December 15, 2013

Moss Covered Letters and a Ward Christmas Party

 Our ward has fantastic Christmas parties, almost exclusively due to the vision of one very talented lady.  Luckily for all of us, she loves to do this kind of thing and I know everyone looks forward to it each year.  Luckily for me, I was asked to help with a portion of the decorations; a sign for the theme of our party.  The whole evening was based on the book "The Tale of Three Trees".  

I was planning on doing something with forest green cardstock and maybe some gold glitter, but at the last second I stumbled across THIS idea from Uncommon Designs.  I knew that's what we needed to do!

 I printed out each letter on copy paper and then cut them out to make stencils.  I traced each stencil onto cardboard to give the moss some sturdiness.  Last, I traced the cardboard letters onto the back of the moss sheets, cut out the moss, and hot glued it to the cardboard.  Lots of tracing and cutting, but well worth it, I love the way it turned out.  I had 20+ letters to make, each letter was about 10.5 inches tall, so buying the nice wood ones from the craft store was not in the budget.  The cardboard worked great and is a nice alternative if you need more than just a few letters.  

I used coupons to buy the moss sheets (from Hobby Lobby in the floral section) and just used some cardboard boxes that were in my garage.  The whole project cost me about $23 dollars, with some leftover moss to spare.

 The party was wonderful and I think everyone had a great time.  The food was fabulous and the decorations were amazing.  We had a short presentation for the kids including reading the book together and singing some Christmas songs.  Santa came and passed out candy canes.  The rest of the time was spent stuffing ourselves silly with yummy breakfast foods and talking with friends.  A perfect night...can't wait until next year!

 We had several real Christmas trees donated and then given away to families in need after the party.  The whole room smelled like an evergreen forest....mixed with french toast and bacon.

 Hot Chocolate Stand with all the fixings

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 14, 2013

Missionary Tag Christmas Tree

 A few months ago, my Grandma had a brilliant idea for her Christmas tree.  She wanted missionary tag ornaments, one tag for each mission served.  We brainstormed a bit and finally came up with the final project above.  So far, we have 31 missions served on six continents, literally all over the world.  These missionary tags include those who have married into the family, couples missions, and missionary presidency callings.  I think about half of my cousins are still in high school or younger, so we have many more tags to make over the years.  We will keep adding to it and watch it grow.  I loved working on this project and am so grateful that my Grandma asked me to participate.

 Each tag was printed on photo paper and made using Photoshop, measuring about 2.5 by 3.5 inches.  I saved my files, so as new missionaries serve, I just have to edit the text and print more of them out.  I cut each tag and mounted them on some thick cardstock using a thin layer of Modge Podge to adhere and seal the top of the tag.  The silver twine is attached with a dab of hot glue on the back.

 The family's first mission was served in 1899.

Scanned photos of my Grandma's finished tree.  I love how it turned out!  

When I mailed off the tags to my Grandma, I added a gold starburst (seen on the right hand side of the picture above) to represent my aunt, Mary Ann, who passed away unexpectedly this year.  We know that she is serving her own mission now, one that knows no country or city boundaries.  A bittersweet Christmas without her here, but we know she would love this tree.

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