Thursday, January 01, 2015

Challenge #1: Optional Theme--Father Time

Hello and Happy New Year everyone!

Welcome to The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up in its new home for 2015! We are so excited you are here.  Since this is the first time that the link up is in its new home AND it is the first time that we are introducing optional themes and sponsors' prizes, I thought it would be a good idea to explain the process.  All of this information (which includes a deeper explanation, including examples) can always be found at the top on our Challenge Details Page.

This link up is unique.  First off, anyone can link any number of holiday themed cards throughout the month with an anything goes theme.  Holiday themed means that we will accept any type of card as it relates to any recognized holiday taking place during the month of December, i.e. Chanukah, St. Lucia Day, St. Nicholaus Day, Festivus, Christmas. Kwanzaa, etc. This link up is not for other types of holidays like Easter, Valentine's Day, etc. It is strictly a means to help provide incentive to create Christmas and/or other December holiday cards.  EDIT:  We will also accept Happy New Year's cards.

A Little Incentive...

At the end of each month, every person who has linked up a MINIMUM of two (2) Christmas or holiday themed cards will be eligible to receive a specially designed Christmas themed digital paper created by Lisa Décosse from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles. On a monthly basis, we will go through and create a list of people's names and then post them on the blog in a special winner's announcement. If your name appears on the list, it will then be your responsibility to contact Lisa (instructions for how to do so will be given in the post), in order to claim your paper. That means that if you submit two cards each month, by the time that the year is done, you will have received 12 free digital papers, all for the low cost of linking up cards you need to create anyway. You do not need to use the digital paper you receive each month in your cards in order to get the next paper. They are strictly meant as incentive to participate.

 But wait there's more incentive...

Each month there will be an OPTIONAL theme to follow.  Anyone who submits a card adhering to the monthly theme, will have the chance to win a prize from that month's guest sponsor.

If you decide to follow the optional theme for a month, please be sure to add the letters "FT" after your name so that we know you followed the theme.  For example, Lisa FT.  After checking to make sure that you have indeed followed the theme, you will receive an entry into the draw for the sponsor's prize.  In order to make it fair for everyone, we will only be able to consider a maximum of three cards that have followed the theme, for the draw.

You will still be allowed to link up as many Christmas and/or holiday cards during the month that you would like, it is simply that for each card following the monthly theme, there will be a limit of three that will be considered for the draw.

...And even more...

 Every holiday card you submit to the link up, earns you one chance to win a special digital Christmas kit that will be offered up after the year is complete. This kit will include digital papers and other possible embellishments (for example: frames, buttons, brads, ribbons, flowers, wordart creations, etc.). Each section of the kit will be offered up as a prize and then the whole kit will be offered up as a grand prize. So for example, if you submit 40 cards across the whole year, you will have 40 chances to win these extra goodies. How is that for even more incentive?!

In case you are a little confused, we have provided examples of a few different scenarios to help make this a bit clearer over on the Challenge Details Page.


The rules are simple and similar to what you would find on most challenge blogs:
  • You must enter a card.  The goal of this challenge is to help you keep ahead with your Christmas cards so other types of creations (tags, scrapbook pages, altered items, etc.) will not be accepted. 
  • You can enter as many times as you would like to enter as long as each entry is with a new project.  No backlinking.  Just remember the more you enter the better your chance will be of winning the kit that will be handed out at the end of the year. 
  • If you decide to follow along for the optional theme during a month, once again you can make as many cards as you want following the theme but only a maximum of three entries will qualify for the draw for that month's prize from a guest sponsor.  You must add 'FT' after you name so we know which cards to add to the random draw for the sponsor's prize.
  • You can combine your entry with as many other challenges as you would like to combine it with.
  • You can use any image from any company that you would like. You don't need to use the digital paper that you may receive each month (if you upload a minimum of two cards) in order to qualify to receive the next month's paper. Of course, I would love to see a card created using one of these papers and there just might be an extra bonus for those who do.  You just never know!
  • Make sure when entering your project that you mention The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up in your post with a link back to this blog.
  • Please remember to link directly to your blog post where we can see your creation, and not just the generic link to your blog. Generic blog links will be disabled or deleted.
  • To qualify to receive the free digital paper for the month, you must link up two cards no later than 11:55 p.m. on the last day of the month.

Challenge #1 Details and DT Projects

Now that the basics are out of the way, how about we get on with the details of our very first challenge for 2015!

Challenge #1 (January 1 to January 31, 2015) -- Optional Theme:  Father Time
A new year means starting the clock over. A TIME for new beginnings. TIME to make all those Christmas Cards you will need in December. So don't put away your holiday stash quite yet, it is TIME to start The 12 months of Christmas Link Up.

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your card has something time related on it.  If you do follow the optional theme, be sure to add FT after your name so that we include you in the draw for the prize.

Remember, you don't need to follow the theme to link up your cards and earn a free paper each month and have your name thrown into the year end draw for some extra digital goodies.  You only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win this month's sponsored prize of a $10.00 gift certificate from Limited Runs.

Talking about Limited Runs, how about we get to know them a little bit better...
Limited Runs has a LARGE calorie free sweet shoppe filled with over 120 different cupcakes, something for almost every occasion. It's not all cupcakes there are tons of  Christmas, Halloween, Backgrounds, Fairies, Critters and More to see. The store has gone through a re-vamp with new digital stamps added in all the time so pop in an take a look around things. Everyone knows you can't enjoy a cupcake without a coffee so there is a place to even pick up a cuppa. There's always a little something for everyone to enjoy and grab the monthly freebie so you can sample before you buy and add to your collection.
Check out all the fabulous images that the Sleigh Belles got to work with this month for the start of the challenge. You'll get to see the images that the Merry Maidens worked with at the midway.  Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to the page they are located on in the Limited Runs store...

Father Time (section: Christmas 1-10)
Snow Globe Set (section: Christmas 71-80)

Santa's Head (section: Christmas 61-70)

Little Tree (section: Christmas 11-20)

Santa This Way Cupcake (section: PreColoured Digis PC4)

While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called A Matter of Time, based on the theme for this challenge.  Check out the preview...
Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of January will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set.  The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post.

Have your say in determining which colour will be offered to those who link up a minimum of two cards this month by completing the poll in the sidebar on the top right hand side.

Now check out what the Sleigh Belles came up with to inspire you.  I (Lisa) also had the chance to make a card for the start of the challenge.  Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards...

So what are you waiting for? It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for January.  Whether you choose to link up two Anything Goes themed cards simply to earn your free paper this month, or you choose to also follow the theme to have a chance at the sponsor's prize, it is completely up to you!

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab and all the details you need to know in order to participate, in the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

We have a packed month so Monica and I hope to see you back with us soon!
  • Join us on January 8th when we'll publish the names of the people who earned the free paper for December.  As the link up for December cards are over on my personal blog which was the original home for The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up, I'll also post the names there.  We'll also publish the winners of the candy during that same post.
  • Next, be sure to join us on January 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!
  • Then on January 23rd, Monica will be back to share another holiday tradition with you all.
  • Other special posts may be published throughout the month.  Be sure to sign up to have our posts delivered by email or follow us through Bloglovin' so you don't miss a thing!

Each month we'll include a summary of details for the particular challenge taking place.  If you are new, please be sure to familiarize yourself with all the details and rules in the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page.  Please note that dates and times listed below are for this particular challenge only:
  • Cards for this challenge will be accepted from 6:00 p.m. (18:00 hrs), January 1st - 11:55 p.m. (23:55 hrs), January 31st, 2015.  
  • You need to link up a minimum of two (2) Christmas or holiday themed cards each month in order to qualify to receive that month's digital paper.
  • You can link up as many holiday themed cards as you want; HOWEVER, if you decide to follow the optional theme of FATHER TIME (see specific details above), only a maximum of three (3) entries will qualify for the draw for this month's $10.00 gift certificate from Limited Runs.  You must add 'FT' after you name so we know which cards to add to the random draw for the sponsor's prize.
  • The winners and top picks for Challenge #1 will be announced on February 8th in a special post.

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Link Up Below:


Pat said...

Wow, lots of inspiration from the SLeigh Belles! This is going to be a great yer!!

KT Fit Kitty said...

Your DT samples look amazing! Thank you for your first challenge! Hope to play along! Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

CraftyGirl said...

First time entering! Happy New Year!! Such a fun Challenge. See you next time and thank you so much for having a great challenge blog! :-)



KT Fit Kitty said...

Dear Lisa and Monica, I have a question. I've read all the rules and that made me wonder if New Year's is considered a December holiday for your contest. I didn't see it listed. I am planning to make at least one Happy New Year card and this would also go along with your Father Time theme. I will wait to hear before making my card and joining in your challenge. Thanks!

Bad Kitty said...

great cards from DT

Crafting Vicky said...

Congrats on the new challenge!!! It's looking gorgeous! Fabulous cards from the DT :)

Tiggerscraps said...

Thank you for doing this again!! I am having fun with this!

Patty Albertson said...

First time linking up, had a great time! Beautiful cards!