Thursday, June 23, 2011

Button, Button!

 This is just my button anchor. Grab it on the sidebar! Thanks!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!
Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Really Need Your Help!

Hello and thanks for stopping by the Jewelry Craft Shop Blog!

A lot of times I find myself hunting around on the Internet trying to find a specific tool for a specific job. The problem is I find a lot of different listings for the same or similar items, but there's no way to really know if it's what I need or not or if it's really at the best price point. Or, whether those pliers will hurt my hands or if l that drill will do everything I need. I'm sure you've had the same experience. A bit frustrating, isn't it?

And although I've been making jewelry for about nine years now, I still know less than I'd like to about all the different options there are to make my stuff better. Also, I love to tinker around the house fixing things. I'm a real "do-it-yourself-er"  and use other kinds of tools as well. So I figured I'd try to create a place to get and give feedback to help myself and others like me.

My goal in starting the Jewelry Craft Shop blog and Twitter listings is to try to bring crafters and crafting tools together in one place. It's an opportunity to share our experiences and our opinions on tools we use in our handmade lives. You can really help me out by taking a few minutes to give an opinion on your favorite  tools or supplies. Take an example from the Twitter list or chose any crafting tool or supply you like, just be sure to provide a link where others can purchase it. And yes, I'm willing to list it–– even if I don't make a penny!

I'm mainly interested in building a community of crafty folk where we share ideas and experiences and steer one another to the best products and the best deals. Kind of a mentoring deal for the busy and overworked! :-)

It's the reason why I'm not trying to grow this effort with a lot of automation (I do use some, I admit) but rather by reaching out and touching as many folks as I can, a few at a time. (I've been very picky about the folks I follow, and I think I'm building a good group. Kudos to you all! :-)) In this way we all profit, and make a few friends along the way! I want to help everyone get the best deal. I'm even willing to remove a product if enough people think it sucks! I don't like to waste money and I'll bet you don't either!

Now what's in it for you? Well for starters, you can link back to any review you write as a way to promote yourself or your business. And as time goes forward I also plan to have giveaways and contests. But I really need an attentive audience to do that, so I'm asking you for just a little help. Stop by and comment on an existing review or just tick a reaction button so I know you were there. Or just join by GFC, whether you do a review or not. (That sweet guy who joined up the very first week I opened could sure use some company!)

"No man is an island" is a wonderful quote and certainly expresses the real meaning of an online community. So let's hitch those virtual islands together and make something happen, OK?

Now before you go, please tick, join or leave a comment. Let me know you're there, and I'll do my best to make it worth your effort.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!

Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Response From Bethenia...From Last Post

This is the comment from Bethenia. She was having a little trouble posting. I've copied this from Twitter DMs.:

WOW!!! Thank you so much for all the work you put into this! I didn't expect you to write a whole blog post. I thought you might pass a link to me and then be off but wow!

I had searched online for sites but, like you mentioned, most of them are just trying to sell something and I know so little that I didn't know what they were talking about in the instructions. I think my biggest problem was just not knowing the terminology.

For example, I keep seeing the word "findings" and I don't know what it is that people think they are finding b/c everything I find tagged as that looks completely different to the point that I don't even know if I really found a finding!

Also don't know the different names for the beads and now you say "finishings". My first thought at what that could be is maybe the clasps and things that connect to the clasp to finish it off with a flourish but I'm probably wrong.

I ordered some beads online and have a good idea of how I want to string them but some of the beads are open circles with the stringing hole on the sides (so like the circle sits flat on the wrist and the string is seen in the opening) so I don't want a piece of ugly string to show through I'd like some kind of wire but the holes are so small. So I was kind of lost.

Thank you so much for your help! I am now following this blog too. By the way, I absolutely love the background! Do you have an Etsy shop or facebook fanpage too? I am off to look at the link now. Thanks again!


Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!
Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jewelry Craft Shop Blog Anwers - Beginning Beading

Hi All!

I received a Twitter request for some assistance from an Etsy Seller. Now, our sister company Designs by M'Ayanna is an Etsy shop and I always like to help others whenever possible. Seller Bethenia asked me this: " Can you recommend a website for someone who knows absolutely nothing about beading/jewelry making but wants to start?"

I'm a self-taught beader and stringer, so it was an interesting question. I've picked up patterns and techniques from all over the web, through books and magazines and even other crafters. By no means do I consider myself an expert, just some who loves this stuff. That being said I thought I'd give it a whirl!

First off I want to establish that beading and stringing are related, but not identical, ways to make jewelry. For starters, below is an example of simple stringing, where beads mostly of the same size are strung in a simple one-or two strand pattern. 
Stringing is relatively simple in process, but has infinite possibilities. The most important things you need to know have to do with professional finishing. Stringing Magazine is one of my favorite places for inspiration. They have some neat tips and tricks and a few free patterns for you to try.

Now here are few examples of bead weaving. These are simple designs because they contain a single stitch pattern repeated over rand over. seems to be a good starting point. They cover the basics of beading/stringing, tell you about the tools you'll need and offer some patterns to try. They are not personally trying to sell you anything, like many of the other sites I found. This will take you to a page with links that should answer many bead weaving questions. There are also stringing tips and techniques here plus some finishing techniques

So I hope that answers your question and I wish you the best of luck!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!

Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Video - Jewelry Tools Basics

Here's a video about the basic tools for jewelry making from WigJig Jewelry Making Basics. This is a really great basic beginner video! Wish it had been around nine years ago!

Get everything on this video below:

Flush Cutters                                               Chain nose pliers
Round Nose pliers                                       Chasing hammer
Bent Chain Nose pliers                               Anvil
Nylon jaw pliers                                          Bench Block
Step Jaw pliers                                            Nylon hammer
Bent Closing pliers                                     Cup bur and pin vise

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!

Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Video - Choosing and Using a Chasing Hammer

Here's something for beginners! A little video on how to choose and use a chasing hammer from Beaducation!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!
Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Monday, May 2, 2011

Using a Jewelers' Saw Video

This video is by Susan Lenart Kazmer, queen of cold connections! She's using an 8" saw frame because she works with large pieces of metal when creating some of her art. She also makes jewelry and that requires a smaller saw frame, around a 4" jewelers' saw is a general all-purpose size for smaller items.

She's a rather interesting artist, I really like her demos.
Jewelers Saw Blades
4" Jewelers' Saw Frame

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!
Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Product Review - Beadsmith Thing-A-Ma-Jig

Thing a Ma Jig Deluxe

Review from 
July 5, 2010
By Humming bird
4 stars  ★★★★☆ 
Very Well Constructed,
I really like the way this one is constructed.It is made of Stainless Steel. The first Jig I had bought was plastic and the pegs kept falling out causing my wire to lose place and my designs to mess all up. With this Jig you get several different pegs and you get clear rubber tubes to put on the bottom of the Jig so that your pegs don't fall out while you are wrapping the wire. Also it comes with templates that you can put on the top and use those designs as well as a blank template. What I did though was make copies of the templates so that if they wore out I could just make more copies. There are several Jewelry design books out that have jig patterns that you could go by as well and make some really nice Jewelry. Plus it is only a fraction of the cost of the Wig Jig and the Delphi etc... The only difference between those is that they come in spirals and other shapes where as this comes only in a rectangle but as I stated earlier you can make some beautiful designs with this Jig.

Review from
April 14, 2010 
S. Reilly
5 stars ★★★★★
Great little piece!,
It's so much fun to use!! Great for keeping multiples of designs consistent. Just get it!

Get it HERE!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!

Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Product Review - Dremel 8000

    I received this from my husband for Christmas 2010. (And no, I didn't kill him, I REALLY wanted it! Badly!!) I've expanded into making filigree and metal jewelry and wanted a hand held rotary drill to make holes for cold connections. I also use it to polish and sand my metal pieces, and to shape and sand glass. I love this drill!

     Now the Dremels that you plug in may have a bit more power, but my work station "drifts" in my tiny apartment. Although I mainly use the dining room table, which is not near an outlet, there are times when I need to sit by the window for better light or at my assembly station in the next room. So portability is a must!

     It's also light weight. I was a bit concerned at first that it would be awkward to use because it seemed too big for my hands. But once I started using it, it was like it was made for me. I get a lot of control from the pencil/pen-like shape of it. It drills right though 18g brass like butter and at 20,000+ rpm it can take on heavier gauges with only slightly less speed. It's fantastic on removing burrs and polishing metal. Gives me a satin finish and I'm having a blast with it.

     The one-hour charger is definitely an advantage over the old 3-hour charge models. When I'm planning a day of drill work and the battery is lower than I'd like, I just pop the battery in the charger and have my breakfast and coffee. By the time I'm ready to start, so's my drill. Pretty cool!

     I've also bought a gang of attachments for it, above and beyond what it comes with. The nice thing is that there are plenty of Dremel attachments that don't cost a lot of money. Really important when you're on a budget!

     Oh, did I say it was a variable speed tool? That's a handy-dandy feature if there ever was one! It gives you the right speed for the job. There's no need to put pressure on it at all, which is more than I can say for hammers and pliers!

     My best advice is to read all the instructions first. A handheld rotary tool like this is not like the power drills used for heavier tasks. Get to know it and its capabilities (and limits), and I promise, you won't be disappointed!

    You can get this little honey right HERE!

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!
Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop!/JewelCraftShop

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Copper Metalworking Video Using Three Hammers

Here's a metalworking video on how to set the rim on a raised copper vessel. This cool technique uses three types of hammers a raising hammer, a planishing hammer and a ball peen chasing hammer!

Copper is such a great medium to work in, don't you think?

Remember to leave your own review, just join us and post!

Pat K.
The Jewelry Craft Shop