Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A new look on ye olde mystery...

If you have looked over A Knight of Murder in the the past, now might be a good time to take another look... For we have just revamped the mystery.

While the mystery follows the same storyline, we have updated it with some new enhanced graphics, more objectives, a planning website and party extras! Among the other changes, we have slightly different gender breakdowns (to accommodate more people) and we plan to add an 8-12 guest version shortly.  Be sure to look carefully when ordering, so that you order the correct gender allotment.
Sneak peek of the old vs. new characters layout!

Along with the improved look of A Knight of Murder, comes enhanced party extras. Something we are starting to add to a number of our mysteries!

With the mystery materials, you will now find:

  • DESIGNED MENU (1 design you can personalize with your menu items)
  • SIGNS FOR WALLS (7 designs)
  • WINE LABEL AWARDS (4 designs)
AND lastly, we urge ye to visit our new website: 
Where you will find EVERYTHING you could need to help plan the most elaborate, comprehensive and memorable party ever!

If this doesn't make you want to go out and throw A Knight of Murder... well, we don't know what will!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
 Aye! In honor of thee mystery: A Knight of Murder
Thou dost have a new website to aid in ye
planning of thee mystery celebration.

 By my troth!
Methinks this website has everything ye dost desire
to enhance ye splendid merriment! 

From a medieval glossary to aid in ye Olde English,
to how to make your castle most beauteous,
and perchance ye may even discover instructions on how to construct
(or where to order) ye breeches.

We pray thee visits dost website to aid in preparation!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Welcome to the BIGGEST Show in Texas!

Every month, we highlight one mystery on our Party of the Month link on our murder mystery message board. This is February's winner!

 It’s Circus Time….

We were so excited when we found out that we won the Murder Under the Big Top contest! This year, we almost decided not to host a murder mystery due to circumstances out of our control (Bastrop fire and sick family members). Sometimes during the worst of times, the best thing you can do is throw a party! We had a fun Halloween party, our son had a great birthday, but best of all, we turned the event into an impromptu fundraiser for the Bastrop County Fire Victims. Our guests were extremely generous and we were able to help many families who were affected by the fire. We had less than one month to put on the biggest show on earth and this is how we did it, with the time that was allotted to us. It wasn't perfect, but great parties never are!

Decorations –
Yard Décor – We purchased multi-colored pennants and hundreds of multi-colored crystal balloons from our local party store. We outlined the house and backyard with the pennants and white lights. We also made large tissue paper pom-poms, which were hung every 6 ft, along with streamers. We turned our gazebo into the ‘big top’, which we arranged in the middle of the back yard. My mother, painted a twin-sized sheet circus sign that said, “It’s Circus Time!” She’s amazing and the sign was a great backdrop (although a bit busy) for our photo booth. The two cannons that my husband made for last year’s murder mystery (Murder Among the Mateys) were placed at the entrance, with a ‘boom’ sign.
Food/Dessert/Beverage Table Décor –
We had a beverage station, which served bottled water, lemonade and our fresh roasted peanuts and popcorn. We purchased color sheets at the thrift store and made an easy and colorful backdrop for the station. We also purchased a cute ‘Beverage’ sign from the carnival party collection at Hobby Lobby. Our peanut and popcorn containers were purchased at Dollar Tree. We also found inflatable animals, which were used around the table.

On the dessert table, we purchased a ferris wheel centerpiece from the carnival party collection at Hobby Lobby, which we used for pre-wrapped candy. We also found the cutest bubble gum machines, which everyone loved. We made balloon topiaries which we put at either ends of the table. We found a tutorial for the topiaries and then embellished them to make them ours- ... n-topiary/. We also found porcelain clowns at a local dollar store that sat on our window. For height, we used small boxes that contained books for stability. We used two tablecloths – one lined the table and the other was ‘draped’ over the boxes used for height.

I did find some great ideas over at Hostess with the Mostess blog, along with some great printables that I also used - We purchased Styrofoam bricks at the Dollar Store. We wrapped them in white wrapping paper and added colorful ribbon (Hobby Lobby) or carnival tickets/sequins (Dollar Tree) around the bricks. The parade and the banner from HWTM looked great.

We created our own food labels using Microsoft Publisher. You could also use Microsoft Word.

Oh, we can’t seem to have a party without those adorable yellow circus ducks, which we purchased from Oriental Trading Co. They have a duck for every occasion, holiday, race and occupation. Our littlest guests loved them.

The food table was very simple. A colorful tablecloth, more printables from HWTM and a blown glass clown ordained that table. Above the food table, we had a small colleague of vintage circus posters. Of course, our circus poster was directly in the center. I printed out a lot of posters, but scaled down due to lack of time and change of space at the last minute. You can find many vintage posters at the Princeton University Library - ... TC093.html. Everyone was loved looking at the posters from the late 1800’s to present.
Our guest tables were covered in red plastic tablecloths. We put a small bunch of mustaches on a stick on each table (boy, were they a hit!). The centerpiece was a two-story round Styrofoam circles with a gold animal on top – everything was purchased at Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby. You can tell how we made them by looking at the photo. It’s self explanatory. They turned out so good!! We’d never used foam sheets before, but we were instantly hooked…and what doesn’t look good when you add sequins to it???? Not a thing!

Food –
We had traditional circus food: hot dogs, bags of chips, peanuts, popcorn (popcorn machine), and cotton candy (so fun). Okay, so I purchased the candy floss and cones for the cotton candy, but got sidetracked with set-up and forgot to pick up the cotton candy machine we had rented for the event. Thank God for our neighbors, John and Dahlia, who ran to the store and purchased bagged cotton candy. We did have some vegetarians in the house, so we also had a large veggie tiered tray.
Our dessert table was simple: lollipops, chocolate covered Oreos, vanilla clown cupcakes, circus bars, pixie sticks, cake truffle lollipops, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies and animal crackers for our littlest guest. It was a simple presentation due to our time constraints.

Music –
You can’t have a circus without calliope music. We found some excellent music on

Midway & Games – We love the outdoors, so had some games and my husband built some games. We lined the games up facing our neighbor’s house. We had horse shoes, milk throw, bean bag toss, washers and lasso golf. The games were a big hit with everyone. We also had prizes, which consisted of glow bracelets/necklaces (Dollar Tree) and we found bags of new (with tag) beanie babies at our local thrift store. I bought over thirty beanie babies for under $8 – never know what you find until you look.

We also had a Fortuna the Mystic who read fortunes, several young acrobats who amazingly performed their gymnastics, a magician, a comedian/clown, a juggler and a singer. You will be surprised at the secret talents of your guests.

Photo Booth – Since we turned the party into a fundraiser, we asked our local high school photography club, Clicks4Good, if they would be interested in taking photos. They did an outstanding job! We were so blessed and grateful with all the photos that they took (almost 700). Since the party took place in October, we found a ton of props at our local Dollar Tree (thank God for Halloween). We found large sunglasses, large toothbrush, clown noses, hats & bow ties, large wooden frame from a local thrift store, which was painted bright blue, and mustaches of every shape (type in mustache on a stick template and purchase some stiff black, brown, red or yellow felt and get to town cutting).

We had a blast creating the circus, but the tear down was even more fun…if that is possible. Since we had hundreds of balloons that we had to dispose of, our friend thought it best to have balloon popping relays – kids and adults. Everyone was laughing their heads off. We also had over 10 dozen confetti eggs that the kids got to demolish. Oh my, what a mess. Once the fun had ended and the adults were surveying the mess, the kids came up to us and asked us for trash bags to clean up the pieces of balloons and confetti. They were amazing. Everyone who came and enjoyed the party also ended up staying to help with the 'tear down'. Total clean up was a breeze, thanks to all the hands.

All in all, a good time was had by all! Thanks so much to Randi at Night of Mystery for providing the mystery. We so appreciate all the time and effort you put into the mysteries. You do an excellent job! They are the BEST mysteries out there. We are looking forward to our next annual party/fundraising mystery...Murder at Deadwood Saloon.

To enter comments and pictures for your party, please register on our message board and post your comments under the party theme that you hosted. You will automatically be entered to win!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Create Excitement With Your Invite!

How do you drum up excitement for a really cool event?
The invitation, of course!

The invitation is the first thing that your guest will receive in anticipation of the big event and you want them to know it is going to be just that -- something they won't want to miss!

Now, we at Night of Mystery have designed both emailable and print invitations for you to do just that. (You can download them here, before you even purchase!)

BUT, if you are that host/hostess who likes to pull out all the stops, here is a fun, new invitation idea both Terror in a Toga and A Knight of Murder!  

Who wouldn't be excited to get this mailed or handed to them?

Unroll it and here you go!

The directions are simple and concise, step-by-step, showing you how to create this authentic piece of propaganda for your party! (Like our other invite designs, we included fields where you can enter in your own party information.)

So, go ahead! Start planning your night of Roman
rivalry or Medieval madness and intrigue your guests
with more than they ever hoped for!

More on Terror in a Toga Here

More on A Knight of Murder Here 

For a few other VERY COOL invite ideas
for Murder in Margaritaland, Cruising for Murder and Murder Among the Mateys, check out this blog posting!