Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Thursday 2016

Dear Friends
For the last few years we have traveled to my parents house in Alabama for the holiday. We always make a pilgrimage to shop for GameDay gear prior to the Iron Bowl and my 'black Friday' shopping consists of hitting Gadsden thrift shops- this year will be no different. :-D
To you and yours, I send our best wishes for a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving from TTE Designs. 

Free shipping now in my TTE Etsy shop through 12/6/2016, just enter the code FREESHIP2016 
at checkout.  I will be adding new items daily from now through the holiday season 
so check back often to see what's new. 
**If you are looking for anything special that you don't see in the shop, message me and I will be happy to add it in for you!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Moving TTE Designs to Another State

Hello Friends~
  Another Thursday is here and today I want to talk about moving my business to another state. Let me start by saying, I never set out to have a real legit business as an artist. I was just a girl who like to make things, and not really savvy about business dealings at all. As my desire to sell my art [online but mostly at craft fairs] increased so did the realization that I would have to evolve. 
  Nicer shows and events require you to have insurance and to collect and pay sales tax. Frankly, nicer events are more lucrative. You truly do get what you pay for, shelling out big$ for a juried show reaps nice rewards.
  So, in Virginia, I had the advice of a few friends and found a great accountant who works with tiny businesses. She helped me navigate the roads so to speak and get all set up. I went to the Chesapeake city court house, paid a small fee and "voila'" I was set. 

  Now fast forward two years. Like so many other active duty military wives I moved with my husband to a new state for his career. Also like so many other wives, I wanted to continue my 'career' as well. I set out to reestablish myself and found that Florida has some very different rules about becoming 'real'. In addition to the usual registrations, one of the required steps is to place an ad in your local paper stating your intention to use a 'fictitious name'- this little blurb is $75~ Ouch! 

Now that this has posted I can continue the other steps toward being legal.  Sadly, for me I am probably doing all this the hard way because I am doing it by trail and error. I know it will eventually get done, but it's a challenge and no where near as fun as creating.  

My ZApplication  interest list
The next step it to find and apply to shows. Here too, Florida seems different. There are LOTS of big events, but less of the smaller & mid-size shows I like to do too. I have started to reach out quite a bit and even for shows where I have missed the deadline, I have asked to be put on mailing lists for next year. 
ZApplication is a good resource as well as Greg Lawler's Art Fair Source Book and I have paid for a short term subscription to 'Where the Shows Are' to help me in my search. 

I was excited for last weekend. I did my first FL event. I applied just days after we moved in because the deadline was so far out. I was pleased to be an artist at the Halifax Art Festival November 5&6, 2016.  Since it was totally new to me I applied in the less rigorous Crafter category to feel it out and to increase my change of acceptance.  Unfortunately my location was not good and my sales were low because of it. I am not totally discouraged though, and if I apply next year I will insist on being on the main drag and not off on an after thought  side street. 

Above are some pics of the mock ups I have been staging my garage. I am planning to do a 75% vertical display in my tent this time out. This will allow for more room for customers to move around and see my work. 
And here are the pics taken on site.  I like the spaciousness of the vertical, not sure how I feel about the look of it in action. Being super windy that weekend didn't help, as everything shook all day.

 Not having done a show since April had me feeling rusty. Thank goodness for checklists! I don't have another event for a few weeks so, I'll be headed back to the drawing board. 
Have a great week and I'll see you soon
~ Tammie 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thrifting Thursday 10/20/2016 'Repurposed Photo Frame and DIY Show Tent Weights'

Greetings Friends & Happy Thrifting Thursday!
You may recall that I purchased these two hollow center lidded 'picture frames' from our parish charity shop a few weeks ago. I thought they might make a unique display for my jewelry with a little tweak.

They had two variations for display. First was a traditional mat and glass configuration, second was a series of photo flaps that could be inserted and was attached to solid black panel as seen above.
Showing the grooves where the panels fit

Quick shot showing it in action
For this project I used some of my trusty burlap [which I always seem to have on hand], black duct tape, two sided foam tape and two clear push pins.  I used the black frame panel as a template and cut the burlap just a bit larger. The panel had to fit back into the grooves inside the frame so I needed to keep any extra fabric bulk to a minimum. A quick minute later and the burlap was attached tautly to the frame and slid back into the base. I them measured equal distance and carefully tapped in two pushpins. Lastly, I used two pieces of two sided foam tape and secured the lid to the box. It had some small magnets but for transporting to show I wanted it secure. 
Now it will make a unique focal display for a statement piece. 

My other weekend project was to convince my husband to help me make some new tent weights for out door shows. I had some gigantic weights which we had to leave behind when we moved this summer. These are substantially smaller, but also A LOT easier to move. 4 small buckets, 4 eye bolts, some wire to hold it from sinking, and two bags of concrete later..... There are no pictures during construction because, well it was a mess, haha!  I will use these attached to ratchet straps from the tent frame. I also have some zipper sand bags that wrap around the tent legs and 4 barbells that sit on the metal flaps that encircle the tent legs. All in all it should be about 50-60# per leg.
I am doing my first FL event in a few weeks and if I have any financial success I am planning to buy some Sta-Bars for my tent which will also make it more sturdy in windy weather.
Not pretty, but pretty heavy!

There you have it. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week and I'll see you back here next week!
Warm Regards,
Tammie :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

"Thrifting Thursday" +bonus "What I Worked on Wednesday" 10/13/16

 Hello Friends~
  In last weeks post I shared about these $5 headboard finds at my church's thrift store. In spite of evacuating out of town for a few days due to Hurricane Matthew I was able to get these painted and placed in the guest room. 
We had planned to put up our hurricane shutters and ride out the storm, but by late morning on Thursday the news had us more than a little concerned and so we finished up the shutters and made a quick command decision to bug out to my parents house in Alabama.  
  What should be a 8.5-9 hour drive took about 11+ hours just because of the volume of traffic and some of the first bands of rain from the storm.  We returned home on Sunday and were relieved to see that we personally had almost no damage. The shutters held fast and we only had some debris in the yard,  a few young trees bent over, palm fronds torn off and lost the plastic cover to our utility box, which we found in the field next door. Sadly, many tens of thousands of people in our local area,  the Caribbean and up the eastern US were not so lucky. Please continue to pray for them and donate if you are able to worthy charities that can help. 

 So here is one of the painted headboards. It took two generous coats and a third light one for a few touch up spots, but I am really happy with the way they turned out.  
Now to be patient while it drys
Detail of the bamboo and faux caning look 

Here they are installed on the xl twin beds in my guest room. Of course now I'm thinking I need to paint the wash stand night table to a white too. Still a work in progress as I need to decorate the room.

So,  for "What I Worked on Wednesday" ~
  Yesterday I marked out a 10x10' square in my garage and set about planning my new 'mostly vertical' outdoor display. I have my first Florida event coming up November 5 & 6 and I want to be prepared.
  I am trying to move towards a display that leaves shoppers lots of room to move about in my tent. More of a 'gallery style' setting if you will.  I recently purchased some white grid walls which I plan to hang from the sides of my tent and then apply the various frames and displays. I liked adding some posters of my work to attract customers. Unlike large art, jewelry needs some help to be seen from outside the tent. Adding posters helps draw people in for a closer look. I also have a 4' long banner for the back wall of the tent which has pictures and my logo. 
  It's a constant work in progress. I also want to try to do this on a budget since I haven't had a show in the several months since moving to FL and consequently not bringing much income. 

So far this is my preferred configuration
Table will be at the rear to hold earring spinners and other items

Trying other arrangements [Not my favorite]
 I appreciate you stopping by and letting me bounce some ideas off you. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.
Have a great week.
~ Warm Regards,

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Thrifting Thursday on Wednesday & Hurricane Matthew Prep 10/5/2016

Hello Friends! 
Welcome to another installment of Thrifting Thursday [written on Wednesday this week]. 
Today's post is somewhat unusual and you will see why as you read along.

  Working as a volunteer at our church's thrift shop is a lot of fun and a great way to see items that I might 'need' along the way. Above you seen a beautiful tin I picked up for $1. Nice lilacs on a black background and some pretty script and a flower on the lid. As you can see I got a little a head of myself in the picture taking department for that one. Sometimes I'm so excited, I have to dive right in.

  Next up are two twin headboards. I wasn't really in the market for headboards per se, but our guest room is two twins and so when I saw these gems at $5 each I had to snap them up. They are not solid wood and they are a weird yellow color, but the 'bamboo' & 'rattan' theme is sort of tropical and beachy so, I think they will look great once they are painted and installed.  
I am trying a new paint this time out. In the past I had used "At Home by Amy Howard", a mineral paint and liked it very much. But since I no longer live near my friend Shari at 'Refreshed ' in Chesapeake, VA I have to resort to something else. 
  This Valspar is a furniture paint and seems to be similar concept, in that there is minimal prep and easy water clean up. These headboards are going to be a simple white so hopefully it will be a no brainer. I will post pics when they are done. 

 And now for an explanation of why I won't be painting headboards or working out in my studio too much for the next couple of days, Hurricane Matthew is heading our way!

  Here is a funny meme I put on my Facebook page yesterday evening. As a girl who went to college in Wilmington, NC and married a Naval officer [we almost always live near an ocean] I am pretty good at storm prep. My first 'cane was Gloria in 1985. I remember the radio station played Gloria every 15 minutes for two days it was crazy! I still think of that when I hear that song > [] 
But I digress.....
We keep a cupboard of staple supplies like water, candles and batteries and don't dilly dally when it comes to shopping early for replenishment storm prep supplies, like canned foods, ice, gasoline and beer. 
  The good news is that our new house came with a series of aluminum storm shutters. The bad news is they are stored against the wall out in my studio. The one dilemma I had when setting up my shop was how to position things so that we had easy access when needed.  So although it looks crazy now... It only took me about 15 minutes to clear the way. 


Since it was the first time we were installing these on our new house I convinced my husband we should start on Tuesday evening.  He did the lions share of it and was able to get 2/3 of the house covered in about 2.5 hours.  Just as well because it makes the house pretty dark inside.  We will finish the rest of it this afternoon [Wednesday] to be ready as things progress Thursday & Friday.  
  Interestingly, I have several of my outdoor show items prepped and set aside as storm aids. Including my portable generator, my LED display lights [bright light with little energy draw], my battery powered fans and portable phone chargers, all ready to pitch in should we need them.  Fingers crossed for minimal damage. 
Thanks for stopping by today- Hopefully we'll see you next week! 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A L-O-N-G Overdue Thrifting Thursday 9/29/16....

 Greetings Friends!
Wow, talk about a blogging drought. I can't believe it's been 9 months since my last post. In my defense, it's been a very busy year, between my TTE business, my husband's change of command, my youngest daughter's HS graduation, our move to Florida, getting settled in, new job for the hubby, getting our girl off to college and learning how to 'empty nest' I guess it's no wonder that blogging fell to the wayside.
  I'm recommitting myself, I even put a weekly alarm into my phone to make sure I don't blow it off.

So let's start with some recent thrifting and other fun finds.

A few weeks back I accompanied my hubby on his Saturday errands. While he was getting his hair cut I wandered into the thrift shop next door.  I found all these goodies for just $3. A nice quality leather belt for cuffs, two pink and green paisley tins, a set of carving tools, and these two big vintage shoe clips.  I haven't made anything with them yet but they are on my desk. I thought the tools would be good for polymer clay and also lino carving.

Then two weeks ago I was taking my dogs for their usual morning walk and spotted this sandwich board out in someone's trash pile! It was in perfect condition. We walked home VERY fast after that and I grabbed the car to circle back and pick it up. It's nice and solid and not a blemish on it. I had plans to use it for my TTE shows and to paint it if needed but the label came off easily with some Goo Gone and a razor blade! Score!

My new volunteer 'uniform'

 Since we moved to a non-Navy town, where we don't know anyone, I decided to start doing a little volunteering. Our new parish is Our Lady of Hope and they sponsor a thrift shop with the proceeds going to charity. It seemed like the perfect match.

One of the pitfalls of 'working' at a thrift shop is seeing all the stuff I 'need' and trying not to buy on impulse. After all we did some hard purging before and after our move, I don't want to just refill all that stuff.  Here are a few pretty tins I've seen in the shop

Here is my recent purchase. 
I was actually planning to buy that big vintage tray, but alas,  it was gone when I went back. I did scoop up the two paisley/hummingbird tins, some large bore knitting needles (to use with polymer clay) and these two 'picture frames' with multiple inserts. I am going to deconstruct them, fill the inside with a burlap lining and use them as show displays for featured pieces. 

So, that at least gets me a little caught up. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here next week!
~ Tammie

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,