Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Flourish StayBars & Setting Up A New 'Jury Worthy' Art Booth Photo 2/10/17

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 1/13/17


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 :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback & Thrifting Thursday 1/18/17

 Hello Friends~
  Today's post is a quickie. I have titled this Throwback and Thrifting because it is a little of each. 
The 'throwback' portion references my foray back into polymer clay.  For several years I ran a promotion at Lent and Advent in which all the proceeds from the sale of rosaries and wall crosses went to charity. I have decided to get back to that this year. Lent begins on March 1st this year so I want to have a good quantity of crosses available. They will range in size and cost from $15 to $30 and all proceeds [minus the shipping cost] will be donated to Food for the Poor. 
  If you are interested in a custom design, message me and I will be more than happy to work with you.

  As for the Thrifting portion of today's post, here are two tins I recently acquired. The tobacco tin was discovered at my volunteer gig for our parish's thrift shop. Not super colorful, but I like the rustic vintage advertising quality of it. The second was actually found by my friend whom I dragged along with me this week while checking out a new thrift store. Lovely antique looking flowers will make a pretty set. 
  In other exciting news, it looks like I am an official part of the next issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine. That will come out in March, I'll be posting more as it gets closer. 
Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful weekend!
Warm Regards,

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1/11/17 "About My Personality and Values"

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 third entry according to the list is "About My Personality and Values".  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! 

Wow, this is a pretty tough post. How does a person sum themselves up in a sentence or two?

As to my personality, well I have strengths & positives and flaws & negatives like everyone else. 
Here is my take on it. 

Strengths: patriotic, devout, fiercely loyal, tender-hearted, rule follower, funny, self deprecating

Flaws: stubborn, tremendous self doubt, lazy, fear of new situations, procrastination, easily distracted , negative thoughts, [I'm sure there are more, but ouch....I feel like I've gone to confession]

Values, well here are some things I feel very strongly about:
Taking personal responsibility .....for good and especially for bad things that happen
Sense of humor

A picture from winter 2016  in Virginia 

I appreciate any comments you have.
Thanks for stopping by, it means so much to me.
Have a great rest of the week!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Ten Facts About Me 1/9/17

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 second entry according to the list is "10 Facts About Me".  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! 

Hi Friends
Today's blogging prompt is 10 Facts About Me.  Without further ado....

Me, scrunching... and still towering over people

#1  I am 6'3" [No, I don't play basketball, I did in HS, but that was 1,000 years ago]

#2  I am a US Navy wife. [23 years and counting, a tough gig, but he's worth it!]

#3  I am a mom to 2 young adults. [ I always wanted to be a mom, I'm blessed I got the chance to be]

#4  I LOVE dogs.  [Sometimes they are a pain, but I can't imagine not having my buddies around]

#5  I've moved a lot [Some are KS, IL, OK, TX, NCx2, SC, NC, VA, FL, CA, VAx2, Guam, VAx2, FL]
#6  I've traveled to  Canada, Mexico, England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Japan, Australia

#7  I love being creative and artsy. [It's a hobby that took on a life of it's own!]

#8  I'm Christian and a convert to Catholicism. [ Not always easy, but the right path for me]

#9  I'm crazy about historical biographies and fictional period dramas. [My husband says 'Not another book about the wives of Henry the 8th']

#10 I'm tickled to death that people actually read this blog and follow me at my online venues!
Thanks so much!

Have a great week~
Warm Regards,  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An Introduction 1/4/16

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 first entry should be an "Introduction" according to the list. Now, it may seem a bit silly since I've had this blog since May of 2012 but, I'm a rule follower so off we go.....

  My name is Tammie. I'm a US Navy wife, a mother to 2 awesome college kids, a 'dog mom' to 2 crazy boxers and an artist who enjoys tinkering with mixed medium jewelry.

We moved to Florida six months ago for my husband's job and I'll admit, it's been quite a challenge.               
It's the first time in many years of moving where we don't know a soul and we're empty nesters now too, so it's a double whammy.  I do like some 'alone' time to work in the studio, but I also enjoy being with people. So I have started volunteering at my parish thrift shop and am making a concerted effort to get together socially with the couple gals I've recently met.  
It all just takes time and I'm not always patient.

Also, with the new year I'm hoping to make some new business and personal goals which I will talk about here on the blog throughout the year.
If you're curious about my original 'first entry' back in 2012 here's the link:
I went back and had a look myself. I watched the little video I made with what was then, 'new work'. So funny to see how the creating evolves over 5 years. 

Thanks for stopping by, :-)
Warm Regards,

A free printable for you to color 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year - January 1, 2017 Recommitted!

Hello Friends~ 2017, how did you get here so FAST!   
  I'm taking this opportunity to recommit to more frequent blogging. Looking back, I know I said the same thing last year, but this time I have some tools to get me solidly back in the groove. I printed off a list of prompts to help me get in the groove. Realistically, I won't be blogging daily, so these are good ideas for the first few weeks.

  I am a fan of Heather Powers of Humblebeads fame. She does a weekly bead table Wednesday on her Facebook VIP group and gives tips and advice on how she runs her creative business. I listen to her posts much like a podcast. Last week she talked about goals and how to make time for all that your business requires. Like Heather I prefer not to make new year resolutions, I like to set goals. I feel like that is a more realistic way to achieve what you want to accomplish.
I sat and reflected and decided to sketch out a flow sheet of big ideas. It needs more specifics and more refining but it's a start.
 I chose to divide things into 4 main categories; business, art, mind/body/spiritual & other for the random stuff.
I won't bore you, you can see them here for yourself....

Lastly, in the interest of doing something creative most every day,  I am pursuing my interest in Zentangles and so I did a small one yesterday while watching football bowl games with the family. Not bad for a first try. I also started a Pinterest board for inspiration.
The nice thing about doing these is you only need pen and paper.
I hope you'll check back soon. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate your comments!
Warm Regards,