Sunday, January 31, 2010

Psyched Up to Serve



February is our family's month to learn about service.

So, to kick it off, I decided to get myself "psyched up to serve"
by making this sweet little ruffled apron.

(It's also my first sewing project for the "Sewing Smack-down"
that I'm having with my Mom and Sister this month.)

Make one of these for yourself and follow along with us
as our family goes through our own "Service Boot Camp".

To make this apron you'll need the following fabrics:

(1) 15 1/2" x 20 1/2" piece of fabric for the back of the apron - Piece A
(4) 6 1/2" x 33 1/2" pieces of fabric for the ruffles - Piece B
(2) 4 1/2" x 24 1/2" pieces for the apron strings - Piece C
(1) 4 1/2" x 20 1/2" piece of fabric for the band - Piece D


Start by creating a 1/4 inch hem all the way around piece A.
Then create a 1/4 inch hem around three side of pieces B,
leaving one long side unhemmed.


Using long stitches, sew along the unsewn side of piece B,
approximately 1/4 inch into the fabric and again at 1/8 inch,
as shown.


Gently pull the threads to gather and create your ruffle.
Repeat for the other three B pieces.



Starting on the bottom, pin the top edge of the first ruffle
to the wrong side of piece A
at about one inch from the bottom.
Adjust the gathers to fit all the way across piece A.
Pin down and sew across to secure.

Sew the next ruffle at about four inches above the first ruffle
making sure that the top ruffle overlaps the one beneath it by about one inch.

Repeat with the remaining ruffles,
leaving about 1 1/2 inches of piece A at the top.



Next, hem around pieces C, leaving one short side open.

Take piece D and create a 1/4" hem all the way around it by folding and ironing.

Fold piece D length-wise over the top of your apron. Press.
Insert pieces C into the sides.
Pin this all together.
Sew, taking care to tuck all unsewn edges under.

Whew!


I love, love, love this apron.
So does my daughter, who has asked me to make her a "tutu", too!
I guess I'll be making another one of these on a miniature scale,
since I plan on having my kids serving right along side of me.

I will post the child apron pattern soon.

If you have any questions about the directions above,
see the tutorial on One more Moore for more details.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Strengthen Families, Strengthen Society



"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."



As the "fundamental unit of society",
the family is also the "building block" of society.

So, it was fitting that we made these
for the final day of our

Family is everything.

Family is where we all begin,
and where we will all return.

I believe that this world is only as good
as the families in it.

That is why we must strengthen and celebrate families
beginning with our own.

I am so thankful for the prompting that lead me down
this path of teaching the principles found in
to my children.

"'We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ', and His full doctrine which is based on the theology of the family. We are 'not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ' or His doctrine. We are willing to defend it and teach it with clarity. And we know that as we do so we will have heavenly help."

I have felt that heavenly help during the last 30 days
as we have studied this inspired document.

I hope that everyone reading this will take
up the challenge to study The Family Proclamation
together, purposefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully.

I promise, it is worth every investment.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Disintegration of the Family Brings Calamities



"Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."


A Calamity is defined as a great misfortune, disaster, grievous affliction, or misery.

We can avoid experiencing this misery
by heeding the simple truths found in

The Wacky Feet that we made together today,
and the way that my kids stomped around in them like Godzilla,
really brought home the idea of "calamities" for me.

And I think that my children understood it too.
Being careless about our family relationships is destructive.

But for the sake of play,
our Wacky Feet were a total blast!

Here's how you can make some with your own family:


Draw some fun wacky feet on a flat piece of cardboard.

We made "ghost feet", duck flippers, and clown shoes.


Cut out your shape.
Then trace and cut a second foot to match.
Then cut out two, two-inch wide straps.


Paint.


When the wacky feet have dried completely,
have your child stand with feet in position.
Mark the cardboard close to the sides of each foot,
where you will cut slits for the straps.




Cut slits.


Insert strips.



Be sure that the strap is positioned correctly to fit the child's foot snuggly.
Trim and fold the straps flat in the back.
Secure with hot glue.


And you're in business.

We all really enjoyed playing with our Wacky Feet,
but it was very difficult to get pictures of the kids,
because once they had their wacky feet on
they were off and running!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Will Be Held Accountable for How We Treat Our Families



"We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God."



Through the scriptures and through modern-day Prophets,
the Lord has taught us the way to live "after the manner of happiness".

The way is to follow Christ's example,
to love and treat each other tenderly,
especially within our families.

During our day-to-day interactions,
we each might benefit from small reminders,
like the ones pictured here.

Why not put your reminders in places you'll see
when you might need them most...like when you are
crawling around picking up bits of toys for the 100th time,
or when you are doing laundry
or choosing what to watch on TV or the internet?

I love these outlet covers,
because besides being nice to look at,
they are very functional!


Here's how I made these decorative outlet covers:

First, I created my designs online, using a free service called Wordle.

Just enter the words that you want
and see what it comes up with.
Or if you are very crafty/artsy,
draw or paper craft your own designs.

(If you are interested in using the design above for
"manner of happiness", I saved it here.)



Trim your design to fit your piece of wood by tracing and cutting to fit.
I used plain wood pieces measuring about 5x6 inches.
That way it covers the entire outlet.

I decoupaged the design to the wood.

Then using a glue gun, I applied hot glue to a plastic outlet cover already in the wall.
Working quickly, I placed the wood onto the plastic cover,
sizing it up to make sure it was straight and even.

Wait a minute for the glue to dry/harden...and voila!

I love our little reminders...

And you will be very pleased
when your outlet cover comes off without a struggle
(but still too difficult for a small child to remove.)

For some very cool examples of how to do this project
up right, check out Whimsy-Girl.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Mother's Mantra: Nurture



"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."



I can think of a thousand words to describe
the great and sacred responsibilities
rolled up in the job of Mother.

It's interesting that the Lord chooses just one:
Nurture.

The Proclamation goes on to say that
"In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."

For today's project, I created a "Mother's Nurture Bag".

It's patterned after a no-sew make-up bag that I saw online yesterday.
Their pattern is easy enough for an eight-year-old child to make,
using fabric glue. I chose to sew mine and add a few personal details,
but it's still very easy to make.

Here's how I did it, if you'd like to make one of your own!


Cut a piece of sturdy material measuring 14 x8 inches.
Then cut it into two pieces measuring 9 x 8 and 5 x 8.
Place right sides of the fabric together and sew along the bottom/8 inch side.

Fold over the edges and iron to create a finished edge.
Sew all the way around your piece.



Using a complimentary fabric, cut a 13.5 x 7.5 inch piece.
Fold, iron, and sew around to create a finished edge on this piece as well.


Then place the wrong sides of the fabric together and pin.
Sew across both 8 inch sides.

Now fold your project from the bottom up to create the pouch.
Carefully sew along the sides to enclose the bag and attach the rest of the liner.

To keep things easy, I used velcro for the enclosure,
but I sewed a decorative button on the front.

(Note: If you are beyond my remedial sewing level,
you can also combine these steps and sew it all together at once to avoid extra stitches.)



I love the liner fabric,
but I decided that my bag needed a little something extra...

So, I hand-stitched the word "nurture" where only I would see it.




And my basic make-up bag suddenly became my "Mommy's Nurture Bag".

I filled the pouch with things that I typically use to nurture my little ones:
band-aids and Neosporin for my boy,
lip gloss for my little girl,
and some mini-love notes (made by my sister).

Maybe your bag will also contain:
a small sewing kit, tissues, candy,
and more items to nurture yourself as well.

Tuck this in your bag and you're good to go.
You never know when your superhero Mother-skills
will be called upon to save the day.

("Is there a Mother in the house?")


And now, I'm going to do something really nutty, because I'm just crazy like that.

I am officially challenging my sister Dawn, my mother Susan, and my SIL Hillary to a
SEWING SMACK-DOWN.

Here are the rules for the Smack-Down:

1. Sew three different projects.
The projects can be new or ones you've already started,
but not one you've already finished.

2. Post a tutorial for each on your blog on the due date.
The projects are due on these three Mondays: Feb 1, 8, and 22.

3. I'll post photos and links to all three of the projects on the same day.

4. The project that receives the most votes is the Smack-Down Winner,
and will earn herself bragging rights within the family.

(I know that by challenging some very awesome seamstresses,
I am just asking for a Smack-Down...but I already told you, I'm just crazy like that.)

The gauntlet has been thrown...will they accept???

(Ha! In a post about "nurturing" I just used the word "Smack-down"!
Life is so full of inconsistencies! I'm still working on mine...)


Photobucket

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fathers: Preside, Provide & Protect



"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families."



I couldn't be very good at my job as a mother,
if my husband wasn't such an incredible father.

No doubt this is a testament to how he was raised by his own parents,
his dedication to the gospel of Christ,
the way that he honors his duties in the Priesthood,
and his love for us.

Each father is different.
Each family is unique.

But any father who does his best
to preside, provide for, and protect his family,
will be well on his way to becoming the father he was meant to be.

After describing a mother's responsibility in the family (to nurture),
The Proclamation goes on to describe mothers and fathers
as "equal partners"....equal partners.

When we work together, as equal partners,
family life is very sweet,
and both Mom and Dad feel fulfilled, needed,
and appreciated for the special talents
that they each bring to the family.



Today's project is "not your father's paper weight"
--turned "art installation".

I saw the idea on this site.

But I bought upper instead of lower case letters,
so it was harder to make my photos fit.



It's probably easy to see what I did.
Print off some favorite photos of Dad.
Glue them to the back of your letters creating a framing effect.
If you buy craft letters, instead of the wooden ones that I used,
they should stand on their own.
I glued mine to a stand to keep them upright.

I considered gluing today's quote on the back for Daddy to read, but at the last minute I used the children's artwork for the back instead.

I'm sure when you do it, you'll have a much better-thought-out plan!

You could add your own personalization and creativity,
and this would be a neat Father's Day gift.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Families Prosper Through Work & Wholesome Play



"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."


It actually is a rainy day over in our corner of the world.
A very rainy day, in fact...

Making "Rainy Day Bingo" a perfect tie-in with our lesson
about work and wholesome recreational activities within families.

Here's how you play:
First download and print off a Rainy Day Bingo Card for each child.
Then fill each square with activities: both work & play.
Mark off each activity as you do it together.
When the children fill in their entire bingo card,
you can reward them with a special prize.



Our Bingo game sent us on many adventures today:
We snuggled, read books, bounced in the bounce house, played hide & seek, cleaned up toys, folded and put away laundry, hugged Autumn and made her laugh, shared, called Grandparents and Daddy to say "I love you." and had a puppet show. We also enjoyed the cattle corral and rock climbing wall that Guy built in our front entryway using twine, to fulfill his requirement to "Build something great."

My kids LOVED this game.
They are now asking me
(with their mouths full of marshmallows), to,
"Please make us another bingo game!"

Work & play is always more fun when we do it together, as a family.

I found the idea for today's activity on this blog.
However, I made the "Rainy Day Bingo Card" myself
and it's a free download for you, so please enjoy!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Families Need Respect, Love & Compassion



"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities."


As you can see, we are talking about parts of this line from The Family Proclamation each day.



I saw these paper chain snowflakes on some craft site,
but I didn't save the link, so regretfully,
I have no one to attribute this to.

But when I saw these snowflakes online,
I thought that they were rather striking,
and was excited to make them with my children
this morning before church.



I call these paper chain snowflakes, because you basically start off like you are going to make a paper chain. You just connect them differently. Using scrapbook paper, some plain and some double-sided, I cut ten strips about 8.5 x less than 2 inches.
Then my son stapled them into circles.
We stapled, because it was the quickest way, but you could also glue them.



Next you flatten each circle.
Then take five flattened rings
and staple them together
near what will be the center of your snowflake.



Last, staple the remaining five flattened rings
in between the first five,
creating a second ring around your snowflake.



In order to tie this craft in with the lesson, you might choose to write the words "faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities" on the rings before you assemble your snowflake, and talk about how these individual principles enhance the family unit.

You can hang your snowflakes or stand them up on a shelf.
Put a few together, and they make a nice centerpiece.
My kids were very excited to give theirs to their
Primary and Nursery leaders today at church.