Thursday, September 01, 2016

Challenge #21: Optional Theme...The NATURE of Christmas

Hello and welcome to The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up.  It is the first day of September and that means it is time for our next challenge to get started! 

Here is what you need to know...

The Basics

While you can find out ALL the information you need to know in order to participate in the challenge by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page (or by clicking HERE), here is a refresher of the basics.
  • Anyone can link up as many Christmas and/or December holiday themed cards (including Happy New Year's cards) throughout the month with an ANYTHING GOES theme.
  • Every person who has linked up a MINIMUM of two (2) cards will be eligible to receive a specially designed Christmas themed digital paper.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Now that the basics are out of the way, how about we get on with the details of Challenge #21.

Challenge #21

Optional Theme: The NATURE of Christmas

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you,
because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places”
~Roald Dahl

Before Christmas came in a box—store displays going up in August, made-for-TV movies with frequent holiday-themed advertisements, online shopping—before the commercialization of the holiday… 

…there were family outings in search of the perfect pine tree, strings of popcorn and cranberries ready to hang on that perfect tree, and decorations made from holly leaves and pine cones. Sometimes the best way to capture Christmas is to turn your face away from the TV, the computer, your phone, and watch the magic of Christmas unfold outside your windows. We’d like you to remember the Nature of Christmas with our newest challenge. Show us woodland scenes, snowfall, winter animals—whatever flora or fauna brings out the natural beauty of the holiday and inspires you to create. 

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your card has some sort of outdoor nature element in the design. Examples include: scene of trees, forest, river, birds, woodland animals, etc. Whatever element you choose must be flora or fauna (i.e. botanical or animal related). 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 $15 gift certificate to the Sparkle N Sprinkle store.

Check out the amazing images that the team worked with this month for the start of the challenge. Clicking on any of the image watermarks will take you to their page in the Sparkle N Sprinkle store where each of these images can be found.

Holiday Greetings product_info.php?cPath=250_ 207_242&products_id=8002

Christmas Poinsettia product_info.php?cPath=250_ 207_242&products_id=7819

A Winter Wonderland
A Winter Wonderland - Digital Stamp
While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called The Nature of Christmas.  Check out the preview...

Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of August will earn ONE of the digital papers from this set. The specific paper up for grabs will be shown during the winner announcement post. Additionally, one random winner will earn the full set of papers.

Have your say in determining which paper 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. Please note that I will probably be late in getting the new poll up as I won't be home when this post goes live.

Now check out what the Sleigh Belles came up with to inspire you. 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 September! 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 optional 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 as usual; so, Pat and I and the rest of the gang hope to see you back with us soon!
  • Join us on September 8th, when we hope to publish the names of the winners and top picks from Challenge #19. 
  • Then, be sure to join us again on September 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!
  • Then during the third week of September, we'll hopefully be back here to share a Christmas tradition and/or recipe with you.
  • 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), September 1st - 11:55 p.m. (23:55 hrs), September 30th, 2016.  
  • If you wish to receive the free digi paper being offered up for this month, you need to link up a minimum of two (2) Christmas or holiday themed cards
  • This is NOT a progressive challenge.  You can jump in at any time.
  • You can link up as many holiday themed cards as you want as long as each entry is with a new project.  HOWEVER, if you decide to follow the optional theme of The NATURE of Christmas (see specific details above), only a maximum of three (3) entries will qualify for the draw for this month's prize of a $15 gift certificate to the Sparkle N Sprinkle store.  You must add 'FT' after you name so we know which cards to add to the random draw for the sponsor's prize.
  • No backlinking.
  • 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. Only permalinks are accepted.

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Link Up Below:


CraftyGirl said...

Always a fun challenge. Great inspiration from the team!! Thanks



KT Fit Kitty said...

I like this theme a lot! Your DT samples are absolutely gorgeous! I haven't joined here in a while but I'm back this month! Loving your digi papers too - I voted for the tree scene - absolutely love it! I make a lot of scene cards and it would be awesome for a winter scene! Will wait eagerly to see how the votes go! Thanks for a fun challenge!

Donna Ellis said...

Wow! I love the way the DT has used this set! And the new papers look amazing with it! You've done so much hard work on your challenge, and the DT always does a fantastic job, too! I have a confession to make - I found your challenge after making my card. It just so happened, that I added an element of nature to my card, but it is not the focal point. Therefore, I completely understand if it does not meet the criteria. Please let me know if you need to remove it - I'll understand, honestly, LOL I added it based on some of the other submissions LOL (I always laugh when I am nervous). Anyway, thanks again for your caring attitude toward the players! hugs, de

ionabunny said...

Hello, hello, my first visit here. So glad to have found you. Hope to be back soon with more christmas merriment. Hugz

Decosse's Dynamite Doodles said...

Thank you so much ladies for all your lovely comments. Welcome Ionabunny. So glad you found us! So happy to have the rest of you joining us again this month.

Donna-First off we'd never delete an entry. Remember that you can add ANY kind of Christmas card you want, you only need to follow the theme if you want a chance to win the prize from our sponsor. As far as your card goes, it has lots of nature elements throughout--your background paper appears to have pine boughs, you have some embossed leaves on one panel, plus the beautiful scene overlooking the woods so no worries at all. You've got nature covered.


TracyM #6773 said...

I'm an new follower, thrilled to be joining your challenges while making progress with my Christmas cardmaking :)

TracyM #6773 said...

PS - I voted for the beautiful birch trees ... they make a MAGICAL background