat for me as well as him as I had never read the books before (though I had seen all of the movies).

Slowly, we made our way through the first three books.  Then, as we read the fourth, NHL balked at watching the third film thinking he would be afraid of the werewolf.  Finally, he watched it and enjoyed it.

When we hit the fifth book, we faltered.  NHL didn’t seem to be enjoying them anymore.  He was having some problems with his teachers and, though they never tortured him the way Dolores Umbridge tortured Harry, I think the subject of a mean teacher hit too close to home.  We eventually picked it back up, though, and finished it.  He really enjoyed that movie as well.

Now, we are on the sixth book, but NHL is again slowing down.  I think part of the problem is that the books take their time in the beginning.  They set a lot of situations and characters up while the movies rush through these – or leave them out entirely.  Arguably, this makes the book better, but to NHL is means the book is a huge project to wade through while the movie can be over and done in an hour and a half.

To me, though, books hook me in.  I’m a bit of a speed reader, especially when it’s a book I like.  I was really liking Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  This was odd considering that this movie was my least favorite of the films.  The film made it look at though Harry didn’t really do anything.  He just kind of meandered his way through the film.  In the book, though, Harry is determined and focused.  Perhaps not always on what he should be focused on, but focused nonetheless.

I couldn’t take the slow pace so I forged ahead.  A couple of nights ago, I finished the book – having read about 490 pages in around four days.  I would have finished sooner, but I only had about an hour per day to read.

Now comes the quandary.  I would love to proceed on to the last book in the series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but I want NHL to catch up with me.  If I go ahead, I’ll get hooked on the last book and won’t want to stop until I’m done.  Without me pressuring NHL to keep on, he might just drop the series.

One of the problems is that NHL was spoiled.  He was told about a certain major character’s death and he thinks this has ruined the book.  I reminded him, though, that there’s still much he doesn’t know.  He doesn’t know HOW the character dies.  He confidently told me that he figured that out and gave me his explanation – which was completely off.  Now that there’s some mystery left, he might want to read on.  I might even drop some non-spoiler hints about exciting story events to spur him on.  (e.g. "You’ll never believe it when SPOILER fixes the SPOILER and the SPOILER comes out to SPOILER SPOILER and SPOILER SPOILER!")

How quickly do you read when you really like a book?

A Halloween Story Starring The Doctor, Harry Potter, Captain America

Once upon a time, the Doctor accompanied Harry Potter and Captain America.


(I wear a costume now.  Costumes are cool.)

They set off on a quest.  Now considering these three, you might think it was a quest to save the world, but actually they were just looking for some candy.


(Peanut butter and chocolate.  Is there a better combination in this world?  I think not.)

It was a bit wet and cold, but they soldiered on and pretty soon they had quite a lot of candy.


(Sweet, sweet candy!)

Along the way, they braved some scary sights… such as Snoopy stuck into a pumpkin.


(Don’t worry.  He sent Woodstock to get help.)

As they arrived home, they were greeted by a group of haunted pumpkins.


(Grim grinning pumpkins come out to socialize!)

Luckily, these were the ones they had carved earlier so everyone went in, warmed up, ate dinner, and then had a celebratory sugar cookie.


(The candy wasn’t eaten yet, but it would be.  It would be!)

Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

Umbridge Teacher Trouble

As I wrote before, I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series with NHL.  As we’ve progressed, his enthusiasm seems to have waned.  He still enjoys it when we read and wants to know what happens to Harry and his friends, but it seems as though his anxieties are being triggered.

In Prisoner of Azkaban, he didn’t like the werewolves and cringed upon seeing them in film form.  In the Order of the Phoenix, his problem is with a certain new teacher at Hogwarts and spy for the Ministry of Magic: Dolores Umbridge.

Without giving out any spoilers (in case you haven’t read the book or seen the movie), Umbridge is a big supporter of the Minister of Magic.  (Think of the magical world’s equivalent of a President.)  He is of the opinion that the headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore, and Harry Potter are lying about a big threat to everyone.  He dispatches Umbridge there to spy on them and keep the situation in hand.

Dolores Umbridge quickly reveals that she is not interested in debate about subjects.  Things are to be done her way and, if she is crossed, she will make life hard for the people responsible.

In the movie, Umbridge is played by Imelda Staunton and looks like a sweet aunt (at least until she acts or speaks).  In the book, however, she is described as looking like a toad stuffed into a pink cardigan.

Whether it is due to the description of Umbridge’s looks or her cruelty (especially to Harry), it has NHL spooked.  Until he feels comfortable enough to move on, our reading of Harry Potter has stalled.  I, however, am going to forge ahead alone.  I’ve already finished Order of the Phoenix and plan on starting Half-Blood Prince soon.

The Movie Was Totally Ruined By The Book

The Movie Was Totally Ruined By The BookOnce upon a time, an author named J.K. Rowling wrote a series of books about a young wizard named Harry Potter.  After a few of her books sold an insane number of copies, some movie companies thought they would make wonderful movies.  (READ: Would sell tons of tickets, DVDs, movie tie-in toys, etc.)  So movies were made and released.

B, having read the books, begged me to see the movies.  I watched them initially because it was important to her, but quickly grew interested in the stories I saw on-screen.  However, for whatever reason, my love of the screen adventures didn’t translate to me reading the books.  We had all 7 books sitting in a box, but I didn’t read a single page.

Fast forward a bit and we introduced NHL to the first movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  He fell in love with it instantly and soon we had also shown him Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as well.  At this point, we made a decision.  He would see no more Harry Potter movies!  Not until he had read the book that the movie was based on.  Every night, NHL and I would sit down and read a few pages of a Harry Potter book.

As we got through the first two books, we would often stop and discuss how the book was different than the movie.  What scenes were longer in the book or omitted entirely in the movie?  What characters were left out?  How were events altered to fit the big screen?

NHL and I recently finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so we’ve 1) started reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and 2) watched the Goblet of Fire movie.  I remember really liking this movie and sensing the peril that Harry is put through.  However, upon re-watching it after reading the book, I felt that it was rushed.

Harry and his friends go to see the Quidditch World Cup.  The players fly out onto the field and then… we flash back to their camp site post-game.  This was just fine when I didn’t know that the book described the entire game.  There were wondrous sights in the pages of the book that I’d have loved to have seen on the screen.

In addition, whole subplots were chopped out.  In the book, Rita Skeeter is a major thorn in the side of Harry and his friends.  Her stories, and how she obtains them, puts Harry through a lot of grief.  In the movie, however, she’s regulated to one major appearance, two minor appearances, and a mention or two.

Now that I’ve read the book, the movie feels like a faithful rendition… were half of the book ripped out and tossed away.  I still like the movie, don’t get me wrong and  I understand that you can’t make the movie 100% like the book.  (Otherwise, Goblet of Fire would be a 10 hour long movie and who would sit through that?!!!)  Still, I can’t help but miss the discarded sections, subplots, and characters when the movie skips by them.

Curse you Harry Potter books! You’ve totally ruined the Harry Potter movies for me!

Have you ever read a book after seeing a movie based on it?  How did the movie hold up after you read the book?

Note: The "book/movie" image above was created by combining the "Book" image from CrazyTerabyte and the "Cinema" image from Merlin2525.  Both of these images are available from

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