"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ebroidered Baby Bag

This summer I made an embroidered baby bag for a dear friend who was pregnant with her 4th child.  I was new to the idea of embroidering, so this is not perfect, but I had fun and it was a nice personal gift to give.

To make a similar bag, you will need the following supplies:
  • a canvas bag 
  • Design Template - *See below
  • Embroidery Floss (You select the colors based on your design)
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Disappearing Ink Pen (optional)
* You can either free hand your design on the bag, draw it in advance with a pencil or disappearing ink pen, or copy it with a printout of a picture and some carbon paper.

Once you've settled on a design, you will want to mark it out on your bag and select the correct floss colors for the project.

I have used pencil in the past for outlining, however this time I had a pen with disappearing ink so I used it instead.  (A hint if you use the pen, work in small sections because if you take too long to finish embroidering, your pen mark may have already disappeared.)

Because the bag in this photo did come from the dollar store, it was thin.  If I had to do it over again, I would have used stabilizer and I also would have used darker floss on the name (it is hard to tell but the name on the bag is Atticus...for my good friends new baby boy!).

In case you wondered, the design above was done mostly with a back stitch, but the heart was done with the satin stitch.  

Here is a link to a site with video tutorials for several different embroidery stitches, the site is called Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread. http://www.needlenthread.com/videos


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Parental Controls For Cell Phones

I am the parent of a teen, and although I know this to be a controversial subject, I want to be sure that my son is protected while using his cell phone and held accountable for his cell phone use.

I understand that there are parents that think what I'm about to describe is an invasion of your child's privacy, however, I must say that I disagree.  I'd prefer not to debate the issue if possible.  My goal is to let parents, who like me, are looking for ways to protect their kids from cyber-bullying, sexual harrassment, sexting, and spending too much time and money on their phones.

If you are one of those parent...you may just be in luck because I've found and been using a wonderful new Application called Mobiflock.  Mobiflock is in its Beta phase, so right now it is free to download for Andriod phones and some Nokia phones.

I had gone to great lengths to try to get parental controls and services from our cell carrier (AT&T Wireless) and after paying for their so called 'parental controls' and 'filters', I found that all I could really do was restrict the number of minutes he uses, the amount of money that gets spent on downloads, or the hours he uses his phone.  And although those things were somewhat helpful, they provided no help with the fact that most cell phones today have FULL access to the internet.  Many of us have rules at home for our kids internet use on the computer, but do you have rules for (and ways of verifying) their cell phone internet usage?

If you don't already know this, it is even easier to delete the internet history on a phone than it is on a computer and most kids know how to do it!
Here is a section from Mobiflock's website
http://www.mobiflock.com that explains their services:

Mobiflock is easy to install and use. A small program - or application - is downloaded on to your child's phone. Then you use an online dashboard to set up security levels and alerts, and to get a bird’s eye view of how your child is using their phone. Including the time and money spent.

The Mobiflock service allows you to:
  • Find out who your kids are contacting and who is contacting them. And what they are saying to each other.
  • Control who your child contacts, who contacts them, time and money spent, information sent and received.
  • Locate where a missing or stolen phone, or even where your child is. And delete private info from a missing or stolen phone.
  • Receive alerts about inappropriate content; cyber-bullying; sexting; predatory activity; spending too much time or money online.
We also help you out with a wealth of information on these topics, giving you the knowledge you need to raise your children in this rapidly changing digital and mobile world.

By the way, we recommend you discuss Mobiflock with your child. The way the system is designed means your child will know Mobiflock is on their phone. We're not about spying, we're about empowering parents and starting a conversation between them and their children."

I personally discussed this program with my son and he knows it has been installed on his phone.  I don't really believe you can do it otherwise because there is an icon that stays constantly on the upper task bar of the phone (where you usually find your cell signal strength and your batter life icon), so they will wonder what it is if you don't tell them.  

So far, this application has proved very helpful to our family and provides a great source of accountability for our son.  When they roll out the full program it will allow even greater filtering options.

I hope that you have found this helpful.  

May God Bless you with wisdom in parenting and protect our children from harm.



Romans 6:12-14
"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace."

2 Timothy 2:22 
"Now flee from youthful lusts and
pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call
on the Lord from a pure heart.

1 Peter 5:8 
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

Philippians 4:8 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is
noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

Romans 12:2 
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this
world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."