Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Christmas Recipes and Traditions

Holiday Party Ideas
Everyone loves a party. Good parties consist of several different elements: food, fun and guest interaction. (Have you ever been to a middle school dance and the boys are on one side, the girls on the other, and no one is dancing?)

Food can be as easy as a Pot Luck, where everyone brings a dish of some sort, to a catered affair or restaurant setting. It can be a sit-down meal or a buffet of finger foods. You can theme the foods served and brought, or even challenge guests to bring traditional holiday colors. 
For instance, Christmas party-goers could be asked to bring food that is either green or red. Of course, there might be an  overflow of salads and salsa, so you might want to supply the main entree (it could be spaghetti red or wraps using soft green spinach tortillas). Whatever the outcome, it will be very interesting!

If your guests don't know each other well, an Ice Breaker is a good idea. You can ask them to fill out a Bingo grid, with each square representing a person with certain qualities or requirements (red hair, only child, born out-of-state, etc). An example is shown here, but you can find blank Bingo templates and fill in your own fun ideas. Another Ice Breaker is a Scavenger Hunt, either using the same questions about other guests, or asking them to find some item on other guests (ornament earrings, red shoes, holiday tie, etc). 

After guests have had their meal or munchies, you can offer entertainment or games. Let your guests get creative with stations for making their own holiday cards, decorations or even Gingerbread Houses. The houses can be made simply out of graham crackers and Royal frosting, or home-baked, or from kits, while guests can bring "sweet" decorations to share.

Gift Swapping games include Dirty Santa, which is another name for grab bag; Ornament or Cookie Exchanges, where everyone who brings will receive; Pass the Package, which is better if gifts brought are themed, like sweets, gift cards of a specific value, tree ornaments, etc. Guests sit or stand in a circle passing packages around the circle while someone reads a story or music is played. When the story or music stops, everyone opens their package.

My favorite swapping game not only gives to each other, but gives to the marginalized as well. Everyone buys a pair of men's white tube socks. One gets filled up with sample-sized items such as shampoo, soap, comb, tissues, etc. (something that can be taken home or put into a backpack, if homeless). The other sock is the "wrapping paper" of the gift for another guest. We play a swapping game with these socks, and before each guest goes home, they take out their gift and roll their sock up and stuff it into a donation sock so that a pair of socks goes with the personal items. Food pantries and the American Red Cross will gladly take these to distribute. 

The same can be done with items to be sent to deployed troops, but first check the internet to make sure you send only the items on their safe list! Here's one that covers most of the western world when it comes to not only sending donations to deployed servicemen and women, but writing them encouraging notes as well:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-websites-where-you-can-find-and-write-to-soldiers/

Whether your party is big or small, for work, family or friends, remember one thing - - - have fun and get into the spirit of the holidays. They only come around once a year!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Challenge #32 Midway: Opt Theme...Traditional Christmas Colours

If you are looking for the winner announcement I'm afraid it still is not ready but I'm hoping it will be done within the week.

Right now, it is the 15th of the month, and that means it is time to see what the Merry Maidens have been up to with their adorable images from NS Designs, our guest sponsor this month!


Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to their page in the NS Designs store where each of these images can be found.

Christmas Carolers ClipArt
Christmas Carolers ClipArt {CU}


 Baby Bee's First Christmas ClipArt
Baby Bee's First Christmas ClipArt {CU}


Winter Village Nativity 2
Winter Village-Nativity 2 DigiStamps {CU}


While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called Glitteratti 2: Traditional Christmas Colours-Dark Collection. Check out the preview...


Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of August will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set. The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post. Additionally, one random winner will earn the full set of papers.

Have your say in determining which paper will be offered to those who link up a minimum of two cards this month by completing the poll below.


DIGI PAPER POLL
Please click "like" to choose the ONE paper that you would like offered up to participants who link up a minimum of two cards during the month of August. Poll will be open until August 31st, 11:59 p.m. EST. Please note that you can get a better idea of what the actual paper looks like by bringing the preview ABOVE up in the lightbox.



Now check out what the Merry Maidens came up with to inspire you. Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards.


http://www.fstampaholic.blogspot.com/


http://www.granmargaret.blogspot.com.au/


http://creamieke.blogspot.nl





So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for? It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for August. Whether you choose to link up two Anything Goes themed cards simply to earn your free paper this month, or you choose to also follow the optional theme to have a chance at the sponsor's prize, it is completely up to you! 

Here is a refresher of the details for this challenge...

Please remember that this is a CARDS ONLY link up. While we've had some lovely tag entries in the past, we've sadly had to disqualify them.


Challenge #32

Optional Theme:  
Traditional Christmas Colours

One of the things that I love most about Christmas is all the wonderful colours associated with the season--rich reds and greens, sparkly silvers and golds and even deep purples and blues abound. Everywhere you look you can see a rainbow of traditional Christmas colours. A veritable feast for the eyes!

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your Christmas card has traditional Christmas colours (red, green, silver, gold, purples and blues). IMPORTANT: If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.

Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month, have a chance to win a special mini kit of digi papers and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies. You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $20 gift certificate to the Kitten Scraps store.


If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab.  As this is a different kind of link up where we have both an anything goes Christmas option and an optional theme to follow, be sure to read all the details and rules you need to know in order to participate, by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).


You can find the Challenge Details Summary along with the link up for 
Challenge #32 by clicking HERE.


 Don't Forget, if everything goes according to plan...

  • If I can pull it off, I'll try and get another winner announcement done. 
  • Pat will be here on the 23rd with a special post for you all.
  • Our new challenge will start on September 1st.
  • Other special posts may be published throughout the month. Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!
the_12_moc_linkup@outlook.com


We look forward to seeing you participate!

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Challenge #32: Optional Theme...Traditional Christmas Colours

Hello there crafters! Welcome to The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up. It is the first day of August  and that means it is time for our next challenge to get under way! We're definitely past the mid point of the year leaving us just five months to add to the Christmas and other December Holidays Card Pile so let us continue with that quest!

Right now, it is time to get down to the business of our latest challenge. Here is what you need to know...


The Basics

While you can find out ALL the information you need to know in order to participate in the challenge by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page (or by clicking HERE), here is a refresher of the basics.
  • Anyone can link up as many Christmas and/or December holiday themed cards (including Happy New Year's cards) throughout the month with an ANYTHING GOES theme.
  • Every person who has linked up a MINIMUM of two (2) cards will be eligible to receive a specially designed Christmas themed digital paper.
  • Each month there will be an OPTIONAL theme to follow. Anyone who submits a card adhering to the monthly theme, will have the chance to win a prize from that month's guest sponsor.
  • ALL entries adhering to our basic rules also have the opportunity to win a mini pack of digi papers each month as well.
  • Every holiday card you submit to the link up, earns you one chance to win a special digital Christmas kit that will be offered up after the year is complete.
Now that the basics are out of the way, how about we get on with the details of Challenge #32.


Challenge #32

Optional Theme:  
Traditional Christmas Colours

One of the things that I love most about Christmas is all the wonderful colours associated with the season--rich reds and greens, sparkly silvers and golds and even deep purples and blues abound. Everywhere you look you can see a rainbow of traditional Christmas colours. A veritable feast for the eyes!

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your Christmas card has traditional Christmas colours (red, green, silver, gold, purples and blues). IMPORTANT: If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.

Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month, have a chance to win a special mini kit of digi papers and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies. You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $20 gift certificate to the Kitten Scraps store.

Talking about NS Designs {also designs under the name Kitten Scraps}, it is time to get to know this brand new sponsor…

My name is Nathalie and I design under the name of NS Designs and KittenScraps.  I began scrapping as a way to fill in my spare time while learning Photoshop and was quickly hooked on creating kits to scrap my photo’s.  I enjoy offering S4H/S4O kits that are family friendly and easy and fun to use.  My online store offer’s a variety of digital scrapbooking kits, Commercial Use Templates, Elements and Clip Art and SVG Files for your cutting machine.

In my spare time I enjoy knitting, and embroidery,  gardening and travelling.  I’m the mother of 4 grown kids and 3 also, grown step kids as well as Aunt Nathalie to 3 adorable-yet mischievous, little boys whom I love to scrap.  Scrapbooking for me is not just a business-I feel each memory that is scrapped is it’s own treasure and strive to offer quality digital products that will help you create the perfect layout for your photo’s. 

Come check out my blog and Facebook page  where I offer layout idea’s and the occasional  freebie and while your there stop by my store to check out the latest kits, CU items and SVG Files.
FBhttps://www.facebook.com/Kittenscraps-252473318242218/
Check out the cute images that the team worked with this month for the start of the challenge. Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to their page in the Kitten Scraps store where each of these images can be found.


Christmas Balls ClipArt
Christmas Balls ClipArt {CU}


Xmas Mice ClipArt
Xmas Mice ClipArt {CU}


Hoppy Christmas
Hoppy Christmas ClipArt {CU}


Joyful Christmas ClipArt
Joyful Christmas ClipArt {CU}

You'll get to see more great images used during our midway so be sure to come back again at that time!


While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called Glitteratti 2: Traditional Christmas Colours-Dark Collection. Check out the preview...


Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of August will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set. The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post. Additionally, one random winner will earn the full set of papers.

Have your say in determining which paper will be offered to those who link up a minimum of two cards this month by completing the poll below.


DIGI PAPER POLL
Please click "like" to choose the ONE paper that you would like offered up to participants who link up a minimum of two cards during the month of August. Poll will be open until August 31st, 11:59 p.m. EST. Please note that you can get a better idea of what the actual paper looks like by bringing the preview ABOVE up in the lightbox.



Now check out what the Sleigh Belles came up with to inspire you. Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards...




http://craftinghelen.blogspot.co.uk/


http://indianainking.blogspot.com


http://susanrenshaw0404.blogspot.com/


So what are you waiting for? It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for August! Whether you choose to link up two Anything Goes themed cards simply to earn your free paper this month, link up one or more cards for your chance to win the mini kit of digi papers shown above, OR you choose to also follow the optional theme to have a chance at the sponsor's prize, it is completely up to you!

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab and all the details you need to know in order to participate, in the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

We have a packed month as usual; so, Pat and I and the rest of the gang hope to see you back with us soon!
  • We hope to publish the names of the winners and top picks from Challenge #29 between August 8th and 10th if everything goes according to plan. 
  • Then, be sure to join us again on August 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!
  • Other special posts may be published throughout the month. Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

CHALLENGE DETAILS SUMMARY
Each month we'll include a summary of details for the particular challenge taking place. If you are new, please be sure to familiarize yourself with all the details and rules in the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page.  Please note that dates and times listed below are for this particular challenge only:
  • Cards for this challenge will be accepted from 6:00 p.m. (18:00 hrs), August 1st until 11:59 p.m. (23:59 hrs), August 31st, 2017.  All times listed are in EST.
  • If you wish to receive the free digi paper being offered up for this month, you need to link up a minimum of two (2) Christmas or holiday themed cards
  • This is NOT a progressive challenge. You can jump in at any time.
  • Only a maximum of three (3) entries will qualify for the draw for this month's prize of a $20 gift certificate to the Kitten Scraps store. You must add 'FT' after you name so we know which cards to add to the random draw for the sponsor's prize.
  • No backlinking.
  • Make sure when entering your project that you mention The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up in your post with a link back to this blog.
  • Please remember to link directly to your blog post where we can see your creation, and not just the generic link to your blog.
the_12_moc_linkup@outlook.com

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Link Up Below:
If you have any problems linking up, please be sure to leave a comment.

The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up Challenge #32

Please link up your Anything Goes Christmas and/or December holiday themed CARDS with the optional theme of Traditional Christmas Colours, below. Be sure to add FT after your name if you followed the theme.  Please see above for all the rules and details.