Super excited about metal stamping jewelry! Yep, there’s a learning curve!

I seem to be writing my posts on Sunday afternoons so far, while my husband watches football. I am actually writing them on a tablet as an email that I send to myself. That way when I get to my desk I can copy, paste, and edit easily!  Wish I would have thought of that a long time ago! Over the last week I have continued to purge, organize, and even found time to create. Notice the updated blog header, yep I created that! My friend Libby Foreman gave me feedback on wording and spacing, she was a great sounding board! Thank you!

My blog is evolving, and Integrant Services is amazing for blog help!

Although I created the image for the header myself, I could not for the life of me figure out how to upload it to my blog. When it comes to the really technical stuff I turn to Integrant Services! This husband and wife duo are such a blessing! They do amazing work and are very fairly priced. Their maintenance programs are very reasonable, too!  Nope, I was not paid to say that! I just want to pass along a great tip for those of you who need this kind of help! I was amazed at how hard it was to find someone! So now I have a new blog domain name and I even have a new email!  Thank you Brian and Nicole!

On to the metal stamped jewelry!

I had tentatively played with my metal stamping a few times, but had never really tried to make anything. Until now. Here is a picture of the three types of chain I purchased to create some necklaces, as well as my very first metal stamping items. I will take pictures of my completed items after I add the beads, charms, etc… I share my thoughts about what I learned below!

A sweet friend who used to do metal stamping gave me a few tips to try. I thought they were brilliant! Thank you Tracy Lewis! One of the things she suggested was to stamp your intended font or image on a paper template using ink, so you can make sure it will fit and get an idea of what the layout needs to be. I actually used my paper punches and created templates to stamp on that way. She also suggested inking up each alphabet font and “stamping” unto paper many times to practice. This was so helpful to me in general, just to see how the fonts stamped.

My very first real stamping attempt was on a blank I had already. I had no idea what type of metal it was, so it turned out to be very hard. I am thinking a stainless steel. There are sets of fonts that are meant to stamp stainless steel, mine are not, however, made for that. Needless to say the stamping was very shallow. Which led to me being unsure why my blackening agent wasn’t working. I tried Gilder’s Paste in black, as well as a Sharpie. After stamping on a few of my aluminum blanks I realized what was wrong… lol, yep i was a bit slow on this one!

Aluminum and copper are a great metal to start with. 

The aluminum ones stamped easily with one strike using steady pressure. Success! So I actually went back to the steel one, and lined up my fonts and tried again with really hard pressure and a few strikes. I don’t suggest doing this, but I knew I would never do it again, and the item was for my daughter. Her favorite bible verse is Romans 8:18, so I figured it was good practice. All things considered it actually turned out well!

The spacing on my small meow charm was not good. That one is for practice, maybe I’ll put it in a scrapbook. Maybe I can add a dash and make it into Me-ow. Yep, of course I meant to do that!

Oh, I learned one really important thing!  The handheld hole punches I had are not great for this! They leave an ugly ring around where the hole was punched. This lead me to purchase a Double Hole Punch Plate, (below) which applies a more controlled pressure. No ugly rings!

That’s all for today!  MEOW! 

Happy creating, Shannon




A turning point in my life…where have I been? Where is this blog going?

A turning point in my life…where have I been? 
It may be an overused phrase, however, this does indeed mark a turning point in my life and the content of my blog.  While what I have done over the past years has been an amazing experience in itself and allowed me to enjoy some “trips of a lifetime” with my family, what really comes to mind is my husbands words to me at the beginning “Are you sure you want to turn something you love into a job?”
My answer at the time was yes, and still is actually, just with some major adjustments!  What my personal struggle has been is balance.  
So, I took an almost year long hiatus from blogging, social media, and many, many miscellaneous things in life.  I have been slowly “gearing up” for entering the online blogging and crafting world again, just with a bit of a twist. Over the past few years I have been slowly collecting and playing with jewelry making tools and accessories (I still love paper too!).  Like many folks I just like to create with my hands, but I didn’t want to feel like I was so tied to one product and hobby as my focus.  
Balance…I have Marie Kondo’d my life!
No matter how rewarding it was, I needed to choose a different path for me. A balance of home, family, God, and simple joy. In other words I have  “Marie Kondo’d” my life and I am excited to see what happens.  I have been purging like crazy.  Where before paper crafting had literally taken over, NOW you can see from these pictures there is better balance!  It’s till a work in progress though.  I’ll keep you updated!  The left is of my loft teaching space, and the right is my personal studio.
Last year I started to serve in our church media room. I have loved learning and am happy I found a way to serve and give back.  My friends and I have also started a bible study that meets at my house twice a month. Right now we are doing the Beth Moore study “Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit Of The Spirit”. I have really enjoyed the time spent with these ladies and I am looking forward to continued growth.
What is happening to the blog?
My intent going forward is that this blog will be a reflection of those changes, much less structure, just simple joy.  I want to create and share blog posts for fun, not to meet SEO ratings or a monetized YouTube…lol…  Yep, even though I did well with both it took the spontaneity out of it (and in full disclosure, I was monetized until YouTube changed the parameters last year)   It is a common misconception that running an online business is easier.  It’s just not, at least for me.  I can, in fact, say that from experience, having owned a brick and mortar business for over 20 years.
I STILL want to share my paper stamping! The picture above is the So Many Stars Bundle in the New Holiday Stampin’ Up! Catalog.
However, I want to also share my wire weaving (yep, those are my very first attempts), metal stamping (still learning), and metal etching creations with you. ( I LOVE my Foredom Flex Shaft and my Optivisor!) Sometimes, I just want to share my quirky, silly life, too! I have become a collector of inspirational quotes and Bible verses, I love them!  And, life confession, If it weren’t for my husband and child I really would have a house full of cats and plants!
Where did all the details go?
Going forward if you have any questions about anything, simply leave them in the comments and I am happy to answer.  I don’t want to fill my posts with information like dimensions and product that not everyone needs just to fill space.  This blog adjustment will be a work in progress for a while.  I am even changing the blog look and name, the cats STAY though…lol… because they make me happy.  Meow.