Download this checklist to help manage your CCC experience every month!)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the CCC (Card Chain Challenge)?
The CCC is an international card exchange where each participant sends a handmade card to the person immediately above her on the list (the first person sends her card to the last person on the list). Everybody gets a handmade card, so everybody wins! On the first day of the nest month, I reveal everyone's cards with links to their blogs/photo galleries.
In addition, there is a monthly prize up for grabs each month!
If your card arrives at its destination by the last day of the challenge month AND you send me a photograph of your card at least three days before the last day of the challenge month, AND your photo is between 100-200k in size, your name will be placed in the prize pool, from which a winner is randomly drawn.
How do I play?
- 1. Sign up using the Linky tool and email us your full name and snail mail address in the proper format for your country.
- 2. Make a card utilizing at least ONE of the challenge options provided.
- 3. Email us a picture of your card along with a link to your blog/photo gallery at least three days before the last day of the month.
- 4. Mail your card to your assigned recipient so it arrives by the last day of the month. (Example: If you were playing in the August CCC, your recipient would need to receive her card by August 31st.)
- 5. Enter the date you received the card in the private online spreadsheet (this is for prize-drawing purposes).
- 6. Enter the date your sent a photo of your card to me in the private online spreadsheet.
Are there prizes? If so, how do I become eligible to win one?
If we have a prize, AND you meet ALL three conditions, your name will be placed in the prize pool, from which a winner will be randomly drawn.
- Your card arrives at its destination by the last day of the challenge month; AND
- You send us a photograph of your card at least three days before the last day of the challenge month; AND
- The photo of your card is between 100 - 200k. (Scroll down for a super easy and FREE way to resize your photos.)
We provide a color palette, a sketch, three themes, and a product/technique each month. You must utilize at least one of these. (You can incorporate more than one of these choices if you want, but you are only required to use ONE - anything additional is gravy.)
When do I sign up?
The CCC sign-up begins with the sign-up post at the end of the week of the preceding month. (Example: the September CCC sign-up begins about August 7th). The sign-up period ends at 11:55 p.m., EST, on the day before the next sign -up begins. (Example: the September CCC sign-up would end on September 6th) This way, players have plenty of time to make and send a card no matter how far away their recipients live.
How do I sign up?
You sign up using the Linky tool provided at the bottom of the sign-up post and link to your blog or online photo gallery. (It provides step-by-step instructions, so don't be worried if you've never encountered it before.) Please sign up using your first name and your state, province, or country. EX: Ann from Texas; Betty from Ontario; Cathy from Wales; Daria from Italy. (This makes it easier for us to track geographical participation and helps us not become confused when we have multiple players with the same first name.)
Where should I email the picture of my card?
Should there be something specific written in the email's subject line?
Yes, please! Now that the CCC's overlap, we run the risk of putting a card into the wrong reveal - lol! And, since we have a number of players who share the same first name, we really need a last name to ensure we attribute the correct card to its maker.
So here's what your email's subject line should look like:
[Month] CCC - [your FULL name] in [your state, province, or country].
EXAMPLE: Mary Martin in Florida's email subject line for her entry in the January CCC will read thus:
Jan CCC - Mary Martin in FL
Again, now that the CCC's overlap, please name your photo file by using the same naming convention as that used for the subject line:
[Month] CCC - [your FULL name] in [your state, province, or country].
EXAMPLE: Mary Martin in Florida's January entry will be saved as a jpeg file and named:
Jan CCC - Mary Martin in FL.jpg
Please do NOT copy and paste a photo of your card into the email itself. Instead, please make sure you ATTACH the photo to your email;
How big should my photo be?
100-200k. If you need a super easy and free way to edit your photos (including re-sizing), there is no easier place to go than PicMonkey.
How do I resize a picture?
Go to PicMonkey. It is the easiest, fastest, cheapest (i.e.: FREE) way to edit photos. Here's a video Deborah made that walks you through the process.
See this tutorial with pictures for some more editing options.
When do I mail my card?
Early enough to arrive at its destination by the last day of the challenge month. (Example: If you were playing in the August CCC, your recipient would need to receive her card from you by August 31st.)
How do I know where to mail my card?
We provide the senders with their recipients' email addresses. Sender contacts her assigned Recipient, and Recipient emails Sender with a postal address in the appropriate format. We also will post the names and email addresses of the participants on a private online spreadsheet that players can access.
My recipient is in another country – do I need to do anything special?
Generally speaking, Sender should prepare to pay higher postage and may need to fill out a form with the post office. Many countries (including the USA) require the recipient's phone number on any piece of mail leaving the country. Receivers need to inform their Senders of any special rules that may apply to mail in Receiver’s country (like standard letter size and thickness).
Do I have a choice in who receives the card I made?
Yes and no. You will be sending a card to the person whose name is immediately above yours in the list. By using the requested format, (Ann from Texas; Betty from Ontario; Cathy from Wales; Darla from Italy) all players can determine the locale of the last person on the list. If you want to send a card to someone in the USA, don't sign up after Giselle from France.
Do I need to do anything after I mail my card?
- Sender emails Receiver that the card is in transit so Receiver can be on the lookout for it.
- Receiver emails Sender to let her know when Sender's card has arrived.
If Receiver does not receive Sender’s card by the last day of the month, she should email us at cardchainchallenge[at]yahoo[dot]com and type Missing CCC Card in the subject line. Sender will be barred from participating in future CCC’s until Receiver has received a card from Sender and has notified us of the fact. (Again, this is how we protect the integrity of the CCC as well as all the participants.)
What is The Reveal?
On the first day of each month, we present each Sender’s card with a link to her blog post or online gallery photo.
Can I post my card online?
Yes, please do! However, please wait until your recipient emails you that she's received your card - we don't want the surprise to be spoiled by her seeing your card online before it arrives, right?
Do I have to have a blog to play?
No, an online photo gallery (like Flickr, SplitCoast, etc.) in lieu of a blog is perfectly acceptable. If you don’t have an online photo account you can get one for free at Flickr. (Now you have a place to share your cards!)
Should I link back to the Card Chain Challenge on my blog post or photo gallery?
Can I enter more than one time per CCC?
No, only one card per person per month, please.
Are there any product restrictions?
No. You may use any products or techniques you like.
Are there any geographical restrictions?
No, this is an international activity – as long as you can send and receive snail mail, you are good to go!
Do I write inside the card?
Some people prefer to write in the card, whereas others like to write on a Post-It so the recipient can re-gift the card if she desires. Still others write on a panel they glue to the inside of the card. It’s entirely up to you.
Do I need to include a gift?
Some people include product or stamped images, etc. This is NOT required or expected - the prize is receiving a handmade card. However, if you want to include something, that’s your prerogative. (Nobody will complain if you send a little extra cheer!)
What should I do about embellishments on my card?
Pad your envelope! Pearls, especially, wreak havoc with letter-sorting machinery – which can lead to involuntary card-slaughter!
Can I see past CCC's?
Yep! Go here to see both past sign-ups and reveals.
Thank you for playing and have a great time!!!
We hope this is a comprehensive list of all possible questions. If you don't see your question, drop us a line: cardchainchallenge[at]yahoo[dot]com.