Monthly Archives: October 2012

And the winner is…..

Lisa from Lucid Moon Studio.

I put all the comments into a spreadsheet (minus duplicates and responses) and then used to get the random number 16 and Lisa was sitting right at that spot. Congratulations Lisa! I look forward to seeing you in class.
Thank you all so much for the feedback. I certainly felt the love.
A lot of you asked about tube setting, well, I have provided a video on how to do a simple tube setting. You can find it here:
Some of you also asked about Butane torches. Well, you can also check out my video on the three butane torches that are used here in my studio:
And here is one on piercing that you might find helpful:
And my thoughts on the Knew Concepts Saw:
Another on my thoughts about the Saw from Kevin Potter:
I have a few other things that I am working on, including a tutorial for using the hydraulic press and jewelers saw, and maybe even some etching. We will have to see how it all plays out. Last night I sat down with my jewelers saw and got to work. It was so nice. I will post about that in a little bit. But for now, I am going to go and take my girls out for a “girls night.”
Thanks again for all the feedback, compliments, comments and ideas and suggestions.

My Mommy’s Magical Place – By Kiari

Hi, My name is Kiari.  I am almost 2 years old. Mommy and daddy say that it is a difficult age, but I think it is a lot of fun. I am learning so much. I love to explore. There is one room in our house that I could explore all day long and never get finished.

My mommy makes jewelry. She has a magical room where she keeps all sorts of really neat things she calls tools. It must be magical because everyone wants to come over and see how she turns big and small pieces of metal into pieces of jewelry and art.


I thought I would give you a little tour of her magical place. You see, it is also my favorite place to be. She calls this place, “The Studio.”  She must not want me to know the magical things because she is always telling me to leave things alone and to put things back where I got them. She is so silly though, because there are so many things, I have no idea where I got them. So I put them “close” to where I got them and see if she can find them later. hehehe, don’t tell her I told you that though. Sometimes they even make mazes for me. They will put boxes and chairs and other things in front of the door way to see how long it takes for me to get past them all. I am proud to say, I have gotten past EVERY maze they made for me. Mommy and Daddy say I am too smart for my own pants. Guess I should get some smarter pants.


This is the entrance to her studio. She gets warm when she is working so she has this tall thing that blows air. I like to stand in front of it and make silly sounds. There are also a lot of Tinker Bell stickers that I like to look at. Did you know that I am tall enough now that I can see and push the buttons on the top? Well, I am. I can make the fan turn and blow really fast. It is fun to watch mommy jump and try to grab all the papers that take flight.

Mommy also added a new light to her studio. See that little black dot in the middle of the string? Well, if you step on it, it makes a clicking sound. But it also does this amazing thing…. I can make it go light or dark. That doesn’t always make mommy too happy. But I thought it was pretty neat.


She calls these her books. They have lots of pretty pictures. Did you know that you can remove the pictures from the books? I have pulled a couple of my favorite ones out to show mommy. It was kind of strange, she wasn’t as happy as I was.


Ooohhhh, there is that little black clicker again. I want to go step on it. Look at all the good stuff she keeps under her table. She has these drawers under the table that you can move around too. I like to push them all the way to the back. Then mommy has to get down on my level so she can pull them back forward.


Mommy has been sitting here a lot lately. She says she is working on her “videos” and her “blog” and “email.” I think she just likes to see all the pretty colors that appear on the magic window. Right now my big sister is looking at the magic window. Sometimes I get to look at it too. There are these little black keys right below it. When you push the keys it makes everyone squeal…. or is that them getting upset? All I know is that when I push the keys the pictures change.


When mommy works with the magic screen I like to play in the drawers of shiny things. All of these drawers are filled with things for me to play with. They all look different, so I make sure to open them all up and pull out a few pieces from each one so I can show mommy. She usually asks me to put them away, but I usually just hand them to her (or better yet, throw them on the floor and run) and she puts them in a pile next to the magic screen. The pile is getting really big now. I like it. I think I will hand her some more.


Mommy’s magic place has a lot of drawers. These are over by the big window. These are my favorite ones in that area. There are all sorts of pretty colors and bags filled with marbles and stones that shimmer.


This item is really neat. It rolls around. I find it is most fun to do when mommy is standing at the black cabinet playing with her fire spitters. I think she must like it too, because she sure gets excited about things.


When mommy puts the fire spitters away and starts to work on other things, I like to look in the doors. There are all sorts of really good things in here. Bottles of blue water, bags of stones and powders. Mommy doesn’t always let me get in there. I hate it when she puts that little white bar on the handles. I have a really hard time getting in when it is on.


Mommy calls this the garbage. But I think it is filled with so many wonderful things. When she isn’t looking, I like to pull things out and lay them out on the floor so I can see them.  I also like to put other things that I find in the magic place. I wonder if she ever finds them.


This is one of my favorite spots in the magical place. The fridge is just outside of mommy’s magical place. My big sister Kate likes to hang her pictures on it. I am sure mommy would like to see them more, so I bring them in here so she can see them all the time. Plus, my magic sticks are here. I usually only pull out two of them at a time. But they are great fun. They make all sorts of noise on the hard floors in the house and they are GREAT for hitting my sisters with. When I do that, the whole house gets excited and everyone is whooping and hollering. It is a lot of fun.


Have you ever heard of magic carpets? I have heard of them in various stories, but my mommy has a real one. When you stand and jump on this carpet it makes noise. Everyone should get a magic carpet like this one, then everybody in the world would be happy.


This shelf is like a puzzle. All these little boxes have to fit in a special way in order for them to fit just right. I like watching mommy work on the puzzle, so I help her all the time by pulling everything out. Sometimes I will help her by handing the boxes back to her, but most of the time I will run around the house with one or two of the boxes.


This is the other side of mommy’s magical table. I keep trying to get up on that little stool, but it moves and hits my head on the table. I don’t like this stool very much, but I am sure that one day I will conquer and be able to sit on the soft part soon.


Mommy is practicing for Halloween. I think she is going to be a scientist. She has been drawing on sheets of copper and then tapes them up and puts them into the water. Then she hooks wires up to them and the water starts to swirl. But the crazy thing is, the water changes! It turns blue and then brown. My mommy is so smart. When she pulls the sheet out of the color changing water, it has all sorts of new lines and pictures on it that you can feel.


My mommy calls this the wall of hammers. She doesn’t like it when I get too close to that. You see that big white box there? It has buttons on the top. I like pushing buttons. But when I push these buttons, it makes a beep and then a BIG whooshing noise. I don’t usually hang around when the whooshing noise starts. It is scary.


Oh, this is another one of my favorite places in mommy’s magical place. All these boxes come out…. and there are different things to play with…. in EVERY. ONE. OF. THEM.


These are my favorite boxes. The little bottles of color and the sticks that color. Mommy likes it when the bottles show the black lids, but then you can’t see what color they are, so I make sure to pull them all out and lay them down in a pile. Look, they are playing with each other. Mommy gets all excited when I pull out the sticks that color. She showed me how to draw on Kate’s white board. But you know what? They also work on your skin, the walls, the floor and a few other places. I could put my art EVERYWHERE. I am sure mommy would be happy if she could see my art where ever she looked.


Mommy says it is about time for bed, so I had better end soon. This is one of my most favorite places in her magical place. There is a little oven that is just my size. I like to cook. I leave mommy all sorts of presents in here when I can.


See, I even left her the rest of my apple. Now if she gets hungry later, she will have something to eat. I wonder how long it will take her to find it? (3 days)

Okay, I am going to step on the black button that makes light a few more times before I go to bed. I hope you enjoyed seeing my mommy’s magical place. I love her magical place. One day I hope to be magic just like mommy.

Who wants to take my online class? For Free?

I am a bit late on this post. My online class has been up and running for just over one full week. Things seem to be running smoothly. I am still adding little bits here and there as questions come up, but all in all, I think it is successful. 

As promised, I said I would offer a scholarship to one lucky person. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me what things you really want to learn. Yes, I am fishing for ideas. Ideas for new classes. Ideas for Tool Time Tuesday. Ideas for me to help improve my own skills. Ideas to help get me out of this depressing rut. This will also help me see if anyone is reading my blog anymore. I haven’t received comments for a long time now. Are you still out there? I am sorry for the Captcha crap when you enter comments. I have tried and tried to disable it, but am unable to do. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate ANY feedback I get. I will admit, it is very discouraging when there is only silence. So let me know what you think….. please. 
So if you would like the opportunity to take my current online workshop – Basic Soldering, be sure to leave your comment. I will announce the winner on Friday, October 19th. Even if you are already enrolled, be sure to enter. Your tuition will be refunded if you win. 

So what else is new? 

I have been busy, but I don’t seem to really have anything to show for it. I think that is the frustrating part. I am now a Board Member for the Creative Metal Arts Guild in Portland. Next month I will be revisiting my “old life,” When I present on web page design to the guild. That will be fun. I have been preparing and I have to admit, it is making me long to be in front of the computer classroom once again. I loved that career. 

Upcoming workshop

I have one opening left in the workshop I am teaching on Monday, October 22nd. It is my Lily Pendant and Cone Earrings class. I will be teaching people how to use my Swage Block. Of course, if you can’t make it and would like to learn, you can always purchase the step by step tutorial in my shop. If you are in the area and would like to attend, you can see more about the workshop on the Clear Skies Studios web page

What am I working on now?

Just this past week I have purchased the tools for working with Salt Water Etching. I really wanted to have a way that my girls could participate in some of my jewelry work. I am not comfortable with them working with the ferric chloride, especially since I no longer have good ventilation in my studio space (living room in the house we are renting.) So I got myself a battery charger and box of salt. I am currently playing with various resists to see which give me the best result. I am also thinking I will offer a mini online workshop on this (cost will only be about $15.) 
A friend of mine sent me a bunch of tools to demonstrate for Tool Time Tuesday. So I am working on getting some of those videos done up now and hope to present them over the next couple of weeks. I also have 2 more Featured Artists that I will be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks as well. 
The rains have started here in Vancouver, Washington. I was really bummed as I have really been enjoying my outdoor lifestyle including hiking and biking, especially the biking. Well, I have the best husband in the world. He purchased some fenders for my bike, so I wouldn’t get so muddy and wet from the water being flipped up from the tires. He also got me some long fingered and water resistant gloves so my fingers would stay a bit more warm. I also bought a rain resistant jacket to help keep me dry. I am much happier now knowing that I will still be able to ride when it isn’t raining too hard. In fact, I went out this morning and enjoyed the fog and colors of fall. 
Okay, that is enough for now. I will be back soon with a Tool Time Tuesday. In the meantime, be sure to enter your comment to be entered for the scholarship for this online course. Good luck!