Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them. - Lemony Snicket The Lump of Coal

2012 has been a learning experience for me. For my business, my's been an eye-opening year, and I'm a better person for 2012. I'm so thankful for what God sent our way. It turns out the list of blessings God sent often coincides with our Tuttle To-Dos for 2012. So, let's review his blessings this year!

Jared and I celebrated our first year of marriage in March!!
We went to Savannah, and for some reason I never blogged about it. It was a truly wonderful trip! 
We stayed in this great townhouse in the Victorian district FOR FREE. We walked all over the city for days, and we drove out to Tybee and played on the beach for a while. We also climbed a huge lighthouse. 


 We got a new car to drive!

Big Bertha has saved us tons of money this year and allowed us to take some pretty sweet trips because we could actually afford it! Thank Jesus for his provision!

We created a new studio space!
This went hand in hand with my goal of becoming more organized AND being more focused on creating items to sell. It is so much easier to be organized and create when you have a designated place to do so!

We went on our Crafty Camping Trip!
It was a great weekend with great people! I hope we get to plan another one for 2013.


We took a trip out West!
I think about this trip on a near daily basis. I loved it so much. What a blessing!
Upcycled Downriver got an official logo!
Again, this was part of my goal to become more professional. I love how it turned out!


My Daddy turned 50 years old!

The Bruce Weeks Family Band was interviewed for a German documentary!


We set up our booth in several different places including The Marble Festival!
Again, this was part of the goals for the business. Success!


We got to go camping several times this year!


The Crafty Costume Party was a success!


  Jared and I made several trips to his grandmother's cabin in Bryson City this year!


At one point this year, I looked this cute.
I felt this warranted mentioning.

Our Christmas party was awesome!


As for our Tuttle To-Dos for 2012, here's what we've crossed off. The italics are still in progress.
  •  ·       Decorate the hall stairs with funky frames
  • ·         Fire pit
  • ·         Landscape front and back yard
  • ·         Build swings from old kitchen chairs (they are built but aren't hung up yet.)
  • ·         Get more organized
  • ·         Set a schedule for housework, crafts, music and business
  • ·         Be healthier 
  • ·         Setting aside more time for bible study
  • ·         Get more music students
  • ·         Set up more booths
  • ·         More computer business for Jared through advertisements, etc.
  •      Save more money with more effective couponing and homemade cleaners, etc.
  • ·         Go to Savannah
  • ·         Go on a road trip out west
  • ·         Go to the Bryson City cabin twice
  •      Go on a Crafty Day Camping Excursion to Blue Ridge in April
  • ·        Go to to better festivals as well as the old standards
  • ·         Learn to be a better cook
  • ·         Jared’s mom’s windchimes 

There were several things that we didn't have time for this year or just failed miserably at trying. I think when we made our to-do list, I was thinking I was super woman and that Jared was drawn and turned to life by Marvel Comics. Turns out, we're not superheroes.  When I make my list of goals for next year, I plan on thinking it through more! That being said, I still think we accomplished quite a bit!

I'm looking forward to 2013 with hope and excitement for the future! I  hope y'all are too.

*For those of you interested, I will be emptying out my etsy shop and filling it with completely new items in the next month or so. The only items that will return will be the Sips of the South jars and the listing for custom wedding bouquets. If you'd like to purchase any of the remaining items, use coupon code LASTCHANCE to save 20%.*

Happy New Year, y'all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Photo Friday: Christmas Edition 12.28.2012

Welcome to Photo Friday where I show my week in pictures! Follow me on Instagram @tristantuttle ! These posts are a mix of my instagram photos, pictures taken with my Canon, and photos taken by my friends and family.  For more Photo Friday, click here.

I hope everyone had a happy Christmas! We definitely had a great Christmas here. Here are some snapshots from our celebrations and other things that happened this week!

Mama had ordered a fancy tripod for my sister, but there was a problem with the shipping. After several phone calls and near-breakdowns, she found out it wouldn't arrive in time, so Mama decided to make her own version as a stand-in until the real thing arrived a couple of days late.

When I got to her house, she was outside whittling on this hedge bush branch to make her tripod.
At Jared's extended family's get-together, I got this crazy ceramic thing in the White Elephant exchange.

Jared and I are going to use it for target practice.
On Christmas Eve, we went to my parent's house and swapped presents with everyone in my family.

Christmas Day, Jared and I opened presents with each other. and Puck, who thought all of the presents were for her. 

All mine!
My favorite present! Now I can take awesome pictures THAT ARE CLEAR AND NOT FUZZY!
 Like these!!!

Look at  how beautiful Ophelia is!

Ophelia is afraid of this reindeer. It moves. She doesn't trust it.

After we opened our gifts to each other, we drove to Jared's parents' house and ate breakfast and opened presents with them.

I think Jared is already tired of seeing this camera.

This is Jenna being lovely, and Ian being...strange.
My father-in-law Pops knows how much I love Dolly Parton. I love her. She's amazing. He used some of his security contacts to get me a signed photo from Dolly! It says, "To Tristan  Love, Dolly Parton" She loves me back, y'all. 

I was a little excited.

My sister turned 21 yesterday, so last night we went bowling to celebrate! We had a whole crew with us, but here are a few shots from her celebration!

Daddy takes bowling very seriously. Both of my parents own their own pair of bowling shoes and bowling balls.
Selfies at the bowling alley!

We changed all of our names to be characters from The Big Lebowski. Except for "Awesome." That was Daddy.
And it wouldn't be a photo friday without one photo of Puck being silly.

Morning Yoga.
I'll see y'all next week with a re-cap of the year and the list of Tuttle To-Dos for 2013!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope y'all's Christmas has been full of Christ's love. What a wonderful gift he gave us!

This is the photo we included in this year's Christmas card. Puck is so excited to wish you a Merry Christmas!

If you'd like to see Puck's Photoshopped face in other Christmas scenes, check out I promise you won't regret it.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Crafty Christmas Potluck Party 2012

Since it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd share some photos of my Crafty Day friends from our Crafty Christmas Potluck Party. I freakin' love my Crafty Day friends. I talked about how much I love them here. This group is so very special to me and I love any reason to celebrate with them. We generally have at least two parties a year: The Crafty Costume Party (yes, the name needs to be capitalized) and the Crafty Christmas Potluck Party. We might have an extra celebration thrown in there for a birthday or whatever, but those are the main celebrations.

As much as I love the costumes and the weird food of the fall party, I love the Christmas party so much more. The Crafty Costume Party is so much fun, but it's a lot of stress for me. I have to borrow decorations, find costumes, make food with ingredients I NEVER have, and our small house is filled with a ton of people...the stress is worth it because it's such a great time, but sometimes it takes me a while to calm down afterward.

But the Crafty Christmas Potluck's the best.  It's generally pretty low-key. I already have a ton of decorations up (For the Crafty Costume Party, I put up and take down the halloween decorations with in a couple of days of the party, so there's an added stress), everyone brings a side dish and whatever gifts we want to exchange, and we just enjoy each other's company. It's family time.

Last year was our second Christmas party, but to be honest, I don't remember the first one and I didn't take any photos. Here's a look at last year's party.

The guest list this year was a bit smaller than last year's. Some friends had to work, vacations, etc. but it was still a fun time. We had a very special party guest this year: Oberon!

He attends every Crafty Day function in a bow tie. He's one classy cat.
Puck anxiously awaited our party guests! She loves parties!

Ophelia does not love parties.

This year I set the table with Blue Willow dishes Daddy bought for me at a yard sale, along with plates we got for our wedding. I also used four great green glasses that my Nanny gave me before Jared and I got married. They were a gift from her mother at Nanny's wedding, and she passed them on to me. What better time to use them? My wonderful mother-in-law gave me some other Christmas glasses, so I mixed those in as well.

I thought the table was simple, but I liked it. Also, in a dream world, I will have a table that was actually made to seat so many people. I made a ham, along with a creamy chicken and rice soup. Others brought a green bean casserole, potato salad, corn, fruit, and cheesecake! I also made Oreo truffles covered in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes for dessert! As for beverages, we drank the two house wines of the South: sweet tea and Coca-Cola.

Here's the one moment I managed to catch from supper. Everyone's not even at the table!
After supper, we retired (sounds fancy, right?) to the living room (fancy moment ruined. If only I had a drawing room or something.) to open gifts (for cigars and brandy? much fancier.). 

Handmade gifts are the best. Everyone gave each person the same thing, so we all ended up with a hand-painted bag, a microwaveable heat pad with lavender oil in it (IT SMELLED AMAZING!), awesome earrings that were made from funky fabrics, a hot cocoa gift bag  and some ornaments and other Christmas-y goodies. I missed everyone that couldn't make it, but I hope it works out better schedule-wise next year. 

I love these ladies so much!! What a blessing it is to have friends like these.

Merry Christmas, y'all. I hope your home and heart is filled with Christ's love during this season and everyday of the year. I love y'all.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Friday: End of the World Edition 12.21.2012

Welcome to Photo Friday where I show my week in pictures! Follow me on Instagram @tristantuttle ! These posts are a mix of my instagram photos and photos taken by my friends and family.  For more 
Photo Friday, click here.

If ever there was an end of the world, I'm sure it felt like this week for some people. This week has been challenging for everyone in so many different ways. The events in Newtown will always be heartbreaking. I cannot imagine what those families are feeling. I was at a gas station about to get out to pump gas when I heard about the shooting. I cried at the pump.  Let's continue to keep those people in prayer.

It's hard to imagine there's still good in the world after something so horrible happens, but there still is. After such a tragedy, goodness is sometimes hard to find, but if we look, it's still there. Here's some goodness from my week.

My darling husband and I had a late night date to Waffle House where we were told by one of the waitresses that nothing was impossible. I believe her.

I told him to make a sultry face.

 Caught in the act of snuggling!

 Two graduations this week!

Melissa just graduated from Southern Poly Technical University with her MBA. Afterward, she shot up that egg carton with a 20 gauge to celebrate.

My dear sister Katie graduated from Chattahoochee Technical College! She studied Welding and Joining Technology. She was the only female in her class and the third woman ever to graduate the program!

Of course, there was at least one last minute present-making session this week...

Ophelia likes to help.

and one piggy-back ride!

Ophie likes to ride around the house on our shoulders. She drapes herself like a scarf around my neck, but Jared's height makes her a little bit nervous.

These moments of happiness are all around us: time spent with loved ones, snuggles, important milestones, the ability to be a blessing to others...I hope your life is full of them as well.

 Let us all pray that the victims of the shooting in Connecticut will find peace in spite of the current circumstances. 

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Blessings in Kentucky

Earlier this month, the Bruce Weeks Family Band had the absolute honor of participating in Praise Ministries International's Christmas in Appalachia giveaway. It was a truly humbling experience to be a part of something so wonderful! In 1995,  Larry and Linda Woodson. drove to a poor section of Kentucky with a trunkload of clothes and toys. Each year, they've expanded their giving, and now they have hundreds of volunteers who help with the giveaway.  This year they chose Pineville, KY as the giveaway location. Bell County is the third poorest county in the nation.

This year over 3000 people lined up to get Christmas gifts for their kids! Each venue is different, but there's never enough room inside to hold everyone, so they set up tents outside for people to wait in line until they are let inside the building. We were the musical entertainment for everyone waiting under the tent. While we sang, we ministered while others prayed for those in line. It was beautiful.

Here are some snapshots from our trip.

Jared was "Reginald" for a brief time that weekend. All of the volunteers wore name tags, so we could get inside the building.

Look at all the donations! 
 Each parent had to bring their children with them, and when they made it inside the building, a volunteer would help the child pick out the toys, while the parents chose clothes and shoes to fit their child. Everyone got a fruit basket and a food box as well.

Of course it took a while to get in the building... The first person was in line at midnight; the tent was already full when we arrived at 7 am and didn't empty out until the late afternoon.

 They gave us a nice place to stay, so we wouldn't have to drive back to Georgia without some rest.

It was also Mama and Daddy's 29th anniversary weekend! They are such a great example of love and marriage! I love Mama and Daddy!

Over 3000 people came through the line and heard about Jesus. Over 3000 people received gifts to take home for their children to have Christmas gifts to open on Christmas day. And there was enough to go around! Sadly, the last 400 people didn't receive much, but last year they ran out of items and many people went home empty-handed after standing in line for 10 + hours.

It really is a humbling experience to be a part of something so beautiful. I'm so thankful for my own blessings and for the ability to be a blessing to others. 

If you're interested in participating in next year's event or you'd just like more information, check out

Here's a video recap of the weekend from Praise Ministries International.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Photo Friday 12.14.2012

Welcome to Photo Friday where I show my week in pictures! Follow me on Instagram @tristantuttle ! These posts are a mix of my instagram photos and photos taken by my friends and family.  For more 
Photo Friday, click here.

There hasn't been another post this week because we've been party prepping for the Crafty Christmas Potluck Party! I'll resume regular posts soon, I promise!

The dark green glasses were a gift from my grandmother. Her mother gave them to her as a wedding gift when she married my Papa. The others were a figt from my mother-in-law.


Our table wasn't quite big enough for all of us, but that's okay.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, my new phone came! Yay for slightly better photos for Photo Friday!

Ophelia is not excited about the party.

Puck is anxiously awaiting our party guests!
I'll post more about the party next week!

The next day, I went to work at Parrie's. After we took care of Asa, we drove to Ellijay to shop for apple cider and pink lady apples.

Asa is looking for the treat in Parrie's pocket!

Puck tore her old bandanna, so I made her a new one! Jared said she looked like a little Southern Belle with her floral "necklace." Puck is very protective over her collar. If we take it off, she gets really upset, so we say, "Do you want your necklace back on?" and then she's happy again.

 The party was so much fun and I can't wait to tell y'all more about it! I hope y'all's week has been awesome!