Animal photo love

Tonight I totally staged this photo of our bearded dragons. William put them in the windowsill. OK, that wasn’t my idea. But it was my idea to put their little claws on top of each other and look like they were looking toward a long life together.  Haha. I’m so not above a cute staged photo.

Here’s one, though, I didn’t stage.  Dexter was seeing a weird shadow in the canvas. At one point he was totally standing up on the back of his hind legs. I wasn’t quick enough to that party, but I was able to capture him contemplating his work of art.  I like to call him “Pawcasso”.

And here’s a typical Pixie look.  She and Dexter have a love/hate relationship. Most times it ends up with him chasing her, her violently screaming and him jumping on her. This picture is funny cause she has that little tinge of fear in her eyes at the site of him, knowing he could come chase her at any minute.  You wouldn’t think the black cat would be the scared one, but she is.

I take more photos of these little demons (yes, I called them demons) on my Instagram account. If you have an iPhone or Android, I’d love it if you followed me for other daily random snippets from my life. My user name is Swelldesigner.

So do you take way to many photos of your pets? Or is it just me?

Until next time Swellions!


Pin It

And the winner Swell and Spooktastic prize pack is…

Pixie wasn't interested in picking a winner

So I held the drawing tonight for the contest winner of the Swell and Spooktastic Halloween Prize Pack!

I asked Pixie, our Terrorific Tuesday mascot to do the honors, but do you know what? She wasn’t the least bit interested. She snubbed you guys! She just sniffed at the box then turned around and walked away and went in the bathroom to eat more cat food.

I told her, “Missy, you need to straighten up and participate!”, but like most children, it goes in one ear and out the other. Same goes for when I tell her to clean out her own litter box. Kids these days.

So I did the honors for the contest myself and the winner was:

The winner

(cebrown117 at yahoo dot com)

Here’s what she had to say in her comment:

“Hi Alexa. I love your blog, I came across it a few days ago and I’m currently reading ALL of the old posts to get caught up. I know, totally crazy.

Anyway, here’s my (food) craft.
Last year for my daughter’s Halloween party I made a “Yummy Mummy” for dinner. The children loved it! I used a generic calzone recipe but instead of making the normal half-moon shaped calzones I made mine log shaped plus 1 oblong circle for the head. I baked them all until they were almost done then I formed them into the mummy shape and cover them with fillo dough. I dusted him with parmesan cheese to get rid of the gloss that comes from the egg wash and also gives it an “aged” look. I had to make recipe cards for the other mothers, it was a huge success.”

I loved this idea as well as reading all your Halloween inspiration, stories, and ideas and links! I appreciate that you took the time out of your busy day to share! I totally suggest that you all go back in and read the comments section. There’s some great inspiration to be found in there.

Until next time Swellions!


A red couch moment

black cat on sofa

I’ve been noticing that my cat loves sitting right in the middle of the couch lately. She is such a peculiar, unpredictable girl. She really has no rhyme or reason. I decided to take a quick pic of her tonight to show you her lounging in her spot.

A quick post tonight. Had some work to do and watched a little TV. Kelly Osbourne was really good on Dancing with the Stars. She has a natural talent.

Did want to share some Halloween inspiration that I love. Enjoy!

– Love all this orange, black,white, and grey compiled inspirational images on

– Graphic goodness postcards on Artjunk. Feels my heart with Halloween joy. What a great recycled magazine idea!

– Lovely cupcake canvases on Catherine Holman’s blog.

– What a cute idea for a little girl’s jeans! Found in All Sweet’s Etsy shop.

– And a super cute cover for a lollipop… an Amigurumi bear in Halloween colors! from Amigurumi Kingdom’s Flickr Stream.

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Until next day Swellions!


P.S. If you haven’t checked out the crazy red dust storm photos in Sydney, you should. Totally bizarre!

To Silvia’s house I go!

Tonight, after dinner, I went to my friend Silvia’s house. It was low key. We really enjoy hanging out together. We have a lot in common and we have a similar sense of humor.

A few days ago, I bought her son Joshua a little Halloween cat (I love to share the Halloween love prior to Halloween!) If you get a Halloween gift on Halloween, you don’t get to enjoy it! Anyway, he loved it! It was decided that his/her (I’m not quite sure the gender) name would be Spidey and I made Spidey rap, do the worm, and leap and fly for Joshua. Hee hee. I love kids. It’s nice being around a little one, especially since I’m so far away from my nieces and nephews. Later, Garrett, Silvia’s husband said he went to bed holding it. That makes me happy and I hope he has fun with it. Doesn’t it have the best eyes and isn’t Joshua adorable?


Silvia showed me her childhood sticker collection as well as a sticker book she picked up at a thrift store and there were some crazy ones. I’m still fascinated by the smelly stickers. The strawberry was the best, but then it mixed in with the pizza smell and that wasn’t so swell.


We ate Popeye’s for dinner and had a rousing round playing Dance Dance revolution. I had Silvia record me below while I took my turn. I wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t good either. It was my first time, though, and it was a lot of fun! I worked up a sweat too. Admittedly, I hate exercise and it so didn’t feel like exercise. Hmmm, maybe I should invest in a Playstation?? Perhaps. Anytime I can dance and groove and work out while doing so sounds good to me!

Well, off to bed in a few. I hope you guys have an awesome Friday!

Until next time Swellions!


A few Pixie pics :)

do you mind?  I'm kinda trying to eat here.

Last night, I took a few cute photos of my cat that I thought that I would share. I hope I’m not verging on “crazy cat lady” territory. Anyway, I’ve been really proud of her lately. As much of a scaredy cat as she can be, she’s really good at adapting to new situations. It only took her a couple of days to feel at ease in my new apartment when we first moved and last week when my dad and his friend came for a visit, she still slept with me and seemed ok with them being there. I don’t think I’m that nutty when it comes to my cat, but she is a constant in my life and it’s nice to have her with me, considering I am in a new place. It’s nice to have her as my little companion. As I write this she is resting next to me in her spot. Anyway, just wanted to share these cute pics!

off guard

I’ve been working up a project tonight I hope to share in the next couple of days. I hope to get back in crafty mode this week. I was preoccupied with other things the last couple of weeks!

Until next time Swellions!




In honor of Halloween, i’d like to share 5 interesting facts about my little black cat Pixie!

1. She has a little, skinny face and a big belly. Admittedly, I feed her too much. I can’t handle that little meow when she follows me into the bathroom and I always give her some food. She’s kinda swayback too, her back sinks in and then her belly almost scoots on the floor as she runs. It’s a funny sight.

2. She’s a BIG scaredy cat. She’s even still scared by sudden movements I make. She likes to be dominant and in control. She’s not scared of me when I’m in a normal spot like my bed or computer chair (where she can relax right next to me in her own chair). She also isn’t timid when I sit on the couch. I’ve used her as a head pillow before and she doesn’t mind, but the minute I turn around to face her, she darts right off the back of the couch.

3. She doesn’t really like meat like chicken, tuna, new foods, etc. If I ever pick off a little piece of mine to give her, she just sniffs and goes on her way. Not very interested at all, though she did dig a few small nibbles of Kraft cheese I gave her once.

4. She has a few favorite spots…she loves sitting in her chair in front of my bedroom window, under my bed, and on my shelf in my closet. Otherwise, she’s very random and unpredictable in the places she chooses to be.

5. She’s so good when it comes to not bothering stuff. I’ve never had her bother my Christmas tree or had her knock stuff off. She doesn’t get on counters or tables very often…only caught her doing that a time or two. She does occasionaly play with buttons/craft supplies she finds that she can cup into her paws. She’s not much into store bought toys. The favorite thing that I know she likes are some little plastic cherries that I have on a dish. She can bat those for hours and never get tired of it!

Bonus: I think she goes to do the door after I leave and sits there for a little bit. I’ve had to rush back in to get stuff before and I always find that she is running away from the door. Does this mean she misses me? I don’t know, but I kinda do like the thought. It’s sweet (and swell).

I hope you enjoyed these my little black cat factoids. She’s really a very sweet girl to me (other people find her shyness and scaredy cat nature kinda annoying). She’s definitely going to be found safe and sound inside my apartment on Halloween! I’ve heard that people do awful things to little black kitties on that day. Sad.

Until next time Swellions!


Terrorific Tuesday: Week 4


This month has flown by as fast as a witch on her broom! Can you believe we’ve completed 4 Terrorific Tuesdays?? Well, unfortunately this is the last Terrorific Tuesday of the year and I’d like to thank everyone who participated and shared their project or idea! Hopefully everyone had some fun and got some good traffic to their site…oh, and I also hope everyone came away from this with some positive inspiration and ideas up their sleeve for the few final days of the holiday and next year too! I wish that all my ideas could come to be by October 31st. I really do try my darndest, but I can’t do it all! I know you guys probably feel that way too! Doing a project a week is a LOT of work. All the designers and artists who participated know this…so for you non-artist or crafter types, this stuff doesn’t magically brew itself up! It’s the result of a dash of time and patience, a pinch of technical know-how, and a handful of creativity! Mix all that in with a whole lot of passion and you’ve got a wonderful brew!

So without further fanfare (and melted cheese), I present to you the fourth and final Terrorific Thursday!

Spooky Jewels Katie Hacker strings this red and black set using a Fresh resin pendant, polka dots, and metal skulls.

Fangtastic figurines Retta a.k.a. Attercat breaks out the polymer clay and whips up some glow-in-the-dark figurines.

Cool canister Serena the Crafty Mom revamps a bargain bin canister into an awesome Halloween decoration!

Gothic Pink Melissa J. Lee explores the spooky side of one of her favorite pastel colors.

“Eye”gor pin cushion Kiki of Kiki’s Craft World knits up this eye-catching pin cushion bracelet.

Stamped paper coffin Kate Pullen, the Rubber Stamping Guide at folds and stamps up this little coffin box that Dracula would envy!

Fun party food ideas Amy at Living Locurto threw a Halloween party and came up with tons of great ideas for the food table including this adorable witch cake!

Double the goodness from Margot! The Impatient Crafter™’s final Terrorific Tuesday offering is a two part story of friendship, Goth Style. Here are links to see Morticia Invites Miss Havisham to Tea and The Invitation.

Spiderman pendant (but not the Spiderman you’re thinking) Kim Ripley a.k.a. Stoopidgerl pours up a glittery sweet skull and crossbones resin necklace.

Quick & easy polka dot treat cups Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner shows you how to make quick and easy Halloween treat cups sure to wow your guests!

3 brand new Halloween jewelry projects! Tammy Powley, the Jewelry Guide at does an all-nighter (almost) as she pushes for a few more Halloween jewelry projects, including a super cool sterling silver spider, a glass framed mixed-media Halloween-themed pendant, and to top it off, a silver headless skeleton charm.

Fast & Fun Halloween Boa Sarah E. White,’s Knitting Guide knits up this super cute boa perfect for those chilly fall nights!

Dia De Los Muertos Cigar Box Shrine Kathy Cano-Murillo a.k.a. The Crafty Chica honors the Day of the Dead with this beautiful shrine.

Happy Haunting Greeting Card Phyllis Dobbs treats us once again with this cute Halloween card, perfect for all your favorite goblins!

Gypsy Traditions Lorilyn Hurley of the Dream Life shares a touching story of her family’s love for Halloween & their passion for playing dress up at their annual party!

Boo Bucket Michelle McGee crafts up a spooky and scary bucket that will leave goose bumps on all your guests!

Vintage Postcard Banner
Kris Tuey aka: the Collage Contessa
has made it official. Now you know exactly what time it is when you walk into her house. It’s HALLOWEEN time! This vintage project using fun Halloween postcards is so simple you can even entice the kids to help as well!

Fall Wall Hanging
Kim of Sew Sugary Sweet
stitches this wonderful and whimsical wall hanging for her Fall Swap partner.

Honestly, this was a lot of work for me to do. I’m not sure at this point if I will do this again next year. I don’t want to say for sure yes, but it’s a possibility. I may try to do a big post around early December as well packed with great Christmas projects, but I’m afraid a project a week for December is just too much for me to coordinate. I’m sure you guys understand! If anyone has suggestions or would like to do the links and I do the graphic, I might be up for that. I just don’t think I can do it all. I’d be open to your suggestions…so e-mail me at

And in closing, I say farewell to Terrorific Tuesdays and so does my precious little black cat Pixie!


Until next time Swellions!


Join me for Terrorific Tuesdays!

terrorific tuesday banner

If you haven’t already guessed I just love Halloween! I would call myself the queen, but I’ll settle for princess (I do have the tiara after all). And I have my own black cat too! That’s my cat Pixie in the banner above, the official mascot of Terrorific Tuesdays. She’s actually more of a scaredy cat than a scary cat!

If you have been reading my blog for a couple of months, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting a project each Tuesday and titling it my Terrorific Tuesday project. Well, I wanted to expand upon this idea and open it up to all my blog friends out on the “web”! I wanted to create a blog circle for October focusing on Halloween crafts and ideas. Tons of people are looking for clever ideas during this season in every shape and form and I wanted to create a positive, happy network of crafters for that!

You can choose as little or as much as you want to participate. I don’t want this to be something you stress over! Halloween is supposed to be FUN after all!

All I ask is that you please contact me and atleast let me know that you are interested so that I won’t be surprised last minute by someone I don’t know.


1. Project can be a new or old idea. There will be no set theme from week to week. You can choose to include or not include instructions in your post, but I do ask that you post a photo and a brief description or explanation as to why you were inspired to make that particular project.

Consider one of the following ideas for your post:
– home décor
– jewelry/accessories
– spooky food and drink recipes
– party and table decor
– clever costumes
– cards and paper crafts
– invitations
– outdoor décor
– pumpkin carving/painting

2. I want to keep this simple for everyone. I don’t want there to have to be a set day of the week that you post your project. For example, if you want to post your project on the Friday prior to October 6th, that’s fine, just send me the URL to that post via direct message on twitter (swelldesigner) or e-mail ( If you want to be included in the Terrorific Tuesday Halloween Crafts and Ideas Roundup for that week, the absolute deadline is 6pm (Eastern time) on each Monday of October 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th. I will send a reminder on Monday morning on Twitter. Please get it to me each Monday by 6pm, or expect to have your project left off the roundup until the following week.

On that Monday evening, I will compile all the links and create a cute photo mosaic of all the featured projects and write up copy for everyone to use on their blogs. I will e-mail you back late Monday evening this info for you to be able to post in your blogs on Tuesday.

As you probably already know, I like promotion, so I’ll try to stir up some interest on the “web” after our first post! Hopefully it will generate excitement, while also generating us some positive traffic.

Here’s a little button I made for you to be able to promote this fun roundup on your web site. Click on it and it will take you to the HTML code and the Hot link information that you can then copy and paste into your own web site.

terrorific web banner for promotion

I can’t wait to see what you guys “brew” up!

Until next time Swellions!


Pixie & the crappy situation

whatchu lookin at?

So I’ve been dealing a week or so with a new situation in my household. Pixie isn’t wanting to use the bathroom (numero dos) in her litter box. It’s weird, cause she has no problem peeing in there, but she is doing other matters by my front door, on the carpet, I might add.

I know she’s having a bit of transition anxiety. In an effort to make my bathroom cleaner, I moved her litter box from a space under my sink (there’s an opening for a chair as if it were a vanity setup) to the space next to the water heater. I thought she would be ok with this change since that actually was the spot of her litter box for quite a while. I don’t know if she gets freaked out by the sound of the air conditioner or what, but she is somehow upset by this new scene.

I have for 2 nights in a row, grabbed her and put her in the litter box. She doesn’t like this in the least, but I don’t know what else to do. Actually tonight I took her to the spot of the crime to show her what she did and proceeded to put her in the litter box. She scratched me a good one tonight with her back claw on my leg. It is so not easy catching her in the first place…I have to lay down and coax her to get in bed with me, then I have to grab her when she’s in just the right spot. She HATES being picked up and is petrified. I don’t do this to her very often, but sometimes I can’t help it. The good news is that she gets over it after a couple of minutes. I’ve literally freaked her out by picking her up (she’s ran away to hide) and then a couple of minutes later she’s back rubbing against my feet wanting attention. So I don’t think I’m emotionally scarring her too much.

Have any of you guys had a similar issue with kitty potty training? I’d love to hear your tactics if so.

Until next time Swellions!


P.S. I feel kinda bad linking this after sharing my gross cat story, but I was excited just a second ago seeing this new “secret” rehearsal video of Brit Brit. Admittedly, I’ve always rooted for the girl, what can I say?

Britney's Back!
Britney's Back!

Terrorific Tuesday: Vintage Black Cat Pendant

vintage black cat pendant

Woo. This one was an all nighter. Well, not really, but I spent about 3 hours on it. You wouldn’t think it to take so long. It’s just an image on a charm, but I’m so sloppy a painter and I made a few small mistakes along the way. I may be more impatient than the Impatient Crafter herself! Ha ha. I’m not going to go into all the details…just use the K.I.S.S. method ( and always let things dry before you move onto the next step. This is where I am a flawed crafter.

FYI: I modified a vintage cat image for this charm in Photoshop. I changed the coloring and some of the shapes. I just love black cats, if you didn’t already know that…I mean, how can I not like them…I have the wonderful black Pixie as a pet:

Moody Pixie

OK, on with the show…

– Photo software + inkjet printer
– Cardstock
– decopauge medium
– Americana Acrylics in Lamp (Ebony) Black
– Craft Twinkles Paint (I used fuchsia for a hot pink shimmer)
– scissors
– Crazy glue
– toothpicks
– palette/paper plate
– pendant bail
– 1.5″ wooden disk (I purchased mine at Michaels)
– Vintage black cat image
– foam brush and 3/8″ flat brush

Here’s what you do:
1) Download vintage cat and starburst image here. Open up in your photo software and print. It should be shy of 1 1/2″ in diameter. Size in your photo software if needed.

2) Basecoat wooden disk with black paint. Let dry.

3) Apply Craft Twinkles over top of black paint. Let dry.
add glitter

4) Use super glue and place pendant bail into place. Use toothpick to hold into place for several minutes until dry.
add pendant bail

5) Cut out printed image with scissors. Apply decopauge medium to back of cut out image. Spread in a thin even layer and apply on top of wooden disk.
cover with medium on back

6) Use decopauge to coat front as well (back and forth a couple of times). Don’t overcoat. If you do, it will make the paper bubble or make the ink bleed. Let dry.
7) String basic chain pendant through pendant bail and display proudly!

And on a final note, I saw this little cat decoration (or one very similar to it) in a gift shop in Stanford today. I really love the expression and I want to see if it freaks Pixie out! I know that seems mean, but I think it is so cute! By the way, I have never seen my cat do her back like this…

i want this

Until tomorrow Swellions!