Wednesday, December 31, 2014

CFS Release: Mwah

Big Happy New Year wishes to you all! I've sure missed everyone in blogland over the holidays. Hope you had some wonderful times with family and friends!


What better way to start the new year than with some new stamps?! The next three days we'll feature new Valentine and love-themed sets from CAS-ual Fridays.

This project uses every single stamp in the new "Mwah" set (obviously I just couldn't decide which ones to use!) I was going for the subway art style, mixing text and objects, as well as different fonts. Really love how it turned out, and am considering leaving this up after Valentine's Day.

 I left the glass off the frame so I could pop up the stamped panel on two layers of chipboard. The background paper is from Crate Paper. I think the pattern works well since there isn't any white in the design, so the white panel completely stands out.

I know most people like seeing cards, so here's what it would look like as a traditional card. 

You can laugh at me, but I almost always stamp everything ahead of time on a quarter sheet of copy paper. I have to know if it's going to work or not, right?! So for a different project, I folded this quarter sheet in half and cut out a heart to use for a template. When I was cleaning up my desk, I threw this and some other scraps away. The next day I saw it in my garbage on top of some solid red paper and thought it would make a pretty decent card as it was. Indeed! Sometimes you can't think too much about it : )

[PS. since it's on copy paper I'd probably only give this to my kids, but one day I may stamp it again on "real" paper]

I'm SO in love with the large script font in this set! It mixes so well with other heavy, solid fonts. And, it's large enough to stand on its own. Here it's just been stamped across the flap of an envelope. So easy, but I can totally see myself doing this on all the cards I send.

The glitter heart is from a set that's debuting tomorrow, so please come back to check it out if you're in the area!

You're not going to want to miss checking out the other Ink Squad girls:

Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fun Family Christmas Party Games to Try

Want to get everyone out of their chairs at your family Christmas party? We had a few Minute to Win It games after dinner this year and it was SO FUN to see everyone cheering, yelling, and jumping up and down. 

A key to our success is that we got all the adults to play, in addition to the kids. I recruited an older cousin to write everyone's name on a paper, and randomly divide the family up into four teams of 8. Two teams of adults and two teams of kids. For each game, each team selected a member to participate (without knowing what the game will be) and then we announced the game and rules.

We started with a challenge to hang an ornament on the Christmas tree without using your hands. People used their mouth ...

... and their forearms. If we do this game next year, I'll have them start with the ornaments in a bowl on the other side of the room, and then transport the ornaments to the tree without their hands as well. This game was a little too easy.

The next game was to stack as many plastic cups as you can with one hand in a minute.

Since we had four teams competing at once, and we only had about 80 cups, we ended up seeing which team finished stacking their cups first. They finished in about 30 seconds, so if you want this to last a minute plan on 40 cups per person. Also, we had to re-do the first round because we had an onlooker topple one of the contestants' stack of cups.  

The next game was to unwrap a present as quickly as possible with mittens on. I may or may not have intentionally given the mittens with the cute face to my manly cousin who used to work security at The Bellagio in Vegas.

My mom shocked everyone by finishing in lightning speed. She's the one at the end waving the box above her head. After the party, my mom said winning the present unwrapping game was her favorite part. OK, totally worth it all!

This game is to toss as many peppermint mini marshmallows into a Christmas pail in one minute. You can only throw one marshmallow at a time. We also lined people up according to their arm span ... so the kids got to be a little closer than the adults.

I didn't realize until after I downloaded the photos that my older son was lying on the floor in front of the table with his mouth wide open. Trying to catch stray marshmallows, it looks like!

Some teammates offered themselves up as a human backboard to increase their chances of winning!

Again, all the cheering made everything so much more fun, and was extremely contagious. I'm on the Winnie & Walter blog today showing how to make the peppermint Christmas tins if you want to stop by.

Our last game was perhaps the most fun, and the one we repeated until everyone on the team had participated. You put a cookie on your forehead and try to get it into your mouth without using your hands. If it falls you have to start over with the cookie on your forehead. 

This game was probably the most fun to watch, and resulted in the best pictures! Oh my gosh, I was laughing so hard!!

Everyone was either laughing, cheering or taking pictures.

These games were so much fun, we had to watch them again and again right afterwards. Somehow they were even funnier on the video!
Here's a summary of the games (which I got from this post on The Mason Family Blog you've likely seen floating around Pinterest). I've included the supplies needed after each game. It's also helpful to have a long table to line your contestants behind and set the game supplies on:

- hang ornaments on tree without hands (one ornament with a hanger for each team);
- stack cups with one hand (40 plastic cups per team);
- throw marshmallows in a tin (Christmas-themed marshmallows, Christmas tin for each team);

- get cookie from forehead to mouth without using hands (cookies); and
- unwrap present with mittens (a well-wrapped present with lots of tape and a pair of mittens per team).

Hope you're able to try some games this year! We honestly had a blast seeing everyone have so much fun. It was a highlight of the party.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Feature on Paper Crafter's Library

Just a quick note to let you know I'm over at the Paper Crafter's Library today. If you have a minute I'd love to see you stop by!


PS. I've only made it through a small percentage of posts from yesterday's tribute to Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking. If you haven't hopped yet, WARNING: HAVE A BOX OF KLEENEX HANDY. You may need it, even if you're not a crier. Everyone's post that I've read is so touching and heartfelt. Jennifer McGuire is the start of the hop.

Fusion Challenge: You'll Never Guess What Happened!

Yay, my first honest to goodness December Daily page is complete! I feel part of the DD club now : ) Let's see how long I can keep this going!!

This page is inspired by the photo and the sketch in the current Fusion Challenge.

It tells the story of how it's always stressful taking formal pictures of the boys because they don't sit still and have difficulty smiling at the same time. This year really took the cake, however, which you'll see when you turn the page ...

are you ready?!

...brace yourself...

... it gets ugly ...

Yep, it happened. Logan actually PUSHED Jackson forward. Right into the biggest section of mud in the whole forest preserve, I'm sure. There really wasn't a speck of clean pants in that whole mess. When asked what on Earth he was thinking, Logan replied that Jackson was moving too slowly. We took a break for a snowball fight and I guess afterwards Jackson didn't return to the ottoman quickly enough. 

I can't believe I had my wits about me and managed to take a few pictures before I started screaming and carrying on. I must have yelled pretty loudly because Jackson didn't even complain at all to Logan ... he felt I had expressed it all. Unbelievably there were another two pairs of pants for Jackson in the car since, crazy as this may sound, I was thinking about changing his pants if we took pictures on my gray/green bean bag instead of the brown leather ottoman (the warm tan of his pants didn't look right on the gray/green ... I know, way too detailed. It's why I don't get a lot of things done!)

I ended up laughing about it EVENTUALLY, and Logan felt so bad that he was exceedingly cooperative for the rest of the photo shoot. Including climbing into a log for a photo op (Jackson refused on account of any mysterious animals that might be in there). It's a memory, that's for sure!

Back to the page ... so excited to have pine cones just like the inspiration photo (these are from Winnie & Walter), and that they go with the photo of the kids in the woods. Perfect match!

Here are some fabulous cards by our design team!

WinnersWill be chosen by all of our teammates in two weeks. We each will choose one favorite. The winners will be announced at 4 am (PST) in two weeks!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking Special Thanks Blog Hop

Welcome to the blog hop honoring Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking! If you're hopping along you've just come from Glenda Wyatt's blog. A big thanks to Taheerah Atchia and Veronica Zalis for the countless days spent organizing this tribute to PC&S!

From the very beginning of my relationship with Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking, they have opened their arms and made me feel so welcome in this wonderful paper crafting community. I remember when I got my first project acceptance email Susan asked me where I'd heard of Paper Crafts. Searching through my sent mail, I found my reply, and would like to post it here as it sums up my feelings 2 years later:

This is indeed the first time being in your publication. I found out about you through ... well, it's hard to say really. You're everywhere! Paper Crafts Magazine is the only quality publication (in my opinion, aside from the Somerset series which targets a more artsy audience) featuring card making and other paper crafts. I found the publication calls on your blog and have since become a follower (Moxie Fab too). After blogging for almost a year, it's become common knowledge that you are the experts, and all the "stars" of the paper crafting world are featured in your publications. So that's where I'd like to be too!

Little did I know then what wonderful PEOPLE were behind this most esteemed paper crafting magazine. Susan, Jennifer, Kerri, Stacy, Holly, AND CATH (who will always be a part of this crew) are such genuinely caring, trendy, forward-thinking, inspirational, and just plain FUN people. They are wonderful to work with, and I'm always amazed at how quickly Susan replies to emails. She must get hundreds per day and you're pretty much guaranteed a response within the hour. Now that's a woman on top of things!

Here's the card I'm sending for them. I found this in my "to be submitted" shoebox, and I'm pretty sure it was originally created for a sewing/stitches publication call.

I drew the face and legs of the "ewe" with a black marker, and then sewed a bunch of french knots on the card to make the sheep's body.

Here's the envelope I made for the card along with a peek inside of the card. I really enjoy going through my scrap drawer to find bits and bobs to fancy up the inside. It's a much more organic way to create, vs. having an idea of what you want to create and then executing it. Don't the red swirls look like a sheep's curls?!? Hahaha, OK, it's just me then : )

I know this can't be the end so I will just leave with a warm shout-out to the PC&S staff:

"Sincerest thanks for all the opportunities you have blessed me with. I am incredibly grateful, humbled and honored. See ya later!"

[and to Susan I'll say, "see ya in a month at CHA!!!"]

Now you're on to the fabulous Michelle Lupton who has a gorgeous floral creation to share.

Monday, December 1, 2014

CAS-ual Fridays: Christmas Carols

One more sale for you today ... CAS-ual Fridays Stamps has one of their best-selling Christmas sets on sale Cyber Monday. The Christmas Carols stamp set is 25% off for today only.

Christmas Carols

The sentiment is slightly curved and is from Christmas Carols. The Christmas tree was built using both sizes of the Truth Blooms dies. As the dies go up to build the tree I cut some length off. I had red sequins on the tree originally for ornaments, but it seemed a little much so I used two different sizes of green sequins instead.

Thanks for looking!