Happy Saturday!  Today marks the One Year Anniversary of Tessa coming into our lives and since the vet told us she was 2 or 2 1/2 years old when we got her, we’re also going to call this her 3rd birthday!  I made a special card just for the occasion featuring an Elzybells image and October Afternoon Farm Fresh papers from the 8×8 pad.  The image was colored with Copics and cut out with a nestie circle and mounted on a nestie blossom (Summer Sun). I added some Brown Sugar Sparkly Fluff to the puppy’s ears and feet.  Ribbon and pink ZVA crystals are from TE


  The sentiment is computer generated – When I count my blessings, I count you twice! – because that is exactly how I feel about my sweet Tessa.  She is an incredible blessing dropped right out of heaven into our laps!

The picture above was taken last week after her very first professional grooming.  They put that red bandanna on her and she loves it! When I ask her if she wants to put on her bandanna she jumps up in my lap and cranes her neck.  It’s so cute.  I’ll be making more for her!

In case you don’t know the story of how Tessa came to us, I thought I’d share it here again.  Last year on Memorial Day Weekend Curt was in charge of a car show event at church.  It was his first time heading up something like that and he was excited and a bit stressed on Saturday for the event on Sunday.  Around 6pm he jumped in the shower, telling me that he had lots of registration/computer work to complete when he got out. A few minutes later there was knock on our kitchen door.  It was a woman I didn’t know and she asked if I knew if anyone in the neighborhood owned a long haired chihuahua.  I told her that I didn’t, but asked what the problem was.  She said that her family was at the soccer tournament being held at the school 3 doors down from us and another team mom had found this little dog wandering around.  They had asked everyone on the field if the dog was theirs and they had even run over to the vet’s office on the corner to see if the dog was chipped.  The woman explained that they were all from out of town – just here for the tournament – and didn’t want to take the dog out of the area and lose the chance of finding her owners.  And that’s when I spoke those fateful words “Oh I’ll take her and find her owners!” Did I consult my husband?  Oops…nope I just charged ahead.  So as Curt is getting out of the shower I yell “I’ll be right back.” and off I go with this woman to meet what would become one of the great loves of my life.


I got to the field and they had her in a milk crate.  She had a collar on, but no tags and she seemed pretty well kept so I thought sure we would find her owners.  As I was walking back up the street to come home, Curt met me half way and when he reached out to the lost pup she snapped at him.  Oh no!  I’m in trouble here.  She was sweet as pie to me and obviously frightened.  We worried that she had been treated badly by a man or maybe she had only lived with a woman.  Anyway – we had to get dog food (just a little because afterall we would only have her a couple of days!) and we had to make signs and put them up.  My wonderful patient husband went along with my dog rescue plan even though I know his head was on the verge of exploding. (The photo to the left was taken her first night with us.  She looks like a totally different dog to us now! And yes I have pink plaid PJ’s!  LOL!)

You have to keep in mind that we had discussed several times the possibility of getting a dog.  We had even spoken to a breeder of of Mini Eskies (the type of dog we were certain we wanted), but in the end we decided that it would just be too difficult with the birds since they had shown great fear of any dog we had ever brought in the house.  Also keep in mind that Curt has never liked very small dogs…especially hairy ones!  And keep in mind that I had done this rescue thing before and been successful at finding the owners. Soooooooo…all that to say that I genuinely had no intention of keeping this one!  Seriously!


On Sunday the pup still would not let Curt near her and he made the proclamation “That dog goes to the pound on Monday!” First of all Monday was a holiday and second of all there was no way I was taking this tiny little 5 pound dog to the pound.  I knew if I couldn’t find her owners I would be able to find someone to take her.

After we got home from the car show totally exhausted I decided to try to bring her into the living room while the birds were out on their play trees.  I knew if they reacted to her, she would have to go straight back to the kitchen.  To our amazement, the birds completely ignored her – no response at all.  And she ignored them.  Wow! (the window photo is one of my all time favorites – taken probably after a month or two.)

On Monday we put out more signs and had a bunch of friends come over to see her.  She was afraid of all the people – and as usual I was in the middle of the crowd talking with everyone – so she went over to Curt and jumped up in his lap.  I think that was the first moment of bonding.  🙂  In the Lord’s perfect timing it just so happened that Curt had that week off as a work in the yard vacation and we had a big BBQ scheduled for the following Saturday. Tessa spent all week helping Curt in the yard.  I think someone around Wednesday or Thursday we started to cringe when the phone would ring thinking it might be her owners.  On Friday we went and bought her a bed and a leash and some toys.  No one ever called to claim her and the rest is history.


BTW – she loves people now and is sweet to almost everyone who comes over.  We still don’t know exactly what

dress-for-tessa-1-sept-09-custom.jpgkind of dog she is, but the vet’s best guess was a cross between a long haired chihuahua and some sort of terrier. She and the birds get along fine – our only issue is Tessa grazing on food they discard which wouldn’t be a huge deal except that she is so small we really have to watch the amount of her food intake.

(photo to the right is Tessa wearing the dress her Auntie Denise gave her.  Curt absolutely hates for her to wear clothes. A bandanna is ok, but NOT clothes!  This photo just cracks me up!)

I had no idea that I wanted or needed a dog.  Over the past year she has been a constant tangible reminder to me of God’s deep love for me – his graceful provision beyond what I even imagine.  So yes, when I count my blessings I count Tessa twice!


Happy Birthday Sweet Tessa Toodles!!!


And here’s my new favorite photo of her – also taken last week when we got home from the groomers.  I want to get this one made into a poster!


Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon!

(Tessa hates it when company leaves!)


TESC115 You Rock!

May 28th, 2010

Happy Friday!  Yesterday was such a FUN day, but can you believe that I totally forgot to take even one photo?  D’oh!  Oh well, it’s time to play the Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge.  This sketch along with this week’s SCS Color Challenge (CC272 Real Red/Bermuda Bay/Kraft) gave me the perfect jumping off point for a card for a teenage boy.  C’mon on now – what’s harder  than coming up with a card for a teenage boy?  AND it’s not a *happy birthday* card or a graduation congratulations – NO – this poor kid shattered his collar bone and had to have surgery earlier this week!  Fortunately I had what I think is the perfect stamp set – You’re My Hero from TE.  I’m hoping it’s still plenty masculine even with the addition of a few red KasierCraft rhinestones.  I figure there’s some glitz associated with rock’n’roll so I should be ok.  LOL!


If you haven’t checked out You’re My Hero yet, be sure and do it this weekend.  It’s currently in the TE Giving Tree Program so $7 from every set sold is being donated to CureSearch, but it rotates out of the charity program at the end of the month (Monday) to make way for a new charity and new stamp set in June.  You’re My Hero also has images for the girl rocker in your life…and the rock star in all of us!  And having a stamp set to make a card for a teenage boy at a moment’s notice…well that’s priceless!

Let’s see what the rest of the Sketch Crew has cooked up for us this week:

  • Alice Wertz
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Rachel Sztonyk
  • Taylor VanBruggen – here’s where you can see the sketch and get all the details to play along with us!
  • Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a fabulous long weekend.  I plan to get some more stamping in!


    Birthday Bouquet

    May 27th, 2010

    Happy Thursday!  Wow – where has the week gone?  I’m excited for today because, as you may know, Taylor is in SoCal and I get to see her today!  I’m guessing there will probably be a cupcake in my future.  Time with Taylor almost always includes cupcakes. LOL!

    Tomorrow is my incredible friend Joy’s birthday and I want to share the card I made for her.  It’s going in the mail today and I know I should probably wait a few days to post it, but I just can’t.  (So Joy if you are reading this…look away till you get it in the mail!)  I feel so lucky to call Joy my friend.  She is the type of person that everyone falls in love with…so genuinely sweet, so caring, generous to a fault!  She was the very first person from Splitcoaststampers that I met in real life after knowing her on-line.  That was back in the early days of SCS when it had less than 10,000 members (now it has over 250,000!) and we got together to plan our very first tiny little SoCal StampMania after someone else dropped the ball on an event (I think we had about 12 people come to that one.) I think both of our families were a little nervous about us going off to meet someone from the internet!  LOL!  We hit it off immediately and have been friends ever since.  Love you Girl!  Happy Birthday!


    This stamp is Spring Bouquet from Flourishes.  I got it a few weeks ago and stamped several images, but hadn’t colored any of them till yesterday.  I have to admit that I was a little intimidated to get started, but once I did it was coloring heaven!  The way this image has just enough little shading marks makes it a dream to color.  I used Copics here and had a blast playing with blending and shading (which is NOT my forte!)  The Flourishes design team had really inspired me with their samples, so I looked through the Flourishes gallery at SCS to see how several different people had colored this image.  That really helped give me the confidence to get started.  I love the way it turned out!


    Card is 5.25 square with a white card base that has the edges sponged with Barely Banana ink.


    Stamps – Flourishes Spring Bouquet, SU sentiment from a retired Birthday set

    Paper – TE Choice Snow cardstock, SU Orchid Opulence, colored cardstocks and designer paper from TE Card Kit featuring Girls Paperie (currently out of stock – no link available)

    Ink – Memento Black

    Other – Copics shown above, pink silk ribbon, white crochet trim, Spellbinders Labels 1, SU circle and scallop circle punches, KaiserCraft pearls, foam tape.

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!  I’ll be back tomorrow morning with a sketch sample for this week’s TESC.


    Black Magic Garden Party

    May 24th, 2010

    Happy Monday!  I have one more card to share from my class a little over a week ago.  Somehow I never got over here to show it to you last week.  As soon as I saw this the Black Magic technique on JanTink’s blog and then Wendybell’s video I knew it would be a super fun thing to do in class.  And I also knew that TE’s Garden Party Blooms would be a great set to play with.


    This was so much fun and so easy too!  Stamp bold images on dark cardstock (I used black) with white craft ink and allow to dry (or heat set if you’re in a hurry).  Then color over the images with Prismacolor Pencils using a fairly heavy hand.  The instructions I read/saw said to use watercolor pencils so I tried that first, but then decided to also try the Prismacolors.  While both worked, I found that I got a better result with the Prismacolors and I have a larger color range in those as well.  You’ll want 2 or 3 shades of the same color and work from dark to light.  Highlights are added with a white gel pen.  Paper used here is all SU: black, Bermuda Bay , white and Melon Mambo dp.  If you haven’t tried this technique, you really need to!  Tons of possibilites!

    Last night was the series finale of LOST and I just have to share my take on it.  If you have it saved to dvr to watch later then you probably won’t want to read this.  While I thought the final 2 1/2 hour episode was beautifully done in it’s own right, as the end to six years of mystery and questions I felt it was far less than satisfying.  In my mind it confirmed what I had been afraid of all along…that the writer’s really didn’t have answers to all the mysteries they proposed.  Perhaps they felt that a long, emotional, somewhat poetic final episode would make up for all that, but it didn’t.  At least not for me.  

    Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’re surviving Monday and have a great week ahead!


    TESC114 Happy Bird-day

    May 21st, 2010

    Happy Friday!  Today we’re taking Tessa for her first professional grooming.  We usually just bathe her at home about once a month, but she’s needing her nails clipped and we’re just a week away from her 1st Anniversary in our home so I decided we might as well spring for the full treatment.  I hope she’s not mad at me all weekend.  I’ll try to get some photos when we get home.

    It’s time for another Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge (TESC114) and of course we’d love to have you play along!  My card today is 4.25″ square and features October Afternoon Thrift Shop papers along with Choice Buttercream from TE and SU Kraft and Real Red cs.


    I combined images from TE sets Hangin’ Out and Garden Party Critters and stamped them directly on the patterned paper, then colored them with Copics.  The kraft banner strip was stamped with Miniature Motifs.  Everything was sponged and embellishments are Kaisercraft pearls in red and some SU buttons (Yes I hate nekkid buttons, but that just shows how much of a hurry I was in to get this card finished and photographed!  LOL!)  Nesties used are Classic Cirlcle large and Blossom.

    Let’s check out what the rest of the Sketch Crew has in store for us today.

  • Alice Wertz
  • Lisa Hjulberg
  • Lori Craig
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Monika Davis
  • Sherrie Siemens
  • Taylor VanBruggen
  • At Taylor’s blog you’ll see the sketch and get all the details to play along.  Also, entries for last week’s sketch have now closed and you can click over to this post to cast your votes for your three favorites.  You only have through the weekend to vote.  The top vote getters will be announced on Monday.  How fun to get to have input on the Top Crops!

    Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you have a fantastic weekend!



    Happy Tuesday!  Today Taylored Expressions is hosting a customer blog hop to splotlight stamp sets that were released in 2008 and 2009 and we have over 50 people playing!!!  How cool is that?  I jumped at the chance to use 2 of my all-time favorite sets Branching Out and Branching Out Coordinates to make a birthday card for a very special friend.


    Today is Lori Craig’s birthday and I’m excited to say that she already received this card in the mail yesterday.  WooHoo!  That never happens!  This is a large 5.5″ square card and I used dp from a DCWV stack I picked up at Joanns.  The tree trunk was stamped with a pearly Brilliance chocolate ink and the tree top was paper pieced and highlighted with copics and stickles.  I was really tickled with how this turned out!


    Happy Birthday my sweet friend!!!! 


    Here we are during Lori’s recent layover in SoCal on her way to Australia.

    And now here’s a list of everyone participating in the TE Blast From the Past Blog Hop today. I’m dying to see what everyone has created and which stamp sets everyone has used, but I have to get to work so I’ll just have to hop as many as I can this morning and check out the rest tonight.  Oh and if you notice some similar layouts – we were given an optional sketch to use.  It’s a good one, but I didn’t end up using it.

    1.  Taylor VanBruggen   28.  Sharon Harnist  
    2.  Tanis Palmer   29.  Angela Bear  
    3.  Cassie Trask   30.  Michelle Lane  
    4.  Jen Tapler   31.  Alison Anderson  
    5.  Monika Davis   32.  Heidi Burt  
    6.  Jessica Willison   33.  Tangii Crain  
    7.  Candace Mitchell   34.  Jackie Rakoski  
    8.  Carole Rinear Chesser   35.  Barbara Anders  
    9.  Tanja Hartmann   36.  Kerry Johnson  
    10.  Arielle Gordon   37.  Lisa Thompson  
    11.  Dawn Easton   38.  Lisa Hjulberg  
    12.  Karen Motz   39.  Clarissa Vicencio-Wickens  
    13.  Jen Alonso   40.  JoAnn Valderama  
    14.  Karen Giron   41.  Patti Gingrich  
    15.  Jackie Pedro   42.  Jana Weaver  
    16.  Kelli Hull   43.  Lisa Kind  
    17.  Stacey Schafer   44.  Rosie Hughes  
    18.  Sankari Wegman   45.  Jami Sibley  
    19.  Bonnie Ratzloff   46.  Donna Baker  
    20.  Carolina Buchting   47.  Carrie Zrodlowski  
    21.  Lisa Smeaton   48.  Corinne Reyes Mercado  
    22.  Alex Maldonado   49.  Jessica Diedrich  
    23.  Stephanie Kraft   50.  Lori West  
    24.  Melissa Cooper   51.  Jodi Collins  
    25.  Lori Craig   52.  Nancy Jensen  
    26.  Nancy McKinney   53.  Rachel Sztonyk  
    27.  Wendy Elliott  

    Thanks for stopping by.


    Weekend Re-Cap

    May 17th, 2010

    Happy Monday!  It’s weird – even though I don’t go to an office job 4 or 5 days a week any more, Monday is still my least favorite day of the week.  It seems to be the day I have the hardest time getting things accomplished and thus the day that I tend to feel the most overwhelmed by my to-do list, when I feel that it should be one of my most productive days.  Maybe I was just programmed for too many years to dislike Mondays…I dunno.

    I had a wonderful weekend though!  My class on Friday night was so much fun!  I wanted to share another one of the projects we made. class-may-10-tea-tins-jami-custom.jpg Everyone decorated a Tea Tin.  We used TE Miniature Motifs and CreativiTEA along with Spellbinders Labels 9 (which coordinates with the frame image in the stamp set) and everyone chose either Brocade Blue or Pink Pirouette.  These tins were inspired by the beautiful black and white one created by Charmaine Ikach.  As soon as I saw hers I knew I needed to make this a class project.  These tins can hold lots of different things – gift cards, candy, tea bags (duh!), jewelry, ATC cards, etc.

    On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to Tea with PACT (Prayer Always Changes Things) – this is the ladies prayer group that I’ve been in for six years. We started out with 8 women and now have 5.  Once a year we go to Tea to celebrate all of our birthdays.  We each draw a name ahead of time and buy one birthday gift for the person we drew.  We try to go to a different tea room each year.  This year we went to the beautiful Paris in a Cup in Old Towne Orange.  Everything was super super yummy and I would highly recommend this tea room.  It is on the higher end price-wise of the places we have been, but I felt it was worth it.  There are lots of menu choices. bday-tea-2010-desserts-custom.jpg I had a tea that  included a scrumptious scone, 3 yummy tea sandwiches and 3 delicious petit fours…plus of course the tea of your choice.  It doesn’t sound or look like a lot of food, but I was very very full when we left.

    If you live in SoCal or if you come for a visit, Old Town Orange is a wonderful place to spend a morning or afternoon walking around.  There are many antique stores and boutiques as well as lots of restaurants.









    Maggie, Kathy, Nancy, Darla and me.

    Thanks for stopping by.  I better get back to the Monday of it all.  I’ll see you tomorrow for the Taylored Expressions Blast From the Past Blog Hop!