Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Wild Moose Chase

After sharing my Primary Newsletter, I got to thinking, I should start sharing my designs I've done over the years.

One that I'm pretty proud of is one I did for Shawn's DPT class. As part of their fundraising efforts, every year the DPT 2nd years put on a Trail Run called the Wild Moose Chase.

Shawn volunteered me to design the flyer, and even if I was a little nervous (wasn't sure what they're expectations would be) I was excited to design again. I subscribed to Creative Market a while back when I bought my blog font (which I don't actually like very much...I should change it), and I get a lot of freebie design elements every week and so I was excited to use some of them that I thought were perfect for this flyer!

Sign up to do the run at

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Primary Newsletter Design

A few months ago I was called to serve as the secretary in my ward's primary. If you're not a member of the LDS faith, that was a whole mess of gobledegook to you.
Ward - congregation of people within a particular geographical area
Primary - organization for Children 1.5 - 11 years old
One of my duties as secretary is to design and distribute a monthly newsletter with assignments for the children; information on that month's theme, scripture, and song; birthday's; activity schedules; etc.

I've had quite a time getting into the swing of these newsletters, sometimes they'd take me more than 10 hours to put together! Originally I wanted it to look 'clean' and professional, but then I realized that this is for kids and decided to spice it up a little bit. I think I've got a pretty decent format going right now and wanted to share it with all of you.

It was designed in google docs, and if any of you have played around in there, you know that some times things can be a little bit frustrating. A few things to point out if you'd like to use the document so you're not pulling your hair out:

  1. Tables in Google Docs require a 'carriage return' (enter) before and after them.
  2. The doc uses tables within tables, so if you're getting confused as to which table you're in, set all of the borders to a solid black line so you can get an idea of what you're working with.
  3. The headers and footers drive me bonkers, too, so if you figure them out let me know.
  4. The 'August' at the top is an image that you can replace with text. I happened to receive some cute month lettering that I got to utilize here recently, but you don't have to use an image.

You can make a copy and start editing it up here!

If you're interested in knowing how we track who has participated in opening exercises, I can probably share a template for that as well, though I have to be honest and admit that the original idea wasn't mine.

Good luck to all you hard working newsletter makers out there! Cheers!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kangaroo & Koala Costumes - DIM'd

If you're looking for a tutorial this is NOT the place, but if you're looking for a bunch of text that probably goes in circles, then I've got you covered!

My oldest got to be a Kangaroo and my youngest was a Koala for Halloween last year! I haven't done very much sewing in the past, so I was nervited (nervous/excited. it's my word.) to try and make the costumes.

Originally I wanted it to be as simple as possible. A solid sweatsuit with some ears and a tail, done. As most projects go, it became much more complex, quickly. It appears that most stores that I looked at don't sell plain tan/grey sweatsuits in  12 months and 2T. Weird.

I hunted Gap, Target, Walmart, Shopko, and Kohl's. Nothing from what I could tell. I then browsed our local Value Village for anything, and again, nothing. When I was done hunting in their clothing section I decided to look at their 'home goods' area in hopes of some scrap material, and I didn't see any material, but I did find the perfect colored fleece blankets.

I purchased one in tan (it was crochet on the edges but I just took out the wool before washing it) and one in grey. I headed to Walmart for some matching thread and a zipper, and I picked up some stuffing from JoAnn Fabrics (wishing I'd used a coupon, but you win some you lose some).

For the kangaroo, I was planning on making a pouch, but after deciding to do a zipper in front, I justified going without one because male Kangaroos do not have pouches (and I didn't have enough material leftover). I was also concerned about making it too complicated to get out of, because my son is newly potty-trained and he waits too long some times.

For the main body I followed this video.
For the hood I found this video helpful.

Instead of cutting 4 pieces for the body I just cut 2 and cut the front piece in half to insert the zipper. It's cause I'm lazy, and I don't...not recommend it, but I also will tell you that it does make that ankle smaller, so maybe cut the leg your putting the zipper into slightly bigger to account for that (assuming you're going to be lazy like me...).

The tail I totally free handed, sewed up both sides,and stuffed with fluff (like Pooh Bear - YWIA for getting that stuck in your head). Once it was very firm (I didn't want it floppy) it was hand sewn onto the buh-tooshky. It sagged a little because I made the bottom half of the body wider (ended up looking like drop-crotch pants with the narrow ankles - a fashionable kangaroo!)

I bounced (you see what I did there?) back and forth on making the costume footed or non-footed, and finally decided that if he was going to walk around in it outside (which is what you do on Halloween) that I'd make shoe covers instead. This allowed me to make his feet 'look' like long kangaroo feet, which was an added bonus. I also free-handed the foot pattern according to the former video but excluded the bottom of the cover and stuffed the long toes with more fluff. After my son walked in them I noticed the shoe covers shifted around a bunch, so I added an elastic strap under the covers to hold them onto the shoes.

The ears. I free handed the shape of them and cut 4 pieces. My aunt had some iron on felt that I used to make the ears stiff and she ironed it on each side for me before sewing. Then I sewed up all but about an inch - right sides together - and turned them inside out and whip stitched (is that the right term??) the hole. I poured over Kangaroo ear pictures and decided to tack each side in - the one side only a little bit, and the other side more - then hand sewed them to the hood.

I free handed the ears and made them similarly to the second video, but I sewed the front and back pieces to a 1 inch wide piece of fluffy trim so that the top of the ears would be...fluffy. :) I stuffed them, sewed them together, and then hand-stitched them to the hood.

I cut out two little circles and an oval (it's actually a little wider at the top than the bottom) for the eyes and nose and hand-stitched them onto the hood.

For the feet I used the second video's idea but cut a 'claw' piece out of black felt and sewed it between the top and the bottom of the foot. I cut the bottom of the foot out of white felt.

For the tummy I cut a large (but not large enough it turns out) oval shape out of white felt and sewed it on. I made the mistake of adding the belly before adding the zipper, so in true lazy Morgan fashion, I just installed the zipper to go around the tummy.

I also sewed on the hood too soon, so I ended up having to put my son's head in first, then his legs, then his arms, and finally zip it up. Chalk it up to experience, I say. :S

My husband and I went as 'Australia' characters. I tried to pull off the Nicole Kidman look, but it was raining and my hair fell. We found my husband's Genuine Australian hat at the Value village as well.

If you're wanting to attempt Kangaroo or Koala costumes this year (or really any animal) I highly suggest it! You can totally do it if I can!