While answering some of the questions I have come up withs some links for quick access to various tools and workshops.
Where can I purchase the kit?
Well, I have several on their way to me right now. You can back order them on my site and I will send it as soon as I get it, or you can purchase from Amazon (though they are a bit more expensive than me.)
I know it is Wednesday. But due to traveling last week and starting a new business this week with my husband has delayed things just a little bit. But here it is. You may remember I did a post and video a while back using the Riveting Essentials Kit from my friend Gwen Youngblood, well, she is giving away a kit to one lucky winner. Thanks Gwen.
Gwen Youngblood Riveting Essentials
I have decided to give this away in the same manner that I did the last giveaway. Check out the YouTube video to see how to use this great tool and enter the drawing. I will announce the winner, along with the new name for my Friday Video Feature. Be sure to ask any questions you have that you want answered on Friday.
I didn’t get my Friday Follow Up Post made, but I did do the video and had it posted on time. I had so many great questions from the Cupcake wrapper texturing video. So I tackled most of the questions about the rolling mill. People asked what kind of mill they should look for, why didn’t I sandwich the stack entirely, and more. So check out the video and see if I answer questions you may have regarding rolling mills and texturing.
We are also having a poll to see what I should name the Friday feature. Please leave your suggestion or vote in the comments of this post.
Follow Up Friday
Ask Away Friday
Fun Fact Friday
Friday weekly Follow up
Winners from the Tool Time Tuesday Giveaway. Congrats to all 5 of my winners.
Watch for the next giveaway soon. 🙂
TOOL TIME TUESDAY
One question that comes up a lot from people that haven’t made the leap for various tools, is can they use their vehicle to get the same results. Some are quite serious while others are truly curious. I had one of the truly curious ask me if the process of roll printing with the cupcake wrapper would yield the same result. So we decided to give it a shot and see what happens. The video is super short, check it out.
My girls had so much fun rolling over this that they wanted to do more. So our family channel features what happens when you roll over other items. Our new feature is called – “Let’s Run Over It.” It will be filled with lots of fun things. 🙂 Check it out and subscribe if you want more Crazy Muir Mania Antics. To Subscribe just click here: http://bit.ly/2eD3itt
Seriously! You can use cupcake wrappers to texture your metal if you know what you are doing. There have been so many advances in technology that leads to new objects that can be used in a number of ways. One such product is the decorative cupcake wrapper. They are laser cut papers with a consistency of a mid weight card stock. And that means they are perfect for texturing metal in a rolling mill.
Watch this super short video to see how I use these decorative wrappers to impart a beautiful texture on my metal.
Where do you find these wrappers? Well, I found mine on Amazon as well as in the craft store. They are all the rage right now, so they aren’t too difficult. But I did go through a TON of listings and picked out about 16 of them and found the ones with the best prices.
I like using water color paper and this is the one I use:
I am giving away 20 of these wrappers (4 wrappers to 5 different winners.) Be sure to watch the video, Subscribe to my channel and leave your comment on the YouTube video to be entered. I will be doing a new video on Friday to announce the winners and answer some of the questions asked. I would like to do the Friday videos regularly. So be sure to pose your questions. Thanks for all your support and good luck on winning.
Yesterday I got you caught up to what I had been doing for the past couple of months. Of course there was a lot that I left out as the post was getting pretty long. So with all of that said however, I am going to start from here and do my best to keep up. Wish me luck.
I have two videos to share with you today. The first video was published last week. But there were some things I wanted to share with it. As you may know, I have been making videos for about 5 years now. I know most of you think that I receive all the tools I review for free. However, that can not be further from the truth. While I do occasionally receive a tool for free, I actually purchase the majority of them. Sometimes I am able to get them at a discount, but that isn’t always the case either. Why am I telling you this? Well, it is time I figure out a way to help cover the cost of the tools I review and use in the studio and share with you. I have signed up for the affiliate program through Amazon. This will allow me to share with you some of the tools I use in various projects and such and make a small (very small) commission if you should follow the link and purchase it. I will only be showing items that I would use myself and think you may find useful. So if you find something you may like, please consider following my link to purchase. This will help me keep the blog and video posts coming. You will also see ads on my videos. I do not have any control over the content that is shown in those ads. I do get a small fee for the time the ad is displayed. I cannot tell you to click on them, but again, consider watching them or letting them play out. My next purchase goal is to get some good lighting for shooting the videos. Just this past week, I finally upgraded my camera and I am hoping it will have some good effects down the line. Thank you all for your support. I appreciate it.
Torches Torches Torches
So many torches, how do you choose which one is right for you?
With all of that said, Let’s get on to the videos. The first video is one that I get a lot of requests. People are wondering which torch is best to have in their home/studio/apartment, etc. So I take you though the six torches I routinely use in my home studio. First, you should always check with your insurance to make certain you will be covered in case of an accident. Second, always make certain you have some sort of ventilation system set up. I use a bench top fume extractor and it has worked great for me.
Some of the torches I use and like can be purchased through me. Others can be found on Amazon and other tool supply locations.
The Blazer Butane torch was the very first one I ever used. I am still using my original torch and it is my go to for small items such as when I am soldering bezels together and such.
This is the Acetylene/Air torch I use. I also use the #4 and #6 Tips.
The #4 tip is the one that is on my torch about 98% of the time.
I use the #6 Tip for annealing larger pieces and melting metal for casting.
Now that you know about some of the available torches, watch how I use them to melt down my scrap silver to create an ingot using an ingot and wire mold. Once I have an ingot, I forge it down and then roll it through a rolling mill to create a sheet in any thickness desired.
I could go on and on about how busy I have been, but that doesn’t really help anything at all. As you can see, I still haven’t figured out the balance between motherhood and work. There seems to be so much going on that every now and then something has to be dropped. Sometimes that is a video, or a blog post, or a piece of jewelry. I have tried very hard to make sure that I don’t drop the balls that involve my family, though sad to say, every now and then one of those gets dropped as well. Luckily, my girls have been very forgiving up to this point.
So what is going on? Well, all three girls are now in school. We still struggle with how to help Kate work through her learning disabilities. It sure makes things difficult when doing homework and trying to keep up with the other two. She just doesn’t seem to retain the information. And I am not sure how to help that. She is making great improvements in school, but we are still so far away, it feels. Riley has finally hit that maturity level where I finally feel like I can just let her take the reigns and do what she needs to without much oversight and prompting from me. That has been a relief. She is doing really well in school. She hates the “B” days when she has Gym and LOVES her “A” Days because she has calculus. I am not entirely sure she is my kid, LOL. Kiari is making huge improvements as well. It is so fun to watch her learn and grow. She is so sharp. I remember back to when she was born (10 1/2 weeks early and only just more than 3 pounds) and thinking what her future would be like. I am so blessed that she is sharp as a tack and picks up on things quickly. She sure has gotten fun.
Fun Family Trip to Las Vegas – M&M world
I have finally been able to work a little in the studio. I try to get everything done during the day while the girls are at school so I can spend all my time with them when they are home. That gives us the opportunity to work on homework and our new family VLOG on YouTube. We even already have four videos out there. Our channel is called MUIR MANIA. It is still a work in progress, but the girls are thrilled to have a channel they can be a part of. If you would like to follow some of our crazy antics and just know about what is going on in life, please subscribe. They are thrilled with each new subscriber. And once we hit 100, we get a personalized channel name.
And be sure to check out our first four videos. We will have lots more crafts, treats and just family updates. It is a family video blog, so there will probably be a little of everything.
5 Fun Halloween Treats:
4 More Fun Halloween Treats:
Kelsi – Our story of Preeclampsia and Infant Loss:
Muir Mania – Vegas style:
Tool Time Tuesday RECAP
Well, I have been severely lacking in posting my Tool Time Tuesday Posts. So let me catch you up. Because while I am behind there too, I have at least made a few videos. Here is what you may have missed.
Fun tip: Removing a pancake die tab quickly with the hydraulic press:
Sand Casting: From Start to Finish
Using the JoolTool:
There are so many files. What is the difference?
You know I love Tube Setting:
See you all tomorrow for an actual Tool Time Tuesday Post. 🙂
The last giveaway was so much fun and It was just the first of many that are going to be happening over the next month or so. I recently did a video showing how to use the BulletProof Silhouette dies from the ToolCottage.com. I will admit right now, I was somewhat skeptical when I saw the three little thin sheets of rubber they use for the forming. But I tried it as they instructed and was so pleased with the results. The dies themselves are made of the same material used in banks and other high security institutions for their bullet proof “glass,” hence the name “BulletProof Dies.” I love that they are clear and you can easily see through them to line your pieces up. That comes in really handy when working with an etched or roll printed design. They have quite a few designs to choose from and they are VERY affordable, individually under $10US. And to make the deal even sweeter, they can custom make dies based on your specifications. Renee Davis of The Tool Cottage has graciously donated Four sets of dies. Each set includes 3 dies of the same shape, but in graduated sizes, and three sheets of rubber for forming your metal. These dies can be used with a hammer, vise, or most commonly, the hydraulic press.
Speaking of the Hydraulic Press. Have you had a chance to check out my workshop on craftsy yet? I have seen some great results from students that have taken the online class. If you have been considering taking it, you can use this 50% off code, good until the end of the month. That makes the class only $15 for a 2 hour class.
To see how to use the BulletProof dies, check out this video:
I have FOUR sets to giveaway. If you would like to enter for a chance to win, just follow this link and sign up. http://eepurl.com/ccOR7v
You must sign up for each giveaway I am offering to be eligible. It was the easiest way for me to keep track of things. Winner agrees to pay shipping and to be added to my email list. Don’t worry, I don’t get spammy or send out too many emails and you can always unsubscribe if you decide you don’t want to hear from me. 🙂
Winners will be drawn on Saturday, August 27, 2016. Good luck.
Summer is quickly coming to a close. My kids are headed back to school this week and next. I can’t believe that we are already finished with the summer break. How did that happen so quickly? We have had such a busy summer, and yet, we don’t really seem to have done much. Although, Riley did finally get her driver’s license (WHAT!?!?!?!) and the two little ones got to go on a trip to Mt. Rushmore (or Mountain Rushmore, as Kiari calls it.) There was plenty of tutoring, swim lessons, nights out at the fire pit, oh, and I turned the big 4-0. I didn’t get the chance to do much in the studio video wise…. do you know how hard it is to film a video with three to four girls running around screaming and picking on each other? I did find some time to come up with some new workshops for next year.
Leather, Metal and Glass.
One very exciting thing that has happened is that I reached my first goal of 10,000 subscribers on YouTube. WOOHOO!!! What? you aren’t a subscriber yet? Well, you should be. Just visit this link to take care of that: www.YouTube.com/kcjewelbox – just click that little subscribe button and you will be good to go. Now you will know when I put out new videos.
I have had the good fortune to work with so many different companies throughout the past couple of years. They have been very supportive and they have stepped it up once again. I have so much to giveaway. In fact, my giveaway is valued at nearly $4,000 for everything. There are far more items than I ever thought I would have, so I have decided to break it up and roll it out little by little. So be watching for opportunities to enter. Because I have had so many items donated to this giveaway, the winner agrees to pay for shipping as there is no way I could possibly pay for it all…. I would be broke. LOL.
So let’s get to it already shall we? YAY! The first giveaway for a Tube Setting Kit which includes:
10 – Sterling Tube Bezels with Seat, 5 mm hole.
10 – 5mm Round AAA CZ
1 – Tube Setting Punch/Burnisher
Well, my Craftsy class actually went live last week while I was on my way to the JCK show in Las Vegas. And right now you can sign up for 50% off the regular price. Just click on this link: Making the Most of Your Hydraulic Press. This link is good until Monday. And not only that, but you can use the same link to access hundreds of other classes that are all 50% off right now too. So this is a great time to enroll in any others that you think you might be interested in. I have signed up for a few candy making and other cooking classes that looked like fun also. Craftsy has done a great job with their class line up and offerings. You can check out my last post to see some of the great projects presented in this class.
What an amazing time I had at JCK. I was working with the guys at Otto Frei and Pepetools. I had such a fun time hanging out with the best tools in the industry. I really want to be a high end tool snob…. I just wish my budget agreed with me.
This show started out hectic and crazy and stayed that way the entire time. I also had the great fortune of meeting some great people while I was there.
This is set up day at the Otto Frei booth. You could hardly get to the booth the first day due to all of the crates and boxes everywhere. But it ended up looking absolutely great.
The first night I stayed on the 26th floor of the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. My room was on the west facing side of the building. It was SOOOOO hot. So the next night I switched rooms to the 8th floor on the north side of the building. It was much more comfortable. But it was fun to stay at the Luxor.
These are probably my favorite people at the show. Andrew Berry and Anie from JoolTool. We had a lot of laughs and fun together when we weren’t too hard at work.
This is where I worked my magic and demonstrated some of the Pepetools products we brought with us. By the end of the show, I had jumprings, copper discs and washers coming out my ears. I think I am set on those supplies for a little while.
This gives you a little tiny glimpse of how big the show was, but not really even. This is looking down the isle from my booth, there are two more isles behind me in this photo. Then they are probably 3 rows deep, at least. Then when you get to the end of the wall there at the very far right of the photo, it turns left and goes on at least twice as long as this photo or more. And that was just one floor. There were three. WOW! I didn’t make it very far away from my booth though.
My lunch partner – Andrew Berry
Bill Fretz was demonstrating in our booth.
Mark Nelson from Rio Grande – A VERY talented jeweler and teacher.
Andrew Berry, Kate wold and myself.
The owner of Bonny Doon – Phil Poirier
Dinner after the last night of the JCK show. Just a handful of the great team we had working in the Otto Frei booth.
Some more of the great Otto Frei team
I showed amazing restraint and came home with just two small Fretz hammers. My bank account likes me very much.
If you are one of my faithful readers, then you know how busy it has been for me lately, as shown by the scarcity of my blog posts and videos lately. This year alone I have been to Texas twice, Las Vegas, Tucson and Colorado, and I am returning to Las Vegas this week for the JCK show where I will be working with Pepetools and Otto Frei. It seems I have not had more than 3 weeks between trips and a few of them were every other week for a little while. I have been teaching an intensive course at my oldest daughter’s school for the past week and a half. And all in the mix of traveling, we made the decision to put my middle daughter into a new school that is far more intense than the school she was attending. To say that I have had a lot on my plate would be a complete understatement. I am hopeful that things will settle down a little after the girls finish school on the 10th of June. However, that brings up a whole new thing…. SUMMER BREAK. Kids home all day. But I did tell them that they are all attending “Jewelry Camp” this summer. It is time to get my minions working for me. HAHAHA.
Back in March I flew to Denver, Colorado to film with Craftsy. They are a TOP NOTCH company. It was so much fun and very different to make a film with a crew and support team. It makes my little operation here in my home studio seem so … so… amateur? But no worries. I will continue to make my videos anyway. I have been working on a schedule to get things recorded and out on a much more regular basis.
Well, the time has come and my Craftsy video will be launched on Tuesday, May 31st. I am thrilled and they did a great job with the entire production. They are even offering a chance for YOU to win the class for free. All you have to do is go and visit this link to enter: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MelissaMuir_Giveaway
What is my class about? Well, using the hydraulic press of course! There are six sections to the video and multiple projects in each. The class is 2 hours long and full of great information.
People have asked me if I am going to make kits for people who do not have a press so they can still participate and make the projects without a press. Yes, I will. But it will be after I return from the JCK show.
I have also been asked if I make more money on the class if it is purchased through my link rather than just the Craftsy link. Yes. I do. So I would really appreciate it if you purchase through the link I will provide. In addition, I will offer a discount link on Tuesday when the class goes live.
Here are some of the fun projects I show you in the video:
Check back with me on Tuesday and I will give you the link for a great discount on the class.
YouTube Celebration Giveaway
Did you know that I hit my first goal of getting 10,000 subscribers on YouTube? Well, I did. Thank you all so much for your support. To celebrate I am going to be doing a HUGE giveaway. I have over $3,500 worth of amazing tools, supplies, classes and Gift Certificates to giveaway. I will be doing this in June after I return from the JCK show in Las Vegas. So stay tuned for the announcement on those. I will announce it here on my blog, in my email list, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Periscope.