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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Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017; Buying Local in NW Arkansas

May 14th is Right Around the Corner….

Hey, y’all!  If you’re like me, gift giving can be tricky.  Sure, you want to give just the right token, but we all need a nudge in the right direction sometimes, am I right?

Here’s your nudge.

I’ve compiled a list of 20 gift ideas from locally-owned businesses that should make your mama proud she raised you with such good taste. 

1.) Turquoise Beaded Layer Necklace from Wit & Whimsy in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: Wit & Whimsy

We all know jewelry is a no fail, but this beauty will keep your mama on-trend with the fun layering and delicate details.

$25 | Find it online here.

2.) Bunny Trinket Dish from The Anchor in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @shoptheanchor via IG

How fun is this little fella to hold Mom’s rings and baubles?

$14 |  Visit The Anchor

3.) “Flowers in Your Hair” Bathbombs from WhimsyWhoo in Springdale, AR

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photo: Whimsy Whoo

Give your madre some time to unwind and soak up some suds from these sweet smelling  bathbombs.  Bonus: there’s a floral hair tie inside each!

$6 | Find it online here.

4.) Wooden Bath Brush from The Freckled Hen Farmhouse in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: The Freckled Hen Farmhouse

Perfect for exfoliating, this bath brush is made with oil treated birch & horsehair.  Fun fact: these brushes are made by visual impaired craftsmen.

$26 | Find it online here.

5.) Laptop Sleeve from Valere Rene Handbags in Rogers, AR

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Photo: Valere Rene Handbags

Keep Mama’s laptop save and sound in this laptop sleeve.  Florals not her jam?  No worries, there are 15 prints to choose from!  *fits 13 &15 inch devices

starting at $39.99 | Find it online here.

6.) Arkansas Pride Throw Pillows from Impressions in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @impressionsfayetteville via IG

Help Mom show her state pride with these patriotic Arkansas throw pillows.  WPS!

starting at $ | Check it out in store or on Instagram.

7.) Crushed Mint Candle from Shop for Mankind in Rogers, AR

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photo: Shop for Mankind

For the eco-minded mama, this candle is a winner.  Spearmint meets peaches and melds into one luscious scent.  Oh, and she’ll love that you can plant the seed-infused 100% recycled package!

$29.50 | Find online here.

8.) Brunch at The Depot in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @arsagasdepot via IG

Feed her and tell her she’s pretty.  Take Mama to brunch at Arsaga’s Depot and then walk her around the Greenway Trail that’s practically in the backyard.

Check out the menu here.

9.) Mom & Me Craft Night at Junque 2 Jewels in Rogers, AR

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photo: Junque 2 Jewels

You know all Mom wants is your time!  Spend it together creating crafty personalized home décor with just y’all or in a big group.

starts at $20 | Learn more here.

10.) Adventure Mug from The Freckled Hen Farmhouse in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: The Freckled Hen Farmhouse

Got a momma that lives for the great outdoors?  Try coffee made over an open flame in this sweet mug.  Adventure is calling and she must go…and drink coffee when she gets there.

$20 | Find it here.

11.) Family Photo Session from The Rosy Life Photography in Goshen, AR

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photo: Sara Torbett with The Rosy Life

Freeze time for Mama by capturing your family in a personalized photo session at the Torbett Farm.  Sara with Rosy Life Photography specializes in candid, genuine photos with healthy dose of southern charm.  Want more? See my previous post to check out our experience with Sara.

Sessions start at $250 | Find out more here.

12.) Life in Love Measuring Pitcher from Euna Mae’s in Springdale, AR

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photo: Euna Mae’s

Does your mama show her love for her family with home cooking?  She NEEDS this sweet 4-cup measuring pitcher! Measure your life in love, indeed.

$24.99 | Find it here.

13.) Flamboyance of Flamingos Pitcher & Cups from Riffraff in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @riffrafffayetteville via IG

How fun is this flamingo print??  This would be perfect for your mama’s pink lemonade on the back porch, yes?

pitcher $60 | cup $16 | Check it out in store or on Instagam.

14.) Flower Arrangement Class from Pigmint in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: Pigmint

Grab Mom, a bottle of wine, and head to NWA’s trendiest florist to learn all about designing and arranging your own floral centerpiece.

$65 | Sign up here.

15.) Crystal Dove Necklace from Love, Hope, & Cure Designs in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @lovehopecuredesigns via IG

How gorgeous is this Twiggs necklace?  It’d look really pretty on your mama, honey. Plus, a portion of every sale from Love, Hope, & Cure Designs goes to charity.

$108 | Check it out in store on or on Instagram.

16.) Custom Stationary from Shindig Paperie in Fayetteville and Bentonville, AR

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photo: @shindigpaperie via IG

For the traditional mother, set her up with fresh custom Haute Papier stationary for those heartwarming handwritten notes.

Contact for consultation.

17.) Preserved Boxwood Wreath from Garden Living in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: Garden Living

Minimalism meets Southern Charm with this simple and classic boxwood wreath.  Mama will love how it looks on her front door!

$78 | Find it here.

18.) Vintage Baubles from Mae’s Emporium in Fayetteville, AR

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photo: @maesemporium via IG

If your momma goes for one of a kind trinkets, Mae’s is your hotspot.  They have literally everything you could wish for in vintage pieces.  She’ll be sure to sw oon over the antique lockets!

Prices on request.

(which isn’t code for super pricey, there’s just too many to choose from!)

19. Farmhouse Table from James + James Furniture in Springdale, AR.

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photo: James + James Furniture

If you’re looking to score some major points with Mom, look no further than a custom farmhouse table for her kitchen.  Built and finished by hand in Springdale, you’ll be giving her a new family heirloom.  And win the title of favorite kid for sure!

starting at $580 | Find it here.

20.) Gift Certificate to Westwood Gardens in Fayetteville, Rogers, & Springdale, AR

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photo: Westwood Gardens

Hasn’t failed me yet, friends.

Order yours here.

Hopefully one of these ideas jumped out as the perfect gift for your mama!  In the end, all we moms want on Mother’s Day is some lovin’s from the kiddos, a fun trinket, some wine, and 30 minutes uninterrupted minutes alone.  Easy peasy, pals.

xoxo,

Kat