Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Xyron, Teresa Collins Designs and Cardmaker Magazine Day Three - and a Giveaway!

We are halfway through Xyron's week long blog hop with Teresa Collins Designs and Cardmaker Magazine - and we have been blown away by all of the beautiful projects the designers have shared with us.  Today is no exception...and we've also got a cool announcement to share at the bottom of this post!

Pretty in pink doesn't even begin to describe this darling layout from Karen Jiles!  We love the patterned paper combinations and the layers upon layers of detailing - Karen shares a tutorial for this project on her blog today.



Stacy Rodriguez was so inspired when she received her Teresa Collins goodies that she created not one but TWO mini albums!  For her first project she used one of Teresa's flip albums and the Daily Stories collection to create this super cute little book:


Then she used the You Are My Happy Collection to create this little gem.  Head on over to her blog to see all of the inside pages!



Want more great inspiration? Head over to the CardMaker blog and Teresa Collins' blog every day this week and you will find some fantastic projects featuring Xyron and Teresa Collins Designs products - and Teresa shares a FREE set of instructions on her blog today.  Love the creativity!

We are also hosting TWO giveaways this week!  Leave a comment here on the blog and TWO lucky winners will receive a collection pack from Teresa's Hello My Name Is collectionTeresa Collins Xyron Stapler and an issue of CardMaker Magazine!



Then head on over to the HUGE giveaway we are hosting on Facebook!  We posted at the beginning of this week that we had a great prize pack to give away - but guess what?  We have TWO!!!  So all week long we will be accepting entries for this GIANT prize pack filled with goodies from Teresa Collins, CardMaker and Xyron - and TWO lucky people will win!  Click on this link to enter - we will announce the winners on our Facebook Page on Monday (please note - if you have trouble entering try using Chrome or Firefox).  Good luck - and tune in tomorrow for more great project ideas!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Xyron, Teresa Collins and CardMaker Magazine Day Two - and a Giveaway!

Welcome to day two of Xyron's week long blog hop with Teresa Collins Designs and Cardmaker Magazine!  We had a lot of excitement yesterday and today the fabulousness just keeps on coming!

Even though Teresa got her start in scrapbooking, her current line of products lends itself to everything - including mixed media!  On her blog today Jenn Cochran shares a video tutorial for creating this gorgeous canvas.  What a wonderful way to welcome Spring (and what a thoughtful gift for a friend)!



Say goodbye to traditional rectangular frames and hello to this darling frame from Angela Holt! We are loving her "outside the box" thinking and the incredible dimension she brings to this project.  She shares a step by step tutorial with us on her blog today.  Can't wait to make this!



Want more great inspiration? Head over to the CardMaker blog and Teresa Collins' blog every day this week and you will find some fantastic projects featuring Xyron and Teresa Collins Designs products.  Love the creativity!

We are also hosting TWO giveaways this week!  Leave a comment here on the blog and TWO lucky winners will receive a collection pack from Teresa's Save the Date collection and a Teresa Collins Xyron Mega Runner!



Then head on over to the HUGE giveaway we are hosting on Facebook!  All week long we will be accepting entries for this GIANT prize pack filled with goodies from Teresa Collins, CardMaker and Xyron.  Click on this link to enter - we will announce the winner on our Facebook Page a week from today (please note - if you have trouble entering try using Chrome or Firefox).  Good luck - and tune in tomorrow for more great project ideas!



Monday, April 21, 2014

Xyron, Teresa Collins and Cardmaker Magazine - Day One and a Giveaway!

What a fantastic week we've got in store for you!  The Xyron Design Team is partnering with Teresa Collins Designs and Cardmaker Magazine for five days filled with inspiration and fun.  We're so glad you're here!

Want to create a handmade gift but don't have time to start from scratch?  The flip albums from Teresa's Basically Essential collection let you create something gorgeous quickly and easily!  On her blog today Shellye McDaniel not only shares photos of the inside pages of this lovely mini album, she gives us a tutorial as well!


We are totally in love with the gold papers and embellishments in Teresa's You Are My Happy collection - and Shannon Morgan highlights them beautifully in this fun layout!


How fun are the layers on this card from Lori Williams! Teresa's collections make it so easy to coordinate different patterns and Lori shows us how beautifully they all come together.  She shares a tutorial for this card on her blog today!


We promised a week filled with inspiration and fun - and we deliver!  If you head over to the CardMaker blog and Teresa Collins' blog every day this week you will find some fantastic projects featuring Xyron and Teresa Collins Designs projects.  Love the creativity!

We are also hosting TWO giveaways this week!  Leave a comment here on the blog and TWO lucky winners will receive a 6x6 pad from Teresa's Summer Stories collection, a Teresa Collins Xyron Sticker Maker, and a copy of the latest CardMaker magazine!


Then head on over to the HUGE giveaway we are hosting on Facebook!  All week long we will be accepting entries for this GIANT prize pack filled with goodies from Teresa Collins, CardMaker and Xyron.  Click on this link to enter - we will announce the winner on our Facebook Page a week from today.  Good luck - and tune in tomorrow for more great project ideas!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Shame and Redemption and a Rescue Dog (or Two)

If you are friends with the Kingstons - in real life or online - then chances are you saw this photo a few weeks ago.  How do I know that?  Because we posted it EVERYWHERE - on our personal Facebook pages, on my professional Facebook page, on Instagram, we emailed it out, we skyped about it - we put it ALL THE WAY out there.


This was about twelve hours after we brought home our first ever "real" rescue dog - a 200lb cross-eyed mastiff named Moose.  Don and I had spent over a month going through the rescue process - and we were absolutely in love with him.  We had the neighbors over to meet him, we went out and bought a new collar, special food, a doggie bed - the whole nine yards.

Problem was - he wasn't in love with us, and he and Bizzy sure weren't in love with each other.  Looking back now it was SO obvious - he and Bizzy (who loves EVERYONE) wanted nothing to do with each other when we introduced them or once they got home, he had no interest in us when we were at the rescue and didn't seem to care much about us at home either, he didn't want to leave the side of the rescue owner, etc.  Stupidly - Don and I believed he was just a mellow dog and if there was any problem we could fix it if we just loved him enough.

I won't get in to the VERY scary and horrible details but within 48 hours it became apparent that Moose and Bizzy could not live together.  Thankfully - he went back to a wonderful foster home, but Don and I were heartbroken and felt like failures.  Quitters.  Losers.  We were ashamed to say anything to anyone - and afraid to try again.  We thought maybe we'd just let Bizzy be an "only dog" for a while.  We half heartedly looked at a few other dogs but we just couldn't get past what had happened and were about ready to give up.

Then came an email.  "What about Chulo?"

Chulo is a nine-month old Dogo Argentino who was living at one of the rescues.  He has special needs (see below) and wasn't even close to what we were looking for, but the woman at the rescue who recommended him had been so kind and patient with us that we politely agreed to drive up to Seattle and meet him.  I just knew it wasn't going to work.  I almost told Don to go without me.

When we arrived Chulo was running around in the front yard playing with a four year old boy.  Bizzy practically dragged Don to the fence and as soon as the gate swung open - Don and I ceased to exist.  Two dogs and their little boy ran in circles, played catch, and tromped through mud puddles while Don and I and Angie (the rescue owner) stood around laughing and trying not to be run over. And we knew.

Don re-named him Crixus.  From the movie Spartacus.  He's a dude.


Crixus has had a rough start - he is blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, has scars from being infested with fleas and scratching himself raw, has horrible nightmares, and the first few days he was here he cowered in fear when we raised our voices (which was all the time since - you know - he is practically deaf), but since he arrived he and Bizzy have been inseperable.  They are best buddies, bed mates and wrestling partners. They share toys, bark at the wind, and Bizzy is teaching Crixus how to be part of a family.  Crixus is always up for pets from company, gives kisses occasionally and wiggles his little butt with joy whenever we come in to a room. He is home.


So the Kingstons have been humbled. We've learned that we don't know everything and that we can't fix every problem.  We've learned that dogs DO know best and that sometimes you have to let other people show you what you need. We've also gained an incredible respect for those who dedicate their lives to rescuing animals.  This has been a frustrating, heartbreaking process - but has also brought us incredible joy.

So this is our boy.  We saved him - and he saved us.  Redemption.