Home Is Where The Heart Is

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas was so wonderful! (photo heavy post..lol)

We all had such a wonderful Christmas. Being together as a family was so fun, we spent 2 days of laughing, baking, cooking and playing Wii together. Good times were indeed had those 2 days at Brasada Ranch. Great memories. I captured quite a few photos while I was there. The surroundings and our cabin was so GORGEOUS that I couldn't resist capturing so many spots around our cabin.


This is the view from the back deck of our cabin. The mountains you are viewing are called "The 3 Sisters." We had snow on Christmas eve, so the sky was overcast and grey. It was awesome to wake up to blue skies and this spectacular view.


Our cabin had 3 suites. This was the one that Steve and I had. Each suite was stunning and had the most gorgeous large wooden beds and the decor was so eloquent.




Another view of our room. I really loved the little sitting area between the 2 light-filled windows. I spent my last evening there sipping champagne and reading with the fire place. It was pure relaxation. I didn't want to leave the next morning :)



Another view from our room. You see the gas fireplace, the tv, and the desk area....of course I had to bring my laptop (I wanted to be able to continue to track my calories on sparkpeople.com and didn't want to miss a day and get off track).

This is the view of the great room from our suite doorway. So cozy and warm. I wanted to live there forever :)

We all brought some Christmas decorations to make it feel more like home and it really did add such a beautiful touch to the already rustic decor of the cabin.



We sat around the table for Christmas dinner, breakfast and playing trivial pursuit...which we gave up because it was about the 80's and all of us, with the exception of my parents were just little kids in the 80's..lol.



This is the wreath/swag that I made. I had a piece of garland left over from our stair case and decided to tie it together and and adhere some decorations to it to make it to a swag to hang from our door way. I love how it turned out...


Mom and Heidi decorated cookies Christmas eve. I was having too much fun playing Wii with my Dad and Aaron that I totally missed this activity. Luckily Steve picked up the camera and took some pics of them making these cookies.

And. Nope. I didn't eat even 1 of them :)


Baily layed in this spot 99% of the time we were there. Just kinda keeping an eye out on everyone. Yeah, he's pretty adorable. And. Yes....that's ribbon and bows in Christmas colors tied to his colar. My mom did that to both Rocky and Baily. Oh, yeah and they had santa hats (see below). Poor guys.


The snow was coming down pretty hard on Christmas eve. Dad and Steve decided to head out to the deck to sit in the hot tub and drink some local brews. You can see the snow falling (spots..lol) in the photo. Apparently the hot tub had changing colored lights and that is why there is the purple glow to the steam of the hot tub. The next night I served Heidi and Aaron pomegranate martini's while they enjoyed the hot tub.

Like every Christmas. We all get the santa hat shots.











We spent lots of time in the kitchen preparing meals and visiting.
I could tell mom and dad really enjoyed having us all together. It's rare when we all have time to spend as a family and the smile on their faces in this photo shows how happy they were. That makes me happy :)




We all enjoyed a long walk around the ranch following dinner and finished off the evening with more Wii playing.. Oh man, I really want one. They are SO MUCH fun. My parents even have Wii fit and that game alone was awesome. Gotta save for that!
Overall, our Christmas was a VERY memorable one. We are all tired from all the fun and excitement, but can't stop talking about the fun moments during our Christmas!
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday with your family. Now here's to Happy New Year!
XOXOXO
Tessa Ann

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Happy Hannukah!
Happy Yule!
Happy Kwanzaa!



Steve and I are heading up to spend tonight and Christmas at Brasada Ranch
with our family. We have rented a 3 suite cabin and all are going to spend this holiday season together! Steve and I have been excited for this day to come for a few months now. During the summer we went on the Tour Of Homes and came across these most gorgeous cabins. It is so surreal that we get to spend Christmas in one of them. We're talking l u x u r y and you KNOW how much I love that..haha!
We are going to have dinner at the lodge tonight at, "Blue Olive" and spend the evening, wrapping gifts, making holiday treats and playing my parents new Wii on the big screen plasma. And. Maybe a little karaoke? When ever my family gets together it is a given there is going to be karaoke..haha! Oh, yeah and definitely champagne!! I should have internet connection there, so I hope to post some pics here throughout our stay.
Good times to be had :)

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday, filled with laughter, joy and love!
*Tessa Ann*

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter, Scrapbooking and Weight-loss

This is my current view from my work-table. It's snowing like crazy now...... It has been freezing, well actually below freezing for about a week now. It's gorgeous to look at, but getting out in it. Not so much.






Today I have some errands run and I am not looking forward to it. Yes, I'll be the chick driving really slow :)

I am getting may hair cut again today! I really loved how it turned out last time, so I'll just get it trimmed up . I'm so happy to have finally found a great stylist. I have been to at least 5 different stylists since moving to Bend, and have never been fully satisfied with my hair. I'm so grateful to have heard about Adam. He is a fab stylist.

Anyhoo.

I did scrap over the last couple weeks. For the last few years, I designed scrapbook pages and projects for Lisa at Right At Home Scrapbooking, but when I went on my hiatus with scrapbooking, I let that go. I really did miss getting the boxes of papers and goodies to play with from Lisa. So.....it felt great to create for her again :) They will be posted on her website at the Right At Home Scrapbooking blog. I made some layouts a card and even a mini book. So fun. I'll post the link to them when it's up and ready!


Oh yeah!

As you can see to the left of this post, I have added my Twitter update. I thought it would be kinda fun :) I have to be honest, Twitter IS very silly. I mean, it revolves around people just saying what they are doing 24/7. At first I thought it was kinda pointless. Well...I thought I'd see what it was like and YOU know WHAT? It's addicting. I find myself posting A LOT and spending too much time reading what everyone else is up to.

Easily entertained...ya think?


A couple of you asked about my weight-loss and what I was doing to lose weight so quickly.

My answer.... the old fashioned way. Diet and Exercise.

I have been using www.sparkpeople.com to track my daily calories, fat, carbs ect., as well as my exercise. It has been a tremendous help to me. I finally reached my breaking point with my weight and on November 20th I made a choice to stop making excuses and get my weight in control. After watching YouTube weight loss videos and hearing about Spark People, I was inspired to DO IT!

I didn't look back....I jumped right in!

So....today is day 28 and I am now a solid 15 lbs lighter. That's just a smidgen of what I have to lose, but I WON'T GIVE UP. I can pull my jeans off without un-buttoning them and. I have an elliptical at home and this week I have been working out on it 3 times a day. At this point, I am building up my endurance, so I start with 10 min. in the morning, 20 in the afternoon and finish up with 30 in the evenings. Steve and I have also been walking in the evenings for about 45 minutes. With the snow being here and it being so cold, I've had to do more inside exercise, though did go for a walk in the snow last night and that's a great work out!

I've also been eating really healthy. I'm learning healthful and nutritious foods to cook. I now drink 8 glasses of water a day. I didn't EVER drink water before. My skin looks fabulous and my energy level is so much better.

Change IS good. It's great to finally be at this place in my life where I am in control of myself.

Off to get ready for the day! Have a great week :)

Tessa Ann




Thursday, December 11, 2008

Scrapbooking a little more lately.....

Today is one of those overcast-chilly days I love. I love sipping tea inside while listening to my ipod creating. Today is Thursday and is my day to work on new stuff for my Etsy shop or fill custom orders.

I love days like this...

In my view sitting here I see from a far, about 100 yards away, is a giant blow-up snow globe with an adorable winter scene rotating along with the globe. {he he...}
It spins round-and-round all day. Though considered by many "tacky," it still puts a smile on my face and makes me feel a little more festive.

Steve and I have been walk/jogging each night after work and it has been so pretty to go by homes all decked-out in their lights and decor. I loved looking at all the beautiful wreathes and the tree's peeking from their windows.

So pretty.

I have a scrapbook page to share that I created in the summer, I think. It was my last assignment with Scrapbooking & Beyond Magazine this year for Liz Qualman's sketch article. I created a layout each season and issue and my layout was based on her sketch. That was always a fun assignment and I loved working around Liz's sketches. She includes a lot of detail in her sketches and each one is so completely different from the next. She's amazing.



I had some photos that I consider "good" that we took a few years back that had never been published before, so I thought they would be perfect. I chose my favorite holiday color scheme of Red and Aqua , which perfectly accentuated our black and white photos very well. I enhanced the chipboard MOD snow flakes with glitter (a light layer of Stickles) and added rhinestones around the flakes. It looks so sparkly and pretty in person :)









And lastly, here is a card I created for one of Steve's co-workers. I really loved this one, so it was hard to part with it ;)
Happy holidays everyone!!
-Tessa Ann

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Romeo



I am scrapbooking this afternoon and was looking for pics to create with and came across these.
{They made me smile.}
This is my horse, Romeo and a little about our history together :)


I was out at my parents house a few weeks ago and was taking pictures around their property.
My mom has a lot of pretty landscaped areas and surrounding areas.
This makes it PERFECT to practice working on my (lacking) camera skills.
Well, what is prettier than horses?

This sweet guy is my horse, Romeo. His actual registered name is, "Fierce Contender" but that totally did NOT fit his personality. He is extremely affectionate, but very naughty at times...meaning, he has bucked me off my fair share of times throughout my life time.
When I used to clean his stall he would get a drink of water and wait for the perfect moment to come up and snuggle up to me.
Hey! I thought he was being cute, as he usually was, but NOPE...he drops the water down the back of my neck.
{Yeah, this happened many, many times. That horse is GOOD, I tell ya!}
I received Romeo when he was just a year old. He was so tiny that my parents simply lifted his fuzzy, long-legged, baby-body up into the trailer and took him home to me. I spent a lot of time bonding with him because I couldn't ride him until he was older.
I was crazy about him, I would wash his tail almost daily (no joke) condition it, spray in a shiny spray called, "Show Sheen" and french braid it. He was very groomed VERY nicely..lol.
I was in 4-H with Romeo and went to fair each summer. He is the one that sent me away in an ambulance after the parade. Got excited and bucked me off. That was a bad one. But, here is Romeo now 16 almost 17 years old, still spunky, but so adorable. Um, and TALL. He measures in at 16. 5 hands tall. That's really tall for a horse. He has a lot of racing blood, so he is built with really long legs. As a kid, I didn't factor in how far I'd fall from him, now when I look at him that's exactly what I think.lol!


In these photos of him, he is getting his fuzzy winter coat. In the summer, oh my...he has the most gorgeous copper-colored coat that shines in the sun. His nose is white and pink and.....{lol} we have to put sunscreen on it in the summer time or he gets burned. Ha. Poor guy.

Their halters waiting on the fence.
One last peek...................




Have a wonderful day!!
:) Tessa Ann
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Monday, December 08, 2008

Winter Wonderful!

It has been loads of fun to create fun Christmas and Winter themed items for my little Etsy shop. My peppermint candy buttons have been a top seller, as well as the ity bitty holiday colored buttons. I think I make a new set for someone pretty much every other day. ha!

One customer ordered a large quantity of the peppermint buttons to use on holiday sweaters. It's fun how I intended their use for scrapbooking, but many other uses have been found. Because of this, I spent a good month testing different types of sealant and what could hold up with washing. I finally found one I am confident with.

I have a lot of red, green and gold tones in my first Christmas collection, and I love the other tons of the holidays of silver, navy and red. So, I spent this weekend creating a new collection of winter embellishments and buttons titled, "WINTER WONDERFUL." I have made up new sets to include embellishments AND buttons that I call, "Trinkets and buttons." You get a little bit of each thing to make a great winter-time project. The snowflakes are lightly dusted with a opulescent glitter. So pretty.


































Last year, I felt bad that I didn't send out Christmas cards. I was really busy with CHA coming up and getting work to manufactures that I didn't give myself enough time to create any special cards for loved ones. I got started last week and just have a few more to do and I'm done. Here is what I've created so far.














That's it for today! I hope everyone has a great week!
Off to get ready to go to work at the LSS and today is a weigh-in day. I'm down 10lbs in 18 days........yes, I'll fill you all in next post about this! So exciting that it's working :D

Enjoy your day!
Tessa Ann

Friday, December 05, 2008

Changes are always good...

More changes to share.....


I've been changing things around in our home lately and decided to switch rooms for my craft room. The room I was in was in the very back of the house, upstairs and away from the world. Natural light was not great in that room either and I always had at least 3 lamps on in addition to the overhead lighting. Not good. Though, I had taken the time to paint that my beloved "Tiffany Box" blue, I did it. I moved. Everything. Yeah, it was crazy once we got started how much stuff I had. Tons.

So now I am in a new space that is bright and bigger than my last one. I set my work-table in front of the window where I have panoramic views of the mountains and beautiful homes on the hill. There is an empty lot in across the street that kids play in, creating bike ramps and forts. That's fun to watch and brings back memories of doing that myself as a kiddo. So cute.
So here is a peek around at my room!

1. A partial view of my desk area. As you can see there is a lot of light and good space. I have my main supplies all at hand. The white stacked storage holds my embellishments, all sorted by color as you can see from the colored flowers on the pull of each drawer. The top section holds acrylic paint and other things I use often with my button, flower or frame making. The book sitting on my desk is my daily "TO DO" lists that I use to keep on track with my Etsy shop.


2. Another view of my table. This table has seen better days..ha! You can see my over-stuffed Making Memories carosel, my cup of glitter and stickles, my TO DO list, a pile of buttons to package up, a peek of the purple storage system I hold extra buttons for re-stocking of my shop. Oh, and don't forget. Coffee.:)


3. On one end of my room there is crown molding, creating a 1 foot shelf about 3-4 feet from the ceiling. I have decorated this with my favorite photos in matching frames, as well as creating this little piece using scrapbooking supplies. There is a quote about "creativity" on the larger, center frame. They looked really pretty with my old room having the Tiffany blue background. Until I decide what color to paint my new room, this will do :)


4. My stuff. A view of all of my paper trays, and other storage containers. Like my embellishments, I store my patterned papers by color, as well as my cardstock. My storage system is all labeled ie: ink, rhinestones, raw chipboard, embossing powders, rub ons, rubber stamps, punches.... you get the idea
5. Right above my paper trays and storage, I have pink shelves holding all of my Prima flowers and other flowers I've collected, as well as spools of ribbon, jars of left over strands of ribbon (color organized of course), my My Minds Eye buttons, and Heidi Swapp paints. A plethora of color fills these 2 shelves. I love looking at them :)
6. Hehe. This photo of the pile of pillows I made is where my sweet cat, Mozart sleeps while I work and create.

7. A bit of my felt. I keep it in this basket with the embroidery thread, needles, scissors, buttons and ribbon so that I can grab it to take to the LSS to work in case there is a lull I can work on new creations for my shop.















Well, that's a small peek around my room. I have some beautiful Christmas cards to photograph and post here before they are sent off. I am loving the new look of my blog and the new features that came with upgrading my blogger. And. I am loving the fresh, white background versus the dark black with white writing.

Yep. Change IS good.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

So....what do you think?

I know, I know....I've had the same theme since I've started here on blogger (well, except for those few weeks with my lame attempts at blog headers..haha!) Thanks to Lucy Ann Folich, I've enjoyed this colorful and vibrant blog header. Though, I am moving on to this one, I loved the funky-bright banner that adorned my blog for the last few years (uh, or more?)

So...simple, pure and clean with solid color. Okay, I spent this afternoon searching the net for blog backgrounds and after looking at hundreds, maybe thousands, I found this one. It felt fresh to me. And, I seem to need "Fresh" right now :)

I have several things to post about, but I only have a minute and wanted to update, so you knew what the new look was all about (though some of you may have experienced many different looks throughout the day.....hahaha! I couldn't make up my mind.)

I have some Christmas cards I created to share, as well as our Holiday decor (yes, the red is back!) and some custom Etsy orders I created for the holidays that are super cute! I even put up a kit in my shop. It's so colorful and fun, filled with a combination of my buttons, frames and embellishments, along with many gorgeous papers, KI Memories dye cut paper, cardstock, alphas and tons of other cool stuff. Here is the link: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16993609

Oh, and I left a place to vote if you hate or like the new look. It was done in total fun and feel free to leave your vote or not. It's a new feature that Blogger has that I thought was fun to try :)

Talk to ya soon!
Tessa Ann

Monday, November 03, 2008

There are 1056 buttons!

Congrats to Jodi who was almost spot on with her guess of 1054.....So dang close, girl!!!

Email me with your address and the buttons you would like out of my Etsy shop and I will mail them out to you!

Thanks for all your guesses! I plan on doing more give aways here in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned :)

Well, I better get back to work, I will be posting a new blog tomorrow with a journal update and some new designs I will be adding to my shop....see you then :)

---Tessa Ann

Sunday, November 02, 2008

We DO have a WINNER!

Hello.
Just popping in really quick tonight after a long, but fun day of creating custom orders......I just wanted everyone to know that I was going to post the oh-so-close, if not exact WINNER on a blog tomorrow............

Enjoy the rest of your night!
:)See ya tomorrow.
Tessa Ann

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Holiday Collection and I have a GIVE AWAY!


It's been a while since I've had a GIVE AWAY on my blog, and since I have some great goodies that I'd love to share with YOU, I thought I would do a give away with this post! Guess how many buttons are in my jar, and the winner will receive a set of buttons of YOUR choice in my Etsy shop!
Yeah, these buttons took hours to count..haha. Steve took half and I took the rest and sorted and counted. They are now sorted by color and so much easier to access.





So leave your guess in the comments section and Friday I will post the actual number of buttons and who the winner is! Please leave your email address as well, so I can get in contact with you.











I have been adding quite a few holiday items to my Etsy shop that I just love :) Today I finished a set of felt hand stitched flowers that I have available in my shop. These were SO fun to create. I have to admit my fingers are quite sore as I type this..haha. I think these would be gorgeous on holiday layouts, cards, gift bags, your presents or even as a Christmas time pin. Pretty much anything!










Another new additon to my little Etsy shop is these "ity bity" buttons. My buttons are usually about 1 inch and these are about 1/2 inch and so CUTE :)



This set of embellishments I really enjoyed making. All the tiny details were fun to create and are going to be perfect for cards, layouts and mini books.



Here are a couple more sets I created as well.....




Well, I better get back to work. I have 150 of these to make :)


I hope you have a great week!! And...I look forward to seeing your guesses ;)

Ciao!
Tessa Ann