Category Archives: Website Updates

Book Review: Bench Tips for Jewelry Making

I have had the great fortune of “meeting” and “knowing” some amazing people in the jewelry field. I love the internet. I have been able to learn from some of the greatest of the great. It has been an interesting process as I have made my own journey in learning to be artistic and creative. My beginnings were slightly different than most as I never really did consider myself creative. I tried, but was never able to really be what I would call successful. You know all those pictures you see of Pinterest Fails? Well, I usually fall into that category. HAHAHA It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered I could make jewelry, and even better than that, I could actually do it pretty well. It was a surprise to everyone! No, Seriously!

As many of you may have already experienced, there are people who won’t share a thing about their process of creating. And then there are people like me, who have no problem sharing pretty much everything. It is thanks to people like this that I have been able to learn what I have. Brad Smith, is also one such person. In addition to being a bench jeweler and lapidary artist, he has been teaching jewelry making for 17 years. Of course, in 17 years of experience, you can expect to learn a thing or two and he has no problem sharing what he has learned. He has a page on Facebook called Bench Tips where he constantly shares some of the helpful little tips he gives to his students.

With so many tips amassed, he decided it might make a good book. And you know what? It does make a good little book.  Not all of the tips are new, especially if you have been following my blog for a while. But there were quite a few that made me go, “huh, why did I never think of that?”

Not only does it have little tips to make your job or project easier, he also includes resources to where you might be able to purchase things like patina solutions, specialty materials or tools and other items not commonly found.

This book is a SUPER easy read and is a great reference book to keep near your bench. It is laid out nicely and has a great number of photos that go along with the items he is discussing.

Want to take a look at a sample? Just click on the link below to open a PDF with a few pages of the book.

Bench Tips for Jewelry Making Sample Chapters

So where can you purchase this book? Well, I happen to have 4 copies currently in stock with a few more on order that should be here in a couple of weeks. Just visit Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox to get your own copy.

In Other News

Thanks so much to my blog readers and Facebook friends, I have reached over 1,500 subscribers on my YouTube page and well over a quarter million views. WOW! So to celebrate, I am going to hold a give away. I will be posting more about that next week. So be sure to watch for it. In the meantime, why not visit some of my past Tool Time Tuesday posts. If you are new, you will find a wealth of information, tips and even tutorials. Be sure to subscribe my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. There are nearly 50 videos currently posted and more to come in short order.

Thank you again for all your support.

All content and images on this blog are the property of Melissa Muir and use of them in any context is strictly prohibited unless written permission is first obtained. Please feel free to repin any of the pictures of pieces done by Melissa Muir only.


Okay, I know this is late, but in my defense I really did work on this a LOT. I can only tell you how much I despise Corel VideoStudio Pro 4x. OH MY GOODNESS. That program actually had me saying words that aren’t good for my children to hear. Then after that whole debacle, I tried to use iMovie on my Mac, and that wasn’t a whole lot better. LOL. But I did get one video from each program to work and uploaded. But I swear, I am totally traumatized. That is really sad considering I used to be a computer trainer. I am not used to being the dumb one when it comes to technology. But let me tell you, I have jumped in with both feet and am learning a lot.

Today I finally made a HUGE purchase, thanks to all of you who have purchased my tutorials and tools. I bought the Adobe Creative Suite 6. I am so excited and overwhelmed at the same time. The version I have been using was just CS. That’s right, 6 versions ago. That was before the time Adobe bought Macromedia. It has been a while. And to make it all worse or better, depending on how you look at it, I bought the Mac version. So not only do I get to learn a new computer, but all new software at the same time. Yay Me. (*HeadDesk*)

Why am I doing this to myself? I am doing it for you. Well, Okay, in the end it really is all about me, but still, you benefit too. I am gearing things up to offer online courses. I mentioned this on my Tool Time Tuesday Post earlier this week. I am so excited. I have been working on this for a while and it is fun to see it finally coming together. I plan to have my first class start on August 15th.

I have really struggled since we have moved here to Washington. Not because I don’t like it, because that isn’t the case at all. I could die happy here. It is just really frustrating to be in a space that won’t allow me to teach classes. That is my passion. Since I can’t have you all over here, I figured it was time to take my classes to you. You will be able to log in and view the classes, download the handouts and participate with others via a forum set up for the specific class. I am still working on the particulars as far as the formats and such, but it is coming together.

That brings me to a great question for you and part of my giveaway. I have identified a list of classes to offer, and eventually they will most likely all be offered. We will just have to see how well received they are. But I would like to know which one you would be most interested in.

  • Chain Making (Introductory soldering class)
  • Bezel Setting
  • Ring Making
  • Creative Findings
  • Riveted Bracelet/Pendant/earrings
  • Piercing
  • My Wire Angels
  • Fold Formed Pendant/earrings
  • Tube Setting

I have a much longer list than this, but I thought these would be good classes to begin with. If you have other suggestions I would LOVE to hear them.

I will keep you updated on the progress and registration date for the first workshop.

On to the Giveaway!

Why am I doing it? Well, there are a few reasons. This month marks one year since I have been doing my Tool Time Tuesday posts in Video format. This month, I finally hit 300 subscribers on my YouTube Page. I would love to hit 100,000 views on my YouTube Channel. I would also like your help in getting my blog out there so others can participate in the Tool Time Tuesday features.

Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and he has donated one silhouette die and one pancake die for me to give away. I am also going to give away one of my beautiful Black Walnut Swage Blocks. There will be at least one other (maybe 2) gift(s) given away. So you have four chances to win, maybe five.

How to Enter:

You can increase the number of entries by doing a number of things.

  • Subscribe to my blog (Upper Right – You will receive an email each time I make a blog post)
  • Leave a comment on this blog with your suggestion of the class I should offer first.
  • Like my Facebook Page
  • Follow me on Pinterest and/or Pin at least one of my tutorials/videos or jewelry images.
  • Link to my blog from yours (I will link back to yours too – just leave the address in the comments)
  • Create a blog/Facebook/Tiwtter/Google+ post announcing my giveaway
    • Tell them to leave a comment letting me know they heard it from you and you will get an extra entry and they will get an entry too.
  • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
  • Leave me a comment telling me how many of these items you did. Each one is good for one extra entry.

That gives you a total of 9+ chances to enter. If you are already subscribed to my blog/pinterest/facebook, just let me know and I will give you credit for those. I will also do a blog post with links back to the blogs that link to me. It will be a great way to get people to your blog too.

I will announce the winners next Wednesday, June 20th.

Today I uploaded 2 new videos. As I said before, Kevin Potter of Potter USA has been a great sponsor of my blog and has been so helpful as I have learned about the hydraulic press. These two videos are my 29th and 30th videos on YouTube. So enjoy.

The first video discusses and shows some of the differences between the old style press and his new style.

The second video shows how to use the new embossing/design dies

Thanks for everything. Have a great weekend everyone.

Art Jewelry Magazine Wallpapers

I just got an email from one of my favorite people at Art Jewelry Magazine. Addie Kid is one of the editors and the one that I worked with on both of my projects. She was truly a delight to work with and I look forward to working with her again…. just as soon as I figure out what other projects to do .

Anyway, she wrote to inform me that I am the first artist to be featured twice with their wallpaper photos. The first one was with my Fine Silver Chain. This time they have featured the Winter Lily. It is a really cool shot, although I have to say it is kind of hard to see it blown up so large. You can see so many things in the photo that you don’t see when you are holding the piece in your hands. HAHAHA Ah, the magic of enlarging items.

Check out the wallpapers. They have some great artists featured here and it is so hard to pick just one picture. I switched my background to this lily and my daughter asked when I would switch it back to a picture of her, so I suspect that it might be short lived, or perhaps I will pull out my Photoshop and incorporate her in to the picture.

You can find the wallpaper images on the Art Jewelry Website at:

Do you have a particular project of mine or a technique that you would like to see me write a tutorial for? If so, I would love to hear your suggestions.


Lots of Updates & new class schedule

First things first… Last weeks fundraiser for the Preeclampsia
Foundation was AMAZING! I finally got to meet some of the women that
helped me through the darkest hours of my life after losing my sweet
baby Kelsi. My angel was auctioned off and brought in $1,250 for the
foundation. It was really neat. Of course I cried like a baby when they
read my story and showed pictures of my baby.

I can also finally share this next piece of news. In February, the
director of the PE foundation called and asked if I would be willing to
make a new pin for the Foundation. I am not positive, but I believe
this is the new Preeclampsia Awareness pin. I am trying to get a good
photo of these, and they will be listed on my site for sale shortly.
The price is $12.50 per pin and 100% of the proceeds goes to the PE


Here is the jewelry I wore to the fundraiser. The pictures don’t do the necklace justice, but it is SOOOO pretty.

PE_fundraiser PE_fundraiser_close

Art Jewelry Magazine

Well, it finally came, the November issue of Art Jewelry. They did a
fantastic job on this issue. I love the layout and everything. I ended
up having 9 full pages in this issue. That is HUGE! They even had to
change the format of the magazine because of my article. HAHAHA, some
people are just born to be troublemakers I guess.


Here is a little ring that I recently made. It is for my 2-year-old. Yes, I know the dangers of little kids with this type of jewelry and we keep a close eye on her when she wears it. She is really funny though. She is such a Girly Girl. She is always wearing some type of jewelry in addition to the two bracelets she wears 24/7. Just today she came into the family room wearing about 5 additional bracelets. It is a lot of fun to have little girls that are into jewelry as much as mom is.


October 2008, jewelry making class schedule
I finally finished my schedule for October. Please visit my website ( for class descriptions.

Day Date Time Class Cost
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Introduction to Wire Wrapped Pendants
8:00 – 9:30 pm
Introduction to Soldering
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Basic Soldering
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Basic Wire I – The perfect simple loop
8:00 – 9:30 pm
Wire Rings
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Textured Metal
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Bezel Set Rings
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Soldered Ear Wires
8:00 – 9:30 pm
Simple Soldered Rings
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Basic Wire II – Wrapped loops $40
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Basic Wire III – Wrapped beads $40
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Soldered Pendant $100
6:00 – 9:30 pm
Wire Wrapped Pendants $65
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Soldered Embellishments $55

All classes are taught in Norton, OH. Payment must be received in full
to guarantee your space. All materials and tools are included in the
class fee.

As always, custom classes are available upon request. I encourage all feedback and I look forward to reading what you have to say.