Our Ward’s TOFW – Time Out For Women

Here are some snapshots from our ward’s Time Out For Women (TOFW) activity. Since most of us couldn’t make it to the nearest official TOFW event, we decided to have our own in our ward.


We had a number of inspiring speakers, including a non-LDS lady (friend of one of our RS sisters) who was 90+% blind. If you have a closer look at the photos above, there is a photo of handmade necklaces and bracelets at the bottom centre.  All those necklaces and bracelets were made by her….and they were beautiful! If I recall correctly, she donates the profit to her favourite charity.  She also got us to try and write something in Braille, using the slate and stylus she brought. It was lovely to be able to experience that.

Relief Society’s Indoor Garden Party

It had been a busy week, with me baking 40 cupcakes for the Relief Society’s anniversary celebration – an indoor garden party. We had the option of holding it outdoors, but on the week of the party, the weather was not so predictable, so it was decided that we turn it into an indoor garden party instead.  After, we had a nice spacious hall to have it in, and just bring in a couple dozens or so of potted plants and we could be as close to the illusion as possible.

My task was not to decorate, but to produce around 40 pretty cupcakes for the party. Since it was going to be held in the middle of the week, I’m glad I was provided with little pink paper cups and matching toppers, so I could get away with a very basic layer of icing on top of the cupcakes and still have them look pretty. Here they were the night before, without the icing yet….

Thankfully, I got myself these food containers which were perfect for transporting the cupcakes. Otherwise, I might have fallen over the stairs or kerb while juggling these cakes!

 What a sight the indoor garden was! It reminded me of scenes from My Fair Lady… I think the set of Mrs. Higgins’ garden, and Eliza Doolittle being there in her beautiful and delicate pink dress.

 There were some outdoorsy lamps and strings of fairy lights, and these were what provided lighting to the venue. They did not turn on the hall’s ceiling lighting on purpose, so it would look more like an evening party in a real garden, than a party in a hall.  And because I forgot to bring my proper camera, these photos were taken using my phone.

 The other ladies also brought some plates of food, so we had sandwiches, scones, biscuits, fruits, lollies, and other sweets. But where, you may ask were my cupcakes?

Ah, here they are!

Happy anniversary, Relief Society organization! 🙂

Visiting Teaching – June 2014

Visiting teaching is something that I have not always enjoyed, I confess that. My mum was a hardworking visiting teacher and always dragged me along, being her partner in that calling.

Fortunately, years later, I discovered the creative way of magnifying this blessed calling. Days ago, I admitted to our Relief Society president (who’s my visiting teacher) that I now enjoy it and look forward to making little presents for the sisters assigned to me.

Last month, this is what I gave away to my sisters:

The Quirky Briars_Creative VT 2014_01

Inspired by President Monson’s quote saying, “We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children.” Hands we are, and a little hand-care set it is!

I told my sisters that because we are the Lord’s hands, we need to care for our hands so that they’re always ready to serve others.  Each pack contained a soap, a small towel, a hand sanitizer, and a copy of the quote.

Being a procrastinator that I am, of course I ended up not having enough time to think how to dress up the soap and towel a lot better, so I left them as they were.  But with the hand sanitizer, ooh! That probably was the most exciting piece in the pack…at least for me. Here’s a better look at it, showing the coordinating sticker I made for each side:

The Quirky Briars_Creative VT 2014_02

I love creative visiting teaching because it’s just a lot more exciting for me. I really get excited preparing these little gifts and I love how thrilled they get the moment I present these to them.  Love, love, love my VT sisters and I’m gonna miss giving little gifts like these to them next month, when I get new sisters on my list.  But I know I’ll always love them and I do look forward to sharing little creative things to a new group of sisters.

Now… what to do, what to do for this month? This is what I least like about this process – that lengthy time when inspiration does not come to me yet and the creative juices aren’t flowing and I just can’t think of how to turn this month’s message into a lovely creative little gift

Thinking…. thinking… thinking….

Perhaps if I’d go sleep, I’d dream of something creative?

Hmmm…. worth a try. 😀

Visiting Teaching – April 2014

The best thing about April that has to do with creative visiting teaching is that there’s the Holy Week, wherein I’ve got a few days off work. Yeah, let’s put those days into good use and work on stuff for the lovely ladies on my VT list.

I wondered, how can I present this month’s Visiting Teaching message in a creative manner?

A-ha! Enter these cardboard boxes I’ve had in my crafts cupboard for several months…and they look like they can be transformed into little “water wells” kinda thingy…which sort of connects to the ‘woman at the well’ part of the message.


First of all, I used texturing paste to create the ‘stones’ texture on the sides of the ‘well’. I had to work on this days in advance, so there would be enough time to let them dry thoroughly and if necessary, I could apply more texture to them.



Forgive me, I had been too excited that I had forgotten to take more photos of each step of the way. When I finally remembered, I was done with each of the four boxes, so here are the final products:


Of course,when they finish eating all the lollies, they could always turn the boxes into jewelry boxes or a desk decor, or a container for any of their beloved little treasures. As you can see, I tried to paint the ‘stones’ in various colours, so they’d look more realistic. The experience I gained in making my wedding wishing well (in papier mache form) from scratch has helped in this process.


I wanted to have a ‘water’ thingy on top, in the middle. Various ideas and options had crossed my mind before I settled with this – the VT message printed on light blue paper (to resemble water in the well) and I had transparent glue over it, so it would have more of the ‘water’ effect. The beads and resin flower cabochon are just for added cuteness.



To complete it, I decided to print more of the VT message on thick coloured paper and embellish it. Fortunately, I’ve got only 4 sisters on my list, so it’s not hard or costly to pamper them. 🙂


And I just love their reactions upon receiving these…the excitement and delight – just priceless!