Saturday, 29 December 2012

Keep Calm and Call Your Visiting Teachers

My family and moi have been poorly over the Christmas holidays, so we've all curled up and hibernated for a couple of weeks...I personally can't think of a better time for it to happen, new toys on hand, great tv and lots of goodies too (if you can stomach them!).  But it also means I couldn't make it to my family party and give them our gifts, so I can't post anything yet until I've handed the goods over, I can't wait to share some of them :)

Soooo, in the mean time, I know I'm probably going a bit overboard with the whole 'Keep Calm' thing, but I love 'em, and this idea came to me as I have just been assigned some new sisters to visit. 

I made the one below so that you can put your phone numbers on and make it into a fridge magnet.  

And of course, I had to make some for the home teachers too....

I've made free printables that you can download and play with of both types of images. Enjoy!

                                 VT Printable                                                                                      HT Printable

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Keep Calm and Remember It's Christmas

I loved making my last 'Keep Calm' image and it has already had over 200 views since posting it two months ago!!  And although that is great, and it has a wonderful just hasn't sat with right with me.  As I spoke with my mum on the phone today and the obvious topic of Christmas came up, she said how we (especially mothers) can put ourselves under so much pressure for that one perfect Christmas day....a perfect dinner, present, decorations, clothes etc.  Now don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and all of it's trimmings, but when I think of a perfect Christmas it's time spent with family, laughing, sharing, talking, looking out for those in need, that is what I love about Christmas...and isn't that the way it should be.

So when the turkey gets burnt, a bauble gets broken, the latest gadget is out of stock and your new clothes are less than desirable, I think  I/we need to step back and remember what Christmas is really about......

Merry Christmas xx

DIY Garlic Olive Oil

I love garlic, so when my friend told me how to make my own Garlic Olive Oil, I was like duhhh, why hadn't  I clicked before that by simply adding garlic cloves to olive oil I would have some super scrummy Garlic Olive Oil!!!  

So the majority of you probably already know this, but I thought I'd share it just in case there is somebody out there like me, that hasn't 'clicked' too :)

I used 250ml of olive oil and 4-5 garlic cloves, and just bashed each clove once with the back of a spoon, or you could use your pestle and mortar, rolling pin, your fist (phaha!!) instead.  

Put the cloves in the olive oil and you're done!!  Don't forget to label your oil you can see below, mine looks very professional.

Now I've got to find lots and lots of ways to use this, so watch out for my extra pongy breath!!?!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Christmas Punch (Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine)

I love all the smells that Christmas brings, and making (and smelling) Christmas punch is one of them.  As you can see from the photo above this recipe only needs 2 ingredients and is quick to make, so it's great for this busy time of year and also caters for surprise drop-ins, as both ingredients can be stored in the cupboard till needed.
1 litre of Red Grape Juice
2 sachets of mulled wine spice 
(the box above had 4 in it)
Optional - apple cut into small chunks

Put red grape juice and sachets (and apple chunks) into a large saucepan.  
Heat to just below boiling point and hold this temperature for 10 mins.
Remove sachets with tongs and it's ready to serve...let it cool down for a bit before serving, as it's a tad hot!!

On the box it suggests using Cranberry Juice and 'garnishing' (very posh!) with a slice of orange just before serving, so I might have to give that one a try too, yum yum yum.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas Is...

My nine year old daughter did FHE tonight and used the link from entitled 'Christmas Is...' as the basis of her lesson.  It takes you to where they have four images that flash up saying 'Christmas Is...Family, Service, Love and Jesus Christ'.  We printed off a sheet of paper with the above words on for each member of the family, on festive red paper of course :)

Firstly, she asked everyone what came to their minds when they thought of Christmas, we got the usual answers, pressies, Christmas tree, birth of Jesus, stockings etc.  She told us the four things that were mentioned on the church website and that we had to write on our pieces of paper under each of the headings, ideas of ways that we could do them during the festive season.

Between us we came up with some lovely, simple ideas that we could night with hot chocolate, hiding secret love notes to each other, caroling to the elderly etc and we decided which ones we would do and have put them on our calendar for this month...I'm even more excited for Christmas now.

Another idea that we came up with for 'Christmas Is...Jesus Christ', is to watch the six Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos that refer to the birth of the Saviour the week before Christmas, and to read the corresponding scripture references.

She then closed by reading a quote from President Thomas S. Monson-
"With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment—a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to become the King of kings and Lord of lords, the promised Messiah—Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
Please share what traditions and ideas you have for this Wonderful time of year.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

How to print onto fabric using your printer!!

When I find a new craft idea, I seem to go overboard and try it every which way, and I can't stop myself from telling everyone about it.....apologises to my husband!!  I've looked through my 'pins' and can't find the link, so sorry to whoever came up with the idea, I will link you in when I get time to hunt it down, promise :)

Freezer paper
Lightweight fabric
Printer (I've got an ink jet/top-loading one)

First cut your freezer paper to the right size to fit in your printer (for me that was A4 size) and iron it to the back of your chosen light weight fabric....if it's too thick it will get stuck in your printer, so far I've used calico and patchwork material and they have both been fine in mine.

Then trim your fabric down to the same size as your freezer paper on the back making sure to trim off any dangling loose threads, otherwise these could jam your printer too.

Then print onto the fabric as you would a piece of paper (you might want to practice on a piece of paper first just to check which way to load the fabric). Once printed, peel off the freezer paper (if you need to) and that's it!!?!...I can't wait to show you some projects I've been working on for Christmas pressies, but unfortunately I won't be able to show you till the New Year otherwise some of my family will know what they are getting.

Hope you have as much fun with this as I have...I have literally been squealing and clapping my hands in delight when my fabric has come out the other end of the printer, and I'm not joking either, love it!!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Christmas Pouches

Another idea that originated from Pinterest, wahoooo, I'm actually making something that I've pinned!!!!!  Below is the original idea.....mmmm, me thinks, I need to invest in a new camera and some photography classes very soon, lol :) 

I thought I'd make this gift more religious as the candy cane can represent the shepherds staff.  So I used Microsoft word to do a template, I changed the page format to landscape, and divided the page into 4 columns, typed out the words and added the graphics below.  I used the candy cane as a guide to the size up both the white and red pieces of paper/card. 

I then lined them up and sewed along the edge of the white front, remembering to reverse over the beginning and the end of the stitching to hold them firmly in place, trim the loose threads, slide in a candy cane....and it's done :)  These work out really cheap, but make great gifts for neighbours, friends, teachers, postman etc.

I also made another type of 'pouch' using vellum for the front so that the chocolate gold coins could be seen inside.  I then use a hole punch to  make a hole at the top and threaded through some gold ribbon...this one works out a bit more expensive, but is sooo cute (I know I'm biased!!)

You could make these pouches in all different shapes and sizes and fill them with lots of different and exciting things, the possibilities are endless!!!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Movie Night Gift

 I made these movie night bags for my children's teachers one year and they loved them, my children helped to choose and pack the goodies to go in the bag.

I made a foam stamp for the paper bag (click HERE for tutorial) and got stamping!! :)  You could just as easily print something off the web, draw it on etc.  We filled the bags with an assortment of goodies...a can of pop, sweets, microwave popcorn, nuts, chocolate, and of course, we had to have a few 'samples' along the way, nom nom!!

I then cut out a star and wrote on the words 'because even 'stars' need a night off' could do 'because you're a star', or whatever takes your fancy.  We've also used this idea for a family gift too and included a dvd with it.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Consider the Blessings

I loved General Conference, and where better to start than with the prophet's talk entitled 'Consider the Blessings' for our FHE tonight.

We started by singing the obvious choice of song, 'Count your Many Blessings' (Hymns #241).

I asked the children to listen carefully as two verses from the scriptures were read and to share with us which verse showed someone who was counting their blessings and someone who was not.

First we read 1 Nephi 2:11

11 Now this he spake because of the astiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did bmurmur in many things against their cfather, because he was a dvisionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.

Followed by 1 Nephi 2:13

 16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the amysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did bvisit me, and did csoften my heart that I did dbelieve all the words which had been spoken by my efather; wherefore, I did not frebel against him like unto my brothers.

We discussed theses verses and decided that Laman and Lemuel were doing alot murmuring and complaining whilst Nephi who was also in the same situation chose to pray and gained a grateful heart for the situation they were in.

Then we read the following quote from President Monson's talk -

My beloved brothers and sisters, this conference marks 49 years since I was sustained, on October 4, 1963, as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Forty-nine years is a long time. In many ways, however, the time seems very short since I stood at the pulpit in the Tabernacle and gave my very first general conference address.
Much has changed since October 4, 1963. We live in a unique time in the world’s history. We are blessed with so very much. And yet it is sometimes difficult to view the problems and permissiveness around us and not become discouraged. I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.
I then showed them the poster with the title of the talk on and an outline of a body (that is somewhat misshaped, haha!!), and we took turns writing in the body how we would feel if we didn't see, notice or consider any of the blessings in our lives.  We had answers like, grumpy, unhappy, unthankful etc.

I told them that the 49 colourful circles around the edge of the paper represented each year that our prophet has served as in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency...and that from today each FHE till next General Conference we would decide on 2 specific blessings that had happened during the week to place in our empty body, so that by the time April comes it would be full of lots of colourful blessings.

The children chose coats (as two of the children had just got new ones) and Sister Win (who is a lovely lady in our ward) and wrote them on 2 circles and stuck them inside the outline.

A bit of cheese now, but I'm so grateful for General Conference and for the spiritual uplift that I receive from listening to the General Authorities of the Church that helps me and my family, and I'm also grateful for this blog, it's helped me in so many ways especially being more confident on the computer...I know I still have a long, long way to go yet but I'm getting there post by post xx

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Keep Calm and Enjoy Christmas

I designed this last night....sometimes with all the hustle and bustle leading up to and during Christmas we can forget the true meaning of it all.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Christmas songs from the New Era Magazine

Christmas will soon be upon us so I've been looking through the December issues of LDS Church magazine the 'New Era' for some festive songs for our ward to sing.  

Two of the songs below aren't particularly 'Christmassy', but I have included them anyway (I've put ** next to them to make them stand out). 

Thank Goodness for Christmas! - Watkins (1977)
In Bethlehem - Tietjen (1978)
Shining Star - Madsen/Rasmuson (1979)

To My Saviour (Duet) - Newman/Carter (1980)**
What Does Christmas Mean - Carter (1981)
Carol to a King - Larsen (1983)
Carol for Christmas Morning - Sowby (1984)
Learn Wisdom in Thy Youth - Jorgensen (1985)**
Little One (1986)
When Love Came Down - Gabbott/Moody (1987)
A New Star Shines Tonight - Cahoon (1988)
Room in the Inn - Gardner/Watkins (1989)

A Gift of Love - Francis (1990)
The First Christmas - Wolford/Wolford (1991)
In a Stable - Jones (1992)
And Mary Pondered - Gardner/Watkins (1993)
Hope Was Born - Romney (1994)
This Is Christmas - Gabbott/Moody (1995)
As with Gladness -Carter/Dix (1996)
Christmas Time Is Here  - Rix/Ferre (1997)
Little Child - Wright (1998)
Christmas Bells Are Ringing - Manookin(1999)

Let It Come Quietly - Gabbott/Moody (2000)
Arise and Sing This Christmas Morn - Gardner/Watkins (2002)
Would I Know My Saviour?  - DeFord (2005)
Soft and Pure - Cook (2006)
From Father's Arms To Mother's Arms - Pearson/Perry (2007)
Little Baby - Law (2008)
Mary, Sweet and Tender Maiden - Staheli/Kasen (2009)
Christmas Comes Again - Staheli (2010..the hyperlink for this sheet music is not available)

Softly Falls the Evening Light - Hatch/Perry (2011)

Can't wait to print off some of these and get singing, I love this time of the year!! :)

I have also compiled a list of 50 songs from the 1970 Friends...enjoy.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Preparing for General Conference #2

I had every intention of posting this before General Conference, but didn't get around to it!! least it will be ready for the next one or for when you watch sessions you missed this time :)  So here it is....

It's that wonderful time of the year again, and so I thought I better whip up something different for my children to do during General Conference.  For all the sessions we are still using our Conference Journals but with a twist this year for the kids.

I thought I'd give my kids journals a little tweak this year and make some photo stickers of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles including names so that they can stick them in their books....I don't know why we didn't think of this one earlier!!

I don't know if it's the same in anybody else's house, but in ours it's usually a frantic rush when the name of the speaker comes on the TV screen as all the kids scramble to get it written down correctly before it disappears...except more often than not, one or more of the kids doesn't get it down on paper, so we end up with lots of questions (and sometimes tears) until we have helped them by spelling it out, or writing it down for them, which results in us missing the beginning of the talks...sound familiar??!?

I copied the pictures from the Conference Ensign April 2012 and just added the names of all the Prophets and Apostles and printed them on sticker paper (you could just use paper and glue)...if you would like a copy of my outlay, just let me know and I will get one to you via email.

My kids have really enjoyed the stickers so far, they used the centre page of the last Conference Ensign to sort their stickers in order with the right name and then put in their books...I'm hoping this activity will also help my children to become more familiar with the General Authorities names and faces.

**And because I'm late posting this I can tell you that this idea worked really well in their journals :) ...and don't stop reading when you see the conference jars below, because I tweaked that too!!!  It was really, really lovely and would definitely recommend it to everyone that has younger children to do for a session or two**

To change things up a bit, during one of the latter sessions, we are going to use the idea of the key word treats, mmmmmm!!  I'm looking forward to this one :)  I used old jam jars and my DIY Mod Podge to stick the images on, and included an image to help my 2 and 4 yr old remember the key words.

As I was doing the shopping for the treats I suddenly thought I'd try to link the treat with the theme of the jar....some are very loosely connected, but hey, you get the idea.

"I am that bread of life" John 6:48 = breadsticks

 When we serve, we generally use our hands which have....fingers :)

I really wanted something that was seed like, but unfortunately my kids don't like pumpkin seeds :( ...and poppy and sesame biscuits were too big to fit in the jar, so I went for....pistachio nuts, huh!!!

I was let down by my local supermarket as they had no jelly babies, so instead, I bought.....goldbears (they kinda look like little people)

There were lots of things I could have chosen for the 'love' jar, but I decided to go with these = jammie dodgers mini

And finally, for the 'Obedience' jar (aka Choose the Right), I chose.....chewits!!  Do you get it, chew the right.....I don't know if my kids will either, but they will understand the whole listen for these key words/principles during Conference and when you hear them you get a treat.  Wahooooo!!!

Because of the time difference where we live, we watched some of the sessions later on, so we could pause the session...this came in handy for these jars.  We all continued to take notes, but after EVERY talk we would pause it and get one jar down at a time and discuss whether we had heard this word or principle being taught in the was really lovely as we shared and heard each others experiences, and were all strengthened from it.....and of course we got to get a treat from the jar too :)

Hope you enjoy(ed) your Conference weekend.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Two Beginners Tips for using your sewing machine

I'm three weeks into a dressmaking course, and I'm loving it.  I'm learning so much and it's already teaching me how to control my machine all I used to do was straight lines and full steam ahead, lol!!

Anyway, in our first lesson our teacher handed out a driving test for our sewing machine, we didn't use thread and had to manoeuvre our needle round sharp corners, curves and wiggles...we were allowed 3 mistakes and surprising I only made one, so I passed first time!!  Below is one that is similar to the one I did in class.  I might let my girls have a go at this too, so that they get use to the feel of my sewing machine before I let them loose on it :)

                                                                      St Bedes RC School 
                                                                Sewing Machine Driving Test

Our teacher then suggested that we make a stitch book for our machine, so that we could see what they look like on fabric and be able to choose the right stitch for the job in hand.  Up till now I've just stuck to the same old stitch for everything, so I felt like a bit of a dare devil trying out the new stitches, haha!!  As I did each one, I referenced the stitch with the number on my machine.

I will let you know of anything else I learn in class that might help a newbie like me :)