My Dad’s antiques and a beach-inspired project!

My Dad’s antiques and a beach-inspired project!

What a beautiful weekend we are having here in New England! And thank goodness because I was pretty sick last week and the warmer weather was just what the doctor ordered!

Since I was feeling better Saturday, I stopped over at my Dad’s house for a bit. He had a bunch of old jewelry, coins and other items he wanted me to check out, thinking I could possibly use them in my work. Well, was he right! In case I have not already mentioned, my Dad, sister and I love antiques, especially hunting for them! Once the warm weather returns for good, we will definitely be going on some antiquing and flea market excursions, so I am sure I will have plenty more to share!

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This weekend, I was very lucky to acquire a giant lot of items from my Dad and Grandmother, everything from primitive glass and stone arrowheads, to antique jewelry.

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This piece, a vintage brass locket or pill case, is one of my favorites. It has amazing detailed flowers and scroll work on both sides but there are no markings indicating when and where it was made, unfortunately.

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These two pieces are also very interesting. The top one is inscribed on the back with “W * F 1/40 10 KT R.G.P.”, which I just learned means 10 Carat rolled gold palladium, but am unsure about the “W F”. The emblem on the front reads, “Syracuse University Founded…”. There is some deposit that would have to be carefully chipped off so I cannot make out any date that might be there. The bottom one is a sterling silver ID bracelet belonging to a Donna Faye Norwood. My father actually found that in a stone wall in front of a place he used to live, so it is possible we may be able to locate someone who may have known her.

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Then there was the tiniest ring I have ever seen! Shown above inside of my own size 4 engagement ring. It looks and feels like silver but there are no engravings that I can see. Maybe it is just a charm, but it is adorable!

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My father is a coin collector and while he has many unique and valuable coins, he comes across some not-so-valuable yet very cool looking coins in from time to time (top left). I liked the ones with holes in them because I do not currently have drilling capabilities and these can easily be incorporated into jewelry. Some are just old toll tokens that were punched after use, they may be worthless but they have a lot of character! He also gave me a horn (top right), an abalone shell (bottom left) and several quartz crystals (bottom right). I think these will be very cool as props in some of my jewelry photography.

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The last item, and biggest item, is this cast iron stand, that I have not been able to identify, but think must have held a bell at some point. Felt was glued to the bottom a long time ago on which someone wrote, “Deacon Home”. My Dad is fairly certain it came from a church. That adds to the probability of the bell holder theory in my mind. While I really should not be bringing more items into my already cluttered and tiny home, this was way too cool to pass up and could be used as a unique jewelry display. And if you’re thinking, “I can’t believe this girl is taking all of her dad’s great vintage finds”, well, rest assured that there is enough stuff in his one bedroom apartment to fill a museum. We actually had that conversation while I was there, I suggested that he charge people admission when they come over!

Also this weekend, I finished a project I have been thinking about for a few weeks now. On one of many walks to the boat landing down the street from us, I came across a cool, weathered piece of wood with awesome chipped blue paint and a couple nails sticking out of it. I also found a horseshoe crab carapace, the animal’s hard outer covering. I knew I wanted to make some type of sign incorporating the two as well as other objects, to give the look of a pile of stuff washed up on the beach.

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I was super excited about the finished product and it looks awesome on the front of our house. And yes, it is that way to the beach!

Do you love to find things? What’s the best thing you’ve come across – whether at a yard sale, flea market, thrift shop, walk on the beach or even in the trash?

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Saving the environment and money, one button at a time!

Welcome to the blog for Tara White Studio! I am so excited to share my first post with you on this lovely snowy day!

I’d like to begin by giving you a quick tour of the actual “studio” space that I work in.

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Here it is! Since our place is small, this is actually the corner of our living room, which was previously the dining room, but who needs one of those? The beautiful cabinet on the right was my Nana’s and I recently bought the desk and bookcase to match. They provide necessary storage space, while reducing the cluttered look of such a small space. I just have to be careful about how many “supplies” I keep at once; I tend to be a slight hoarder.

My material of choice lately is polymer clay. It is so fun and easy to work with, leaves very little mess and can be baked in your oven. I always hand-sculpt each piece and never use molds, that way each is completely unique. Then I paint, add textural elements, bedazzle, you name it!

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When possible, I utilize pieces of broken or vintage jewelry for the necklaces I make. I also love to incorporate found objects into my pieces. This jar of buttons, accumulated over time, could translate into many, many new and beautiful works of art. Not only is this method environmentally friendly, but it saves so much money. I love going to flea markets, antique stores, yard sales, even…I’ll admit it…”free” boxes on the sidewalk! All great places to find materials to give new life!

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I just completed photographing several new necklaces featuring handmade clay sand dollar charms as well as buttons from the old jar here. I’ll be listing them shortly, but here’s a sneak peek at one of the final products:

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Now it’s time to get listing! I am excited to get these in the Etsy shop these because it means I can get started on my next project!

Thank you so much for checking out my new blog! Hope to see you again next week!

~*’*Tara*’*~