Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My wardrobe, born again!

The holidays are zooming by at a rate that is simply uncanny. I am not okay with the fact that there is only a week and a half left of life before College Algebra. I hope it doesnt turn me into something terrible and nasty, like a particularly feisty garden gnome. I expect that I will be very similar to what I am now, on the other side of college algebra, just with less hair and a stronger hatred of math. Time will tell...

On a happy note, Christmas was wonderful! I loved every second of the holiday. I got a ton of wonderful gifts. Among all the goodness was this little beauty of a book. It is a do-it-yourself guide to transforming old clothes into different useful things. It gave me alot of ideas and got me thinking about things I could do to some of my clothes that I dont like or wear anymore. I decided to give some of the ideas a try and see what I could come up with. I would suggest the book but I will warn you that one of the models in utterly terrifying. She reminds of the White Witch in Chronicles of Narnia just slightly more albino. Other than that, a great little guide.

I took a old long skirt I had that I got in Scotland, and made it into a cute little dress. I apologize that I had to be the model. Since I made it to fit me, and none of my clones were around, I had to be the model. I simply made some holes in the skirt, four to be exact, two on each side right under my bust line. I wanted to make sure that the ribbon would be very secure and would not randomly slip off. Life as a young single adult is awkward enough as it is. I then took some ribbon laying around the house, and TADA I have a cute new dress. This long old skirt that did really fit me is now transformed into the newest and funnest item in my wardrobe.

Sweater Leg Warmers 

I first saw this idea at the Crafeteria early in December. I loved the idea of transforming old sweater sleeves into cute leg warmers. I desperately wanted to buy a pair for 'research' but they did not have a pair that fit me. There is not much use for leg warmers in Arizona, of course, but when I saw them again in the Born Again Vintage book I really wanted to give them a try. Here is my attempt. I have to admit that I love them even though they are pink. They were so easy and really fun to make. Here are some directions if you are interested. I am now on a quest to find some more awesome sweaters...

There are some of my holiday break projects. I love the non-stop creation time. I found out about a week that I have been assigned to Zhongshan, Guangdong China for the fall! It is a city very near to Hong Kong. It is feeling more and more real. Happy Trails...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This past semester I decided to take Wood Working. I have had some old wooden molding that I have wanted to make into frames but I have not had the equipment to do it. I signed up, and with a little bit of convincing, Square Knot did too! For the last semester we go to the wood shop at the college one a week for about 3 hours. I was really nervous at first. I have never done anything with saws or power tools before and I am kind of a pansy when it comes to dangerous things, so I was apprehensive at best. Let me just say that to my surprise, I LOVE IT! Wood Working Tuesday (besides Taco Thursday) is the best day of the week. I love using all of the power tools and saws. The teacher of the class is this awesome little 80 year old man who has been wood working his whole life. He has taught me a lot and is quite the inspiration.

I was not quite sure what to make so I decided to make myself a desk. I have needed one for quite some time. It took me half the semester but I finally finished my solid oak drawing desk named Kipling! I am more excited than I can even describe. I am very proud of myself and very happy that all my appendages are still in tact. I wish I would have taken more progress pictures but I always forgot to take my camera to the wood shop. You will have to settle with shots of the finished product. I am taking the class again next semester and have a lot of new projects I cant wait to start on!
Square Knot is very happy to have someone to do wood projects with. He helped me pick out the stain and taught me how to stain! We used Red Oak stain and I love the color.
Me with my new friend Kipling

Kipling in his new home!

Wood Working really saved me this last semester. I took really difficult classes for me and It was nice to get my mind away and have some time to create something that wont make me gain 20 pounds. On related news, I passed all my classes and only have one more math class to take! Thank heavens for that!

Happy Trails and Merry Christmas! I love this time of year! Break time! I can now finally get to my pile of books that has been mocking me all semester.

Friday, December 11, 2009

China, Here I Come!

The ever present question in my mind for the last few years has been, "What do I want to do with my life?" and "Where do I want to go to do it?" I do not have an answer to either of those questions but I do know that I love to travel and create. I will graduate with my associates degree in May and so, instead and running off to a university to pursue my degree, I decided to take some time off and go to China! That will at least satisfy my love of traveling and I will find a way to sprinkle some creativity in there.

A friend of mine, Wendy Smith, told me a couple of months ago that she was signing up to be a volunteer English teacher in China to little kids with the ILP Program. In the process of telling me all this she said, "Tessa, you should come!" I thought about it for a few seconds and then said, "Okay!" So, it is settled, for the fall semester of next year I am doing to go teach English in China to children ages 4 and up. To answer some frequently asked questions up front, No, I do not know Mandarin. I am not sure how I am going to teach the kids exactly, but they are young and pick up the language fast. I am sure the system they have set up works. I will live in dorms and will be living at the school I teach at. There are six different places I could go in China and we are not assigned yet. If anyone has any input on where I should go please let me know. I am going to have plenty of opportunities to travel while I am there so if you have been to China or know about some great places there, I would love your input.

I am very excited and also terrified. I will leave sometime in August and will post more details as I know them. I have been accepted to the program so off I go.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I *heart* Crowded Teeth

It is no secret that I am a shopaholic. I love to shop. I love to find adorable things, and buy them. I have tried very hard to revert my shopping to thrift stores but when it comes to Crowded Teeth Products I have lost all of my self restraint. I LOVE THIS BAG! It does not actually hit stores until March. Although I am a little disturbed that I have become a woman who is counting down the days until a new bag becomes available, I am so excited. I have a bag that is similar in the same line and it is the best purchase I have ever made. The bag I have, however, does not have an owl on it and is falling apart. My question is, does this count as a responsible purchase if I am planning on buying and saving for it because I cant actually buy it yet? I am not sure, but I am sure that it doesnt matter because come March this little beauty will be mine!!!

I am telling you all this so you will check out this womans blog and website. She is extremely talented. I really love when artists like her succeed so check her out!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thank You!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! I love Thanksgiving. I have recently come to appreciate football so I dont even mind that being part of the festivities! Go Bronco's! I was in charge of most of the desserts this year. No one will trust me with any part of the food. I dont blame them. I took advantage of this oppertunity to make a recipe that I have been wanting to make for a long time. I made Ginger Mango Butter Cream Cupcakes. They are divine. I also made Ancho Chili Chocolate Cake and Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake. Imade cake truffles and made a few of them into little turkeys. I would have liked to put more time in them but I ran out of time and energy. I have to admitt that I am not a fan of any of the really traditional Thanksgiving desserts so I did what I wanted. No one really complained.
I have a million and seven things to be grateful for... let me just tell you a few...
My Testimony of Jesus Christ
My Family
My Friends
Wood Working
My Talents
A Working Toilet
Harry Potter
My new boots that I wear almost everyday
Desmond, my computer
Thrift Stores
British Mini Series'
Douglas Adams
Bishop Allen

I hope your Thanksgiving was great as well. Happy Trails...

Wedding Cake

A friend of mine asked me to make her wedding cake. So, a couple weeks ago, I set to work and made a three tiered Red Velvet Cake. I think it turned out perfectly fine. I just made the cake. The decoration was not me and I shall not take the credit for it. It looked beautiful and I am told that it tasted good too. I am not a pastry chef yet but maybe someday I will be...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thrift Tour October 2009

After a two month hiatus I am back and ready to electronically display my creations and activities for the world to see. I will start with the thriftour October 2009.

One of my favorite things to do is to shop. Whenever I am stressed or distraught about one thing or another my first reaction is to grab the nearest sugar saturated goodie. Then, of course, get online or run to the store to buy something that will make me feel pretty for a day or so. However, being the poor college student that I am, I dont really have the funds to supply my ever increasing need for new clothes and other beautiful nicknacks. This is why I love Thrift Stores. It satisfies my craving to shop without demolishing the little supply of cash I have. Phoenix in chock full of fabulous thrift stores. So, due to our adequate and punctual performance in Intermediate Algebra thus far, Allison and I decided to make a trip down to the valley for the sole purpose of Thrift Store Shopping!
Preston was our tour guide and he created this wonderful map for the thrift tour. There were 15 thrift stores on the list. We made it to about 7. It was a full day. We went out thrifting at 9 AM and were done around 4 in the afternoon. We purchased clothes, books, and army garb. Me, Allison, and Preston were the main participants but Darby, John, Mindi, and Shannon made some appearances on different spots on the tour. We also made some stops at Frances, Smeeks, Zoes and Urban Cookies. Thriftour October 2009 was a success to be sure! Thank you to everyone who made it so. Now on to the Used Bookstore Tour!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

19 Years...

Monday was my 19th birthday. I am almost 2 decades old. I feel so much older than I am and I cannot determine if that is good or bad. I guess time will tell. In all, it was a great birthday. Mom and I went and partied it up the weekend before with Shannon, Zach, Preston, and Mindi. Square Knot was not able to go and we missed him severely but we still managed to have a little bit of fun without him. We went to eat many different delicious places, went to Julie & Julia, Jesterz, Frances, and thrift store shopping. Just an utterly fantastic weekend.

The highlight of my actual birthday were these adorable little owl cupcakes. I decided that my birthday cake this year was going to be an owl. I looked at many different pictures and did a lot of research. I made family and friends vote on what cake they thought I should make. I finally determined that these little guys were the winners. They turned out great. They are also delicious. I felt a bit cannibalistic eating them because I have always wanted to be an owl but I managed to eat a few anyhow. I used oreos for the eyes and ears, M&Ms for the eyes and runs for the noses. I used a wonderful chocolate cake and frosting recipe. If you are looking for a great chocolate cake recipe let me know.
Tasha, Allison, and I
These are all the people that showed up to my house on my birthday night. I do not know half of them but so it goes with single social life.
My good friend Jessica shares a birthday with me so we celebrated together. I love her.

I got some awesome presents. I love every single one. I appreciate and love everyone in my life. I would not survive with out each and every single one.
Great Year... now onto the next... happy trails...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fragil Exuberance

Ive done it! I have finally started and finished one of my big canvases. A couple years ago Preston gave me two very large blank canvases to create on for Christmas. I was so excited to use them but I never thought I had the right idea and was worried I would mess them up. Finally last week I finally decided it was time so without a set plan I started painting. This is what I ended up coming up with. The trees are made out of The Two Towers and a lot of pain. I am really pleased with how it turned out. It is suppose to represent the four seasons. You can try to figure which season is which. I, myself, don't know so there is no correct answer. The canvas is 4 ft. by 2 ft. so it is rather large. The biggest one I have done to date but I have an even larger canvas waiting for me in the garage and this time I am not afraid!

Happy Trails...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Taco Thursday

I used to be like Douglas Adams who said, "I could never get the hang of Thursdays." I mean really, Thursday is just a dreadfully situated day. It is the fourth day of the work week so you are tired and ready for the weekend, but, it is not yet the weekend. The weekend is a day away. So there Thursday sits mockingly close to your weekend goal but still managing to keep it away from you. Now, however, I relish in all that Thursday's have to offer me and that of course is----tacos. A couple months ago some friends from work asked me if I wanted to get tacos with them because tacos were the special of the day at the local bowling alley. I decided to give it a try. Tacos are usually not my culinary preference but a taco from a bowling alley was intriguing to me so I went along. Let me just say that since that day of enlightenment there has not been a Thursday go by that I dont eat these glorious tacos. Not only are these tacos magnificent but cheap. For 4 bucks you get 3 tacos and a drink. Taco Thursday has brought back my love of tacos and in fact Thursdays in one fantastic swoop.

After several months of my raving reviews of the bowling alley tacos I finally got to share them with some of my family and friends. Here are some photos...

Loren being very smiley!
Square Knot with his "I am terrified that another minute of my life may go by that I have not had some of these amazing tacos!" face.
Allison also very happy.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to come eat tacos with me any Thursday! I will be here and so will the magnificent tacos!

Happy Trails...

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Mexico

I am a little behind on posting but I am doing my best to catch up. I shall start with my first road trip of the summer.

On the Road------New Mexico.

I decided to go spend some time with my cousin Dylan and his family before his mission. So off I went to Belen, New Mexico. We ate, slept, watched Psych, talked, went to the zoo, and of course played a vast amount rock band. I had a fantastic time and I loved getting to spend time with Dylan before our two year absence!

Dylan took me to the Albuquerque Zoo. I had not been to a zoo for years and years. I loved it. I felt like a little kid ogling at all the animals. I told every animal hello and I think everyone at the zoo, including Dylan, thought I was a crazy person. I couldn't resist taking pictures so here are the highlights!

We had a little mini birthday party for Dylan since I was not going to be around for his actual birthday.

I am so glad that I got to go to Belen to visit Dylan and the rest of the Detlors. I love that family and will miss Dylan immensely but I will see him again... but not yet, not yet.

Happy Trails...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Passing of Archie

Somewhere in the deep expanses of time and space I feel that a soul mate was created for me. I am afraid, in my case, it was in the form of a car. Archie, the 1990 Oldsmobile was indeed my loyal friend for the years that we had him and that I drove him. He went on my hormone driven high school adventures with me, protected me, and was always there when I needed a place to sleep or a dash to cry on. This car will always be very special to me because he was my first and because we are the same age.

As with all things my ownership of Archie had to come to an end. I got my car Daisy almost a year ago and since then my cousin has driven Archie. He is going on his mission so it was time to sell him. Our good friends the Montierths were interested in buying him so that their highschoolers could drive him when they came of age. It all worked out and Archie is now in their care and ownership. We went to deliver Archie to them the other day and it was a very neat experience. All the Montierth kids were thrilled with the car. They squealed, laughed, and begged for rides. They said things like "this is the coolest car I have ever seen in the world." I am glad that Archie is going to be loved and used. He is a great car and I am going to miss him. I am glad he is in capable hands. Goodbye Archie.
Nathan, the oldest Montierth, standing by Archie.

Three of the kids sitting in the back testing the comfort level. It got very high marks.

The littlest Montierth Zach "dwiving cwazy".

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Satan lets me keep my morals?

I have been taught many things in my life about Satan but this certainly isnt one of them. On my weekly drive to the Montierths I encountered this sign and had to share. I really feel like I am missing something. All I want to know is if you think this was on purpose or a tricky prank by a bemused teenager. Hmmmm...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Juneau, not to be confused with Juno!

IMG_2615, originally uploaded by considertessa.

There are some trips that I go on that I have alot to say about them. You cannot get me to shut up about them really. This is not one of those trips. It was beyond words. I believe that it is important to explore and understand your own country and ours is so large that it is sometimes difficult to do. I got to explore places I had never been before in my own country on this trip. I went on an Alaskan Cruise with Mom, Dad, Shannon, Zach, and my friend Tasha. I am so full of food that I am pretty sure I could hibernate for several winters, I have played so many card games I dont have any desire to play any games at all which is strange for me, and I have had enough fun to last for a while. It was a fantastic trip. There were chocolate buffets, glaciers, awesome folk art stores, and beautiful weather! Alaska is a beautiful place and I will definitely be exploring it more in the future. The only bad thing about the trip was that it made Arizona seem like a very very depressing place to live and this time of year and it is, but being reminded isnt always fun.

Click on the image for more pictures.

Happy Trails...

Monday, May 11, 2009

What A Hoot

After much adding of kitchen creations to my creative arsenal as well as my physique I have finally had time to do a bit of painting again. Most of the time I like my paintings better in the pictures but not this one. This one is better in person. You will have to settle for a picture. I have so much to blog about but I am exhausted so it will have to be another time. Enjoy the painting.

Happy Trails...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dylans Going On A Mission!

One of my favorite people in the world, Dylan, is going on a mission! He has been called to serve in the Chihuahua (or as Dylan said CHI-HEWUH-HEWUH), Mexico Mission Spanish speaking! He has lived with us this last year while he has been going to school and I have loved every second he has been here. I am going to miss him dearly but I am excited that he gets to do this. He is going to help so many people and particularly himself. He reports to the Provo MTC on July 29th. That is all I am going to report on that for now because if I write too much more I will start crying and it is way too early before he leaves for that. Congratulations Dylan, I love ya man!

This is Dylan and I after we took his missionary photo's!
In the middle of one of our Alias Marathons!
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tree Project

This semester I have been taking an Environmental Biology class. I needed another science and this seemed much better than taking Anatomy or some other class that I would wade the rough water between passing and failing. No No, learning about Global Warming seemed a small price to pay for an easy science class. It has ended up to be one of my favorite classes. For labs we go on field trips around the valley and that is much better than doing experiments in the lab. Our last project of the semester was to teach third graders from a local school about resources we get from the environment. My group was assigned to teach the kids about forests and why they are important and what we can do to protect them. I was thrilled, of course, because of my tree obsession. There were five girls and one guy in our group. Immediately all of us girls thought, "oh great, this guy is going to be no help at all." Much to our surprise though, Ammon our 6th and only male group member is now one of our favorite people. Taking the initiative he created this person sized tree out of fencing material and fabric. He painted it and everything. It is a great tree and the kids loved it. I am still in awe of it. I love its Afro. Our presentation went really well and we all had a good time. I garbed the group with tree shirts because my vast amount and I am pretty proud to say I can do that.

Happy Trails...

Three Decades...

Stacy had a birthday! She is now three decades old! It has been a lot of fun to have Stacy home for the last few weeks and I am glad she got to celebrate her birthday with us! Everyone came home for the weekend to celebrate! There was a pinata, sidewalk chalk, great food, hat decorating, and of course a tun of cake (3 to be exact, 1 for each decade). It was a great time! Thanks Stacy for having a birthday so we could all celebrate!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

See Tessa... Create!

I have decided to start a creative journal. I can 'art' (my cousin Dylan thinks it is hilarious that I use art as a verb) about anything I want with any medium. It can be completely repulsive and that is okay because it is my journal with no expectations. The goal is to put alot of myself into it and learn how to create without any inhibitions. Hopefully I will end up with a lot of different pages that reflect my thoughts, feelings, and happenings in my life visually and creatively. If that doesn't happen; that is okay too. I will post entries on here from time to time when I am so inclined. Here is today's entry...

Happy Trails...

Feeling Good

In the vast array of my enjoyments there are very few that beat a good beautifully decorated cake (a good Christian Bale Movie is the only thing that comes to mind). Stacy is here visiting from Boston and came equipped was a plethora of cook books. She picked a recipe that has been tempting and mocking her to the edge of insanity lately. It has been begging to be created and thus devoured. So the time had come and the Hazelnut Torte finally made an appearance in the kitchen. Stacy made the Torte and I decorated. So this is the celebratory dessert for Easter. MMMMMM...

My creative and blogging hiatus is over and I am back in the swing of things. My poor little blog was in a black hole of sadness...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I believe In Miracles...

After months of research, practice, and preparation Preston and Mindi's wedding came and went, and so did the cake. It feels good to have completed my first ever wedding cake! I ended up making a Ancho Chili Powder Chocolate Cake with a Coconut Butter cream Frosting. I only had one frosting debacle and besides that everything went smoothly. Zach and Shannon were a big help with the creation of the cake as well. Zach was in charge of the structural integrity and engineering of the cake which he was excited about and Shannon was the dish washer slash my hero and ribbon gluer. So a big thank you to them! I am not a great cake decorator but I will get better. The cake tasted really good which is the important part. My favorite part of the cake is the little Mindi and Preston owls that my mom made for the top. They turned out great and go with the cake really well. I am thrilled with how the cake turned out and the whole wedding for that matter. It was a beautiful wedding and a tun of fun. It was great to see a bunch of people I havent seen for a long time! We are all so excited for Preston and Mindi and I am very excited that I have a new sister! Now I need to go back to school so I can have a break!

Arent they adorable?

Yeah!!! We finally cut that bizzle up!

My Dad loves to dance and loves us to dance with him. I used to refuse to dance with him but I have learned that dancing with Dad requires pretty much zero effort on my part. I stand there and dad dances around me. Perfect. That is my kind of dancing.