Category Archives: Tutorials

Tool Time Tuesday – Texture Your Metal with Cupcake Wrappers?!?!?! *Giveaway*

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.

Cupcakes and Texture

Watch this super short video to see how I use these decorative wrappers to impart a beautiful texture on my metal.

Video link: https://youtu.be/C6310DiJVv0

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:

140 pound Water Color Paper:
http://amzn.to/2eaUdTj

Here are the ones I like best…. and most are on their way to me right now as I type this. 😀

Affiliate links for other cupcake designs on Amazon:
multi_blueCombo pack – 6 designs
http://amzn.to/2eaKuML

Twist Flower Lace:
http://amzn.to/2fenehW

Ghost Cupcake Wrappers:
http://amzn.to/2fBtAMz

Bats:
http://amzn.to/2eaGGLD

Spider Web:
http://amzn.to/2fepRQH

White Snowflake:
http://amzn.to/2fBzxsZ

Snow Flake 2:
http://amzn.to/2ekg6mB

Eyelet:
http://amzn.to/2fBA1PD

Vine Lace:
http://amzn.to/2ekbnB8

Art Nouveau:
http://amzn.to/2fBDL3M

Vine Lace:
http://amzn.to/2fBDygU

Fine Vine Lace:
http://amzn.to/2feyo66

Heart Filigree:
http://amzn.to/2eaLX5V

Butterfly
http://amzn.to/2eaSEEM

White Flower:
http://amzn.to/2eYuFdH

Filigree flower lace
http://amzn.to/2feyX04

GIVEAWAY

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.

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. 🙂

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 – Simply 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

Tool Time Tuesday – Get a Mirror Polish with the JoolTool

Hey everyone. Well the construction and remodeling continues. I keep saying this, but hopefully we are finally done for a while. I also will probably have a little bit of a break from the videos (as if the one I have had wasn’t long enough) because I will be teaching at my daughter’s school for two and a half weeks. I am pretty excited as this is a Jewelry Making Intensive, which means I will have 12 students for the 2 1/2 weeks for 6 hours a day. I have quite a few fun techniques planned. I have also been playing with the new sand casting kit by Kevin Potter and boy has it been fun. I am finally really comfortable with it and can’t wait to create the video for that as well as teach my sand casting classes.

In this Tool Time Tuesday video I even show you how I clean up a ring that has been created through the sand casting method. Sand casting does not leave you with a super clean and smooth piece the way lost wax casting does. There is a lot of clean up. But there are some benefits to sand casting and that is a topic for another day. But the clean up…. that is todays topic.

JoolToolPolishRings

A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of traveling to the Los Angeles area where I spent a couple of days with Anie of JoolTool by Anie. It was fun and VERY informative in terms of using the JoolTool. I was able to learn a lot about the tool and what it can do and I promise there are a LOT of videos coming soon. So this is just the first of many.

In this video I use the JoolTool for Metal Polishing. But I use one additional disc – the Flex Diamond. The flex diamond is a very coarse abrasive and will remove material quickly. As you will see in the video, it does need to be used wet to help preserve the diamonds on the disc. From there, I work through progressively finer abrasives to get a final mirror finish to the sterling silver ring.

Video link: https://youtu.be/X56WJ9Ad1C8

Tool Time Tuesday – Rotary Tumblers & Another Giveaway

Hey everyone. Yes, I know it is Friday. But, the video was posted to my YouTube channel on Tuesday, so technically it is still Tool Time Tuesday, right?  Hey, when you are a mom to three busy girls, you just have to roll with it sometimes. That, and Sales Taxes caught me off guard. I looked at the due date wrong. D’oh! So glad I looked again.  And, I owe a whole whopping $2.46 in Sales Taxes. LOL. That is good and bad, as it is an indicator of my sales for this past year. However, I believe I squeaked out a tiny bit of profit. Like maybe a hundred dollars or so. WOOT! Last year was probably my worst year emotionally and everything, so that tiny bit of a profit made me smile all night long, even now. 😀 <== See? Big Smile.

When I asked about topics for Tool Time Tuesday, a couple of people asked about Rotary Tumblers. I have a couple of them here in my studio so I thought I would give a quick comparison between the two of them.

If you are interested in getting a 3A Lortone Tumbler (the one featured in the video) and Mixed Stainless Steel Shot, let me know. I do sell those, however I do not keep them in stock. They do meet my minimum purchase amount from my supplier, so I can have it sent directly to you. Just let me know.

GIVEAWAY – Pepetools Jump Ring Maker

JumpRingMaker

That is right, Pepetools has graciously offered a Jump Ring Maker (JMR2). Same deal as the last giveaways. You are just giving us (Pepetools and I) to add you to our email lists. You can always unsubscribe if you would like. Pepetools only sends out a few a year. There will be a few more than that from me, especially as I would like to just have my blog posts go out to my email list. That way I can have everything in one tidy little place.

** Oh, and no worries. You won’t be added to the list multiple times. I know it says you are, but you really aren’t. So you shouldn’t receive two emails and such. But I do still need you to actually enter the drawing through the link provided below.

When will the giveaway be done? Well, that depends. Pepetools has asked that we have a certain number of entries before we do the giveaway. We are currently about a 1/4 of the way there. So please share and share and share. I am dying to find out who is going to get the jump ring maker.

ENTER HERE: http://eepurl.com/bbI3kj

Here are a couple of videos for you to get you excited about winning it.

Happy Thanksgiving – A new video workshop

Today has been a sad one for my family. My little brother, who has been my buddy since moving back to Utah, has moved to Texas. He left this morning after a breakfast here at my house. We celebrated our Thanksgiving a day early yesterday. It has been so much fun to get to know him as an adult. He is 7 1/2 years younger than me. He was only 12 or so when I got married, 16 years old when I had my first child and just 19 years old when I moved away. Getting to know him as an adult has been so much fun. He has made living here in Utah a real adventure. He is my hiking, running, biking and shooting buddy. I am so excited for his new job adventure. But selfishly, I am really heartbroken at losing my buddy.

I hope you and your family are having a happier Thanksgiving. 🙂

Today is kind of a big day for me. 8 years ago today I opened my online store and made it official that I was in business for myself. It was truly the beginning of my jewelry making journey. I NEVER DREAMED it would go as far as it has. I have learned so much. I had never been considered a creative person and this has been quite a challenge for me. I have made many friends along the way. This week I hit a couple of milestones. Of course, the first is having 8 years of this fun job. Second, I hit over 1,000 “fans” on my Facebook page. And, if I can ever get it done and posted, I will have 75 videos on my Youtube channel. I will be doing a give away this week to celebrate, so be sure to watch for my email. 🙂

Next week I am teaming up with Craftcast for a video workshop using my swage block. I have been working hard on it and I am so excited. There will be four projects. It doesn’t matter if you can’t make it to the original broadcast because it is being recorded and will be available to you FOREVER! You can watch anywhere, anytime. And Craftcast is running a 20% off deal right now until Tuesday. Just use coupon code: harvest2014 during checkout and save on all your video purchases, including my workshop.

Here is the listing: https://www.craftcast.com/classes/learn-make-lily-pendant-and-earrings-melissa-muir

Melissa_Muir_Swage_Block_Workshop

Melissa_Muir_Cone_earrings

Melissa_Muir_Curved_Pendant

Melissa_Muir_Lily_Pendant

Melissa_Muir_Peapod_Pendant

 

Tool Time Tuesday – Hoop Earring Tutorial

Did you miss me? I know, it has been a couple of weeks. Why did it take so long? Well, quite honestly, I am in a funk. One of those really really really bad ones. It is almost worse than Writers Block for Authors. It is one of those funks of “I can’t create anything, it must mean I stink and should just sell everything off.” I was pretty close to doing it too.

What stopped me?

You guys did.

Without knowing what I was going through, I received emails and messages telling me how much people appreciate what I have been doing and how much I have helped them. I can’t tell you how much that has helped me. I am still not completely out of my funk. I am still having a very difficult time coming up with designs that work, or any designs for that matter. HA! Dang, I hate it when I get into these funks. What do you do when you get into funks like these?

So guess what I did these past couple of days? I came up with a tutorial for an earring design. Pepetools demonstrated their tools at Basel World in Switzerland last week and my videos were played quite a bit of the time. I heard there were requests for another video on making jewelry with the Superior Ring Bending Tool. I have already done one that shows how to make a Spoon Ring and another that shows how I use it to make a Cuff Bracelet. Well, today, you get to see the one for making a fun little pair of hoop earrings.

1247

Aren’t they fun? I love wearing them. Now, you do not have to have the superior ring bending tool to make these, but if you happen to have one, or have it on your list of “I want that tool” list, then this is just one more design you can use that tool for.

Here is the video now: youtu.be/dEKnTPD8A8Y

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.

Tool Time Tuesday – Prototypes, Bracelets and Electric Tools

I have been working so hard for the past three days trying to do videos, editing and uploading while also being a mom of little kids. So even though it is no longer Tuesday, I figured a little late is better than never. So for this edition of Tool Time Tuesday on Wednesday we have some fun things to look at…. including THREE new videos.

When I got home from Tucson I had a package waiting for me with a prototype set of mandrels for the Superior Ring Bender. Pepetools has asked me to evaluate these and ask YOU what you think of them. They are trying to decide if they should be put into production. I have had quite a few people ask me about the Superior Ring Bender. Is it worth the cost? Do I like it? Is it as easy to use as I make it look? Why would they need this tool if they can just hit their metal around a mandrel with a hammer? All are very good questions.

Is it worth the cost – are any of our tools? What do you want from it? What was the purpose for buying it? I know that as I have spoken with people who have purchased it, for the most part, with a few exceptions, they love it. The largest group of happy owners are those that have a hard time shaping their metal on a mandrel with a hammer. Some of them have shoulder injuries, arthritis or just don’t possess the hand strength. I have to say I personally really like it as it really is as easy to use as I make it seem. That doesn’t mean to say that you don’t sometimes have to apply a lot of pressure, but it is an easy tool to use.

The prototypes they sent me were the mandrels in Nylon. The Superior Ring Bender comes with Steel Mandrels and Formers. There is an option to buy the nylon formers. But now they have added the nylon mandrels. Why would you need that? I used it when I was forming pieces that had high relief patterns or very fine wires that are easily crushed and broken with the steel mandrels.

So here is my review of the tool and how I would use it in my studio. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUFiwH9jCjY

I have also had questions about making bracelets with this tool. They don’t have large mandrels specifically for that purpose, but in this next video you will see how I make a cuff using the Superior Ring Bending Tool.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUu05at0gcQ

Last week I shared my new press with you just a tiny little bit. Now let’s really look at it. There will be many more videos using the electric press coming soon. But for now, I introduce you to how it is setup and works. I show you very quickly how easy it is to use and how quickly you can create a bracelet from start to finish. Oh how I love this machine.

Video Link:
http://youtu.be/0eZZiLyD7bA

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.

CyberMonday – 50% off at iCreateFlix

Sorry for the second post. I forgot to mention that through today you can get my video workshops and tutorials at iCreateFlix.com for 50% off. 

Here is the link to my page and offerings: 
Just be sure to enter the coupon code: iCreateThanks

This includes my Basic soldering workshop (normally $130 – now only $65) or you can take the individual projects. At iCreateFlix.com your workshop will never expire. 
Everything on their website is 50% off with this deal. But you must act fast as it will no longer be available after today. 

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.

Catching up – Give away

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. It was the first in our new home. It was a lot of fun. And, nothing like a nasty cold to hit right before the holidays to put you behind schedule… and that is exactly what happened to me. Yuck.

Rather than overload this message with my 30-days-of-art (which I am slightly behind on – Thank you stupid cold) I figured we would just jump right to the good stuff.
There area  couple of videos that I didn’t get posted. Of course we have to have the videos.
The first video is of the Arbor Press Offered by PotterUSA. I show how to assemble, temporarily mount it to the bench top, and of course, how to use it.

 

The second video is how to use the newly redesigned Ring Shank BeRing Shank Bending Tool by Pepe Tools. In this video I demonstrate how I make my Spinner Rings. The more I use this tool, the more I really like it. It just might find itself permanently mounted to my bench soon.

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxQz30VgSs&feature=share&list=UUXsx-xlz39vZaMXkeHI_6pQ

GIVEAWAY

Now for the super exciting part! I finally reached over 2,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. WOOT! Thank you all for your support. To celebrate, I am going to give away one of my new Cherrywood Swage Blocks.  The cherrywood came from my Brother-in-law’s property in Florida. Of course, in the hands of my talented Father-in-law, they have become a beautiful tool for your studio. I have 28 of “first quality” blocks in stock. I also have an addition 10 “second quality.” The reason for the “second quality” is because Cherrywood has more knots than the black walnut. So some of the grooves have a small knot that makes some of the grooves only partially usable. These are still amazing blocks, and I have no problem using the “Seconds” but some people might not want them.

CherrySwage2

The First Quality Blocks are $52.50 (includes domestic shipping) and are available on my website. http://www.kcjewelbox.com/Large-Hand-Made-Cherry-Swage-Block-LCH-CherrySwageBlock.htm

The Second Quality Blocks are $37.50 (includes domestic shipping)

http://www.kcjewelbox.com/Large-Hand-Made-Cherry-Swage-Block-2nd-Quality-2ndLargeCherrySwageBlock.htm

Even if you purchase a block and then win the giveaway, I will refund your money. But what is that you say? You are one of my readers that doesn’t make jewelry and have no need for this beautiful block? Well, I will also give away a pair of earrings. They haven’t been made yet, so I can’t post a picture. But I will when I get them done.

How do you enter? Just leave me a comment on this post. Easy Peasy. I will number the comments and have Random.org select a number for me and that will be our winner. I will draw a winner on Wednesday Evening (12/4/13). Good luck!

Thank you all again for your support. It has been a crazy few years. I am hoping that 2014 is a good one for us now that we are settled and can get back to a normal routine. NO MORE MOVING. LOL.

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.