Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Skylanders Party: Pinterest-Inspired DIY by the Elements

Skylanders Party Supplies UPrint at www.SkylandsAndBeyond.com
Skylanders Party Supplies UPrint at www.SkylandsAndBeyond.com
Start by getting a personalized Combo Kit of Skylanders Party Supplies & Birthday Invitations UPrint™ for less than $36 at 'Skylands and Beyond' in any of the Skylanders element COLORS,
of course!
UPrint files can be purchased separately, too - INSTANT PDFs $3.99 or $5.99 personalized

Personalized Combo Kit No. 3 UPrint includes (1) Invitations file (+) ANY (3) 'Party File' choices, of (6) available. See the UPrint Combo Kit Gallery for all (14) Kit Designs and (6) 'Party File' choices available.

The pin that inspired me to create 'Skylands and Beyond'.

All personalized Combo Kits UPrint come with either a 4-Ticket or an 8-Ticket 8 1/2" x 11" Invitations PDF file. A 4-Ticket PDF file with souvenir card stubs (below) yields tickets approximately 2 3/4" x 8 1/2" each. An 8-Ticket PDF file (above) yields tickets approximately 2 1/8" x 5 1/2" each. Try laminating copy paper and hole punch your tickets to attach a lanyard for full 'party portal' access. I found sets of 12 lanyards in black or blue for $7.99 (less than 67¢ each pretax) at my local office supply store.

Have your favorite bakery use the 'Cake Print' and 'Rounds' to make you an edible Skylanders photo cake and/or cupcakes! Most bakeries have edible ink printers that 'print' no larger than 8 1/2" x 11". Below are some links on how to order photo cakes from a few grocery store bakeries or check with yours for pricing and delivery information.

King Soopers     Wegmans     Publix

This was the cake we had at my kiddos party. It's a 1/2 sheet that serves approximately 30-40 people and cost $31.99 at King Soopers ($24.99 for the cake and an extra $7 for the edible ink cake print). I wanted the 'Happy 8th Birthday Jake!' to stand out more, so I redesigned it and created some for each of the Skylanders elements. Check out the (16) personalized Skylanders Photo Cake Prints I designed for $5.99 each - available at 'Skylands and Beyond'. 
This cake (another 1/2 sheet) was made with one of the (14) INSTANT Download PDF Photo Cake Prints I designed for $3.99 each - available at 'Skylands and Beyond'.
Skylanders Photo Cake Prints will also fit on 1/4 sheets which serve 12 - 20 people and start at $23.99 if you purchase from King Soopers (that includes the extra $7 for the edible ink cake print).

King Soopers will make the (12) 'Rounds' PDF into edible cupcake toppers for $8 a sheet plus the cost of the cupcakes. I paid less than $24 for 18 edible cupcakes from Kings Soopers or less than $1.34 each.

Another reason I like to order my party cake and cupcakes from the grocery store is for the convenience of one-stop shopping. While I'm picking up from the bakery, I can get anything else I may have forgotten or might need last minute, like ice or batteries. Plus, I can grab helium balloons from the floral department to complete my festive party decor!

Hang your Banners as party decorations or a Skylanders birthday morning keepsake surprise! For a durable finish, print to card stock. Then lie banners face down, approx. ½” apart to tape string, twine or even ribbon to the back for easy hanging!

Use copy paper & scotch tape to attach your label wraps or try printing to a full sticker sheet and adhere to any water bottle. Double your bottle wraps as souvenir party favor cut-outs and print to waterproof labels!

UChoose any paper, print your Round and Square Stickers, then decorate party favor boxes, bags, hats & more! Or, glue them 'together' with a toothpick or popsicle stick in between and make your own Cupcake Toppers. Cut & paste with your kiddo as a fun project/craft you can do 'together'! For souvenir Skylanders party favors, print onto a full sticker sheet or laminate copy paper.

I picked up these birthday hats and favors boxes from the $1 store. The kids really loved picking out which Skylanders hat they wanted to wear.

If you have leftover plates, cups and napkins from other parties, use them to match with any of the COLORS from the Skylanders elements (well, except pink, of course-save that for Hello Kitty!).

Here's what I did...

'Chapter 8' for his 8th Birthday to stick with the Skylanders game theme, of course!

-Tech Element: Trigger Happy Target Practice, inspired from this pin. I didn't have time to spray paint and make it fancy, but I had my kiddo make targets out of cardboard and poster board. Then we just used some toys we already had to shoot the targets and it was a 'direct hit'!

-Life & Undead Element: Stump Smash the green (balloon) chompies & Chop Chop the bone (white balloon) chompies, taken and inspired from this pin. After you blow up the balloons, store them in jumbo trash bags. This game is loud and has some clean-up, but I know from experience, the kids love it!

-Earth Element: Prism Break Terrafin's Rocks. I used the recipe provided from the same pin for the balloon chompies above. I already had the gems from Walmart she suggests using (leftover from a DIY pin of a brush holder I made) and used sand we bought from Lowe's instead of dirt from our yard, cause it was winter. We had the kiddos go outside and smash open their rocks with hammers, which they LOVED. We put 2 gems in 1 rock for an extra prize that they were all eager to look for and of course they got to keep their 'gems'. The only improvement I will try making to this wonderful, hit recipe is to add vanilla extract next time. Hopefully that will reduce the coffee smell from handling the 'rocks'.

-Fire Element: Pin Flameslinger's blindfold, blindfolded. I was inspired by this pin to purchase the poster at Walmart for $5 and have the kids pin these blindfolds, blindfolded. It was another inexpensive game they enjoyed playing.

-Air Element: Watch the birthday kiddo blow out the candles after you sing 'Happy Birthday'. This was another element inspired by this pin, except I made ours the air element instead of fire.

-Water & Magic Element: Use water to magically reveal a special 'Thank you for coming to my party' message (created with a white crayon & water color paints), inspired by this pin.

(Our 'dry-run' of the 'Water & Magic Element' party activity)
Then we had them make their own messages and pictures. And make sure to use water color paints like the pin says. I found out the hard way it matters, but the kids still had fun with it!

-Photo Booth: I didn't have this at our party, but next time I plan on setting up a photo booth so everyone can get a picture with the birthday kiddo. I'll use a $2 plastic tablecloth as the backdrop and make some fun props before-hand, like speech bubbles that say 'It's my birthday' and 'Power Up'. You can have an adult helper take the pics using a phone camera (KISS: Keep It Simple Silly!) and then share your photos with your favorite way of socializing, like Facebook, evite.com, a Google+ event...you get the PICTURE! ;-)

-Skylanders Battle Mode Tourney: We had the kiddos playing Skylanders in battle mode before and after the party games and of course, they LOVED it!! Next time I plan on having a tournament bracket (best 3 out of 5 battles advances) with top winners earning prizes and/or bragging rights.

And there you have it-a DIY Skylanders Party by the Elements, inspired by Pinterest!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Skylanders Themed Birthday Party Invitations

My oldest son's eighth birthday is fast approaching and of course we're going to have a Skylanders themed birthday party to celebrate!  Since there aren't any invitations available for sale in stores with Skylanders images, naturally I set out to make my own.  I've always been one to do things myself and this time was no different, except for one thing:  When I was done, I decided I wanted to make my hard work available for purchase by other parents who also want Skylanders themed party invitations, but don't have the time to spend 'creating' one.

I found Skylanders themed party invitations available for sale online, but mostly designed for Skylanders Spyros Adventure.  But my son wants a Skylanders Giants themed party, (and yes, there is a difference-from a 'party planning' standpoint alone, this affects what colors we'll use to decorate, as Spyros' color is green and Giants is orange).  So, I decided to stick with the popular "ticket invitation" design and here's what I ended up with:

Skylanders Party Invitations UPrint™

Initially after making these tickets, I pinned my accomplishment to Pinterest, with do-it-yourself details.  Soon after, I had an Etsy shop owner asking me about downloading them and the vision for my new business began to take form. 

So I'm combining all the things I love (technology, photography, designing, creating, my family and Skylanders) and starting my own website offering my creative designs for sale!

Check it out at www.skylandsandbeyond.com, where these 'Skylanders Party Invitations UPrint™' can be purchased for only $5.99.

I will continue to add print-it-yourself or designs UPrint as I create them.  Please take a look around and let me know what you think!

Skylanders Trip to purchase Eye Brawl turns into important safety lesson

Yesterday on our way to purchase this handsome guy, I saw a car hit a boy on a razor head-on, sending him flying 5-6 feet into the air.  It was a very frightening thing to witness and I immediately called 911.  It was a rush of emotion all at once, as I was also driving with my kiddos in the back seat, who thankfully did not see the accident.  There wasn’t any blood, he was talking and sat on the curb while he waited for help to arrive, (the latter I would have protested profusely had I been one of those surrounding him).  Although he was taken away on a stretcher and will live, he could (and probably will) have sustained injuries to his body that will cause him pain for the rest of his life.  I know this from personal experience.

Unlike the other witnesses, I probably had the ‘best angle’ (if such a thing exists in a situation like this) since it happened RIGHT IN FRONT of me.  As I was making a right-hand turn (stopped before the crosswalk looking for pedestrians, myself) the collision happened directly across from me, as the car involved was turning right to get on the street I was getting off of.  From my angle, I don’t think there’s anything I could have suggested to that boy to be safer, (in terms of crossing a busy intersection-he had a light and was using the crosswalk) other than to wear a helmet-even on a razor!  You can NEVER be too careful when it comes to your brain, I always say.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Skylanders Series 3 Stealth Elf Close Up

Skylanders Swap Force Stealth Elf-she's always been one of my favorite characters.  I like that she's dressed up in all black-very ninjia like!

Skylanders Sidekicks (Series 1)

We were lucky enough to get 1 of each of the (series 1) sidekicks.  These little guys are so cute!  They keep me company, right next to my computer.

Skylanders DIY Artwork...this photo embodies my new business endeavor

I think this photo is a good visual for my website, www.skylandsandbeyond.com.  It combines the technology (photo made with Pic Stitch and Instagram iPhone apps), photography (pics I took with my iPhone), creativity (framed modge podge puzzles), family (made for the boys) and Skylanders that I love!