Friday, March 31, 2017

How to fix your wood sign when things go wrong!

Do you ever have a project in mind and think oh that won't be to hard or take too long.  Well this was that project for me.  

I've made a lot of signs and they have gone fairly smoothly. I wasn't doing anything crazy and my sister even cut the vinyl for me.  Should have been simple.  Well things didn't go quite as planned, in fact everything that could have gone wrong did.  First the stain color was not the color I thought it would be, then my board almost didn't fit in my car and a lot of suitcases had to be rearranged  to get it home (I started this when I was visiting my family), then I left 1 letter in a state across the country, the new letter was the wrong size, then my paint started peeling when I was pulling off the vinyl, my wood was not thick enough to nail a frame to it, I cut one of my boards to short, hammered the nails for the hangers all the way through my board, and finally the letter W is way crooked.  I almost gave up several times but I'm so glad I didn't.  Its very far from perfect (and the W makes me a little crazy) but I love it.

If you are wanting to make a wood sign here's my tutorial for painting a wood sign.  (don't worry this one went smooth) and I love A girl and a Glue guns tutorial for making the frame.

So Here are a few tips in case your sign isn't going as smooth as you had hoped.
Paint peeling.
You have your sign all finished and you start to take the vinyl off and the paint comes with it!  umm that is the worst.  I found that heating it with a blow dryer and using an exacto knife along the edges of the vinyl  where needed worked really well.  Then smooth the paint back down on your wood the best you can.  I'm not sure why the paint peels, it can be a few different things.  I think I put my last coat of paint on way too thick.

A needle can help pull up the edge of your vinyl.

Distressing covers a lot of flaws.  The numbers on my board were in really bad shape (I started using the knife after these)  The 5 was not looking good and I had planned on trying to touch it up with paint.  Instead my sander saved the day.  I did a little heavier distressing in some areas and went over all the letters quite a bit.  This smoothed out all of the imperfections from the peeling paint and it made the 5 look like it was done on purpose.

What if you have a thinner board but you want to framed it.  You can use my tutorial for a chunkier frame.  In this case I hadn't planed on that so I didn't have enough room on the bottom to go this route.  Wood Glue worked perfectly.  I used Gorilla wood Glue and it seems really sturdy.  My bottom board is a little short it would be nice to have those edges meet up to give it a little more support like the top but even that one doesn't feel like its going any where.

One final tip:  This board is huge (almost 5 ft) When placing vinyl its really hard to get it lined up perfectly.  It helped to draw a light pencil line across the board.  Even then its hard to get everything lined up perfectly.  I knew the W was off a little but when it was laying down it seem like it was pretty close so I didn't worry about it.  Next time I would lean it against a wall and and take a step back to see how it looks.  Now that its all painted its something that can't be fixed.

Its not very often that one of my project goes perfectly, or turns out how how I expected it to.  Even the ones that end up being tossed in the trash are not failures.  Creating is a process, it starts with an idea and that idea evolves, and often its a surprised where we end up.  That's one thing I love about creating.   There are always a few bumps and surprises, or it takes a little longer or our skills aren't quite what we need them to be.  On the other hand their are those times when we amaze ourselves, things turn out exactly how you had hope or sometimes even better, we have a new idea, an awesome idea,  we learn new skills, and improve on the ones we have.  I feel like there is a lot unrealistic expectations in regards to what our homes, our projects, or even we need to look like to be considered beautiful or "pinterest worthy." My house is full of projects I love but very few are perfect.  I love that I can look at something and say I did that.  Keep creating, keep learning, keep doing what you love, and fill your home and life with things that make you happy.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

16 Fun Holidays to Celebrate in April

I love finding any reason to celebrate. I found some quirky holidays to go along with your more traditional one that your kids will love.  
Print this list off, mark your calendar, and have fun! I'd love to know how you plan to celebrate this month!

To Print:
Click on the picture.  Right click to save to your computer.
Print at home or send it to your favorite place to print pictures.
If printing at home I like to insert the picture in a word document.  Size and print.  
These are formatted as 8 1/2 x 11 but can easily be sized to fit the size you want.

Weekend Roundup: General Conference ideas

Its that time of year again...General Conference.  I am posting this weeks "weekend roundup" a day early to give you a chance to put together what ever activities you choose.

I posted what we are going to do yesterday (find it here).  

Here are some great ideas I found this week, I'm using a few of them in our General Conference basket. What traditions do you have?  I'd love to know.

 Five Little Chefs idea is just awesome.  Each bag has a few facts and activities to go along with each apostle.  Its a great way to connect with the speaker.

Little LDS Ideas has a lot of fun ideas for Conference.  This go fish game is just too cute and so fun.

Rachel's Book nook has the cutest bingo game.  We used it last time and will be using it again.  Its my kids favorite.  She also shares an idea to play reverse bingo that we just might have to try.

Fab n' Free has a great printable for taking notes.

Heap a Hoopla's General Conferece activity pack is so fun.  We are using a few pages from this.

I found this on Pinterest but the link doesn't work.  I'm guessing every time you hear the word on the jar you get a treat.  This is perfect to keep your kids not just in the room but actually listening.

Another cute Bingo.  This one is from Chicken Scratch n Sniff 

Here's another one from Little LDS Ideas lots of fun worksheets.  I'm excited for the I spy game.  (Check out her Sundae idea in this post as well.  It sounds fun!)

This looks like a really fun basket from We love Being Moms 

Word search from Someone in Mind and more Live Craft Eat.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

General Conference Basket and Hide and Seek Activity

*update: Find your updated October 2017 note cards here.

General Conference weekend is my favorite.  I love that we fill our weekend with family time and listening to the words of the prophet and apostles.  It is so uplifting.  As you know one of the challenging parts if you have younger children in your home is to actually hear and focus on what is being taught. I've tried many things over the years, some successful, and others not so much.  This year we are going to keep it simple.  Before I could even ask my kids if they had any ideas they asked if we could do the "packets" again.  So  we will have a word search, Bingo, I spy game, coloring pages, and a few toddler activities.  There are so many fun options I'll be linking to the ones we are going to use in tomorrows post along with a few other fun ideas I found.   

Here's what we will be doing.  

Conference Basket.  I filled a basket with some fun items I had around the house.  This is just to keep them entertained, in the room, and hopefully focus on the talks. Its hard sitting that long.  It contains a puzzle, their "conference pack" on the clip board, a game, crayons, stickers, play dough (and a play dough mat), bubbles, candy, match game, bubbles, their prophet and apostle fact cards, a little craft project from Targets Dollar section, and a few other little things.  

Other ideas that didn't fit in the basket: build a temple with legos or play dough, and make a special treat, puzzles for the younger kids.  I always let them bring blankets and pillows and I'm sure we'll see lots of barbies and trains.

The basket if fun but our main activity is going to be General Conference Hide and Seek.  I wanted a way for my kids to not just hear the talks but actually listen to them.  In the past I've printed off cute note taking pages but they don't really get used. So I decided we will take notes together this year but here's where the hide and seek come in.  
*feel free to change this idea to fit your family or just use the cards with out the game!  I kind of want a set for myself. (download is at the end)

I made these cute cards (one for the prophet and the apostles as well as some blank ones).  Print them out and cut them apart (I recommend cardstock).  There are 2 cute cover page options that we will use later.  Since we don't know who else will be speaking you can use the blank cards if you want.  I am not going to hide these ones and we will add a few people to each card.

 Hide them around the room or house before conference starts.  

 When you know who will be speaking next it time to find the right card.  (This is where the pause button comes in handy so they don't miss any of the talk especially if you hide them in other parts of the house).  
 Listen to the talk and take a few notes together.  This can be as simple as you want to make it. The main idea of the talk is great, a favorite story, anything that stands out to you and your kids.  I picture ours will say something like...he talked about being kind to our family, or "The Holy Ghost."  
After conference gather all your cards and cute cover and create a book by stapling them together or hole punching the top and add a ring.
You'll have a cute reference as you study the talks through out the year.  I plan to use these for future family home evening lessons.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

B for bear day

I love doing theme days and sneak in learning through play.  This was from a little while ago but too cute not to share.  There are a lot of fun ways to teach the letter B

We started our day watching Teddy bear picnic Song then had our own picnic. It was raining outside so the living room was a fun alternative.

They watched a Diego episode about spectacle bears while they ate
for a snack we had bear shaped sandwiches.  I did add a little jelly as well for the ears and cheeks
We read some bear books together and they looked at them for a while after.
Played with blocks
 Made a B bear-Here's Livy's before she added a dress
 Livy's and Aubrey's
They played Barbies in  a bubble bath while wearing their bathing suits
We made these fun animals found here.  We were only going to do the bear but they wanted one of each.  Aubrey decided to take a break and will finish hers later.  Livy loved doing this.
 I hid 10 bears around the room and the girls went on a bear hunt.  I thought I took some cute pictures but they turned out blurry-I'm still trying to get use to my new camera.
We watched this video about a brown bear, ateBrazilian rice and Beans for dinner, and had Triple Berry cobbler for dessert.
It was a fun day! 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Triple Berry Cobbler

This was so yummy! We didn't have any ice cream so I loved it cold out of the fridge. Whip Cream would also be tasty. I found the recipe on Marin's Creations.

1 stick butter, melted
1 1/4 cups, plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used frozen)

1. Grease a 3 qt. baking dish (don't forget like I did).
2. In a medium bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with the flour and milk.
3. stir in melted butter.
4. Pour the batter into the baking dish and sprinkle berries evenly over the batter.
5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the top of the berries
6. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When ten minutes of baking time remain, sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar over top.

So delicious! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Preparing for General Conference FHE (Fishers of Men)

Update October 2018: You can find the new apostles added in this post along with some fun facts! 

With General Conference this week I wanted to do something special for FHE.  I just finished putting this together and haven't even printed or tried it out but I wanted to get it to you as soon as possible.  With that being said let me know if anything needs to be fixed or have any questions.  I think my kids are really going to like it.

We are going to be learning some fun facts about the apostle and prophets so they might recognize some of them as they speak but more importantly we are going to talk about why we have a prophet and apostle, why we have conference and how we can be spiritually prepare to hear their messages.  This is just my outline.  Add whatever you think would be best for your family.

You can download The games and quote here. 

The Theme is "Follow me, and I will make you Fishers of Men"

Start with  this clip (Bible story fishers of men)
Ask questions such as "what do you think Jesus was asking them to do?  What does it mean to be a fisher of men?  Do you think it would have been hard to leave?)

Game (have them raise their hand when they know the answer but do not say it out loud):

He is also like the disciples in Jesus's time that left their nets and followed him.  The prophet and apostles in our day are also "Fishers of Men."  They Follow Jesus Christ and help spread his message.

I like this quote from Elder Scott D. Whiting  Talk found here. (If you have teens I think the beginning of this talk would be really good to use.)
"I have thought of this example many times as I have considered that those who stand at the head of the Church have responded with similar faith to the invitation to “follow me.” Like the ancient Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by prophets and apostles, who have forsaken their nets and their hard-earned professions and have developed new skills in order to serve and follow the Master."

Fishing Game. You can use this game however you want.  I included all 15 but you can use just a few or all them.   I am going to put the names on the back and use our apostle fact cards for the pictures. I was going to make my own but there are lots of great ones already (search pinterest) .  We are using this set. has all of their pictures and Bios here if you don't want to print anything out. When we catch a fish we will read the name find him in our book and read a few fun facts about him.  To make it a little harder match the name with the picture only.

To make the game: Print (card stock works best) and Cut out the fish.  On the back glue/tape either the names or the pictures (also included in the download). Slide a paper clip on each fish (a magnet works too).  For the pole I like to use a wooden dowel, tie yarn to the end and glue 2 button magnets to the end on the yarn.

Ask How can we prepare for General Conference?

Finish with this video.  This is a short clip of some of the apostles and the prophet bearing testimony of the Savior.  Its my favorite.  I think its so important for my children not to just read the words of the prophet but to actually hear and see the prophet speak.  What better message then one of the Savior.

The link doesn't work but how cute would this be for a treat. (pretzels, licorice, and gold fish)

Adorable fish clip art from here.

Scrapbook Sunday #2

My quick tip: You are often limited to a few elements with free kits.  Don't let this limit you in the number of layouts you make with each kit.  Use the 2 or 3 different pattern paper in your layout to give new variety.  If your program allows it you can even "cut" the paper into different shapes to create new elements for your page.

1 kit 4 layouts. Sweet Shoppe (Cool Girls-Free kit)

(wood frame was in another free kit that is no longer available)

 (wood background was a free download-can't remember where I found it but there are a ton on pinterst)

Sweet Shoppe (Heart Attack-It was a free sample kit last year but you can still find the full paid kit here.)  Look for their free kits here.

Find out more about the software I use here (and there is a discount code!)