Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Secondhand Angels March 4, 2010

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham, manager of Reclaimed to Fame Market at 1000 Markets and owner of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry.

Meet one of our newest merchants in the Reclaimed to Fame MarketSecondhand Angels!   Here’s her story:

I am primarily a self-taught artist.  My mother is a painter and writer and was I exposed to a great deal of art and culture growing up.  I have taken a few classes here and there.  Most recently in the fall of 2009, I attended an ART of REUSE class at John C Campbell Folk School in Murphy, NC for a week.  It was a wonderful, priceless experience.  My instructor was very encouraging; I ended up with time recently after losing a job.  I decided if not now, when so I have been able to get my shop set up and focus on my art.  This is something I have wanted to do for many years.


I have done different things over the years – mixed media, collage, shadow boxes, but really got jazzed up about jewelry after JCC.  I came up with the name Secondhand Angels as I describe on my website.

I started making Angel Pins a few years ago after my Aunt Frannie passed away.  She was an exceptionally creative woman and very influential in my life.  I realize now that making the angels was my way of feeling close to her. She is with her sisters in my banner photo.  I started using odd earrings and pieces of jewelry.  I have sold in local shops, but until now I have mostly made items as gifts for friends and family.

I have recently expanded my vision with bracelets.  All designs are ONE OF A KIND; many are vintage and some are contemporary.  I use old and new buttons, items from the hardware store, sewing notions, beads and whatever strikes my fancy!  You may find an angel charm on most of my bracelets.

I collect items at thrift stores, flea markets and all places in between.  The collecting is just as special to me as assembling my pieces.  Who were the women who once owned these pieces of jewelry?  What were their lives like? Where did they live?  I love preserving the history by recasting items into a new interpretation.

I have also set up a fan page on Facebook and have over 100 fans in two days! Please stop by and join.

I feel this is the beginning of a journey for me and I will quote one of my first customers after she received an angel pin.  “My precious Hope Angel came yesterday!  And I’m wearing her today!  Thank you so much for your gift of vision! Blessings to you.”

I am proud to be a part of Reclaimed to Fame – I am honored.

Amy T. Cunningham
Secondhand Angels

 

Quick and Inexpensive Gifts You Can Make December 22, 2009

Out of money and time? Try these budget-friendly DIY gift ideas …

 

Dazzling Cookies December 18, 2009

by Julia Pantoga, resident Domestic Goddess

This year I made cookies to give away for the holidays.  I picked three recipes that travel well and are unbelievably delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butter Jewels (Yield:  5 dozen)

2 cups butter (4 sticks!)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
12 oz. assorted brightly colored preserves (my choices are apricot and cherry)
  1.  Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Mix in almond extract.
  3. Add flour and mix.
  4. Roll into 1” balls.
  5. Indent in center (1/4 tsp measuring spoon works well for even indents, make sure the bottoms are not too thin, or the cookies will fall apart when moved)
  6. Fill center holes with jam. (if transporting, do not over-fill above top of cookie).
  7. Bake at 350° for 8 min.
  8. Cool thoroughly before moving.  (Refrigeration or a cold porch really helps them “set.”)
Notes: 
  • As with all cookies with no eggs, that are comprised largely of butter and flour, these cookies are extremely fragile, especially when hot.  Once they have cooled, they are fairly sturdy.
  • These cookies will not rise or change shape when baking.  That’s good because you don’t have to worry about cookies spreading and sticking together.  However, that means you need to be careful about the appearance before you bake them:  wipe off any errant jam and shape the cookies carefully.

 

Mexican Chocolate Butter Wafers (Yield:  5 dozen)

Note:  Once cool, these sturdy cookies are ideal for sending.  These are so delicious, they are TOTALLY worth all the steps and dirty dishes.

½ cup sliced almonds
1tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ stick (4 tbsp.) butter
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
½ cup course grind sugar crystals
Confectioner’s sugar
  1. Over medium heat, toast almonds, cinnamon, and cayenne until fragrant (about 3 minutes).
  2. Grind almond mixture in food processor until very fine.  Set aside.
  3. Melt 4 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Add cocoa powder and espresso powder and stir until mixture forms smooth paste.  Set aside to cool
  4. In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  5. Add cooled cocoa mixture and salt (if using).
  6. Add egg yolks and vanilla.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Scrape bowl.
  7. Whisk nut/spice mixture into flour.
  8. Add and mix in flour/nuts/spices in three additions.  Mix thoroughly, but no more than necessary, scraping bowl after each addition.
  9. Shape dough into two logs 2 “ in diameter and 12” long .  Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap.
  10. Chill until very firm and cold, at least one hour.
  11. Roll chilled logs in decorative course grind sugar.
  12. Slice cookies ¼” thick and place on cookie sheets. 
  13. Bake 10 minutes at 375°.  Do not overbake.  Rotate baking sheet halfway through cooking time.  If cookies begin to darken on edges, they have overbaked.
  14. Cool 5 minutes.
  15. Dust with confectioners sugar.
  16. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

 

Molasses Cookies (Yield:  20 dozen)

1 ½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
Additional sugar to coat formed cookies
  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, mix well.
  3. Add molasses, mix well.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, Add to butter/sugar mixture
  5. Chill overnight.
  6. Taking @ 1 cup of dough out of the refrigerator at a time, shape in ½ inch balls.
  7. Roll cookie dough balls in sugar (at this point balls can be refrigerated for future baking).
  8. Bake for 6 minutes (8 minutes if cookie dough balls are frozen) at 375°.
  9. Cool on rack.

 Note:  When I freeze, rather than refrigerate ,cookie dough balls, the resulting cookies taste as good, but don’t look as nice.

 

The Best of Indie Sewing Patterns December 13, 2009

anna maria horner study hall skirt pattern

The delicious Study Hall Skirt pattern from Anna Maria Horner

Read the latest DIY Design column for the top picks in indie sewing patterns. Click here.

 

Learn, Baby, Learn: The best of online sewing instruction December 4, 2009

You don’t have to live in a big city or go to a fancy fashion school to get top notch sewing instruction. Read my column about online sewing classes here.

 

Whip up some DIY accessories today November 25, 2009

Check out my column on quick-sew bags, jewelry and flower adornments that you can put together in no time. Read it here…

 

Project Runway Finale: Guess who won? November 22, 2009

You’ll never believe it, or maybe you will. Read my recap here …

 

 
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