Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY "Telestrations" Game

Have you ever played the game Telestrations? It's really fun, but I decided to customize it a little and make my own. No need to buy it - but if you want, these booklets can also be used as an add-on so that more people can play. Bonus!! :)

I made enough different patterns that you can play with up to 12 people! Of course you can always just pick one design and make them all the same. It's up to you. :)

Here's the basic idea: It's basically a mix between "Telephone" and "Pictionary". Each player plays simultaneously, passing the booklets along to the next player after each round. When the booklet gets to you, you are either going to "Sketch It" or "Guess It". When everyone gets their starting booklets back, you see how closely the end guess matches the secret beginning word. It's really funny, because everyone has their own interpretations.

You can use the cards from Pictionary, or Apples to Apples, or to make it EXTRA fun - make up your own phrases! Make sure to have a noun, a place, and a verb. For example: Elvis wake boarding in Mexico, or a nun smelling flowers in the park. Whatever. 

Write that on the first page where it says: Secret Word. Pass the booklet to the player on the left. When everyone has their neighbor's booklet, read the word or sentence and start drawing on the next page - Sketch It. Everyone has 1 minute. When the time is up, pass the booklet on to the player on the left. This time when everyone gets a booklet, they look at the drawing and make their guess on the following page. (The page that says: Guess It.) Be sure to WRITE your guess and not draw it.You don't need a timer for this. When everyone is done, continue to pass to the person on the left. This time you are back to drawing what is written - make sense? 

You should end each booklet on a Guess It page. This way you can match it up to the secret word and see how close, or how messed up everyone got! It really is a lot of fun. ;)

It's fun to see what everyone guessed, but if you really want to keep score, just give 1 point to the player with your favorite sketch, and 1 point to the player with your favorite guess. And give yourself 1 point if the end guess matches the original secret word or phrase. You can keep a tally on the front page of the book if you want.

Here are the different pages for the booklets. I just copied them into Microsoft Word, and shrunk them to the size I wanted. (I think they were 3.5 x 3.5 or close to it.) I got about 4 to a page. I printed them onto cardstock, cut, laminated, and punched holes to add key rings. You should be able to use regular dry erase markers on them & they wipe off really well.

Assembling the booklets:
Each booklet gets one cover page, and one Secret Word page. Then depending on how many you are making, do equal number of the Sketch It and Guess It pages. 
Example: I made 12, so I needed 6 Sketch It pages and 6 Guess It pages.

This is how my booklet went: 
Cover page
Secret Word page
Sketch It
Guess It
Sketch It
Guess It
Sketch It
Guess It
Sketch It
Guess It
Sketch It
Guess It
Sketch It
Guess It

Make sure you start on a Sketch It page and end on a Guess It page! That's pretty much it!

These would make great Christmas gifts! I am bringing mine to play with the whole family at Thanksgiving. (One reason I made so many.) When it's just my little family at home, I can use only 4. I love that you can customize it this way! 

Let me know how these work out for you, and what you think. :)

Have fun! Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kitchen Update

I have been toying with the idea of redoing my kitchen cabinets for a long time. I thought about painting them white and adding a glaze, but with the light counter tops and white back splash I couldn't really update it without basically doing the entire kitchen. So then I saw all the pictures online of people who used a gel stain to darken them, but I was super nervous! Let's face it - there are a lot of cabinets!

So I started small, doing the tiny cabinet in my bathroom first. It was pretty easy and I LOVED the way it looked! So of course, being the impulsive person I am, I just went to town on the kitchen. Little did I know that it would take me almost an entire MONTH! Putting the gel stain on was super easy, but then you have to wait an entire day in between coats. It took forever! Just to let you know, in case you are thinking about it. ;)

Here is what I started with: 

The lovely golden oak was so beautiful don't you think? I actually didn't mind it, but I wanted a little richer color and definitely some knobs. 

Here is a picture of how the kitchen looked when we bought the house: 

The green paint that we added to the walls definitely brought some much needed color to the room.

Okay, so here is my kitchen after:

Don't mind my horrible photography skills. That is one talent that I definitely DO NOT have. ;) Also, try not to notice the mismatched appliances. We are working on upgrading to stainless steel. First things first, right? 

I did everything in sections, starting with the bar and the cabinet above it on the right. I left everything in the cabinets and just took the doors off. With the drawers, I pulled everything out and set stuff on the counters. Yep, it was a pain and a mess, but we lived with it. It was worth it. ;)

We ordered all our knobs on Amazon. We got a set of 25 brushed nickel knobs for $25, and a set of 10 drawer pulls for around the same price. So $50 for the hardware, and then I used 1 1/2 cans of gel stain, so maybe another $30 for that. Pretty great to get a whole new look for under $100!!

The gel stain I used was Minwax Gel Stain in Hickory. I also used those cheapo foam brushes that you can throw away after. Make sure to get a regular size and a thin one for the tight areas.

Okay, so here are the before and afters:

We really love it! If I could take better pictures it would not look so dark. haha :) It looks richer and more updated. I also LOVE the hardware! How did I live for 3 years without knobs?? 

Well, hopefully this might help you make the decision to try out gel stain if you are on the fence about doing it. I only did a light sand everywhere, and then wiped everything off with a wet rag. Then I applied 2 coats of stain, maybe a third coat in the areas that really needed it. (Waiting until each coat was completely dry before adding another one.) So far I haven't put a poly on top. When I first tried it, it wiped some of the stain off, so I am waiting to make sure it's completely set before I try again. I am not even sure I will really need it. We'll see I guess. ;)

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blue and Gold Cake - Olympic Theme

It's that time of year again - Blue and Gold Banquet for Cub Scouts!!  This is the last year I will have to make a cake, because my youngest son will turn 11 in 2 weeks!  I'm a little sad, but mostly excited. haha :)
Well, the theme this year is the Olympics!  So fun!  We decided we wanted to do torches for our cake this year.  Way easier than decorating a cake, in my opinion.  :)
We baked cupcakes in sugar cones, made little Olympic papers to wrap them in, and then just squirted frosting on top - super easy, huh?
Here's how they turned out....
Okay, the really hard part, was finding something to hold them all in.  I tried cutting holes in a disposable pan, (That was how I baked them.) but then remembered we had this handy little put-together organizer thingy.  It's a little big - not sure what that will look like on the cake table, but it saves me a HUGE headache!  Whew!

Here is how I baked them...

One little tip - DO NOT FILL THE CONES TOO FULL!!  My first batch looked like volcano cupcakes instead of torches.  Not pretty.  You will want to fill them only 1/2 way full - leave a good 2 inches or more because they seriously expand!  Also make sure they are standing straight up - that helps too.  I baked them at 325 F for about 15 minutes.
I just used a box cake mix, and a can of lemon frosting.  I added a couple drops of red food coloring in and didn't even really stir it, just scooped it into my frosting bag.  It turned out a little pinkish in spots, but it looked way better than the yellow plain.  I added red sprinkles on top and that was it!

Well that's it!  I am also in charge of a little Olympic craft, so I bought a package of large craft sticks, and I am having the boys design and decorate their own "snowboards" using markers.  I think it will be fun for them to do, and pretty easy for me!
Let the games begin!  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

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