Friday, July 31, 2020

Fun Find: Magical Quarantine Memes (Part 19)

Happy Friday and Happee Birthdae Harry!!!  July 31st marks Harry Potter's birthday so I thought that I'd do another special round of Magical Quarantine Memes!  These are all Harry Potter themed quarantine memes.  I have a few more than I usually post, but these were too good to weed through so I've included most of the ones I found.

If you haven't been following along with my weekly meme posts, you can still catch up with all of them here: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6 , Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11Part 12Part 13Part 14Part 15Part 16Part 17, and Part 18.

Geez.  It's Cor-o-na.  Get it right Ron...

Truth.  This is exactly how I felt before I had my hair cut a few days ago.

London Peeps... have we had any Aunt Marge sightings?

Hahaha... I had a few friends who were pretty excited about staying home.

True story... this is how summer should be spent!

I really wish it was easy enough to cast a spell and have this all go away.

This was me... there are the "essentials" and then there's the real essentials.

How Harry Potter characters say coronavirus.  At this point, I'm with Ron... 

Bahahaha... this is a very good point.

This is how it felt this past spring... when the list only kept growing daily.

She's terrible and should absolutely be sacrificed to end this.

I mean... Umbridge really is COVID-19 if it were a person.

Don't even get me started on this one... I really question some peoples' priorities.

Haha... I could see this being on the Wizarding World's equivalent of CNN.

Oliver Wood would not be happy with the current events.

Tell him Draco!  Although, I'm not sure what Lucius would be able to do about this.

This is pretty much how the past few months have been... 

For goodness sake... is this too much to ask?!?!?  I mean... it is a pandemic.

This is probably how a lot of parents are feeling right now.

This was last school year's format.  Hopefully this year won't follow it.

This.  Everyone will be running around saying, "I can touch you now!!!"

This sums up 2020 pretty accurately...  PS. Send more chocolate.

Of course, I had to stick with tradition.  There aren't many songs in the Harry Potter world, but I did find a hand washing song that goes along with the Sorting Hat's Song.

I hope you enjoyed this special round of Harry Potter magical memes.  We're almost done with this segment, but Part 20 of my Magical Quarantine Memes series will be coming next Friday!  Take care and enjoy your weekend!!!  °o°

Please Note: I did not make any of these memes and I don't claim ownership of the photos or the jokes.  Most of them I've seen uncredited on Facebook from other people who have shared them.  I just wanted to put them all in one spot so we might try to find some humor in a dark time when we could use a smile.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Shop Disney Merch Pass Musings

Ahh... the new Shop Disney Merch Pass.  Just the seeing the words sends excited and anxious shivers down my spine.  Honestly, I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.

The Merch Pass was first introduced a few weeks ago as a way for Shop Disney to attempt to combat the robots or "bots" who were purchasing a lot of the limited edition merchandise.  If you haven't attempted to buy any of these items, or haven't been following along, consider yourself spared from a lot of disappointment.  It has been a hot mess since all of the Disney Stores and theme parks had to close due to COVID.

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Long story short, programmers have created "bots" to automatically purchase the merchandise as soon as it's available.  Many of these sales are going to resellers who are turning around and up-selling the merchandise on eBay for astronomical prices.

The May the Fourth Star Wars merchandise release was a disaster.  People were furious when the May Minnie Main Attraction items were released.  The website is too slow.  You can't check out properly.  Items showing sold out were still available.  (I know this firsthand as I was able to purchase the "sold out" Enchanted Tiki Room Loungefly bag and it's currently sitting in our bedroom.)  It takes too long to complete the check out process... again, I know from experience and for trying to check out with my Tiki Room stuff for almost an hour before the order finally went through.

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In order to attempt to fix this hot mess, Shop Disney introduced Merch Pass.  Basically, you have two days to sign up for anything you want.  Then, they randomly select "winners" who are chosen to be able to pre-purchase the merchandise on a certain day.  Anything that's left over, will eventually make it online.  (If anything is left over.)

When they first announced the Merch Pass  I was both happy and frustrated at the concept.  It was nice that Shop Disney was trying to stop the bots from taking a lot of the limited merchandise.  But at the same time, having a raffle meant that I wouldn't stand a chance to get some of the items.  I mean, sure it's great that everyone has a more equal chance.  But now, if you aren't selected for a pre-sale item... there goes any chance of you getting the item you wanted unless you purchase it from a reseller. 

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The first time Eliot and I tried the Merch Pass was with the Frozen Arendelle Castle Collection release.  We both selected a few items and when it came to the day of the drawing, I was selected to get the Castle Figurine that I wanted.  Eliot got the pin.  I pre-purchased the castle figurine since that's what I really wanted from the collection anyways.  Eliot skipped purchasing the pin.  It was simple and easy.

After that experience, I was feeling pretty good about the Merch Pass.  I was pumped that I got selected for the castle.  But after the pre-sale period was over, I realized that there were still Frozen castles available for sale.  As far as I know, everything else (other than the journal) sold out and wasn't available after the pre-sale.  I felt less special and wondered how this would work for merchandise that really would sell out.

Which brings us to the June Peter Pan's Flight Minnie Mouse Main Attraction release...  

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Sign up for the merchandise was earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday.  Eliot and I signed up as soon as we were able to.  Eliot also called to have his mother Nori sign up, while I texted my brother Jeremy to have him sign up.  We figured our chances were better if more of us signed up... so we had four of us attempting to get one Minnie plush and potentially two Loungefly backpacks (one for me and one for Nori).  We had signed up for a few other items too, but we didn't really want those.  Eliot and I were both feeling pretty good about our chances... until today happened.

All day today, I checked my email like a stalker.  I kept refreshing and signing in and out of my Shop Disney account about every hour or so.  Other customers had started to get emails and have items in their carts around noon.  Over and over I checked... nothing.  Not a single thing.  By 5:00, I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen this time.  Eliot didn't have anything in his cart either.  And he just got off the phone with his mother and she didn't get anything.

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Thankfully, Jeremy texted me mid-afternoon that he'd gotten selected to pre-purchase the Minnie plush.  He's going to buy that later on tonight so Eliot and I will at least have that for our actual Minnie Mouse Main Attraction plush collection.  (Thankfully, that's the only item that we're actually collecting month to month.)  I kind of wanted the Peter Pan Loungefly backpack, but I don't want it enough to pay eBay prices.  (Currently, the lowest bid is $160 and the highest bids are just over $200... for a $90 mini backpack.)

Now that I've experienced a super competitive Merch Pass event, I can say with 100% confidence that I hate it.  I absolutely hate it.  And I'm not alone.  I read a bunch of posts online and people are livid.  Canadians can't even sign up for a pass.  (The merchandise has to be shipped to a US address.)  From the things I saw, a lot of people wound up with absolutely nothing.  Some people got one item... almost none of them actually got the item they really wanted.  Then, other customers got 2 items.  One lady even wrote that she got three items?!?!  (Wait what?!!?)

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While I appreciate that Shop Disney is trying, this clearly isn't the answer.  People who have collected the same item(s) for months got nothing.  Now, they don't know if they should even bother trying to collect the rest of the items.  The chances that they'll get selected for next month aren't great either.  (There are still 6 more releases to go...)

Personally, I think this has created another entirely different problem.  While Shop Disney was trying to combat the bots and the re-seller market, they're inadvertently creating more of a problem.  Now, customers who have no desire for certain items can sign up for them.  And most people who get selected for an item will purchase it... only to resell it on eBay.  Or to use it as a pawn to trade for something else they wanted.

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Honestly, that was our plan.  If we got extra merchandise, Eliot and I were going to buy it to try to trade for the items we actually wanted.  People are getting items they have no desire to actually own, only to use them as bargaining chips.  Or to sell at a higher price so they can try to afford the things they wanted to begin with.

I'd much rather fight it out online with the crappy Shop Disney website, bots and other collectors early on a Saturday morning once a month then deal with this.  Too much is left to chance.  It's got me desperate to find a way to get the plush each month.  Now, Eliot and I are planning to ask every person we know with a Shop Disney account to sign up for the Merch Pass each time.  I can't even imagine how the people who were collecting more items (or worse... the entire set) feel about all of this.  I'd be livid.

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At the end of the day, I know it's just stuff.  There are more important things in life.  But with everything going on in the world right now, this is just another thing that sucks.  I don't know what the answer is, but this clearly isn't going to work.  I was ok waiting for all of the Disney Stores to re-open so I could go in person to purchase the plushes, but that's not an option if they're only going to be releasing them online.

Unfortunately, I think we're stuck with this system and with praying we get selected for the items we want.  I'm sure the Merch Pass will be used for the foreseeable future- especially with Disneyland remaining closed at the moment.  Here's to hoping we keep getting selected at least for the plush.  May the odds be ever in your favor.  °o°

Monday, July 27, 2020

Magical Merchandise: Halloween 2020 Sneak Peek

Happy Monday Everyone!  I hope your week is starting off well.  I wasn't planning to check in today, but a few new Halloween items made their debut earlier today on Shop Disney.  You know how much I love Disney and holidays.  I just couldn't help myself!  I had to pop over here to share some of the new merchandise items with you!

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I'm guessing that these are just the generic Shop Disney Halloween items as nothing appears to be branded with Walt Disney World or Disneyland, but some of these might also appear in the parks.  It will be interesting to see if Disney still makes the switch over to Halloween in August now that both Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Oogie Boogie Bash have been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

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Regardless, we have new merchandise and I'm here for it!  There are a few new fun items for your house and clothing.  Here are my top 10 favorites in no particular order:

Adult Halloween Spirit Jersey- This was the first thing that caught my eye.  I love Spirit Jerseys and I only have one Halloween design.  We might have to get these this year.  It's also super cute that the text on the back glows in the dark!  (See above.)

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Dog Halloween Spirit Jersey- Um... yes.  We don't have our dogs yet, but I'm so tempted to get these to match the adult ones.  A girl can dream right?

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Kids Halloween Spirit Jersey- So cute!  I love how the whole family can match!

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Mickey Pumpkin Candy Bowl- This is really cute.  I think they had it last year too and I kind of regretted not getting it.  We don't ever have trick or treaters, so maybe I'll just get one of these and trick or treat by myself in the kitchen.

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Minnie Mouse Kitchen Towels- These are a must have.  I love anything candy corn and Disney sweets and this combines my love for both!  Super cute!!!

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Minnie Mouse Coffee Mug- Also candy corn and a must have!  I love the hat topper!

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Mickey Pumpkin Pillow- These are cute and they'd look great on our couch!

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Mickey and Minnie Pumpkin Door Mat- Eliot loves our Dole Whip welcome mat so we might have to get this to replace it during Halloween time.

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Mickey Pumpkin Votive Holder- I wish we had a fireplace and mantle.  These would be so cute glowing on top of it!

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Mickey Halloween Wreath- I don't normally buy Disney wreaths because I'm crafty enough to make them... but I love this one.  I like how it combines normal Halloween colors- orange and black- with the teal and purple that remind me of the Haunted Mansion.  This might be a perfect way to combine both themes to decorate with.

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There are also new Halloween pajamas for the entire family, as well as new bodysuits for infants.  Of course, Disney already has all of their character costumes ready for Halloween as well!  There's plenty of fun if you're getting ready for the spooky season!

I can't wait to see what else they add to the collection!  After this year, I'm really looking forward to the fall and the holiday season.  I can't wait for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah and my birthday!  This little sneak peek of Halloween was so refreshing for me.  I finally feel like I've got something to look forward to!  °o°

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Creative New Mouse Ears: Christmas in July 2020

One thing I pride myself on is my creativity.  I'm always dreaming up new products, new designs, and ways to personalize the decor in our house.  My brain is always brainstorming creative new ideas whether I want it to or not.

I'm very proud of Happily Ever Hatter and how far it's come since I first opened my Etsy shop in January of 2014.  In 2015, Eliot and I started making 3D printed mouse ears.  (As far as we know, Eliot and I were the first to create 3D printed mouse ears; we were definitely the first to start selling them on Etsy.)  In 2017, 3D printed mouse ears became an entire genre of ears... which is something we never even imagined.

Since then, Eliot and I have tried to keep pushing the boundaries with our 3D printed mouse ear designs.  Unfortunately, having many fellow 3D printed ear shops means that we have to keep coming up with new creative ideas to make our ears stand out from the rest of the pack.  We really haven't made many changes to our original ear design, but we have tried to come up with lots of new designs.  (To date, we have over 400 listings in our shop and Eliot's probably created at least 500-600 individual ear designs... probably a lot more than that but we stopped counting.)

Because we're always coming up with new designs, I thought that I'd start sharing a few of them over here every once in a while.  I've started this new segment called "Creative New Mouse Ears" to showcase some of those ear designs.

This past week, Eliot and I worked really hard to print, paint, glue, glitter, finish, and photograph seven new mouse ear designs for our Happily Ever Hatter social media accounts as part of my Christmas in July week.  We got a good response on Facebook and Instagram so I thought this would be the perfect way to kick off this new segment!

Glitter Santa Candy Apples

The first new pair of ears that we posted were mouse ears that I almost finished back before our Disney cruises and WDW trip back in December.  I ran out of time before finishing the Santa hats, so I finished them to start our week with some sparkle!

Mickey Cocoa Mug

I was so excited about this new design; it turned out so cute!  Eliot and I have been working on these since before Christmas of last year.  With all of our traveling last holiday season, we weren't able to make the edits and finish them in time.  Eliot just made the edits and we got them printed and finished.  I love how the Mickey sprinkles look on top of the whipped cream!  The details really make the cocoa design pop!

Mickey Dreidel

Of course, we had to include a Hanukkah design even if it's "Christmas" in July.  (Eliot is Jewish so the two holidays are usually grouped together in our minds.)  I had him make the Mickey dreidel design as it was the one I was most excited about.  We've also got other Hanukkah designs in mind.  There aren't many shops that sell Hanukkah mouse ears; we wanted to make sure Jewish Disney fans had a few options as well!

Candy Cane Hearts

I loved the Disney Christmas Treats collection from the parks last holiday season.  Eliot and I both have matching Spirit Jerseys.  I also got the Loungefly backpack, t-shirt and leggings.  We decided that the candy cane heart design from those would be a fun pair of mouse ears so we created this fun design that matches the park merchandise!

Christmas Toy Story Aliens

Eliot and I both love the Toy Story Alien popcorn buckets available at the parks the past few years.  (Ooh... the holidays!)  Eliot had the idea to make these ears last year and like the Candy Apples, we never had a chance to get them finished with all of our traveling.  We finally finished them this past week and I love how they came out!  We even glittered the ear edges on our sample to add a little extra sparkle!

Christmas Flower Crown

I love making flower crowns and I've been trying to finish this one for a while now.  I've had the red mouse ears and a few of the greenery pieces set aside in a ziplock bag for a while but every time I tried to finish them, I wasn't feeling the creative flow.  Friday afternoon, I cranked up the Hamilton soundtrack and started playing around with the placement.  After gluing the greenery bases, it needed more and I added the smaller pieces with the pinecones.  I love how they turned out!  They really sparkle too!

Glitter Disney Cruise Line

We finished our week of holiday ears with our Glitter Disney Cruise Line ears.  This design wasn't the original one we planned on using, but it worked in a pinch.  (The original design was wanted to finish with is very complex, has a lot of parts and we didn't want to rush finishing it.  It's my favorite Christmas design that we've made thus far and I want to do it justice!)  I love these glitter ears though.  We took these on our Disney Christmas Cruises and they were my favorite ears that I made for the trip!  

It was so much fun to make all of these new mouse ears for Christmas in July!  I'm excited to add them to our Christmas and Hanukkah ear collections.  We've got so many more holiday designs on our to do list!  Hopefully we'll be able to work on some more of those between now and Christmas!  I hope you enjoyed getting some behind-the-scenes insider info of some of our new 3D printed mouse ear designs!  °o°