Saturday, December 27, 2008

File Cabinet Frames

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! I know that we had a great one here! We all got tuns of stuff, ate slews of food, and had more laughs and fun than anything else!

I have been dying to post about these but had to wait until after Christmas. I have had these file cabinet fronts for a while and have been trying to figure out what to do with them and I finally figured it out! I decided to make some magnet frames out of them. We got some tin measured about 8x10 and nailed it down to the wood with 50 year old tacks I got from my grandparents store. We then put all the original hardware back on them. I think they really turned out looking nice. They are now in my brother Preston's possession, he got them for Christmas!


Dad was a big help with this project! I think he was even impressed with the result!



On to the next project... happy trails....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Black Eyed Susans and Cake!

I have to admitt that any creative ability I may have comes from my mother and father. I remember being little in the kitchen with my dad makeing flowers out of strawberries for garnish on a plate and other crazy things. This last weekend Preston and Mindi surprised Mom with a visit to see the tree and party it up! In celebration (really just because I had an excuse) I made a red velvet cake. This is the cake decorated with mango flowers and blackberries! My dad helped me decorate and we have bigger grander ideas for the next one! It tastes as good as it looks too!


Happy Holidays!!!! Have a wonderful Christmas!!! Happy Trails...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cold Death

Yesterday I got the chance to go and see Death Cab For Cutie and Cold War Kids in concert in Tucson! It was a blast! I wish all days could be that great, but I suppose that is why we have brains so we can remember those good days on all the others that aren't so good.
Here are some pictures of the trip...

This is the first stop of the journey GAS CITY (my moms favorite place)... had to take a photo for her!
This is a Cookie Sand which, yeah it is as good as it looks!
Whenever I ask Dylan what he wants to eat he says "Anything that will make me full!" We decided that Claim Jumper may be able to fill him up. This is what he ordered, the Motherload Sandwhich! He ate the entire thing and then remarked "I am almost full" I think that the cookie sandwich did eventually send him over the full mark, he said no to a burger anyway.


This is us (minus Shannon) after the concert! That was Dylan's look the whole time, and Zach's too!
This is the Cold War Kids. A year ago when Preston came home for Christmas I heard one of their songs, Saint John, for the first time and must admit I was instantly in love. They are a great band and amazing live! Their music is meant to be heard live and it is a magical experience when you get to! They are so full of energy it is amazing!
Highlights of their set were...
-Mexican Dogs Opener
-Something Is Not Right With Me (truly beautiful guitar)
-Hospital Beds
-Saint John (the bird noise additions were particularly nice)
-Two Weeks Vacation
-The 50 something man who was dancing crazier and harder than I was!

If any of you ever get to see them....... DO IT! It will change your life, it changed mine!!!!
Death Cab For Cutie...
I love Death Cab and have wanted to go to a show for a long time! I was not disappointed! It was a small venue which was great, and a fabulous show!
Here is the set list...
-The Employment Pages
-Your Heart Is An Empty Room
-The New Year
-Crooked Teeth
-President of What?
-No Sunlight
-Grapevine Fires
-Soul Meets Body
-I Will Possess Your Heart
-Cath...
-The Sound Of Settling
-I Will Follow You Into the Dark
-I Was A Kaleidoscope
-Transatlanticism

Happy Trails...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fall Into Place

This is my newest painting! I have been working on a bunch of projects lately but it is close to Christmas so some of them are going to have to be posted later. I had to post something though or I will go crazy! I painted this last night while we watched The Dark Knight! I vastly enjoy that movie and Christian Bale, I am just not sure which I enjoy more!


I really enjoyed painting this! I am glad that I have time to paint again! I hope to do alot of projects during Christmas break!


In approximately 5 hours I will officially be done with my first semester full semester of college! I have survived finals week! This last week has been crazy but it feels so good to have it over! Now for one month I officially have no responsibility since my job is at school! Sometimes it is truly wonderful to be 18!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Tree!

For 30 years my parents have cut and decorated their own Christmas Tree. My mother is an amazing Christmas Tree decorator and I have never seen or heard of a Christmas Tree like ours. She gets lights and wraps them around every single branch of the tree, then we get glass balls and cover the entirety of the tree with them, and finally put the tuns of special ornaments we have gathered from our travels and years of living. The tree is a great family tradition that we all love to be apart of.

Yesterday was tree decorating day! Mom put on the lights and dad and I helped with the ornaments. I cant remember a prettier tree, but then again I say that every year! It is a great tree and yes, it is as big as it looks! I am so glad that mom has held true to her roots and done the tree like her dad did it when she was little!
Isn't it gorgeous?


It is officially Christmas time!!!!

Happy Trails....

Monday, December 8, 2008

DIY


I am a big "Do It Yourself " advocate but I saw this video and am an even bigger fan of it now! So mates... "DIY" If you need any help with anything let me know and we will knock it over in half a day! I love New Zealand accents! I think if I could knew my kids would have accents like that I think I would be down with having lots of kids!

Happy Trails...

Smith Family Extravaganza

This last weekend was the annual Smith Family Extravaganza Phoenix Christmas Time Weekend! We all had a fabulous time like we usually do but this year seemed particularly great for some reason. Mom, Dad, and Shannon went up in the mountains to get Christmas Trees and I left after school and met them in Phoenix.

My weekend consisted of:

-Jesterz
-Good food at George and Dragon
-5 dollar gift exchange
-Shopping
-Games
-Christmas lights at the temple
-Crafeteria at Frances
-Shopping Marathon at Target
-Cookies
-Family loveliness

Zach and Preston in front of Michaels with their usual happy faces.

Every year we go to a mall of a shopping center and we all get five dollars. We try to find the most unusual thing we can for 5 dollars and then we exchange them! It is always interesting!
As a part of the 5 dollar gift exchange Zach got a kit to grow your own Venus Fly Trap... just add fly's...
Shannon got this wicked awesome mask... she loved it so much her eyes got really big!
On Sunday I stayed and hung out with Shannon and Zach we made cookies, decorated their Christmas Tree, played games, and went and saw the Christmas Lights at the Temple! It was a great day!
Zach always looks at his cookies this way...



Perhaps the highlight of the weekend for me was the Crafeteria we went to! My favorite little indie boutique in Phoenix was having a Christmas open house Friday night with 30 independent vendors all with handmade stuff. It was fabulous, I could have bought something at every booth and I could have bought everything at Frances too! I appreciate my patient family waiting for me as I walked around and around with my wide eyes and looks of glee. Zach said he wanted to walk around following my family counting how many times people said "This looks like Tessa!"

My happy self in the midst of Crafeteria!

This is Shannon holding up my newest key chain named Nappy, he is a cute Napoleon!


By some miracle this and Nappy was my only purchase. I probably shouldn't have bought this either but it was love and at first sight and there was no going back really, I had to have it!
We all had so much fun this weekend it was great! Prestons improv at Jesterz was hillarious! The only way it could have been better is if Stacy, Doug, and Aunt Janet could have been there with us! We missed them!

Until Later...Happy Trails...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We Are Lightning


I love James Taylor, really, but this is AWESOME! This is the last week of school before finals so I have been busy busy busy! I will go into a posting frenzy when I get done with school or more specifically when I finish my british literature paper!

Happy Trails...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day!

It was another successful Thanksgiving at the Smith house this year! We ate and ate and watched movies and played games then ate again. We had so much food that I was rather sure no family in the history of humanity could have finished it off... but we managed. I guess 8 boys around helps with that! My cousins family the Detlors came to visit and it was great to have them! Shannon and Zach also came and I love when they are down to visit. Zach is one of the only people I know who loves games as much as I do! We played a tun of rook and Lord of the Rings Trivia (LOTRT). I had a blast and now I have to return to reality.

On Thanksgiving dad did the 5K Turkey Trot! He did a great job and was proud of his finish and his shirt. The most hilarious part was that he narrowly beat my 18 friend Kim... good job dad! I think it was the outfit that gave him the strength to run as he did...


Dylan and I had a mad craving for chocolate the other day so we went and bought some Lindt Chocolate! This stuff is life changing and I am not kidding.
We are getting in the holiday spirit! We found these AWESOME glasses and had to get them.

Many of your blogs that I read have pictures and videos of your little kids and the funny things they do and say. I love to look at them and I may not have little kids to blog about but there is always my entertaining father. He was in a really interesting mood the other day and was dancing and singing all over the house. This is a little clip for your enjoyment. Believe me... our house is never dull.
video

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight Review...

I feel as if it is time that I give a Twilight review. I choose today to only focus on the movie though. I do not think the world is ready for my Twilight book review I think it was probably blow up on itself and then there would be utter chaos and a rigid search around the galaxy for the ultimate answer to the universe and... I would lose a few friends. Both don't seem like lovely options for a great cloudy day like this one so I will just stick with reviewing the movie, but I do feel confident that one day the world will be ready.

To be honest I went to the movie with rather low expectations. I refused to see it the first weekend it came out because I wanted to avoid all the obsessed Twilight lovers. In retrospect, however, I really wish I would have gone at midnight the night it came out. I love Twilight obsessed people... they make me laugh. I think I would have gotten more entertainment out of every ones reactions than out of the actual movie.

First... I have to say Kudos on whoever chose the music for the film. The music was very good. Usually with a movie like this they have to have new pop music that was just written for the film but they used some good stuff. Lately I have felt that any movie worth anything has Iron and Wine in it and they seemed to have caught on. They happened to use my favorite Muse song that was cool! Daisy and I have grown to love Muse with her system.. they sound great on a nice system. The only negative thing was that I didn't get to see this movie with Allison so I didn't get to see her reaction when Collective Soul came on! I was impressed with the soundtrack!

The movie itself was okay. There were a tun of Corney parts that I expected (I almost fell on the floor laughing when Edward said "hold on spider monkey!") Overall the acting was okay. Bella needs to take a few acting lessons in my opinion. I don't know if any of you remember the first season of 24 but Bella's mom was EVIL and I cannot ever look at her the same again. Bella's dad was awesome though I loved him! It was a decent movie. It was way over my expectations but my expectations were rather low so that isn't too high of a praise. So in a nut shell... I am basically indifferent. Go see it if you want... if you weren't planning on it don't.

The experience, however, was awesome! I didn't go opening night but there were some seriously obsessed people there even last night and that was fun. I love movies and therefore I like to experience them in there fullness. I think there is a magic in a full theatre and contraband snacks that you snuck in in your over sized purse. I love to go to movies with friends and then have a discussion about it afterwards. I don't love Twilight but I can still recognize why people like it and I guess I will admit that from time to time I wish that I were Bella with a tremendously good looking vampire... then I wake up slap myself and go on with my hallucinations about Gondor and Hogwarts!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Memory of Trees



This is my newest painting. It is called The Memory of Trees. I cannot satisfactorily explain the title so I shall not try. I love it. I included some progression photos because I always take them and I never post them so I decided today was the day to do it. The background is Lord of the Rings The Two Towers I should probably branch out and use other books but I don't really want to cut up another book and see no purpose when I have a tree loving amazing book at my fingertips. This painting was really good for me. I sat down and started to almost beat the canvas up. I would just slap color on it and work it into the pages. It felt good and I think it could look alot worse.
Happy Trails...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sun To Dissipate...

This last week has been the busiest week I have had in a long time. Friends of ours went out of town for a week and I watched their two youngest boys, Grant (7) and Zach (4 "fir"). I got the chance to be a single mom while going to school full time and working. I definitely do not know how you moms do it. I find it hard enough to dress, feed, and get myself to the places I need to be. It is difficult to do that for two other little guys as well. With that being said it was also alot of fun. I watched a bunch of movies I haven't seen in a long time, went to soccer games, baked with the boys, played lots of monopoly and partied it up in general. The last day I was very sick and couldn't really do anything but thankfully mom was here to help me out. I have no idea what I am going to do without her. Grant, Zach, and I managed to have a good time but they were sure glad to get their mom back and I don't blame them!

This is a beautiful sunset that I saw while we were feeding the cows by their house. AWESOME!

Zach being LUKE... in cars pajamas
This is the boys helping me to make brownies... they actually were a great help!

I just have to share my favorite quote of the week made by Zach (4) He had to go potty and he was standing by the door to go in the backyard. I told him to go to the bathroom and he told me "I have to go potty on the trees! The trees like it!!! They like me to go potty on them! It is good for them... they like it!!!!" Well who am I to argue? A little pee in moderation is indeed good for the trees.

happy trails...

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Shoes...

I have had these shoes for a while now and they are sad and tired. They are also apparently "scummy and gross" according to dad. I contemplated throwing them out but I cannot part with old friends so quickly. So what does my creative mind do? Well I spiff them up of course.
There is not much I can do about the soles... I am not a shoe maker but I put some fabric and some buttons on them and I think they are cute! They are very cute on when my feet and covering up the "scummy gross" parts.



More Later... Happy Trails...

Friday, November 7, 2008

I am not a Vampire!

Yesterday all the evidence was gathered and the verdict is in... I am NOT a vampire! I must admit I suppose there was never much doubt but there were times when I thought there was a possibility. Yesterday, however, was the ultimate test and I passed... no vampiric genes in my blood. Speaking of blood, I gave blood yesterday! Since the giving of blood is the opposite of a vampires nature I considered that the ultimate test. I am a giver not a taker!


Since last year when I was of age to donate I would sign up for every blood drive trying to get myself to go but every time I would find an excuse not to go. I had many fairly good reasons numbered among them were the fact that I have tiny deep veins, an active strong fear of needles, and an impressive and malaria ridden travel log. I signed up again this time thinking that perhaps I would go and try. I had decided not to until suddenly my hands had a mind of their own and pulled into a parking spot. I walked in still utterly convinced that I would be able to donate, my iron would be too low, or they would tell me no because of the places I have been. I got there signed in and went through the step by step process. A lady came by at this point and made drink several bottles of water. Slowly I got closer and closer to the giving blood step. I had plenty of iron, which may I say is somewhat of a miracle because I do not eat green leafy things or anything that seems to have plenty of iron. The lady said that she has never seen a place with people that had so much iron... maybe we are all just super strong... or they are putting iron in the water that is what Julie (the nurse) thought. So since none of my travels excluded me from saving lives slash giving blood I was then led to a chair.


Tammude from Pakistan was the man I got to draw my blood. I sat there for a while while he was running about asking everyones questions. I thought this was a good sign but when I asked him if he was the best he said that he didn't have much skill at all and he didn't know why everyone asked him questions because he was not good at all. I think he was just humble but a little arrogance at this point would not have hurt. He then checked my veins and shot me concerned looks when he checked my arm. He said he would do his best. Around this time he looked at the paper and discovered my name was TESSA. From that point on whenever he would speak to me he would use my name. He would say "Tessa your doing great!" "Tessa, just move a little for me." "Tessa this may hurt a little". He said that I had the name of a super hero or a roman goddess. Now I like my name but I think that Roman Goddess may be just a bit far. He told me that if his wife was pregnant he would consider consider naming a girl Tessa... wow. He stuck me the first time and everything went great. I filled up the bag quick and felt great afterwards. Tammude did a great job and I wish him well with trying to get his Vet license. He was a vet in Pakistan but is trying to get the money to take the test so he can practice as a Vet here.


I now see that it was a silly fear, but it didn't seem silly at the time. I think it is a great easy way to give service. I am glad to do it but I am also glad that I was able to conquer something I was not sure if I could do. I was terrified of it but none-the-less I was able to do it anyway and now I am no longer afraid! So it was a great day, I conclusively determined that do not have vampiric genes, which honestly is quite the relief!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to Leave the Planet...


It has been just one of those days today. I woke up in utter protest of being in the current state I was in-- awake. I tried to convince myself that the value of being awake was grossly overestimated and that happiness resides in sleep. At that same moment I also remembered that happiness is involved in an empty blatter and a full stomach... and passing biology. So even though I tried to convince myself not to get out of bed-- here I am-- out of bed. Now that I am going about my day I have decided that I do not want to be on the planet anymore, it is nothing in particular the planet itself has done to me... I just would rather be roaming the galaxy! Once I had made the decision that to leave the planet I then stumbled upon the minor slash major problem of how to do it. At this point I turned to Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy because that is where I turn for all of intergalactic questions and I found a simply straight forward guide on how to leave the planet. I thought I would share this little guide with you since some of you may also be having a "I'm not so down with Earth Day" like I am.


How to Leave the Planet


1. Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it's very important that you get away as soon as possible.


2. If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House-- (202) 456-1414-- to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA


3. If you don't have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don't have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try.


4. If that also fails, phone the Pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible.


5. If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that its vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives.


-----------Douglas Adams


Happy Trails...