Monday, November 17, 2014

Christmas Mini - DCWV and Spellbinders + Tag Tutorial

Hello! I am so excited to be a part of the Spellbinders Partner Hop! If you've just happened upon this post and would like to participate from the beginning, please go here. If this is your first time visiting Precocious Paper, welcome. I hope you visit again soon :). I have been a member of the DCWV design team for 2 1/2 years and a big fan of Spellbinders for quite some time. When the opportunity came to combine these two great companies, I jumped at the chance! But enough about me. On to my project ;).

For this Christmas mini album, I worked with DCWV's new Storybook Christmas Stack, Christmas and Winter cardstock mat stack, Printed Burlap 6x6 Stack, and some additional glitter paper and cardstock. From Spellbinders I received Holiday Sentiments and Flurries.

I really enjoyed the Holiday Sentiments dies and placed them center stage in my album. From the album's title... the tags on several pages, these cute cursive words were the perfect touch. Cut from DCWV's glitter cardstock, they were a dream to work with.

If you'd like to make these simple tags, the process is easy. Gather a tag base, thread, washi tape, your die-cut sentiments and any other embellishments you'd like.

Cut a long length of thread and secure it to the back of your tag with washi tape. Wrap the thread around the tag multiple times, again securing the end with washi tape.

Add a bit of adhesive to the back of your words and secure to the tag, tucking the words under some of the threads. Add embellishments.

I also really enjoyed the Flurries die. I've never worked with such a large, detailed die before, so I was sure to follow the instructions carefully. I am so glad I read the tips about running it through several times, adjusting the orientation of my die/cardstock, and adding a shim. The tips worked beautifully and cutting several panels with this die was actually fun ;). There's something satisfying about popping out all those little pieces ;).

I wanted the Flurries die to have a prominent place in my album, so I made additional pages with the cut Flurries panels and the burlap papers by DCWV. Because the burlap is backed with paper, it was easy to adhere the Flurries pieces to the backside of the burlap. I really love the kraft of the burlap paper showing through the bright white of the cardstock. I plan to add typed journaling strips to the burlap sides.

I have posted the entire album in my gallery here, but here is a quick snapshot of several of the pages:

The Storybook Christmas Stack, burlap stack and glitter cardstock are the perfect companions to such pretty holiday dies. Thank you to both Spellbinders and DCWV for such amazing products to work with. I am going to really enjoy filling my album with Christmas photos this season.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the Spellbinders hop! Good luck winning all those fabulous prizes ;). Thanks for stopping by :). Tessa

New Art Journal - Love My Tapes

Hello! I'm excited to share with you a new ongoing project - my art journal. When I say "art journal", I mean my baby-steps venturing into art journaling. I'm not a really messy, artsy kind of girl, but I've been itching to play with stamps and watercolors, so I've decided to create this book of quotations. I'm going to play, get my feet wet, but it will be pretty clean and simple. All of the quotes will come from LDS General Conference addresses. The first two I created were chosen because gratitude has been on my mind all month:

For this page, I used pink airmail washi tape from Love My Tapes. You can read more about it at the Love My Tapes blog here, including a tip for using the right ink for washi tape.

I LOVE the Open Book collection by Maggie Holmes, and I am obsessed with these flower and leaf die-cuts. Every single line of scrapbooking supplies should come with a package of die-cut flowers and leaves. In my opinion ;).

I used a $5 set of watercolors from Michaels to paint "grateful". I really like the contrast of the ballet pink and teal.

For this page, I used My Mind's Eye washi tape and more Open Book flowers. I went with yellow and green because I love the way those two work together.

I love how this quote is a gentle reminder to stop complaining ;).

I also love stamping one letter at a time. I could hand write the quotes, but stamping them forces me to take time to ponder the words. By the time I finish, I have a better understanding of what the words mean than when I started.

I'm behind on sharing my Attitude of Gratitude posts here on the blog, but I do intend to catch up this week. If we're Facebook friends or you follow me on Instagram, you know I had a crazy week with much to be grateful for. ;)

Attitude of Gratitude day 17: I'm grateful for my boys' teachers. I say this every year because parent teacher conferences always fall in November, but it's true. Some years I connect with their teachers more than others. Some years the boys connect with their teachers more than others. Most years are relatively smooth and successful. Others are hard. This has been a hard one. So much adjusting, growing up, and learning how to parent three students instead of just two, and all that with a baby. But I'm so grateful for all that my boys' teachers do, and even if I don't care for policies or curriculum, I'm behind them 100% because they are literally raising my kids with me.

Thanks for stopping by today! Tessa

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dude! - The Studio

Happy Sunday! There's a new challenge up at The Studio today. It's our monthly sketch challenge, and I'm honored to have had a layout from August be the inspiration for the sketch :). Here's my take:

And here's the sketch alongside the original layout:

I usually have a hard time scraplifting myself, so I went with a photo of my son and a masculine theme so that  it felt "new". I'm pretty happy with the result!

I used a lot of Crate Paper, a little Basic Grey, Pinkfresh Studio, and Studio Calico stars (clear and wood veneer).

If I don't use flowers, stars are my next favorite :). I thought the mix tapes were a great trade-off for the flowers in the original layout, too.

If you'd like to play along, you can find the challenge post at The Studio here. Be sure to check out the design team's layouts, too. It's really fun to see all the different takes on my design ;).

Attitude of Gratitude....

I have a bit of catch-up to do! Let me explain.... Have you ever lost something, or it broke, and you didn't realize how much you depended on that thing until it was gone? Yeah, that was me this past week with my iPhone, which won't be fixed until Monday night. I was tracking all of my Attitude of Gratitude photos and thoughts on my phone, so until I can properly retrieve them and post them, I'm just going to move on.

Attitude of Gratitude Day 8: I am grateful for the service men and women who have proudly and honorably served in the military to secure and protect my freedoms. I am grateful for their families. I am grateful for their sacrifices.

For the past four years we've held a "Veterans Appreciation Night" for Cub Scouts. We invite the veterans from church, our families and our community. We prepare a program for them that includes patriotic songs, skits, and projects the boys have been working on about citizenship. The veterans share stories about their service. We present the veterans with a token of our appreciation. It's a really meaningful and fun pack meeting.

Last night, our gathering activity was "bootcamp" - an obstacle course with jumping jacks, army crawling and target practice. The Webelos incorporated Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance into our flag ceremony. The wolves sang a song and we all sang the Star Spangled Banner together. The bears shared posters about what makes America special and how to be a good citizen. We heard amazing stories about Christmas Eve in a foxhole and being chased by submarines while crossing the Equator. But my favorite moment of the night was when one veteran shared about the cost of service. He wanted the boys to understand that they could help veterans who had returned from war disabled. He talked about physical scars, but more importantly, he talked about mental scars. A lot of adults are squeamish about talking to young people about mental health, but I think, done in an age-appropriate way like this veteran did, it promotes understanding and compassion. He listed different organizations and encouraged the boys to find ways to serve these veterans. I am grateful for his perspective and that he shared those thoughts with the boys.

One of my goals for Attitude of Gratitude this year is to act on my gratitude more frequently. I'm taking that goal to den meeting this week. We will be writing thank you notes to the veterans who attended our pack meeting. We will also be putting together a care box for a young man from church who is currently serving in the Army. I hope the boys make the gratitude-service connection. They're great kids ;).

Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with Attitude of Gratitude on the next couple of days :). Thanks for stopping by! Tessa

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Love Your Company - DCWV

Hello! How is November treating you? Mine has been a mix of things to be grateful for and things I can't wait to move on from. Thus, not posting Attitude of Gratitude Sunday. Or yesterday. But -- I am going to catch up! Ready?

Day 3 (yes, I'm skipping day two, but I'll get to that tomorrow): I am grateful for the one-on-one time I get to spend with Addie.

I generally plan my day so that if I need to run errands, it happens between Kindergarten drop-off and school pick-up. That means it's just Adlyn and me. I know that the next five years are going to fly by, so I'm relishing this school day time we have together. Last week I decided to document an afternoon of errand-running, and these are a few photos from that day.

I created this layout using the November DCWV Stack-a-holic Challenge sketch, which you can find here. I used the Sweet Blossom Stack, the Printed Burlap Stack, and the Embossed Cardstock Stack. I love the different textures and prints!

The flair is by A Flair for Buttons :).

I also had the opportunity to design the card sketch for the challenge this month:

With gratitude in mind, I created two "thank you" cards. I was making this pretty literal interpretation of the sketch when I decided I actually wanted to make a horizontal card. So, I quickly finished this one with a wooden flag sentiment and moved on:

Still working with all the scraps from my layout, I created this horizontal version:

I love it. I love that the sentiment is of gratitude, but not just "thank you". And I love the colors and the light, brightness of the white woodgrain cardstock and airy tissue paper.

Speaking of thank you cards, I am going to be sharing thank you cards (complete with original sketches!) all month long, so if you're a fan of cards, be sure to keep checking back :).

Thanks for stopping by today! Tessa

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Attitude of Gratitude Begins

Hello, November. I'm excited about another year of dedicating this month to recognizing my blessings, expressing gratitude, and acting on that thankfulness :).

Day 1: I am grateful to have a job that I love. This year, I only teach one day a week, but that day is filled with technique classes and rehearsals for the two youngest jazz troupes at the studio, as well as coaching several soloists.

Here I am, teaching the 6-8 year olds their lyrical piece. I love teaching this age because so much of what I teach them is a brand new. I have the privilege (and responsibility) of laying a foundation for these girls that will take them wherever their hearts desire to go in dance. Yes, next week we will be working on our turnout and hip placement, but we will also improvise on the floor, pretending we forgot how to stand up. We will wave ribbon wands as we dance like clouds and then like waves. We will snap our spots, pull up in releve, and hopefully nail that double pirouette. We will stretch, build strength, and most of all - build confidence in ourselves. And I will love my time in the studio, love the girls, and be oh-so-grateful that I get to do this every week.

I'll be back tomorrow with the first of three special Attitude of Gratitude SMASH Sunday posts :). See you then! Tessa