February’s Review Winner Has Arrived

Written by Diane Rein

Congratulations to Alice Roberts, the winner of the Cool Tools Random Review Contest. Alice has won a $100 gift certificate for reviewing the Cool Tools Antique Mold: ‘Star of India’ she purchased. Alice gave the Antique Mold a top 5-Star rating and said ” The design is very beautiful and will add great detail to any jewelry project”.

Alice was excited and told us a little about herself:

“What a surprise!  I cannot believe I actually won something! I’m so excited about choosing how to spend my gift certificate! I’ll be torn whether to buy more molds, or tools, I love the antique molds and I’m looking forward to using all the goodies I bought from you last time.

My crafting takes many forms. I like doing wire wrapped jewelry, making necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants and rings with wire and beads, and semi-precious gemstones.  I make several types of jewelry, things with natural products, like sea shells, coral, pearls, and gemstone beads, and pendants or focals. I also use crystals and lamp-worked glass beads, but rather than stringing everything, mostly I use Sterling Silver, and the non-tarnish sterling, Argentium, gold-filled, silver-filled wire, and I also use Bronze, Brass and Copper in some of my newest creations.  I love to use Cloisionne beads and focals, along with other beads.  I have just begun using the polymer clay, and the various types of metal clay to work on a separate collection for those.   I have taken DVD courses from various sources on different techniques, and have enjoyed learning to work with wire, gemstones, beads, metals and other items.  I am continuously learning more and more techniques.

As a lifetime self-taught crafter, I have done many projects in decorative painting, grapevine wreaths, decorations for business and for homes, bazaars, craft fairs, and participated in fundraisers.  I have always liked working and making things with my hands.  As a child, I learned embroidery, and other crafts, like crochet, etc.  As an adult I took Ceramics for several years, making many decorative gifts for family, and friends, and  decorative painting classes in the Priscilla Hauser method of decorative painting, and studied many other artists techniques as well in oils, and acrylics.  I enjoy painting on things like a wooden chest and discarded metal street signs, mailboxes, and other items and have done a couple of murals for my grandson’s bedroom at his home, and ours.  I make items that are usually one of a kind, or a small quantity of items, which are a bit different with the same materials, but mostly I do not make exactly the same thing more than once unless it is a custom order.

I am a native Floridian, transplanted in retirement to southern Georgia, where we love living on a fishing lake in a peaceful neighborhood.  This environment is very inspirational. We love watching the waterfowl, and migrating birds, humming birds, and doves, and other wildlife constantly on the lake and on the banks of our back yard.”

After every purchase, you have the opportunity to review your products. Your reviews help fellow jewelry artists better understand the products we offer. You can review any product by simply going to the product page and clicking “write a review”. Each review gives you an entry into our review contest.  Help us congratulate Alice!

April 4, 2013

Posted In: Contests, Cool Tools Giveaways

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Have You Used Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates?

Written by Diane Rein

Anyone you ask who has used these Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates will tell you they are the best! Steel-Backed Plates come in 8-1/4″ x 11-3/4 sheets and can be cut and customized to fit most any project. Plates can be scored or marked on the back with permanent marker and cut with metal shears. Get the exact size you need.

Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates offer more support and stability than liquid packs. These plates make it easy to get the textured plate you have always wanted. Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates are used with the same negative papers as liquid photopolymer, and can be used with photopolymer frames or an acrylic worksurface.

How to use Steel-Back Photopolymer Plates:

Mark and cut down your Photopolymer plate to your desired size. Remove the protective plastic UV covering on the plate before proceeding. Place your photo-negative transparency ink side down on top of your photopolymer plate and place between the frame back and acrylic top.


Exposure time for Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates can vary depending on depth, design and details. For higher contrast black& white photo-negative designs, expose the plate for 15 minutes to your UV light. For a more detailed or grey-scale, more exposure (2-3 hours) may be required.

Washing Steel-Backed Photopolymer Plates:

After exposure is complete, use a sink or dishpan to wash your design. Using water and a soft brush hold the plate under the water and brush your design. The unexposed polymers will wash away. Continue to brush your design until the plate feels clean and the metal is exposed. Let your plate dry.

Try them out today to get your custom texture!

April 3, 2013

Posted In: New Products!, Product Spotlight

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February’s Survey Winner Is Here!

Written by Diane Rein

Congratulations to Donna Muse, the winner of the February Cool Tools Survey Contest. Donna has won a $100 gift certificate simply for offering us her thoughts.

Donna was excited and told us a little about herself:

“Thanks a million-very excited to win and can’t wait to shop.

I am a 5th grade teacher of highly gifted students and got into jewelry making in the fall of 2011 by accident. I had seen some bookmarks made from beads and thought it would be an inexpensive but fun gift to make (little did I know what this would lead to). I was already making Alice In Wonderland crafts for my classroom and had a business, Down the Rabbit Hole. The bookmarks led to beading and Steampunk necklaces for my young family members and then, not satisfied with doing just that, I decided I wanted to make my own findings and focal pieces.

I now do silversmithing with Dan Haga in Matthews, NC, have done the copper with Kim St. Jean, and dabble in polymer and metal clay.

I am 61 years old and will need to teach until I drop over to pay for this “hobby” which I love, and finding most rewarding.”

After every purchase, you receive an email asking you to take a survey. Your thoughts help us improve as a company and better understand your needs. Each month, we select a winner and the next one could be you! Help us congratulation Donna and keep offering us your thoughts!

April 2, 2013

Posted In: Contests, Cool Tools Giveaways

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Discover Natural Beauty: New Semi-Precious Gemstones

Written by Diane Rein

Choose from our wonderful new selection of Natural Gemstones here at Cool Tools.

Wonderfully shaped, polished and colored, these gems are perfect for creating fine jewelry.

Our new selection of stones features an array of calibrated shapes and sizes that includes Lapis Lazuli, Red and Blue Tiger Eye, new inlay gems and much more.

Adding a Natural Gemstone to your next jewelry project is a sure way to bring sensational color, beauty and radiance to your unique design.

April 1, 2013

Posted In: New Products!

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