Thursday, October 10, 2013

Conference Quotes

Every October and April, my church has a church-wide general conference. My family and I spent last weekend hanging out on the couch, eating snacks, and watching conference on TV.  I love this chance we get twice a year to spend this family time together, being inspired and taught.  And, I love turning some of my favorite quotes from it into pretty printables after conference is over.  :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ancestor Cards

Well, Labor Day has come and gone, all the kiddos are back in school and we're back to a routine.  Time to get back to blogging!  It was a fun, though busy, summer for us.  Band camp, scout camp, family reunion, all sorts of fun things to do all summer long!  Our family vacation this year was to Nauvoo, Illinois.  It's kind of a living history sort of place.  It factors largely in my church's history and my family history.  It's a place I love to visit and my boys think it's very fun.  They got to try all sorts of fun old-fashioned things from the 1840s--making rope, having a log-sawing contest at the country fair, and seeing a bunch of demonstrations, from making horseshoes to baking bread.

Gearing up for my Nauvoo trip, I wanted an easy way to refer to information about my ancestors who lived there.  My children have 30 direct-line ancestors who lived in Nauvoo from 1839-1846.  So, there was a lot of family history to be learned while on our trip.

My dad and I have been working together on what we call "The Collection," our collection of family histories and photographs.  With the advent of the internet and social media, there are a lot of family photos and histories out there for the googling.  So, we've acquired a lot of new pictures of my ancestors.

As I started collecting these pictures, I was really excited about them and wanted to display them or somehow make it easier to see these pictures on a regular basis.  I thought about a family history display wall, but I don't have any wall space for such a thing.

Awhile back, I came across the idea to make Ancestor Cards.  I decided this was a perfect solution.  I started by making ancestor cards for my ancestors that lived in Navuoo, in preparation for our trip.  I hope to branch out (ha! family history pun!) to more of my ancestors in the future.


Each Ancestor Card has little icons on it to tell you more about that ancestor at a glance.  The Angel Moroni Icon means they were a member of the LDS church.  The Nauvoo Temple Icon means they lived in Nauvoo.  The Wagon Icon means they crossed the plains as a pioneer.  There's a flag from their country of birth, plus a little code that tells you their relation to me.  Joseph Armstrong Fisher down there has a P3GG because he is my Paternal 3rd Great Grandfather.  I also listed birth/marriage/death dates and places, as well as their ages at marriage and death.  When available, I used a picture of them for the front; when I didn't have one, I used a picture of their tombstone or a map of where they were from.  Sometimes they had more than one picture.

On the back, I listed bullet points about each ancestor (which I unfortunately forgot to photograph).  I had known many stories about my ancestors, but sometimes mixed up which ancestor went to which story.  The bullet points help me keep track of this.

Then, I know at just a glance which ancestor was the tailor who made suits for Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln, which one was widowed at a young age when her husband died in a shipyard accident, which one's fiance accidentally married someone else, which one made the lock for the front door of the Nauvoo Temple, and which one lost his hammer for 56 years when it got built inside the council building.

In order to make these Ancestor Cards, I read every history I had for each person.  For Joseph Knight, that meant a whole, quite long, book.  Some had 50 page histories, some had 10 five-page histories, and some had a 1 page summary from Find A Grave.  The cards took a long time.  I started in December and finished in July.

I started with my ancestors, then moved to my husband's ancestors.  His were a bit harder, because I didn't have as much information to begin with. To figure out which of his ancestors were in Nauvoo, I googled the likely people (mostly 3rd Great Grandparents) and read all their (and their family's) histories that I could find.  I was able to find pictures for most of them.

I color-coded the cards (yellow for my ancestors, green for my husband's).  There are 17 yellow and 13 green. I did them all in Photoshop Elements.

Oh, the printing and the cutting!  I printed (went through a lot of ink!) and cut out 95 individual ancestor cards (I made several sets to hand out at the family reunion in Nauvoo).  I thought I'd found a company that would do it cheaply, but they weren't able to print it quite the way I wanted, so I ended up formatting them to be front and back and printing them myself on my home printer.  I printed them on cardstock, then laminated them at a local office supply store.

Though they were an immense amount of work to put together, I am so glad I made them.  I hope to make more.  Originally designed to be a bit of a cheat sheet for me as I referenced my ancestors, they made it so that I don't need a cheat sheet anymore.  The process of putting them together has taught me about my forebears.

I know these men and women now.  They aren't just names and dates on a piece of paper or in a computer file.  They aren't just interesting stories or cool pictures.  I know and love each of these ancestors of mine now.  Of course, some day I will meet them in person, and get to know them even better.  But, the process of finding pictures, doing research, and reading their histories (and taking notes) so closely that I could pull out highlights, has taught me about these men and women as individuals and as children of God.

I think this is the most fulfilling "craft project" I've ever done.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Little Red Dress

Hi guys! Are you having a good summer? We're having lots of fun around here! I just thought I'd pop in and show you this cute little dress I made for a baby shower.

I didn't use a pattern, I just copied the shape from a dress I'd seen at the mall.

I just love piping on little girls dresses, don't you?  So cute.

It was tricky to find a good spot to photograph it; in this house of boys, there's not much girly stuff around.  :)  I tried the hooks in my "baby's" room.  Zoom out a little, though...and it's obvious it's a boy's room!  

It was fun to have an excuse to make something for a little girl!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

Google Reader goes dark tomorrow.  Have you transferred your blog subscriptions and found a good reader replacement you like?  I'm still up in the air about which is my favorite--it's down to either Bloglovin' or Feedly, I think.  Do you have any suggestions for me?

Let's still be friends!  :)   You can follow me here at here at Feedly or here at Bloglovin:  Or, if you'd prefer, you can sign up to get updates by email in my sidebar.

Best of luck as you search for a replacement to Google Reader--I'm going to miss it!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Teacher Gifts

School gets out for my kids pretty soon and I thought I'd post this year's Teacher Gift.  I found this idea and printable at The Happy Scraps.  I'm all about easy and inexpensive (and useful!) and this fits the bill!  I think it's cute with the washi tape attaching the card, don't you?


Friday, May 10, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Quote

I think I may be addicted to pretty quote printables. I pin and pin them. I'm a visual person and I love seeing inspirational words displayed in such a pretty way.

I have fun making my own, too.  I love the cheery yellow of this one (it's my favorite color).  The adorable yellow flower "paper" comes from Citrus and Mint.  Love her designs.

As I was designing this, I asked my 5 year old if he liked it and if he thought it was pretty.  His response, "Well, yeeaaaah...if I could figure out what it is!"  Ha!  I just love that boy and I love being a mother.  I hope you all have a great Mothers Day!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


My whole family wears glasses.  I started wearing them when I was 17 and couldn't see the chalkboard very well in my chemistry class at school.  I don't wear mine all of the time, but I'm finding that I have to wear them more and more these days.  Man, getting older is lame.  :)  I really like my latest pair, though.  They make me feel trendy.  :)

My husband wears contacts (I absolutely cannot handle contacts in my eyes.  It weirds me out.  Anyone else like that out there?).  My kiddos even started wearing them as little bitty babies.  See?

Over the years, I have bought a lot of pairs of glasses.  (Ever tried to keep one-year-olds in glasses?  Man, we were buying new pairs ALL the time when they were little.  Fortunately the older they get the less often they destroy them.  :)    I've tried to buy glasses cheaply--we're all looking to save some money, right?  I was recently introduced to  With all the pairs of glasses my family buys, I may just have to try them out.

This cute pair is quite similar to the eyeglasses I'm currently sporting, but for at least half the price I bought mine for!
They even have a fun Virtual Mirror where you can virtually try on various pairs of glasses to see how they look on you.  Here are a couple of the pairs that I tried on:

These are the ones in the above picture.

Or I could go a little more hipster with these.  Ha!

Try on your own online eyeglasses with their Virtual Mirror.  You can pick the pair you look best in or just have fun trying on hipster glasses like me. :)

Use the code Blog10 to take 10% off any order of prescription glasses.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this promotion.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


My son is super into squids right now. He wants to be a marine biologist, specifically studying the Giant Squid. He has decided upon his major, college choice, and future graduate work. This is awesome. Especially since he's 10. :) Granted, I picked my major when I was 12 (and got my degree in it) so it's entirely possible he'll see it through.

For now, he is constantly drawing squids, his pinewood derby car was a squid, and he and his best friend design submarines at recess everyday.  So, when I needed to come up with a birthday gift for him that could be made cheaply at home, I thought it'd be fantastic to make a stuffed squid for his bed. 

To say that he LOVES it would be an understatement. 

Personally, I'm rather proud of myself for thinking to use polka dot fabric for the suction cup sides of the arms and tentacles (he informs me that they're not all tentacles, only the long ones are). 

I didn't have a pattern, I just sketched out what I thought the squid should look like, added 1/2 inch seam allowances to my sketch, and cut it out.


It was a great scrap buster.  I used leftover polka dot fabric from this dress and gray fabric leftover from the Dumbledore costume from a couple Halloweens ago.  The eyes (one on each side) were made of felt I had in my stash. 
I sewed everything right sides together and stuffed it.  I basted it together as I assembled it, as working with all those arms was rather complicated--too complicated for pinning. 
I really love how it looks sitting on top of his green bedspread.  I'm proud of my little squid.  :)

seven thirty three

Saturday, April 6, 2013

We Matter

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a Mormon.  And this weekend, my church is holding our twice-a-year General Conference.  It's 4 general 2 hour sessions of talks from our leaders and our prophet.  I LOVE listening to the inspired words and feeling the holy Spirit.  If you'd like to watch it with me, you can watch or listen to it here.

My favorite quote so far comes from Sister Elaine S. Dalton, "Our part matters because WE matter."  So, of course I had to make a printable to pin to Pinterest.  :)  So, here it is:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ducky Birthday Party

Perhaps you have noticed that I have scaled way back on my posting. I realized near the end of last year that this blog, and all the cute craftiness that went with it, were taking my focus away from where it should be.  I was becoming guilty of craftiness for craftiness' sake, something I said here that I've always disliked.  Not only does it take away focus from my family and other priorities, it's also expensive!  So, things got a bit sparse while I was busy.

But, I don't want the blog to disappear, so I decided I'm going to occasionally write some posts about parties and projects that I did before I started this blog.  There's no law that says my projects have to have been done right before I blog them, right?  :)  Plus, I have a few projects coming up that I'm doing because I want to or need to, rather than as fodder for the blog, so I'll be posting a bit more often.

The party I'm posting today was my youngest's 2 year old birthday party (he just turned 5...).  It's probably the cutest party I've ever thrown.

At the time, he was WAY into ducks.  Duck books, duck toys, duck songs, he loved it all.  So, what better party theme than rubber ducks?

The centerpiece of it all was this cute duck cake.  I modified this tutorial from Betty Crocker to make it.  

I made a bunch of cute garlands by punching out blue and yellow circles with a punch and then sewing them together on my sewing machine.  Seriously the fastest thing ever.  I just pedal-to-the-metal-ed it with my machine pedal and stuck a new circle under the presser foot each time the previous circle moved through.  

I also picked up a bunch of cheap and cute rubber duckies to sit around as decoration.  My little guy has thoroughly enjoyed having a bath full of duckies ever since.  :)

The blue punch (I think it was Blue Raspberry Kool-Aid) was so cute with little duckies floating in it!  And, I was so excited to find out that Target's store brand's generic "goldfish" crackers looked like little ducks!  

The birthday boy and his guests were all just toddlers, so the entertainment was low-key.  I gathered every duck book I could get my hands on, from our bookshelves and the local library.  I read them all a story, and then let them peruse their own books.  

And, in a slightly crazy move, I actually let them all play with rubber ducks in an actual bathtub.  I mean, how CUTE is this rubber duck bathtub?!  I put a plastic tablecloth underneath and only an inch or two of water in it, and it actually turned out fine.  No spills.  

 It was such a fun party.  Now if only my little guy was still that little!  :)
These boy party ideas were also featured on Spaceships and Laser Beams.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Quote Printables

Since Valentine's Day is this week, I thought I'd make a couple of fun quote printables for the blog. As I've mentioned before, pinning good quotes with a pretty presentation is one of my favorite things to do on Pinterest.  I had some time last week to play around with photoshop, so I put together a couple quotes for you.  Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day!

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