Monday, April 17, 2017

Showcase of Artisans & Upcycling Vendors "Friends" Week 1

The Checker Berry Shoppe located in Bowdon, Ga. right in the heart of Main Street and recognized as the oldest antique mall in the West Georgia area. This warm and friendly mall is currently the home to over 40 dealers, several have been their since opening.

I am starting a new segment featuring some of the fine dealers and the variety of items they offer.

I would like to start with 3 friends and fellow vendors that join me in making The Checker Berry Shoppe a fun and exciting place to shop.

Lovely decorated space by Teresa

Sweet little vanity by Peggy

A nice collection by Denise of Junkin Chicks

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Garden and Home Bird Hooks on Etsy

Looking for something to put a little spring in your home and or garden? Look no more...check out these cute little hooks added to the growing inventory at Tamaras Treasure Trove on Etsy

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tamaras Treasure Trove on Handmade Hunt

I periodically do a internet search for Tamaras Treasure Trove and while I find various sites either myself or some of my store items are mentioned I was pleased to run across this synopsis of my Etsy Shop. This was listed on Handmade Hunt and it summed up my progress in a nice tidy bow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Checker Berry Spring Celebration

The Checker Berry Spring Celebration is an annual event where you can come enjoy refreshments along with 2 floors of shopping to help bring in the season of Spring. Many items reduced for this event. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gypsy's Visit with the Vet

This morning I was tricked, tricked by my daddy who was loving on me one minute and the next I found myself in a container with the door promptly closed and the latch snapped shut.

Betrayed and confused I was put in the car and my mom drove me down the road, to where I am not sure. My mind is going in a hundred different directions wondering what I had done wrong.

After 20 minutes or so I was removed from the car and we approached a building I was familiar with. The vet, what??? I am not feeling sick, I had big plans today to play and frolic in the yard and now this.

We get called back to the room and I am sat on a scale. Weight up ¾ of a pound (I assume that is a lot for a cat based on the conversations taking place). After a few minutes of exploring my surroundings when in walks a pretty little lady (my doctor) and her assistant. I get the once over, body massage, teeth checked, ears checked and just when I think all is clear I get a needle to the behind.

They tell me the yearly Feline Leukemia/Fvrcp Combo shot will keep me a healthy kitty. Got my flea meds Advantage Multi that protects me from Fleas, Ear Mites and other little pesky critters and off to home we go.

The trip home was much more pleasant and relaxing, as a matter of fact I took a small nap.

Life is good and it is wonderful to be loved, love your pets and make sure they get their shots. I got my 3 year rabies shot last year so only the one today.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Zoodles Zucchini Low Carb Pasta

Continuing on my quest to treat myself better I was on a mission to find the perfect low carb pasta. One of my all time favorite meal is spaghetti. I have been hearing good reviews on zoodles so I decided to give it a try.

Being a gadget type person I first needed to seek out a spiralizer (I wanted my zoodles to look like noodles). I did not find one at Walmart so I headed to Target where lucky for me they had a very nice one on sale. I purchased the Farberware Spiraletti Slicer Cutter with Stainless Steel Blades for $22.49. Note: the blades are extremely sharp (I cut my finger and so did my son) so be very careful when using and when cleaning.

A quick stop by Kroger for some zucchini and I was set for my trial run. My zoodles turned out great (they looked liked noodles). I sauteed them in a pan with a little olive oil (zoodles will have a lot of natural water so just a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking is all that is necessary). While sauteing my zoodles they put off a strong veggie smell which caused concern about how this would change the taste. I was pleasantly surprised after adding my tomato sauce, I used Contadina Sauce (as it is a lower sugar tomato sauce) and some lean ground beef and voila I had a very low carb spaghetti that even I the most critical spaghetti lover loved.

I have since used zoodles as a side dish. You can season them to taste with spices and other veggies to create many low carb dishes to suit your personal tastes.

This gadget came with attachments one that sliced thin chip sized slices. I tried sweet potato chips that were very tasty.

I like these so much I am going try my hand at container gardening this year and my main item will be zucchini.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spray Paint Hand Cleaner Natural Recipe

When painting one of my favorite go to is spray paint (unless I am painting furniture then my prefered paint of choice is Benjamin Moore Latex brush on).

When using spray paint no matter how careful I am I usually end up with spray paint on my hands. I was using paint thinner or mineral spirits "in other words very harsh chemicals" to get this off my skin. This became an everyday routine for me which quickly became a health concern. I took to the internet to find a safer efficient way to clean up my oversprayed hands.

I want to share a recipe that I have been using for over a year now & it has not let me down.

I found a small half pint mason jar I had to store my hand cleaner in.
½ cup of Coconut Oil
½ cup of baking soda

This worked beautifully and the best part it left my hands silky smooth afterwards.

Because of the coconut oil it will leave your skin feeling a little greasy. Just put a dollop of Dawn dishwashing liquid to wash your hands with after thoroughly cleaning with the coconut oil/baking soda mixture and it will remove any oily feeling from your skin.

Note: If you have spray paint around your fingernails you may need to use a toothbrush or dish scrubby to loosen it from around your nails.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Favorite Finds From Trader Joe’s

Trying to treat myself better this year I made a trip to Trader Joe’s courtesy of my son and daughter-in-law. I found a few things I have been enjoying the last few weeks and thought I would share them with you.

Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Organic Oats
While these take approximately 30 minutes to prepare I took the suggestion of my son fixed the full cooking portion once and store them in the refrigerator. This worked out nicely for me the one who does not take the time to cook breakfast. I prepare it on Sunday, store in a mason jar so on the mornings I want oatmeal I spoon out a portion, heat in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes which results in my quick and healthy breakfast.

150 cal, 27g carbs, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 1g sugar

Like most things that are good for you it took me a few days to get used to it but now I find myself looking forward to it.

I alternate this and the Garden of Life Shake in a previous article to provide some variety to my morning meals.

Trader Joe's Oh My! Omega Trek Mix is a blend of the most Omega-rich nuts and dried fruit we could find, in one oh-so tasty combination. Almonds, walnuts, pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), pecans and pistachios make up the nut portion of the mix. For the fruit, we've included omega-fortified dried cranberries—the added omegas in the cranberries actually come from oils extracted from the cranberries' own seeds. You get 560mg of Omega-3s in every serving.
There are times when a big bag of trek mix is appropriate and times when you really just want a handful. For those times, Trader Joe's just a handful of Oh My! Omega Trek Mix is likely just what you had in mind. We've taken 10 individual portions of this tasty mix—just a handful, really—and packaged them together for the ultimate in freshness and convenience. Toss one in a briefcase, lunchbox or backpack and you'll have Omega goodness at the ready any time at all. And since each "handful" is individually packed, the last is as fresh as the first.

While my last find is not food related I am excited about this product for my skin care routine. I use this soap as a body wash and a face wash.

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil Soap
Very Basic, Natural Ingredients
Contains No Laurel / Laureth Sulfates
Cruelty Free – Never Tested on Animals; No Animal Products in Ingredients

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Water, Glycerin, Tea Tree Oil, Sodium Chloride, Pentasodium Pentetate.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Checkerberry Shop Vendor #15 TamarasTreasureTrove

With the success of my online store Tamaras Treasure Trove on I have downsized my presence in the local mall atmosphere.

I currently have a small space in a large local antique mall in Bowdon, Ga called The Checkerberry Shoppe. I have spent the last 8 years renting spaces in as many as 4 different local area malls but it wasn’t hard to choose which one I would pick to keep a space in while I put my focus on my Etsy store.

The Checkerberry Shoppe is the oldest Antique Mall in West Georgia  and has the fresh but classic feel of what a Antique Mall should be like when looking for some great old stuff. While shopping two floors of goodness you will also find a variety of old and new gifts, collectibles, handmade items, repurposed creations, candles and local honey.

Check out their Facebook Page @ The Checker Berry Shoppe or better yet go by and pay this wonderful shop a visit. You will not be disappointed. They are located right in the heart of downtown Bowdon, Ga at 129 - 131 W. College St.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Lizard Gecko Cast Iron Wall Hook Boho Southwest Garden Fence Art

Colorful Lizard / Gecko Wall Hooks in Heavy Duty Cast Iron. Boho Southwest Shabby Style Chic for your Garden. Currently available in bright and bold fence art colors.

Check them out by going to: Tamaras Treasure Trove on Etsy

Monday, March 6, 2017

Organic Meal Replacement Shake

Like many people I have had ups and downs with my weight for most of my life. Diets do not work at least not for me. Now that I found myself in the midst of menopause I find health in general a struggle especially with my skewed schedule of trying to keep my online business running smoothly. My day takes on a life of its own and  in the past I have  looked at the clock just to realize I got busy and forgot to eat breakfast. I know in my heart breakfast is very important and very well may be the downfall of my weight struggles (not taking the time to eat). I have tried many times to slow down and take the time to  fix a nice healthy breakfast, for a few weeks anyway. I eventually fall back into my same old pattern.

A few months back I made the decision to find a way to resolve my breakfast dilemma with a solution that would work for me no matter what my mornings threw my way.

Shakes were going to be my easiest, healthiest, quickest way to get my day started in the right direction. I have participated in enough diets in my life to know the tried and true go to shakes would be the most accessible way to get started but my question was it really healthy? I knew enough to know that they are full of sugars and the low carb ones are full of fake sugars. I wanted something that would be easy to mix (I have a blender but I hate dragging it out and cleaning it up afterwards). Knowing this would derail my permanent hope for a healthy go to breakfast each and every day I would need a shaker cup mix.

Off to GNC I go as I feel confident the employees are pretty knowledge. I wanted a high protein, low carb healthy meal replacement with NO Soy and no aspartame/fake sugars  that would mix easily in a shaker cup. The GNC employee listened to all my requirements of what I wanted and suggested I go with their Total Lean 25 Shake.

  • 25 grams of high quality protein
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 24 vitamins and minerals
I did not like that it had 17 carbs per serving and upon internet research it did indeed contain two different artificial sweeteners in the powder mix. A side note it caused me to feel nauseated within 30 minutes of consuming. Fortunately GNC has a no questions asked return policy so I returned this product.
My next road trip was to The Vitamin Shoppe and after talking to employees there along with internet researching the recommended product I decided on Garden of Life RAW Organic Meal Replacement.
  • 20 g of Clean Organic Plant Protein per Scoop Loaded with 44 Superfoods
  • 6g of Organic Fiber and Less Than 1g of Sugar
I have enjoyed this meal replacement and all it has to offer for over 2 months now. It has been a consistent way for me to enjoy a complete healthy breakfast and a nutritious way to get my day started. When I have more time I may eat 2 boiled eggs with my shake or a small bag of nuts. Some days I add organic strawberries to my shake itself to “shake things up a bit”.

In the beginning I was using water which was fine but it lacked a little something for me so I ventured into the world of Almond Milk and love it.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Pot of Gold

Love the brilliance of the color gold?

Adorn your home and/or office with the striking color of gold with painted items from Tamaras Treasure Trove . When you enter my shop just search the color gold and it will bring up all the items to choose from on one screen.

In addition to metallic gold I recently added a line of items in a elegant shade of gold called “rose gold”.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Knobs and Pulls for Easy Decor Update

Knobs serve a function as a handle or something to grab onto when opening drawers and cabinets. They do not always have to be classic brass,silver or bronze.

You can find decorative fun and colorful  knobs in stock and ready to ship in the Knob Shop Section

Knobs can be used in other craft/decorating projects that can add color and a unique twist on functional home decor.

  • Attach to the lid of a mason jar to give the age old classic a modern update
  • Attach to a board (as many as you like) to create a coat, purse, key, leash, etc. hook(s)
  • Add to the bottom of a box or drawer to serve as stylish feet
  • Glue atop a covered butter dish
  • Tried and true drawer fronts of furniture
  • Jazz up kitchen, bathroom, laundry room cabinet

 Tamaras Treasure Trove on Etsy

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Exploring Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness tucked away in Lithia Springs, Georgia.

A local treat for nature lovers and a place for novice and experienced hikers alike to explore the many trails this little gem holds for its guests. I visited the park to spend the day with my son and daughter-in-law and what a work out for an out of shape middle aged woman (LOL). I was amazed by the beauty of the park and its many trails. What a nice way to spend a gorgeous Georgia day.

A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of a building, this building, once the New Manchester Manufacturing Company in the 1800s, was burned during the Civil War.

Originally known as the Sweetwater Mill, the mill was created in 1849. Made from materials that were created straight from the natural resources at hand, the mill used the rushing waters of Sweetwater Creek to power a cotton mill that supported an entire factory town during its heyday. However by 1864 the Civil War was nearing its end and the Confederate troops that had protected the area surrounding the mill were forced into retreat. When Union forces marched into the territory they put the entire factory to the flame.

Most buildings that were destroyed in the civil war era were demolished and new construction was built in its place, but because the mill is located in a state park, they've done a great job preserving this piece of Georgia's history. This building was also a location that was used in making of the movie Mockingjay the last installment in The Hunger Games series. In the movie, this area is meant to portray the ruins of District 13, which was bombed and destroyed during the Hunger Games portrayal of their civil war.

I would highly recommend a visit and hopefully it will become a go to destination for you to spend quality time exercising, picnicking or just spending time with family. Don’t forget your four legged family member as the trails and park are very dog friendly.

Click on the link. Sweetwater Creek State Park  for more information and hosted events that go on monthly

Friday, February 24, 2017

First Signs of Spring

Spring is well ahead of schedule here in the south and can’t be far behind in the rest of the US of A. Sprouting flowers and air conditioners running in the month of February leads folks to get out in their yards and begin the fun chore of making the great outdoors beautiful again.

Still a little early to put cheerful flowers and foliage out because we all know old man winter might make a brief appearance before all is said and done. If you want to put some color in your yard, front porch or garden area consider cast iron products that will not be ruined if we have another cold snap.

Signs, porch / garden stakes and hooks (just to name a few) all finished in the bright colorful hues of spring. Makes for a great addition to your outdoor decorating fun.

All items are sealed with several layers of an outdoor sealer to keep them looking fresh all year long no matter what the weather brings.

Check out the full spring line by going to Tamaras Treasure Trove on Etsy

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Shabby Chic Fleur de lis Home Decor

I carry an extensive line of Fleur de lis home decor items in my shop on Etsy, by far the most popular are distressed to create the shabby chic effect.

The English translation of "fleur-de-lis" (sometimes spelled "fleur-de-lys") is "flower of the lily." This symbol, depicting a stylized lily or lotus flower, has many meanings. Traditionally, it has been used to represent French royalty, and in that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life.

Shabby chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique.

I have quite a few loyal customers from Louisiana: the land of Louis, king of France; whose symbol was the Lily flower. New Orleans logically adopted the symbol, which it's local team logically integrated as it's logo. The fleur-de-lis is simply a French symbol used commonly in new orleans to represent new orleans, as well as our french culture.

Shop at Tamaras Treasure Trove

Monday, February 20, 2017

Training My Humans by Gypsy Cat

I have spent the last few months settling into my new home. Training my humans has not been an easy task. Mom decided I should be on a eating regiment of breakfast/dinner meals at a scheduled time much like their own.  Breakfast feeding time would not commence until mom woke up. I prefer 5:30ish so I would pay a visit to her bedside with polite meows which did not work, running across the bed did not work, licking of her hair did not work. Now it is 7:30 and I have been at it for 2 hours when voila she gets up. I eat and go take a nap as all that hard work makes for one tired kitty.

When I awake from my much needed nap I eat a snack and head outdoors. I like to sit with my mom when she is working on her crafty items for her online Etsy store. Everytime she goes inside I run in with her knowing that it must be meal time. While I have an endless supply of hard crunchy food I want my shrimp and tuna wet food. I plead with my eyes, I give the cutest little meow and all I get is “it's not 5 o'clock yet” and back to work she goes. This goes on and off all day long until finally the magical time of 5 o’clock has arrived and I get my yummy meal.

I think this training thing is going to take a little longer than I thought as she is pretty stubborn and determined to stay with this ridiculous feeding schedule. I may have to put my energies on training my dad as he seems to be the weaker link.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

DIY Tile Drink Coasters

I make these fun little coasters to sell and for my personal use.

Through  trial and error I have found the best tiles to use for these types of projects are the tumbled marble stone. The slick ones tend to have the image slide or pull up after prolonged use regardless of how many protective coats I applied. The tumbled marble stone has a slight roughness to it that gives your image a surface to adhere to.

My image preference is cocktail napkins. You will need to gently pull the tissue backing off the napkins to make the image thinner (do this slowly to prevent tearing). You are now ready to cut in 4x4 squares and begin the process of:

  • Apply 1 coat of Mod Podge to front of tile (sponge brush is what works best for me)
  • Place tissue/wrapping paper on the wet Mod Podge, must dry thoroughly or you risk tearing of the paper.
  • Apply 2 coats of Mod Podge on top of the glued tissue/wrapping paper (keep your brush strokes going in the same direction to keep the streaking down)
  • Apply 3 coats of Polyacrylic for waterproofing (allow 6-8 hrs dry time between coats).
  • Stick felt pads to the bottom of each coaster. ...
  • Let them sit for 3 days before using for proper sealing time otherwise they may be slightly tacky.

You can use wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, photos printed on matte paper, book pages, sheet music or pretty much any other paper product.

Coaster Category @ TamarasTreasureTrove on Etsy

Friday, February 17, 2017

Who Let The Dogs Out Cast Iron Home Decor

Decorative heavy duty cast iron dog hooks can showcase your love for your favorite four legged family member. My Etsy storefront has a nice variety of pet themed home decor that range from hooks, Beware of Dog Signs and door stops

Tamaras Treasure Trove on Etsy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Favorite Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe

I passed up many a piece of furniture in my hunt for the perfect resell items to stock my booth with. Pieces were just too rough to restore with furniture polish and I was not up for the task of striping , patching and restaining. To be perfectly honest people just do not want to pay premium prices in second hand markets. The man hours it takes to restore a piece back to its original beauty is not worth what people are willing to pay.

I was hearing about chalk paint and how you could use it with little to no prep. Shabby Chic was a term I was not familiar with (at the time in 2012) so I took to the internet to research. I liked the look and wondered if others in my area would too. Via the internet I bought my first can of chalk paint and painted my 1st piece. I placed it in my booth and within days it sold so I tried another and it sold quickly. Wow I was onto something. The cost of a small quart of this majic paint mixture was a steep $35/quart plus shipping (the only way you could get it was online back in the day).

Back to the internet for some ideas where I stumbled across a chalk paint recipe.

4 Tbsp Plaster of Paris
2 Tbsp Water
1 Cup of Paint (Flat or Satin)

This created the look and durability I was looking for at a fraction of the price. Plaster of Paris was available at most craft stores so I was cooking with gas.  After using for approximately a month I decided to try a different recipe. Why you ask….well this was drying too fast causing lumps in my mixture within 10-15 minutes of mixing up. This did not allow me enough time to paint an entire piece of furniture and mixing smaller batches wasn’t an option as I would have to stop and mix up every 10 minutes or so. Clean up was horrible.

Next I tried unsanded grout which was another easily available item I can find locally, this time at home improvement stores.

4 Tbsp Unsanded Grout
2 Tbsp Water
1 Cup of Paint (Flat or Satin)

This method I did not care for at all. It was not smooth (too grainy) no matter which consistency I mixed it with.

Last but not least was the Calcium Carbonate recipe.

4 Tbsp Calcium Carbonate
2 Tbsp Water
1 Cup of Paint (Flat or Satin)
Calcium Carbonate was not available to me locally so off to Amazon I go to order my 1st bag and I fell in love. Smooth, clean and my mixture would stay as crisp and clean feeling even the next day (if my project ran over).

For years I painted every piece of furniture I could find with my new found recipe. I loved painting different colors (by far the classic Shabby White is the best selling then and now). My second best selling color was a turquoise with a brown wax.

Now that I have downsized my booth to a sweet little 5x3 space to concentrate on my Etsy store I don’t paint like I used to but when I do it is with the Calcium Carbonate recipe.

My 5x3 booth located at The Checkerberry in Bowdon, Ga. it is accented with picture frames, candlesticks, wood signs, coasters, mason jars and any other small items that I come across all painted in chalk paint and distressed for the shabby/cottage chic look. Painting is not just for upcycling furniture it is for anything you want to add a little upcycled style to.

  • When mixing your chalk paint recipe always thoroughly mix the water and ingredient of your choosing separately first before adding to your paint color.
  • Paint (1-2 coats - chalk paint usually dries in 15-20 minutes) 
  • Distress using sand paper (either hand or the use of a palm sander)
  • Wax
  • Let it cure for at least 24 hours - 48 hours even better

Waxing is important to add a protective layer to furniture especially those pieces that will see a lot of traffic (ex. tabletops). If you do not want to spend the extra time that goes into waxing I have had great success with a brush on polycrylic water based top coat by minwax (also available in a spray on - but this can get expensive)