Friday, September 26, 2014

General Conference is coming!

EDITED: Since I've received so many requests for this pattern, I've made a Google doc for the instructions and the patterns. You can view all of them through the link on HERE on my Free Cross Stitch Patterns page -- I hope you enjoy them!  Please let me know at if you've made either of these -- I'd LOVE to see! :)

It's not often I talk about religion -- but with five kids you know I'm either Mormon or Catholic, right? :) I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and sometimes we're called Mormons. And twice every year, our church has a General Conference, two days of meetings (always at 10:00 and 2:00 for 2 hours each, and another meeting just for the men of the church. The ladies have a similar meeting a week before General Conference).  Many people outside of the western United States have to dress up and go to their local ward (church) building to watch the broadcast, but you can now stream live online at Or, if you're around Utah, you can watch it on TV, and sometimes our family calls it Pajama Church. :)

I just love General Conference time. It's always a really peaceful couple of days; we're all together as a family, and the kids know they need to be quiet so we can listen. I've been surprised at how much they really absorb, even though they're playing with cars or dollies in the corner. There are so many wonderful talks -- and the Spirit is so strong - I always feel SO recharged when we're done. And now I'm done preaching at you, and we'll get to the reason why I'm even talking about it.

When I was growing up, my Mom was pretty strict. We were pretty young when we were required to watch all four sessions of Conference -- and for kids whose Mom didn't let them watch much TV, it was a pretty clear indicator to us that she thought it was important. One of my favorite things to do during Conference was to have a cross stitch project. It kept my hands busy and gave me something to do when the talks got a little long. :)

Lately, I've been working on the "Once Upon a Time" sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It's so, so darling -- follow those links! I haven't gotten very far, and I've found a girl on Instagram (@lumablumahandmade) who is doing the storybook names instead of month names in each block, which I really like. The biggest thing I'm planning to change is the month of March -- it's my birthday month, and I just REALLY don't want to use the three little pigs for my month, even though the big bad wolf is so darling!

So, I'm a little overwhelmed by how behind I am. I started in March, so I was already behind, and I've only completed one full month. And, since I'm the Mia Maid counselor in my ward, I thought the Young Women might really like to have a simple little free project to work on during Conference. They have a symbol, a torch with a girl made of flames.  Is she the original "Girl On Fire"? I think so!  I found a cross stitch pattern on Pinterest that I really liked, but it linked directly to an image and I can't find the original source. It was hand-drawn, and I wanted something a little more professional and easy to read. So, I worked my magic and made a pattern for my girls. Since it was a free pattern in the first place, and quite simple, I think it's probably okay to distribute -- so if you want a copy, I'm happy to email it to you. Just comment with your address and I'll send it to you as quickly as possible. {EDIT} just follow the link at the top to get the instructions and charts you need!
Isn't she cute?!

** Random story: When I was a Young Woman (ages 12-18) myself, I took a sweet little Precious Moments coloring page, and the Young Theme, and made a cross stitch pattern of both. It turned out so so cute! I ended up making two -- and giving them to both my sisters. :)  Before my little girls are in Young Womens, I'd love to make them each one too!

Since you need choices in your life, I also made a Provo Temple cross stitch pattern, but I used a pattern from etsy for the Angel Moroni, so I don't feel comfortable distributing that part of the pattern.  But here's the part I used; it took quite a long time to work up, and I'm so happy with how it turned out!

And I last-minute had to reverse the Angel Moroni -- you want to make sure the Angel Moroni is pointing the right way! Again, just comment with your email and I'll send my part of it. {EDIT} just follow the link at the top to get the instructions and charts you need!   And then you can have a great General Conference project too!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Metal Stamping

Have you ever done metal stamping? I'll admit, I was never very intrigued by this craft. I've dabbled a tiny bit with jewelry making, but never done stamping. I made friendship bracelets like a fiend when I was a tweener, but didn't do anything else until I had my little girl. And then, she just HAD to have a cute little bracelet! Since I discovered it wasn't really scary or hard, I've made a few more bracelets, some super bangly and some super simple. And I don't think I took a picture of a single one! I've seen cute little necklaces that were stamped, with kids' names on them, but never really wanted to pay for them. I figured it must be pretty difficult, since it's stamped into metal, and you probably needed to have a tool of some sort. Little did I know...

I'm in the Young Women presidency in my ward -- the first counselor. That means I work with the 14-15 year old girls in my church, on Sundays and at Tuesday night activities -- and at certain times of the year, we do a week-long Girls Camp, an overnighter Youth Conference, and assorted parties to highlight new girls and everything they've done for Personal Progress. We do a ton of crafty sorts of things, and most of the time they really come out nice! About a month ago, we challenged all the young women (ages 12-17) to read the Book of Mormon in one month. That's no small feat -- it's 538 pages (with the introduction) of some really deep doctrinal scripture. For most people, it's a challenge just to read it in three months, and we gave our young women a third the time! So, we really wanted to reward the girls who completed the challenge. We brainstormed, and the best idea we came up with was to make a necklace that emphasized our challenge theme: I can do hard things. Our president had a metal stamp set and bunch of aluminum blanks and ball necklace chains left over from a craft we didn't get to at camp. I volunteered to try my hand at stamping the blanks... and then forgot about it until the Sunday before our activity! I wasn't able to get to it Sunday at all, because I also play for the choir and had a couple of meetings after church. Monday was Labor Day, so I went and got some jump rings and beads from the craft store, some temple charms from Deseret Book, and went to town. Thanks to youtube, my first try went pretty well!
After I attached the temple charm and bead, I sent over a picture to my YW pres. She loved it, so I got crazy -- by midnight, I'd made 20 full necklaces, and I was ready for a good long sleep!
I've returned my YW president's metal stamp set, but I think I'll get one for me -- I have five cute little names to stamp on a Mama necklace. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

On the To Do List

To Do Today:
  • Wake up early!
  • Make stick horses for birthday party
  • Make cake for birthday party
  • Birthday party!
  • Fix dress for Paige's baptism
  • Make sure soccer stuff is clean for tomorrow
  • Shopping for horse food & last-minute party stuff
  • Freezer meal exchange
  • Read through Sunday's lesson
  • Make scripture bag
  • Look longingly at quilting... maybe tomorrow!

    Photo: Round Robin Quilt, final border to be determined