Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thrifting Thursday & USPS Jackpot Day 1/21/16

Hello Friends- 

As I write this it's actually a Thursday afternoon. That's unusual for me since I usually do my blogging early in the morning. It's freezing here and our area, like much of the country, is anticipating a nasty weather weekend. So I hopped out to do a few errands [no, I didn't need milk, bread & TP]. Along the way the pull of the DAV thrift shop was just too great, so I stopped in.....
I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I found a couple of goodies, so here we go!

This is a commercial sign holder. You slip the cardboard sign into a slit at the top and voila'.  I may use it for that, but I was also thinking that since it is @14inches tall it might be a good necklace holder at shows or even just in the workspace so they don't tangle.  Just $3 

Here we have a nice solid ceramic picture frame. I like to use these to cover with polymer clay. I coat the surface with liquid polymer and cure and then the make the best IMHO surface to layer with a nice polymer clay treatment.  $2 On the right a collection of VHS tapes. At just 25cents each you can't go wrong. I have an old TV/VHS combo player in my studio and so when the wifi isn't working [which is frequently] I just pop in a movie. There's a DVD play attached too so all the bases are covered.  

 When I got home from my errands I was pleased to see my mailbox bursting with packages!

Here's what was in them-
*A new sea shell themed embossing folder - good for paper AND thin metal
*Two sets of new beach themed rubber stamps- these will be great for copper etching!
*5 new colors of Guilder's paste - Navy Blue, Verdigris, Black, Inca Gold and Silver. I have the Patina color and use it all the time, I thought it was time to branch out. 
*8 new polymer clay 'texture plates' they are thin enough to go through the roller
and also some new 'sharkskin' tags and earring nuts- not that fun, but necessary.

Close up of one of the texture plates
So, with the impending crummy weather, my show for Saturday was cancelled. I am bummed, shows this time of the year are hard to come by, but I have some new toys to play with and I guess that takes a bit of the sting out of the situation.
Have a safe, warm and happy weekend! 
Warm Regards,

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thrifting Thursday 1/14/15 Happy New Year!

Hi Thrifty Friends~
In 2016 I'm recommitting myself to get back to more regular blogging. I got a bit bogged down last year and blogging was one of the things that fell though the cracks.

Along with more regular blogging I have decided to stream line things a bit in the online sales, shop and show arenas too.  I stepped back from the Handmade at Amazon site that I had applied to and been accepted and set up shop in. It is a great idea and I hope it will succeed, but it was one of the things making me feel that I was spread too thin.
I also pulled out of one of the local shop venues I had. I hated to leave that little 'family' who always made me feel so welcome, but once again keeping a space fully stocked and maintained was stressing me out far above the monetary return.
Also, we learned that we will indeed be moving with my husbands job this summer. The Navy has agreed that he can be a ROTC instructor at a university in Florida [more on that in a future post] and so I am feeling the need to scale back, and prepare and PURGE prior to that big move.  

I am also being more selective about the remaining shows that I will apply to in our remaining time in Virginia. I am only applying to venues I want to do, not 'have' to do. I have also begun researching the show situation in Florida. It makes sense course, but I was surprised to find that most of the big shows take place in the winter when the 'snowbirds' and weather are the best. That will require a change of mind set, as I am used to summer, late fall and holiday events being the focus.

So now you have an idea where my thoughts are lately, on to what I found this week on my brief thrifty adventure.
With our move foremost in my mind, I am being quite choosy in the tins that I pick up from now on. I have a lot of 'tin inventory' and have decided to only buy those that I think are exceptional. This 'Brighton' tin fit the bill. Pretty on both sides, I like the green one best, this will make a very cool set, or two.
I also grabbed a nice full grain leather belt for my up cycled cuff bracelets which are popular right now. All this bargain goodness set me back $3.
Now I'm off to finish up inventory for one of the two shops that remain on my docket.
Have a wonderful, creative weekend!
Warm Regards,

Friday, November 13, 2015

Working Out Your Booth Design - From a 10x10', 5x2' to 48"

 I am a planner-

  Eight years ago I had the occasion to attend a training seminar for Navy Commanding Officer Spouses. During our week long training we were administered the Myers-Briggs Assessment.
To make the seminar more interesting one evening, the organizers had some fun activities arranged using the highest and lowest scorers in certain categories.
  Certain people were called up on stage during the event. When you were called, you had no idea what the category or activity would be.
In my group there were about 8 people, both men and women.

 The Moderator started by saying "We were going on a trip in two months what would you do?"
I raised my hand and began by saying I would research the destination, things to do in the area and airplane ticket prices. Others chimed in, mentioning looking up the weather for that time of year so you'd know what to pack, hotels, etc. Others chimed in, yes and let's check car rentals and restaurants too. We were getting it together.
  The others in the group just sat there quietly, the moderator finally asked them "How would you prepare?' Imagine my horror when one lady said "I'd throw my toothbrush, credit card and some clean panties in a suitcase and see what happens!'

 So I guess you can say I'm a bit of an OCD planner. It's how I relieve my stress for an event. If I try to think through the worst case scenarios and pack what I'd need to overcome it then I can relax, knowing that I did my best to make it smooth.  When I don't plan I get pretty anxious and that's not always pretty!

So it goes for doing art & craft shows. ......I plan... and plan
Out door shows using my 10x10 tent. On grass & tree roots.
On concrete and rainy days

Even short term quickie farmers market events get organized. I also try various configurations from week to week to see what works best with traffic flow and location.

 Super windy outdoor events where you must leave your sidewalls intact present another type of challenge.

In a school gym where the setup is long and narrow 
[ Here you also see my new bright turquoise pedestal covers which I love] 

Here is a recent event, where the set up was to be only 8x8'. I actually did some grid paper models  to scale to help me visualize my options.

And here is the result.

This weekend I have a trunk show at a shop where I have my beach themed things.
At this event I am bringing my regular line as well, but I only have a 48" round table [and maybe one grid wall butted up against that table for some height] 
So I am experimenting with some alternatives. See the tape measure to give me an idea of how far I can spread out.

In the next few weeks I have more 'small' events that allow just one table. So I plan to incorporate one grid wall to give height without the bulk of a shelving unit. I also want to keep my new table covers in use and so I am planning to use it as a topper over my cream colored fitted table skirts
[Sorry about the messy garage]

So I guess the point of this post is to share the fact that you must be flexible, and planning what you can in advance helps to relieve stress and make your events as successful as they can be.
Be sure to check out my Facebook page for pictures of recent shows and also upcoming events.
Thanks for reading today-
Have a wonderful weekend 
Warm Regards,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thrifting, Etching and Making ~ A Busy Week 10/22/15

Hi Friends~ Earlier this month, show season kicked off with a bang. From now through December, I have an event [or two] every week. Naturally, I have been in overdrive "making mode" working to create lots of new pieces. I have a few regular clients who come to all the shows and I like to have a few brand new things at every event.  
Below you see copper bead with stone bangles. Some assemblage with resin, wire stone wrapping and more.

Even a big batch of copper etching to get things going-

And let's not leave out a bit of stringing. I love the southwest vibe of turquoise and red coral together. 

Last but not least, I had the chance to hit the thrift store yesterday and came across these lovelies! I plan to get cutting on these today. 
I won't be cutting the cobalt blue bottle, that goes in my blue glass collection1

Not a bad haul- I've gotten more picky about the tins I buy now. I think these are going to be very cool, especially the limes and the ancient map tin.

So have a great week and if you are in my area, come see me at Grassfield HS this Saturday. More info can be found HERE!

Warm Regards,

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thrifting Thursday 9/17/15 Fun Finds, an Application, and a Bit of Repurposing

Hi Friends
   Things at TTE Designs are back to full on fall mode. I am happy to have an event or show almost every weekend between now and Christmas. 
   Yesterday I applied to the MOCA's [Museum of Contemporary Art in VaBeach] Holiday show. They only accept 30 artists so I will just have to wait and see. I applied last year and was not selected, but hopefully I've upped my game and they will consider me.

This is a smaller version of the one I bought

 I had big two day show last weekend that went quite well, with one small tragedy. My inexpensive plastic earring spinner got a little crushed and broken. It had been broken once before and repaired with black electrical tape... While I was out and about this week I stopped by 'The Store for Stores' in Norfolk, VA for the first time and picked up a new, larger metal spinner rack for earrings. 
Instead of just 48 of my earring cards this new one can hold as many as 80 if I choose to! 

   So, because I can't bear to throw something useful away, I used the broken spinner as a base [with some glue and duct tape repairs] to create a new bracelet display. You might recall a Thrifting Thursday blog post I did a couple of years ago about making a spinner for less than $10  

I used the same basic principles to create this new one, using foam core board, and burlap. The bracelets hand from drapery hooks.   It looks and spins so much better and although I hate to throw stuff away, the original one will be headed to the trash today.  
Here's a little video of the finished project.


Here' what else I found:

Several great tins!  This tray is beautiful, it will be hard to cut since it's fluted all the way around.


A nice wooden tray, probably an 'in box' for a desk, for 98 cents, this will be used in my studio to hold projects in progress.  Also a mug tree for 98 cents, these are great to display bangle bracelets. 

A fun vintage elephant chain belt for my teenager, if she doesn't want it, I will repurpose it into a jewelry piece.

Additionally, I received a thrifty gift, from a friend who found these babies while she was out scouring the country side for her own projects.  
So nice to have junking buddies! :-D

  Have a great week and I will see you next time!
Warm Regards,