Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude 2013

For those of you new to my blog, Attitude of Gratitude is a feature that I started three years ago. The first year, I just had this idea, this desire to do something daily about expressing gratitude. I thought that if I encouraged people to join me, I would be more likely to stay on track - so I did. Every day I wrote about something that I was grateful for. There were a few project posts tailored to the theme. The first year was simple and very rewarding, personally. Friends who joined in expressed how much it meant to them. I knew at that point that I wanted to continue Attitude of Gratitude as an annual event. The second year, I wanted it to be bigger. I created mini album kits that I sold through my etsy shop, I reached out to more people through more social media, I offered prizes for participation, and I ended up spending more time on the mechanics and less on the message. The message was there - important and heartfelt - but it wasn't my focus. I've decided to change that this year.

Attitude of Gratitude 2013 is all about the heart. The heart of the matter. From my heart. For my heart. I have refined my purpose and will simply do my best each day to fulfill it. Beginning November 1st through November 30th...

- I will express gratitude daily. On the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter.
- I will add to my words with pictures. Inspired by this list. On Instagram (precocioustessa, #attitudeofgratitude).
- I will write about ways to bring the message of gratitude to our families.
- I will share projects for our homes and families that will remind us to be more grateful.

My goal is that by the end of the month, my heart is overflowing with thankfulness. I hope yours is, too. I invite you to join me, in whichever way you see fit. There are many, many people doing similar things now, so I encourage you to find inspiration from those bloggers, too. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you pause from time to time to count your blessings. Afterall...

 { The chalkboard in my kitchen }

Have a wonderful day! Tessa

PS - I won't be giving away prizes, but there will be a discount code for the month that happens to coincide with my shop update that goes live tomorrow :).

PPS - We are having the chicken noodle soup tonight. New slow-cooker recipe - perfect for a busy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Grateful - GCD Studios

Featured on the GCD Studios blog last Friday...

Let's talk turkey. With all the die-cut machines available to us, it's easy to find a turkey for die-cutting. But what if you don't have a fancy machine, or there just isn't a turkey out there to suit your fancy? I've got an easy alternative for you - one full of texture and interest:

It's all in the feathers! I found several different kinds of feathers at my local craft store that matched the color palette of my layout - including pink! The rest of the feathers are hand-cut from patterned paper - no machine or punch or die needed. Even the turkey's body is hand-drawn.

Here's how to make your own glamorous turkey:

1. Cut several feather shapes from patterned paper.

2. Feather style #1 (brown): simply score the center of the feather and lightly crease.

3. Feather style #2 (pink): score the center of the feather and crease. On an angle, cut from the outside edge of the feather toward the crease. Do not cut all the way to the crease. Do this on both sides of the feather.

4. Collect real feathers in a variety of shapes, styles and colors.

5. Draw a turkey's body. It should resemble a bowling pin, but be shorter and pudgier. Cut it out and use it as a template to cut the shape from patterned paper.

6. Punch a circle of cardstock smaller than the turkey's body. Using hot glue, glue the feathers to the top 2/3 of the circle.

7. Using dimensional adhesive like pop dots, glue the turkey's body to the feathered circle.

8. If you'd like, add eyes, a beak and a snood.

Before you go make your own fabulously feathered turkey, let me leave you with this thought (which inspired this layout):

Speaking of being thankful, my annual Attitude of Gratitude blog event will begin Thursday, November 1st. I'll be sharing the details in the next couple of days :). Thanks for stopping by today! Tessa

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Fine Day - The Studio Challenges

I've been scrapbooking for awhile, but the page I am sharing with you today is the first of its kind for me. I scraplifted myself - from a sketch! The latest challenge at The Studio is a sketch challenge based on a layout I made several weeks ago. Here's my take on the sketch:

This was the original layout:

And this is the sketch:

Oh my goodness. Creating this layout was so hard! I don't know why, but it seemed like I was creatively blocked at every turn. I didn't want to flat out copy my layout, but I wanted to stay fairly true to the sketch. I finally gave myself a little creative leeway and the mojo kicked in.

I went to my stash of Sassafras goodies (bought during their recent warehouse sale) for papers and embellies. As I was looking through the rest of my stash for purple-blue embellishments, I came upon this gorgeous ribbon that my friend Diana made. I wanted the stamped muslin clouds to shine, so I cut them out from the ribbon and ran them through my sticker maker. Voila! Instant texture and the perfect dose of periwinkle.

And I finally had a chance to use this washi tape from Target! I almost never scrapbook with purple, so this tape has sat unused for a long time. The purple-blue dots were perfect for this page :).

If you'd like to join us, there is a fabulous Teresa Collins prize up for grabs! You can find all the details here. Thanks for stopping by today! Enjoy your Wednesday :). Tessa

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Movie Night Card - Sweet Stamp Shop and Epiphany Crafts

I love making cards for my hubby :). When I received the Watchin' TV set of stamps by Sweet Stamp Shop, I just knew I had to make an at-home date night card for him.

First, I made my card base and stamped the television to the card. Then I stamped the television onto a piece of patterned paper (Studio Calico). I cut out the TV, skipping the antenna, then adhered it on top of the TV on my card with foam tape.

Next, I made a heart epoxy with my Epiphany Crafts tool and bubble caps. I adhered it to the screen of my TV and added a few hand-drawn hearts.

I decorated the rest of the card with strips of patterned paper (DCWV), washi tape (Freckled Fawn), and mist (Studio Calico, Tattered Angels).

Even though this card is for my husband, it is kinda girlie, isn't it? Ha! Maybe I'm just planning on a chick flick :). We are sharing Sweet Stamp Shop projects at the Epiphany Crafts blog all week! Be sure to stop by and check it all out. And you can find the gorgeous floral paper by DCWV in the Sweet Blossom stack at Michaels! Thanks for visiting today! Tessa

Monday, October 22, 2012

Scor-Pal and DCWV

Hello! We have our first real rainstorm of the season here in Nor Cal and I'm loving it! I have been ready for fall for weeks and it has finally arrived :). One of the things I made this year to decorate with is this accordion-fold mantel piece:

I don't have a fireplace, but I do have a half wall in my entry way that this is now sitting on, welcoming my guests with gratitude :). I used my Scor-Pal board to make quick work of the cardstock background. It was so easy to score and then fold the lines.

I used DCWV's Autumn Melody line to embellish the panels. I also used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the alphas and the feathers from gold foil cardstock in the Autumn Melody stack - so pretty! I wish you could see exactly how reflective and pretty that paper is.

I also embellished with some goldenrod thread and Prima flowers. The jewel centers are gorgeous rhinestones I had left over from a dance costume project from years ago. I knew if I held on to them long enough, I would find the perfect project ;).

I kept the embellishments flat so that between seasons, I can simply fold up this up and store it away safely for next year.

If you'd like to see more with the DCWV's Autumn Melody line and Scor-Pal, the two companies are doing a cross-promotion this week. Visit the DCWV blog here to see more by the DCWV design team, and visit the Scor-Pal blog here to see more by the Scor-Pal design team. Be sure to visit the designers' blogs for tutorials and tips, too.

There is a lot of gorgeous autumn inspiration coming up this week! Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day! Tessa

Base Instructions:

1. Cut three rectangles from cardstock at 5 inches by 10.5 inches. You will need to start with two pieces of 12 x 12 cardstock.

2. Score each rectangle every 3.5 inches.

3. Accordion fold the rectangles. Adhere the rectangles together by overlapping an entire panel each time.

4.You should end up with 7 panels. You only need 6 to spell "thanks", so trim one panel off.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Smash Sunday

As a gift to my little sister, I started the wedding-themed SMASH book for her:

She claims that she isn't creative, but SMASH books are a great place to scrapbook without the need to be a "designer" or super creative. It's all about smashing your memorabilia in, right? With that in mind, I put together a huge kit of papers and embellishments for her. Can you believe that the wedding folio actually favors her wedding colors? Aqua, orange and ivory are everywhere in the book already, making it really easy for her to coordinate her pages.

And if she really doesn't think she can do it, at least now I'll have an excuse to pull her from her happy married student life to come visit me, right?

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope your weekend has treated you well :). Tessa

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Keep Calm and Spook On - Epiphany Crafts

I wanted to add text to my Halloween display this year, so I made my own version of a "Keep Calm" sign. I borrowed the phrase, but I made my own image at

The flower is a Ruffle Blossom in a print that will soon be available in my shop. I love the orange and the dots! I made the center of my flower with Epiphany Crafts tools.

You can read more about it at the Epiphany Crafts blog today :). And if you'd like to borrow my print, feel free to copy and save:

Picmonkey has lots of options for Halloween icons and fonts, so you may just want to go try your own :). Just don't forget to dress it up with Epiphany Crafts :). Have fun! Tessa

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Bride and Me - DCWV

I am in love with the Sweet Blossom Stack by DCWV! The color palette is so fun - coral pink, orange, yellow, and dark denim blue. The designs are gorgeous - watercolor florals and birds, as well as more geometric patterns, too. The orange matches my sister's wedding perfectly, so when I wanted to scrap this instagram photo of the two of us, I knew Sweet Blossom would be my go-to line:

The base of my layout is an off-white cardstock by DCWV. I then added a large portion of one of my favorite patterns from the stack. I fussy-cut floral pieces from another sheet to bring in a bit of yellow.

I also fussy-cut birds from another sheet to accent my photo cluster and title. I thought the pink feathers and sequins were a fun touch. The tags and doilies are from Freckled Fawn. I've also put them to use, along with the Sweet Blossom stack, on another project. I can't share yet, but I will soon!

Yes, I worked with my Silhouette Cameo again! This was my third attempt at cutting that title, but I finally figured out what I needed to do. Experimenting with different fonts is just going to take time.

You can find the Sweet Blossom stack at Michaels. I hope your week is off to a fantastic start. I appreciate your visit! Have a good one :). Tessa

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ladies - The Studio

Happy Sunday! There's a new challenge at The Studio today, one all about family. I chose to scrapbook a recent photo of all of us Elzea girls at my sister's bridal shower:

I used the October kit from Scrapbook Circle, News Flash, and add-ons. I specifically pulled the new Crate Paper On Trend papers, as well as embellishments from the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic line. I wanted the page to feel festive, just like the bridal shower.

And do you see my title?! That's my first Silhouette Cameo cut! Whoo hoo! I can't wait to learn more about this machine so that I can use it more often. I'm still a little bit intimidated. Good thing Amanda is going to be teaching a Silhouette 101 class. I'll be that nerdy kid in the front row :).

I wanted to emphasize the word "ladies" because of an inside joke we sisters share. See, Caitlin (second from the left) began referring to us as a group with the word "ladies" when we were planning our San Diego vacation. However, she doesn't just say it normally, she uses this creepy, game show host, pick up line-esque voice that just cracks us up every time! I can't do it. I've tried. As soon as I cut the title, I sent an instagram photo of it to her. I wish you could hear it, but you'd probably think it's dumb. That's how inside jokes go, I know. But really, it's hilarious - at least to us Elzea girls ;).

If you'd like to play along with the challenge, you can find the details here. We'd love to have you! Thanks for stopping by today :). Tessa

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Flair For Buttons - World Card Making Day Blog Hop

Hello, hello, hello! If you have just happened upon this post and would like to join in on all the fun, please start here. If you've just come from the A Flair for Buttons blog, you are in the right place. Welcome!

I'm excited to be celebrating World Card Making Day with you! I can't seem to make a card without A Flair for Buttons flair these days, so I was thrilled to be able to make up a couple of new ones to share this weekend. First up, a birthday card for my brother:

He is a pretty awesome uncle and great brother, so we are - of course - his biggest fans. I didn't get to see his reaction to the card because I was at work, but I hope he liked it. Especially with the crazy signatures of his goofball nephews inside :).

You can find this fan flair, as well as many other retro-inspired images, in the So Retro Flair 3 set. I also made a card with the new Amy Tangerine Ready Set Go line:

I'm still a sucker for chevron, and this yellow piece matched the papers perfectly. You can find it, as well as many other colors, in the Linen Chevron Flair set.

I know you have many more cards to get off to see, so I won't keep you much longer. Be sure to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of my new favorite sets of flair, Dude Flair...

...and a $10.00 credit to my etsy shop, Precocious Paper. Enter by midnight CST, October 8th. You can also win flair on each of your stops during the hop, so get going! Your next stop is the lovely Jennifer Chapin. If you happen to get a little lost, here is the full line-up:

Enjoy the hop and happy card making! Tessa

ETA: My winnner, chosen by, is the lucky #13 - ANDREA! Congratulations! Please email me with your contact information and address :). Whoo hoo!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gratitude Journal - DCWV

One of my favorite quotes - one I try to remember as often as possible - is,"Have an attitude of gratitude." Those words inspired me to start Attitude of Gratitude, an annual event here on my blog that prompts me and hopefully encourages you to find and express gratitude. Plans are in the works for the 2012 edition and will be shared soon! I'm anxious to start, though, so I decided to make my gratitude journal earlier this year:

I used the Wild Splendor stack from DCWV. This stack is beautiful! It's filled with pretty reds, oranges and yellows, as well as a touch of cornflower blue. The designs range from contemporary to country, so there's something for everyone. I especially love the gold foil and copper glitter details.

I made six 4x6 chipboard pages and covered them in different papers from the stack. I sanded the edges and rounded the bottom corners. In between each page, I included a piece of notebook paper. I plan to write my thoughts on those pages. On half of the pages I added a tag with a quotation about gratitude.

The other half are currently blank (well, just pretty patterned paper) and awaiting photos that I plan to take during the month of November (a new aspect of Attitude of Gratitude that I am excited about).

I embellished with doilies (LOVE these from Freckled Fawn) and fussy-cut leaves.

To bring out the blue in the line, I used watercolors to enhance my tags. I mixed blues until I got the same color as the stack, then dribbled paint onto the tags. I tipped them around to let the paint drip, then laid them flat to dry. I used Twinkling H20's, so the paint has a shimmer to it. They ended up looking very pretty :).

I'm all ready to document the things I'm thankful for this year, thanks to DCWV. You can find this stack at your local Michaels. Thank you so much for stopping by today!

I'll be back tomorrow with a blog hop for World Card Making Day. A Flair For Buttons has put together quite the line-up of designers and you are sure to enjoy the cards and giveaways :). See you then! Tessa

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How the Buys' do Chores - Epiphany Crafts

A year ago we sat down as a family and planned out chores for the two oldest. We had a short list of things that needed to be done daily and then a short list for Saturday chores.

Our goals were:
1. Teach the boys responsibility and give them a sense of pride in their accomplishments.
2. Teach the boys that as a part of the family, they could contribute, too. It's not just the parents doing all of the work to make the family/house run.
3. Show them that work can be enjoyable, even if it is just enjoying the aftermath of a clean house.
4. Show them that doing a little each day is much easier than having to do major clean-up every once in awhile.

So, we're doing okay. We're still working toward these goals. Some weeks were fabulous, others - not so much. As this school year came around, I found the boys dragging their heels and decided that we needed to revamp our system. First, I needed to upgrade from a piece of paper on the fridge. Second, I needed to include Jaxon (who is now three). Third, we needed to fine-tune what was actually done on a daily basis. Along came this pin on Pinterest, and shortly thereafter, an assignment from Epiphany Crafts to use the Round 25 tool. Our new chore charts were born (click on picture to see larger):

We started with a family planning meeting again. We made our list of chores and then split them evenly between Colten and Carson, saving a couple of easy ones for Jaxon. Last year we had an "A" and "B" list (which constantly caused conflict - I'm A this week. No, I'm A this week! Insert sigh and eyeroll from Mom here). This time around, there is a blue set of chores and a green. They switch chores every Monday with a simple swap of the magnets. Because these charts are interactive, the boys have a much easier time of keeping track of their progress - and it's a little bit fun.

To make a chart like mine, you'll need a frame, cardstock, neo-magnets, the EC Round 25 tool and bubble caps, patterned paper and thin metal sheets. We found the metal at Home Depot in 8x12 sheets for $1 a piece. We just had to trim off a couple of inches.

Type up your chores and cut them into strips. Glue them to patterned paper and use the EC tool to create the epoxy circles. Add neo-magnets to the back. The Neodymium magnets are strong enough to hold through the glass of your frame, which will help the chart stay clean. Hands doing chores get dirty, you know ;).

Print out your chart. Put the child's name at the top and make two columns - "to-do" and "done". Add the chart and the metal to the frame and voila - your chart is complete.

I have discovered that we need a "key" for the chores, a list of everything that is expected for each chore. For example, "trash" means kitchen, bathrooms, and computer room, not just the kitchen. I'll be typing that up really soon and including it in a frame next to the chore charts.

So far, so good. Colten said to me yesterday, "Mom, my chores were really easy today. I did a good job yesterday, so today it wasn't really messy." I love it when light bulbs go off like that! Fingers crossed that it continues ;).

I'd love to hear about what works and what doesn't work for you in your home. Thanks for stopping by! Tessa