Archive for November, 2013

The Silhouette blog has been busy as we head into Thanksgiving.  Here is a simple tutorial about how to ungroup my quotes or phrases as well as how to create a border/mat using the offset command.   Click here for the complete instructions.  This same tutorial will work with most of my quotes and phrases so be sure to pin it for future use!  Find my “so thankful for you” layered quote in my Silhouette here.


And here’s a cute card using my banner words – Thanksgiving themed.   Click here for that post and here to find the shape in my Silhouette store.



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November is a time of thanks but it’s also the month of Christmas projects!  Christmas cards, neighbor gifts, holiday decor….it’s all on the craft table or whirling in our minds before December 1 even hits the calendar.  I have already started adding Christmas shapes and quotes and phrases to my Silhouette store.  Want to see?   The countdown begins!

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Get out your Cameo and give it a permanent holiday home in an accessible location because you are going to love what’s happening for the holidays in my Silhouette store.  This is just a sample of all of the fabulous holiday shapes and quotes and phrases I’ve been getting ready for you.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Thumbnail Basic RGBSeasons Greetings - ThumbnailPerfect Flourish Bird - ThumbnailBasic RGBTemplate - Words Reindeer - Thumbnail

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For Planning With a Purpose tutorial and downloads go here.  I’ve developed leadership training for Activity Days but the Planning With a Purpose method is perfect for Young Women and Young Men.  Apply the Come Unto Christ theme more effectively using the info here.

The 2014 theme for the LDS youth program is “Come Unto Christ” from Moroni 10:32 found here.  I have designed a vinyl version of this theme available in my Silhouette store as well as printable notebook covers (which can also be framed or used as a handout).  Click here for the vinyl version for all of you Silhouette users.  SVG file is available in Lori Whitlock’s shop here.

Check out how Amy used the theme to kick off the year here and greylustergirl’s fabulous repurposing of extra hardwood when they were putting down a new floor here.

The printable comes in a variety of colors for you.  Click on each image to download the version you want.

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ Coral Notebook Cover - Come Unto Christ Coral

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ Navy Notebook Cover - Come Unto Christ Navy

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ Light Blue

Notebook Cover - Come Unto Christ Light Blue

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ Yellow Notebook Cover - Come Unto Christ Yellow

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ Gray Notebook Cover - Come Unto Christ Gray

As requested by the Young Men leaders in my family, I’ve added this printable.  A  little more masculine for you guys out there.

Notebook Cover – Come Unto Christ YMNotebook Cover - Come Unto Christ YM

The vinyl in my Silhouette store comes with two versions of the theme – one has the entire theme and the other is just the “Come Unto Christ” portion of the theme.  Use them however you choose for all of your 2014 Young Men and Young Women projects.  Click here to go to the vinyl shape (Silhouette users).


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Glass Etching Christmas Gift

Are you getting warm, sparkling, bubbly fuzzies from this photo?  Lisa Richards from greylustergirl.com has put together a beautiful tutorial that will make you want to break out the stemware and scour my Silhouette shop for the perfect holiday quote.  She used my new Merry and Bright phrase to create a lovely gift idea – treat yourself or treat someone on your holiday gift list to this easy but heartfelt glass etching project – it will work on a variety of glass products (not all new Pyrex works) so the possibilities are endless.

Click here for the complete tutorial from Lisa.

Template - Words

Last year my friend asked me to design a couple of words for her to use on her teacher gifts and so I came up with these: enjoy and yummy

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A few weeks later I received this cute candy dish with my design etched on it.  Lucky me!  I get a gift with something that I know I already like because I designed it.  That is the best gift ever.  Pam used the same technique that Lisa used to etch her candy dishes (I think she found them at Target), filled the dish with treats, added a ribbon around the base and it became a luscious, fabulous gift idea.


Lisa gives a lot of real-craft tips to help you succeed at this technique.  Learn more here.  Thanks for the great tutorial, Lisa.


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Family Home Evening is a principle practiced by members of the LDS church where we set aside one night a week to learn about the gospel, do an activity and spend time together as a family.  If possible, we try not to schedule other things for our families on that night.  We have been encouraged to use Monday night as Family Home Evening but the important idea is to set aside a specific time – whenever it works for each individual family.  If you would like to know more about Family Home Evening, click here.


In an effort to increase our Activity Day girls’ involvement in and understanding of FHE, we dedicated an activity to learning about it.  I am in love with this activity that my fabulous partner, Jessica organized for us last week.  Seriously in love.  I’ll tell you why:

1.  She taught the principle of in a clear and simple way.

2.  She gave the girls an opportunity to practice the principle in a realistic way.

3.  She challenged the girls to apply the principle at home.

4.  She extended the principle with an easy project that will allow personal application of the principle all year long and help their parents in the process.

It was classic effective teaching and it all happened in just one hour.  I’ll break it down for you:


1.  Principle:    Jessica gave a short lesson about what Family Home Evening is, why we set aside time each week to spend quality time learning about the gospel as a family, and how to carry out an effective Family Home Evening.  She used the information on the LDS website about Family Home Evenings to formulate the 7 minute lesson.  Click here for more info to create a lesson for yourself.  She used this chart to show how each person in the family should take part in FHE.  Click here for printable.

Fhe-chart-6 FHE Chart from poppiesatplay.blogspot.com

2.  Practice:    After discussing each step of an effective FHE, Jessica had the girls each take a responsibility and they practiced an actual Family Home Evening together.  We sang a song (Hum your Favorite Hymn or Choose the Right Way – from the Children’s Songbook), assigned prayers, and even had the following lesson about not taking the Lord’s name in vain.  Jessica handled the discussion part of the lesson and assigned someone to  read  this story at the right spot.  She made it easy for each person to practice their part in a Family Home Evening.

FHE Lesson – Do Not Take Lord’s Name in VainMicrosoft Word - FHE Lesson - Take Lord's Name in Vain.docx

3.  Apply:    Following the lesson, Jessica challenged each girl to give the same lesson to their own families at home sometime during the next week or two.


Jessica found lists of family home evening activity ideas as well as ideas for a song/scripture/gospel discussion that were included in their jars.


Each girl had a copy of all of the papers and they simply cut the ideas into individual strips, folded them, and placed them in their jar.

4.  Activity:    Finally, as a way to extend their experience with quality Family Home Evenings at home, each girl created an FHE Jar with ideas for gospel principle discussions and family activities included.  The cost was minimal – she said she got the jars for about $.50 each and used wrapping paper and ribbon she had on hand for the decoration.  She copied the idea sheets at the church so they were free.  Hooray!


All that was needed were copies of the FHE ideas, scissors to cut them into strips, wrapping paper strips to wrap around the jars (adhere with scotch tape), ribbon for jar lid and “FHE Jar” tag.

This is a wonderful resource for any family and I kept thinking about how their moms would be so happy that they came home with this fabulous bundle of FHE ideas cut, folded and packed into that little jar.  Click here  and here and here for some resources for your FHE Jar.


The girls enjoyed it.  They were successful in the practice and application of the lesson that Jessica taught and I am so grateful for this powerful activity that she took the time to create.  Thank you, Jess!  And thank you, girls, for being so willing and responsive to learning about and living gospel principles.  You are so loved!


There are many resources online for FHE ideas and lessons.  You can use any lesson you choose for this activity.  The important thing was that Jessica kept it simple and short so that we had time to finish all of the activities.


Coleman had to come with me to the activity and of course, he elbowed his way into a spot at the table to create his own jar.  He was in charge of folding and stuffing the papers into the jar and he chose the wrapping paper and ribbon.  We have already done a few of the activities and lessons from the jar and it hasn’t even been a week yet!  Why not?  FHE can be every day if we want!


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My husband, Jason broke his neck when he was 15 years old.  About a year into his new life he came to a crossroads where he needed to find a way to take his hope in his future life to the next level.  He pulled out a piece of paper and numbered it from 1-100 and started writing down the things he was grateful for.

The first 25 were easy – food, family, a home, a bed, friends, etc.  The next 25 were also pretty easy but more specific.  The third 25 started getting difficult for this teenager to think of.  76-100 were a test, indeed.  He was thankful for ketchup, lightbulbs and  and the posters on his wall.  If he could see it then he wrote it down.


It’s been about 27 years since that first Gratitude List was created in the bedroom of a 16-year-old.  Many Gratitude Lists have been created since in the Hall house.  I go through this process on a regular basis.  It has taken different forms over the years – I’ve made lists of 1-100.  I’ve kept Gratitude Journals like these for a year at a time.  My first Project Life album was dedicated to finding something I was grateful for each day and taking a photo of it.  Click on my “Project 365 of Gratitude” category for past posts about this project or look at this post or  this post or this post to see why I love using Project Life as a gratitude journal.

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I believe gratitude is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal in the battle against discouragement, negativity, heartbreak, depression and every life challenge that we can face.  It is a life skill that takes practice in order to become strong.  As a habit, it straightens our spines, clears our minds and opens our hearts to hope.  Simply said, gratitude overcomes negativity and creates joy.

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Take a moment this holiday season to write down what you are thankful for.  Make a list of 1-100.  Your children can be very successful at this activity as well, even if you break it up into multiple sittings.  Post your list somewhere that you can look at often to remind you of your blessings.  Big things, small things – include them all on your list.  Mine had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Bettona Pants from Athleta.  When we choose to be grateful for things like that, it’s easy to be grateful all day.


Another way to do it is to write down something you are grateful for each day for a month.  See how it changes your heart, your attitude, your outlook on daily life, and how you interact with others.

I’ve added some shapes to my Silhouette store that will help you with your gratitude lists.  I hope you enjoy them!

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We are finally to my favorite time of year – the season of gratitude and family.  Giving thanks is a tool for me.  I believe it is the guaranteed way to banish any negative thought, feeling, attitude, or circumstance.  It’s like a magic trick.  Creating quotes about gratitude is like breathing for me.  I am inspired as I work on those words and thoughts and it helps me remember to focus only on the good in spite of difficult challenges or struggles.

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Jason is home for about a week as we wait for yet another surgery and another six-week stay in the hospital.  The last surgery failed and after 13 weeks in the hospital, he was able to come home for a little break before the next round begins.  The surgeon is confident that it will work this time….after three surgery attempts and six out of the last 12 months spent in the hospital, we are praying and hoping that this one will work.  But in the middle of it all there are so many things to be grateful for.  Big things, small things, miracles of every shape and size that happen on a daily basis that happen so often in the form of other people.


We are grateful for our family, our neighbors, our friends – both nearby and far from us.  Cyberspace connects us no matter where we are and we feel the love and support from all fronts.  Thank you.  We feel loved in so many ways and that brings us such joy and hope.  Thank you!

I hope you are inspired by my new quotes located in my Silhouette store and will be available soon at loriwhitlock.com’s SVG shop.  It’s project season!    Enjoy these quotes for all of your thanksgiving projects.

I am grateful for you!

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