Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thrifting Thursday 3/16/17

Hello Friends, Welcome to another 'Thrifting Thursday'. Just a quick post today to share a few cool new finds and a recent project. At left you can see two exquisite tins I found at 'work' where I volunteer one day a week. They are so nice I actually haven't had the heart to deconstruct them yet!

Here are two other tins I came across. I love raspberries and I have a hot pink top I wear a lot in summer so I am going to make myself a pair of earrings from the tiny tin. I thought the 'Rosie the Riveter' tin was unique and would have a nice appeal. I also picked up this nice sturdy silverware tray for use in the workshop. I am constantly trying to get more organized and I thought this would be good on my desk to hold tools and such. All the pieces you see above were $8 total!

Recently, my dear daughter was home on spring break.  She is in Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and they have 'Big Sister' appreciation week coming up. She has two 'Bigs' and so together we created these two crescent moon pendants in copper. Gamma Phi's symbol is the crescent moon and their colors are brown, mode [a light brown] and pink, so the patinated copper is perfect compliment don't you agree?

So that's about it for this week. I have a big project coming up that I will blog about soon. Till then please enjoy my TTE Facebook page for the newest news!
Warm Regards,


Monday, March 6, 2017

I'm Published! and Other Good News! 3/6/17

Hello Friends~
I'm sorry I was lax last week and didn't get a post done. It's been busy around the casa and sometimes time slips away from me. The nice thing is that all that 'busy' equates to good news.
On new stands March, 1, 2017 is the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine.
I am so pleased and honored to be selected as a contributor of my set "Verdant Ferns".  
I was also asked to write a short tutorial on my embossed vintage tin technique. This was not my first time being published, but it was the first time I was asked to write a short tutorial. 
The icing on the cake, is along with the fun of seeing your work in print, I actually got a small payment for this effort. Yay! :-)

Woo Hoo!

A photo I took prior to submission

In other news, I have participated in two local art shows. ART FIESTA here in New Smyrna Beach, FL and also LAKE MARY-HEATHROW ART FESTIVAL in Lake Mary, FL [about 40 minutes west].

Here are some photos of my most recent booth evolution. I am happy with it for the most part. I will do a few small tweaks and I recently ordered some new photo posters with more recent work. The old ones are ok, but they got wet and wrinkled. Plus I want a uniform background that blends with my burlap and turquoise better than the gray I was using a couple of years ago.

 At ART FIESTA, I was honored to be selected for judging. Although I didn't win actual prizes it was nice to be considered out of 200+ artists.

Last, but far from least. One of my oldest and dearest friends happened to be in Orlando for her son's school competition. She drove well out of her way to come and see me for a bit on Sunday afternoon before her long drive home. What a wonderful surprise and of course she took home a few pretties!

Thanks for stopping by this week, I hope to have a thrifting post on Thursday so I hope you'll drop back by.
Warm Regards,
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Thrifting Thursday on Friday & Copper Etching 1/24/17

Hello Friends~
Just a quick post today [since I'm already a day late] on my thrift finds and what I'm working on.

I volunteer at my parish thrift shop. Most of the time I find maybe one thing a week, but this past Tuesday I found a ton of things I NEEDED! haha
Two tins featuring cardinals, did you know seeing a cardinal is heaven's way to tell you a deceased loved one is thinking of you? That's the legend anyway and I find comfort in that, so I knew I wanted these. Also the giant popcorn tin had a lot of white with the top and lid. White tin is so fun because you can do so many creative things with it. It's actually hard to find as most are printed with designs. 
The purple stripe tin is good too- I see a little pop art modern thing going on there.
I also scored this tiny cedar cigar box. Not sure how I will use it, but for .50 cents I had to have it. Also the rhinestone shoe clips will make great up cycled leather cuff bracelets. 

Look at all that white tin!!!

Also, this week I am back to etching some copper. I did our local NSB ART FIESTA last weekend and although it wasn't a huge money maker I did sell quite a few of my copper pieces. 
I was able to secure the etching chemicals locally- YAY! 
 I have done a first batch and am in the process of completing those pieces before my next event March 4 & 5 at the Lake Mary- Heathrow, FL show.

As always, 
Thanks so much for stopping by. I always appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Have a great rest of the week,
Warm Regards,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Flourish StayBars & Setting Up A New 'Jury Worthy' Art Booth Photo 2/15/17

Hi Friends~
In my never ending quest to improve my booth and increase my odds when entering shows, I have added some improvements to my set up.
I recently won entry into a nice juried show. So I decided to take "the money that would have been an entry fee" and use that amount to justify buying some Stay-bars from Flourish for my EZ up tent. 
  We did a practice set up in my driveway recently to see how they did. They were pretty easy to install and made the tent frame exponentially sturdier,  which is awesome. 

Added my own directions to help with installation

Once the bars were on, I added the walls and set to work with my 'new and improved' set up for jury photos.

When you are applying to big events you must submit pictures of your display.  You show what I like to call a 'fantasy booth'. In a perfect world with no wind or rain, the perfect amount of clientele, etc., this is what would your booth look like. 
In truth, I have a lot more inventory out and things look much fuller. 

For this set up I am using plastic garage shelving as a base. This is wrapped with a nice outdoor rubber backed fabric in in my signature color.

The two nice things about this heavy fabric is that it doesn't really wrinkle and that when not in use I just roll it up on a big cardboard tube.

I use heavy clamps to hold the fabric in place. It takes a little manipulation but you can see the results below.

After adding the wrap and the burlap covered 3' table tops, I am ready to begin hanging the walls and setting up the rest of the display. 

In this version I used my logo banner at the rear, flanked by 18x24in posters of my past work. Jewelry is hard to see at a distance, so patrons like to have an idea of your work before they enter the tent.  The logo banner is not used in a jury photo, as it is suppose to be anonymous, but I wanted to see how it looked. I find that taking pictures as I go is very helpful when setting up or making things. When you look back at a photo you can see flaws, errors or improvements that are not always noticeable when you are in the midst of the project.

Here is the final shot, logo poster removed, dressed with jewelry and a rug added for a cohesive look. After looking at this I decided that I will add two more grid panels to my display for the show I have coming up this weekend and probably pull the pedestals forward a bit more. That will allow me to put out a little more inventory. 

I'm sharing this older photo so you can see a bit of the evolution. It really is an ongoing process and I hear from other artists that it never really gets to a place where you stop tweaking it.

This photo is 2+ years old and shows my first attempt, at the pedestal configuration. I had a friend sew the covers. They worked ok, but I could never get the wrinkles out and it made me crazy. Believe it or not, just having wrinkles is enough to get eliminated from a jury pool, jewelry is that competitive.

So, next on my list is having new posters made to update some of my work. I'm sure I will find other things to change too, it really is an ever evolving process!
For now I'm off to prep for my first event of 2017. I have 5 shows in the next 11 weeks so I'd better get moving!  If you're in the area, come to New Smyrna Beach, FL and the Art Fiesta in old town off Canal Street this weekend.
Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate any comments and suggestions.
Warm Regards,

Monday, February 13, 2017

Learning to Solder Sterling Silver with FSG-NE 2/13/17


Hello Friends~
Yesterday was a day I have been anticipating for quite awhile. I have really been wanting to add soldering to my skill set and I finally had the opportunity. 

Back in December I decided to join the Florida Society of Goldsmiths [NE Chapter]. They are open to all jewelers who work in metals, not just gold.  Upon joining I saw an opportunity to take classes and I immediately signed up for soldering. 

I hopped in the car and made my way to Deland, FL, less than 30 minutes from my house, to the 'Artisan's Alley' where the FSGNE has a work shop. 

My prototype
I checked in along with 7 other students and we grabbed a bench and got started. The project would be made from circles, but could be your choice. Many chose to make a ring, but I opted for earrings.
First we made coils and used a jewelers saw to cut them. Let's just say my sawing needs work! 

Next came the actual soldering. Here I learned that patience is key.

I chose to fire on a kiln brick.

In this picture you can see the quench bowl, the copper tongs, flux brush and of course the torch.

Here are my soldered and quenched pieces,  now ready for the pickle bath.

Here is what I made. 
Here you see me in action! A classmate was kind enough to offer to take a couple of pics for me making the balled headpins for ear wires. In hindsight it does look like I am torching the flux brush - haha
I also showed several students how to make their own ear wires. The student can also be a teacher.

Below you see my final project. There are some quirks and wonky bits but I am really pleased. I foresee a big supplies purchase in my future. I can definitely say I'm HOOKED!
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Be on the lookout for more posts about my new addiction!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Five Things I Can't Live Without 1/30/17

Hello Friends~ 
  As I recommit to blogging more regularly in 2017 I decided to use a '30 Day Blog Challenge' list as a prompting tool. The next entry according to the list is "Five Things I Can't Live Without".  So, if you are a regular reader let's see if there's something new you didn't know and if you are new to the blog, welcome! 

Good Morning Friends

Hmm... This will be a short post to actually write but will take quite a while to think about and  narrow down to just five things.

1. My Faith- I struggle everyday to be a faithful Christian, most of the time I fall short. Thankfully God forgives me and lets me start again fresh, every single day.

                   2.My Family- I couldn't do what I do or be who I am without the foundation of my family, my husband, my kids, my parents, my relatives and even my doggies. 

3. A hot beverage in the morningI am not really a morning person. Knowing that there is a hot cuppa [mostly coffee with french vanilla or sometimes chai tea] waiting for me makes it possible to get out of bed!

4. Making art- Creating has become such a huge part of my life and activity. On the days [or sometimes weeks] that I can't play in my studio I get pretty bummed out. However, just a couple hours 'at work' and I feel great again. 

5. My Apple products - Like most people today I am pretty tied to my electronics. Between my iPhone5S, Ipad mini and Mac computer, I am definitely wired in. The majority of my business is transacted via technology and since most of my family and friends live far from me it's the way I keep connected. A necessary evil you might say. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Charity Wall Cross Project + Thrifting Thursday 1/26/2017

Hello Friends~~~~ Welcome to another installment of Thrifting Thursday Plus! Before I start on the thrifting portion I would like to tell you about my annual charity cross project. For the last few years I have sponsored a drive during Lent and Advent in which I create wall crosses [and beaded rosaries] and donate all the proceeds [minus S/H] to Food for the Poor. This very worthy, non-denominational charity, established in 1982 does amazing work. Over 95% of the money donated goes directly to the most needy.  
If you are interested in supporting my endeavor, check out my FB album page: 2017 Charity Cross ProjecTo learn more about Food for the Poor go here:

Now on to the Thrifting.....
This past week I was out and about and checked out the Halifax Hospital Charity Shop. Here I found a pretty Wedgewood ashtray for just $4! I don't smoke, so I will use it as a ring dish on my dresser to compliment a Wedgewood heart shaped box I got overseas years ago. I also found a wrought iron necklace tree for just $2. I will use this in my show displays. It will be great for displaying the long necklaces I have in extra stock. 

You may know by now that on Tuesdays I volunteer at my church's thrift shop. Our Lady of Hope Thrift shop supports all kinds of good works in our community. It's been a nice way to meet people too. One bonus is seeing 'new' items as they come in.  I spotted this $1 tall cobalt blue bottle from Spain and thought with some washing it would be a great addition to my cobalt glass collection seen below. What do you think??

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you like my finds and I also hope you will look into Food for the Poor. If you aren't interested in a wall cross, please consider making a direct donation of your own.
Have a wonderful week! 
Warm Regards,

Monday, January 23, 2017

Growing Up 1/23/17

Hello Friends~ 
  As I recommit to blogging more regularly in 2017 I decided to use a '30 Day Blog Challenge' list as a prompting tool. The next entry according to the list is "Growing Up".  So, if you are a regular reader let's see if there's something new you didn't know and if you are new to the blog, welcome! 

   "Growing Up" is the title of this next prompt and so let's dive right in. 
  I was born in October of 1961 and am the oldest of two children. The 60's were a pretty turbulent time in our country's history. Civil rights, the space race, the cold war, the counter culture and more. I however, was blissfully unaware of all this. I was born in Kansas to college student parents who worked very hard to give me a good life. When I was five my dad's job moved us to the small town of Freeport, Illinois. 

Krape Park's Twin Caves
In my recollections, this town was just like TV's Mayberry . I walked back and forth to school and came home for lunch. I played in fields a couple of blocks over from our house. I rode my bike everywhere. I walked to the local mall and spent the whole day with my friends... hours without cell phone leashes. 
I loved our town's massive old Carnegie library, I loved going to Krape Park, ice skating on the river and sledding near the bandshell. I even fell into the river once near the Twin Caves [and was saved from drowning, but that's another story].

Of course there are things about growing up that aren't like a TV show. I had chores which I despised, I got into a fight once in high school , I got in trouble for cutting through the church yard when I'd promised not to... and was ratted out by a red mitten...
[that's for you dad :-) ]  and a bunch of those other things through your childhood that help to form your character. 
When I was 15 we moved yet again for dad's job, this time to Lawton, OK. It was a nice big house, with the only tree on our block. Instead of spiders or roaches, we had to watch for scorpions in the house. My dad was actually at training in Ohio almost the whole time we lived there, which was only 6 months!  Here I had my first date, lettered in my first team sports and had to learn to make friends with people who hadn't known me most of my life. It was pretty tough, and as an emotional teenage girl I wasn't very happy about that move.

Then dad got promoted once again, and we were off to Tyler, Texas for my senior year of high school. This was a much better situation. It was still hard to make friends, but I played sports and had some part time jobs, both of which helped me meet people. 

I graduated and moved on to Tyler Junior college for two years. 

Then... you guessed it dad got transferred again. Although I was 19, my parents insisted I move with them to North Carolina. As a young adult I was pretty ticked off, but hind sight is 20/20, and it was really for the best. I ended up at University of North Carolina at Wilmington and that was a great choice for me. 
So, there is a brief synopsis of my 'growing up'. I am truly blessed. All that moving as a kid was great training for being a Navy wife and mother to my two kids who also had to move a lot. 

Thanks for stopping by~ 
Tammie :-)