Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 ~ The Everly Family Year in Review

Welcome Family and Friends to our first ever blog style Christmas Letter.  Usually I include a short newsletter with our Christmas card, but this year I have decided to go 'paperless' and instead I will do a blog post about our year in review. This way I can include a bunch of pictures and more detail on the events of the past year.

December 2011- Being a military spouse has a few perks. I was invited to a special Christmas tour of the White House. Pat was busy with exams at NWC so I took along my dear friend Lora LaFleur.

Tammie continues to grow her handmade artisan jewelry & home decor business. Craft shows, bead and supply shopping, real business cards and lots of time spent in the work shop.

January 2012- Our family spent New Years Eve with two of our favorite families. Ben & Mo Reynolds hosted a murder mystery party which we attended along with Kurt & Joanne Kayser. It was fun and a great way to spend the evening.
A French playboy, a gypsy and a priest :-)
Rachel had her 14th birthday on the 29th. The murder mystery party was so much fun she did one for her friends too. "The Love Letter" was a big hit.
2.5 years seems to be all the Navy will allow us to stay in anyone place so we put 25021 White Sands Dr. up for sale in anticipation of our move to the Norfolk area in the summer.
February/March - Lots of people tour the home and we finally have a serious buyer. We begin making preparations to move.
April- Pat is in the final stages of his classes at National War College and preparing to go on a 10 day tour of Europe as part of his school.  

Rachel makes her confirmation with our good friend Stefanie Salazar as her sponsor.

May- We close on the sale of the house and move in temporarily with Pat's mom Nancy in Reston to finish out the school year. Tammie starts a TTE Designs blog [] to chronicle the evolution of her business.

Casa de Everly South
June- Pat graduates from NWC and the kids finish school, we say goodbye yet again to many good friends in northern VA and we move the whole circus 4 hours south to Chesapeake, VA.  The move goes well and the house we are renting is across the street from our good friends Chris and Marci Brunett, it's just like being back on Rota Drive [but without the snakes, and boonie bees]

Just a few days after unpacking all the boxes Pat has his change of command to become the Skipper of HSC-2. This is a bonus command for him and we are so blessed to have this opportunity.  Pat's mom Nancy and Tammie's parents Cynthia & Don make the trip down for the ceremony, it's a lot closer than Guam was. We hosted close to 100 people for a fun change of command party here at the house.

JP turns 17 on the 23rd and is gifted a big burly 'man-truck'. It's got a few miles on it but it's all his!

July/August - We start to settle in to the area, re-connect with old friends and enjoy the area beaches, restaurants and southern hospitality. Tammie's work is accepted at an artists consignment shop called 'Two and a Half Women' in Elizabeth City, NC.

Flip Flops grill as seen on Food Network
World's biggest NEX

September- School starts. This year Rachel is a freshman and JP is a senior at Great Bridge HS. 
Rachel makes the JV Volley ball team. JP joins Model UN, representing Poland. 
Pat settles into squadron life while working his way through the syllabus to re-qualify in the aircraft. He makes a trip to San Antonio, TX for a conference and was able to see our friends Steve & JoAnn Vande Walle.

JP & Pat make a man trip to Richmond to a NASCAR race.   Tammie registers for several fall craft shows in the area and is in full creating mode making lots of inventory. 
Pat ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach it was a HOT and steamy day but despite that he finished in 1 hour and 50 min~

October- This month JP is in full college-bound mode. With Pat's help he applies to several schools. He takes another crack at the SAT and Senior pictures get taken.  
Volleyball continues for Rachel, and Pat learns more about the geography of the area as he makes a point to go to all the 'away' games. 
More craft shows fill Tammie's weekends. 

Pat ran the Wicked 10-K in Virginia Beach as the last race before the Freedom Marathon. Hurricane Sandy had other plans for the marathon and ends up sending Pat and members of his squadron and three other squadrons to the NY/NJ area to provide assistance in the stricken region.  Luckily the Shamrock marathon is coming up in March of 2013. 

We also found out that Pat had been selected for an O-6 level command.  A few weeks later we learned that he would be the Deputy Commodore then Commodore of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic. Very excited for the new position and Tammie is thrilled that we don't have to move again for 3 years. 

November-  Even more craft shows fill the weekends. The finale' is Tammie's first ever TTE Designs Open House/ Trunk Show on the 17th where she turned the dining room into a little shop.  Thanks to the support of friends and neighbors it is a wonderful success.  

We were happy to host Nancy and Pat's brother Steve, his wife Amy & daughter/cousin Laura for Thanksgiving. It is a great visit and we thoroughly enjoyed having everyone here. We christened our new fire-pit and had a wonderful time.

This month JP also found out that he was accepted at University of Alabama, this was his #1 college choice and he is thrilled. Roll Tide!

December-  Pat heads to San Diego to speak at a change of command. The holiday season is in full swing. Lots of 'mandatory fun' with squadron events, neighborhood get-to-gethers and socializing.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read our 'year in review'. We hope that 2012 was good for you and your family and we look forward to 2013. We wish you all the blessings of the Christmas season and a prosperous and healthy new year.

Warmest Regards,

Tammie, Pat, JP, Rachel & Dixie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A new BLOG :-)

Thank you for checking out my blog Casa de Everly. This blog began as a way to chronicle our journey as a Navy family, including my little hobby of TTE Designs.

Happily, business has been growing, and so recently I have made the leap into a dedicated blogging place for all things TTE. Please join me at

I appreciate your support, see you over at our new home!
Warm Regards,


Friday, May 25, 2012

"Cocktail Hour" Jewelry Blog Hop

Hello & Welcome Dear Visitor,
  I've been a Navy wife for almost 20 years. Transferring with my husband and kids from duty station to duty station. I grew up a gypsy too. As you can imagine, I'm actually pretty good at moving.  Recently I decided to join my first ever blog hop to challenge myself creatively and promote my little venture, TTE Designs.  I chose the "Cocktail Hour" hop by Amy Freeland of Copper Diem. 

  The real challenge for me is that we are moving right in the middle of this event.  What's a girl to do? Both of course! 
I applied for the challenge and got my inspiration beverage~ The Screwdriver.
Perfect, I don't often do a lot with oranges and yellows so it was truly a challenge artistically too. My other 'self challenge' is to use items from my stash only, we are moving and I don't want to add anything right now.
I spent a weekend gathering any supplies that I thought might fit the bill and watched a couple of episodes of Mad Men to get me in the groove.  
Wikipedia says the first written reference to 
the Screwdriver was in a 1949 issue of Time magazine. I am a baby of the 60's and I certainly remember my folks serving these at parties, so I am going for more of a 60's vibe. 
  I spent  Sunday working on some other things while looking at my stash. Suddenly, it hit me, a 'groovy' charm bracelet and earrings, in citrus colors and silver like a cocktail shaker!  Once the picture was in my head the execution came quickly.  I combined Mother of Pearl circles in sunny yellow/orange with orange and yellow faceted crystals and lime green AB seed beads. Silver plated head pins, silver plated
 jump rings and chain. Finished off with 
a silver plated hammered toggle clasp.
I am writing this ahead of time, we start packing out next week, and by the time you read this I will be in a new city, moving in and unpacking. 
I will most certainly be in need of a cocktail!

Thanks to Amy Freeland for hosting.
I appreciate you looking  today, comments are appreciated greatly and please check out my FaceBook page for  TTE Designs.  
Additionally, I was so inspired by this blog challenge that I have created a new blog dedicated to my TTE Designs~ 

Stefanies Sammelsurium
My Bead Journey
Adventures with Kelly
Mama's Got To Doodle
Wait Just One More Bead
Cynth's Blog
Palm Coast Art
Green Shoot Jewellery Designs
Cianci Blue
Dreamin Of Beads / SAS Jewelry Designs
Beads for Busy Gals
Oregon Made Jewelry
My Addictions...Handcrafted Jewelry by Patti
Moods by Mari
Soul of Mine Embodiment
Uniquely Yunikua
Fabric of My Life
Firefly Visions
Indigo Heart
The Peaceful Bead
Casa de Everly
Heaven Lane Creations
Sue Beads
Durga Jewelry
Honey Bijou
A Bird in the Hand Art
Rainy Day Designs
Tell Your Girlfriends


Ingredients  60 ml vodka  +   freshly squeezed juice of 1 large orange

Shake vodka and orange juice well with ice cubes. Or pour into a blender and blend with ice at high speed for five seconds.   Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Finally ...a Website

I have wanted a website for my TTE Designs for quite sometime. Through one of the FB groups I follow I got a lead on a free hosting site called WIX.  
I have been playing for the last 2 days, including an internet outage last night that nearly pushed me over the edge LOL.
So, without further ado, I present

As always, Thank you for looking :-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Winning Wednesday

One of the nice things about crafty people is their desire to share their talents and treasures. Alicia at  'All The Pretty Things' blog is hosting a giveaway of a pretty wire work heart & crystal necklace set. Check her out at

Sunday, May 6, 2012

TTE Designs First Bead Challenge

I have been  seriously working on growing and solidifying my little TTE Designs business for just over a year now. So far I am reasonably happy with what I have done. It's certainly all been trial and error and most of what I have learned along the way has come via the internet. You Tube, blogs, how to tutorials, Etsy, Art Fire, frankly just GOOGLE what you are looking for and viola' there it is.

One of the things I have hooked into lately are a few groups on Face Book that are bead/jewelry-centric. These groups (of mostly gals) have been a wonderful resource for inspiration and knowledge. 

I started this blog a few years back while we were stationed on Guam as a way to chronicle our adventures and for the friends and family back home to see what was going on.  Since we've been back in the states and time zones are more friendly, it hasn't seemed so important to write every thing down. Until recently that is.
One of the many interesting things I've been sucked into is reading crafter and artisans blogs. I love seeing what others are creating, media's that are foreign and some that are familiar. How inspiring. From these blogs the concept of a 'Blog Hop' arose.  What a great idea to encourage people to check out MY stuff.

I finally decided that I had the nerve to jump onto one of these hops and so I began to look for one that suited me.  Into my lap fell the "Cocktail Hour Blog Hop" hosted by Amy Freeland of 'Copper Diem'.
I love fun cocktails and even though I am a light weight now I still enjoy one or two with the best of them. I eagerly awaited my assignment ~ the "Screwdriver".  Now the real fun begins.  
I am certainly challenged by the color. Now time for the research
I think I will go watch a few seasons of MAD MEN. I bet Joan and Betty slugged down a few screwdrivers in their day......

"Why Yes Don, I'll have the Screwdriver"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Calm Before the Storm?

April is almost done, it has been a month of bubbling turmoil to be sure. But despite the undercurrent of stress the real chaos will begin in a few weeks. At the beginning of the month we moved Pat's dad to an assisted living facility in VaBeach. Let's just say that this has been the most stressful situation we've had in years. It's been emotionally and physically draining for all concerned. 

We were pleased to sell our house here. The closing was a complete 'goat rope'  it was finally been resolved & we are now renters until May 31. WHEW! Our realtor said in all her years she has NEVER had a situation like ours. 

The month has had some good points too, Easter was lovely & several occasions to hang with friends before we go have been great.  Tomorrow (April 28) Rachel will receive her confirmation into the Catholic church, with our good friend Stefanie Salazar as her sponsor. That is a beautiful blessing that Rachel (& me as  a catechist) has been working toward for a long time. 
May begins in a few days, kicked off by Pat's trip to Europe for the NWC. I look forward to writing a few more posts and I have entered a "Happy Hour Blog Hop" to inspire more frequent posts. The theme of which is to make jewelry inspired by a cocktail. I assume I have to sample as I create..... Sounds delicious :-)
Flowering Ajuga  from my front yard

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March Madness...

It's that time of year here in Virginia, after a very mild winter Spring has sprung with her full glory. Beautiful Forsythia, tulips and my favorite, Red Bud Trees paint the landscape with their beauty. All this spring fever combined with some polymer clay inspired me to try covering real hen's eggs with pattern & color. 
I am pleased with the result so far. I wonder if anyone else will think they are cool.
4444My family is getting tired of scrambled though... you can't save the shells when they ask for over easy!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bead Soup

I'm planning on jumping into Lori Anderson's "Bead Soup" Blog Party/Hop  this summer. I am excited to send some of my polymer clay beads and a focal to a partner and see what they create.
More info to come......

See more here

Here is the tag.  

Bead Soup Blog Party

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mokume Gane Tutorial

For the last 2 years or so I have been having a love affair with Polymer Clay.  I ADORE this stuff! It's so versatile and does so many amazing things. 

One of the many techniques I've learned is "Mokume Gane". Mokume-gane (木目金) is a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns. Translating as BURL metal, the name was borrowed from one type of pattern created in the forging of swords and other edged weapons. 
This Japanese art  form has been translated into clay and it works beautifully. I have to say that this is my favorite  technique because you never really know exactly how it will turn out. 
I love the surprise and the "one of a kind-ness"  of it all.
I am going to share this, my first ever tutorial so that others may find some enjoyment from their creativity. Good Luck!
Premo Clay makes great Mokume Gane  Choose at least 3 colors for the best effects.
For this project I used 1/2 block silver
1/2 block cobalt, 1/3 block Navy, 1/3 block pearl and 1/4 block denim

Porcelain figurines make a great base platform for polymer clay

 Condition the clay completely till it is pliable and soft. Run sheets through the pasta machine on the  thickest setting and cut sheets into fairly uniform 2 in x 2in squares.
See the pasta machine at right

Begin stacking the clay in layers, I choose one corner to align all the squares ( see left side)  Gently press out any air bubbles between layers ( some are visible on the top & need to be removed)

When finished stacking, trim off ragged edges with a tissue blade or polymer knife ( save the scraps)

Choose a variety of tools for different effects,  for example, nails, wine bottle cork, bone folder,   fondue fork, wavy clay blade, pottery tool~ really anything!

Let's poke some holes!

Silver side

Flip it over and poke some on the bottom too

Begin to reform the block by firmly pressing on all sides of the cube  until it becomes a compact cube

This time use the bone folder to add deep gouges to the cube

Gouge in both directions

Flip it over and gouge the bottom too

Form it back into a cube, then use the fondue fork to pierce both sides, reform into a cube

Use the pottery tool to cut down into the clay, on both sides and always reform it back into a cube after you are done

Poke a generous amount of holes on both top and bottom using a needle tool

Reform one last time into a nice compact cube. This ended up being appx. 2 in x1.5in

Place your cube on a ceramic tile and freeze for about an hour

Once frozen use your blade to shave super thin layers from the top and bottom of the block. (this is actually the side just to show how thin to shave, you should  flip it on it's 'side' & shave from the '"top")
Lay the thin slivers and slices on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper

Once all the clay is sliced you can begin to carefully piece the surface together 

 Gently  but firmly press the slices together to cover the surface completely. Make sure to eliminate all air bubbles  I use a test tube as a tiny rolling pin to smooth as much as possible

cover all surfaces~ front, back & sides

completely covered, carefully smoothed and ready to bake

Bake at 275 for 15-30 minutes ( or the time & temp recommended for your brand of clay)

Once cool, sand your pieces using fine grit sand paper. Wipe with damp cloth to remove dust.
Apply a thin coat of Future Floor Polish. Do not allow bubbles in the surface of the polish, allow to dry completely.
A second coat may be applied as needed.


This color series is called "Santa Maria"

Thank you