Two Quick and Easy Mother's Day Cards for Kids

Looking for Mother's Day crafts? Be sure to check out our DIY pop-up cards and our peanut butter Oreo truffles (or, really, all our chocolate recipes!)

Mother's (or is it Mothers' Day? both work!) is just 11 days away. Here are the first of 4 easy cards or booklets you can help your children create. Of course they don't just work for Mother's Day. I used these two in my classroom as a 7th grade teacher. The students enjoyed making these and using them to review or present facts.
Number 1: Flap book

Cut 4 strips of paper the same size. (You can use colored paper or white.)  (4" x 8" would work, but you can vary the size.)

Lay the paper in a stack, but stagger it as shown below. You can measure the intervals carefully or just eyeball it.

Fold the stack in half, staggering the middle intervals the same as the ones you have already folded.

You are going to need to staple the paper to attach all the pages together. After you have creased the fold you just made, open the book. If your paper is short enough, or you have a long neck stapler, you may be able to open the booklet and staple it directly on the fold (like a magazine). If not, staple it on top very close to the fold.

Decide what you want each flap to say. Write the words and then illustrate each page. You could use stickers of photographs, too.

Number 2: "Squeeze" Book.
Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise. (Hot dog style as we say!)
Fold lengthwise again, and fold one more time.

Open the paper. You should have 8 small rectangles.
Fold the paper in half again, this time widthwise (?) or hamburger style.
 From the folded edge, cut on the center creased line to the first fold. Spot marked with a dot in the picture on the left. Open the paper.   You have a slit in the middle of the paper.

Now, fold the paper in half, hot dog style. This is where the squeeze comes in. Grasp the two edges of the paper and squeeze toward the center.

Since I was holding the camera, I couldn't grasp both sides of the paper.
Now fold the paper into a book shape. Crease it well and then create your book!

Next week I will show how to make 2 easy pop-up cards that children can create. Enjoy!

Looking for Mother's Day crafts? Be sure to check out our DIY pop-up cards and our peanut butter Oreo truffles (or, really, all our chocolate recipes!)


On Christmas Eve, our extended family on my mom's side gets together for dinner, carols and a gift exchange called Gift From the Heart. About a month or two before, we draw names for GFtH. It's kind of like Secret Santa. After you draw a name, you keep it a secret and make or buy them a present. The present isn't just any present, it's a thoughtful gift that has meaning behind it. This past Christmas I drew Brooke's name. I decided to make her a countdown to her due date. Paper chains and electronic countdowns are sometimes boring and not personal so I had to be more creative than that. Brooke LOVES Skittles so what better way to countdown to your due date than eating a skittle a day? With the help of my mom, I found a small jar (a baby jar would've been even better but we couldn't find any empty ones anywhere!) Then I counted out the days until her due date. Just like that, you have a fun and simple countdown!

For an update of last week's craft, I wore my dress for Easter Sunday and got many complements on it!

Cricut Basics

Cricuts are an awesome addition to every crafters arsenal. Cricuts are personal electronic die-cutting machines. During my next three posts I’m going to outline three different aspects of Cricuts. The first entry will be about Basics, an introduction to Cricuts for those of you who don’t (yet) have one. The next week will be Cricut Beginnings which will be what to do once you have a Cricut cutter. The last week will be Cricut Techniques which is some of the tips I have found out through experience or research.

Cricut Basics- for non- pre-owners
You may have heard of the Cricut machine, passed the Cricut aisle in the craft store, or even seen one in action but what is it really? Cricut is produced by Provo Craft and they make multiple products under the label. Here is a list of their products.

The Cricut (original)- Can produce 1”- 5.5” image from cartridges that fit all of the Cricut Machines. You put paper on a sticky mat (12”x6”) , type in what image you want on the keyboard, and press cut.

The Cricut Create- Can produce a .25”-5.5” image. Uses the same cartridges and mat as the original Cricut.

The Cricut Expression- Can produce images much larger. Uses the same cartridges but the mat is 12”x12” or 12”x 24.” Has more cutting options than the smaller versions.

The Cricut Cake- Pretty much the same as the Expression only can cut out products like fondant.

Juke Box- Can utilize up to 6 Cricut cartridges and switch between them with the push of a button instead of having to change them in and out.

Gypsy- A handheld design studio that you can download your cartridges onto and create images which you can cut out with your Cricut.

Design Studio- Similar to the Gypsy only it is a computer program that links up to your Cricut. You can download a free trial to see how it works. I'll talk more about this another day.

Cricut Imagine- This is the newest Cricut product. It is like an Expression plus a printer. You can actually print and cut at the same time. It helps with layering images and of course adds color.

Here is a simple demonstration of how a Cricut works:

Update on the 3Yin3M Challenge: I'm still going strong. I have used my Cricut a ton so I don't have to keep buying more letters and cut outs individually at the store. Pictures coming next week!

You can still submit a project to the Wayward Weekend. We would love to see what you guys do!

Cloud shaped garland

So Brave Brooke is expecting her first baby in June. In February I asked her if I could throw her a baby shower. Since then I've been collecting ideas for decor, food and activities at the shower. It's now crunch time as the shower is a mere 12 days away! I've made a to do list for every day from now until then because I also have to finish the present for the baby.

The theme for the shower is "Heaven Sent," I was looking for inspiration and found this idea for garland from Remodelaholic (love that blog). I decided to adapt my party theme to this garland and make mine out of clouds!

White fabric (got mine for a steal from the remnant bin at Joann)
Sewing Machine

Here's what I did:

1. First, freestyle a picture of a cloud on cardstock. It doesn't have to be perfect. Cut it out and then use it as a template on your white fabric. You could use a disappearing pencil or just a plain ol' pencil like I did. After tracing your cloud over and over, cut them out. To make it easier I would fold the fabric over and cut out two at a time:


2. Pin the clouds together. You can spread them out more than I did, but I wanted to make sure they'd stay together. If you spread them out the probably would look more like clouds (or whatever shape you wanted) in the end.


I made several different strands and then attached them while I was sewing.

3. Sew them all together in as straight of a line as possible, but it doesn't really matter (which is great since I told you guys I can't really sew. You should have seen the fight I had with the bobbin last night). Connect the different strands when you run out. 

Cloud Garland

4. You're DONE! This craft was really easy once I got my bobbin fixed (I'm not still upset about that or anything). I laid it out on my couch to show you a contrasting color.

I used about a remnant that was 3/4 of a yard and my garland was about 10 ft long (much longer than my couch, I didn't show the extra). I'm excited to use this in decorating! It doesn't look TOO cloud-y so I could use it in a different party as well.


What kind of shapes would you cut?

****Don't forget about Wayward Weekend! It's still going on and you can link your projects up. Scroll down to link your latest creation!

Not-so-crisp fruit crisp

This weekend, I opened a big can of peach halves, only used two of them. So (inspired by too many Chopped episodes) I decided to make a fruit crisp.

Here's the fruit in the pan:

And the topping mix:

Together, before baking:

And after baking:

It looks delicious, but one thing was a little disappointing: the topping texture. It just wasn't crisp enough! I was expecting more of a streusel topping texture: light, crunchy, sweet. The proportions reminded me of my husband's favorite coffee cake streusel topping, but instead this was a little crunchy, and a lot chewy.

Here's what I used (to the best of my recollection):
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2/3 c quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 c flour

Because I use unsalted butter, I sprinkled a tiny bit of salt over the top. I also sprinkled on a little cinnamon. The taste of the topping and filling was fine. But, man, why did this fruit crisp turn out less than crispy?

A little help?

Wayward Weekend!

Welcome to the first ever Wayward Weekend! We're so excited to have 50 followers, and we're sure you're all wonderfully wayward and crafty. We also want to get to know you better. So we're celebrating with
Show off your recent projects!

How do I participate?
 If you've blogged about (or even just taken a picture of) your latest project (baked good, scrapbook page, sewing project, etc.etc.etc.), share it with the linky below. Be sure to add the badge or just link back to this post.

Copy the code below the badge into the HTML of your post for an easy link back to here.

 <a href=""><img src="" border="0" alt="Wayward Weekend" /></a>

Be sure to read and comment on the two posts above yours!

There's a chance we'll be featuring some of our favorite projects of yours soon here on WGC!

I'm sure Brooke would have wanted to post this, but she's sick today (well wishes and prayers appreciated).

"Nana, but did you make me anything special?"

My consuming passion for the past month has been creating  a quiet/busy book for Jordan's children. I have been gluing, cutting, coloring, riveting, and searching for specialty items for weeks. I finished it in time for my trip to Utah and was excited to give it to the children. On Sunday, Hayden worked his way through the entire book-- there are about 17 different activities-- taking nearly  an hour.  He enjoyed it, but when he got finished, he looked at me and said, "Nana, but did you make me anything SPECIAL?"

Special or not, here are some ideas to make a busy book of your own. Since this one was for the kids to take to church, most of the pages are scripture or gospel based. Yours doesn't have to be. They emphasize counting, matching color and shape, letter identification, fine motor skills and coloring. Many of the pages came from a children's magazine (The Friend) that I had saved for many years. Also, many of the activity can be found at their website (This is a magazine from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but many of the activities are suitable for all Christian faiths.)The Friend activity pages. I also used folder games from a website called Mormon Chic .   You can also create pages on your own.

To get started: find activities that your children would enjoy. Each activity will probably consist of a background page and pieces. Print out the pages and pieces on or glue the pages to  cardstock. In order to make mine stronger,  I cut out the pieces and glued them (glue stick or spray adhesive) to old file folders. Then I cut them out and laminated them with my Xyron 900.  A problem I have encountered with the laminating film from the Xyron is that it is too slick for things to adhere to it. Since I was using sticky back  Velcro to attach everything, I roughed up the back surface of each piece with an emery board. It only takes a few strokes. You can also used "clear" Contact paper, but it isn't really clear. There are other laminating options at office or craft stores. You can also have things laminated for you at office stores.

(Lessons I learned in the process: Make sure you glue things together really well! Some of my things started coming apart, so I ended up using transparent tape to seal them back together after they were laminated. Also, don't trim your laminating film too close. I know it looks better, but they will last better if there is an 1/8" or so around them.)

I slipped each paged into a glossy page protector and applied sticky back Velcro  to attach the pieces. I am going to tape the top of each page shut so that the pages don't slip out.

What to do with all those pieces: I used transparent vinyl I purchased from a fabric store (the sales slip was still on it. I got it in 1998!) to create pockets for each set of pieces. Just figure out the size you will need to fit your pieces. Double the length and then add about 1 1/2" for a flap. (Ex: If you need a pocket 5" wide and 6" long, cut your vinyl 5" wide and 13 1/2" long.) Fold the bottom over to create the 5" x 6" pocket with the flap extended. Set your machine to a wide zigzag stitch and sew each edge about 1/4" from the edge. Reinforce the ends of each seam by backstitching. Use Velcro to create a closure.

A word about Velcro. There are lots of choices. I selected transparent sticky back circles. (40 sets in a pack for about $5.00 at Walmart) I cut each circle in half. I also got some white sticky back Velcro that I used when it didn't matter if it showed. Make sure you match the placement of the set on the piece and on the background pages.

I decided on the order of my pages and then figured out where the pocket should go. Some are right on the activity page, others are before, but most are on the back of the page. I varied the placement (top, middle or bottom) on the page so that the bottom of the book wouldn't be too thick. I attached them with a heavy duty packaging tape so they are very secure.

Some pages needed more durability than glue or tape. For these I used eyelets and or brads. The drawback to this is that you can't use the back of the page for anything else.

One great addition that I found was Dry-Erase crayons. I included a set of those so that the children can complete a maze page and color on the coloring pages. They can also draw on the back of the notebook. The crayons can be purchased at Michaels and other craft stores for about $5 for a set of 8. They color smoothly and wipe right off with the mitt that is included.

I used printed scrapbook paper to create a stormy background for Jonah and the whale puppets.

I used Brooke's Cricut to cut out these shapes for matching.

These are the pages I created: 

1. I Feel My Savior's Love—matches numbers to objects
2. In the beginning—shape and number recognition
3. Treasures of a happy life—threading "jewels" on a shoestring, also a lock and key
4. Noah's Ark
5. Dress the Bear (several outfits from MormonChic)
6. The Birth of Jesus (flannel board story)
7. Remember Jesus Wheel
8. Animal matching game
9.  Healthy food—choosing healthy food out of the "fridge"
10. Jonah and the Whale puppets
11. A child of God—adding eyes, noses, and mouths to create faces
12. Color matching (children's clothes to chairs)
13.Family Tree
14. Flower Garden
15. Shape Matching Game
16. Coloring pages (2)
17. Letter recognition cards with stories of the prophets on them.

Modest is Hottest

In our faith we have high standards for our lives. The For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet describes our standards which we live by. It is completely your choice of what standards you want to live by. These are standards set by the church which are strongly encouraged to live by. Something that is very important to me is modesty. I have high standards for myself which includes what I wear. Modest clothes are clothes that are not revealing. Some of the basic guidelines the church has outlined on modest attire include shirts with sleeves, no low cut in front or back, no bare midriff should show, and shorts/skirts should be worn to the knee. Bathing suits should also not be very revealing and should cover the stomach. Some say the church is too strict and should "lighten up." I disagree completely. It may be hard to find modest clothing but it's worth it. Dressing modestly has helped me and my self worth. Besides, since when did it hurt to cover up a little? :)

Now on to my craft! Taking a borderline too short dress and making it modest!
I needed a new dress for Easter (and because I love new clothes.) The mommers and I went shopping and found a cute dress and JC Penney. I tried it on and it was just a tad too short. Since it's so hard to find a dress with decent sleeves, we decided we could pull a Tim Gunn and make it work. With a few inches of fabric and some thread, you can turn a borderline dress into something modest!

What you'll need:
A dress that needs some adding to
Thread (1 spool of the background color, and one bobbin)
Pins (to pin the extra fabric onto the dress so it doesn't stretch or move while sewing)
A yard of fabric that is 5+ inches wide (depending on how long you need your addition to be you can have more or less than 5 inches. 5 inches is just a guess made to make sure there was the right length after sewing.)
Sewing machine (or you can do it yourself as well!)

Sew the extra material onto the hem on the back side of the dress. We gathered the fabric slightly to give it flow but that was just an added touch.
Be sure to choose thread that will blend into the background color. Sew on the hem and your stitches can seem more hidden. The bobbin thread can the same color as your extra fabric but doesn't have to be.

**We folded the fabric so there wasn't a raw edge. This may add an inch to the width of the extra fabric.

And just like that, you have a little extra length!

Want to know more about our beliefs and standards? Check out the link on the right hand side towards the top of the page. I added some links to the bottom of this post as well. PS you don't have to be young to have these standards :)

For the Youth
For the Strength of the Youth
Articles of Faith

3 years in 3 months challenge: intro

Brave Brooke here and I have to be pretty brave to be taking on this challenge! We have a baby girl joining our family in three months. Before I got married I scrapbooked all of my husband and my dates and trips. I lived in Utah with my super crafty sister Just Jaime at the time. After I did not keep up my diligence. Hence I am stuck here. I really need to be up to date when the baby arrives because of course we'll have a lot more pictures after that! To add more to do: I haven't done my wedding album yet. So here we go on embarking on the:

Wish me luck! Stay tuned for more scrapbooking!

Here's the big announcement:
To celebrate 50 followers this weekend we will be hosting a link up party. Gather your crafts and your friends and we can all share. We're really excited to see what you can do and pass some ideas and inspiration around!

How to make your own camera bag or die trying

Have you seen those expensive camera bags that look like large purses? I love the look, but they are so expensive! I didn't want to buy a bag which could go out of style in a year and then want a new one forever. I decided to take things into my own hands. This is where things may have gotten messy.

I'd seen several tutorials on how to make your own camera bag, but they weren't step by step the way I wanted. I combined what I saw to make my camera bag. While making this bag I came to the realization: I'm a terrible sewer. I think I knew this but I got a bit cocky when beginning this project. I took some pictures of the beginning of my project but stopped when I lost confidence. Luckily I came out with something I really like even though it's not perfect. I know my methods aren't perfect or even ideal, but I thought I'd share my way =)

Here are my starting materials:

A $20 purse from Ross. Make sure it has a flat bottom (insert Queen joke),
Foam remnants (bought for 50% off and then 50% off of that at JoAnn!),
2 Large pieces of plastic needlepoint canvas
White fabric (left over from another project)

Glue Gun
Sewing Machine
Measuring tape

How I did it: 
1. I pulled out the lining of my bag and then measured my plastic needlepoint canvas. I trimmed off some height and I'd recommend trimming it even shorter than I did here.

2. I wanted to make one long panel that would fit in my purse it a "C" shape. Because the needlepoint canvas wasn't long enough to make the "C" in my bag, I stitched the two pieces together with twine. 

3. Next I measured the foam and covered BOTH sides of the canvas in foam.

4. Then came this little beauty, my glue gun. 

 5. I glued the foam to the canvas and together like so

 6. Next came the "Oh crap, I actually don't really know how to sew well enough to make my own pattern" I wrapped the fabric around the cushion I made and sewed. It turned out very loose and hard to sew WHILE on the cushion. 
 7. Not shown, I made a simple bottom cushion with striped fabric the same way I made the long "C" cushion.  Then I stuck both in my bag. As you can see, it turned out to be too tall and the fabric looked loose and I didn't like it =( It kinda looked like a pillow was stuck in my purse! That's when I called my momma. She told me what I already knew but gave me the encouragement I needed. I took the white cover off the cushion, trimmed the cushion's height and length down and then put the white fabric on. I traced where the cushion when and then took it off and pinned it. I sewed it and it fit much more snugly. I ironed the edges so they looked nice and neat and then sewed them.  This is my final product:

 My camera fits snugly and this will work well until I get another lens!

What do you think? Not too bad for my first project without my mom, right? This bag worked great for my trip to visit Jordan and it kept my camera safe. I'm happy with my end product.
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