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.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Xyron Design Team Pinterest Challenge Day Four!

We hope you have enjoyed our week long Xyron Design Team Pinterest Challenge!  We are OBSESSED with Pinterest (as is the rest of the world) and all this week we challenged our Designers to create a project inspired by our "Not Xyron but Should Be" board.  They brought new life to some old projects and made us want to get crafty!

Looking for a fun and easy idea for your next party but don't want to break the bank?  Then head over to Virginia Fynes' blog!  She shares a tutorial for creating these super festive plastic cups inspired by some she found on our Pinterest board.  What a great idea for using your ribbon stash!  :)

Katie Skilton re-created this cute hanging photo frame with some fresh new colors and techniques. The coolest part - she made the entire project with just a few sheets of paper and some embellishments!

Stacy Rodriguez took a cool technique (vellum photos on a glass candle holder) and made it even cooler by creating fantastic mixed media home decor item!  She shares a quick tutorial on her blog today - this would make a great hostess gift!

Pinky Hobbs makes upcycling home decor easy with a quick tutorial on her blog for creating this neat map lampshade!  Inspired by this lampshade Pinky shares some great tips for working with oddly shaped (or hard to cover) lampshades to create something one-of-a-kind!

You will never guess what this cute notebook is made out of - a cereal box!  Inspired by this notebook Shannon Morgan created this super cute project and shares a full tutorial with us on her blog today.  This brings whole new meaning to recycling your cardboard!

We hope this week has inspired you to take a new look at some old projects and create something special - we'd love to see your Pinterest inspired projects on our Facebook Page!  Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Xyron Design Team Pinterest Challenge - Day Three!

Did you know Xyron has a Pinterest page?  We are OBSESSED and spend endless hours searching the internet for fantastic projects that we can't wait to make.  This week we challenged our Design Team to create a project inspired by our "Not Xyron but Should Be" board...they brought new life to some old projects and we can't wait to show you!

Forget Spring...this project from Lori Williams makes us want to run headlong in to Summer!  Lori was inspired by this barn star to create one of her own with a colorful beach theme - and she shares a tutorial on her blog.  This project can be easily customized for any decor!

This project from Denise Hahn is the perfect example of using Pinterest as inspiration for new ideas. Denise was inspired by this initial canvas to create something completely different - a votive candle holder with a cool masculine flair.  Head on over to her blog for a video tutorial - this would be a great Father's Day project to do with the kids!

These wooden coasters from Arin Flynn could be the cutest Summertime party decoration we've seen in a long time!  Inspired by these tile coasters Arin upcycled some recently trimmed branches and created these little gems that will be the talk of any event.  She shares a tutorial on her blog today - if this doesn't inspire us to do a little yardwork nothing will!  :)

Laurel Seabrook was inspired by these decorative clothespins to create an entire home decor collection - perfect for her recent trip to Europe!

We love color and this project from Karen Jiles just fills us with joy!  On her blog she shares a tutorial filled with tons of techniques - this canvas would be a great way to try your hand at mixed media and can be customized to fit any decor!

Tune in tomorrow for our final day of Pinterest inspiration!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Xyron Design Team Pinterest Challenge Day Two!

Did you know Xyron has a Pinterest page?  We are OBSESSED and spend endless hours searching the internet for fantastic projects that we can't wait to make.  This week we challenged our Design Team to create a project inspired byour "Not Xyron but Should Be" board...they brought new life to some old projects and we can't wait to show you!

Easter is on its way and Theresa Harris has a fun tutorial on her blog to help us celebrate the season! She recreated this egg banner using her Xyron 3" Sticker Maker - and also whipped up a few of these festive party straws.

Shellye McDaniel made a crafty (and practical!) change to this St. Patrick's Day banner and created a Good Luck banner that can be used throughout the year.  On her blog today she shares a quick tutorial for creating your own!

Angela Holt took these cute Easter eggs and recreated them as works of art!  She was also inspired by this card to create a gorgeous floral card of her own - and she shares a tutorial for both the eggs and the card on her blog today!

Jenn Cochran chose this card and framed art for her "makeover" projects - we love the bright spring colors!

Yvonne Yam blew us away with this gorgeous wedding cake!  She was inspired by this beautiful piece and created one of her own - and today on her blog she shares a tutorial with us so we can make this lovely work of art ourselves!

We hope this week will inspire you to take a new look at some old projects and create something special - stay tuned tomorrow for more great Pinterest project ideas!