Monthly Archives: December 2014

10 Years…. Already

Ten years ago today was a very emotional day for my sweet family. I was 24 weeks pregnant exactly with my second daughter. The pregnancy had already been wrought with complications and a roller coaster of emotions. The day after Christmas I had been admitted to the hospital due to blood pressures of 170/110 (nope, not a typo.) I also had elevated liver enzymes as my liver was beginning to shut down. I had severe preeclampsia. I had had preeclampsia with my first daughter a few years prior, but it was pretty mild and I had to deliver her three weeks early. So I was shocked to learn that I had developed it so early in the pregnancy and that our goal was to get to me to the 24 week mark of the pregnancy, still nearly 4 months before my baby girl’s due date of April 18th.


We had been diligently watching my baby with the ultrasound to see that the steroids for her lungs were working and were excited to see her “practice breathing” in the womb. Her movements had been active and she seemed to be doing well despite being very sick…. we both were. The various doctors had all come in and talked with me. I knew that she was sick. I knew the odds of a micro preemie surviving, and the odds of a sick one not.

That morning during the ultrasound my husband was with me. The tech, who was normally very excited about the baby’s movements and breathing was very quiet. As we went back to the room I told my husband that the ultrasound hadn’t gone well. He hadn’t been there for the others, so didn’t have anything to compare it to. When we returned to my room, the nurse quickly took away the food tray that had just been delivered. My doctor came in and told us that  my sweet baby was in distress. Her organs were beginning to shut down in an effort to keep oxygen and blood flowing to the brain. We had to deliver… and NOW!


It was all surreal. I remember sitting on the table in the O.R. as they did a spinal anesthesia procedure. I was leaning against a nurse and just over her right shoulder was an isolette prepared for my sweet baby. It was then that I lost it. The sobs that washed over me as reality hit shook my entire frame. I couldn’t get the shaking under control. They layered blankets from the warmer, but still, the adrenaline coursing through my body fought against the efforts to remain calm. A sweet tender mercy of God happened at that time. My bishop had arrived and was given permission to enter the OR and together with my husband I was given a priesthood blessing. Immediately a calm and warmth washed over my body. The shaking and tears stopped. My bishop was rushed out of the OR and the surgery began.

The room was nearly silent. And then the silence was broken with what sounded like two little kitten yelps. The doctors were shocked and then excited and said, “Did you hear that? Did you hear her? That was your little girl.”  But really, the words that struck me most were spoken by my husband at my right ear as he whispered, “She is so small.” And she was. My sweet baby weighed just 13 oz and was 8 1/2″ long. You can’t even imagine it. The only thing I was able to see of her before they whisked her away to the NICU was the smallest foot I have ever seen.

My sweet little girl was strong and fought hard. I asked her to wait for me, and she did. I was still very sick and was unable to see her for more than a day and a half….. half of her short life.


It is amazing to me that even after 10 years, I still remember so many of the little details. I remember meeting people who had also lost their babies. One had lost her baby 9 years prior. I couldn’t imagine 9 years. That was a lifetime away. And now it is 10 years.



Happy Birthday in Heaven Sweet Kelsi. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you, miss you and wish you were here. I will always wonder who you would be, what your interests would be, what our family would be like if you were here with us.

From My Home To Yours, Merry Christmas

We woke this morning to an actual White Christmas. We haven’t had that in a long time. Last year, all the snow melted two days before Christmas. That was a real bummer to my girls who received sleds and never got to use them. I think they might get some good use this morning. 🙂 It is only a couple of inches, but that is enough when  you are 8 and 4. We are still waiting for family members to come for breakfast and presents. My girls are dying. It is already after 9:00 am. I remember trying to wake my parents at 5:00 am trying to get them to let us see the wonders and magic that Santa had brought.

Thank you all so much for being a part of my year. I am really getting excited for this next year. I have a few national teaching opportunities that I have signed on for and you will be hearing about all of those coming up. I also have quite a few online workshops that will finally come to fruition. I am also really hoping to release the first section of my book soon. I have decided to release it in phases as all of it at once has turned out to be more of a task than I can tackle by myself.

No matter what you celebrate this time of year, I hope you find yourself loved, fed, warm and have peace within your heart. I thought I would share this musical number that Riley and I did last year. Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday season.

Remember to enter the giveaway for the Mini Hydraulic Press. I will be drawing a name on January 5th. 

How About Another Amazing Giveaway?

Woah, things got really crazy the past couple of weeks. As I was getting ready to do the last giveaway for the Ring Bender my computer died. There is never a good time for your computer to die, but that really was the most inopportune time. In fact, I was actually in Indiana, with no children, and a full day to myself. I had to plans to spend the day knocking out a big section of my book that I had been working on. I was so dismayed when I opened up my laptop to find my screen covered in vertical lines. It looked like I was in jail.  Turns out it was the logic board. My husband is so wonderful to me that as soon as I got home we went right to the store where he bought me a desktop computer so that I could continue to work while the laptop was out for repairs. Early Merry Christmas to me. 🙂

I have finalized the dates for my workshops in Tucson. Some are starting to fill up. So if you think you will be in Tucson for the Gem Show, please consider taking a workshop with me. I promise it will be a lot of fun. All the workshops are in the evening from 5:30 – 9:30, so all the shopping will be done for the day. Each workshop is only $165 and includes everything. All you need to do is show up and have some fun. Most are hydraulic press related, but you don’t have to have a press at home to enjoy these classes. In fact, the components workshop would be a great one as you can come and make tons of components that can be taken back home and incorporated into your work.

Register for workshops here

Dates for each workshop is listed below and on each photo:

Component Making – Feb 1, 2015
Silhouette Die making – Feb 2, 2015
Cuffs, Cuffs, Cuffs – Feb 3, 2015
Forming with a Swage Block – Feb 4, 2015
Caught YA! Pendant – Feb 6, 2015

Components SilhouetteDieMakingCuffsCuffsCuffs  SwageWorkshopCaughtYaPendant

Let’s give away a great tool. 

Okay, now for the part you have all been waiting for.

Are you Ready?????

How about winning a MINI HYDRAULIC PRESS from PotterUSA

Potter USA MiniPress

That’s right! Kevin Potter has generously donated one of his new Mini Hydraulic Presses, valued at $325. The jack is not included. This giveaway is open to everyone. However, shipping is included only for those in the United States. If you live outside of the United States, shipping will be your responsibility. Even at that, it would still be a $325 savings.

I am doing this giveaway a little differently because in the past I have had to go through all the comments and copy and paste all the names and emails and select my winner from there. That was okay and all, but if I have a computer failure again….. well, let’s just say, I won’t be doing many more giveaways.

How do you enter? Just fill in your name and email address on this fun little form. By entering the giveaway you are giving me permission to add you to my email list and PotterUSA’s email list. You must confirm the subscription in order for your name to make it onto the entry form. Don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe if you wish. But this way, a computer will put all of your names onto a spreadsheet for me, easy peasy.

A little about the press:

  • The Mini Hydraulic Press is worth $325.
  • This MINI press is our smallest. JUST for pancake dies and silhouette dies.
  • Uses 8 ton bottle jack (not included).
  • Under 20 pounds.
  • Does not use bracelet pancake dies. Silhouette dies can be used with urethane, but NOT contained urethane.


Our winner will be announced on January 5th, that is in just two weeks.

Pepetools Superior Ring Bending Tool Winner!!!!

Thank you all for the entries. It sure is fun to be me sometimes. 🙂 I am so excited for the winner of this this fabulous tool. Christmas is about to be a whole lot brighter.

There were 250 entries total. I put each name into a spreadsheet, went to and had it select a number between 1 – 250.  The number that was selected is 153. The person whose name at that spot is AIMEE BIONDOLILLO!!!!

Congratulations Aimee. I am so happy for you.

I have finalized the dates for my workshops in Tucson and I will get those posted here shortly. But I am on my way out the door for a wedding reception, so it will have to wait for just a bit longer.

Oh, and I am NOT done giving away great tools. I have another great one to give away shortly. Keep watching here and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

2015 Workshops

I am so excited to announce that I finally have some workshops on the schedule. I am going to be teaching in Tucson again. I will be teaching at Potter USA again this year. Kevin has been so gracious and allows me to teach in his shop after hours. So all of the workshops will be from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm. The dates are not finalized yet, but they will all be within February 1 – 8. Want to see the classes? Of course you do. Well, here they are.

Melissa Muir - Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

Melissa Muir – Hydraulic Press Components Workshop

The name says it all. Embossing, texturing, fold forming, riveting and forming with the hydraulic press.

The name says it all. Embossing, texturing, fold forming, riveting and forming with the hydraulic press.

Learn to make your own custom Silhouette Dies for creating depth in your work.

Learn to make your own custom Silhouette Dies for creating depth in your work.

This is a fun pice where we use a hole in the form to encapsulate a round cabochon. It is not as easy as it looks. But the end result is fun.

This is a fun pice where we use a hole in the form to encapsulate a round cabochon. It is not as easy as it looks. But the end result is fun.

This one isn't done with a hydraulic press, but it is moving metal. Learn to use a hammer and swage block to create these stunning forms.

This one isn’t done with a hydraulic press, but it is moving metal. Learn to use a hammer and swage block to create these stunning forms.

Final dates and prices will be announced shortly. Keep your eyes on the update from this blog or on FB.

What? You aren’t going to be in Tucson? How about Texas?

Roadhouse Arts Studio and Gallery are hosting a week long jewelry retreat at the Sage Hill in near Austin Texas in March. My good Friend Francesca Watson is one of the gallery’s owners and she has invited me to be one of the guest instructors. I will be joining Connie Fox, Francesca Watson and Gail Stouffer as we journey through the creative design process. What can be more fun than a full week of nothing but tools, creativity and beautiful scenery? Workshop Dates: March 1 – 6, 2015. 

They opened registration just this afternoon and I believe they are nearly half full already. So don’t delay if you are considering it. For more information, check out their website:

Pepetools Superior Ring Bending Tool Giveaway

Remember, there is still time to enter the drawing for the Pepetools Superior Ring Bending Tool. Just subscribe to my blog and leave a comment. I am keeping a tally of everyone who has entered. But I get your information from the comment on the blog, so be sure you do that part. I understand some people have had technical difficulties in getting their comment to post. If that is the case, just use the Contact Me form and I will enter you from there.

And The Winners Are….

I had a great response to my giveaway. Thank you all so much. The past two nights I have gone to bed with the best self esteem ever. Thank you!

The drawing for the Superior Ring Bending Tool, donated by Pepetools, will be held on Sunday, December 14, with the winner being announced at 7:00 pm MST. If you have entered into this drawing, you are automatically entered into the next one. No need to do anything more.

Okay, interestingly, I had exactly 100 people enter. Some people had two chances while others had up to seven chances. I took each of your names and entered it into a spreadsheet with your name repeated as many times as your chances. Then I went into to get 5 random numbers. I matched up the names that were associated with that line on the spreadsheet. So here are the winners.

#180 – Maureen Connolly
#270 – Ray – rgwolney
#243 – Kathleen Krucoff
#288 – Michelle – JewelrybyJaws
#7 – Cynthia – hlokoff

I will let you each choose your prize in the order that I drew your names. So I will be contacting you individually with the prize options. Thank you again for all of your support. I have a full page and a half of ideas for new workshops and Tool Time Tuesday posts. I am very excited to get working.

My Giveaway Just Got Better

I am so excited to announce that Pepetools has just made my Giveaway even BETTER! They have offered to add a Superior Ring Bending Tool.

The Superior Ring Bending Tool winner will be announced Sunday, December 14, 2014. 

To Enter: Just leave a comment on this blog post. 

Of course, I would enjoy having you as a blog reader, so if you don’t want to miss a post, tutorial, or video, just enter your email on the right where it says “Subscribe.”

Thank you so much to Pepetools for sponsoring this Giveaway and making it a great one. I know that some jewelry designer is going to have a FABULOUS Christmas for sure!

The Newly Redesigned Pepetools #301.00A Euro Ring Bending Tool

This PepeTools strong, versatile ring bending tool out performs all other bending tools. The base and handle performs at a high level of torque while allowing the user to exert less resistance in bending metals. Matching outer dies included!

Creativity is the only limit with this product.

Improvements over previous edition:

  • Aluminum machined & powder coated base
  • Dies and post machined from solid steel, then hardened 40-44 HRC
  • Includes 14 dies
  • Round: 12mm, 14mm, 16mm, 20mm, and 22mm
  • Post : 60deg and 90deg
  • 24mm shank for increased durability

Let’s Do a Give-Away!!!

Computer issues can be so much fun. So while this was supposed to go out yesterday, it didn’t. Not only that, but I had to redo this post three times. So let’s try this again. So frustrating.

Today is my baby’s birthday. Four years ago today was actually quite a frightening day for me. Her pregnancy was riddled with complication after complication. I was on bedrest at only 18 weeks into the pregnancy and delivered her at 29 weeks after she had already had four blood transfusions. I am so grateful to all the love, prayers, and support that everyone offered during that difficult time. Kiari came into this world screaming and fighting…. all 3 pounds and 6 ounces of her. LOL. She is still a fighter today. That part gets rather old, but I am so glad for my fighting baby. She is a miracle and I love her to pieces.

Only 3 pounds 6 ounces. Such a strong little girl.

Only 3 pounds 6 ounces. Such a strong little girl.

Happy 4th Birthday. So strong, smart and beautiful.

Happy 4th Birthday. So strong, smart and beautiful.

This past week I have hit several milestones in my little business. I will be the first to admit that I am a horrible business person. I haven’t made a profit since beginning this, and that kind of worries my accountant and myself for this years taxes. I hope that I don’t have an audit coming. YIKES! I tend to give everything away. When was the last time you paid for any of my videos? And while I sometimes get to keep the tools I demo in the videos I haven’t been paid in money for any of them. I haven’t monetized my videos either, though I think that will change soon.

So what milestones did I hit this past week? Well first, I have been in business for 8 years. That doesn’t seem possible, but it is true. WOOT! Second, I hit over 1,000 Facebook fans. I know, I am still totally a small fry, but I was excited to finally break into the thousands. 🙂 And it won’t really mean much anyway since FB is changing things so you probably won’t really see my posts anyway. Bummer. But the one that I am really excited about is hitting 5,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. I thought I had hit another milestone by hitting 75 videos, but it turns out I actually have 84 up there right now. At any rate, I am so grateful to everyone for their support. I am sad that my blog changed and I lost all of my subscribers. I had over 2,000 readers and now I am down to like 49. So if you are here and reading this, THANK YOU! That also means your chances of winning the giveaway is really good. LOL. Let’s look at what I have to give away.

 3-piece Titanium Soldering Pick set – I have three sets to give away
  • Overall length:6 1/4″ Tip:1 5/8″
  • Titanium machined tip – will last
  • Fine tip to collect the exact amount of solder for a precise application
  • Grooved aluminum handle, designed to quickly transfer heat away from operator
 95 Durometer Urethane Pad
  • Overall size:6″ x 6″
  • 1/6″ thick
  • Perfect for use with the Pepetools disc cutter. Made in the U.S.A
 Your Choice of a pair of sterling silver earrings
 SterlingTeardrop Melissa_Muir_Cone_earrings

So how do you enter? I am looking for more ideas for my Tool Time Tuesday. What tools would you like to learn about? What projects or techniques would be useful?

  • Just leave me a comment.
  • Please subscribe to my blog (over there on the right.) This way I will have your email address and can notify you if you win.
  • Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  • Follow me and share it – Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Help me grow my presence.

Each of these items will get you one entry into the drawing. So you have the possibility of 7 entries. Just let me know in your comment which you have done so I don’t miss any of your chances.

I will announce FIVE winners on Saturday at 5:00 pm MST. Good luck!

Edited to add: Thanks to Pepetools for the great tools to give away!

Fold Formed Copper Cuff Bracelet

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine went by rather quickly. The girls and I got the Christmas tree up, I put up garlands, bows and wreaths along the fence out in our front yard. It does look rather nice if I do say so myself. However, it is unseasonably warm here. Today we hit 55 degrees. That doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. It is so strange.

I haven’t even really done any Christmas shopping. I saw a lot of good Cyber Monday deals, but my bank account has kept me from making any purchases. That is okay, I will just be patient. It isn’t like I really need anything at this point anyway.

Oh, I did want to pass on a deal however. Today is the last day to save 20% on my workshop at CraftCast. The workshop will be live on Thursday, December 4th. Use coupon code: harvest2014

CraftCast workshop for Melissa Muir - Using a Swage Block

CraftCast workshop for Melissa Muir – Using a Swage Block

I had a rather good response to my last video showing how to make the copper flower and I thought I would do another showing one way to make a copper fold formed cuff.

I will be doing a give away this week to celebrate several things, 1) I finally hit over 1,000 likes on my Facebook Business page – Are you a fan yet?  If not, stop on by and give me a like. 🙂

and 2) As of Thanksgiving Day, I have been open for business for 8 years. It doesn’t seem that long at all. But I think that is because there have been quite a few moves, a baby and all the stresses that come with those items. It is still quite a milestone for me. Thanks for making the journey with me. Keep your eyes open for the give away. I will do it soon.

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