Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time With You - DCWV

DCWV has so many new stacks out that I am having a hard time choosing which one to play with next! The District Stack caught my eye with its bright yellow, red and blue papers. The metallic silver foil is so pretty and the gloss accents are really fun, too. I printed this photo from our recent Valentine's Day shoot and decided to pull my favorite red and neutral papers from the stack to make this layout:

I fell in love with the red and black rose print and just knew I'd have to cut into it. I love my little cutterbee scissors for fussy-cutting. I also fussy-cut the clocks from another patterned paper. They were (obviously) what inspired my title and journaling.

The title was cut with my Silhouette Cameo (Jenna Sue font) and the journaling is typed in my favorite font, Traveling Typewriter (

The photo was too warm for the silver metallic from the stack, so I pulled gold foil paper from the Foiled Cardstock 6x6 stack to layer under my photo. I simply tore off about an inch at the bottom and tucked the rest of the piece under. I love all the new 6x6 options for this kind of layering!

Josh has been working extra late the past couple of weeks, so while he toiled away last night I comforted myself with scrapbooking this layout and indulging in a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. Those things are the bane of my waistline's existence this time of year. Forget jelly beans, give me the Reese's Eggs! Better yet, give me jelly beans and then I won't be tempted :).

Be sure to check out all the new stacks at Michaels and JoAnn's these days :).

Thanks for stopping by! Tessa

Etsy-versary Celebration - Giveaway #5

Happy Birthday, Precocious Paper! I can't believe my baby is five years old today :). In celebration, today's giveaway is...

To enter, leave a comment on this post. Comments are only open through today, and winners for all the giveaways will be announced tomorrow.

Thank you for your orders and support! I have had so much fun celebrating this week. The giveaways may end tonight, but the sale continues through Sunday. Every fifth item is free, and use coupon code 5YEARS to receive 5% off of your entire order.

If you've been missing the scrappy content here on the blog this week, don't worry. I'll be back a little later today with a new layout for DCWV.

Have a fantastic day! Tessa

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Etsy-versary Celebration - Giveaway #4

Hello, hello! Today I have a giveaway that I really put my heart into. If you've been following Precocious Paper for some time, you know I have an affinity for making yarn wreaths. I have a new one for my front door every month :). Today, I am giving away one I made just for one of you!

This is a large, 14 inch wreath. I based the color palette on my Sunday Best sampler, available here. Wouldn't this look pretty on your front door for Spring? If you'd like to win, just leave a comment below. Comments are open through Thursday and a winner will be announced Friday.

Don't forget about the Precocious Paper sale! I know many, many of you haven't ;). Thanks for keeping me busy! But if you haven't heard, every fifth item you purchase is free and on top of that, you can use coupon code 5YEARS to get 5% off of your total. Shop here.

Thanks for stopping by today! Enjoy your Wednesday :). Tessa

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Etsy-versary Celebration - Giveaway #3

Happy Tuesday! As I sit here at my laptop with my planner (yes, I still use a paper and pen planner), I can't help but feel giddy about all of the dates lined up so nice and neat. Having everything as organized as possible, at least on paper, brings me a sense of calm. That doesn't mean my days ever go as planned, but having some goals and deadlines in place certainly helps. If you are a fan of calendars like me, you will love today's giveaway:

First, a magnetic calendar kit by SEI! The calendar has a blank, re-usable surface and it attaches to your fridge (or any other magnetic spot). You can slip in a background to dress up the calendar, and the kit comes with enough paper and embellishments to make a background for every month of the year. I love that this calendar is essentially perpetual. You could re-use it year after year.

Also, I'm including a brand new stamp set from Technique Tuesday! I actually won this stamp set at CHA from their booth. Teri Anderson pulled my business card during a drawing ;). Even though the sentiments speak to my calendar-loving heart, I'm not much of a stamper, and this set looks like something someone who does Project Life would get more use out of. So, instead of hoarding a great set of stamps that I may not use, I'd love to pass it along to someone who will use it :).

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post. Don't forget to enter Sunday's and Monday's giveaways, too! You have through Thursday to enter and winners will be announced on Friday.

Don't forget about the sale going on at Precocious Paper, too! Every fifth item is free, and you also receive 5% off your entire purchase with coupon code 5YEARS.

Thanks for stopping by today and for celebrating Precocious Paper's 5th birthday with me! Tessa

Monday, February 25, 2013

Etsy-versary Celebration - Giveaway #2

Hello all! I was so busy working in my studio this morning that I almost forgot to post today's giveaway. If you love paper, this one is for you!

Two patterned paper stacks by DCWV! You've seen me putting Dear Jane to use on this layout and this card. I love the Victorian feel and book theme :). I haven't had a chance to work with Collage Art yet, but the colors and designs have me yearning for spring! These are two brand new stacks (not my leftover sheets, mind you), and they could be yours for just leaving a comment.

Comments are open through Thursday, February 28th. Winners (of all the giveaways) will be announced Friday. Be sure to enter yesterday's giveaway as well.

Don't forget about the sale going on, too! Every fifth item you purchase is free, plus use coupon code 5YEARS to get 5% off of your entire order. See details in the shop announcement here.

Have a great start to your week! Tessa

Sunday, February 24, 2013

SMASH Sunday + Etsy-versary Giveaway!

Hello, hello! It's time for another installment of SMASH Sunday, as well as time to start my 5th Etsy-versary celebration! First, today's SMASH pages:

I wanted to create these pages around the theme of Valentine's Day, plus the note card in the top right was inspiring my color palette. My journaling ties it all into my One Little Word - best. As the Elle's Studio tags say, the best things in life...are the people we love. This page spread is all about giving those relationships my best effort.

The picture on the left was a picture I made for my sisters' Valentines, and the candy wrapper is from a package of chocolates that the hubby and I shared one night after the boys went to bed :).

On the right, inside the note card, I related those stories.

As always, you can find more photos of my SMASH pages in my flickr photostream here. Now, are you ready for some sale and giveaway details?

Precocious Paper is celebrating its 5th anniversary on Etsy! To say thank you to my wonderful customers and fans, I am having a sale and doing five days of giveaways.


Use coupon code 5YEARS during checkout to receive 5% off of your merchandise total.

Every 5th item is free. For every four items you purchase, you can request one free item. The free item must be equal or lesser in price to the least expensive item you purchase. Do not add the fifth/free item to your cart. Simply leave a note during checkout with your request. Buy eight items, get two free. Buy twelve items, get three items free - and so on.

The sale starts Sunday, February 24th and goes through Sunday, March 3rd. Shop here.


Each day leading up to my Etsy-versary (February 28th), I will host a new giveaway on the blog. To win, simply leave a comment on the blog post. US and International entries are welcome, but international winners will need to pay postage. On Friday, I will announce all of the winners.

I appreciate your willingness to share the news about the giveaways, too! I have a separate stash of gift packages for randomly selected fans/customers who are caught sharing Precocious Paper via social media :).

Ready for today's giveaway? It's SMASH Sunday, so what better to give away than a SMASH book?

To add this blue "retro" style folio plus a large selection of SMASH-able goodies to your stash, leave a comment on this post.

Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you enjoy this week of giveaways and sales :). And thank you for supporting Precocious Paper! I really, really appreciate it! Tessa

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Celebrating 5 Years on Etsy

Precocious Paper is turning five years old and I am celebrating with five days of giveaways and a sale! Beginning Sunday, February 24th, I will be giving away a prize per day to one lucky blog reader. When the day comes, simply leave a comment to be entered. International entries will be welcomed, but shipping will need to be paid by the winner.

Prizes include kits and product from some of my favorite companies, as well as a boutique gift handmade by myself and a gift certificate to the Precocious Paper etsy shop. Prizes are worth $25 - $60 each. This is no destash giveaway. I wouldn't mind keeping everything myself ;).

Sale details will be revealed on Sunday, as well. Let's just say this will be a great week to stock up!

Also, I've got several "surprise" prize packages set aside. Who knows what you might be surprised with for sharing about the sale, the giveaways, or just by being a follower? I'll be watching ;).

I hope you'll celebrate with me! Have a great day :). Tessa

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mr. Wonderful - SEI

Last week, over at the SEI lifestyle blog, I shared a layout about Colten:

I love this photo for several reasons. One, he cooperated for the camera. Two, those eyes. And three, those freckles! He's my only child with freckles and I love them :). Anyway, the pink background of the photo (old theater doors in old town Roseville) matched perfectly with the pink in SEI's Think of Me line.

I pulled all the pinks and reds from the line, then balanced out the lovey-dovey factor with the large polka dot. A lot of the die cuts and papers in this line include gold foil accents, so I pulled some of the gold embellishments from SEI's Christmas line to match. I love being able to stretch holiday supplies!

Wow, two layouts about Colten in one week! I'd better get to scrapping my other two before I create a little sibling rivalry ;).

Before I go, I wanted to let you know of a fun announcement coming up. I am celebrating five years on Etsy next week with five days of giveaways and a sale! I'll be sharing all the details here on the blog tomorrow, as well as giving you a sneak peek of the prizes.

See you then! Tessa

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pretty in Pink - DCWV and SRM

Pink never has been my favorite color. My pink ballet tights were about all the pink I wore once I started buying my own clothes. Until I started having boys, that is. Then I rebelled against all the blue and added some girlish pink to my wardrobe. Just a little, though. I don't decorate in pink, and I don't often paper craft with pink. However, pink seems to be making its way onto several recent projects, including this card:

I made this card with the Dear Jane stack by DCWV. I played along with the monthly card sketch challenge at the blog. I've been hoarding that pink ribbon for ages. It was perfect for this stack and this sketch :).

The sentiment is by SRM Stickers. I love their brown stickers!

Thanks so much for stopping by :). I hope you are having a fabulous day - pink or otherwise :). Tessa

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Mustache You a Question - Epiphany Crafts and Bella Blvd.

Yes, I am still rocking the mustache trend! My boys love funny facial hair and if a mustache on a stick will get them to cooperate for photos, I love it, too! This week Epiphany Crafts and Bella Blvd are teaming up for a cross-promotion that is filled with eye-candy and fun. I'm up first on the EC blog with this mustache-adorned paper bag album:

Bella Blvd's Kiss Me line includes a patterned paper covered in mustaches and hearts. The design inspired the title of my album, which led to a little photo shoot and Q & A session with my boys. I normally start a project with photos or a story, so this backwards process was a fun departure.

Because mustaches were the main idea, I created big mustaches for the cover and each pocket page. First, I cut mustaches that were about six inches wide with my Silhouette Cameo. Next, I covered the mustaches with adhesive. I used my tape runner, which mostly worked, but I resorted to my hot glue gun to secure ends and stubborn spots. Starting in the middle and working out, I wrapped the mustache shapes with yarn, pressing into the adhesive as I went. Once all wrapped, I embellished with an Epiphany Crafts heart.

Each boy has his own page spread, which includes his photo and a short list of things he loves. Opposite his photo page is a pocket page that includes a journaling card and a little brown bag that holds more journaling.  I plan to add a list of things I love about each boy in those little bags. Someone just asked me recently where I found those - Michaels, in the gift wrap aisle. In the large pockets created by the paper bag openings, I plan to include a love letter for each boy :).

I embellished the pages with a scattering of mist splatters, blue rhinestones, wood veneer hearts, and Epiphany Crafts round bubble caps. The navy blue vintage settings were a perfect match.

I had a lot of fun working with Bella Blvd papers for this album. The cute designs made this lovey-dovey album just charming enough for my boys. Be sure to check out both Bella Blvd and Epiphany Crafts this week for more projects combining these two great companies :).

Thanks for stopping by! Tessa 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I simply adore this kid. - The Studio

I really do. :)

This is a pair of photos from our recent family photo shoot. Colten is not my touchy-feely, lovey-dovey kid. He's definitely his mother's child. I treasure the hugs and kisses I get (which, lately, have been more frequent). Who knows how long this trend will last, so this layout is extra special to me.

I created this page for The Studio. The current challenge is to create a layout without patterned paper. Only washi is allowed. The hardest part was narrowing down which rolls of washi to pull out. I was playing with black, red and white to recreate the stripes in the photos when my Studio Calico kit arrived. Included is a wide roll of ombre green tape, which at first I thought would clash, but when I laid it next to the photos, the greenish tint of the vintage photo editing was a great match.

Because the tapes are so busy, I kept the rest simple with some mist splatters, a few translucent heart stickers, and a cameo-cut title. Oh, and that little yo-yo embellishment that I've been hoarding. I love those!

If you'd like to check out more washi-only inspiration, or even join in on the challenge, visit The Studio here.

I also wanted to take a moment and say thank you. Thank you to those of you who commented on my last post, sent me emails, sent me private messages, or left comments on Facebook. Your love and support has been amazing and a real rock for me to draw strength from. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, Tessa

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Bittersweet Valentine's Day

From the moment you discover that you are expecting, everything is changed. Suddenly, the next nine months and beyond are full of possibility that didn't exist before. Josh and I knew that it was time to complete our little family with the addition of a fourth child. We made plans to begin trying in early 2013, but we just couldn't wait. We wanted to feel that excitement again, to look forward to a wonderfully changed future.

Mid-January, I asked Josh to pick up a pregnancy test. We both knew the result would be positive. We have always been blessed to conceive quickly. First try, every time. We knew this time wouldn't be any different. I took the test and hopped in the shower to pass the time. Josh snuck a peek before I could dry off, and the smile on his face told me what I would find.

We were thrilled! Instantly, life was changed. Normal bedtime conversation that night was traded for baby girl names and how we would reveal the pregnancy to our boys and our families. I became a constant daydreamer. I bought supplies to begin a pregnancy journal. I started three secret boards on pinterest: The Next 9 Months, Pink, and Blue. I began planning our pregnancy announcement.

About a week later, I experienced some spotting. I had spotting once with my third pregnancy, and it was very minor compared to what I was seeing. I made an appointment but had to wait all weekend. My daydreaming turned to worrying. Afraid that my job (teaching dance) may be playing a role in the bleeding, I launched into online research. Nothing I read seemed to calm my fears entirely, although I did learn that dancing could not be affecting the pregnancy.

On Sunday, I asked my husband and father to give me a priesthood blessing. You can read more about these blessings here. Josh and I sat the boys down and told them our good news, then also told them that Mommy wasn't feeling very well and that she needed a blessing. The blessing was sweet. I was touched and comforted by the Spirit. I knew that no matter what happened, my Heavenly Father loved me and had a plan for me. The rest of the night was spent cuddling. The boys kept rubbing my tummy and asking if it was a girl. They were so excited.

Monday morning came and the doctor's visit went well. My symptoms had already eased and the ultrasound brought beautiful, happy news. I heard my baby's heartbeat. I saw the little heart chamber beating. It was so beautiful. The doctor reassured me that everything looked fine and that what I was experiencing was implantation bleeding. I didn't need to worry. My chances of miscarriage at this point were very, very slim. I left his office in peace, feeling very blessed and grateful.

My symptoms declined through Thursday, but then on Friday my spotting changed. I had begun teaching my Friday afternoon classes. I ran to the restroom between classes and there was bright red bleeding. My heart started pounding. This was not a good sign. Not really knowing what to do, I went back to class. Surrounded by delightful, rambunctious and beautiful three year old girls, we practiced our plies and chasses. However, a horrible feeling overcame me. I could feel hot tears building up. Not wanting to upset my students, and not wanting to seem unprofessional to their parents, I finished class and returned to the restroom. More bright red blood. I went to a fellow teacher and asked her to combine our next classes for warm-up. I needed to call my doctor.

I couldn't reach my doctor, but talked to an advice nurse. She was not the warm and comforting person I needed at that moment. She basically told me that my symptoms were not severe enough to be a miscarriage or anything else that demanded medical attention. And that I needed to calm down. Now, I'm not a hysterical person. I'm certain the worry in my voice came across loud and clear. But, she said I was poisoning my body with this worry and making things worse. Seriously? I'm sitting here wondering if I have lost the life growing inside of me and you want to place the blame on me, at this moment?  A good nurse would have done what she could to calm me down, not frighten me.

I knew that dancing could do no harm. I knew that if I were miscarrying, there was nothing I could do to stop it. I decided to finish my classes. I shoved my fears down as deep as I could and put on a brave face for my kids. I was not present that night. My thoughts constantly wandered. I love my job, but that night I almost resented being there. Once home, my husband comforted me the best he could. At this point, I think I knew.

My symptoms did not change throughout the day Saturday. After finishing my classes and private lessons, I rushed home to email my doctor. I wasn't about to talk to another advice nurse. That night, my symptoms were much worse. The blood clots frightened me. At this point, I knew. I couldn't say it out loud yet, but I knew.

Sunday came. We went to church. I was distracted. My heart was heavy. That afternoon, we kept our appointment to take our announcement photos. I allowed myself to forget my worries and pretend that everything was just fine. In the back of my mind I was thinking, there are still a lot of photos that we are taking that I could use for other projects. The boys are having fun - let them.

Here is the official announcement:

Cute, right? We were going to surprise our families first, then announce it to the world on Valentine's Day - today.

However, Monday morning came, and along with it, an email from my doctor. When I read, "I think you may have lost the pregnancy," I fell apart. I already knew it was true, but seeing the possibility in black and white was still somehow a big blow.

My doctor couldn't see me right away, but made arrangements to have me seen by a colleague. When I arrived, I sat in the waiting room with several other women. A few were obviously pregnant. One was complaining about her discomforts and I thought to myself, "At least you have a life inside of you. I wouldn't complain. If I still had my baby, I wouldn't complain." I am sorry now for being so judgmental. I was barely holding it together when they called my name.

I related all of the events of the past week to the nurse. She was being so kind. I really needed kindness and compassion at that moment. The doctor came in and he, too, was very kind and compassionate. He asked if anyone was with me and I said no. I had told my husband to stay at work. He wasn't going to make it in time, anyway, so I told him I would call with the news. The doctor left to get the nurse, and while I waited, I prayed. I didn't pray for the baby's life. I didn't pray for a miracle. I just prayed to not feel alone. I knew that I could handle the truth of the situation as long as I didn't feel alone. I needed my Father in Heaven and He was with me.

When he returned, I could tell that the doctor was not hopeful. He performed an ultrasound. As soon as I could see my uterus on the screen, any tiny little hope that I still had vanished. There was nothing there. He had to look and look to find the pregnancy, and when he zoomed in on the little dark spot, there was nothing inside. No heart chamber beating happily. No heart beat. Nothing. My heart sank. I tried not to cry. I don't know why, I guess I was trying to be brave. He had another colleague come in to verify. She confirmed that I had lost the pregnancy.

I cried then. They gave me a moment. I dried my eyes, took a deep breath, and said, "What happens now?" The doctor gently went through all of my options with me. I told him I would discuss it with my husband and get back to him. As I left the office, I felt different. I felt hollow, empty. I immediately called Josh and he left work. I drove to my parents' house to pick up Jaxon and told them. They held me, reminded me that it wasn't my fault, that God has a plan. I went home and waited for Josh. I made arrangements for all of my responsibilities over the next several days to be taken care of. I waited for the doctor to return my call about scheduling the procedure. It was all surreal.

My sister arrived with flowers. She is expecting, and our due dates were just one day apart. We were looking forward to being pregnant together, to racing to the finish line, to seeing our mom go crazy making two baby quilts at the same time. I was very grateful for her visit. I got a text from another sister. To know that she and her new husband were praying for me was very comforting. Then the boys got home.

They were devastated. They were confused and very upset. I regretted ever telling them that I was expecting. Now, I realize, that this has been a blessing in disguise. The talks we've been able to have since then have been beautiful teaching moments. I hated to see them hurt, but I feel like we are a stronger family having gone through this together. We asked my dad to come over and give the boys and myself another blessing. I again felt peace and my Father in Heaven's love.

I was visited again by another sister. Josh shared the news with his parents. We scheduled the procedure for the next morning. All went well and I have been healing very well.

It has only been a week and a half, but it seems like it has been months. Life didn't stop, and I allowed myself to be swallowed up in the normalcy of day to day living. I allow myself private moments to think, to grieve. Every once in awhile, though, I am caught off guard. Earlier this week I opened my planner and noticed an entry that said, "Appt. 11:45 a.m." It took me a moment, but I realized that it was an appointment with my ob/gyn. I stared at that square on the calendar for what seemed like an hour. I cried at what could have been. A week after my procedure, my son had an eye appointment. The office is across the hallway from the place I had my procedure done. I knew this ahead of time, but as I walked down the hallway my feet became heavy and I couldn't breathe. We couldn't get into the optometrist's office quickly enough.

I keep wondering if I should be more upset, less upset, upset in a different way. What is the appropriate response to this? I have decided that I will react how I need to. I will allow myself to cry when I need to cry. I will allow myself to laugh if I want to. I will continue to find strength in my family, my marriage, and my testimony. I will look forward to the future with hope - hope that we will conceive again, hope for a healthy pregnancy and child. I will count my blessings and love the family I do have with all of my heart.

I couldn't think of a better way for myself to celebrate Valentine's Day than to share this story today. I don't normally share things of such a personal nature so publicly, but I have felt strongly for several days that this needed to be posted here on my blog. We celebrate love on Valentine's Day, and even though this chapter of my life contains heartache and sadness, it's still a story of love. I am grateful for this experience. I can be more loving toward others who have been or will find themselves in similar circumstances because I've been there. I am more mindful that my family loves me and that I love them. I am more acutely aware of the love God has for me. I have felt it. I have witnessed it at work in my life. As time goes on, I am sure I will still have moments of sadness. That's okay. I know other trials will come, but I also know that this one has made me stronger in ways that will help me deal with future challenges. I understand that my circumstances were nothing compared to the trial and heartache of many other women, and for them I have nothing but respect, love and compassion. Many friends in the past days have shared their stories, and as I debated sharing mine online, I realized that hearing their stories strengthened me. I am not alone. There is a shared heartache and strength out there, one that can lift us up. I hope that by sharing my story, someone feels less alone. Someone feels lifted up, at least a little bit.

I hope you enjoy your Valentine's Day. As you celebrate with your families, children, significant others, etc., take a moment to think of someone who might be going through a difficult trial. Make sure they know you love them, too.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

SMASH Sunday - One Little Word book

Hello, hello! Today I am sharing more of my One Little Word SMASH book. I based this page spread on the theme of "love" and following your heart. With Valentine's Day coming up and current events in my life, the topic was a good fit.

The background pages on this spread were more modern than my style calls for, but I made it work. First, I made the starburst design on this page the base for my photos.

Some vintage paper, a red shipping tag, and several brads and sequins were all it needed. Oh, and that delicious washi tape!

The opposite page was giving me trouble. After playing for awhile, I came to the conclusion that there was only one thing to be done. I tore out the page. Yep, I just tore it out. In fact, I tore out the next one, too. The ledger page that came next was a perfect compliment to the left page, so I stopped there. I know some SMASHers are thinking, "What?! You can't do that!" Well, yes - I can. It's my book and if tearing out pages makes me happy, then I'll do it. In the long run, I think it will be beneficial, anyway. These pages are already bulging and I'm not even halfway through. Fewer pages means I can use dimensional embellishments and maintain a thinner profile :).

For the ledger page, I went the color-blocking route. I cut up different pieces of Basic Grey paper and fit them into the ledger columns. I journaled in the blank spaces. I also added an Elle's Studio tag, a gold doily, and word stickers by Cosmo Cricket. The flair is by A Flair for Buttons. This set is definitely making its way to more pages in this book :). The "follow your heart" sticker down the side is by SRM Stickers. I love how it fit perfectly in that space :).

That's all I have for today. As always, you can find all of my SMASH book pages in my flickr photostream here. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Thanks for stopping by! Tessa

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day Cards - SEI

I had the pleasure of working with SEI's Thinking of You line and fell in love. My first project with the line was to create three Valentines for a few special girlfriends:

You can read more about my "recipe" process at the SEI blog today. Thanks for stopping by! Tessa