Monday, October 24, 2016

My Halloween Obsession

Ok.  I love to decorate, and I love to decorate for every holiday.  BUT...I am a little bit obsessed with Halloween.  I feel like every year I add more and more to my decor.  As I was scrolling through pinterest I saw some really cute witch brooms and I was inspired.  I feel like one of the most difficult places to decorate is over your stairs.  It's such a big wall and needs some oompf!  So, I had a vision of three witches broom sticks hung sideways.  I think they turned out pretty great!  The middle broom I found from the thrift store for $2!  The other two I made with fallen tree limbs I found on the trail behind my house.  I purchased a bunch of dried "reeds" (not sure what they are called) at Hobby Lobby in their floral department along with some twine covered floral wire.  And voila!  Instant brooms!  For the sign, I bought a pre-finished "chalk"board from home depot for $10.  I just cut it in half and with my projector, traced on the words with a chalk marker.  I love my wall now.  So much more character!

Here's a peek at my outside decor too!

I found this tutorial on Pinterest Here

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alice in Wonderland Themed Stake Activity Days

I haven't blogged in quite sometime.  However, I had to share this fantastic idea!  I am now the Stake Activity Days Leader and for our yearly activity, we did an Alice in Wonderland inspired theme.  It was titled, "Why Our Choices Matter".  I could not be happier with the way it turned out.  And I think this theme could transition seamlessly into a Young Women activity.  I found that every young women value can be represented in Alice in Wonderland.  I was inspired to do this theme after my first Come Follow Me Lesson I did a few years ago, which you can find here.

To plan our activity, we all dressed up as a character from the movie ( I am the Mad Hatter).  All the girls met together for breakfast and as a starter activity, colored an image on sandpaper with crayons.  After breakfast was finished, I showed a video of Alice meeting the Cheshire Cat in which she was confused on which way to go.  Then, the video transitioned into Pres. Monson's talk where he makes reference to that scene of the movie.  It ties in perfectly!  I even will include a link to the video I put together.

Here's the video link:
Alice in Wonderland and President Monson Talk

We had four classes:

1. "Painting the Roses Red"- Does our outward appearance reflect our inner self?
      Choosing Modestly:  We had two Laurels come in and give a lesson on how to dress modestly.  They brought in clothes and helped the girls know how to modify articles of clothing to make it modest.

2. "Eat Me/Drink Me: Choosing to follow the Word of Wisdom:
      We did a healthy eating class.  We talked about nutrition, word of wisdom and then our presenter made yummy smoothies for the girls.

3. Which Path to Choose? Choosing to follow God: 
     We used these books found from Deseret book Women Who Choose God and we highlighted different women from the scriptures and how they make courageous choices to follow God.

4. Mad T(Shirt) Party: Choosing to Love and Embrace our Individual Worth:
    This was our craft project.  The girls designed their own t-shirt by coloring an image on sandpaper  and then ironed their image onto a t-shirt.  It was so fun to see their creativity shine through and how unique they are.  As they colored, I read them the story The Crayon Box.

This was my sample t-shirt

We could have done MANY more classes, but we kept our activity to 2 1/2 hours.  We had so many ideas it was hard to choose! Some of the other ideas we thought of were:

"I'm Late, I"m Late, I'm Late":  a time management class
"Who R U?": class on our divine nature
"All in the Golden Afternoon": This could be a craft class or a class on gardening, nature...
"Croquet with the Queen": If you wanted a physical activity, playing croquet with plastic flamingos.

The cultural Hall was decorated with String lights and paper lanterns I purchased at Oriental Trading Co. As the girls entered, we had the "Mad Tea Party" music and an instrumental version of "All in the Golden Afternoon" playing.  It created such a fun feel.  Many people commented that they felt like they were in Disneyland! I'll link the music below.

I made these cute miniature top hats and placed them on candlestick holders that I placed in the center of grass I grew in flower-shaped containers (see at end of post).  

I had these tall vases from when I was married many years ago.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but I have paintbrushes hanging from them and white roses I bought from the dollar store that I splattered red paint on.  I bought the heart-shaped balloons from Hobby Lobby.

Butcher paper is an inexpensive way to decorate!  This class was the Eat Me/Drink Me class and I thought it would be cute if they entered through the key hole.

Making the doors look like a tree was the trickiest part!  It was hard to get the paper to stick with just masking tape.  I finally found a repositionable tape worked well.  But this was harder than I thought,  but I LOVED how it turned out.  I wanted the girls to feel like they were going down the rabbit hole and entering Wonderland.

The church has an 8 ft. long portable chalkboard that we used to create a backdrop with these card men painting the roses red.  This was a great backdrop where many of the girls took their pictures.  I even had a bluetooth speaker playing the song "Painting the Roses Red" as they passed by.  It created a fun atmosphere and really brought them to life.  

These cute leaders greeted the girls to the activity.  We set this up in the foyer of the church and had another bluetooth speaker that played "All in the Golden Afternoon."  It felt like the cute little pansies were singing!
I had this on a poster board hanging on the wall for the girls to see.

This was the front of the invitation. 
Back of Invitation.

Fonts I used are Return to Sender, Chalk Hand Lettering Shaded, CK Ali's Hand

The grass containers were grown in fruit/veggie trays that I found from the dollar store! I started growing them about 3 weeks ahead of time.  I just filled the containers with dirt.  Generously sprinkled grass seed that I purchased from Home Depot (must buy the Quick Grass Seed about $7), and then added a little more dirt on top and watered. I just kept them in a sunny spot in my windows since it was too cold to put them outside.

Here's the Links to my Music Files.  I found them on you tube as video files.  So I made them into audio files.  However, if you want to get them to play in itunes, you are going to have to convert them into MP3 file formats, by downloading this file to your computer, then importing that file into your iTunes library.  Then, right click on the song and then "create an MP3 version".

For the Foyer when the girls entered I played:
Down the Rabbit Hole with the Golden Afternoon

In the Cultural Hall I played:
Golden Afternoon Mix
Mad Tea Party Mix

And in the Opposite Hallway where I had my card men, I played:
Painting the Roses Red

Here's the link to the posters we had printed for each classroom.  I put them on a flash drive and had them printed at kinko's on 11x17 paper.

Here's also the link to the outline our Activity:

I love sharing my ideas.  Feel free to contact me and let me know if I can answer any questions.  Our activity was only a few days ago, but I've already received a ton of positive feedback on it.  Not only was it fun, but it was a great uplifting and spiritual experience for the girls.