On Friday night here in Austin TX, I’ll be hosting a mama’s night out/craft night – the second in a monthly series. It’s a chance for  mamas to get together and hang out, all the while working on some crafty goodness to take home. We’ll be making Appreciation Banners – an idea thought up by me and my Future Craft Collective partner Kathie Sever. It’s a long banner with a pocket sewn on for each family member, a pocket for all the world and a pocket for supplies as well. The idea is that you hang it in a visible spot and fill it with appreciations for each other.The supplies pocket holds a pen and slips of paper so that whenever you have the whim, you can pause, jot down the appreciations and the gratitudes, and put them the pocket of the appreciated. Whether it be another family member, yourself or all the world. One night a week, you can empty the pockets at a family dinner and share all the appreciations of the week.

We have one in our house and admittedly it does flow in and out of use, but when we are using it, everyone sees and feels the difference. To live in a state in which we seek out appreciation for each other, and  take the time to not only notice it but share it with that person, feels way better than the opposite and way better too than just not doing anything at all. It raises the level of appreciation without a doubt and it makes us seek out what we appreciate as opposed to picking on what we don’t. It feels good on both the giving and the receiving end.

And when it’s not in use for a while, and we feel ourselves starting to go to the dark darkness, we reactivate it to get that level of appreciation going once again. And though it sounds kind of corny, or made up, the arguing and neediness really does wane when the appreciation banner is in use.

So if you’re in Austin on Friday, October 3rd and you want to join us, please do. And if you can’t, you can go to our Future Craft Collective tutorial and read more about how to make your own Appreciation banner for your family.