Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude #30

Today, I'm grateful for Christmas music!  I've been playing a Christmas station on Pandora for a couple of days now and just can't seem to get enough.  One of my favorites, made famous by the movie Home Alone, is The Drifters' "White Christmas".  It just makes me happy.  If you'd like to listen, you'll want to pause the music player at the bottom of my blog.

I'm going to finish up a couple of layouts with the fabulous December Scrapbook Circle kit while listening to more holiday tunes.  Enjoy your day! Tessa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Calling all Attitude of Gratitude Players...

Can you believe that only a couple days are left in my Attitude of Gratitude challenge? Where has this month gone?  As I look back, I feel blessed, enlightened, happier, more hopeful, and energized in my lifelong journey to become a better person.  How do you feel?  What are your thoughts as this project comes to a close?

I am planning to dedicate a special post to my final thoughts on this challenge, including photos of my finished gratitude journal and announcing the winner of a $25.00 gift certificate to my shop.  If you have played along, please remember to link me to your posts here.  I am very interested to hear what you have to say after participating, even if it wasn't on a daily basis.  Please email me your thoughts, and with your permission, I'd like to share them here on the blog - precociouspaper (at) yahoo (dot) com.  Please send your emails and link your posts by Saturday night.  I will publish my post and announce our winner on Sunday.

Today I'm grateful for this life that I have been given - the experiences that are mine to grow and learn from, the joys and the sorrows that I have been blessed with, free agency that allows me to make my own choices, and the eyes to see that I am perfectly fine as me.

Before you go, I have some fun news :).  Precocious Paper is being featured in the December/January issue of Ready, Set, Create!  I really enjoyed doing the interview and cannot wait to read about it.  Take a look at this cover - that's a Precocious Paper Sewing Pattern Petals bloom!

Also, I will be the featured artist at Scrapbook News and Review on December 6th.  I won't give any hints, but I will tell you that I worked very hard and this is what my scraptable looked like when I was done creating samples:

Have a wonderful Monday, all!  Tessa

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carseat Driver

Hello!  The last challenge of November is up at the studio.  Amanda created a great sketch and has challenged us with this twist: use a monochromatic colour scheme.  I love yellow, and I've made a couple of yellow monochromatic layouts before, but never for a boy.  So I challenged myself further to make one work for my little guy.

He loves to coo, giggle, and shout little things from his carseat while we are driving.  He loves cars (which he calls vroom vrooms), so taking a ride is like a parade of sorts.  He is starting to talk now, so I'm sure the jibber-jabbering will only increase - which I love!

Here's the sketch:

The design team did a great job, as usual.  You have to see Nic's all white layout - amazing!  Check out the challenge here.

Today I'm grateful for naps.  Yesterday morning I curled up on the couch with the baby and the boys and I watched a movie.  The baby and I woke up nearly three hours later.  It felt so good!  It was only then that I realized I needed to take some time to slow down and rest.  I'm grateful for those rare times that I get to physically recharge with some downtime.

Have a good day everyone, and maybe try to catch a nap!  Tessa

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Designer Friday (on Saturday)

Yes, I know, I'm a day late :).  I have layouts from Rebekah and Nikki today that I can't wait any longer to share, including one with a new design from Precocious Paper.

Nikki created two very sweet layouts with Cupcake Poppies, this first one with Orange Polka Dot Cupcake Poppies...

...and this one with Pink Gingham Cupcake Poppies.  I love how Nikki fashioned the blooms by adding stitched leaves and pretty stems.  So very cute!

I sent Rebekah a new design in my Super Stars line - Grunge Super Stars.  This particular set is called "Gunmetal Grunge" and made of charcoal-colored shimmery cardstock, recycled cardboard distressed with black ink, black felt, and gunmetal-colored brads.  I absolutely love how they look on this page:

I'm so grateful for such a talented design team!  Nikki and Rebekah, thank you!  If you'd like to try out any of these embellishments, now is the perfect time!  Today is the last day of my Black Friday sale.  Use this coupon code during checkout for 10% off of your order: BLACKFRIDAY2010.  Also, since this is the last Designer Friday post of the month, leave a comment about a project that inspired you and you could win a prize package from Precocious Paper!

Nikki joined in on the Attitude of Gratitude challenge today with these beautiful thoughts: "There are soooo very many things I am grateful for in my life.  At the top of my list....Stef and my three cherubs, whom I thank God for on a daily basis.  They fill my world with love and laughter and  bring out the best in me.  They are a constant source of all that is important in my life and teach me something new each day!"  I love that last sentence - what blessings our families are :).  Today, I'm grateful for my mom.  We are headed to JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts before the sun rises to snag some crafty deals.

Have a great weekend everyone!  Tessa

P.S. - Heather at {embellish*ology} is also having a sale (use coupon code turkey10), and Scrapbook Circle has some fantastic deals available, too!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude #26

I'm really glad I have taken this gratitude journey.  I think in a few short weeks of doing this project I have learned more about myself and living a grateful life than I have in a long time.  Today that knowledge has been put to the test.  It came to my attention today that someone in my professional life said untrue things which have had a negative impact at work.  If you've followed this blog for a little while, you know that my job outside of Mother and Etsy is teaching dance - which I passionately LOVE doing.  However, it seems that just when things get going well with my job, something attempts to tear me down.  A work-related project was very disappointing today, too.  And this may seem really trivial, but in the 2.5 years that I have been selling on Etsy, I received my first non-positive feedback from a customer today.  I've had nothing but positive feedback in the past and have worked very hard to make my wonderful customers happy.  However, this customer would like to receive something for next to nothing, and I cannot supply what she wants.  Seeing that brown square with a circle inside of it (twice) made my heart fall to the pit of my stomach.

Okay, so the lessons I am learning.  There is no room in my life for negativity - none.  I cannot be happy unless I give and hold onto love, forgiveness and gratitude.  I need to learn from every situation I am in, every challenge I am given, every trial I encounter - big or small.  I need to make the proverbial lemonade.  I need to remember that other people's choices can have a ripple effect in my life, but that I can control how large the waves get.  I can ride those waves or drown in dispair.  It's my choice, and even though I'm struggling a little bit, I am trying to be grateful for all I have - the good and the bad.  I am also seeing even more clearly the importance of living in a way that only uplifts others.  I don't want to be the cause of someone else's hurt.

So today, I'm grateful for the opportunity to come out stronger and better on the other side of trials and challenges.  I'm grateful for inspiration from others who have made the negative in life beautiful.

And if you're still reading, I'm grateful for YOU.  I am constantly uplifted by my blog readers and appreciate all your sweet comments of encouragement and support.  You're the best :).  Have a wonderful weekend!  Tessa

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm looking forward to good food, time with both sides of the family, and a wonderful day.  I'm scrapping away this morning, preparing several projects that are due at the end of the weekend.  I'm only baking a pumpkin cake and my mother and mother-in-law are taking on everything else.  I offered to help, but either they think I'm an awful cook or they knew I needed some crafty time :).  They're awesome.

Today is also Thursday, which means I have a Sketchy Thursdays layout to share.  This photo is from Memorial Day 2008.  A little out of season, I know, but I've been wanting to scrap this photo for awhile now.

If you love the banner trend right now, you will love this sketch:

Today I'm grateful for this holiday.  I'm glad that we have at least one day a year set aside to spend time with family and friends, to celebrate and express gratitude for our blessings.  I'm also grateful for pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and yummy turkey :).  If you're celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!  If not, may you count your blessings and have a wonderful day, too.  Tessa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude #24

I would have written this post earlier today, but I was CRAZY busy filling orders before the holiday.  See this lovely pile?

The piece of pie (gotta love picnik.com) is covering up an address.  I didn't want to reveal anything I shouldn't ;).

Which brings me to my A of G #24: I'm grateful for the opportunity I have to create for a living - whether it be as a mother, dance teacher, or Etsy shop owner, I have the opportunity to create on a daily basis.  I'm very grateful for that.

I hope your Wednesday was a good one! I'm off to clean the kitchen so I can get some Thanksgiving cooking done.  Luckily, I'm not in charge of much this year :).   Tessa

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude Project

I came across an idea from Becky Higgins for getting my family involved in expressing gratitude.  You can read more about her project here.  I adapted her idea for a project with my own family.  Every Monday night we strive to have a family night.  In the previous weeks, perhaps because I've personally been on the lookout for blessings I should be grateful for, I noticed a lot of complaining coming from my kiddos.  I had high hopes that a family night lesson on gratitude would be the cure - and it was.

I made a simple 8.5x11 collage of papers and simple embellishments with the title "Give Thanks".  After discussing the importance of gratitude, we all took turns writing and sharing something we are grateful for.  I framed the piece and it now hangs in our home as a reminder to continue giving thanks.  The complaining has all but halted, and for that I am very grateful. 

I added the date and hope to make a new one every year.  As each new year comes, we'll file away the last years' thoughts in a special scrapbook.  I think it will be neat to see my boys' handwriting change, Jaxon be able to join in with pictures and eventually words, and to see our gratitude grow.

It's not too late to try something like this with your family.  Consider doing it on Thanksgiving at dinner, or like a "guest book" as family and friends come over. 

Today, I'm grateful for the ability I have to be a stay-at-home mom.  I've always wanted to be able to be at home with my boys 24-7, so when my husband finally finished school and got a good job, we made the decision to become a single-income family.  It means that we live a simple life, but it's a good life.  My little Etsy shop helps here and there, and allows us some "fun" things from time to time, and I'm grateful that I can do that from home.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!  Tessa

P.S. - Don't forget about my Black Friday sale - use this coupon for a 10% discount: BLACKFRIDAY2010.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Friday Coupon Code

Hello all!  Etsy has rolled out a new coupon feature, so I thought it would be a good idea to offer a Black Friday coupon for my shop.  Whether you LOVE getting out on the day after Thanksgiving or you're a die hard online shopper, I hope you'll enjoy using the Black Friday code for 10% off your purchase (excluding shipping fees).  Your cart will recieve the discount right away - no waiting for PayPal refunds or new invoices.  All items will be discounted, including albums (which are still shipping for free right now), flowers, ribbons, and my new specialty holiday items.


Oh, so you probably want the code, right?  Here it is: BLACKFRIDAY2010.  It will be good now through Saturday.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Today I'm grateful for prayer.  Yesterday I told you how I had the opporunity to speak at church.  I'm used to performing for hundreds of people onstage or teaching classes to people of all ages, but speaking to a large group like that is different.  My heart was beating out of my chest, so I said a little prayer for soothed nerves and instantly I was calmed.  I'm grateful for that line of communication, that I can use it at any time, and that He always listens.

Have a wonderful day everyone! Tessa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shopping, Shopping, and A of G #21

Hello!  The Studio has a fun, new prompt up.  This week's challenge is to scrapbook about shopping! Maybe you'll scrap your shopping list, pictures of your favourite purchases or journal about how much you detest heading to the supermarket.  Of course I had to scrap our annual Sisters' Shopping Trip that we do the day after Christmas every year.

We stopped by Old Navy and had a lot of fun taking our pictures with the mannequins - you know, the ones in the commercials :).  The employees and other customers thought we were weird, but we enjoyed ourselves!

I layered some felt buttons and paper punches to make these little circle embellies.  And yes, you do spot a Precocious Paper Cupcake Poppy!  I thought the festive feel of those blooms worked well for this page.  You've got to stop by the blog and see what the DT did - they are such talented ladies!

Speaking of shopping, I listed many new items in the shop, such as more colors of the Lace and Felt Flowers...

...and more Yo-Yo Posies.

I'm planning to share my new holiday items tomorrow on the blog, but you can see them all in the shop now.

Today I'm grateful for a talented sister who loves me enough to do my hair at the last minute :).  I am speaking at church today and wanting to look my best, I had to call Caitlin and beg ask if she'd style my hair.  Of course she said yes and now I have a little added confidence before speaking in front of hundreds of people.  Thank you, Caitlin!  Have a great day, everyone!  Tessa

P.S. - Caitlin is the one posing with ALL the mannequins :).
P.P.S. - If you are interested to know what I am speaking about, my message comes from this talk.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hold me to it...

Happy weekend!  I had hoped to have a shop update go live yesterday or Thursday night but our computer problems around that same time meant that it didn't work out.  So, barring anything else majorly distracting, and if you hold me to it, these will find their way onto my shelves sometime this weekend...

...as well as a whole bunch of Christmas items that haven't been photographed yet :).  Hmmm, I think I feel a sale coming on (perhaps a Black Friday one?).

Today I'm thankful for a full refridgerator.  I know how hard that is to come by for many families right now, so I am especially thankful for the fact that we have enough for us.  I'm grateful for the opportunity we take each month to donate the little bit we can to help feed other families.  I'm also grateful that we survived the store last night - Jaxon was awesome, but Colten and Carson are another story :).

I hope your weekend is wonderful!  Tessa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Designer Friday

Happy Friday! This is my 300th post on the blog!  And what better way to celebrate 300 posts than with two of my fabulous designers, Amanda and Anna, and their fantastic projects?!

First, I'd like to share a layout Amanda created with a new set of Sewing Pattern Petals.  Note: All my new Sewing Pattern Petal designs are going up in the shop this weekend.  We had computer issues that knocked me off schedule this week.  I love these particular flowers because of their vintage typewriter key vibe.  However, the sayings on the brad centers are abbreviations and texting phrases - so awesome!

I'll let Amanda herself tell you about this next project:  "I have really been enjoying reflecting on all of the things I have in my life to be thankful for this month as I've played along with the Attitude of Gratitude challenge. I made this fabric collage to hang on my wall next to my dresser, to continue to remind me each day to be thankful for what I have.

I used a variety of hand cut fabric scraps roughly stitched together with my sewing machine. The fabric background is topped off with some vintage buttons, grungeboard letters and, of course, the yummy fabric flower (from this set). I love the softness and homey feel of this project - it's warm and fuzzy :)
I am grateful for so many things, but I think the thing I am most grateful for is the opportunity to live my life the way I choose to. My freedom. I am grateful for my family and friends, plus lots of superficial things, too. But, really, without the ability to live my life freely, and experience it the way I choose, what are the point in all of those things?"  So true!
Anna also created a layout with Sewing Pattern Petals:

Gorgeous!  Anna played with my teal polka dot Cupcake Poppies, too.  How delicious is this layout?

Would you like to know what Anna is grateful for?  "I'm grateful for all the small things in life, lots of people just think of the things that aren't going right for them at the time and don't stop and think about all the good things in their lives.  I always count my blessings however small they are! One of those things is scrapbooking and craft.  I'm so glad I've found a outlet for my creativity that I really love." 
Thank you, ladies, for sharing your talent with us and for sharing your thoughts on gratitude!  Today I'm grateful for those people in my community who respond to emergencies.  We took a trip to the firehouse yesterday with Colten's 2nd grade class and I was just so impressed with the way the firefighters do their jobs.  I hope I never need them, but I feel better knowing that they are there.
We love hearing what you think about the DT projects.  Thank you to all who have taken the time to share their thoughts on Fridays and compliment these fantastic designers.  Have a wonderful Friday all! Tessa

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So in Love Already

Happy Thursday!  I have a new layout to share inspired by the new Sketchy Thursdays sketch.  And no, I am not expecting :).  These are Jaxon's ultrasound pictures.

I can definitely see myself using this one over and over again - there are so many possibilities!

Today I'm grateful for aunties.  Auntie Caitlin began an auntie/nephew date once a month and yesterday was the special day once again.  This time Auntie Elizabeth came too.  They went to the dollar store for fun little toys and then to McDonalds for dinner and to play on the playground.  She's brave - my three boys, her brand new car, and did I mention all three boys including the baby?  I have awesome sisters!

I'm off to the school for a firehouse fieldtrip, then back to the studio to whip out a bazillion flowers!  Have a fabulous day! Tessa

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Paper Variety and A of G #17

Happy Wednesday to you!  We have a new challenge up at The Paper Variety, and it's a sketch from a very talented guest.  You'll have to pop on over there for all the fabulous details, but here is my layout:

I know, can you believe it?  Two double-page layouts in one week?  Craziness!  These photos are of my oldest, Colten, who just loves to climb the tree in my parents' front yard.  He will get up as high as he can and start singing - he loves to sing - and it is just too funny.

I used almost all Jillibean Soup products.  Isn't that bird paper great?  I loved the dark charcoal and lime green combo.  I used buttons from my stash and I made the button trees' trunks with scraps from the sheet of corrugated alphas.  The corrugated buttons were left over from my November Scrapbook Circle kit (love those - need more!).  By the way, you could win one of those kits on their Facebook Page today!

Those fabulous journaling spaces are from {embellish*ology}.  I'm  a sucker for kraft :).

Today I'm grateful for technology.  I'm not a tech-nerd or even tech savvy, and I admit it all intimidates me at first, but I do appreciate what I have available to me.  I'm grateful that online we have this amazing ability to reach out to people we would never otherwise meet, to share ideas and experiences, to have incredible access to information.  Even though glitches can give us big headaches, I'm grateful for all I can accomplish when things are working well.  And I'm hoping that by expressing this gratitude, technology will feel loved and want to work for me right now - 'cuz he isn't very well at the moment :).  Have a great day, everyone! Tessa

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy News!

Today I'm grateful for babies, especially the sweet little girl variety :).  My husband's cousin just had a beautiful baby girl a couple of days ago (congratulations Gibson family!), and we found out yesterday that my sister is having a girl!  Being the oldest in my family, I have yet to be an auntie to any neices or nephews on the Elzea side, so any baby is extra special to me.  But being Mom to three boys (whom I love and wouldn't trade for any amount of girls!), I am super excited to be getting a neice! 

Have you seen this before?  I thought it was a cute idea.  To announce the findings of her ultrasound, my sister ordered a cake with filling that would correspond to boy (blue) or girl (pink).  Once we all gathered at my parents' house, we cut into the cake to find....

It was squeals of delight all around!  When my sisters found out that Jaxon was a boy they groaned - literally!  They've wanted a neice so badly, and now they get one!  I'm grateful for the happiness that little ones bring to families.  There isn't anything quite like it.

I hope your Tuesday is wonderful!  Tessa

Monday, November 15, 2010


We have a new poem up at Scrap That Poetry, and it goes right along with my Attitude of Gratitude challenge!  The poem is "Prayer for the Great Family," a Mohawk prayer that offers thanks for nature, the earth, and all the blessings that come from it.  I thought about making a layout, but then I realized that I wanted something that I could display, a visual reminder to be grateful.  So, I created this:

I painted, distressed, and inked a four inch by four inch canvas.  I added book paper (Scrap Rat) that I had misted in a few colors and then layered on butterfly stickers and fussy-cut roses.  Butterflies and roses may not be mentioned in the poem, but they are from nature and very symbolic of my journey lately to grow and change.

The large butterfly has stick pin antennae.  I doodled around the edge and handwrote a subtitle on the side.  The title is made with October Afternoon alphas.  This piece now sits in my entry way and I see it whenever I walk in the front door.

Yesterday was an amazing day.  Here we are, halfway through Attitude of Gratitude, and I can see the differences in me, in the way I look at things, in my overall happiness.  At church yesterday we had a testimony meeting, which is when members of the congregation are able to address the church members with whatever they feel prompted to say.  Almost every person spoke about gratitude, and even those who didn't speak on that topic expressed gratitude for something.  I was recently given the opportunity to serve the young women, ages 12-17.  The lesson we had yesterday was about gratitude, and I was inspired by their thoughts and feelings.  As if that weren't enough, last night we had a special meeting for all the youth (and as a leader I was able to go), and the topic was again gratitude.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have been present at all these meetings, to be able to take part in those messages.  So today, I'm grateful for this challenge and for all of you participating in one way or another.  I'm grateful for this emphasis on gratitude in my life right now, with inspiration seemingly coming from everywhere.

I hope you can find a little bit of time to create something about gratitude and submit it at Scrap That Poetry.  We would be so happy to have you play along.  Have a wonderful Monday! Tessa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Studio and A of G 14

We have a new challenge up at The Studio Do you consider yourself 'lucky'? What is your idea of luck? Create a project about YOU and what being lucky means in your eyes.  Participating in the Attitude of Gratitude challenge has me feeling pretty lucky about all sorts of things, but for my layout I decided to focus on my children.  I feel lucky to be their mom and to have such wonderful boys.  Remember these photos from this post?

I made ketchup and mustard rings with paint, used an actual bag from the restaurant for my title and journaling, and used some Lily Bee papers to bring out the red and yellow.  I wanted to include so many photos that I had to do a 2-pager, and I love how it turned out!

Today I'm grateful for scrapbooking, that I have found a way to be creative and to record my family and personal history.  I've made friends, been inspired, and benefited from the therapy that scrapbooking can be.

Take a moment and check out the rest of the DT's takes at The Studio - I've got new favorite layouts by fellow designers from this challenge :). Have a wonderful Sunday!  Tessa