Friday, December 16, 2011

Young Women in Excellence Fairy Tale Album

I work with the youth in my local LDS church group.  Once a year we have an evening devoted to showcasing the skills our young women (ages 12-18) have worked on during the year. This program is called Personal Progress.  The skills revolve around eight values.  Each value is represented by a different color.
Faith (White)
Divine Nature (Blue)
Individual Worth (Red)
Knowledge (Green)
Choice and Accountability (Orange)
Good Works (Yellow)
Integrity (Purple)
Virtue (Gold).
 The above picture is a hybrid (digital and scrapbook material).  We used it as a sign above a table where we set out objects that represent some of the projects the Young Women have worked on during the year.  
This year we used storybook characters to exemplify each value.  The idea for this event is found HERE on  The pictures below show our interpretation of this evening.  I used the Stampin' Up MDS program for all the computer printing.  Instead of putting together big posters for each character, like you find on the sugardoodle website, we made a "storybook" album.  I tailored it to our young woman (we only have one right now, we live in a very small community at the moment) and gave it to her as a remembrance of who she really is as the daughter of a Heavenly King and her true home above.

I took a picture of the Salt Lake Temple and put it on the front cover to represent a "castle" in our fairytale book. 
Opening cover has all the values and colors represented.  All the printing I did was on clear velum.  The effect turned out really nice but you can't use any kind of tape without it showing so I used brads instead.  It was nice to use the MDS program as I could size things really close to what I wanted and didn't have to print a million times to get the right fit.  I remembered at the last minute I had a "fairytale" paper stack for scrapbooking.  The pages were perfect, sparkly and swirly. 

Title page (it looks better in person:)
For each value our young woman chose four words that she felt represented that value.  We stamped the words on each page.  For our Young Women in Excellence evening we invited members of our church group to come and "be the character" for each value.  They read a small script found on the above link that talks about how each character exemplifies their respective value.   Then they shared a short personal testimony about the value and how it has effected them in their life.  Everyone did a great job and came up with inventive costumes.   I don't want to put up everyone's picture without asking their permission so I will just put up mine as Wendy.

Here is me as Wendy.  At the last minute we decided to dress our kids up as Tiger Lily, John, and one little lost boy from Peter Pan as Wendy's entourage.  Our toddler was dressed up as Michael but was not cooperating when it came time for us to go up.  We weren't going to push the issue as it was already past bed time:)

I paper crafted the pumpkins and they turned out really cute.  I wasn't sure if they would work being in an album since the green vines are little swirls of paper but it didn't smash down too much so it worked.

 After all the characters were done, I told our young woman there was one more fairytale in our "storybook".  She didn't know about the last couple pages.  I had written a "fairytale" with her in mind the day before.  This is what I wrote for the fairy tale:

 "Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful Princess that shined with Light.  Her father was King of all the Land and very wise.  The King loved His daughter so much, He made a beautiful new Kingdom for Her to live in.  When the Princess was just a baby, the King sent Her to learn and grow in this beautiful Land.  In this new Kingdom was an Evil Sorcerer.  He wanted to capture the Princess and take Her Light.  The King worried about the Princess and knew She would forget Him, so the King sent Her to a Family that knew Him well.  For the King trusted them to protect the Princess from the Evil Sorcerer and teach Her how to remember Him.  To aid Her new Family the King gifted them with many Treasures.  Among these gifts was a Powerful Book and a Guarded Castle.  Inside the Castle is a Map showing the way back to the King.  The Princess must study the Book for many years before She will be ready to enter the Guarded Castle.  Someday, these gifts will lead the beautiful Princess back to Her true Home and She will live Happily Ever After."

In this fairytale, the Princess is every Young Woman and her father, the King, is God.  The New Kingdom he made is Earth.  The two treasures, the Powerful Book and the Guarded Castle, are the Scriptures and the Temple.  

After reading the "fairytale" to the group, I told our young woman that she is the beautiful princess.  I then turned the book so she could see the pages with her picture along with her family and the fairytale I had just read.  I told her the blank page on the right is for her to add a picture of herself when she is older and goes to the temple for the first time. 
 The last page says "the end" in the background and has a little note "Much Love, Sister Hess and Sister Cannon".  As I gave our young woman the book, I told her that we were giving it to her because we wanted her to remember that her Happily Ever After begins with the temple.  As I said this I closed the album so she could see the picture of the Temple on the front cover.

The book is the collaboration of our young woman, the other leader and myself.  As I finished the album, I decided I really liked it and I wanted to do my own version that is basic enough to use for Young Women lessons in the future.  If I actually do another one, I will make it 8X8 as I think 12X12 left a lot of blank space we couldn't fill.  I will use the same basic design but will choose other papers and accessories that have a little more consistency with each other.

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