Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tool Time Tuesday – Drill Bit Gauge and Summer’s End

Today my 6-year-old started her first day of 1st grade. She has been so excited to go back and be with all of her friends. It was really fun last night to watch her at the Back To School night. We had a hard time getting her to leave and she cried when we made her. It is hard to believe that the summer has come and gone. I will post our many adventures below the Tool Time Tuesday for those of you that would like to hear about the reasons I have been gone all summer long. I must say, I am really excited to have my kids back in school. I am ready to get back to work.

Tool Time Tuesday – Drill Bit Gauge

One tool that I have looked for and was so excited to find is my Drill Bit Gauge. We had one at the studio at the University of Akron when I was taking some of the metalsmithing classes back in Ohio. This tool was kind of difficult for me to find and it wasn’t offered through my suppliers. So I kept hunting and finally found it at MicroMark. They make tools for model trains and all sorts of miniature models, etc. And the best part about it was that it was under $20.
So what do you do with it? Well, it makes it really easy to find out what size drill bit you need to match a wire. At least that is how I use it. That, and I also use it to find out what size drill bit I am using.
Another thing that I like to do is to darken the marking with a permanent marker. This makes it easier for me to see the units of measurements on the tool.
Here is a quick video demonstrating how I use this tool.

The end of the summer has come!

We had all sort of good plans for the summer that just didn’t happen due to the injury on my ankle just as we were getting things going. So after 6 weeks of babying my ankle I was ready to go again. I am still not back to 100% and have to take it easy, but we have started hiking and riding our bikes again.

Our first hike was really close to our home, maybe 4 miles from here and it is an easy hike. Well, the trails aren’t labeled very well and on our way back out we got lost. Luckily, I had my phone with its map programs so we were able to find our way, but we came out through a neighborhood rather than back the way we came. So in this next picture we are stopping to take a break. The baby is on my back, so she didn’t make it into the picture.

One of our most recent trips was at the Ape Caves on the back side of Mt. St. Helens. The Ape caves are part of a large lava tube that was formed about 2000 years ago. It is black black black down there. You cannot see anything when the lights are out. It is kind of erie. but the ground is even for the most part, though I had to use extreme caution because although it was even, it wasn’t “flat.”

Kiari has been a trooper for most of the hikes, but why shouldn’t she? She just gets to ride along while we (I) all do the real work. LOL. However, this is her normal, unamused face. HA! I love that kid.


Inside the Ape Caves there is this little alcove that just sparkles and shimmers, I was unable to get that on the picture, but each of those bright spots was a shiny star when you hit it with the flash light. The colors are really beautiful too. It reminds me of a Mookite Jasper.


A little past the 1/2 way point is “Meatball.” Meatball is a lighter weight bolder that floated along the top of the lava as it flowed until it got stuck in the ceiling where the edges came together a bit. The girls really thought that was pretty cool.


The cave is really dark. And I mean DARK! I had no idea if I was even going to get a picture of me or if I would just get the wall behind me. LOL. I was thrilled with how well the pictures from the cave turned out. The flash does a nice job of lighting things up.


After the hike, as we were driving home we stopped at a park with picnic areas and a beautiful lake and had a picnic lunch. I even caught a rare smile from the baby. I love my girls!


On Sunday, after church, we took the opportunity to take another hike up The Cape Horn Trail. This was the first hike we went on in the summer, but this time my hubby came. It was a big hike the first time, but this time I had an extra 30 pounds of baby and back pack. WHOOOOO!!!! What a workout that was. We stopped 1.4 miles up. If you see that little bare spot just above the corner of the backpack, that is where we parked.

This next one has to be my favorite photo. It is just too bad that it was taken with the front camera on my iphone. So the picture quality is pretty low. But what a cute picture of all of us on top of the mountain and among God’s splendor and beauty.


So, did I actually make any jewelry this summer? Well, a few pieces here and there. Of course, you saw my Bead Soup Blog Party post. And I have come up with my projects for my Online class, which will be announced shortly…. now that the kids are in school, I can finish filming, editing and getting things ready. But my baby finally figured out that she was wearing earrings and they were ridiculously easy to pull out. After two days and 3 pairs of lost pieces I had had enough. So she got some tiny gold-filled hoops.


And we even had adventures in the kitchen. Here Kate is showing off her decorating skills with fruit on her Fruit Pizza’s for her girl scouts garden party.
Today was a big day in our house. Kate went back to school for her first day of 1st Grade. She wanted her hair as pretty as the outfit she put together to wear on the first day of class. So I obliged by putting in water fall braids. And Kiari is getting in on the bike gig as we wish Kate well while waiting for the bus this morning.

1stgradekate 1stgrade_kiari_kate
So that is life in a nut shell. Starting next we
ek my oldest will also be in school and I will hit the studio hard with new projects, tutorials and classes to come soon. I hope you all had a great summer as well.

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal

First of all, Welcome to all the new visitors. I have tried and tried to turn off the Captcha requirement for comments and on this platform, I have not figured it out. So I really do appreciate the effort and comments you leave.  If you are new to my blog, please take some time to visit my Tool Time Tuesday Posts, there is a lot to learn and I would love to be added to your reading list.

For all my subscribers, I am sorry for the delay in posting. I am excited for school to get back into session so I can get back to work.
I am not feeling very creative right now when it comes to jewelry and I knew I wanted to do something really special with the pieces that my partner, Kumi Fisher, had sent me. While I was in Idaho last week I gave this piece a lot of thought. I was not sure if I would wear the pendant as they are not colors that I normally wear, however, as luck would have it, I went shopping and guess what colors are in my new shirt? This piece will be perfect with it.

Please visit Kumi to see her Bead Soup Reveal with the things I sent to her.

Kumi sent me an enameled pendant and beads and some coordinating beads and beach glass. She also sent three beautifully colored silk ribbons. Now, honestly, it was probably the ribbons that I was the most concerned with. I never use silk cords in my work. I have seen them, but I never knew what to do with them. So this was a challenge for me, but I loved it and love the end result all the same.
Now, like I said, I am not feeling super creative and the necklace and earrings aren’t exactly creative. But I didn’t actually set out to create a necklace and earring set. I actually meant to turn them all into a piece of wall art. As I set to work on that, everything just kind of came together and I ended up with a piece of functional wall art along with two pairs of earrings and a necklace.
I will just say right here and now, I am not an artist and this is a new area for me. But I had a bit of canvas board and some watercolor pencils and I just played. I love what happened.
At first, I thought I would make some wire designs for each of the corners.
But as I played with that, other ideas started to come into play.
Once I got the wire embellishment all soldered together, I added a bit of depth to it by not keeping it flat, but rather pulling all the ends out so that the piece is very 3-dimensional.

This is where I finally thought about actually making the piece as jewelry and functional wall art rather than just a wall art piece. You can see I have the start of a pair of earrings just below the pendant.


I was liking how the canvas had turned out, but it still seemed to be lacking just a little, so I added a bit more to balance things out in the upper left corner.


Once I decided to make the pendant a necklace, I strung it all together with the three strands of silk and 3 different copper chains. I added a heat patina to all the copper in the pieces, both those on the wall art and those used in the jewelry.

Here you can see a little bit of the mock up. I was trying hard to figure out how to attach the necklace to the canvas and was totally stumped.


In this next picture you can see the detail a little better of the chains with the silk cord.


And in this one you can see a little bit better how I have attached the silk to the clasp that Kumi made. She enameled the tips of the toggle and stamped “Kelsi’s Closet” on the ring.


As I said before, I ended up with two pairs of earrings. I haven’t figured out how to feature the second pair, and I might not. I haven’t decided if this piece is just done or not.

And last but not least…. all of it together. This piece is now hanging on my wall in my studio. The only other thing hanging on the wall in my studio is my wall of hammers. I hope to add a few more pieces soon. I really want to get my saw done up and on the wall soon.


Thanks again to Lori Anderson for hosting the Bead Soup hop. It has been a lot of fun. I know it has been a lot of work.

If you would like to visit the others that are participating, please visit the Bead Soup Blog Party Roster. There are about 400 participants and LOTS of eye candy.


Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things
Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs
Amy Schmidt, Amy’s Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners
Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna’s Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll’s Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead
Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy’s Studio
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes…
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni’s Beads
Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae
Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei’s Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M’s Place
 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK’s Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara,&nbs
p;One-Eared Pig Beads
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina’s Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It’s a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin’ of Beads
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Therese Frank, Therese’s Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs



Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Bead Soup Blog Party – Malie Kai Designs

A few weeks ago I announced that I was going to participate in the Bead Soup Blog Party again this summer. With all the craziness that has happened lately, I have taken much longer than I should have to post about my partner in this exchange. My partner is Kumi Fisher (I love her name.) Kumi lives in Hawaii and does a lot of really neat jewelry, and lately she has been playing with enamels. She has a fun style and is also learning a lot from various teachers. It is fun to look through her blog and see the projects she has been working on.

Please visit her website:
As you may recall, I sprained my ankle just before my birthday. I was feeling rather bummed on that day because we had a big hike and picnic planned as my husband was off work and would finally be able to spend some time with us. Well, it turned out to be a great birthday regardless. One of the things that made this day special is that I got a big package in the mail from Kumi. I was shocked as the package I sent to her was quite small. What in the world could possibly require such a large box? I mean, we are exchanging a few beads, a focal piece and a clasp. Not only was this box big, but it was heavy too. How can that not get you even more excited to open?
I was thrilled when I opened my box to find a HUGE 2 lb bag of Macadamia Nut Hershey’s Kisses. Did you know, you can only get those in Hawaii? And to top that off, I LOVE Those things.
In addition there was a smaller package which contained some beautiful silk cords, faceted beads, drilled beach glass and 2 large enameled filigree beads. There was also a hand made toggled clasp with enameled ends. She even took the time to stamp Kelsi’s Closet (The name of my company) on the ring of the toggle. The most special part of the package, however, was the beautiful handmade enameled and wrapped heart pendant.
Kumi has taken the time to read through my blog and knows about the story of my daughter Kelsi. She wrote a message about the meaning of the heart and how it represents the healing of broken hearts that happens with the death of a child.
She is so good with the color mixing. That is one thing that I seem to really struggle with at times. So I was excited to see this grouping of items. Not only that, but these are colors that I really enjoy.
This is actually kind of struggle for me as I rarely work with beads, but most of you already know that. I am actually thinking of not using these items to make a piece of jewelry. But you will have to wait until next week (Aug 11 reveal date) to see what I have come up with.
The package I sent to Kumi included a black, blue and gold theme. I also sent her a handful of copper blanks as I knew that she enjoyed enameling. I forgot to take a picture of them before they were all sent off. Luckily she took a picture for me, and she made it all look so good. Thanks Kumi.
I am very excited to see what she comes up with.