Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tool Time Tuesday – Dividers and Scribes

Before I get into Tool Time Tuesday, I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting Andrea Kennington and Julie Brooks of NC Black Co. the first weekend of October (Oct. 4, 5, & 6th) for a three day Micro Forming Workshop. What is that? Well, my lily is a form of micro shell forming, and if you want to see some really great examples of what they do and what is covered in the workshop, just click on their names to visit their webpages. It is going to be amazing. I will be posting details this week both here on my blog and on my website (www.MelissaMuir.com.) I am so excited to be hosting them. I wanted to take their workshop when they visited the Seattle area last year. But I was unable due to my husbands work schedule. Like I said, watch your inbox later this week for more information and registration instructions.

Okay, so I am running a bit late today, but hey, it is still Tuesday (at least it is in my neck of the woods.) There are so many tools that I use when I am working with jewelry. But one of my favorite tools to use is my set of dividers. There are so many people that don’t know how to use them or what they are for. In the video for this segment, I only show how to use them for creating straight lines, but believe me, I use them for so much more in my own work. When using dividers for items other than straight lines, it certainly takes a bit more practice and skill, but at least you will get an idea of how to use them.

 

July Synchroblog – Morning Bird or Night Owl?

Which are you – a Morning Bird or a Night Owl?

Do you roll out of bed in the morning rip roaring and ready to go? Or do you stumble eyes shut to the coffee pot growling at anyone in your way?

Are you in bed before the sun goes down? Or do you burn the midnight oil?


If you asked me just a little more than three years ago, I wouldn’t even hesitate to tell you that i am a true night owl. However, since my pregnancy with my youngest, it seems to be a bit fuzzy. I remember in college I could easily pull all nighters studying for an exam or working on a large project or paper. Even after having my first three children I could easily work in the studio until 3 or 4 in the morning and still function the next day. But lately? Not so much. 

Does that make me a morning person? GOOD HEAVEN’S NO! Even when I make it to bed at a decent hour (11:00 pm or midnight even) I am still a zombie in the morning. Just before leaving Washington, I was meeting a friend of mine at the gym at 5:30 am every day. It was so hard, but I loved it because it gave me a lot of really good energy for the rest of the day. Of course, I would be in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 pm. That is just unheard of for me. With school out for the summer, you will be hard pressed to find me out of bed earlier than 7:00 am, most days 8:00. LOL. I love that I don’t HAVE to go in to a full time job anymore. Of course, that opens a whole new can of worms for me. 

I miss being able to stay awake at night. My most creative time tends to be between the hours of 9 pm and 4 am. Perhaps in the fall, when the kids return to school and Kiari starts full time pre-school, I will be able to get back into the schedule, or at least learn to be creative during the day light hours. 

So what about you? Are you a Morning Person or a Night Owl? 

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post on the same topic on odd months and on even months we take on a Pinterest Challenge where we each take inspiration from a Pinterest picture, creating something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then posting about it. You can read more from the Artists Synchroblog participants here:

Tool Time Tuesday – Ventilation in the Studio

I had a really fun night tonight. I hosted a Chocolate party. My new home was built for entertaining and I LOVE to entertain. When we lived in Washington, one of my friends held a Chocolate party and it was so much fun. I knew that when we moved to a new area I would take that idea and run with it, not only for the chocolate, but so that I could meet new people. Tonight I had a great turnout. At one point there were about 25 people here. It was so much fun.

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One of my friends brought a chocolate fountain even. That was a huge hit.

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The rest of the spread. I am so chocolated out. HAHA


Okay, now for the really good stuff. I have had so many questions about the ventilation in the studio. So I did a really quick video showing the bench top fume exhausters I have decided to use in my new studio. I really like them because they are small, quiet and efficient. They pull the air and fumes away from you as you solder, filter the air and recirculate it. These were made for this purpose. I had used them once in the studio of another metalsmith. As I did my research on it, I spoke with many others in the industry and and we determined that this is a perfect fit for my studio.

I purchased my systems at McMaster-Carr. I don’t get anything from them, not even a discount, I wish I did though.   So this is just my own review and opinion. You can find the Fume Exhausters on this page, about 1/2 way down.

View my video review at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYqfBfSHrwQ&feature=share&list=UUXsx-xlz39vZaMXkeHI_6pQ

 

Catching up – iCreateFlix Featured Artist

Hello everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. Our Fourth was wonderful. I hosted the first of many (I hope) parties here at our new home. It was so much fun to have a large group of family and friends here. Of course that also meant that I spent quite a bit of time cooking and cleaning…. and unpacking. Yes, I am still unpacking and trying to get this house in order. There has been so much work to be done. With the girls out of school for the Summer I feel like I am a chicken without a head running around. I know that I am busy, I know that I am getting a lot of things and projects done, but I feel like I am not making progress. I am sure that I am really making progress, but it just doesn’t feel like it. I am so far behind in my blogging and videos. I was hoping to have my business up and running, but I can’t even afford to get my business license yet. Sigh, Hopefully soon.

 

I have had the opportunity to host my video workshops and tutorials with a new website called iCreateFlix.com. They invited me to be their featured artist this past week. It was kind of fun where I was even interviewed for my first podcast. If you would like to listen to it, you can find it here: http://icreateflix.com/blog/podcast_mmuir/. It is kind of long. So I just opened another browser window and let it run while I was doing other computer work.
In addition, they featured me in a blog post. That can be found here: http://icreateflix.com/blog/featured-artist-jewelry-designer-metalsmith-melissa-muir/?fb_source=pubv1. They did a nice little write up.
I was also asked to participate as a guest blogger where I  talk about my Top Ten Metalsmithing Tools. http://icreateflix.com/blog/top-ten-metalsmithing-tools/
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It was a lot of fun. In fact, the podcast came out on Tuesday, July 2nd. Which also happened to be my birthday. What did I do for my birthday? Well, I got to sit around in the hot house while I waited for the AC repair guys to fix our BRAND SPANKING NEW AC. Oh that was loads of fun. But some of my new friends were sweet and took my girls to a water park and brought me lunch from one of my favorite cafe’s. My oldest made me Red Velvet Cupcakes and we had pancakes for dinner. LOL. It was a very low key and restful day.
What am I working on now? Well, I was working on getting a piercing workshop filmed. But you know how you get rusty with your skills if you don’t use them? Well, that is where I am. Between having three kids at home, two moves within a year, setting up a new house and everything else, I feel like I am so rusty. So I have halted the filming for right now and am trying to just create in the studio. Of course, as I work in the studio, I am finding what works and what doesn’t, as far as the flow goes. I am also finding that I am still missing some tools. That is frustrating.
So bear with me. I am getting back into the swing of things. People often comment on how amazed they are that I am able to do all the things that I do. Well, let me tell you, there is an awful lot that isn’t getting done right now. And sadly, that includes my blog and Tool Time Tuesday. But my house is getting a little more put together and that makes me feel better. And hopefully once I get it in order, I will have more time for creating and working in the studio.