Monday, June 22, 2009

Pete & Kate Land

A project of this size deserves this many pictures. An on-taking of these gargantuam proportions merits a post equally overwhelming in nature. I'd consider apologizing for the slew of photos and info you're about to receive, but really, after putting this much time into a project, i refuse to apologize for anything about it. Every last hour i put into it was completely worth it. And all the short cuts I almost took, and all the steps i almost skipped would have lessened the complete awesomeness of it all. Sure, it took over my life for the first half of this month. But i wouldn't change a thing about it.

So, are you ready for it? Are you ready for me to toot my own horn a bit? (it is my blog, afterall...) Are you just dying to know what in the world i'm rambling on and on about?

that's what i was hoping.

here it is:

I decided a few months ago that i wanted to make my family a little (oh, how that word makes me laugh now!) game. I wanted it to be something where we'd learn a bit about our parents, and their parents, and we'd laugh a bit and be done.

But, of course, the ideas kept coming (a HUGE thanks to so many awesome friends who gave me awesome input!) and the game kept getting bigger and better.

It started with an interview of my parents. I did this when they were out here in April. And it was the most fun and informative talk i've ever had with them. (something i highly recommend to any of you with parents of your own)

And then all the info that i gathered there turned into questions. But some of them would be SOOOO much better if i had to watch my brother Kevin attempt to act them out, or my sister Julia attempt to draw, or my sister melanie attempt to sing, or my brother nathan attempt to dance, etc... So, next thing i know the game has 6 categories:

So, i spent the next infinity composing questions, cutting matching card stock, gathering more info, cutting papers, pasting, laminating (of course i had to buy a laminator, right? truth be told,
it was cheaper than Kinkos would have been, and now i own one and am finding things to laminate left and the chore charts we made for family night a couple weeks ago!), more cutting, making my sister cut all the corners of all 136 cards so they wouldn't be pokey, and.... well, you get the point. Here are a few cards from each category, just to give you a (very small) sampling of the questions/ideas my little brain came up with (and stole from the slew of board games i've played with my family my entire life!)

Category: Do you know your neighbor--awesome addition to the game, 'cause the answers to all of these questions change every time you play it!

Category: Mom Trivia--questions about little (or well) known facts having to do with my awesome mom

Category: Pictionary

Category: Dad Trivia--questions about my amazing dad

Category: Charades

Category: Wild Card--this little idea of Reid's saved my life. I had all these little things i wanted to do, and couldn't figure out how to squeeze them in, until Reid reminded me of the wild card option--thanks, again, babe!

I knew i'd need an old board game to use, but i figured it didn't matter which one, since i thought i'd cover the whole thing up with contact paper and just paste squares on, Monopoly-style. Boy, was i wrong...wrong, wrong, wrong. I had know idea what i was getting myself into when I picked up an old CandyLand game at a garage sale.

I started with this:

And then decided that i'd KEEP the candyland trail, and use the original CandyLand cards as part of the game (you pick a CandyLand card, and then that tell you which category you get to draw from...and then, if your team gets it right, you advance to that color--easy 'nuf)

And then I had a vision of how i wanted the board to look. What i didn't have, was a clue as to how long it was take to get there. I gathered and copied a bagillion old and new family photos (thanks, again, Ju and Mel!!!) until i had this:

After hours and hours of cutting, cropping, pasting, swearing, re-cutting, etc, I finally had the board: And it was ready to be modge-podged (which, incidentally, is one of my all-time favorite activities in the world)
After covering the box (and reinforcing its sides--which had been very "loved" by its previous owners) i looked at the photos I hadn't used and luckily (?) there were plenty left over. So, i was able to use just about all of them to collage the front and back of the box

And that, my friends, is how i made my very first game: Pete and Kate Land.

Now, you might be asking "when is Emily going to get a chance to play this wonderful game with her family???" (or you might not, but it's a good lead-in to my next paragraph)

The answer is: two weekends ago. in Moab, UT. was. awesome. (The whole Moab trip will get a post of its own, since it was the bestest vacation EVER with my family who i LOVE!) My wonderful family just kept saying, as we played it, after we played it, before we played it the second time, how awesome the game was, and how much they appreciated the time i'd put into it, etc. And that was awesome. (and the cards that you see above are the exact ones we got through in Moab...not even a drop in the card-bucket.....)

But the best part? the absolute BEST PART? was actually playing the game. it is, if I do say so myself, the greatest game ever. How often can you laugh till you pee, and then have to hold back your tears all in the same game? How often do you learn so much about your parents, your siblings AND yourself in one game? How often is it that the answer key lies in the memories of two people in the room? How often is it that my siblings don't get all worked up about winning the game? How often do you sit down with your family to play a game, and never finish it because you get wrapped up in stories of courtship, and hardship and friendship???

That is what made it all worth it.

I feel a cheesy, over-used mastercard commercial imitation coming on. I'm trying to fight it....but it's winning...

Board Game? $.25
Paper/Laminator/copies? $More than i care to admit
Gas to get to Moab? $50
Playing this game with my family? priceless


Debbie said...

You are AMAZING! Your game is AMAZING! What a great idea and so much work. Someone should show it off when/if the siblings get together around Jeannie's wedding. Way to be inspiring...

Gillian Brown said...

This is the most wonderful idea I've ever heard of! You are so amazing-I wish I had a fingernails worth of your creativity!!

Dana said...

What an amazing feat - your game sounds like a lot of fun!!! You are so creative and crafty!!

Lori said...

What a great idea! That makes me want to do something creative...

merathon said...

well, i didn't think it was possible, but you've outdone yourself AGAIN! looks so cool, but after hearing you talk about how long it took, doubtful i'd ever attempt doing one for my OWN family. maybe you should start a business-- you can interview people's families and then create the game for them!

Melanie said...

You are truly amazing. This was definitely the highlight of our vacation. What an awesome sister I have!! The trick now is for me NOT to compare myself to you. I love you, Sis!!

Stacey Mom said...

Wow, that is a huge project and it looks amazing. What an absolutely perfect thing to do for your family!

Tom Allred said...

That is the coolest thing ever! I love the idea.

Elise said...

That looks awesome, Emily! What a fun labor of love. I can imagine that your family had a great time playing that!

Nathan said...

What an interesting idea. How cool that is.

Karen said...

That looks awesome Emily!!! Way to go, it sounds like it took a long time, but was well worth it.

MariLouise said...

Wow. That was so awesome that I'm forgiving you for overlooking a personalized shout out to MOI. I particularly like the photo collages on the box.

Kyrsten said...

You can laugh all you want, but I actually started tearing up. That is the GREATEST idea ever. What a fun way to celebrate your parents lives.

Adrie said...

Emily! This is amazing. You should submit it to some game-making company. Better yet, you should start your own online store, where people fill out questionnaires, download pictures, and you create the game for them! If you could create a computer program that would do all the hard work of personalizing everything, you could make a lot of $$! Maybe charge $80 per game? I don't know? People would think that was a steal-of-a-deal for a priceless gem like that. Way to go :)

Isa said...

As we say in Germany. Zat'z Kool!!!

Utah gal said...

You light up my life, sis.