Thursday, 26 December 2013

Marking your General Conference Ensign

I thought I'd post the way I mark my General Conference Ensign...bazaar I know, but I might do something that's a bit different to everybody else??!?!

I'm a bit of a sucker for the good old paper copy, none of this technical stuff when it comes to studying and making notes.....I love the feel of the magazine in one hand and a pen poised ready in the other.  Don't get me wrong, I do use the 'technical stuff' a lot for lessons, FHE, listening to as I fall asleep of a nighttime, so here's the link for all the General Conferences that are currently available online. 

Right back to my paper copy of the Ensign....firstly, I write my name on the contents page (we buy copies for all the family, so they all need to be clearly labeled in our house, it also helps you not to lose it at church too!!).

Secondly, I find the email/post from my Stake Presidency telling me what talks will be studied for 'Teachings for our Times' during Relief Society/Priesthood, and then I label the talks on the contents page with the month written next to them.  It makes for a great reference for future months.

When I read a talk, I mark it as I would my scriptures by underlining, cross referencing etc....I also write goals, ideas in big writing in the margins.

Then on completing the talk I tick it at the end (I find this helps as sometimes I don't mark bits of the talk and with distractions from the kids etc it helps me know that I've definitely finished it, lol!).

I also circle the page number of the talk I've completed on the contents page so that I can clearly see what talks I have read and have yet to read.

I know its not much, but that's it....just thought I'd share it with you all :).  Please feel free to share ideas and suggestions of things you do too, I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Santa's Post decoration

These are super cute and very addictive to make, so watch out as your tree may get covered in them!!  It's a really simple activity for the kids to do to and is ready in minutes.

It all started because I had a massive bags of these large lollipop stick 'scraps' leftover from a recent craft project at my church....I was determined to use them in some way, and hey ho, after a little bit of playing, failing and trying again I came up with this idea!!  And just a tip, we found it was a lot cheaper to buy a box of 100 waxing strips than it was to buy 50 large lollipop sticks..they are basically the same thing :)

Cut your large lollipop sticks up to roughly 3cm in length, don't worry about making them exactly the same size as they look better being slightly different lengths.  You will need to cut five 'letters'.  Make one 'letter' look like the front of a letter, then on another one look like the back of an envelope.  Leave the other three blank as you won't seem them.

Then use four strips of thin double sided tape to stick your five 'letters' together, just stack them up without worrying about them being perfectly lined up (it looks like a more authentic stack).  Put the front letter at the top of the stack and the back of the envelope drawing facing out at the back.

Wrap your letters up with some thick bakers twine, I'm sorry I didn't measure my twine, but the length of twine depends on where you will be hanging them, so play around with it and see what looks best...they look really cute on a small christmas tree.

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Monday, 16 December 2013

DIY Christmas Plaque

This plaque is really simple to do and hopefully my tutorial will explain it quickly and easily for you too!?!  There is a pdf file at the end for the words, and a link for where I got the Bethlehem Star from too. 

Before I start, I've only tried this technique with darker backgrounds as it won't work for lighter ones.  However, I will suggest other ideas of what you could use instead, but until I do one  myself, I will not know what works best until I try it.

1.  Choose what you want to have on your plaque, ie words, symbols, pictures etc.  I chose to do 'Silent Night, Holy Night' for Christmas.  Choose the fonts, size etc and no worries if it doesn't look like the end product, you can cut the paper up so that you can locate them where you want them to be.

2.  Make sure your words fit on your chosen plaque before you start.  For my 'base' I chose MDF (18mm thick) and sanded the rough edges down.  I then painted it using Dulux 'Urban Obsession', I love it against the white lettering, and I only had to give it two coats too.

3.  Cut your words, symbols etc into strips (if you haven't already), so that you can work on it section by section.  Now rub white chalk on the back of your chosen piece of paper and then trace round the edge of each letter with a biro or pencil.  You don't have to push too hard.

5. When you remove the paper you should have an outline of your word/image, like the above.

6. Now fill the chalk outline in using either a paintbrush or I cheated and did it the really easy way and used a paint pen marker...I love colouring in ;)

7.  Attach a sawtooth hanger (if you so choose) to the back and you're done.

NOTE for lighter coloured bases - try rubbing a charcoal stick, or a pencil on the back of the paper, or use carbon copy paper between the paper and your base.  I hope one of them works and don't worry I'll be trying one of the techniques soon so I will let you know how I get on. 

Here's the links for the Silent Night words and the Bethlehem Star I used...

Have fun creating some lovely plaques!!

DIY Christmas wrapping paper

As you know I have a few kids (6 to be exact) and so I have several teachers, teachers assistants, play school teachers etc that I like to get presents for at Christmas.

I didn't have time to search or come up with an idea for something that the kids could make this year, so instead I got them to decorate the wrapping paper and Christmas tags for their teachers....they loved it!!  It was super easy and no mess either, which is always an added bonus.

The kids used my Sakura souffle pen, and just like their mum they love how it's 'magic'....go buy one now, you won't regret it :)

They drew stars, snowflakes, wrote Christmas messages, and one of my sons just scribbled all over the paper and tag and even that still looks good...and as mentioned before it will be almost invisible when you first put it on, but give it a couple of minutes and it will 'magically' appear!!

We just used brown parcel paper, got the tags for 3p each from a local stationers, and tied it up with chunky butchers twine. 

Hope you enjoy doing this as much as we have, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kids Hanging Christmas Decoration

My three daughters have been keen to have some 'crafty' time with on Saturday we shipped all the boys off to the park with a football and had an hour to get creative!

Our stake does an annual Festival of Nativities, so since I'm helping in the Children's craft room this year I thought I'd get them to make something I could display in the room for ideas of what children can make.

This was one of the items the girlies made (age 7-11)....

...and yes, we were all still in our PJs, haha, the best way hey!!?!

Materials needed
CD/DVD - old or blank
hot glue gun

1. Put a small amount of wadding on top of the CD, then place it on the back of the material you are using as the cover, with the wadding in between the cd and the material.  

(Our material measured approx 24x24cm, yours could be smaller if you use a larger piece of felt on the back) 


2. Use a hot glue gun (with assistance) to glue the fabric to the cd, we folded the top section down first and glued it, then folded the material around bit by bit, gluing as we were going.


3. The back ended up looking like this, no worries how it looks as you can cover it up....stick your ribbon in the middle and to the edge of the cd so that it will hang correctly.


4. Choose what shape you are going to put on the back, my daughter chose to cut out a red felt heart.

5. For the front she chose to do the word 'JOY', so to help my girls not waste a load of felt and also to help get a nice edge, we ironed some freezer paper to the felt so that they could draw their words/shapes on the paper, cut them out and then peel it off ready to stick on....or to make it really easy (esp for kids) just use self-adhesive felt.


My other daughter made this one....

Just a can cut a larger circle of material and do a large running stitch around the edge of the circle to then gather the material in, and this should make it look more circular when finished.

Enjoy being crafty, and don't forget to wear your PJs ;

Christmas 'Tag'

Several weeks ago a good friend of mine, popped over for a play day....and boy did we play!! ;)

We were chatting about how we wanted to help spread the Christmas cheer into our local communities and to be more unified as church members, and this idea was miraculously born!  Somehow it all came together soooo quickly and we couldn't stop high fiving and squealing with delight to each other (no joke!!).

Materials needed
Long ribbon
Red sharpie (felt tip)
Sakura Souffle - white (my new found love)
Distress Ink Pad - walnut stain
Christmas 'Tag' poem

1. Write Christmas 'Tag' using the red pen and then use the white Sakura Souffle pen to make snowflakes...this pen is magic, when you write it will be clear but wait for a couple of minutes and it will magically turn white!!! LOVE!!!

2.Then use your distress ink pad to dab along the edges of the tag and the poem, then use a glue stick to attach the poem.

3. Thread through a long piece of ribbon (I love red and white gingham for anything Christmassy) so that the gifts can be attached, mine measured about 50cm.

4. Attach your small gift that can be posted through a letter box eg a christmas decoration, candy canes, chocolate bar, cd, bag of sweets, dvd etc.

5. Next, post your Christmas 'Tag' to your friend, family or someone in your community and quickly run before you get caught!!!  Or you could also put it in a jiffy bag and send it through the post to someone further afield.

And not forgetting (because I almost did, lol!) here's the poem that you need to attach to the back....

In case you can't read that, here it is.....

You've been 'tagged' in this Christmas game,
Now find somebody else to 'tag' the same.
Attach a small gift to post through their door,
And see how the Christmas cheer spreads even more!

This is a great activity to do as a family (my kids love being secret gifts ninjas...yes they hide, crawl, roll just to get to somebody's front door, haha, love it!!!) or youth group and doesn't cost much either, but helps to share the Christmas feeling with everyone.

Merry Christmas....and please let me know how your tagging goes, or if you're a lucky one to get tagged too!! :)