The unveiling

So for about 5 weeks, I struggled with ideas and execution on Eric’s birthday present. I knew I wanted to make him a board game because he loves board games, but I wasn’t sure how to create game play that could capture all of the facets of his personality, his life, and our life together. I toyed with the idea of a card game, a board game similar to Monopoly, and I got frustrated enough to stop thinking about it for a while, which was a bit unfortunate.

Finally I realized that I had an old copy of Trivial Pursuit that we never play, and the format was clear. I would create a trivia game with questions about Eric!

The only problem was that I wanted to unveil the game at his dad’s war gaming club, and not everyone there knows enough about Eric to do well, and I didn’t want it to be boring for people. In answer, I made one category about Eric specifically, and the others would be about things he likes, so I ended up with one category about Eric, one for entertainment (music, games, etc), one for general history, one for arts and literature, one for the Packers, and one for war history.

The biggest challenge was the trivia part. I spent weeks coming up from work and scouring the interwebs for good trivia. It was exhausting. I managed to put together 50 cards with each of the categories, which amounts to 300 questions. I hand wrote all of them, too, in tiny letters, so they would fit on the playing-card sized paper.

The code card and trivia cards. A 6 hour labor of love.

I spent so much time on the cards that I almost ran out of time to decorate the box. Even that has a great story. I had decided to do minimal changes, so I called the game “The Trivial Pursuits of Eric”; I simply added the letters and words I needed to the box.

After I had changed the title and put a picture of Eric on the cover, it seemed a little empty on top, so I decided to name it the “30th Anniversary Edition.” Easy! I used the same Sharpie I had used on the rest of it, but sometimes when you’ve been awake since 4am, things kind of run together, and I ended up with “30th Anniverary” instead.

No problem! I cut out a star burst of yellow construction paper and wrote it on there, then used Mod Podge to decoupage it onto the box.

Oh wait, though. When the construction paper got wet, it began to bend, and I ended up with a lump in the center where it hadn’t stuck to the box. I discovered this before the adhesive dried, luckily, and I attempted to flatten it. But in doing so, the ink of the marker smudged.

I took the whole star burst off, but the outline was still there.

My final answer (geez, this is even longer typed out than I thought…this is good, though. It gives a great feeling for what I went through) was to paint the star burst shape with the same bronze metallic paint I used on my dad’s clock and re-write the title. I retitled it “30th Anniversary Bronze Edition”, and it was done!

And I finished it all with literally one minute to spare. I completed the last card and put the cover on the game just before Eric got home from work last Friday. We left that afternoon for Grayling to visit the folks up north and attend GWC, where I would unveil the game!

Alas, we did not get to play the game at club, but I did give it to Eric, and he was a fan. Since we didn’t get to play, I asked him all the trivia questions on the drive home on Sunday. He actually missed some of the ones about himself, which I thought was great.

Eric’s displayed the box on his game shelf! Hooray!

To be honest, I feel a little crappy that we didn’t get to play it, like somehow it’s not as cool a gift since we skipped the whole game play part, which was sort of the point. But I’ll make it up to him. Next week, on the actual day, I don’t have to work, and he has an early day, so I’m thinking I’ll set up a board game to play for when he gets home. Of course, we also have an appointment with the bank that day to start talking about home loans and all that jazz.

Regardless, it all worked out, and I have a lot of crafting ahead of me! But for today, I’m just going to watch the Avengers again.

Zoe is going to watch it, too!


Asphyxiation: what a yarn

I have kept quiet about some recent developments in one of those superstitious attempts to not jinx things. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s worked because I haven’t heard back yet anyway. All week, I’ve felt as though I were holding my breath, and with a holiday weekend upon us, I think the silence is all the answer I need.

No sense in keeping it all in now.

About two weeks ago, I applied for a job with Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids doing, essentially, what I was doing for Goodwill in Seattle before I moved to Arkansas and began my rather sad attempt at teaching. I was very excited about it; so was my former boss, Tim, who called them and said “Hey, you know, she did great things for our Goodwill. You should hire her.”

I had a phone interview, and then last week I had an in-person interview. When I left they suggested I would hear back by the end of the week. Here we are, almost end of the day on Friday before a holiday, and I am thinking I won’t be hearing from them. I called a couple of hours ago to follow up; no answer.

So to distract myself, I am watching Doctor Who (I know, right? A shock!) and working on knitting. I haven’t touched knitting needles in about 8 years, so rusty is too kind a term.

I have tried twice to get a row or two done, but the cast is all wrong. I am looking at new ways to cast, so that perhaps I will have more success. In the meantime, Zoe has greatly been enjoying the presence of yarn in the house. I’ll get back to the knitting as soon “End of Time” is over. 😦 Oh, 10th Doctor.

Spidey Senses

I am in full geek out mode lately, it seems. And now I have about two yards of extra Spider Man fabric.

At first, I danced with the idea of making a skirt because, well, they are easy, and I’ve done it before. What kind of blogger would I be if I only did stuff I felt comfortable with, though? I like to think that half of the fun is getting see the pictures of 135 inches of fabric splayed out on my floor because I asked for 4 yards instead of 4 feet.

So instead, I’m going the bag route.

I don’t do purses in general. I have used a grand total of 6 purses in my life time, and 6 of them were used before I really had anything worth carrying in a purse.

However, my thinking is this: I work in a craft store that required bag checks every day as we leave. Currently, I have a bag with umpteen thousand pockets, and it is kind of a pain to go through when I’m just trying to get home to craft. I need a simpler bag to bring to work that can hold my wallet, lunch, and phone with no problems. I am told these are generally called “tote bags”, so that is what I’m going for.

Most of them are made with canvas. I could go buy canvas. But I have a boatload of fabric upstairs and sitting on the dining room table, so that just seems silly.

Instead, I’ll be doing this project. FYI, it is through a website to which I am already subscribed, so it might ask you to subscribe. Suffice it to say, it’s a tote bag. And it doesn’t require canvas, thus my previous mini-rant.

In other news, I am working on a last minute bit to add to my brother’s Super Birthday Project, but I will keep it under wraps until I reach a decision. I also still have to make that valance.

Work might be getting even MORE hectic soon, but I will soldier on. So many craft projects and so little time! I apologize for this cop out post.

Also, because I don’t say it enough, thank you to all you folks who have subscribed to my blog. I spend most of my life feeling like I’m talking to myself, so it’s nice to know that at least a small handful of folks in the world are amused by my…well, trials and tribulations as well as successes. So thank you for sharing them with me, and I hope you enjoy!