Friday, March 30, 2012

Carrot Clone Cones

My high-strung, cranky computer took it to a higher level yesterday. (It doesn't want much to do with Photoshop on a good day!) So, Friday Freebie day came dangerously close to being Friday. Just plain old Friday.

I ran a virus scan. Nothing. I ran a boot scan. Squeaky clean. I ran out of ideas--definitely not a computer guru.

So, while the going is still good for now, here's Friday's Freebie:

The printable link is here. Click on the image that comes up from the link to enlarge it, then right-click on the enlarged image to save it to your computer.

Print the pattern out on card stock for best durability, then cut it out.

Roll the pie-shaped piece into a cone shape to help train it to curve before you apply glue stick, especially curving it near the pointed end.

UPDATE: You can make the cardstock more flexible by holding the cone piece between both hands, right-side up, and pulling it back and forth against the edge of a door or table. Kind of like shining a shoe. Make sure to concentrate on the pointed end because it needs to make the tightest turn to form the cone.

UPDATE: It might be easier to tape it instead of gluing it.

Next, apply glue over the light peach-colored section on one side. Overlap the side edges, the light peach-colored section going underneath the side that's the main color. I used glue stick to glue my cone together, but I had a lot of gaps and had to use a toothpick smeared with glue stick to apply glue inside those gaps. I also held a pencil inside the cone, up against the seam I was gluing, providing a firmer surface for pressing the two sides together.

Once the glue has dried, use a hole punch to create holes near the top of the cone, where the X's indicate.

Cut two 36" pieces of curling ribbon. I folded each piece in half, then used a lark's head knot to attach each ribbon to a side of the cone.

I brought all four pieces of ribbon together into a single overhand knot, centered roughly 7" from the top of the cone. Use the edge of a pair of scissors to lightly curl the loose ends of the ribbon above the knot.

Sign the tag. I stapled the tag to the front of the cone, but you can punch a hole in the tag and slide it onto one of the ribbons before you tie them together in an overhand knot. The ribbon on top of the cone is made from 9 pieces of ribbon stapled together at the center, curled, and attached.

(Thankfully, creating a cone is pretty basic to figure out on your own if the rambling of my computer-tortured mind didn't make any sense!)

Since I'm not sure about the suitability of printer's ink being so close to food, I also created a liner by cutting a plastic sandwich baggie diagonally from one bottom corner across to the opposite top corner. This bag bunches up inside the cone, a little ruffled, but I'm fine with that and also with its pointed uneven ends.

The cone can be hung from a doorknob like a May Day basket. Or not. Fill it and personalize it any way you want. I think I want mini carrot muffins. Or Annie's Cheddar Bunnies (shown) make a nice savory change of pace. (Wait. I actually posted something before the holiday?)

Enjoy your visit--and have a wonderful conference weekend!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Conference Call

General Conference starts on Saturday, March 31st. I've never met a VT opportunity yet that wasn't covered by some clever blogger (thankfully!), so I've collected an idea or two from across the web that you might consider sharing with your sisters.

Up first, a great tag titled, Make the Most of General Conference, with the tag cleverly attached to a bag of M&Ms--credit goes to Marci Coombs for the idea. The information on the tag comes from suggestions found in the September 2004 New Era. This idea was posted at, and I also like the tag version that was posted at makoodle. (It's the one in the photo above.)

Download this printable here. It's 150 dpi

The March 2012 Ensign shared an article titled "Follow the Prophet" by Elder Randall K. Bennett. His great suggestions under "Learning to Listen to the Prophetic Word" were desperately crying out for attention so I compassionately obliged and created a bold statement with them. The printable is shown--three to a page. It's a bookmark! It's the back of an invitation to your house for a session of conference? It's a little reminder handout for your sister that General Conference is this weekend! It's an IFC (inside front cover or bookplate)! IFC for what, you are undoubtedly asking yourself...For (dramatic pause)

a conference journal for your sister!

Conference Journals:

Here is one method for covering a composition notebook from to beautify and personalize it for your sisters. Or, you can leave it as it is. I kind of like the classic B&W covers (no surprise there!) Or... can add tabs to the pages~The above photo from a Bushel and a Peck, shows some tabs with the names of the apostles added to the journal pages. Apparently, the download at the original site at is outdated, but someone commented there that they had created an updated set of tabs and (best of all) they are willing to share it.

I liked the suggestion to write the inspiration that come to you during conference in a place that's separate from your regular conference notes--maybe inside the journal margins. That way it won't get lost and overlooked.

Conference Goodie Kits/Baskets/Bags:

These offerings appear to run the gamut from practically mini-van-sized baskets to a travel-sized package of tissues. I picked out a couple of the more "adult" versions for you to consider. Don't feel obligated to re-create the whole kit. IMHO, even just one of the items makes a thoughtful gesture:

The Conference Kit shown above can be found here.

With some repeats, the Conference Kit shown above (and two others!) can be found here.

The Conference Goodie Bag shown above can be found here.

It's very possible you've already tried these suggestions before (except for the bookmark/IFC/invitation/reminder since I just finished it yesterday), so try checking out either for Conference ideas or Andrea's pinterest board of 50+ General Conference ideas here--both are amazing collections. (I wish I'd found these two links first instead of last!)

Enjoy your visit!


Monday, March 26, 2012

A Father's Plea

There's still opportunity to visit, call, or write your sisters this month! If you'd like to include one of the many free March VT handouts with your message, look under the Pinterest Links heading in the left sidebar for the link, "Free March VT Handouts".

Yesterday, a man I've never seen before came forward to the pulpit during Fast and Testimony meeting. He introduced himself, and told us that he had several children, but only one of them was a daughter. He was here, visiting her, a member of our ward. He shared her name with us--one I didn't recognize--and told us that for his vacation every year, he travels to see her and to go on daddy-daughter adventures together.

You could feel the depth of his love for her as he continued, "I don't know who her home teachers are. I don't know who her visiting teachers are..." And he plead for their continued help in reaching out to her. He admitted it could be challenging, and that care and prayer would be needed. He shared with us a bit of her background, and told us that she still had a testimony deep inside. Before I knew it, she was no longer an unrecognizable name, but a very real person, a beloved daughter, entrusted to our care.

I wish you'd been there. I feel inadequate in trying to share what went through my heart and mind as I listened to him. It was impossible to ignore the similarities between this loving parent, and our first Father, whose love for us is broad and deep. He knows all his daughters perfectly, and completely. He will share with us the things we should know and do to reach out to them in friendship, and to grow in love. All he asks is that we try. We can only extend the opportunity--it is up to others to decide what to do with it. This is His work and He will comfort and help us in ministering to His daughters when we turn to Him.

Thanks for visiting!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting the Message Out--April

The Visiting Teaching message for April is available (see sidebar at the left for links), and since I love numbers (don't get me wrong--numbers, not math), I couldn't resist designing a handout for April. The size is 8.5 by 11, perfect as a VT binder cover or to be kept inside a VT binder, (or as a handout, of course!) in classy black and white form. (Did I get away with the "classy" word? Color is so pretty, but there wasn't enough time, sorry! Black and white is also very obliging, looking good on almost every color of paper. And easier on the budget if you go to a copy store...) I'm sure there are many, many, many more advantages to B&W, but since I'm way too excited to pound that into the ground any longer, I will now unveil today's Friday Freebie!

Ta-dah! Get the free printable here. Click on the picture to enlarge it, then right-click to save it to your computer.

This handout even looks good in landscape orientation. How extremely versatile! I liked how the line of numbers is representative of counting--so I titled it "Counting on Us". (Yes, I am the Queen of Corn". And proud of it. The worse the play on words, the better.) Now, if you're still here after that shameless disclosure and/or play on words, I have a reward for you. Another free printable version of the same principles for your consideration:

Get the free printable here. Click on the picture to enlarge it, then right-click to save it to your computer.

Ahhh! See why I love numbers? These little beauties are counting the ways to love, watch over, and strengthen our Sisters. And since each suggestion is accompanied by a number, I call it, "By the Numbers." (Yes. Serving up more corn. Regret you stayed?) And it's not at etsy, it's not adorned by a Paypal button, but here, free for you, with free shipping, too! (Wink. Actually, the shipping cost is usually the one thing I can afford at etsy!) 24/7 convenience. Both printables are for non-commercial use only.

UPDATE: If you have prayerfully received the impression that you need to focus on something other than ministering through visiting teaching with one or more of your sisters, you might focus on these principles suggested by the RS general presidency as an alternative: increasing faith, strengthening families, or giving service. This suggestion comes from page 76 of the April 2012 Ensign, paragraph 2.

Maybe the following printable, featured here previously, could be appropriate in this type of situation? (Yes, I did post it again after all!)

So you're all set for April--relax and have a great weekend!

Enjoy your visit!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

VT Grab Bag

It's Wednesday. To celebrate that it's not "chili night" tonight, I'm sharing some various Visiting Teaching helps from across the web.

At the Mormon Channel, "we expand the Visiting Teaching message through quotes and insights from the general Relief Society presidency and other General Authorities." Listen to the current message here. Scroll down the page to find episode 16.

If you're interested in a free VT Visit Reminder Magnet Printable,

jpcreative is happy to set you up with one.

In a twist on a project from Martha Stewart, here's an eye-catching way to share Oatmeal cookies with your Sisters. Save up your 18 oz oatmeal containers! If you don't have a large printer to print the label that wraps around the canister, try Kinkos or Staples. The lid should work with most printers:

from A Bushel and a Peck

For anyone in need of a little inspiration:

If you're a VT Supervisor, you might be interested in a calling card

Or take a look at this VT Organizer, with a list of our responsibilities, along with a place to record phone numbers:

It Works for Bobbi!" here.

For those who have completed their March visits and can't wait to see what's up for April, the link for the new message, Love, Watch Over, and Strengthen, is posted to the left, near the top.

Enjoy your visit!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Time!

Happy first day of Spring! Finally, here comes the sun--the days are now beginning to lengthen.
To celebrate, I designed a tag for you.

You print it up, cut it out, and fold it up to look like this:

And as they open the tag...

Here comes the sun!

Just fold in the sun rays to the center after you cut it out. (See below.)
Apply glue stick to the seal and glue it over the center points.
(Notice there are little gaps between the rays in my folded sample.)

Attach it to anything "sunny":
Sun Chips, Capri Sun, maybe a Sunkist Orange, a sun-catcher, a sunporch (might be hard to transport, though!), a _______ (fill in the blank), or sun-themed goodies like:

Mr. Sun Cupcakes

Sunshine Cupcakes

Or attach it to something from this cute "Sunshine in a Box" idea from!

The printable tag file is here. Click on the image for the full-size version, then right-click to save it to your computer.

Enjoy your visit!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Motivational Monday

Sorry I'm late! No, I didn't forget Motivational Monday. I went rogue, and did something that wasn't scheduled on today's to-do list. Somehow, I must have decided it would be a far, far better idea to jettison my list and instead, to get sick at the store. With 20/20 hindsight accuracy, I can safely say it was not my best idea, nor probably one of my top 100. Take my word for it--if you're going to go rogue, try something else instead. Anything. Anyway, for me, this video was just what the doctor ordered...feeling a little better already!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Twisted Shamrocks!

I'm a reflective thinker. Not good on my feet. About a half-hour or so before a deadline is when my best ideas start pouring in. Reflective thinker. NOT procrastinator. (Remember that one! Feel free to use it at will. No charge.)

So, I might be starting to get a feel for the type of thing I want to feature on this blog. And for starters, here's a little St. Patrick's Day gift--Twisted Shamrocks. (Yes, a blatant borrow of the ever-popular pretzel and Kisses treat! But since I've admitted it in parentheses, maybe no one will notice.) And you can make a megazillion of them as long as you remember not to drop the pretzel bag on your tile floor. Or eat all the Kisses beforehand. You know the drill--

Baking sheet, foil or parchment paper, oven, a bag of pretzel sticks, a bag of mini pretzels, a bag (or so) of Hershey's Kisses, a large bag of M&Ms.

Heat oven to 200 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Assemble 3 pretzels like so:

Ack, who hacked my account and posted that blurry pic?!!
Anyway, place a Hershey's Kiss on top of the pretzels, in the middle, like so:

Repeat until you run out of room (or Kisses).
Carefully put baking sheet in oven so pretzels don't slide out of alignment.
Remove after 4 minutes.

Press the end of a pretzel stick into the center of the softened Kiss for the stem. If the pretzels slide out of place, gently push them back toward the center. Use another pretzel stick to push them so your fingers don't get hot.

Press an M&M over the end of the pretzel stick--you want the Kiss to moosh around the pretzels, cementing them together.

Let harden.
Wrap up in a goodie bag. My store was out of the bags, so I cut the zip off a ziplock bag.
Print tags, tie, and present!

Download "So Lucky to have you as a friend" tags by clicking on the image. Click on the resulting image to enlarge it, then right-click it to save to your computer.

And no, I actually didn't forget half the page. It's my brilliant idea for you to fold the paper so you only have to cut the tag out half as much. Yup, I even re-did it so it could be that way. "Best-ideas-right-before-the-deadline" routine. Again. But hey, it's still St. Patrick's Day, so all's well that ends well.

Enjoy your visit!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Everything's Coming up Rosettes...

Rosettes. You see them everywhere. But hardly ever for Saint Patrick's day! What?!! Has the world gone mad? I adore rosettes so I thought I’d create one for St Patrick’s day, or any time of year that you want to wish your sister some luck! Whew--rosette lovers can all breathe freely again...

Clover Rosette Tutorial {finished size about 4 inches wide}

Getting started:

You’ll need a sheet of paper for each rosette, scissors, glue stick, AND a 2 to 3-inch backing circle cut from one of the following: cardstock, poster board, a file card, or thin cardboard. (I traced a circle around the bottom of a cup onto a file card.)

Access the free printable here by clicking on the picture to bring it up full-sized, then right-clicking on it to save the 300 dpi jpg to your computer. Print. Cut out the printed pieces, cutting out only the center design you plan to use.

Pleat both strips:

Notice the “s” on both strips. This stands for “start here”. Fold this end upward (like on the right strip shown above), then continue folding in ½-inch accordion pleats across entire strip. Use the ½-inch cheat marks printed on the side to help. (If you try to keep the side edges aligned as you fold, your pleating will be a little less funky.)

Accordion pleats

Make one long paper strip and hide the “s”:

Take one strip. Apply glue stick to the back of the end pleat that doesn’t have an “S”. Glue that pleat over the “s” pleat on the other strip, covering the “S”.

Make a continuous loop:

Again, apply glue to the back of the fold without an “s”, then place it over the fold with the “s”, forming a loop.

Now it gets a little bit tricky for those of us with less than four hands...

Flatten it:

Gently gather the top of the rosette together, then press down lightly to flatten. Make sure the green part is in the center. Flip over, wrong side up.

Apply a good thick coat of glue stick to the wrong side of the 2 to 3-inch cardstock backing circle.

Very lightly, place the glued backing over the center, glued side down. Try to push outer edges of rosette inward toward the center, bringing the middle part as close together as possible. Now press backing circle down gently until rosette folds stay in place.

Flip rosette over, glue banner to the center. Glue ribbon tails to the back, if desired. And present!

And yes, you can cut off the background for a clover-shaped rosette. I recommend you don't trim the background until after you've accordion-folded it. Otherwise, your pleats might get really crazy on you. (Mine did, but that's pretty much my standard procedure!)

Enjoy your visit!


Monday, March 12, 2012


Happy Motivational Monday! It's a gray morning here, with a bite to the air. When I came across this printable, my day brightened. I hope your's does, too. Find the download here, from the Mormon Mommy Blogs.

Remember to check to the left for the link to the pinterest board of free March VT handout printables!

Enjoy your visit!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Tags for Wearin' o' the Green

Customize this one (above) any way you'd like!

It's your lucky day! I have a little something for you. Tags and labels. And it just keeps getting better--they're free. (You'll always get your money's worth here!) You might attach a tag to the Visiting Teaching message. Or use a tag to make a card. A pinch-proof button! Or send a tag or label in a card to your Sisters because you're thinking of them during this fun time of year. Anything you choose can be all decked out, wearin' the green for St. Patrick's day.

The tags and labels are combined on one 8.5 x 11 page. Click here, then download the file named stpatrickstags2012.jpg.

Enjoy your visit!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Visiting Teaching Moments

This Monday has been a disaster so far, so I'll get straight to the point since I desperately need some motivation ASAP! Today's short (about 2 minutes) Motivational Monday feature is a quote by Julie B. Beck, combined with visuals and music. It's a sweet reminder about the bottom line--what Visiting Teaching is all about!

Enjoy your visit!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Your 24/7 Convenience Blog for VT

Today's post is a. short (for me) and b. sweet (see next photo). Convenience. That's the goal. This blog is a handy reference to see what's available for VT across the web at a single glance with a single click. Or twoish.

Check out the Pinterest Links to the left at the top. For free VT handouts, click on the link cleverly named "Free March VT Handouts" to bring up a Pinterest gallery (shown above). This handout board will disappear sometime during the first week of April, so grab whatever you want before the month is over. (Of course!)

Want St. Patrick's day ideas to share with your sisters? There's a gallery in the Pinterest Links list. A few of the printables are free. Something for spring? I've posted a board for spring ideas, too. And since Easter arrives so early in April, I've also included a link for it.

When is daylight savings? First day of spring? Find out with the list of important March Dates to the right at the top. You might want to do something to commemorate one of those days. My VT, Jennifer, once brought me a jar of homemade pickled beets and a tag that said something cute about "beet the clock" for daylight savings.

Saving the best for last, the March Visiting Teaching message, Daughters in My Kingdom, is listed in the left column at the very top in the March VT Message list. Now it's easy to access it--with just one click. Convenience at the tip of your finger!

Enjoy your visit!


Thursday, March 1, 2012


Wouldn't you know that the one extra day of the year (Feb 29) would be a Wednesday, of all days? ;) But it did have a happy ending--brownies. I'm excited for the new month of March and for all of its opportunities that are still ahead.

This month, the Ensign features an article titled, Visiting Teaching: Understanding the Power of Ministry. Love that word. Power. It's strengthening, optimistic and purposeful. Find the pdf version here.

I'm sharing a Visiting Teaching printable from Inkablinka by Kristin because it fits in so well with the Create video I posted on Monday:

According to Kristin, "This Visiting Teaching Watchcare Wheel is meant to inspire us to watch over our sisters a little better – to be mindful every day of ways we can contact, influence and uplift those in our care."

The printables and instructions for the Visiting Teaching Watchcare Wheel are here!

And, as an introduction to the new message this month, Kristin's cute printable for March is here. (Maybe the real reason I like it is because that dark-haired lady drawing could almost be my twin?! Well, a girl can dream...)

Enjoy your visit!