Sunday, May 31, 2015

Design Team Changes

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well on this lovely Sunday evening.  I am popping in to let you know of a change within our design team.

Unfortunately, we have lost Sue K. to some technology difficulties.  We enjoyed having Sue as part of the team and she will be missed.  I ask that you join me in wishing Sue the absolute best as she moves forward.

Now Sue's departure does not mean that the Sleigh Belles are going to be a member down. Thankfully, Monica was able to convince someone that she knew, to join up with our merry little band of card makers.  So, I am very happy to announce that Sharon, from Mollie Moo's Crafty Place is now officially part of The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up team.  Sharon is looking forward to getting a jump start on her holiday cards!  She does beautiful work and we are so lucky to have her as part of our team.  Let's get to know her a bit, shall we?
 I am a stay at home Mom originally from England but moved to USA 16 months ago. I have 2 gorgeous children, A Shitzhu fur baby who is my shadow and I am married to my best friend who loves nothing more than indulging me in my passion of card making. I have been crafting since I was a child and started card making 16 years ago when my son was born. Now I like nothing better than spending my free time in my craft room stamping coloring and creating!
Please join us in welcoming Sharon to the team. You will get to see Sharon's first creation in less than 24 hours as she officially comes on board for the start of Challenge #6 which begins tomorrow.   To visit Sharon beforehand, just click on her name above.

Well, that is it for now folks.  I hope that we'll see you sometime this month in the link up.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow to find out all the details regarding our next challenge!

See you all again then!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Holiday Tradition: Kwanzaa

While Kwanzaa may not have a long history, it is a week long celebration which is held in the United States, Canada and other nations of the Western African diaspora. It is observed from December 26th - January 1st.

It was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach, which incidentally is my alma mater . The holiday was created after the Watts riots as a way to bring African-Americans together.

Kwanzaa celebrates the seven principals of Kwanzaa (the seven principals of African Heritage.) Each of the seven days is dedicated to one of the following principals:

  • Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  • Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  • Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  • Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  • Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  • Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  • Imani (Faith): To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Households are decorated with objects of Art and women wear colorful African cloth in celebration and to give gratitude to their ancestors during this time of celebration. The ceremony includes drumming and musical selections, the reading of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness.

The holiday gives African-Americans a way to incorporate and celebrate elements of their ethnic heritage into holiday observances and celebrations of Christmas.

unknown. (unknown). Kwanzaa. Available: Last accessed 05/18/2015.
unknown. (unknown). Kwanzaa. Available: Last accessed 05/18/2015.
Reprinted with permission from

Friday, May 15, 2015

Challenge #5: Midway...Christmas Critters

Hello everyone! We have reached the midway point of Challenge #5.  It is time to see what the Merry Maidens have been up to with their images from Deedee's Digis, our guest sponsor this month!  Be sure to also check out the samples from Deedee's Digis guests (featured below the Merry Maidens) as there is a link to a freebie over in the shop right now until May 21st!

Check out all the sweet images that the Merry Maidens got to work with this month for the mid point of the challenge.   In order to accommodate the new EU VAT regulations, Deedee has had to divide her store into two sections.  I've included links below each image for both sections of the Deedee's Digis store.  Please be sure to click on the respective link for the area you live in.

NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

 NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

  NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

  NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

  NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

  NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

While team members had the option of working with any of my Décosse's Dynamite Doodles papers, I did create a special set called Christmas Critters, based on the theme for this challenge.  Check out the preview...
Everyone who links up a minimum of two cards during the month of May 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.
Now check out what the Merry Maidens came up with to inspire you.  Once again, Edwina had the time to make two!  Monica, my Co-coordinator, also had the chance to make a card for the midway of the challenge.  Additionally we are lucky enough that some of the gang from Deedees Digis also wanted to share some of their creations with us.  Clicking on the names will take you to the individual blogs where you can check out the details for all these wonderful cards...

 Guests From Deedee's Digis Design Team

You can get "Jingle All the Way" featuring Oscar the Cat and his little friend Felix for FREE in the Deedee's Digis shop up until Thursday, May 21, 2015. 

Both Faith and Donna from the Deedee's Digis team used images from this set on their cards.

(Also used paper from the set below that Marji used!)

 NON EU residents click HERE; EU residents click HERE.

So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for?   It is time to link up your Christmas and other holiday cards for May.  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!

Here is a refresher of the details for this challenge...

Optional Theme:  Christmas Critters
Cute penguins, fluffy bears, and raucous reindeer, oh my! Christmas is such a fun time of year. Even the animals around us get in on the act--with a little help from us of course. This month's challenge is all about the furry, fluffy and feathered critters that entertain us during the holidays.

In order to have a chance to win the prize from our wonderful guest sponsor this month, make sure that your card showcases an animal suitable for a holiday card. The animal can be part of your image, your paper or even your embellishments.  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 $25.00 gift certificate from Deedee's Digis.

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab.  As this is a unique kind of link up where we have both an anything goes Christmas option and an optional theme to follow, be sure to read all the details and rules you need to know in order to participate, by checking out the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).
You can find the Challenge Details Summary along with the link up for Challenge #4 by clicking HERE.

 Don't Forget...

  • Be sure to join us on May 23rd, when Monica will be back to share another holiday tradition with you all.
  • Next up it will be time for our new challenge to start on June 1st.
  • Then, the winners from Challenge #5 will be posted on June 8th.
  • 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!

We look forward to seeing you participate!

Friday, May 08, 2015

Challenge #4 Winners Announcement

Hello and happy Friday to all of our friends out there in blogland.  It is time to announce the winner and top three of Challenge #4 along with the list of individuals eligible to receive a free digital paper for April.  Are you one of those lucky peeps?!

Kitty, you are the winner of a $12.00 gift card from Sami Stamps, our guest sponsor for April (chosen by Mini Web Tool), based on all eligible participants (i.e., those entrants who followed the optional theme).

Kitty, please send an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or click HERE to bring the address up in your email program), with the subject, "12MoC Challenge #4 WINNER" to make arrangements to receive your prize.  Please note that it may take me a few days to get back to you.  Thank you for your patience.  In the interim, please grab a copy of the winner badge below for your blog.

Next, it is time to get on with showcasing the Top Three for Challenge #4.  With just over 50 entries to choose from, this was once again no easy task for the design team.  In fact it is getting harder and harder and this time around there were a couple cards that were really close to making it.  We did however settle on three wonderful  creations.  So, without further ado, here are our Stocking Stuffers for Challenge #4:

Congrats to our top three Stocking Stuffers!  Ursula, Marie, and Fit Kitty, please grab a copy of the badge below for your blog.

Next up, it is time to share all the names of those people who linked up two cards in April which makes each of them eligible to receive the fourth free digital paper of 2015.

17 people linked a total of 51 cards.  Ten of those individuals linked up a minimum of two cards each qualifying them to receive the digital paper from April. The blue and green papers were tied in the poll we had up during the month of April so since all the other choices have been blue so far, I thought we'd switch things up and offer the green this time.   I have included the watermark of it, below.

So, the following people need to send an email to the_12_moc_linkup {at} outlook {dot} com (or click  HERE to bring the address up in your email program), with the subject, "12MoC April Paper" to make arrangements to receive your free paper:
    • Hazel
    • Margaret A
    • Megan
    • Terrie (Paper Addict)
    • Marie Bingaman
    • Rocky
    • Mandy (Paper Panda)
    • KT Fit Kitty
    • Crafting Vicky
    • Valerija 

    Welcome to Rocky, Marie B. and Valerija who are new to us this month linking up two cards!  We also had four other new faces linking up just one card.  To all of you who linked up this past month, thanks ever so much!  We are so happy to have all of you with us and hope that you'll continue to link up your holiday cards throughout the year!!!

    Now, as always, if you thought you had linked up two cards but don't find your name in the list above, just let me know and we'll sort things out. We will also add these names to the 'Challenge Win Information' page as soon as we get the chance, for anyone who doesn't see this post.  I ask that you be patient with waiting for me to send out your paper. I promise that I'll get to it as quick as I can.

    Just like last month, we are going to have a random draw from all the entries and give out the set of six papers, to one lucky individual.  The papers are all made so why not have an extra prize!  Here is the watermark for the full set...

    The winner of the Bauble Bonanza Mini Set of Papers is (chosen by
    MANDY (Paper Panda)

    Mandy, please send me an email (address and link above).  Use the subject, "12MoC: Bauble Bonanza Set" and I'll make arrangements for you to receive the full set of six papers.

    Well folks, that is it for today.  While you are here, please be sure to check out the details for our current challenge going on now (if you haven't already), with the Optional Theme this month of being "Christmas Critters".  You can find out all the details along with the link up, by clicking HERE.

    Also, be sure to join us on May 15th, for our midway post where you'll get to see cards created by the Merry Maidens!  Then on May 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!

    Until next time,