Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sonofagun No. 2s Minecraft Party: All the fun & free downloads


creeper decoration
I'm resurfacing into the real world after being immersed in Minecraft for the past 3 weeks.

I don't play Minecraft, and didn't know much about it apart from the fact there was no extreme violence, F bombs or naughty stuff.

Just building blocks, falling in lava and cutting up cows. Good wholesome family fun!

So when I realized Sonofagun No.2s birthday was looming, I made the decision to have a home party with a Minecraft theme and jumped on the interwebs with credit card in hand ready to buy ALL OF THE THINGS to make the backyard look Minecrafty.

And quickly popped the card back in the purse as there was only a limited range of boring things and they cost ALL OF THE DOLLARS.

So I sat and thunk and looked at the interwebs and the Pinterest and decided to make stuff myself.

I decorated using printable ingredients pictures, painted blocks and minecraft food labels.

We played Pin the Tail on the Enderdragon, a Scavenger Hunt and Pass the parcel (an oldie but a goodie).

I had several grand wonderous theories and imaginings.

1. It would be a waaaay cheaper option over our alternative choice of Laser Tag.

2. It would be a great way of getting the Sonofaguns involved in helping to make decorations. You know that thing where all the kids help and have fun crafting and painting etc?

3. Sonofagun No.2 would have the best time with all his friends over in a big glorified playdate where they'd run around the yard like crazies having the time of their birthday lives.

Only one of these things came true.

1. It did end up being more expensive than Laser Tag but not by much.

2. Sonofagun No.2 initially helped with about 20 minutes of block painting. Then got bored and went to play on the swings. Then came back and told me the blocks looked nothing like Grass Blocks. Then went and rode his bike. Then came back and told me that the current block looked nothing like cobblestone and I should give up. Then Sonofagun No.1 came outside.

He looked at my efforts and asked in his deep 15 year old voice, "Soooo what exactly are you trying to make?"

"Minecraft blocks Honey! This one's a cobblestone block, that's a grass block and those other 2 are going to be TNT."

"Riiiiiigghhhhht. If you think so." he says looking doubtful.

Now I know I am not a painter. I'm kind of slapdash and mildly crap at it. But I was definitely hoping for a little more encouragement than that!

3. Despite enduring 3 weeks of "my friends will think it's dumb" (srsly?!? where do they get that negative attitude from?), Sonofagun No. 2 and his friends had a riotous, fun time.

So if you are planning a Minecraft Party, here’s how I went about setting up mine. It was all very homemade.  I drew A LOT of inspiration from the interwebs. So what I’m going to do in this post is show you what I made, include links to websites where I found ideas or inspirations, and also include free printables to download of things I created in case you’d like to make it yourself! 



The Decorations

Boxes

A TNT block, lapis ore, cobblestone and grass block


I painted approximately 30 boxes in Minecraft blocks styles.

I was able to get free boxes which were being thrown out for recycling.

Between the 2 of us, Bear and I had about 10 cans of spray paints from old projects, and I also went to my local hardware shop Bunnings. New sample pots normally range from $5-9 and you can make them in whichever colour you like.  I went to the reject trolley where they sell paints that are made up, then people don't want because they change their mind and was lucky enough to get a range of browns, greens and a white.
Spray paints normally retail for $3-9.
I found normal paint with a roller brush would paint 5-6 boxes. A can of spray paint would only do 2 ½ boxes.
I didn’t treat the painted items with anything afterwards as I figured they will either all get recycled or with any luck, sell on Ebay for a dollar!
Lapis and redstone blocks

As soon as the kids arrived, they’d yell, “Wow! TNT!” or “Check out the cobblestone blocks!” And had the best time building walls and forts, then knocking them down. Yes, it took a bit of time and effort but seeing the kids playing “real Minecraft” in the back yard was SOOOOO WORTH IT!

TNT!!

This was dead easy. With some of our leftover red spray paint, I sprayed 2 boxes completely with 2 light to medium coats (to minimize paint dripping).

Once the paint was dry, I printed TNT signs from the computer. As I have a basic printer which only prints A4 size paper, I did have to cut out extra pieces of paper for the corners but you can’t really tell.

The largest font in the program I used  (Microsoft Publisher) was 99 and I used landscape layout. If you’d like the basic TNT wording to print for your boxes, then it’s right here.

Each A4 sheet prints 2 TNT labels. You only need to cut along the centerline. I was able to then print 2 sheets per box. I then glued them on with school paste (known as Clag in Kangarooland!).

The Creeper

Now here’s a Minecraft Creeper.
minecraft
Image courtesy of minecraft.wikia.com

And here’s my poor Mr Creeper.

Yes. Ok. Let’s not dwell on it.

However the kids loved bashing the crap outta this guy.

Creeper Balloons

Now I don't want to seem like a cheapskate. This idea was just a very last minute flash of: "Crap! I should have bought balloons!
And there are no Minecraft balloons to be found anywhere on the day before a party! So I picked up cheap green balloons from a department store, a black sharpie, and did this while watching the X- Files...



The Food Table

I was inspired by this website that I found via Pinterest called Catch My Party which has loads of wonderful free printables. A huge thank you to them!!!  I printed off their wonderful food labels and placed them on in front of each of the bowls or plates. In some instances, I edited the picture and words to suit my own choices. I sourced the extra food images from the internet and most of them came from: http://www.minecraftforum.net/ and http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Minecraft_Wiki

The food was:


Minecraft Food

 Image

Real Food

Melon
 




Watermelon

Strawberries
 


Strawberries

Golden Apples
 


Cheezels

Steak
 

Party Pies & Sausage rolls

Sticks

 



Vegetarian Cocktail Spring Rolls

Gems
 

Jelly lollies

Potatoes
 


Potato Chips (aka Crisps)

Potions




Juice Punch

Fish
 

Fish Shaped Savoury biscuits

Cookies




Choc Chip Bickies

The Sonofaguns told me that there were no strawberries in Minecraft so I wasn’t completely true to the game. But when I Googled Minecraft food, there were images of strawberries?

The Interwebs lied to me. I know! I can’t believe it either. L

I simply filled a big Punch Jar with a juicey, fizzy punch and used red cups with dodgily written TNT labels. It was so cool to hear the boys declare they needed to rejuvenate with some more potion, then fill up their cups, or tell each other to have some golden apples or sticks.

I also used these food images to print on A4 sheets of paper so they were about 5-7cm square. I pasted the paper images onto card for firmness, then Super BFF the Blonde Bombshell cut them out and punched a hole in the top. Then Sonofagun hung them up in the trees.  The kids thought the red apple images in the trees were ‘cool’.

Kids: Think cardboard red apples in the tree are awesome. Not interested in the real live lemons actually growing on the same tree. Go figure…
If you would like to cut out and hang up the food images or even make into bunting, I have made a rough PDF of various images here. All the images were sourced from the Minecraft Forums and Minecraft Wikia page listed above and are free source images.

The Cake

Sooo do you remember last week when I was doubtful about whether I would bake because I don’t bake? Well I outsourced. I found a well regarded local cake shop. I walked in expecting to simply ask them to bake a plain square cake which I could decorate. I showed the lady a picture of a Minecraft cake just to show her what I intended to do.

Cake Lady says, “Oh a Minecraft Cake! We’ve made plenty of those. Would you like some advice on decorating it? Or we could make it for you?” trying hopefully for an upsell.

Amazona replies, “Yes. Yes please. Just do it all. And I love you.”

I incorporated the Scavenger Hunt game with the Cake.

Now I had found lots of Minecraft Scavenger Hunt ideas on the Pinterest. Then I came up with the idea of having a scavenger hunt to find the ingredients for Minecraft cake. I thought I was a pretty clever cookie!  In writing this post, I thought I should go on the google and search for 'Minecraft cake scavenger hunt'. Turns out it has been done before L .
Is there nothing new in this world anymore?!?!?!

Ah well. There are loads of ideas but this is how I did it. I printed lots of pieces of wheat, milk buckets, sugar and eggs. I pasted them onto card for firmness. Then The BB Emmas cutting and hole punching duties were called upon again. Sonofagun No. 1 then hid them in obvious places around them backyard.

I gave them boys a piece of paper with a picture of a crafting table and the ingredients list.  The first child to find all the ingredients was given a prize. I also had one printed card with the Golden Apple for an additional prize.

Once the Scavenger Hunt for the cake was finished we had cake!

If you’d like to do the same, here is what the finished item looks like.


However when you download and print the PDF, there will be no nasty white writing over it!

I used the freely available images from the websites listed above to copy and paste onto pieces of A4 paper, which I printed off. Here is a PDF file if you would like to do the same.
The PDF has one page of the crafting table and a list of required ingredients so print 1 copy of page 1 for each child.
Page 2 has 6 sugars. Each child must collect 2 of each.
Page 3 has 6 wheat. Each child must collect 3 of each.
Page 4 has 6 eggs.  Each child must collect one of these.
Page 5 has 6 buckets of milk. Each child must collect 3 of these.
So count your kids, do your maths and then you should be able to work out how many to print off of each page.
Then when the Scavenger Hunt was over, we brought out the cake:


Pin The Tail on the Enderdragon

I simply copied a freely available image of an Ender Dragon from this website. I pasted the image into Microsoft Publisher. I then copied a section of the tail which I pasted multiple times onto other pages and printed the pages at my local office supplies shop (Officeworks) on A2 paper which cost $4.

Here’s a PDF file if you'd like to print one out.

Now for the party favours!

Instead of sending Sugar Filled/fueled kids home with bags of more sugar, I made Enderman tshirts for each child.

What do you need?

1 x A4 sheet of DARK t-shirt transfer paper (for 16 pairs of eyes which will make 16 tshirts)

A colour printer

A t-shirt for each child.

I copied these eyes which once again I found as a free image from the interwebs in Microsoft Publisher. I altered the image until it was the size I wanted, then copied and pasted it to fill an A4 page. This gave me 16 pairs of eyes.
Here is a free printable for an A4 page of Enderman Eyes.

Cut out all the eyes from the printed sheet. Then follow the instructions in the transfer paper pack to iron the images on to the fabric.
The Iron gets it's annual dust off. You can see in this picture the Enderman Eyes PDF that you can print off.
Don’t iron for longer than advised or the transfer will look all melty.

Melty eyes are not sexy.

Also be aware that these transfers don’t last as long as good quality screen printed tshirt images.

I packed them into gift boxes with a few glow in the dark sticks (leftover from Sonofagun No.1s neon party). Once again the kids loved them!

The cost per child was cheap:

Organic cotton t-shirt: $5

Giftbox: 50c

Glow sticks from a bulk pack: 20c

And if 1 transfer sheet was $2, then 1/16th is 12.5 cents!

So despite the fact that today I feel extremely tired, the party was so much fun and the boys all had a ball. The Bear brought along a 3m x 3m jumping castle, the Blonde Bombshell (who is over so often jumping in to help, hang out and co-parent that Sonofagun No.2 often just calls her 'mum' as well!) helped with food and drinks and we had water balloon fights and I got to catch up and chat with some of the other lovely mums and dads.
What happens after a Craze of 7 year olds run riot with cardboard boxes for 2 hours.
Looks like he's boxed in. BOXED IN! Get it? Hahahahahahahah ha ha ha. Yeah.
Not very punny. 
At least he had a blast.

 If you'd like to have a look and print any of the PDF I've included through this post, feel free to download and print as many as you'd like!
For a recap of them:
And the Food Labels can be found at Catch My Party.

I hope some of these ideas help you with your party as much as many other websites mentioned here inspired mine!

Monday, 15 February 2016

The Red Haired Amazona doesnt bake. Much.

Life has started to return to it's normal routine now that the Sonofaguns and I have returned to work and school.
Sunny Jim and I spent lots of time together over summer. This is our happy photo


And this is the photo where he just made the cute little chirp that I've learnt means "I luv you. Now I'm going to nip you so hard it leaves a welt."
It feels good to be back. I had grand plans for the holidays of taking the boys on trips out and about and of using my free time to make more crochet tutorial videos, blog posts, create and write up patterns.
I did make a few vids and faffed around with yarn. I even tweaked a few bits and pieces on the blog but nothing MOMENTOUS!
We did make a trip to the Motherships but apart from the occasional movie, that was it. We were all just tired from a busy year and truth be told, I was happy plonking around doing not much, and so were the boys.

The funny thing is, since returning to work, I've made a few new things and started writing up 2 new patterns. Even after posting my Dapper Apple Cosy last week!



I have almost finished my neon gingham cushion cover.
I plan on releasing this pattern in the next couple of weeks in my Etsy and Ravelry shops and including a few different letter combos so you can put a couple of different words on the cushion.



I also felt inspired to make a little Kawaii Amigurumi Cupcake.


I think he's rather sweet!

I played around with trying to do a swirly icing effect but couldn't get it right. But I'm quite happy with a simple top as the cupcake case has a textured effect. It was the perfect excuse to use more beads!

Now I am also getting geared up for Sonofagun No.2s birthday party. He's having a Minecraft party!

I've been inspired by loads of ideas on the Pinterest. I have started painting and spray painting boxes to look like Minecraft bricks to put outside.

I already have collected about 25 boxes with more on the way.

Here's what I managed to do in just a few short hours this afternoon. Unfortunately I ran out of green and red. But they were the cheap $3 cans from the local hardware shop so easy to get some more. The boxes don't look like much yet as they're not finished.
Gratuitous box pic
I wanted the boys to take the Minecraft experience outside. AWAY from screens! So I have plans for a few Minecraft inspired outdoor games.

I also have to bake a cake.

It may be a Minecraft style cake which may involve some weird food thingo called FONDANT.

Apparently it's a thing. I wouldn't know as generally cakes come in pretty boxes from the shops.

Or I could pike out and slather green icing and random black food thingos on a prebought slab of chocolate cake to look like a Creeper.

Because I don't bake. I can cook dinners. And make sandwiches. I am also very adept at making coffee and pouring wine. But I try my best not to bake.



It involves a level of adulting that I'm not very keen on. Like shaving my legs every week. I don't really have to, I probably should because everybody else thinks it's important. TV and the interwebs try and tell me I'd be a more desirable member of the Lady World. But no.

And for those of you who are still sputtering at the thought of any of my lady leg hairs then calm your farm. I am a redhead. Our leg hairs are transparent. They are like glistening invisible webs of nothingness. If I was predisposed to trot down the street in a miniskirt, you could count four or five random ones sticking out at weird angles on my pasty white leg skin which hasn't seen sun since 1998.


So my lovelies, I'll leave you with that wonderous thought!