Monday, December 29, 2014

BFF's And A Baby Niece

     Most girls have a BFF. Someone we can be completely ourselves with, and we know that they will love us anyway. For me, that crazy someone is Katelyn. We've been friends since we met on the second day of 3rd grade (precise, I know). That was 15 years ago! I've known her longer than anyone and even though we are now both married and live in different states, I can still say she is my best friend. We don't talk often, or see each other often, but every time we're we're together it's like no time has passed at all. That makes my heart sing!

We are slightly on the special side....

     We have a lot of memories together, and our families became close because of us. We both were home schooled (her family starting a year after us), which allowed us to spend a lot of time with one another. I always remember the time they were studying Egypt, and I got to help them mummify a chicken! Yeah, we home schoolers are awesome!
     She and her family moved to Oregon when we were still kids, and it was devastating to lose my best friend and sister. But we've managed to remain close through the years; I guess you could say we're "kindred spirits" (any Anne of Green Gables fans out there?).

     We had the privilege to be in each others weddings and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else as my maid of honor.

Photo by the wonderful Krystine Lewis. Aspen, Colorado.

     I've gone to visit her in Oregon and she's come to visit me, and we've both had the chance to meet up in sunny California on several occasions. She has a sister that lives here, which makes it the perfect halfway point for us both to see each other. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend some time in the sunshine?
     Fast forward a bit, and she now has an adorable baby girl; my little niece. And like every good aunt, I have every intention of spoiling that little girl. 

     I wasn't able to visit when baby Evelyn was born, but it happened to work out that I am here visiting family and she and her husband were making a trip to visit her husband's family (who also live in California). So I finally got to meet my adorable girl!

Spending some time with her Auntie, and not being still for the photographer.

Best friends, baby niece, and the nerdy husband. I husband.

     We exchanged Christmas gifts (there may have been a lot for the baby), and I've gotta say, this lady knows me well. She gave me a beautiful wooden box that she wood burned a design in, a book about crocheting, and earrings that she thought would give me inspiration for my own jewelry designs.

     Funny side note, crocheting has always intrigued me as well as overwhelmed me, and I just ordered crochet hooks and some yarn to give it a try. And then she gave me a book about crocheting. Perfect coincidence!

     I'm so glad that I got to spend time with this wonderful family, and we will hopefully have a beach day later this week before they return home. I can't wait to use my new treasures, and perhaps make a baby gift with my new crochet skills (fingers crossed!).

     This little family is a treasure in my life and I look forward to watching them grow as a couple, and grow as a family. I love you all!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Catching Dreams

Happy Sunday to you all!

     I've always been intrigued by dream catchers. I don't believe that they really "catch" my dreams, but the delicate nature of them has always spoken to me. Maybe it's that teeny bit of Native American in me. Who knows! 
     Two summers ago, my husband and I took a road trip (check out our travel blog here) and I picked up a tiny dream catcher in Steamboat, Colorado. It sparked my interest once again, and I may have the makings of a new collection's what I've been working on the past few days.

      There is limited work space in my current living situation, so my "studio" happens to be my bed. At least I have a pretty white blanket as a backdrop!

      The lighting was kind of dreamy the morning I snapped these shots too. 

     I spent many days laying out different pieces and looking at dream catchers on Etsy that grabbed my attention. And this is what I ended up with. Simple, unique, bohemian. Perfect!

     It looks slightly misshapen because well, it is. I wanted to use an embroidery hoop as the base, but I was too anxious to start creating to go out and purchase one. So instead, I used a semi-sturdy wire I had lying around, and fashioned a hoop out of it. I then used leather cord to attach the vintage doily I bought from a neighbor's yard sale.

      I bought the duck feathers from Michael's for just a few dollars, the geometric wooden beads for $1 at Wal-Mart, and the beautiful copper wire, I had already. Making my total project under $5. Score!

      I like this dream catcher because of how big it is (10 inches!). Just the right size for catching all my crazy dreams, hehe.

     I made a dream catcher last Christmas for my sister. I believe it's packed away in their storage unit, or I would share it with you all! Here's another one I made last year for myself, and is now listed here, on my Etsy shop

     It's made from the lace of a vintage dress, a vintage button from my great-grandmother's collection, and some other pieces of mine. I would love to host a dream catcher workshop one day. Maybe when I get settled back in Colorado....

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Food For The Soul

     I have had a lot of free time in the past few months. When I decided to move to California for a few months, I thought I would be able to land a job to fill my time, and that has not been the case. At this point, I've kind of given up on the job search and have chosen to use this time to start my shop, my blog, create, volunteer some time, spend time with family, and read. 

     Here's a look at what I've been reading and will be reading this month. 

     I read The Help again for the second time a couple weeks ago. I loved it more the second time around, and highly recommend it! I think I gained more insight in to what it was like to live during that time, and it sparked some questions to ask my Grandma about her memories of being young during that time. She told me that where she grew up, there were no segregation issues, but she recalls going in to town and other places and being told they had to use a separate drinking fountain and bathroom. 
     A Little Princess was a treasured movie from my childhood. Seriously, it's so cute and sad. Check it out, but be prepared to cry. My Grandma was donating the book to the second hand store, so I snatched it up to read. It's a children's book, so I will excuse the poor writing, but the movie was so much better and that is rarely the case!
     I have one chapter left in Growing Up Amish. This one I also picked up at Grandma's house. It was covered in dust on her bookshelf and thought it could be an interesting read. I have learned some things I didn't know about the Amish community, but overall it wasn't my favorite book. It's a memoir about Ira Wagler and his struggle between being Amish and longing for an "American" life. I kept expecting something exciting to happen, and was sadly disappointed. But the knowledge aspect made it worth the read.

     Next on the list is one of my all time favorite books. I have probably read it 4-5 times. I usually switch back and forth between Pride and Prejudice and Emma every year. Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors. And every year, right before Christmas, I get the urge to pick up one of her books and immerse myself in her beautiful stories. This year is no different.

     This is a fun little addition to any readers collection, The Book Lover's Journal.

     Inside, you'll find a section to journal about your latest read; who the author is, how many pages, rating, and space to write your personal opinions about the book. In the back, there is a section to list books you'd like to read, who recommended it to you, genre, etc. There's also a section to list where you got your book from, books you've borrowed, books you've loaned, and even a section with their recommended list of books. I love this little treasure, because sometimes I forget what I've read or what a book was about, and it's nice to have a place to go back to.

     What are you reading this winter? I hope you're staying warm and cozy!

Friday, December 26, 2014


     I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 

     Although Christmas was different this year for us, we had a great day filled with gifts, good food, family, and love. I was thoroughly spoiled (as always) and ate way too much. We spent the morning at my Grandma's house where we opened gifts and devoured cinnamon rolls and monkey bread (after some baking mishaps). Then we drove to my Aunt's house where we had second Christmas, spent time with family, and of course indulged in turkey, tamales, potatoes galore (my 3 favorites), and so many desserts. I ended the day tired, and with a cold I was trying to keep away all day, but it was worth it.

     I wanted to share some Christmas traditions in my family.

  •    Growing up, we got to open one small gift on Christmas Eve. I'm not sure if it's meant to build the anticipation or temporarily satisfy until the morning.... Since my husband and I were apart this year, we decided to have Christmas on Christmas Eve via Skype and open our gifts to each other early.
  •    We open our stockings after everything else has been opened. This year we forgot to fill the stockings, so we passed out the candy and small gifts from a Target bag (hey, you make due with what you have).
  •    In my "new" family (my husband and I), we have orange cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast. Two years ago, I made them in the waffle iron. Delicious!
  •    My Aunt's family serves tamales for Christmas dinner. This is definitely a tradition I think I will be incorporating in to my family celebrations.
  •    I usually fill my husband's stocking with the same 3 things each year: gum, gummy worms, and a Monster energy drink. It's always topped off with an assortment of candy, maybe a gift card, or a couple small gifts. I was sad I wasn't able to do that this year, but I sent him a big box full of goodies. I'm regretting not taking a picture of it though. My heart that longs for beauty sure enjoyed decorating the inside of the box and coordinating all the individually wrapped gifts. Maybe the Husband didn't notice, but I noticed, and that's what matters, right? Haha!
 What are some of your family traditions?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas: Sing Hallelujahs

     Merry Christmas my friends! I hope this day find's you happy and well. 

     Our day is starting off with coffee (the most important) and tearing in to all the colorful gifts. I was feeling more nostalgic this year, and found wrapping paper that has probably been sitting in my Grandma's house since the 1990's. So I threw pretty, sweet, handmade wrapping out the window, and decided to use what was already at the house for that touch of childhood I'm so desperately holding on to this season.

     This Christmas brings many emotions for people in all walks of life. For me and my family, this Christmas is laced with sadness. Many of you know, my Grandpa passed away in October, which makes this holiday season bittersweet. He battled cancer for many years, and thankfully we had the opportunity to come out to California last Christmas because we knew it could possibly be his last. Our Christmas was sweet and cozy, with all of us gathered around the tree and dinner at my Aunt's home with a surplus of good food. This year will be the same, but we all feel that piece of us missing.

     Grandpa was the most generous, open-hearted person you could meet. So many people loved him and speak about how kind and giving he was. Christmas and birthdays, we kids always felt so spoiled because he made sure to go above and beyond. He showed his love through giving. 

     Kind of like someone else. Jesus. We couldn't celebrate this miracle of Christmas if Jesus hadn't come to live among us. To love and to teach and give. He gave his life so that we may live. Let's just step back a minute from our Christmas hustle and bustle and really think about that for a moment. I mean really think about that. Can your mind comprehend the power of that act of love? Because honestly, it's hard for me to wrap my insignificant brain around. Me, being selfish, proud, sometimes hard-hearted...someone would want to die so I could live? It's mind-blowing and can bring you to your knees. Today, I pray, as you go about your day and prepare your meals, spend time with loved ones, listen to Christmas music, sing hallelujahs to His holy Name! In your heart, with your voice, in your soul.

"Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.' "

- Luke 2:13-14

     Be safe as you go about celebrating today. Shower love wherever you can. I pray that if today your heart is sad or hardened, you may find peace and happiness in some small thing. Try giving time or money or even food to someone less fortunate than yourself. Sometimes even a note or a smile is enough to brighten someone's day. So as we go our separate ways today and celebrate our Christmas, I hope you can revel in the beauty of snow, the miracle of a "baby's first Christmas", maybe your flight got delayed but you still arrived at your destination safe. There are so many things to inspire awe this holiday season from our Savior's birth to the tiniest snowflake. As for me, I will sing hallelujahs and shed a few tears of sadness, as well as joy.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Festive in Red

     Here's another little something that I thought was pretty. This Christmas Eve is a little grey and dreary, and we're all feeling a little out of sorts it seems. So, here are some festive, red berry...type...things that I couldn't resist capturing.

     Here's one of my favorite Christmas songs to listen to as well (link at the end of post). If you like this rendition, check out Seabird's other songs on Amazon or iTunes. My favorite song is O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and of course that one isn't on YouTube! His album is my go-to at Christmas time. Over The Hills and Everywhere: A Christmas EP.

Christmas Eve: Jesus Calling

     In the spirit of Christmas, I'm going green today.

     December 24th, Christmas Eve. I would like to share today's Jesus Calling devotional once again.

"I speak to you from the depths of eternity. Before the world was formed, I am! You hear Me in the depths of your being, where I have taken up residence. I am Christ in you, the hope of Glory. I, your Lord and Savior, am alive within you. Learn to tune in to My living Presence by seeking Me in silence. As you celebrate the wonder of My birth in Bethlehem, celebrate also your rebirth into eternal life. This everlasting gift was the sole purpose of My entering your sin-stained world. Receive Me gift with awe and humility. Take time to explore the vast dimensions of My Love. Allow thankfulness to flow freely from your heart in response to My glorious gift. Let My Peace rule in your heart, and be thankful."

      Check out Colossians 3:15 too. 

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful"

     Take time today to be thankful. Be thankful for your home, your family, all that Christmas day will bring. Be still and know that He is God. Without Him, there would be no Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Little Bit of Lovely

     I just wanted to share this lovely image I took yesterday of the sunshine peeking through my window and gently caressing this tiny plant. It melted my heart when I saw it, and I had to capture it.

       I hope you're having a wonderful, peaceful day as you prepare for the holidays.

"All I Want For Christmas Is You"

     This is the first time in 4 years that my husband and I have been apart for Christmas. I'm not sure that the reality of that has even hit me yet.

A little back story:

     Rewind to 2010. Our meeting was not exactly...normal. I sat down at the computer and signed in to Facebook like I did every afternoon. I noticed I had a friend request and clicked to find a scraggly kid a little older than myself. I had no idea who he was. I had never seen him or heard his name that I could recall. We had no "mutual friends". At this point in my life, I had decided that mass amounts of strangers as "friends" was silly, so I never added people I didn't know. I hovered over the "delete request" button. But...something kept pulling at my heart.

The first family outing with both our families. We spent the day in Aspen, went to Maroon Bells and drove over Independence Pass.

     Being the true stalker that I am, I looked through his pictures; a tall, skinny, metal-head, skateboarding kid with crazy hair. Let's just say not my usual type. Those eyes though... and I proceeded to thoroughly stalk him on Facebook and Myspace (back when Myspace was still a tiny smidge cool). 
     After all that, I still wasn't sure what I should do. I had my fair share of obnoxious guys sending me requests in the cyber world and I thought that this might end the same way. But...something kept pulling at my heart.

The Getty Center in Los Angeles.

I clicked accept. And here is where it all started. I sent him a message saying hello and asking him if I had met him before, and he had no idea who I was, and didn't remember sending me a request even.
     I came to find out that he was searching for a different Tessa, but because I lived close, my profile came up and he thought "Well she's pretty cute." From that moment we hit it off, and talked online non-stop. Pretty soon we had exchanged numbers and began texting all day, everyday. At the time, I had a pay-as-you-go phone, and Girls, if a boy offers to buy you minutes so he can keep talking to you, you know he's a good one!

     My attraction for this stranger grew, and I knew he thought I was pretty at least. We agreed to meet in person for the first time at a frisbee game some friends at my church held every Sunday in the summer. And this crazy looking, metal-head agreed to meet me, surrounded by 20+ people I've grown up with and been going to church with. I should have known then that I had him hooked! He pulled up in his little green Mitsubishi and he and his brother and friend climbed out of the car. Now, I am not the most talkative person around strangers in the first place, so when I'm suddenly confronted with three strangers, it can be slightly overwhelming. I went over and met them all, and then walked away with one of my friends and told them I'd be back. Yeah, smooth move.
     I came back and sat in the grass with them, near him, and he didn't seem to have much to say. I felt awkward, and I felt like he was uninterested. I spent most of the time talking to his brother who is much more outgoing. Years later he admitted to me that he was so angry and ready to leave because I seemed interested in his brother instead!

He'll hate this picture, but I love it. At Newport Beach.

     We met a few more times after that, and he gave me many mix CD's. Classic "I Have a Crush on You" move. I played them for one of my friends, and every song that came on she would say, "Well, clearly he likes you!". But I still had my doubts. I couldn't believe that two people could fall for each other that quickly, and that hard. It was literally just a couple of weeks. I had been in relationships before where emotions got the best of me and things didn't end the way I wanted, and I didn't want that happening again with this one. 
     He came to my house to meet my mom, and of course, thought that she hated him. Which was far from the truth. The next day, I left for California. We talked every day, every chance we could get, and it was the first time I wanted to hurry up and get back home to Colorado. 
    While I was in gone, he asked me what I would say if he asked me out on a date when I got home (never been too secretive, this one). I told him he should probably ask and find out.

     On July 30th, 2010 we had our first date and our first kiss. And from that moment on, I knew I was going to marry this man. Six days later we told each other we loved each other (so much for keeping emotions in check, huh?). I knew that a proposal was in the near future. We had talked about it many times; our hopes, dreams, where we saw us as a couple. And on October 15th, 2010 he proposed to me in Aspen, Colorado and of course, I said yes. 
     We were married on October 27th, 2011 in Aspen at a beautiful nature center. It snowed the morning of our wedding so we had to move the ceremony inside, but it was small, it was cozy, and we were married. The years have been a whirlwind. We've had ups and downs, but I know that we can get through anything together. Imagine how different my life would have been if I had just clicked delete! It just goes to show that yes, love at first sight is true, and yes, some things are destined to be. Miracles do happen.

He  cleaned up a lot for me. These photos by the wonderfully talented Krystine Lewis. In Aspen, Colorado.

     So, even though I know this is just a bump in the road, Christmas without you will be hard this year. All I want for Christmas is you, Baby. I love you! 

At a Great Gatsby party in Boulder, Colorado.

In Aspen, Colorado October 2013. He reverted to his "old" look again, but is a little more clean cut these days. But I love this picture.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Star of Wonder

     I've never been very good at keeping up with devotionals. I still have a hard time committing to reading something every day. Which is sad when you think about it, since they're usually just a short 5 minute thing. But I'm only human.

     My grandma gave me a devotional called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I don't remember to read it every day, but when I do I am glad I did. It's written as if Jesus was speaking, and it always seems to be relevant to the kind of day I am having. She finishes the page with a few Scripture references for further studying. Today's reading was exactly what I needed to hear today, and in honor of Christmas week, I wanted to share it. I hope it resonates with you as it does me.

"Come to Me, and rest in My presence. As you ponder the majestic mystery of the Incarnation, relax in My everlasting arms. I am the only Person who was ever sired by the Holy Spirit. This is beyond your understanding. Instead of trying to comprehend My Incarnation intellectually, learn from the example of the wise men. They followed the leading of a spectacular star, then fell down in humble worship when they found Me. Praise and worship are the best responses to the wonder of My being. Sing praises to My Holy Name. Gaze at me in silent adoration. Look for a star of guidance in your own life, and be willing to follow wherever I lead. I am the Light from on high that dawns upon you, to guide your feet into the way of Peace."

     I forget to slow down and revel in the miracle that is our Savior's birth. Try reading Matthew 2:9-11. Imagine how those Wise Men felt!

For the Love of Coffee

     I know what you're all thinking, "Another girl posting about her coffee." And you would be correct! In fact, it is very likely that there will be quite a few coffee posts because it is one of those things I can truly say I love, love, love

     Plus, look at how adorable my "T" mug is. I mean, come on.

     I have to admit that I am indeed a coffee snob. Not so much that I won't drink a cup of bad coffee necessarily, but oh will I complain and make faces and chug it down as fast as possible. This was one of the occasions, where I was about done with bad coffee. My gaze happened to land on the Christmas tree and all those lovely candy canes gently nestled in the branches. An idea struck me. I would put a candy cane in my awful, bad cup-o-mud. But then the wheels kept turning. I remembered the big Christmas tupperware container full of delicious chocolate chips. In plopped a handful of the tiny morsels. Fueled by the need of something tasty, I opened the fridge and spied the whole milk and a can of whipped cream (clearly I was not going for "healthy" here). And thus, my lovely and delicious peppermint mocha was born! Not that this was an original idea, but hey. I made due with what I had lying around.

    What are some coffee creations you've come up with? Would you make it again?


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Taking the Plunge

     Today I took the plunge, and ordered my very first set of business cards! I am so stoked to see them. I will definitely be counting down the days until they arrive. It's starting to feel much more official at this point. For now, here's a sneak peak!


Happy Winter Solstice!

     I hope everyone is well on this, the first day of Winter! The first day of any season always feel so special and exciting to me. They seem to represent three months of endless possibilities. I know that I have to make this time count because it will be another year before I get to bask in the glow of Winter. 

     Today, I am making snowflakes since I am currently residing in Southern California, and the most snow I have seen is waaaay off in the distance, on the tippy tops of the mountains. A fitting way to celebrate the first day of Winter. Hopefully I can make a trip to those mountains in the near future to take in the snow. 

     Here's what I've been working on today.

    A little snow in my snowless yard. Make today count and revel in the beauty around you!

Adventures in Fullerton & Shop Review

      I am 100% all for shopping local. Whilst out adventuring in downtown Fullerton the other day my mom, sister and I stumbled upon a gorgeous little shop called Oh, Hello Friend. Oh, my goodness. 
     The minute we walked through the door we were greeted with tiny trinkets, inspiring paper goods, unique gifts, and craft supplies. Words of affirmation were found in every direction; "You are awesome, loved, wonderful, beautiful, and adored". Beautiful phrases such as that were found on art prints, journals, and even button pins. I couldn't help but feel special upon entering and I made up my mind in that moment that I would be leaving with something. After all, with encouraging phrases about oneself strewn about you can't help but feel you deserve a fun purchase! Maybe that was the point....

     I have been so pleasantly surprised by the prices in the local shops out here in Cali. I had it in my head that they would be so high and I would only be able to sigh wistfully while window shopping. That has not been the case at all! 

     As planned, I did end up leaving with a few tiny treasures, and didn't end up spending more than $20! Score! Christmas came early for this girl.

Oh, Hello Friend  business card, business card holder, button.

Cast iron white whale.

     The shop owner was so sweet and we told her we would be back for more. I later found out that she had a Facebook. I "liked" her shop, and discovered that I was able to get coupons for online and store purchases. Not that I needed more of an excuse to go back! The website (link at the bottom of this post) has a more limited stock, but the aesthetic is equally as pleasing. 

     I had been searching for a store like this that felt like my small home town back in Colorado. And I can definitely say I have found one I love.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Wonderful World of Etsy

    I am no Etsy newbie. If you've never visited their site, I suggest you do. There are so many creative, handmade items at your fingertips in this "Wonderful World of Geniusness". I have to admit, I have spent probably more hours browsing through pages and pages on Etsy than I have on Pinterest and my friends, that means I am on there a lot.

     When I first started out as an Etsy virgin, I had a big dream about becoming one of the big sellers I so frequently ooo-ed and aaa-ed over. But let's face it. I had no idea what I was doing (who says I know what I'm doing now?), or the drive to be a blip on anyone's radar. My first shop was Topsy Turvy Treasures. Cute, but I never loved it. Honestly, I don't even think I posted a single thing while I had this name.  So much for that crazy dream.
     My next try was The Clover and the Bee. The minute I thought of it, I felt inspired! For those of you who are married, it was that "This is the dress!" moment. I was excited and ready to begin coming up with a brand, a catchy slogan, page after page of beautiful items and yet...I never quite made it to that point. I posted a few things here and there, but never gave my shop the attention it deserved to be successful. I didn't do anything to advertise except tell my friends. I had more success creating custom orders for friends and family by word of mouth than I did online. Embarrassingly enough, at one point I had something listed on my shop and completely forgot about it and ended up giving it away as a baby shower gift. A few weeks letter I received a notification that it had sold and I had nothing to send to that poor women! Embarrassed, I refunded her, apologized profusely and made a vow that from there on out, I would put some time and effort in to what makes me the most happy; creating. After that little mishap with an item that didn't exist, I felt I needed a fresh start, a new identity, a new "brand".
     I began the search for a name that embodied the surroundings I loved and the easy lifestyle they represented. My mom, my girl friends and I went around and around for weeks trying to come up with the perfect name.

      After being hit with family troubles, we put the name search on hold. Fast forward a month and half, and I'm sitting at the computer once again jotting down possibilities, my online thesaurus pulling up words, and me, Facebook messaging my mom my suggestions in the other room (yes, pathetic but you've all done it!). Finally, I got frustrated and moved on to another task. A little while later she yells for me and blurts out "Forest and Sea!". 

     I was a little taken aback, mostly because of the simplicity. I had been trying for weeks to come up with something this good and I didn't have the brain power! I rushed back to the computer to see if the name was taken, and unfortunately, it was. I couldn't get the combination out of my head. I knew there had to be some way to make it work. I'm sure I looked like a crazy person as I typed it in not once, not twice, but three times with the hope that the webpage was glitching out, and my name could truly be mine.
     I stared blankly at the screen for a while, and for some reason, I couldn't get the word "creative" out of my head. I wasn't sure what the draw was to this one word. Nothing else had the right ring to it in my mind when combined with Forest and Sea. So I slowly typed it in the box on Etsy, and held my breath. And thus, Forest and Sea Creative was born. I've come to realize that as cliche as it is, creative embodies who I am. It's a word I've had many people use to describe me and what I do, and I've always brushed it off. But it's who I am. I hear it and it makes me smile because I've realized that, you know what? They were right! And it's okay to own that and be proud of that and hey, maybe even flaunt it a little.

     With a lot of hard work, I have managed to pull together a shop that is a still a work in progress, but is getting where I want it to be. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind; whipping up as many items as I can, taking photos in between the massive and uncommon rainstorms we've been experiencing in SoCal, and posting them to my new, shiny shop. I am proud of what I've accomplished so far, and I am still learning the ways of the online market (thank you Etsy seller handbook!), but I know I will get to where I want to be. My dream is to have a brick and mortar shop, but for now I am content with my tiny space in the cyber world. And while that dream may be way down the road, for now I can make the best, the absolute best out of what I have now.

     Now for some bragging. Here are two of my favorite, and also my most popular "word of mouth" items that are currently listed on my shop ( Stop by to see what else I've got going on! I've unintentionally come up with a color scheme for the shop. Can you figure it out?

Light gray infinity scarf
      A friend of mine bought a scarf from me earlier this year. He loved it so much, he traded me a big screen t.v. for scarves for his whole family! Win-win situation there!

Wire wrapped bird nest necklace
     My bird nest jewelry has been my most popular item. I've done rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Last Christmas, a friend of mine bought matching rings and necklaces for her and her sisters. So sweet!

     I would love for you to check out the shop and if you have ideas for a custom order, I am always willing to hear suggestions! Thank you for joining me on this new stage in my life!

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Place To Be Me

Here you will find my place to be me. 

     I wouldn't say I am new to the blogging world, but I would say I am new to a more "structured" blogging world which is what I am hoping to be entering. My dream is that this blog will be a place to house my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams. A place to showcase my latest piece of jewelry or something new I read or maybe even a recipe. It might even be a place to share deep thoughts or fears. A journal if you will. My goal is to overcome this road block I have that my words, my story, my creations, aren't "good enough" to share. Basically, whatever may float my little boat on the sea of my life.

A brief history:

   This, is ME. The writer of this blog, and owner of the Forest and Sea Creative Etsy shop (link at the top of the page). My name is Tessa and I am 23 years old, filled to the brim with a desire to love life.
     I am temporarily-permanently living in California, where I was born, due to a loss in the family, and my mom and three siblings making the decision to move back here after 20 years to be close to her mom. This is my second home, and I chose to come along with them to help them get settled, and to be near family in this time of sadness. 

     In my move to California, I left behind my wonderful, handsome husband who strongly encouraged me to take this plunge. He has done nothing but support this crazy idea, and we have been apart for over a month and a half now, only seeing each other over Thanksgiving. I know to some, this may not seem like that long, but you have to realize, the longest we had ever been apart since meeting in July of 2010 was ten days! It's been an adjustment, but it has made the time we get to see each other, Skype, and talk on the phone that much more special.

     I recently (as in the past week) opened my new shop. Like blogging, I am not new to the world of Etsy. I have frequently admired, favorited, and shared the beautiful creations listed there and even opened my own shop a few years ago. The original shop was first called Topsy Turvy Treasures, then turned in to The Clover and The Bee, and finally my new shop which has been dubbed Forest and Sea Creative. Hopefully this one is here to stay!

     I am excited for this new journey; for the time to be able to sit and reflect on life and share with you what I am discovering. 

     Until next time,