Monthly Archives: October 2014

Tool Time Tuesday – Disc Cutter Comparison (Video Edition)

A few years ago, back when I first started Tool Time Tuesday, I did a comparison post on Disc Cutters. Well, there have been some new innovations in the cutters. In addition, I wasn’t making videos with my first Tool Time Tuesday posts. So I figured it was time to do a video comparison between the cutters I have. I also borrowed a Swanstrom cutter from a friend of mine so you can see the difference between that and the new Pepetools cutter that was released last week.

This video is a little bit longer, but I go through quite a bit. You may find it helpful if you are in the market for a new disc cutter.

I was asked by Pepetools to do their official video on their new disc cutter. Be sure to check out some of the innovative features of the new cutter. I am absolutely in love with it.

October 15 – A day of awareness

Many of you may know that my second daughter, Kelsi, lived only a few days. She was born 16 weeks premature. Yes, 4 months early. She was so small. I have never seen a smaller living human. She weighed only 13 oz and measured a mere 8 1/2″ long. My little girl fought hard, but in the end, we had to let her go. There isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t in my thoughts at some point.

Today is October 15th and it is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness day. I am so glad that I live in the time I do. Had my baby been born 100 years ago, it would have been a very taboo subject. And it would have been a common occurrence. By having my baby now, I am met with others that can also empathize with all that I have been through. I am able to help them as they walk the path of grief that I walked just prior to them. The subject is still slightly taboo to talk about. There are a lot of people that dismiss the death of a baby, especially when it comes to miscarriage. I am so fortunate that Kelsi was born alive. It throws me into a different group of women where my grief is acceptable and I don’t have to fight the fight of grieving a baby that has been lost. My heart breaks for my many friends that delivered a still baby and watching their grief somehow not be as acceptable. Any loss is horrible at any stage. The lost dreams. The lost memories that will never happen. The lost love and experiences. All of it is a loss. All of it is heartbreaking.

Tonight at 7:00 in every time zone there will be a wave of light that passes over the nation, if not the world, as mothers and loved ones light a candle for our sweet babies that were taken from us too soon.

My dear sweet Kelsi, I will always wonder who you would have been. I will always miss you. And most of all, I look forward to the day we reunite.

Kelsi_foot

Tool Time Tuesday – Revisiting the Swage Block

About 2 1/2 years ago I created my swage block with the help of my  very talented Father-in-Law. They were created to help with forming spiculums and other round forms, such as my Lily pendant and cone earrings.

If you would like to purchase one of the blocks, I am offering a 10% discount right now on all orders over $45. Just enter the coupon code: tools2014

The blocks can be found here: http://kcjewelbox.com/Large-Hand-Made-Cherry-Swage-Block-LCH-CherrySwageBlock.htm

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Melissa Muir Jewelry

There are many other things that you can do with the swage blocks as well. Over time, I will show you some other uses for the block. For today’s Tool Time Tuesday, I will show you a little thing that we have been doing in my studio for a while now. One of my customers had also sent me an email telling me that this one other use for the swage block.

Have you ever had a difficult time holding a design stamp just right so that you get a good impression on your metal? I know I have. My daughter, Riley, has done a lot of stamping work in the studio and has found this little tidbit helpful. Use one of the grooves to hold and stabilize the stamp. This way your hand is free from being struck with the hammer and it will solidly hold your stamp straight up and down. Check out the video for the demonstration.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1jeYRGV3EI&feature=youtu.be

And for the video:

FINALLY UPDATED!

It has taken me WEEKS and WEEKS to upload all of the images back onto my blog. Back in April I found out that my previous blog would no longer be hosted and I would lose all of my content unless I moved it to somewhere new. I figured out how to move the content, however all the images were still linked to the old one. And the big kicker was that I wasn’t able to download the images from a server. My blog is 7 1/2 years old. I have 374 blog posts with over 1,000 images and videos on it. I was able to find a program to go through my site and download all the images (THANK GOODNESS!!!!!!) But it changed the names of the files in some cases or put them into folders and it has just been a nightmare. I have had to go through each post (19 pages of 20 posts per page) and reload all of the images. It is as good as beating your head against a wall.

I didn’t bother fixing any of the messed up formatting, that could just take years. At least all of the information and photos are back now. I thought about skipping it and just deleting everything, but there was just too much information out there that I know people can still use. So many of my Tool Time Tuesday posts are still being searched and read. I started getting comments form people telling me how they used to find my blog so helpful and asking what happened. Like I said, it isn’t as pretty as it could be, but I am not going to spend any more time on it. I am finally ready to be back to creating. I haven’t felt like that in ages.

It was very interesting to read through my blog and watch my progression. Some of it was very inspiring to me. I remember being so new at this and soooo excited. I had lost a lot of that excitement. I have been in such a dark place. A place where I no longer desire to make art. A place where I am afraid to make it…. feelings of inadequacy, failure and just darkness.

In the past few weeks I had two very good friends from Ohio come and visit me. That got me started. Then last week I spent the week in Phoenix teaching two 2-day workshops and that really got me going. Next week I am teaching a 3 day hydraulic press forming workshop. In three weeks I have another friend coming in from Texas and I just cannot wait. I am excited again. And especially now that my blog is finally caught up, I can move forward. I have a lot of new videos in the works as well as tutorials. I have new tools that I want to review and share with you. You will never believe the progress I have made on my book. My goal right now is to type out 1 to 2 projects per day (almost 1/2 way through them now.) Next weekend my daughter is going to help me walk through the projects and get them photographed. I AM FINALLY BACK!!!!! I missed me. I missed being creative. Creativity comes naturally to me, but not easily. I really have to work at it. But once I find that sweet spot, things fall together. Now it is just a matter of finding that sweet spot in all of my projects. 🙂

copper_Butterfly

Tool Time Tuesday – Jumping Jumprings

I have had more than one person come to me with this problem; When using a jump ring making system they would have the holder and guide collapse while cutting the rings or the rings would jump out the sides after they were sawn through. This would cause the last little bit of the coil to get mangled or just not even cut through. I have have this issue with a couple of my jump ring making systems. It doesn’t happen very often on my Koil Kutter from PotterUSA. But I do have it quite a bit on some of the others.

I found that if I would tape my coils together, I would have a lot less damaged rings and I would be able to cut through the entire coil. So I made a short video (I promise, it is less than 5 minutes long,) showing just how I do it. Perhaps you will find it helpful too.

Tool Time Tuesday – Using and Comparing Corrugating mills

I know it has been a long time since I have made any videos or posts here on my blog. There are many reasons for that. As you can see, my blog has moved. My previous host shut down their services and I lost all of my images. I have been working for weeks on getting them all loaded again. But there were more than 1,000 of them, so it is taking a long time. Doing this has been encouraging and discouraging all at the same time. It is so frustrating to have to locate the images, reload them, and enter all their information. But my blog is so full of so much good material and information that I don’t want it to just go away. So I am working on it.

Another reason is that I have just had a very difficult time emotionally and it has taken its toll on my metal work, to the point that even my husband was starting to think that I should just sell everything and be done with metals and jewelry. I have to admit, there would be a lot of relief that would come with that. But I really don’t want to. So I have had to work through all of that. Luckily, I really am starting to get back to things again. I am excited to make jewelry again. I am working hard on my book again. I am working on my blog again. I am making videos again. And it feels GOOD! So please plan on seeing more from me soon.

Speaking of videos. Here is a video that was requested. A friend had bought a micro fold break and didn’t know how to use it and asked if I could help her. I figured it might help a lot of people, so I decided to show you quickly about the Bonny Doon Micro fold break and compare that with my Durston Corrugating mill. Plan on seeing some fun things with great textures from me soon. 🙂