Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Activity Day: Ceramic Tiles

This week for activity day (church group of girls ages 8-11) we discussed President Monson's talk from the April 2012 Young Women's conference about how living the gospel and obeying God's commandments makes our lives easier.  I highlighted this quote:

Obey your parents. Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. When they are obeyed, our lives will be more fulfilling, less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear. We will receive the Lord’s promised blessings...  You have but one life to live. Keep it as free from trouble as you can.
Next, we discussed some specifics. For instance, how would making the correct choice not to steal make their life easier?  They could see how stealing could lead to loss of trust, loss of friends, and even legal consequences, etc.  We also discussed choosing not to use drugs- how would that choice bless them? Etc.

Then we painted ceramic tiles as a reminder to always choose the right.  We used small ceramic tiles from Habitat for Humanity Restore and Folk Art Enamel Paints.  Ahead of time I cleaned the tiles with rubbing alcohol and then traced CTR (choose the right) onto the center of each tile.  The girls wrote their names on the back of each tile in pencil- important since the tiles won't be ready to take home immediately.  Then the girls painted the "CTR" letters and embellished the remaining area.  I baked the tiles to set the paint and then later delivered the finished tile with a little easel to each girl.  I found the easels in a bag of twelve in the fine art section at Michaels... on clearance :o)

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Family History Break

I'm sorry I haven't posted much lately.  I'm still here.  Still happy.  I'm just not feeling much urge to craft... weird, I know.  I look around my house and while it doesn't have the latest trends in decorating, it's comfortable and I like it.  So, I don't feel the need to make stuff to decorate with....

My daughter invited a few friends from school over for tonight.  We are going to make earrings- so, I'll get a little crafting in :o)

What else am I up to?  I know I mentioned it before but I've been bitten by the family history bug.  I love it!  It is so much fun to find a relative on the 1900 census and to realize that the mom had eight children but only five are listed and to search and find those missing three.

Did you know that if you do your research at a LDS family history center (located inside many meeting houses for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) you can have free access to several huge online genealogical websites.  Yes!  ancestry.com is free, fold3 is free and several other wonderful resources.  You don't have to be a member of the church to use these family history centers, everything is free, and they even have people there to help you as needed.  Click here to find the family history center closest to you.  I'm telling you it's FUN!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Healthy Treat

My current healthy obsession- Fage Greek yogurt with honey.  

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Activity Day: Making a Terrarium

I feel Spring in the air.  It feels like it's time to start gardening.  It's still  too early to plant most vegetables outside because of the danger of a late freeze where I live.  However, I thought it would be fun to show the activity day girls (church group of girls ages 8-11) some basic gardening tips like how to transplant a potted plant.  I thought they could practice some of what we talked about by making a terrarium.

I followed the tutorials found here and here.  These can be made in any jar where the jar opening is smaller than the circumference of the jar at its widest point.  The most difficult par of this project is trying to find tiny plants.  The plants I selected seemed small enough- but by the time you covered the root ball with potting soil and added the height of the plant- they were bursting out the top... oops... and the girls were very generous with the potting soil :o)

What type of jar is best?  I'm not sure.... I've seen people use wide mouth canning jars- the jar opening needs to be large enough for a child to put their hands down inside.... or you'll be spending lots of time trying to get things in place using chopsticks!   You can find activated charcoal in the aquarium section of your pet store- this keeps your terrarium smelling fresh.  You can find living moss (don't use the dried dead stuff) in the ground covering section of your local nursery.

We used polka dot plants from Home Depot, they were with the houseplants.  Oh, and don't place your finished terrarium in direct sunlight or your plants will bake and die.

I made the little mushrooms ahead of time using polymer clay.  I painted on the little spots and covered the mushroom tops with triple glaze.  I think they look pretty sweet in their new terrarium homes.

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