Category Archives: General Announcements

Long over due post – TONS of Videos

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

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.

Link to subscribe to our Channel: http://bit.ly/2eD3itt

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. ūüôā

Giveaway #2 – BulletProof Silhouette Dies

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.

TC-Silhouette-Giveaway

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.

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To see how to use the BulletProof dies, check out this video:

Video Link: https://youtu.be/rfaQCXfijyQ

ENTER NOW

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. ūüôā

Winners will be drawn on Saturday, August 27, 2016. Good luck.

IT IS GIVEAWAY TIME!!!! New video

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.

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.

Kinetic Jewelry

Kinetic Jewelry

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

Thank you to Halstead Bead for the gift!

To enter the giveaway РSimply click on this link and fill in your information: http://eepurl.com/cbCCBD

Melissa Muir - Metalsmith GIVEAWAY

Melissa Muir – Metalsmith GIVEAWAY

To see how this kit is used check out this video: https://youtu.be/CET8bx-QqPE

My Craftsy Class is Live! And my JCK Review.

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.

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Click here for 50% off all Craftsy Classes through Monday 6/13/16


 

JCK!!!!! Oh Goodness!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My lunch partner – Andrew Berry

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Bill Fretz was demonstrating in our booth.

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Mark Nelson from Rio Grande – A VERY talented jeweler and teacher.

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Andrew Berry, Kate wold and myself.

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The owner of Bonny Doon – Phil Poirier

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Dinner after the last night of the JCK show. Just a handful of the great team we had working in the Otto Frei booth.

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Some more of the great Otto Frei team

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I showed amazing restraint and came home with just two small Fretz hammers. My bank account likes me very much.

A Giveaway and A Good Cause

Hey Everyone, Two posts in one week. I know, it is a miracle. I am trying to get back into the flow of things now that the inside remodel is done. I still need to put my studio back together, but it is coming.

Into Freedom

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by an organization called Into Freedom about some of the videos I have done using t he Pepetools Superior Ring bending tool. She explained to me that they recuse girls and women from human trafficking situations and help to rehabilitate them, give them a trade skills and help to work through the trauma they have endured. She mentioned that they have a few jewelry tools and was wondering if adding the ring bender would be something the girls would be able to use. We discussed various projects and such. I was totally impressed that she was not asking for donations, but rather advice on how to teach the girls and women to use it. I was so touched by what they are doing, talk about true angels on Earth. I actually contacted Pepetools and they are helping me to put together a nice box of tools for the girls to use. In addition, I ordered hammers, pliers, wire cutters and a few other tools to send them. If anyone would like to help contribute to cover the expense of this, it would be wonderful and greatly appreciated. I have had a few friends that have gone through their tools and put together a box of things that they no longer use, or had duplicates of. I have also had some friends send generous monetary donations (all of which are tax-deductible.) If you would like to donate, please just let me know. You can also make a monetary donation directly to their site at: http://www.intofreedom.org/donate 

Giveaway and Exciting News

Speaking of Pepetools I am so excited to announce that I am now officially a Pepetools Distributor. So that means you can now purchase Pepetools equipment¬†from me. I don’t have them listed on my site yet, but if you have something you have been considering, just let me know and we will work something out.

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To celebrate, I am hosting a giveaway with four Aluminum Square Ring Mandrels. These are a lot of fun as it allows you to add new dimensions to your ring making. Check out the video I did a while back when they first came out. While they aren’t ideal for forging on, they are wonderful for light shaping and sizing.

Video link: https://youtu.be/vs8_QsF0lJU

So how do you win one of the four ring mandrels? Well, just come back tonight at 6:00 (MDT) to www.MelissaMuir.com/blog for the link that will be posted at that time. The giveaway is done through Amazon Giveaways. You will follow the link posted here tonight and enter through Amazon. I will not receive any of your personal information. Amazon will fulfill the orders, so I never receive your address or anything.

Don’t miss the announcement that the giveaway has gone live. Subscribe to my blog and have the announcement sent directly to your email address. Just enter your email in the subscribe box over there on the right.

Tool Time Tuesday – Mini Hydraulic Press Review

I have been home from Tucson for just over a week now, but I think I am finally just now getting back on track. It is crazy how long it takes to get back into the swing of things when you have made a trip, let alone an 11-day trip. Sadly, the trip was rather difficult on my girls, especially my youngest. So I don’t think I will do much traveling for a while. I am leaving in just a week and a half to teach at the retreat in Texas and I will be gone for 9 days there. But that one has been in the works for almost a year, so I can’t exactly cancel, not that I even remotely want to. LOL. Speaking of the retreat, there are still a couple of spaces open if you think you might like to join us. ūüôā It will be a great time with great instructors in a beautiful location with gourmet food (which is included in the price of the retreat.) ¬†http://www.roadhousearts.com/spring-2015-jewelry-retreat/

My Giveaway is still open for the Pepetools Jump Ring Maker. So if you haven’t signed up yet, be sure to enter.¬†http://eepurl.com/bbI3kj¬†We are about 1/2 way to the goal for entries. So please enter and share it.

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Tucson was so much fun this year. I was able to share a room with some good friends from when I lived back east in Ohio. It was so good to spend some time with them again. I also got to meet many new friends. It was the most fun to meet some of you, my blog readers. It is always fun to put a face with a name. So thanks for stopping by to meet me and introducing yourselves. I am looking forward to next year already. I will have some really fun things to show you in the very near future. I got myself some VERY beautiful rocks, so be on the lookout for some eye candy. I also bought¬†some copper sheet (at a discount due to being scratched and dinged a bit) and was able to get it cut into 6×6″ squares and will be destashing some of that very soon. In fact, I need to destash quite a bit. We have to put a new roof on our house and the bids are CRAZY for this big house of mine.

While I was in Tucson, I got to play with a lot of the new tools that Kevin Potter of Potter USA has come out with. And of course, I brought quite a few of them home so I can review them for you. That reminds me, I also have an online workshop I am reviewing and will be able to give one lucky winner a free subscription to the workshop. More details to come soon. Sometimes it is so hard to be me. *snicker*

One of the tools that I brought home was the Mini Hydraulic Press. This press is an 8-ton press that is meant for cutting pancake dies only. It will not do any kind of forming, it just doesn’t have the strength. In fact, the opening is too small for the bracelet pancake dies. So this is going to be for any of the other pancake dies that are 4″ or smaller. The nice thing about this press is that it has such a small foot print.

Press Size Comparisont

The Image above gives you an idea about the size of this little machine. It is so much fun to use though. This is a great tool for anyone that is wanting to get into a production mode and just punch out shapes. If you want to do anything other than that, you would be wise to move up to the next larger size.

Want to learn more? Check out this short little video.

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:¬†http://www.roadhousearts.com/spring-2015-jewelry-retreat/

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.

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. ūüôā 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 РI 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
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 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
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 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 www.YouTube.com/kcjewelbox
  • 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!

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. ūüôā

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Catching Up – Tucson Adventures

Hello everyone. It has been a while, but what a trip I have been on. There are so many things to share with you. Tucson was fantastic!!!! I am already looking forward to next year, even though I am still recovering. It was completely exhausting, but SO MUCH FUN!

First, Before I left, I got a new hair cut. Of course, I can never get it to look how it did when the hair stylist does it. Don’t you hate that? I liked it when it looked like this, but you will see in the other pictures, it doesn’t normally. HA!

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I am also making another big change. I have begun the process, and am nearly complete, to officially change my business name from Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox to Melissa Muir – Metalsmith. I will continue to operate my shop of Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox, but I will change the focus to more of my memorial line of jewelry and items. I will be working on my MelissaMuir.Com website more to showcase my videos, tools, tutorials and supplies and such. But that will take a little while.logo_MM_Metalsmith_horizontal

This is where I spent  my week in Tucson. This is Potter USA. It is an amazing machine shop. Kevin Potter shares his shop with a blacksmith, Doug Thompson who does amazing things!

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I have never really been in a Machine Shop before, other than when I visited Kevin a couple of years ago. It was very different to work in here every day. This is also where I held my workshops during the trip.

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And this is the man himself, Kevin Potter. He and his family are WONDERFUL people. He is as nice as he seems. It was a pleasure to work along side him in the shop. And he is a lot of fun to shop with when it comes to gems. That man knows his stuff!

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On my last full day in Tucson, Kevin and I went shopping. We visited the “big” show, AGTA. This is where you go if you want quality! Yes, the prices are as high as the place is nice, but if you want to make certain you get the good stuff, this is where you go. I could only afford a little.

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But that is only because I was saving my money to buy a gem from one of the MOST AMAZING gem cutter, John Dyer. He is so young. And he is just as beautiful as him gems are. Yes, I did buy a gem, only one. And even it was a bit over my budget, but it was so worth it. This is the gem that I will leap and make my first foray into using gold and a couple of diamonds that I have been hoarding. It may take a while to finally release my breath and make the gold purchase, but I plan to make the leap sometime this year.

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Kevin graciously opened his shop to all visitors and even hosted a great open house where we had a great turnout. I have finally met some of the people I have been involved with for years online. It was wonderful to finally meet these talented artists in person.

Cristina Leonard – http://www.cristinaleonard.com/

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From Left to Right –

Peter D’Enbeau, Maureen Brusa Zappelini, Me ¬†, Emily Ruffin, Andrea (Magpie) Robinson

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This next group of women are very special to me.  I know two of them from the retreat I attended in North Carolina about 6 years ago or so.

Debora Mauser, Eva Sherman, Me and Nancy Vantassell – I had my very first jewelry teaching gig for Eva Sherman when we lived in Ohio.

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Okay, Yes, I am standing. I am short and these two ladies are VERY tall.

Me, Lisa Lehman and Annie Pennington from Art Jewelry Magazine.

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This is a fun group. All of us are teachers. I haven’t joined the national circuit due to my children being young and the fact that we keep moving, but I look forward to that one day. I mean who wouldn’t want to hang out with the ladies?

Me, Eva Sherman, Kate Richbourg, Barbara Lewis and Debora Mauser.

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I forgot to get pictures from my classes, but this is the group that took my class on the last evening in Tucson. We made our own silhouette dies. It was a lot of fun.

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As I was getting into my car to leave Tucson and head back home, Melissa Cable stopped by to visit with Kevin Potter. I am so glad she got there when she did as we were both excited to finally meet in person. Melissa just came out with a book on making jewelry with Leather. I am now the proud owner of that book and will have a review of it in the next couple of weeks.

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And what trip is complete without an adventure at Wal.Mart? Luckily, this wasn’t my car, but we pulled up and there was a tricked out car completely in flames. We even got there before the fire crew. I feel awful for the poor owner of the car.

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After 9 days and 4 days of long drives (yes, I drove) Look who missed me? Awwww. I don’t get flowers very often, so it was really nice to get so many all at once. He is such a good guy. I may not get flowers often, but I know he loves me…. I mean, have you seen the studio he let me build? I love my man!

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I brought home some new tools for the studio too. This is a bench shear from Kevin Potter. I have just posted a video on YouTube on how to mount and use it. I will post about that soon. Oh, and it was totally a fire in the fireplace kind of day the past couple of days. We may not have snow, but it has been a bit chilly in here.

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And yes, there is another press. I know, I am totally spoiled. But this one is soooooo much fun. It is electric. I will be filming a bunch next week and will show you lots of fun things and features of this one. And even though I am not normally a pink girl, this one is so bright and fun here in its new home. I think I will call this the Potter Corner.

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And remember when I told you that we had a couple of bathroom remodels going on? This one isn’t entirely complete, they still need to come and fix the grout on the tile, and I need to hang the mirrors, but I am so stinking excited about the new studio bathroom!!!!

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And now you see why there haven’t been many updates from me. Hopefully now that I am back, the bathrooms are nearly done and we have settled into more of a routine you will begin to see more from me. I will be posting a few things, including videos over the next couple of days.In the meantime, it is great to be home again.

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