Monday, February 28, 2011


Okay, after the success of making making it into an Etsy Treasury for the very first time - and all withing 24 hours of opening the TTD online shop - I just had to post this song....



Woo hoo! TTD made it into an Etsy Treasury within 24 hours!

Woo hoo! Treasure Trunk Designs made it
into an Etsy Treasury within 24 hours!

I am SO excited!!!  Joining Etsy was a HUGE decision for a little small-fry like me!  But I did it.  And guess what?!?  My Cherry Blossom Choker (Springtime in Korea) made it into an Etsy Treasury within 24 hours.  Yeah!

Check it out at:

Tree of Life

* Tree of Life *

The 'Tree of Life' is a long standing symbol in many cultures and religions.

See the latest additions to TTD's Tree of Life collection!According to many sources, the tree of knowledge, connecting heaven and the underworld, and the tree of life, connecting all forms of creation, are both forms of the world tree or cosmic tree. According to some scholars, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, portrayed in various religions and philosophies, are the same tree.

Planted in the midst of the Garden of Eden, it is said that the Tree of Life produced streams of honey, milk, oil and wine. The leaves offered shade for all f Paradise and bore fruit of more than 15,000 varieties. The tree was granted to Adam after his fall from immortality.

In the Old Testament, the Tree of Life is said to be “a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her”, and in Ecclus, Wisdom describes herself with imagery drawn from the Tree of Life legend saying she will “take root in an honorable people.”

If you would like to learn more about the Tree of Life, you can refer to David Jeffrey’s “A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature.” Prof. Jeffrey taught me during my first degree at the University of Ottawa. He was one of the most knowledgeable professors I’ve ever had – and one of the toughest!

Visit the new TTD Etsy store!

Visit the new TTD Etsy store!

Well everyone, Treasure Trunk Designs finally took the plunge and created an Etsy store.  You can visit and purchase from TTD at:

I'll be updating the Etsy shop throughout the week so make sure to check back often to see our new listings!  Is there something that you are interested in that's not posted yet?  Let me know and I can create a reserve listing just for you!

Do you live in the Ottawa / Cornwall / Montreal area? Find out how to save on costs by visiting one of the TTD display locations! Email Tara MacDonald for more information.

Thank You!

-Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is anybody out there?

Is anybody out there?

How does one determine if their blog is actually reaching people or not? 

This is a good question I think.  I've got 6 followers which is pretty cool but I've also got over 300 page views over the past week which seems awesome!

But where are you guys??  I see Turkey, Thailand, France, the United Kingdom, the USA, Barbados, Haiti, Italy, Germany, South Korea and of course my fair Canada! 

Why not drop me a line or post a comment and let me know where you're reading from and what you think - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Tara from Treasure Trunk Designs

Turquoise Lariat - Advance pics!

Turquoise Lariat - Advance Pictures!
(better pics to come once I set up the lightbox... )

For more pictures of my work, check out Treasure Trunk Designs' Facebook page at:

Saturday, February 26, 2011


* Turquoise! *

After yesterdays post about getting 'one thing done a day' , I have to admit, I don't feel like I accomplished much.  It seemed the day just slipped away... 

I did however get commissioned to create a turquoise lariat with no metal.  No metal!  I love turquoise and silver so when I first heard I was so excited to pull out my fine silver clay and get cracking.    Even turquoise and copper looks great.  Who am I kidding?  Turquoise looks phenomenal with anything and everything!  So I'm thinking maybe a combo of dark citrine chips, turquoise coloured fossil stone and magnesite, some pink stones that I can't remember the name of... maybe some tiger eye...  I dunno but I'll figure it out.

Okay, off to bond with the sofa and cuddle the assistant.  Shoulder acting up today and need some 'escapism'!

Ta Ta for Now!

- Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Assistant...

The Assistant...

The official TTD guard dog and personal assistant 'Clark' was feeling somewhat unappreciated with the lack of attention due to TTD's increased online presence.  Therefore, before my trusted assistant goes on strike, I formally present to you "Clark".  Loyal companion, TTD guard dog and business partner Clark enjoys long walks in the park, squeeky toys, chasing squirrels and unlimited cuddle time.  His favourite store is "A Guy, A Girl, Two Dogs and a Cat" which can be found off Dalhousie St. in Ottawa's Byward Market (his old stomping ground.)  Favourite foods include steak, home-made garlic and cheese doggie biscuits, toast and vanilla ice cream.  Clark looks forward to modeling TTD's new line of doggie accessories and his promotion to the position of official quality control expert.

- Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

Finish one thing a day...

Finish one thing a day... 

Of course, finishing loads of stuff in a day is great!  But I think, setting a minimum of 1 thing a day, is the way to start getting "back-on-track". 

One thing a day is just 1 little thing.  How hard is that?  It doesn't have to be a big thing, so long as it's 'something'.  Something that can be checked off a list.  Something that is for 'you' and not someone else's errand or chore.  Something that you can feel good about.  It's done... check... on to the next thing!

If you're anything like me, that means you probably have a million things on the go and a whole bunch of loose-ends lying around. 

Maybe you have a backlog of blogs to write, half-completed jewelry projects, paperwork, homework, job applications, job examinations, taxes, doctors appointments to make, making an appointment for that much needed - and much dreaded - trip to the dentist, or just fixing little things around the house.

How did things get so far behind?  Good question!  Life got in the way. In the past year and a half, I've moved house 6 times (including an international move), volunteered, had 2 separate 6 month contracts, been up-and-down in the finances department due to my never-ending studies and I am trying desperately to get my mind back into 'study mode' so that I can stop paying tuition and graduate with my Masters! 

I think the key challenge is the constant moving.  Everything is in boxes.  Nothing is found without a challenge.  Nothing I own has a permant space, a 'home'.  And... for someone that travels so very much... this girl has a LOT of 'stuff'!

So, trying to do too much - within a total chaotic mess of boxes, bags, paperwork, closets spilling over with clothes and a house cluttered with way too much furniture and 'stuff' for it's own good (my poor parents!) - is impossible.  The first step is slowing down. 

That's a tough step for me as I'm used to doing so much at once.  I like diversity.  I like having a variety of types of people in my life.  I love cooking and having a well stocked, organized and fully stocked kitchen.  I love to read and study and have a collection of books that could fill up a large room.  I like to have an office area devoted to writing, reading, studying and chilling out with my classics.  I like to have a work station that's set up and ready to go whenever the mood to exercise my 'creative flair' takes hold.  I like to have a closet with all of my clothes neatly arranged and easy to find so that I don't have to root through bags, boxes, closets and god forbid on the floor or under the bed! 

But these days, having moved back to my parents home in a tiny little village for a few months while I try to save my bank account from going too far in the red while finishing my studies, the possibility of having the simple 'space' to be organized is a definite challenge. 

Which brings me back to the topic of today's blog - finishing 1 thing a day. 

It sounds so simple but sometimes, when you've got a million things on the go, it's not so simple.  So this is my new plan: Each day, I will commit to finishing 1 thing.  Whether it be a jewelry commission, an article to read, organizing paper work, making appointments, updating photos or editing a chapter for my thesis. 

One thing a day and eventually that huge list of 'things to do' will become manageable again. 

That's my plan.  Wish me luck!

- Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

This is the latest "Shruti" cuff with carnelian, red tiger eye and copper.  It's my all-time best seller.  This one is for a lady in Ottawa who is soooo excited to get it!  I caught her posting on facebook about how excited she was - what a great feeling to find that out!  This is my 'one thing' to finish today.  Everything else will be a 'bonus' :)

Update to blog: A "Shruti" for Trudy is finished!  I hope she likes it! 

What do you think? 
 Post your comments as I would love to
hear what you have to say :)

Purple Rain....

                                          Purple Rain....

Well, I checked a commission off my list tonight when I dropped off "Purple Rain".  Sorry - cheesy name but I love it!  Prince... so awesome!  Yep, I'm aging myself.  That's okay.  I still think he's cool. 

Anyway, I don't know about other jewelry artists but personally I always get the jitters any time I drop off or ship a piece out to a client.  If you write, paint or do any kind of 'creative' work then you might know what I'm talking about.  What if they don't like it?  What if they imagined something different in their head?  What if it's not the right size?  What if it's "too fancy" or 3 mm too big? 

Thankfully, the majority of my clients have been absolutely wonderful, supportive and totally reliable.  I've been lucky.  Nevertheless, that nervous anxiety creeps in with every single sale.  I'm hoping those feelings of insecurity will go away in time.  I've set a goal for my 'success' target.  I'd like to sell enough to pay for all of the supplies I've bought over the past year.  It's a big goal!  Ha!  But I'm getting there, slowly and surely. 

The main challenge is finding the right market but even before that, it's finding the TIME to find the market and to put yourself out there.  I have a website but it's currently under construction and not much to look at.  So, as an alternative route, my facebook page was step 1.  Step 2 was setting up a display cabinet at my mother's cafe and step 3 is this blog ;)  Next step?  I'm agonizing over Etsy.  Should I set up an Etsy shop?  An internal debate rages about this subject on an almost daily basis.  I'm sure, I'll still be thinking about it tomorrow.  Maybe then I'll have an answer to this long nagging question... probably not though! 

Joining Etsy might have a lot of advantages but it also poses some draw backs.  For one, what if something sells from the display cabinet AND Etsy on the same day and I don't have the right materials to make a second?  What if it's completely unique and impossible to make a duplicate?  Moreover, joining Etsy means increasing prices.  If you advertise through Etsy that means you have agreed to keep prices consistent or higher within your other sales venue.  Seeing as how Etsy takes a percentage of the sale, charges a listing fee and then there is the paypall cut, well it all adds up!   Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE Etsy fan.  But these are all big decisions for a small fry like me. 

I guess I'll sleep on it.  Yep.  Maybe I'll make up my mind tomorrow... or the next day... maybe next week ;)

Off to Bedfordshire as it's way past my bedtime and this girl needs her beauty rest! 

Sweet dreams...

- Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

Introducing... "Purple Rain"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Treasure Trunk Designs now on TWITTER!

Hello everyone,

Treasure Trunk Designs is now on Twitter! 

Please feel free to follow the TTD tweets! 

You can find TTD @!/TTD_Jewelry

Thanks a bunch and see you there!

- Tara from Treasure Trunk Designs

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ocean Bliss... Jack, dah beach is mine!

Ocean Bliss...
"Jack, the beach is mine!"

As the sunshine begins to peak through the cold winter sky and the icicles start to drip, melting the snow beneath, I can't help but remember the warm sundrenched days that I spent in Barbados. 

What was only supposed to be a maximum of 6 months volunteering as a consultant for a children's garden initiative, my passion for the project was too strong and a year later I was finally packing my bags and returning home to Canada. 

As a volunteer, there was never much money for fancy dinners, rum-soaked nights or joining my friends who always had one fabulous outing or another to attend. 

Thankfully, the beach was always welcoming and always free. In fact, unlike some of the other islands, all beaches in Barbados are open to the public.  This is somewhat of an historical carry over - held strong and firm by the people of Barbados - that was incorated into the law after Jack Dear, a lawyer for the Barbados Board of Tourism made the decree that hotel owners had the right to bring their property down to the waterfront.

It was this story as well, that led to a very famous song by a Barbadian calipso artist - the Mighty Gabby!  Although I never had the chance to get to know Gabby during my stay in Barbados, he will always stay firmly planted in my esteem.  Why is that?  Well, aside from his wonderful music, the Mighty Gabby used to volunteer his time teaching music to the children at St. Paul's school where I first started working in Barbados.  To me - for a big calypso star like that to volunteer his time at a little school like that - well, that was pretty impressive!

The song is called "Jack, the beach is mine!" As the story goes, Gabby came up with the idea for the song one night while he was singing at a hotel. A white woman said to him, “could you play some local music.” Jack - the corporate lawyer from the Board of Tourism - was at the hotel that same night.  The encounter led to the creation of “Jack”.  (You can find the lyrics and a YouTube video to listen below!)

So, inspired by my memories of Barbados and all of my wonderfully supportive Bajan friends, here is a peak at my current 'work-in-progress'.  It's a huge triangular chunk or sea glass found just outside of Speightstown in a little spot where I used to drink my morning coffee (Roger I think you know where that is!)

Work-in-progress!  Huge chunk of triangular sea glass with a wave pattern that's frosted over by the natural tumbling of the sea and the sand.  The sea glass is wrapped in fine silver and surrounded by an assortment of quartz chips as well as pink, peacock and keishi pearls. 

Let me know what you think! (finished seaglass necklace!)

Lyrics and song by The Mighty Gabby, from the song Jack, Barbados.
I grow up bathin, in sea water
But nowadays, that is bare horror
If I only venture, from my seashore
Police Telling me, I cyan bade no more
Cause “Jack” doan want me to bade on my beach
“JACK” tell dem to keep me outto reach
“JACK” tell dem, I would never made de grade
dey STRENGHTEN SECURITY and build barricade
Dat cyan happen here in this country
I want Jack to know that the beach belong to me (we)
Dah cyan happen here, OVER MY DEAD BODY
Tell (big guts) JACK (him)
GABBY (I) say that de beach belong to me (we)
Look! That beach is mine, I can bade anytime
Despite what they say I go there anyway
(I gine bade anyway)

Here is the YouTube link to listen to "Jack"!  I love this song...  the Mighty Gabby is awesome!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Barbados' Sea Glass Rings!

* Barbados' Sea Glass Rings! *

After stocking up on supplies during my shopping spree at Metalliferous in the fabulous New York City, I finally got around to my sea glass from Barbados.

(check out my blog "New York City - A Road Trip!" @ )

This project was a lot of fun but it was also soooo frustrating!  My first attempts at creating bezels and rings, and I choose awkward, irregular shapes and heights... What was I thinking?!? 

Dave, from Metalliferous, tried to persuade me to take a step back.  He said, and I quote, "Don't you understand?  It's like you're going into the Amazon!" Ha!  This guy was awesome, helpful and hilarious!

Anyway, so here are my first attempts at making rings.  I hope you like them!

Tara, Treasure Trunk Designs

Below you will find some pieces that I've picked out for future rings. 
What do you think?

Some examples of my work!

* Treasure Trunk Designs *
Some examples of my work!