8 weeks away from my due date and I’m starting to get nervous! The baby’s room is nowhere near done, Julius’ birthday is unplanned, and I haven’t started on our Halloween costumes yet! Well, I guess we did completely clean out the baby’s room. That was a big step because it used to be the office and involved completely moving Will’s desk and a number of other things. In the process we donated 10 huge boxes of books to the library, which felt liberating. I’m working on Julius’ birthday, but we have no idea what we are going to do covid-wise. Virtual is out of the question, Julius can’t sit still in front of skype for more than 5 minutes. But, we have been such hermits, it is hard to gauge what others would consider normal. Even if we invite just one family over to celebrate with us, I’m not sure if that is in people’s comfort zone.
One thing is checked off the list though – DanyCon! It was certainly a lot less work this year because it was virtual but because I had to mail out the swag bags it also meant I couldn’t procrastinate up until the night before. I did start everything well in advance of DanyCon, but still ended up staying up late the night before my (self imposed) mailing deadline. As for give aways, I think the custom Collins/Colton copy of love letter is my favorite so far. It was a lot of work, but I think it ultimately took me less time than printing and cutting out copies of Secret Hitler for everyone. We have introduced everyone to Love Letter many years ago and given many copies of Love Letter out as prizes for both DanyCon and our Medieval party. I’m pretty sure everyone in the Collins/Colton tribe already owns Love Letter… but now they own a super cool DanyCon custom copy! Also as a side-bar isn’t it amazing that I had/was able to get pictures of almost everyone in Ren Attire?
Even though I have all the templates saved, I don’t want this to be a substitute for buying the actual game… so if you make your own custom copy you’ll have to do the work of making the card art yourself.
What You’ll Need (for each copy):
- paint.net or other photo editing program
- Photos of your friends and family looking silly in ren gear
- 110 lb cardstock
- corner cutter
- 3 mil laminating pouches
- thermal laminator
- guillotine paper cutter
- 12″x5″ strip of red cotton fabric
- 2 2″ pieces of white 3/4″ ribbon
- 13 tiny heart pieces
- Design cards. Design loveletter cards on paint.net. I used one picture for each character, and changed them all using the “oil paintings” effect. Then I layered over each card the number, name and description. I made each canvas 2.5″x3.5″. I designed the back of the cards as well.
- Print cards. I moved all the cards one by one into MS Word and adjusted the margins so I could fix 9 per page in a 3×3 grid. I then printed the front side of the cards, inserted the pages back in upside down and printed backs on each.
- Finish cards. I next inserted each page into a laminating pouch and put it through the laminator on the highest setting. I then fed it through a second time for good measure. Finally I cut out the cards using my paper cutter, and trimmed the ends.
- Make pouch. Fold fabric in half to form 6″x5″ rectangle. Stitch side seams together, .5″ seam allowance, leaving 1.25″ open at the top. Press seams. Fold top of bag down .75″ each side. Stitch .5″ from the fold.
- Finish pouch. Feed one length of ribbon through front of bag from left to right, and then back of bag from right to left. Tie ends together. Feed second length of ribbon through front of bag from right to left and then back of bag from left to right. Tie ends together.
- Assemble. Insert cards, 13 heart tokens, and rules (if you made them) into pouch. Find some friends to play with. (Or play virtually on BGA.)