Monthly Archives: June 2012

Bead Soup and Hiking

Last year I participated in the Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson. I have been in such a rut and having a hard time getting into the groove of things so I thought about it and thought about it and on the very last day of sign ups, I decided to sign up once again for another Bead Soup Blog Party. Last week I received the name of my partner and am so excited to be exchanging beads and findings with Kumi Fisher. You can see some of her great work on her website and blog.  http://www.maliekaidesigns.blogspot.com/ and http://maliekaidesigns.indiemade.com/.

Kumi, I am very excited to be your partner and so humbled by what you have written about me. Thank you!
You can see our blog reveal on August 11th, so stay tuned to see what crazy things we have come up with to send each other.
And a great big Thank You to everyone that has visited my YouTube Page. This week I hit over 100,000 views on my page. What a milestone and I am so excited.
I am sorry that I haven’t come up with a good Tool Time Tuesday this week. So what have I bee up to? Well, the weather has been fantastic here in Washington and my girls and I have been taking advantage of that.
I have decided that I am NEVER leaving Washington. Just look at these pictures.

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Not only have we been hiking but I just got my new bike and this morning my oldest and I took the baby for a bike ride. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. Tomorrow we are hiking to visit two waterfalls and we are all excited to enjoy this new lifestyle we are living. I will be back later this week with a good Tool Time Tuesday, even though it won’t be Tuesday.

And The Winners Are…..

Oh, I cannot tell you how much fun these things are. There were 330 entries total for the giveaway. I listed everyone with all of their entries on an excel spreadsheet. Then I went over to Random.org and told it to give me a random number between 1 and 330.

I chose 5 winners. They will get to choose their gift from what remains. So winner number 1 will have first pick. Winner number 2 will choose from the remain 4 items and so on. Sorry winner number 5, but you don’t really get to pick, but you will still get a fabulous gift.

Here are the winners. I just smiled wider and wider as I picked each name. It was so much fun to read your comments and these gifts couldn’t be going to more deserving people.

Winner Number 1 – Random number was 138 – Valerie Heck

Winner Number 2 – Random number was 97 – Angie Simonson

Winner Number 3 – Random number was 246 – Rose Yinling

Winner Number 4 – Random number was 285 – Lisa W.

Winner Number 5 – Random number was 190 – Perri Jackson

Thank you all so much for entering and helping to spread the word about my blog and Tool Time Tuesday. I really appreciate it.

Please take the time to visit some of the blogs of my readers. There is a lot of great information and not to mention the eye candy.

Susan
http://cserpentDesigns.blogspot.com

Kenji
www.kenembijoux.com/wp

Angie
http://wiredweirdly.blogspot.com/

Valerie
http://valerieaheck.blogspot.com

Kathryn
http://katscustomkreations.blogspot.com

Lisa
http://glenshire-shop.blogspot.com/

Jeanne
http://goldenwatercreations.blogspot.com/

Of course a great big THANK YOU goes out to Kevin of Potter USA and Michelle of Fundametals.net.

Thank you all again. As time gets closer, I will also do a giveaway when I announce my classes.  Thank you for the great suggestions and feedback. I hope to offer at least one class a month, maybe even two. We will just have to see how it all goes.

Congratulations again to my five winners. I will be in touch via email shortly.

Tool Time Tuesday – Moving Metal

The response to the giveaway has been wonderful. Thank you. I knew it would be because, well, how could it not be with all the great gifts we have to give?

Well, the giveaway just got better. I have another wonderful sponsor. Michelle at Fundametals.net is donating a gift bag worth $25. Simply put, the winner of this glorious gift will be rewarded with mixed metals, beads, silk ribbons and all sorts of luscious surprises. Hmmmmm, I am tempted to enter and rig the contest so I can get one… Er, no, not really. LOL. But what great gifts!
I said that I would also add another item. I have decided to offer a finished piece of jewelry also. I will donate one of my spinner rings, made to the size of the winner.
Please be sure to visit my sponsors. They have been such a good source of support to me as I have been learning various techniques that I share with you on my Tool Time Tuesday posts and such. And their generosity has gone to new heights as they are willing to donate and support this giveaway as well.
Potter USAwww.PotterUSA.com – Hydraulic presses, stakes and all matter of glorious metal forming tools.
Fundametalswww.Fundametals.net – Get your creative on with all the luscious beads, metals, materials and tools. You can also purchase my small Black Walnut Swage blocks at Fundametals. I only have 5 left, Fundametals has more than double that.
Thank you Kevin and Michelle for your support! 
I mentioned that I only have 5 small swage blocks left. Well that is because when I went to buy more wood, they didn’t have much of that size. So I had my Father In Law change the design a little bit for me. I had him add some extra grooves that were a little more shallow. The wood was a bit more expensive, okay, a LOT more, but the price didn’t go up all that much. But they are just as pretty as the original blocks. They are listed in my online store at www.kcjewelbox.com

Lgswageblock2Isn’t it pretty? There was one piece of wood that I found that was so beautifully marbled that my Father-in-law refused to cut it. hahaha. It may still find itself cut into beautiful little blocks yet.

On to Tool Time Tuesday

The topic of forging metal and how it moves came up in one of the groups I am in and I thought it would be a great one of the post. I apologize for the bad lighting, I can’t wait to get back into a studio with decent lighting. This video shows how the wire moves using two different types of hammers. I show what happens when you use a cross peen hammer (such as a raising hammer) and rounded hammer face (such as a planishing hammer or embossing hammer.) I also discuss how to get your metal to move the way YOU want your metal to move.

I will be back tomorrow with the winners of the blog giveaway. I will have my daughters draw the names after we wake up. So get your entries in now if you haven’t already.

See You All Tomorrow.

~Melissa~

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Okay, I know this is late, but in my defense I really did work on this a LOT. I can only tell you how much I despise Corel VideoStudio Pro 4x. OH MY GOODNESS. That program actually had me saying words that aren’t good for my children to hear. Then after that whole debacle, I tried to use iMovie on my Mac, and that wasn’t a whole lot better. LOL. But I did get one video from each program to work and uploaded. But I swear, I am totally traumatized. That is really sad considering I used to be a computer trainer. I am not used to being the dumb one when it comes to technology. But let me tell you, I have jumped in with both feet and am learning a lot.

Today I finally made a HUGE purchase, thanks to all of you who have purchased my tutorials and tools. I bought the Adobe Creative Suite 6. I am so excited and overwhelmed at the same time. The version I have been using was just CS. That’s right, 6 versions ago. That was before the time Adobe bought Macromedia. It has been a while. And to make it all worse or better, depending on how you look at it, I bought the Mac version. So not only do I get to learn a new computer, but all new software at the same time. Yay Me. (*HeadDesk*)

Why am I doing this to myself? I am doing it for you. Well, Okay, in the end it really is all about me, but still, you benefit too. I am gearing things up to offer online courses. I mentioned this on my Tool Time Tuesday Post earlier this week. I am so excited. I have been working on this for a while and it is fun to see it finally coming together. I plan to have my first class start on August 15th.

I have really struggled since we have moved here to Washington. Not because I don’t like it, because that isn’t the case at all. I could die happy here. It is just really frustrating to be in a space that won’t allow me to teach classes. That is my passion. Since I can’t have you all over here, I figured it was time to take my classes to you. You will be able to log in and view the classes, download the handouts and participate with others via a forum set up for the specific class. I am still working on the particulars as far as the formats and such, but it is coming together.

That brings me to a great question for you and part of my giveaway. I have identified a list of classes to offer, and eventually they will most likely all be offered. We will just have to see how well received they are. But I would like to know which one you would be most interested in.

  • Chain Making (Introductory soldering class)
  • Bezel Setting
  • Ring Making
  • Creative Findings
  • Riveted Bracelet/Pendant/earrings
  • Piercing
  • My Wire Angels
  • Fold Formed Pendant/earrings
  • Tube Setting

I have a much longer list than this, but I thought these would be good classes to begin with. If you have other suggestions I would LOVE to hear them.

I will keep you updated on the progress and registration date for the first workshop.

On to the Giveaway!

Why am I doing it? Well, there are a few reasons. This month marks one year since I have been doing my Tool Time Tuesday posts in Video format. This month, I finally hit 300 subscribers on my YouTube Page. I would love to hit 100,000 views on my YouTube Channel. I would also like your help in getting my blog out there so others can participate in the Tool Time Tuesday features.

Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and he has donated one silhouette die and one pancake die for me to give away. I am also going to give away one of my beautiful Black Walnut Swage Blocks. There will be at least one other (maybe 2) gift(s) given away. So you have four chances to win, maybe five.

How to Enter:

You can increase the number of entries by doing a number of things.

  • Subscribe to my blog (Upper Right – You will receive an email each time I make a blog post)
  • Leave a comment on this blog with your suggestion of the class I should offer first.
  • Like my Facebook Page
  • Follow me on Pinterest and/or Pin at least one of my tutorials/videos or jewelry images.
  • Link to my blog from yours (I will link back to yours too – just leave the address in the comments)
  • Create a blog/Facebook/Tiwtter/Google+ post announcing my giveaway
    • Tell them to leave a comment letting me know they heard it from you and you will get an extra entry and they will get an entry too.
  • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  • Leave me a comment telling me how many of these items you did. Each one is good for one extra entry.

That gives you a total of 9+ chances to enter. If you are already subscribed to my blog/pinterest/facebook, just let me know and I will give you credit for those. I will also do a blog post with links back to the blogs that link to me. It will be a great way to get people to your blog too.

I will announce the winners next Wednesday, June 20th.

Today I uploaded 2 new videos. As I said before, Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and has been so helpful as I have learned about the hydraulic press. These two videos are my 29th and 30th videos on YouTube. So enjoy.

The first video discusses and shows some of the differences between the old style press and his new style.

The second video shows how to use the new embossing/design dies

Thanks for everything. Have a great weekend everyone.

Tool Time Tuesday – Using a Drill Press Vise

So who is up for an online course with me? I have been working on this for a little while and people are always asking if I will ever do any online courses. The videos have been the precursor and I think I am just about ready to make these work. I have been figuring out how to use the camera, video editing and some of the behind the scenes technologies. I have several projects identified that would be great courses and will be posting a poll as part of my giveaway. Like I said, more on this later this week. But I am so excited about it all, I just had to share and hopefully pique your interest.

Speaking of the giveaway, I wanted to tell you a little more about that. Last June I decided to try making a video for my Tool Time Tuesday Features on my blog. They have been a HUGE hit. My first video was posted June 21, 2011. In that time my videos have been watched over 90,000 times and I have nearly 300 subscribers to my YouTube channel. I have just posted my 28th video and have two more in the editing phase. So by the end of the week, I will have 30 videos.

This is the last week of school for my kids. So tomorrow, the baby is going to the sitter and I will be working on the last little bits of the details for the giveaway and it will all be announced no later than Friday.

Alrighty then, On to the Tool Time Tuesday.

Have you ever had to drill a hole in a piece of metal only to have the drill bit catch on the piece and spin the piece? If you are lucky, you didn’t cut your finger, if you aren’t so lucky, there may have been a stitch or two involved. Luckily for me, I have never needed stitches, but I have used quite a few bandages. In fact, my bandages are stored right above my drilling station along with the rubbing alcohol and neosporin.

There are a few different ways to remedy this problem; you can tape the item to a surface that can be drilled into or sometimes I hold the piece in a ring clamp and then drill the piece. But to tell you honestly, a lot of times I just hold it with my fingers. I know, not the smartest idea. For a long time I have wanted to have a little vise to hold my item in. Finally one of my tool suppliers started to carry one. I was so happy and I knew others would be too, so I bought a bunch of them. They sold out so fast. That is because people know that it is a good thing to have. We all like our digits attached to the ends of our hands.

This quick video shows the Drill Press Vise I have and how to use it. Of course, there are more ways to use this tool, so I am just concentrating on the one application. However, in my studio, it comes in handy for multiple projects.

No matter what method you use, just keep those fingers safe. As of this writing, I have 6 of these in stock. They are $20.00 and that includes shipping to anywhere in the Continental US. I will ship to other locations, just shoot me an email and we will work out the details.

The Vise can be found on my website at: http://www.kcjewelbox.com

See you all later this week.

~Melissa~

New Tutorial and Other Stuff

What a week it has been. Last week I was all excited about finally setting down roots and getting a new studio up and running. But you know, things change. And they did again. We will not be buying that beautiful home and setting up shop. Sigh. I have been so depressed all week that getting a post done for my blog just didn’t happen. I have been angry and sad and depressed all week long. But now, I think I have had a week of it and I am finally ready to pick myself up and get moving again, at least as much as I can. The thing that is really hard for me is knowing that I have to stay in this rental house for another 8 months. 8 Months of not being able to really make jewelry the way I want to. 8 months of not being able to hold classes the way I want to. 8 months of dealing with these stupid boxes and knowing it just isn’t worth it to unpack them…. even though I know there are things in them that I need. haha, for now, I just try to make do and get creative without those things rather than hunt through them and waste my time.

Today was a fun day. We took the girls down to the river and walked along the dike. We probably only did a mile or so, but it was raining or we would have gone longer. We hear that the sun usually comes out after the 4th of July. I hope so, because I would really like to get active outside and stay dry while doing it. Well, at least not get drenched because of the rain. We went to look for bikes too. My hubby sold his to a friend of ours in Ohio before we moved and I think I will pass mine down to my oldest daughter. A friend of ours here has a great one-child trailer that she is going to let me use over the summer so I can tote the baby around town in. It will be so nice to get on a bike again too.

This evening the sun was out for a little bit so I took the opportunity to snap a couple of photos of a chain I had done a while back. In fact, it is the fine silver fused chain that I submitted to Art Jewelry Magazine a few years ago and had published as a tutorial. While I was out there taking photos, my two younger kids came out onto the deck and played around for a little bit.

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Check out the shoes on my little diva. LOL. Also, we just cut about 3 1/2″ off her hair last week.

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Kiari is becoming quite the little fashionista herself.

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This is the view from my back deck. It is too bad that the power lines are right there, but it is still a beautiful view, nonetheless. We look out onto a golf course and all that beauty.

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I must say, it isn’t hard to wake up and open the blinds when this is what I have to see.

 

Fused Fine Silver Chain Tutorial

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So this is the tutorial that I wrote a few years ago. I just never put it into my own format, but I figured, why not? So here it is.

This is a great beginner project if you want to get to know silver and your torch. It is made of jumprings and balled up wire. That is it. Pretty much the only two components plus the hook. By the time you make enough of the components to make a bracelet, you will have the feel for your torch and the color temperature when working with the silver. You will want to have extra material as I can promise that you will melt a few pieces of silver.

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The chain is so sparkly and feels fantastic when you hold it or wear it. I believe my necklace weighs somewhere around 3 or 4 oz. So it isn’t an inexpensive project, but if you were to make small lengths of chain interspersed with some lampwork beads or such, it would be great.

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With the way the chain is constructed, it moves and drapes beautifully. Even though it is made with fine silver, which is very soft, again, the construction and thicker gauge of silver makes it so it is quite durable.


The tutorial is available in my online web shop – Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox and is only $4.50. It is 11 pages long and has 25 high quality images. It is downloadable immediately upon receipt of your payment. It is published in a PDF format.

http://www.kcjewelbox.com/Fused-Silver-Chain-Tutorial-Fused-chain-tutorial.htm

 

Give Away

I am excited to announce that next week I am going to do a give away. Kevin Potter of Potter USA is going to sponsor it and will be donating a pancake die and silhouette die. I will also be offering up one of my swage blocks and at least one other item.