Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cute Cards and Matching Tote

Today's craft is a a set of cute note cards and a matching tote to store them in.  One of the best features of this craft is that it only uses one piece of patterned paper.  The rest of the craft can be made with solid card stock. I was able to use many of my paper scraps from a previous projects as accent pieces. This project can be given as a gift or you can keep it so you always have a hand-made unique card to give to a friend.

  • Paper cutter 
  • One 12 x 12 piece of solid colored card stock
  • Six 8-1/2 x 11 pieces of colored card stock (in the same color or a coordinating color as above)
  • One12  x 12 piece of patterned card stock or paper (two sided is fun but optional, make sure it coordinates with the solid card stock colors)
  • Colored card stock that coordinates with your pattern for accent pieces (I was able to use scraps from another project; some were solid and some had patterns)
  • White card stock
  • Scissors
  • Scorer (or ruler and butter knife)
  • Quick dry adhesive
  • Pencil
  • Corner punch (optional)
  • Brads or staples
  • Stamps, ink pads, or decorative stickers

Part 1: Cut the Patterned Paper

Cut your patterned piece of card stock like the template below.  To do this, cut it into vertical strips (4 in., 1/2 inch, 1/2 inch, 3-1/4 inch, and 3-3/4 inch.)  Then cut each strip into specific pieces as shown.  You may label each of the pieces with the appropriate letter. (Use a pencil and write lightly.)

I marked mine with the letters and laid them out like this to make them easier to find later.

Part 2: Make the Tote

Step 1: Cut vertically at 8.5 inches from the left side. Set the smaller piece of paper aside.

Step 2: Using the larger piece of paper, trim one inch from the bottom. Discard.  You should now have an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper.

Step 3:  Cut two one inch wide strips off the small piece of paper. They should be 1 x 11.  Discard the extra piece. When you are done, it should look like this.

Step 4: Get the 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper.  With the 8.5 inch side at the top, score paper 1.25 inches from each side.

Step 5: With the 11 inch side at the top, score 4.5 inches from each side. 

Step 6:  Cut the short score marks at the top and bottom of the paper.  

Step 7:  Fold the other score marks and glue the tote like this. I used a quick dry adhesive.

Step 8:  Cut a piece of white card stock that is 4 3/4 inches by 4-1/4 inches.  Corner punch its edges and piece A if you like.  Glue piece A to the the white card stock.  

Step 9:  Glue to the front of the tote.  Glue the E pieces to the front of the 1 x 11 solid card stock strips you made earlier.  Attach them to the bag using brads or decorative staples.

Feel free to add any embellishments you'd like.  I did 3-D butterflies.  You could also add a stamped image, quote, or stickers.

Part 3: Making the Cards

I have included a picture of each card and a materials list.  I suggest cutting the materials for one card and making it before moving on to the next one.  This way you won't get all the pieces mixed up.  Most cards have a piece of white card stock for a stamped image.  You can substitute your own stamps here (depending on the size) or add stickers or embellishments.  

Card 1:
The paper labeled as C from part 1
1-3/4" x 3-1/4 inch card stock in a color that coordinates with the tote and paper C (to back stamped image)
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
1-3/4" x 5" card stock in white (to back paper c)
1-1/2" x 3" white card stock (to stamp image)
Put materials together as seen below.  Substitute your own stamps or use decorative stickers.

Card 2:
The paper labeled as D from part 1
1-3/4" x 3-1/4" inch card stock in a color that coordinates with the tote and paper D (to back stamped image)
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
2-3/4" x 5" card stock in a color the coordinates (to back paper D)
1-1/2" x 3" white card stock (to stamp image)
Put materials together as seen below.

Card 3:
The paper labeled as E from part 1
Note card or 8-1/ " x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
3-1/2" x 2-3/4" card stock (to back paper e and stamped image)
3-1/4" x 2-1/2" card stock  (to back paper e)
3" x 2-1/4" white card stock (to stamp image)
Put materials together as seen below.

Card 4:
The paper labeled as F from part 1
Note card or 8-1/ " x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
3-1/2" x 4 -3/4 card stock (to back paper F)
2-1/4" x 3 1/4" card stock (to back stamped image)
2" x 3" white card stock (to stamp image)

Card 5:
The paper labeled as G from part 1
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
1-3/4" x 2-1/4" card stock (to back stamped image)
3-1/2" x 4-3/4" card stock (to back piece G)
1-1/2" x 2" white card stock (to stamp image)

Card 6:
The paper labeled as H from part 1
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
3-1/2" x 4" White card stock

Card 7:
The paper labeled as I from part 1
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
1-1/4" x 3-1/4" card stock (to back stamped image)
1" x 3" card stock white card stock (to stamp image)
embellishments (optional)

Card 8:
The paper labeled as J from part 1
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
3-1/2" x 4" card stock (to back stamped image)
3-1/4" x 1-3/4" card stock(to back stamped image)
3" x 1-1/2" card stock (to stamp image)

Card 9:
The paper labeled as K from part 1
Note card or 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" card stock folded in half
2-1/4" by 4" card stock (to back piece K)
2" x 2-1/2" card stock (to back stamped image)
1-3/4" x 2-1/4" card stock (to back stamped image)
1-1/2" x 2" White card stock (to stamp image)

Now your project is complete.  Enjoy crafting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

NanoBot Battle Arena Review

   NanoBot Battle Arena is a fun tile laying game for two to eight players by Derpy Games.

    Inside, there is a deck of ninety six reaction cards

   and tiles. There are fifteen tiles in each of eight colors.

   The cards are in the same colors as the tiles and numbered one through three. The number is how many nanobots the card can effect. Each color has it's own special powers.

   Orange is Burn. You can take the number of bots on the card (in this picture, it would be one) from the beginning or end of any chain of bots.
   White is Petrify. When you petrify a bot, you turn the tile over. This bot is now immune to other attacks. You can use a petrify card to turn over a petrified tile so they are no longer immune.
   Green is grow. You can add extra nanobots equal to the number on the card.
   Blue is freeze. You randomly take cards from an opponent and place them face down. They don't get their cards back until their draw phase.
   Purple is Pivot. You can rotate your nanobots so they face a different direction.
   Red is infect. You can scrap nanobots adjacent to your tiles and replace them with your tiles, facing the same direction.
   Pink is surge. You can remove tiles that are in your tiles line of sight. You can not go over empty spaces.
   Yellow is blink. You can move tiles to a new legal location. They must still face the same direction.

   To set up, each player chooses a color of NanoBots. Shuffle the deck of cards and deal out six, face down, to each player.

   On your turn, you are going to place one of your NanoBots and then play a reaction card. When playing a reaction card, if you play a card that is your color of nanobot, you add one to the number the card can effect. If you play a color of an opponent, you take one away from the number the card effects. At the end of your turn, draw back up to six cards. If you had cards frozen, this is when you put them back in your hand.

   Sometimes, the tiles get all mixed up since you can move your opponents tiles. You may even have tiles that are no longer connected.

   Once a player is out of tiles, the game is over. You do not get to play your reaction card once you are out of tiles. Count the chains and see who has the longest chain. For a chain to count, the arrows on your tile must be pointing at your tile next to it. In this picture, purple has a chain of five. Yellow has a chain of three and orange has a chain of four. Purple has won!

   This game is a lot of fun! It takes a lot of strategy and a lot of hoping that your opponents can't mess up your plans. The game box is rather small so it doesn't take up a lot of space on your game shelf. The tiles are also small enough that you don't need a big playing area. If you want a bigger game, you can put more than one game together so you have a higher number of tiles to play. This game works pretty well as a two player game. When playing with two, some combinations don't work well. We did an Infect and Grow line up. It didn't mesh well since growing just gave the infect player more tiles to take. I would recommend this game. It isn't very long, about thirty minutes or so. It's a great filler game or if you want to get in a quick game. It's easy to learn and the cards are self explanatory. I can't wait to play a game with all eight!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Felt Activities

   One thing my kids love to play with is felt boards. A couple of years ago, we were going to go on a 10 hour drive to my aunts house for vacation. Having three small boys, we needed ideas of how to keep them occupied so we would all survive the long drive. I started looking up ideas, and found someone that had done felt boards for their kids. I thought that was a wonderful idea, so I made some. They were a huge hit and the boys still play with them to this day. They are great for those days when you just need a little bit of quiet time.

   To begin, I searched online for a template of what I wanted to make. This time, I wanted to make a gumball machine to help my three year old count.

   You can either cut out the pieces of the template to trace, free hand it, or do what I do and tape the paper to a window so you can see through the felt and trace it that way.

   Once you have it all traced out, cut out the pieces. If you want to sew or glue them together, make sure you leave extra around your cut outs. For example, the white piece can be a complete circle and then sew or glue the red pieces onto it. I decided making the machine could be part of the fun.

   You now have a gumball machine.

   To make the gumballs, pick out the colors you'd like to use. I wanted to make twenty gumballs so I grabbed five colors. Scraps of felt are perfect for this part.

   Decide how big you want the gumballs. I used a soda lid to trace the circles.

   Cut out all of your gumballs

   Next, I printed off the numbers on a piece of card stock. This will help the numbers be a little more sturdy.

   Cut out out all of your numbers. If you have a straight edge cutter, it makes this job a lot easier.

   To get the numbers to stick, hot glue the numbers onto another piece of felt. The color doesn't really matter since you won't see it anyway. Be careful when doing this, hot glue on fingers is rather painful! Once they are all glued on, cut around the edges of the card stock.

   You now have a felt gumball machine to help with counting!

   Some other ideas you can do are:

   You can make a little city or even just a road with some cars. Cut out strips of black, add some yellow lines (I glued mine on for ease of play) and cut out however many different cars and trucks you'd like.

   My kids used to be really into potato heads. Cut out some brown potato shapes and then use your imagination.

   I don't know about your kids, but my oldest LOVES anything space right now. That includes Star Trek. So this summer, on a day when there was "nothing to do", I decided I would make him some new felt cutouts. He was beside himself with excitement. These didn't take too long to do and you can make them as detailed as you'd like. I cut him out a yellow circle he could use as either the sun or a planet and a couple of red circles. I added a little touch to the red circles so they would look a little more planet like.

   And lastly, don't forget about games. Tic Tac Toe is a great game for kids. It's easy to learn and not hard to make. Just cut out four strips and a few squares in two different colors. Now you have a game for on the go.

   Felt activities are a lot of fun and you can take them anywhere! They are pretty easy to make depending on how detailed you want to get. The boards we made for in the car was just a piece of felt taped to some cardboard. You can get as fancy as you want with making a board. Sometimes my kids just play with them on the table without any felt under it at all. Use your imagination and most importantly, have fun with it!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Product Review: Morning Star Farms Veggie Patties

   I was selected to hold a Morning Star Farms Veggie Patties house party. I was given the party pack for free. It included coupons for free veggie patties, a hot pad, apron, Frisbee and reusable bags.

   I was a little hesitant to try the veggie burgers. I enjoy my meat very much. They were actually very filling and surprisingly good. I tried a spicy black bean patty and a garden veggie patty. Both of them were very tasty. 

   They have a wide variety of many different meatless products. I can't wait to try more!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Tsuro of the Seas Review and Giveaway

   Tsuro of the Seas is a fun tile laying game for two to eight players ages eight and up.

   Inside, you will find a game board. There are gold numbers across the top and blue numbers down the side.

   There are eight ships that are the playing pieces.

   There is a pile of fifty six wake tiles

   Ten diakaiju (dragon) tiles

   and one gold and one blue dice.

   To set up, place the board in the center of the table. Deal each player three wake cards. Mix up the daikaiju tiles. Roll both dice and place a dragon tile on the board where the numbers meet facing random directions. The number of starting daikaiju depends on the number of players.

   Each player then places their ship on one of the starting wakes on the side of the board.

   On your turn, roll the dice to see if the daikaiju move. The daikaiju move if a six, seven or eight is rolled. Roll one die and then move the daikaiju in numerical order starting with the lowest number. Move the daikaiju in the direction of the number rolled. If a daikaiju moves onto a square that contains a wake tile, ship or another daikaiju, the tile or ship are removed from play. If a six is rolled, add a new daikaiju into play. Any time a daikaiju is removed, add it to the bottom of the draw pile.

   After the daikaiju have moved, add a wake tile and move your ship. You can not play a tile that will remove your ship from play unless you don't have any other tiles that can be played.

   If moving the daikaiju moves it next to a wake with a ship on it, that ship is removed from play. You are also removed from play if a wake takes you to the edge of the board.


   If the daikaiju moves off of the board, place it on the bottom of the draw pile. There must always be three daikaiju in play. If one is removed and there is less than two, the next player rolls both dice to place new daikaiju on the board until there are three in play. They do not roll to move the daikaiju during this turn.

   If a tile is placed that adds on to a wake for more than one ship, they all move to the end of the wake.

   The last ship remaining on the board is the winner!

   There is also an expansion for the game called Tsuro Veterans of The Seas. It adds some fun new tiles to the game. There is a portal, tsunami, canons and a whirlpool.

   The portal and the cannons get mixed into the wake tiles. The gold tsunami and whirlpool get mixed in with the daikaiju tiles.

   Once these cards are used and removed from play, they are removed from the game.

   When the Whirlpool is drawn, it is placed on the board like a daikaiju tile. When you roll to move the daikaiju and a number is rolled that doesn't move them, roll a die and move the whirlpool instead. The whirlpool does not move if a five or six is rolled. The whirlpool removes any daikaiju, tile or ship that is on that space. It stays in play until it goes off the edge of the board.

   If you have cannon tile and are about to be removed from play by a daikaiju, you can play the cannon and remove the daikaiju from the board instead.

   When the tsunami is drawn, place it on the board the same way you would a daikaiju card. Place the gold two arrow so that it is pointing towards the top of the board. Place the blue tsunami tile on top of the board so that the blue two is pointing at the gold tsunami card. If your ship ends up in the same row as the gold tsunami card (the direction the three and four are pointing when the tile is placed) you must roll a die. You have to roll higher than the number pointing towards the top of the board. So when it is first played, you must roll a two or higher. 

   At the beginning of the player that placed the tsunami tile, move the gold tsunami card one space closer to the blue tsunami card. When you do this, rotate it once counter clock wise. Rotate the blue tsunami card so that the same numbers are pointing towards each other. This is the new number that must be rolled in order to survive the tsunami. 

   Continue doing this until the tsunami is removed from the board by going off the edge of the board.

   The portal is placed in place of a wake tile or when faced with elimination. Place the portal as you would a wake tile. Anything that is then moved onto the portal tile is moved to a new location. If more than one ship is moved into the portal, move ships in game order with the person placing the tile moving last. Roll both dice and place it as you would a daikaiju tile. If there is a wake tile in play, choose a wake and direction and place your ship. If there is no wake tile, add a wake tile from your hand and place your ship on a wake. If you play a tile from your hand, you will have two wake tiles to choose from since you don't draw tiles until the end of your turn. The portal stays on the board for the remainder of the game. Anything that lands in it is moved to a different space on the board.

   I think this game it TONS of fun!! We love playing it together as a family. Our two older boys (7 & 9 years old) don't have a problem playing at all. It became a family favorite right away. 

   Now, on to the fun part! The giveaway! There are a few things you need to know before entering.

    - This giveaway is open for the US, Canada and UK only.
    - This giveaway is for both Tsuro of the Seas and  the expansion Tsuro Veterans of the Seas
    - Your game will be shipped directly from Calliope Games.
    - The contest is open from Friday, July 18 until Thursday, July 24.
    - The winner will be announced and contacted on Friday, July 25.