Mama Makers | Written in Metal

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June Mama Maker: Chandra Palmer with Written in Metal

Meet your Maker

When I started this feature, I knew straight away that I wanted to show off my pal, Chandra Palmer, to y’all.  She and I have worked together for about two years and we get along like peas and carrots.  Our kiddos are close to the same age (she has a 2 year old son named Weston whom she describes as “all-boy”, meaning she has a lifetime supply of stain eraser), our husbands are basically personality twins, and best of all, she totally gets my weird humor.  Bonus: she’s my go-to for stamped jewelry at insanely reasonable prices. Chandra was clutch this past Christmas when she made two gifts for me literally overnight, God love her. She makes seriously unique and fun pieces out of recycled metal, beads, old jewelry, leather, and other miscellaneous stuff that strikes her fancy.  I’ve ordered cuffs, bangles, countless necklaces, and I’ve got my eye on a fork ring.  Yeah, you heard me.  Fork ring.  Looks like stacked rings, but better.

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Here are a few favorites from my own collection:

Anywho, I recently sat down with Chandra to find out how she started her business, what inspires her, and how she finds time to create while chasing her boy out of mud puddles.

 

So, when did you start Written in Metal and what’s the story behind the name?

C: I started in May 2010 and actually, the original name that I chose was Thinguhmajig, but someone else already owned that name, so I changed it.  Since I stamp words and sayings, it made sense.  I literally write in metal.

How did you learn to make your pieces?  Did you take classes, was it a family tradition, self taught?  

C: I’m very much self taught.  A LOT of trial and error is involved.  I play around with different textiles and see how I can maneuver them to form what’s in my head.  Sometimes I scrap a piece before I’m halfway finished because I don’t like the colors together, or I stamp my words crooked.  It took a lot of practice to get the letter stamping down! But I think imperfection is something to be celebrated and I’m okay with figuring things out as I go.  Some of my favorite pieces were mistakes.

Speaking of, what your favorite thing you’ve made?

C:  Too hard to pick one!  I’m proud of everything I make, so it’s like picking a favorite child.  I do have a new technique that I’m slightly obsessed with…acid etching metal with a design and then stamping over it.  Takes some extra time, but so far the results are totally worth it.

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Where do you find inspiration for your products?

C:  Lots and lots of research.  I carry a notebook with me full of sayings and phrases and I’m constantly adding to it.  Pinterest is also a great source to keep up with motivational quotes and such, so I scroll through that a bunch.  I usually have a booth at the local craft shows and I get inspired by other artists there as well.  It’s also common for a client to request a special saying or maybe a bible verse.  My favorite is when a customer will describe what they’re wanting and then allow me to get creative with the piece.  For example, I’m working on a men’s archery bracelet for a company and the only thing they requested is that it look manly and incorporate an arrow.  So many possibilities, and I love it.

Where’s your favorite place to shop for your supplies?

C:  Etsy!  It’s my online swap-meet.  I also repurpose a lot, so I love junk fairs and antique booths.  Flea market hunting is my idea of a perfect afternoon.

As a mama, when do you find time to make your products?

C: When he is sleeping!!  There’s no working when he’s awake.  Weston keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  When I’m on a time crunch, my husband is really good about getting him out of the house and off on manly adventures together.

Before you sit down to create, what do you HAVE to have on hand?

C:  Coffee, 100%.  And usually a long forgotten TV series to keep me company.  Currently, it’s Dawson’s Creek.  Joey + Dawson = Forever

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What three Instagram accounts are your favorite to follow for inspiration or fun?

C: 1921 Designs, Creative Carmella, and Your Words Cuffs.

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Where can we find your pieces? 

C: I have booths located at Wasted in Ft. Smith, AR and at The Locals in Prairie Grove.  You can also order through my Facebook page since I’m always posting new items there.  Oh, and I’ll be at the Junk Ranch this weekend, June 9 and 10, in Prairie Grove!  You should definitely check out the Junk Ranch!  It’s huge and has some incredible finds.

 

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll definitely be going to the Junk Ranch this weekend!  Hope to see you there!

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Mama Makers | Tubtonics

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“When women support each other, incredible things happen.”

When I started this blog, I asked myself a few questions: who am I trying to reach with my words and what is it that I’m trying to say?  I’m an uplifting person by nature, so my message and mission has always been to brace each other up in life, work, and family.  Celebrating women in their daily walk and shining the light on those that have done both the ordinary and amazing.  Listen, we are all trying to do great things–in the office and at home. As women, sometimes all we want is to feel appreciated and have someone notice our hard work.  And, by golly, we work hard, y’all.

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So, I’ve decided to shine a little light on women who are balancing the incredible: a messy, loud family and their own business.  Mothers that have scrambled during nap time to work on their art.  Wives who have stayed up long after their husband have gone to bed in order to learn just a little bit more about their industry.  Ladies who have held their breathe while they signed on the dotted line to invest their money on themselves and their dream.  Mama Makers who are making their dreams work.

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**Each month, I’ll be spotlighting a different lady that is excelling in her Mama Maker role.  If you have someone you’d like to nominate, please shoot me an email at katdoland@gmail.com.**

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The Biz

Tubtonics is owned and operated by Andrea Long, a mama of four kiddos, aged nine, eight, two and four months. Time out: the fact that this gal has four(!) kids AND is running her own business is really enough to encourage us all to patron her art.

Anyway, based in Northwest Arkansas, Andrea began selling her organic and environmentally friendly soaps in January of 2016.  Tubtonics is constantly producing new and unique products to be used for your daily routine.

17438254_201511427008877_255938561457520640_nAs a self-taught Mama Maker, Andrea creates custom soaps and body products made specifically to make your skin feel clean and nourished.  Using supplies purchased at Ozark Natural Foods in Fayetteville, AR, Andrea can often be found there doing product demonstrations and tutorials on how to make your own soaps at home.

18513477_736348813203378_7977364692429438976_nWhen pressed to name a favorite product, she calls it a tie between Up the Anti and Astringent C soaps.  Designed to assist in relieving inflammation and itchy skin, Up the Anti is Tubtonics’ top seller.  Astringent C deep cleans and heals blemishes while firming skin.  Along with purchasing online at Tubtonics.com, their organics soap can also be found at Ozark Natural Foods.

To Be Honest

18252174_173706426487384_3638263811439329280_nI sat down with Andrea recently to learn more about her products and what inspired her to start her own business.  When I met Andrea, she had her two youngest kiddos with her and, to be honest, that made me like her right off the bat.  Real life means juggling your babies with your business, am I right?  Sometimes you just have to toss the kid in an Ergo and get to work.  So, with the youngest on her hip and an eye on the other, Andrea proceeded to educate me on the importance of palm-oil free products and using only natural fragrances.  Now, her passion and dedication to the environment was endearing, but the minute I opened the bottle of her Lavender & Honeysuckle Salt Soak, I stopped listening.  You guys.  I wish scratch and sniff screens were a thing.  All I wanted to do was get home, toss the stuff in the tub, and never get out.  So I proceeded to do just that (until my own kiddo got her whole hand stuck under the locked bathroom door and lost her ever loving mind.  Relaxation was over at that point.).

18013764_319302155157149_433678799385657344_nBefore the stuck hand debacle, I dozed pleasantly and pretended I was swinging on the wooden rocker out in my grandmother’s yard, right next to her back fence.  The one that honeysuckle takes over ever summer and smells strongest at night when the air is so thick you can practically cup it in your hand.  There’s a little breeze so I could smell the flowers from her garden she keeps by the porch.  Lavender with just a hint of her hydrangeas. Sure, I’m just floating on sensory happiness in my bathtub, but the scent is so uniquely Southern summer night, it feels like I’m there if I close my eyes (and ears so I don’t hear the insistent knocking on the door).  Seriously, this Salt Soak really does make me feel like I’m surrounded by those huge summer honeysuckle vines and I love it.  Afterwards, my skin felt so smooth without any of that sticky residue stuff you get with some salt scrubs and soaks.

17818116_245155772559512_8287338941812572160_nI don’t know about you, but when I find a new product that rings all my bells, I have to tell every single person I know.  I’ve tried her tooth whitening paste and after 2 uses I’ve already noticed a difference.  And bless Andrea’s heart, when she heard we had the tummy bug at our casa, she sent over her anti-viral, anti-bacterial soap.  When I asked her how she finds time to make all of her products, she credits the grace of God and a dedication to her schedule she’s made for her family and business.  As an obsessive planner myself, this is a gal after my own heart. So, as much as I like promoting a great product to my tribe, I’m even more passionate about introducing you to people you really should know.

Tubtonics is available at

Ozark Natural Foods

or purchase online here.

Follow Tubtonics on Instagram!

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