Monday, October 24, 2011


*disclaimer* I can't think straight so this sporadic post is all yer gonna get from me!

My best friend talked me into throwing a Halloween party. I actually wanted to throw one, but my anxiety has been so ridiculously horrible that I didn't actually consider it. With her help it's going to be an awesome party. After a fabulous panic attack this morning, I was finally able to step out of the house and try to shop for decorations. I've never been much of a party-er or hostess so I pretty much had to get everything. I didn't have serving bowls, serving platters/plates, jars/canisters for miscellaneous things...

Which reminds me. I forgot plates. Maybe people won't need them.

Anyway, it's a fairly small bash, I just invited our closest friends. It turns out we have more than we anticipated - 9 of them! But one is my best friend and another is Adam's brother. That's good though - the smaller the better!

I started my shopping spree off at the Dollar Store, then hit the jackpot when I stopped at our town's awesome thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul. Seriously. Awesome.

I had to pray and beg God to give me restraint because I literally wanted everything I was seeing. 

The main inspiration comes from none other than Martha Stewart.

Found here.

Spiderwebs, tiered decorations, candles, skulls...

So when I finally set out to shop, I was looking for candlestick holders, large candles, glass jars/containers, skulls, bones, fake blood, a cauldron, a ladle and bowl for drinks, old books, and a cupcake stand. I got it all. And more.

Now, I know these photos SUCK, but I'm too excited to wait until morning to take decent photos!

I found candlesticks galore. I had to narrow it down to just a few. The most expensive one was $3!

I got this at St. Vincent de Paul. Unpolished - perfect for Halloween!

I also got this at St. Vincent de Paul. It's hard to tell but this one is curvy and intertwined. Unpolished also... looks awesome!

Wow I didn't realize how crappy this photo was... there are two black candle holders in the back, plus the large one up front that holds three and the large one that holds the pillar candle. Found these four at St. Vincent's!

This lantern was on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2!

These candlestick holders sell for $3 at Hobby Lobby. I found them at the Dollar Store. The candle was $5 at Hobby Lobby.

I got the glass containers at the dollar store and the skull at Walmart. I have a lot of spiderweb stuff I'm going to toss everywhere around the house. 

The bowl, candle and candlestick holder are from the dollar store, the ladle I found at Hobby Lobby (NO ONE has ladles! I had the HARDEST time finding one!)

This is the idea I'm going for. Found here.

My mother in law gave me four of these tumblers  that were given to her for free. 

Found these gems at the dollar store. They're pretty durable and cool lookin!

Crappy shot of the detail on the platters.

This stuff is in a plastic cauldron I found at Wal Mart that will hold chips. I also found the grey cloth and bottle of blood at Wal Mart. The brown stuff is fake floral moss stuff from the Dollar Store that I'm not entirely sure I'm going to use yet.

It'll look something like this picture, found here.

The dollar store had these awesome skeleton garlands. I threw them on the banister for the picture.

I bought three of them. I may have to get more they're just so dang cool.

This lot is one of my favorites. The headstone is from the Dollar Store and it's Styrofoam! 

The green jug in the back, three old books, and two creepy doll heads are from St. Vincent de Paul. 

I got a cupcake stand from Hobby Lobby with my 40% off coupon! Also some warning tape and black lights from Wal Mart.
I got the cupcake stand for this project that Erin's in charge of for the party. Zombie Apocalypse!

And I nabbed this from St. Vincent's for my scrapbook room! I'm going to paint it and hopefully do some altering of those hearts...

Funny story about these: I told Adam just yesterday that I wanted larger containers to hold my flour and sugar because the mouth of the ones I have are so small that when I level off my measuring cups, the flour or sugar goes everywhere. I found these at St. Vincent's for $1.50 and $2.00! A little sore to look at but it's nothing some spray paint can't solve...

That's a lot of stuff. I love my stuff. I'll probably be on an episode of Hoarders in a few years...

I also found an awesome Halloween inspiration website this morning in the midst of my panic attack. It's called Love Manor. Other than loads of inspiration, they have some killer labels I'm going to use on the glass jars.

The idea came from this photo:

From the Idea Room, she used these labels too!

Whew. I'm so excited. Or nervous. Or anxious. It's kind of all the same feeling to me right now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it's definitely one of my favorite holidays. There's just something about giving thanks and eating until you're comatose that's so satisfying.

I wanted to make a Thanksgiving card that I could send to my parents and let them know I'm thinking of them this holiday season away from home.

I started with punching out some grungeboard letters then painting and sanding them. The script was embossed with Pine Needles distress embossing powder.

I'm submitting this card to the fabulous Moxie Fab World for the Textured to Perfection Challenge. I think the grungeboard, silky ribbon and distress embossing has loads of texture!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


This week's CAS-ual Fridays Clean and Simple Challenge is to create a clean and simple Halloween project with NO orange.

There's a lot of cool texture in this project and I'm also going to submit it to the Textured to Perfection Challenge in the Moxie Fab World! I wonder if it's ok to submit multiple projects... I have a few more ideas for that challenge.

I had a lot of fun with my first CFC challenge! Instead of going "clean" I decided to make my project dirty. I literally said to myself "I want to make this as ugly as possible". 

I started off with Forest Moss Distress Ink and wrinkle-free distressed the tag. I blended Rusty Hinge, Mustard Seed and Black Soot Distress Inks.

After I was done inking, I covered the entire tag with Super Fine Detail clear embossing powder and heat set it.

I stapled foam letters, added three brads and beat them up for texture.

Then topped it off with some frayed tulle and twine.

I hope I don't get disqualified for the Rusty Hinge color - it looks kind of orange in the photo but it's brown in real life.

I can't wait to see what everyone else made!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Now that my temporary job is done I actually have energy to post! While I was working I spent little time crafting here and there, not really getting much done... but the few things I did do I'll have a chance to share!

A month ago today I embarked on an amazing adventure. I won something.


There are giveaways on nearly every blog out there and of course I've never won anything... UNTIL NOW!

And, not even just that I won, I won TIM HOLTZ product on TIM HOLTZ'S BLOG. AMONG 3200 OTHER COMMENTERS.


I was so excited when I read Tim's post on the winners that I interrupted Adam when he was talking to me, started screaming and jumped out of my chair.

What can I say, I get excited easily!

I won the seasonal distress ink pads that he announced here.

My comment that won:
Brilliant! You weren't kidding - this is an awesome announcement! I'll be using these on more than just seasonal projects... ;)
Adam asked me if they chose the winners randomly or not. I don't know, but I like to think that Tim himself read my comment and was like "this Tessa needs to win. She sounds like the coolest person ever."

My email:
Tim, you are my idol. I'm not even joking - I rave about you and your products to my husband all the time and he makes fun of me for it :)
I'm the one that posted a comment to win those AWESOME season distress ink pads and YOU PICKED ME! 
The response:
Hey there Tessa,
You are very welcome!!!
Congrats on your winning post.
I am working on getting your prize right out.
Hope you keep on enjoying Tim’s blog…….
Thanks, Mario
Mario is Tim Holtz's assistant.

On September 22nd I got a package in the mail...

Adam hadn't come home from work yet, so Coco enjoyed opening the package with me.

Ok, so not only did I win THREE ink pads of AWESOME colors that are LIMITED EDITION, but Tim Holtz SIGNED it, and I got free BINGO thingys from his line! And a little postcard that has a little biography.

I love the inks. The brown is nice - a very deep, rich brown. The orange is awesome since I don't have anything like it at all, and the purple is a DEEP, beautiful purple that I like so, so much better than Dusty Concord.

I'm so lucky.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I need your help.

I created a cookbook when I was a teenager of all my mother's recipes. I re-typed each recipe individually so that the cookbook would print out on regular 8.5" x 11" paper, slide easily into a page protector, and fit inside a three-ring binder. Awesome idea, right? That way you don't get muddy flour caked all over your page, you can easily flip through the book to find exactly what you need, and because it's on my computer, I can easily add more!

The cookbook is fantastic. The problem I have is that I keep adding to it. For any normal person this wouldn't be a problem. But me? Of course I'm no where close to normal - I have to make things truly difficult. I have to have everything *just* right. I can't just print off a new recipe from its original owner's page and stick it into my binder. Why? Because the formatting is not consistent!

Everyone uses different fonts, different colors, different sizes. 

Some use pictures, some don't. 

Some have extra information that I could care less about, like nutritional information. 

Some don't even have printer-friendly options because it just comes from a blog. 


So when I add a recipe, the format gets screwy and I spend more time fixing the format than I do adding the actual recipe. On top of that, I've decided to start adding pictures since I'm such a visual person.

This is where my current dilemma comes in. Beyond having uniform formatting, I need each recipe to be grouped together. Some pages may have two, three, maybe four recipes. Other pages might have just one that can fit. In order to make sure all formatting is correct, I have to manually scroll through every page and fix each recipe individually.

this is wrong. all wrong. 
The caption in purple reads "The new recipe should start here if the ENTIRE recipe doesn't fit on the last page."

*sigh of relief* much better.

I want to create a type of form where all I do is type or copy + paste my shizz, add my picture if I have one, and be done. I cannot find a way to do this easily. I can just put each recipe on a new page (insert a page break after each entry) but that could be a lot of wasted space!

Does ANYONE know what I'm talking about and have any ideas on how to help?