Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude Day 30, My Album, Giveaway

I can't believe the end of November is here. I took the time last night to finish my Attitude of Gratitude mini, using the kit from my shop (two more available here). Here are just a few photos. You can find the rest here or here.

I couldn't end the challenge without declaring the most important blessing I have in my life:

I know many of you joined me for this challenge. Thank you! I'm interested to know what you thought, how you incorporated the challenge into your own life, and if you made anything to document your gratitude. And I want to give something away from my shop. 

If you have been blogging, I'd love to read a wrap-up style post of your thoughts after the challenge. If you've been facebooking or using twitter, I'd love to read your thoughts as a comment on this post. If you want to link me to a gallery of a journal or mini album you made, I'd love to see that, too. So please leave a comment on this post with your links or thoughts and on December 7th I will draw a winner for a $20.00 credit to Precocious Paper.

Enjoy your day! Tessa

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 29

(click image to view larger)

I found this quote to be really interesting. I've learned that being grateful brings me more happiness, but I hadn't really thought about how my being grateful could bring others more happiness. I've been in the presence of humble, grateful people and felt that brightness. I hope one day to bring that brightness to the lives of others.

Today I am grateful for messages of preparedness. Our little family has been discussing emergency preparedness lately (via Emilie at A Year of Family Home Evenings), and last night we talked about setting up an emergency station. I just cleaned and organized our garage last weekend and Santa will be delivering some things to help us put this together. After our emergency this summer, we really felt the need to be more prepared, and I am grateful to Emilie and church and community leaders who have shared important information to help us be ready.

I thought I would share one more wreath today:

I made this one with the Mustard, Rust and Ivory Felt Roses and Leaves from my shop. It's a small one, perfect for a shelf, mantle, or wall display. You can find more photos here.

I'll be back tomorrow with details on how to enter to win a Precocious Paper prize for participating in Attitude of Gratitude. Have a wonderful day! Tessa

Monday, November 28, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Days 27 and 28

Happy Monday! I have quite the to-do list to tackle and I am excited to get to it! I love Mondays :). One of my to-do items is to share these wreaths I've been working on:

I am offering these for sale, so if you might be interested, just let me know :). I won't be offering them through my Etsy shop at this time, but I am happy to work with you via email. I am also taking just a few more custom wreath orders before Christmas. I've got a few in the works that I am really excited about and would love to make something custom for you! You can reach me at precociouspaper (at) yahoo (dot) com and you can find more photos here.

Not only do I love Mondays, but I love Sundays, too. They are the perfect days for reflection. After going to a few church meetings yesterday and feeling uplifted and inspired, I found just the right thankful sentiments to share with you.

Day 27: I am grateful for trials. I know, I probably shouldn't say that out loud - I might have more sent my way! But honestly, I am grateful for the challenges I have endured. I may not have endured them perfectly or even well, but I have grown and learned from each one. I am also grateful that I can share my experiences with others to help them through their own trials, especially the young women I work with.

Day 28: I am grateful for the financial blessings our family has received this year. It's so easy to compare yourself to others, and when I make the mistake of doing so, we don't measure up at all. We have challenges to meet and goals to accomplish before I would feel really financially stable, but we are truly blessed to be where we are. I am grateful for what I have.

Thank you for stopping by today! I am grateful for you and your comments :). Have a good one! Tessa

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Days 23-26

Yesterday, while working on home projects and hanging out with the family, I felt a little twinge of guilt that I hadn't been posting my Attitude of Gratitude thoughts daily this Thanksgiving week. Here I am, challenging others to publicly share what they were grateful for, and I wasn't doing this as regularly as I should. But then I realized that in the past week, my efforts of sharing gratitude have been focused on my family. I have felt the need to be more of a teacher and example to my boys with regards to gratitude this year, and I let Thanksgiving break blogging go while I spent more time with them.

Jaxon has been saying "thank you" more than ever. Colten and Carson have been quick to remember to express thanks in family prayers before asking for blessings. They are constantly on the look out for things to be grateful for. Hugs and kisses seem more abundant. I was working on the floor and suddenly Jaxon was on my back, arms wrapped around me, chubby cheeks pressed into me, saying "I lub you Mommy." For no reason. I love that. I haven't kept a tally, so I don't know if I am just more grateful for the ones I see and receive, or if there actually are more "loves", but it doesn't matter. That's what this is all about. Being grateful brings more love and happiness, and in turn, more to be grateful for.

So to catch up....

Day 23: I am grateful for rest. I am grateful for the opportunities we have to slow down, savor time, and be together. I am grateful for the chance to rest my body, forget about the stresses of day-to-day, and enjoy time.

Day 24: I am grateful for my grandpa. While getting the table ready for Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, my grandpa was watching me. As I got closer to his end of the table, he paid me a sweet compliment. One I will never forget and one that was very special and well-timed. I am grateful that he is still here and a part of my life.

Day 25: I am grateful for my crazy sisters. Black Friday shopping? At midnight? Yes! Our youngest sister had to work a Black Friday shift, so we stopped at her store first and paid a little visit. Wow - talk about craziness! But it was fun and I enjoyed the sister time :).

Day 26: I am grateful for my home. It isn't much, but I am grateful to be living here and for the love within its walls.

On a scrappy note, I have been working on a few projects that I should be able to share soon! The Precocious Paper December Sampler is ready to go, but I am waiting on supplies to arrive for the extras, so hopefully this week I'll be able to release it.

Have a great day! Thank you for stopping by and sharing this gratitude project with me :). Tessa

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Days 19-22, The Studio

There's a new challenge at The Studio and it's all about gratitude - with a twist! Rather than the typical answers of family and health, you must choose something superficial, silly, or something you could easily live without to be the subject of your layout. I chose socks, specifically my husband's athletic no-shows that I like to steal for work.

The real blessing here is that my husband doesn't mind when I steal a pair from his drawer without asking. He's a cool guy like that. Definitely a keeper :).

I hope that by doing this challenge, people realize that the little things that may seem silly are really important and deserve just as much gratitude as family and good health. Play along here for a chance to win $25.00 in Precocious Paper goodies :).

As for Attitude of Gratitude, I have fallen a bit behind. I had a very full weekend and spent most of yesterday trying to corral the boys and catch up on housework. Maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something I think about constantly, though, so it isn't far from my heart even when I'm away from the blog.

Day 19: I am grateful for my husband's job. Getting him through school with two young children was really difficult, then watching the economy erode as he entered the job market was frightening. We've been truly blessed to see things fall into place for work. Things may not have gone as planned, but things have worked out and worked out well. He's been getting great performance reviews and I am really proud of him. His job allows me to stay home with the boys for five days a week, and I feel incredibly blessed by that.

Day 20: I am grateful that I have been blessed with talents that I can share with others. I love to teach, dance and craft and I was able to do all three with a big group of kids on Sunday. I did a birthday party for a student of mine at the dance studio and it was so much fun! They made scrapbook pages as their gathering activity, they learned a hip hop routine and we played fun games. The group of kids was great, the birthday girl's family was wonderful to work with and it felt really good to spend a couple of hours making kids happy.

Day 21: I am grateful that others bless my life with their talents. I love that everyone has their own unique and special abilities. As I peruse Pinterest, I am blown away by the recipes. I'm not much of a cook or baker. I can learn, but I am not intuitive or inventive when it comes to food. I am grateful that talented people share their recipes and know-how so that I can fake it in the kitchen. Last night I made these (with white chocolate chips) and they were very good. Click photo for source.

Day 22: I am grateful for the time I have this week to spend with my boys. We are passing off Cub Scout things (ha ha, "things" - I don't have the terminology down yet!), watching movies and reading books together, catching up on chores, and just hanging out. No pressures of homework or schedules to keep. Just us. I am thoroughly enjoying it. And I'm sure I'll be ready for school to start back up on Monday :).

I hope you are enjoying your day! Thanks for stopping by! Tessa 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Precocious Paper Design Team Call

Would YOU like the opportunity to receive Precocious Paper product in exchange for sharing your creations and talent with us?  I am now accepting applications for the January - June 2012 design team.  I am looking for designers who are happy to create a range of projects - layouts, cards, altered items, hair accessories, etc. If you are interested, please email me with the following information:

1. Your name and contact information.
2. A little bit about yourself.
3. Links to your blog and gallery.
4. Your scrappy/crafty resume, including current responsibilities (past DT experience is not necessary).

And I'd love to know your answers to these questions:

1. What is your favorite Precocious Paper product and why? 
2. How would your contribution to the Precocious Paper design team be special?

Every other month you will receive the monthly Sampler and be required to create at least three projects with it.  During the other months you will receive a smaller batch of product and be required to create at least one project with it.  You will also receive a discount code for additional product.

I'm excited to see fresh faces and I welcome applications from past guest designers and current DT members.  The call will remain open through December 10th. Designers chosen for the team will be contacted by the 15th. I look forward to receiving your application! Tessa

precociouspaper (at) yahoo (dot) com

Friday, November 18, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 18, Designer Friday!

Happy Friday! Today I am grateful for my Precocious Paper design team - Amanda Jones and Mandy Koeppen. My chin literally hits the keyboard every time they post a project to our DT blog. I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming when I think of my talented team :). Their creativity, enthusiasm for Precocious Paper products, and willingness to share my little etsy shop are a true blessing and I am so very grateful for them! Thank you, ladies!

Speaking of Amanda, she's been playing with the Very Merry line and I can't wait to show you what she has created:

Isn't this gift box gorgeous?! The felt and glitter tulle poinsettia flower comes in the Very Merry sampler (and there's two of them!).

Amanda used the glittered snowflake as the focal point in this gorgeous altered frame. The flower, leaves, ribbon and snowflake all come in the Very Merry sampler.

This grapevine wreath is so pretty :). I love the whitewash, snowy look - I'm going to have to try that. Amanda embellished with fabric flowers and ribbons from the Very Merry sampler. The felt rose is from the Very Merry set of felt roses and leaves. I love how she added the pins from the ribbon clothespins to the fabric lollipop flower.

Amanda's home must be a very cheerful place at Christmastime! I want you to see all the details, so be sure to head over to the Precocious Paper facebook page and check out the Very Merry photo gallery. You can find the Very Merry line in my etsy shop here.

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back Monday with an exciting announcement :). See you then! Tessa

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Days 16 & 17

Happy Thursday! I hope all is well with you :). As I was thinking about what I would write today, I realized that I was grateful for many of the same things this year as I was last year. I think it has to do with events repeating themselves (parent teacher conferences and field trips, namely), but that's okay. Just because I've received the blessing once before doesn't mean I'm any less grateful, right?

Catching up for my lack of blogging yesterday...Day 16: I am grateful for my boys' teachers. To choose the career of teacher is an honorable thing, and when you really devote your heart and soul to teaching, you bless the lives of so many people. With recent news of awful teachers out there, I am especially grateful for who my boys have this year. Colten and Carson are doing really well and they are enjoying school. Their teachers are aware of their individual needs and are helping them to meet goals and surpass expectations. I am so grateful that when I saw the new prompt from The Paper Variety (to create a project that includes the word "thanks"), I just had to make a pair of cards for the boys' teachers:

Day 17: I am grateful for the emergency responders we have in our city. Today we took a field trip to the fire station. It was short-lived however because they were called away on two emergencies and all the staff had to leave. Even though the kids were sad that their tour only lasted all of five minutes or so, I am glad that they got to see the fire fighters respond to emergencies. I hope seeing the fire fighters jump into action gave the kids confidence that if they ever need their help, it would come quickly. This is my new favorite photo of Jaxon and Carson together - the two of them waiting for the tour to start:

Two peas in a pod, I tell ya. Carson and his "mini me" :). Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time to share a few minutes of your day with me :). Tessa

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 15

I just love this quote. The image of electricity is powerful, and living a life filled with gratitude is just as powerful. I have to admit, it's been hard to be grateful while being sick. I just am not a very happy person unless I physically feel good. I may be miserable with a cold, but for goodness sake, there are much worse trials I could be enduring right now. Instead of feeling grumpy, I should be allowing the power of gratitude to help brighten my mood. Today I am grateful for this Attitude of Gratitude challenge. I am grateful for what it is teaching me and for the daily reminder that I have been richly blessed. I am grateful for this electricity in my life, for the spark of happiness and light it brings.

I've been craving the time to work on a new wreath for my front door, and last week while sitting with my sick little Jaxon, I managed to finish this one:

It's based on my Autumn Afternoon line (available here). I even used the felt roses from the line as little accents.

I'm really happy with the way it turned out and can't help but smile every time I pull into the driveway :).
I had to retire my Halloween wreath to make room for the new fall wreath (yes, my Halloween wreath was on my door well past Halloween).

I decorated our porch with cobwebs, paper garlands, lots of pumpkins and a big hay bale, so I wanted to keep the wreath fairly simple. My favorite part is the polka dot yo-yos. And before I go, I just finished this wreath last night:

I made wreaths for my kids' teachers for Christmas last year and was planning to do it again this year. Carson's teacher emailed me about buying a Christmas wreath so I said I would love to make her one but that she couldn't pay me :). I hope she likes it! You can see more photos of the wreaths in my flickr photostream.

I hope your Tuesday is going well! Enjoy your day :). Tessa

Monday, November 14, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Days 12-14

Hello! How was your weekend? When I wasn't teaching, I was in bed or on the couch - sick. But I'm feeling better and am looking forward to a little productivity today. Before I go get a few chores done, I need to catch up on my Attitude of Gratitude thoughts.

Day 12: I'm grateful for playtime with my boys. On Veteran's Day we put out our flag then ran to the craft store for some supplies. When we got home, we only had minutes before we snapped this photo at 11:11 am on 11/11/11. You'd think it was a bright sunny day with the squinty smiles I got, but no. I just don't think they were as into the photo as I was. That's their "humoring Mom" look. They were happy to take my photo (but I think that has something to do with getting to play with Mom's iPhone):

Anyway, after that we made jet packs (like this one here). It was fun just to hang out, without the pressures of getting off to school or doing homework. Good times :).

Day 13: I'm grateful when things don't always go as planned. On Saturday I had an afternoon of private lessons scheduled after my regular classes. I was sick, I was nursing shin splints in one leg (how I got them, I have no idea), but I didn't want to cancel on my kids. What happens? A private lesson cancels due to illness, another private lesson comes in earlier than scheduled, and it all works out so that I can get home and rest. Blessings counted :).

Day 14: Today I am grateful for my voice. Haha, I cannot sing. Let's just get that straight right now. However,  yesterday I had no voice. I couldn't talk on the phone and everyone thought it was funny to keep asking me, "What?" Today I am hoarse and my voice is still weak, but I have one. I'm grateful that I have more volume than a whisper and that I could actually say "I love you" out loud when I dropped the boys off at school.

I have started collecting things with the theme of gratitude onto a board over at Pinterest. I've pinned projects that you can do with your family, quotes, and gratitude journals that other crafters are putting together. If you'd like to take a look, you can find it here.

I hope your Monday is going well! Have a great day :). Tessa

Friday, November 11, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 11, Designer Friday

Today I am grateful for the veterans who have served our country, for the sacrifices that they and their families have made, and for the blessings that those sacrifices allow me to enjoy. I'm grateful that my brother-in-law has made it home safe this week from a tour in Iraq. I'm grateful for a day of remembrance today, and I'm grateful for all of the tributes to our soldiers that I am seeing everywhere. 

One such place is Operation Write Home. If you aren't familiar with this organization, you really should read up on them. They collect handmade cards and ship them to our servicemen and women, who then use those cards to write home to their loved ones. They are holding an amazing blog hop today, and SRM Stickers is a part of it, as well as many other fabulous manufacturers. If you have a chance, please join in. There are prizes to be had, inspiration galore, and you can learn more about OWH. I hope to get another batch of cards made really soon :).

It's also Designer Friday, and I am thrilled to be bringing you projects by Mandy Koeppen with the Vintage Poinsettia line! This line is pink, coral, dark green, white and gold - a little nontraditional, but still very festive. Mandy has created a layout and two gorgeous cards (with tons of product left for more - stay tuned!).

Using the green snowflake from the sampler...

Using the pink poinsettia fabric flower and coral tulle from the sampler...

Using a felt rose and wired leaf...

I just love everything :). Thank you so much, Mandy! You can find the Vintage Poinsettia line here. Next Friday Amanda Jones is sharing what she did with the Very Merry line, and early next month we will be seeing even more holiday projects from these talented ladies. 

Happy Veterans Day and have a wonderful weekend! Tessa

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 10

Today I am grateful for my husband. Last night he hurried home so that he could make us dinner before he had to dash off to a meeting. He didn't have to - I told him that I would take care of it, but he wanted to do it. He's definitely a keeper :). And speaking of my hubby, I made a page about our 9th anniversary for today's Sketchy Thursdays reveal:

I love this sketch:

I added lots of bits and pieces, many from past Scrapbook Circle kits. I used my favorite stickers - SRM Stickers - for the title and even dotted the page with a few of the "9" stickers in white.

Did you notice the Precocious Paper flower? It's the sewing pattern one with a mother of pearl button. Those were made for a kit club, but you'll be seeing them on my shelves soon :).

You can find all the details for the Sketchy Thursdays challenge here. Before I go, I just wanted to say thank you. I've been receiving emails from blog readers who have joined in on Attitude of Gratitude and wanted to share their experiences with me. I'm humbled and deeply touched. I'm grateful that you are sharing this experience with me and strengthening my desire to be more thankful through your examples. Thank you :). Have a wonderful day! Tessa

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 9

This is my boys' bookshelf. It's a battle I have fought over and over again, but my boys just don't share the same love of organization that I do. However, I'm okay with the mess now. Why? Carson just earned 350% of his reading goal for the first trimester of the school year and came in first place in his class. Colten also surpassed 100% of his reading goal. I don't mind one bit that these shelves are a mess because it means they are reading. I am grateful that my boys love to read.

Today at the SRM Stickers blog I am sharing a layout I made with photos I took on our October trip to the pumpkin patch. My assignment was to use the stickers on fabric, so I chose to create my layout on burlap:

The stickers took to the burlap beautifully! Did you notice the lace and felt flower from my Etsy shop? That one is from the Autumn Afternoon Sampler.

You can find the SRM Stickers post here. Have a wonderful day! Tessa

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude: Day 8

Today I am grateful for my family. I never imagined that as a mother I could love my children so much. I never guessed how good it would feel to make dinner together, eat together, sing together, pray together and play together. I grew up in a great family that did all those things, but the perspective of mother is different and now I understand. I am truly blessed. I am grateful to my husband, my partner in creating our little family, our little piece of heaven on earth. We had a great family night last night that I will share with you soon - we got crafty and I'd like to show you what we made, when it's finished :).

Precocious Paper is sponsoring The Studio this month! I am giving away your choice of the Very Merry line, the Vintage Poinsettia line, or a $25.00 shop credit. All you have to do is play along with a challenge this month. Our first one is up: Create a layout with hand-cut shapes. Scissors only! No punches or die-cut machines. Here is my take:

I hand-cut the circles from scraps of patterned paper. I thought the whimsy of the almost-circles matched the whimsy of the photos. This kid and his faces, I tell ya. Sometimes I wonder how so much personality fits in one little two year old!

I hope you'll play along with us! You can find all the details in this post here.

And speaking of sponsoring, Precocious Paper is also sponsoring Sketchy Thursdays' December Guest Designer Challenge! I'm giving away an Attitude of Gratitude kit and a $10.00 shop credit. For more information, see this post. Be sure to take a look at the design team samples - they all made layouts about gratitude and they are amazing!

 Thanks for stopping by today! Tessa