Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Carry That Weight

A little inspiration from Gunnar . . .

Gunnar is so funny, he picks up these weights and flings them around like they're nothing! Crazy dog!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

They Say It's Your Birthday

I seem to be getting less and less crafty/creative as I get older, at least with my own ideas. I'm getting really good at replicating the creativity of others though, especially when it comes to birthdays! The two things I've tried recently come from the same awesome blog, Oh Happy Day! I decided to end my blogging hiatus by passing on these brilliant ideas because, quite frankly, they're just too good not to share.

IDEA #1: Birthday Post Cards

I had been trying for a while to come up with something fun to do for a friend's birthday for but nothing seemed quite right. I had seen this particular idea on Oh Happy Day! and wanted to wait and use it, not as a birthday thing, but as a "we think you're awesome" kind of surprise another time. The closer July got the less I wanted to wait so I went ahead and did it! Here's how it went from a thought to something tangible . . .

I found the perfect picture on the internet of a cartoon version of The Beatles and I downloaded The Beatles font to go along with it. I printed out a couple pages out and traced them onto a transparancey.

As luck would have it there is an overhead projector in the library at my church, so I used that to trace the images onto a poster board.

Then I took it home, colored it with my handy dandy Sharpies, and cut the poster into postcard sized pieces. Okay, so they were bigger than your standard postcard, but it's the same idea . . .

Then I asked people who love Chad to write on the post cards. Several of these people don't live in VA, so in order to enlist their help I sent emails explaining the idea and asking for participation. I then took the birthday greetings they sent, printed them in various handwriting fonts, and glued them on the back of the cards. I also laminated them for an added measure of security.

I sent 3 or 4 cards each day until they were gone. Ideally I would've had the whole thing ready earlier so they would have trickled into his mailbox a little slower but this worked too!

Confession: I'm always waiting for people to realize just how crazy I am and then flee as far as they can from me. So even though I was excited about the cards I was also worried they would lead to Chad's "wow, Lindsie's a nut job" moment. Luckily that was not the case. ;)

There are a couple of things I really love about this project. 1) It's super exciting to get a few cards in the mail. It's even more exciting when the person realizes that in order to complete the puzzle on the back more must be on their way. 2) It's a fun way to extend the birthday love for more than just a day.

Something risky about the project: You are relying on the postal system and things can get lost. For example, I got the following picture from Chad saying how much he loved the cards and that he thought one piece might be missing.

I would have been fine if it were a corner piece but the middle?! It felt so anti-climatic!
Thankfully it was delivered a few days later and the puzzle was complete.

I tweaked the original idea a bit, so you should check it out here. She even has a ready-made version you can use!

IDEA #2: Scavenger Hunt and Gift Wrap

Sara and I actually came up with the first part of this idea on our own. It was March and we were going to be in New York around another friend's birthday. We wanted to do something super fun and decided on a scavenger hunt. The original idea was to leave parts of the gift at several locations, give clues, and go pick them up. It wasn't too shocking to find that stores wouldn't hold strange packages for us, so we ended up writing clues for various destinations along a particular route and
bringing all the gifts with us. When we got to the locations there was a question for everyone to answer or we'd take funny pictures then hand over a gift to be saved and opened later. This way it was more than just going from one place to the next; we had fun and got to know random things about each other.

Thanks to modern technology we could even do video clues!

Sara, Ian, Chad, and me in front of the Amish Market "where you'd be most likely to find friendship bread." ;)

Now we could have just wrapped the gifts in any old paper, but we did this instead!

This is where the creativity of others came in!
I got boxes for everything and wrapped them in brown paper. Then I took various colors of yarn and tied them around the boxes. After it was sufficiently covered I trimmed the yarn down.

Some had patterns, others were random, all were awesome. It takes time but it's super easy! And really they're so cute, why would I ever want to wrap a gift any other way?

The wapping was also inspired by Oh Happy Day! It was an idea that she had seen somewhere on the interwebs and passed on to her readers. Here's her post about it.

Fun, right?!