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...