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-- AKA Boomer Sez:
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WigJig Inventory Reduction Sale: This month, we are continuing our Inventory Reduction Sale for 2011. We have increased the discounts on several items and have added over 100 new items to this sale. This sale runs through the end of August. Discounts in the sale will run from 20% for new items up to 40 to 60% for items that we intend to discontinue. Some items will only be on sale for one month, some items will be on sale until we sell out of that item. This will be the last month where we discount many silver and gold-filled findings. Last month, we sold some silver wire at below the value of the silver if it were melted down. With our findings, we believe that we are close to the melt down price of the silver or gold in the sterling silver and gold-filled findings. Starting August 1st, we are going to stop selling any sterling silver or gold-filled wire or findings at a discount. At that point, we will re-price the item so that it will cost more than the melt down price of the precious metal. Many people took advantage of the low prices we have offered on these items. You still have until July 31st to take advantage of this sale. We doubt that prices will be this low for sterling silver or gold-filled findings or wire ever again.
Silver Filled Wire and Findings: In the future, we anticipate that we will completely discontinue carrying solid sterling silver wire and findings and will replace them with silver filled wire and findings. With silver filled wire and findings only the outer 5% of the item will be sterling silver, the interior, that you can not see or feel, will be a less expensive silver colored metal. This silver filled wire and findings will be made using the same process as is used today to make gold-filled wire and findings, and is very successful. Making silver filled wire is done by mechanically squeezing a sterling silver wire around the outside of a silver colored wire. There are no nickel impurities as there would be in most silver plated wire and findings. The silver would be thick enough that it would not chip or flake off, as the silver plating does. In short, silver filled wire will have all the advantages of solid sterling silver at a much reduced price.
Birthstone for July: The birthstone for July is the ruby. For more information on rubies, please select here. Rubies are one of the four cardinal gems (ruby, sapphire, emerald and diamond) and are for this reason more valuable. 90% of the rubies sold in jewelry today have been heated to a temperature of 1,800 degrees centigrade to darken the red color and to help remove some of the inclusions. Rubies are chemically very similar to sapphires and both gemstones have a hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale which makes these gemstones among the hardest natural materials just behind diamonds and moissanite. Both sapphires and rubies are made of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide) and the red color of rubies is caused by chromium impurities in the corundum. All natural rubies have inclusions (microscopic imperfections) and gemologists use the presence of these imperfection to distinguish between natural, mined rubies and man-made rubies (which are free of these imperfections.) The first man-made rubies were made in 1837. Since then the process has been modified and refined so that today, man-made rubies are chemically identical to mined rubies and can only be distinguished from mined rubies by the absence of inclusions (perfection) in the man-made rubies. Please select the picture above to view our stock of rubies in our Internet store.
We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter. A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below. Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items. Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store. This sale will be effective through August 1st, 2011 or until we run out of that item.
Non-Tarnish Silver, Silver-Plated Wire
Free Jewelry Design: Our new jewelry making project for this newsletter is a review of our "Dog Bone Chain Bracelet and Earrings". The new finished bracelet can be viewed above. Making the bracelet shown above used two 1/2 inch Super Pegs.
Our instructions for making this chain have been modified. Please select either picture above, or select here to view our modified instructions.
The steps we used to attach beads to the round links in the chain shown at right, are shown below.
Step 1: Start by cutting a 1 1/2 inch length of 20 or 22 gauge wire.
Step 2: Make a regular "P" loop in one end of the wire.
Step 3: Add your bead to the wire.
Step 4: Position two metal pegs in your jig at a distance from one another that matches the diameter of the round loop in the chain.
Step 5: Place the initial loop on one of the pegs in your jig. Align the bead so that it is between the pegs as shown below-left.
Step 6: Wrap the end of the wire completely around the second peg.
Step 7: Remove the wire and bead from your jig.
Step 8: Cut the excess wire and using your bent chain nose pliers, close the final loop.
Step 9: Convert the two "P" loops on either end of your bead to eye loops using the tips of the jaws of your round nose pliers. This is done by grabbing the wire in the "P" loop inside the loop, but at the point where the wire end touches the stem of the "P" and twisting your pliers. You can view information on how to perform this jewelry making skill here.
Step 10: Open both loops on either end of the bead. With both loops open it is easy to position the bead in position on the round link in your chain. Please select here to view information on opening and closing loops.
Step 11: Once the wire and bead component is in position on the round link in your chain, close both loops. See the picture above right for how your bead and chain should appear.
Our Nostalgia Corner project for this newsletter is our Square Knot Jewelry Wire Bracelet shown at right. The square knot link used in this bracelet is seemingly rather complex, but is really very simple to make when you know the technique. This bracelet is strong and visually appealing. Unless you tell people, they won't be able to figure out how you made it. The pictures below show how the square knot wire component is made from two simple to make wire components that are connected together. The secret to making it easy to combine these two wire components is to bend the end of each component up about 30 degrees so that sliding the two components together will be easy. Once they are together, you use your nylon jaw pliers to flatten the bend and make the wire component permanent.
Warning! Joke Follows.
If you have ever in your entire life been offended by any joke -- please skip the below paragraphs. It is not our intention to offend anyone! We don't write these jokes, we only re-tell jokes that we have heard on the public radio, television or over the Internet.
An inebriated man is walking home from the bar with one foot on the curb and one in the gutter. Obviously, he is swaying dramatically from side to side with each step.
Seeing this a policeman pulls up and says to the drunk "Okay buddy, get in the car. I've got to take you in. You're drunk."
The drunk responds, "Officer are you sure I'm drunk?"
The policeman responds "I'm absolutely certain you are drunk. Get in the car."
The drunk responds "Great! I thought I was crippled."
If you have ever in your entire life been offended by any political philosophy -- please skip the below paragraphs. It is not our intention to offend anyone!
Since our last newsletter there has been a few items of interest in the news. First was Steve Wynn, CEO of the Wynn resort empire and a self-avowed Democrat. Mr. Wynn, on July 19, 2011, publicly stated that the Obama administration has demonstrated anti-business, socialist policies that are frightening companies as well as customers. Mr. Wynn believes that administration policies are holding back the recovery in the US. You can view Mr. Wynn's making these comments from links on the following web page.
One weeks after Mr. Wynn's comments, Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, commented on the host of new regulations published by the Obama administration. Mr. Marcus was quoted as saying "Even brain-dead economists understand that when you raise taxes, you cost jobs." He was also quoted as saying about President Obama "His speeches are wonderful. His output is absolutely, incredibly bad." You can read more about Mr. Marcus's comments here.
Another news items was that the administration's Bureau of Labor Statistics now show that job growth was 10 times higher before the Obamacare health care law was passed. James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation, writes -- Net private sector job creation has stalled. Within two months of the enactment of Obamacare, the job market stopped growing. This suggests that businesses are being truthful when they tell pollsters that the new health care law is holding back hiring. You can read more about Mr. Sherk's comments and the impact of Obamacare here.
One point to note from the above comments is that we aren't the only business that is speaking out about the negative business environment created by the current administration.
There are many reasons to vote for or against a Presidential candidate. Certainly this President is very pro-unions and if you think that more unions would make the country better, that would be a reason to vote for him. This President is very strongly an environmental activist. If you think that environmental activism would make the US a better place, then that would be a reason to vote for him. It is common knowledge that this President is a community organizer within the black community. If you think that community organization within the black community makes the US stronger then that would be a reason to vote for him. If you think that President Obama has the right skills to make the economy in the US better, then unfortunately, you have been listening to former Congressman Anthony Weiner too much. (Mr. Weiner's sole claim to fame is his ability to lie to the American people loudly and often.) If having a job in the future is important to you, then you should strongly consider how you vote in the next election. It is very likely that Steve Wynn, Bernie Marcus and James Sherk are right. The policies of this administration are killing job creation within the US.
People don't always understand why it is important that we have control over our debt and control over inflation within the US. In the lifetime of everyone living today, we don't have any experiences of the negative impact when the US debt gets out of control. If you really want to understand the personal impact of what will happen, we have to look at other governments for answers.
Currently Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are in danger of defaulting on their public debt. Their spending got to levels where it could not be sustained. All of these countries are being forced to undertake austerity measures to reduce their federal spending dramatically. Many social programs are being cut. You can read about the PIIGS monitary crisis here.
In 2002, the treasury of Pritchard, Alabama informed the Democratic Mayor of Pritchard that the city would run out of funds to pay retirees in 2009. The mayor did nothing and continued to spend funds at the same rate. In 2009, the city ran out of money to pay the retirees and the city stopped paying pension benefits to 150 workers. The 150 retirees who had planned for this money to pay their bills, suddenly lost that income. These workers had paid 5.5% of their salary into the pension fund. You can read about Pritchard, Alabama's pension issue here. Ultimately, Pritchard, Alabama decided to continue to pay the Mayor's salary who caused the problem but to only pay the retirees 1/3 of their promised benefits.
Many people don't remember that Argentina had a very severe inflation in the 1970's and 1980's. At that time they experienced hyper-inflation and the inflation rate got close to 1,000%. In simple terms that would mean if today it costs $1 for a cup of coffee, and tomorrow you had 1,000% inflation, then tomorrow coffee would cost $10 per cup. If you had savings in the bank for your retirement, after hyper-inflation, your savings would have the buying power of 1/10th of what they previously had. Currently, Argentina has inflation levels of 25%. You can read about inflation in Argentina here. Inflation has the most painful impact on the people with the least resources.
If you think that the debt and economy won't impact you, ask the 150 retirees from Pritchard, Alabama what can happen here. If you think we don't need to worry about the debt, ask the people of Greece. If you think that inflation isn't a problem ask the people of Argentina.
Now for the good news. In the 1990's Canada got into the same budget situation that the US currently is experiencing. In 1994, Canada had debt at levels very similar to current US Levels by comparison with their total economy. Canada chose to take action. They initiated austerity measures. Canada has turned their debt issue around and now their national debt is 1/3 of what it was at the peak and is falling. You can read about the Canadian debt crisis and recovery here.
The good news is that when people recognize the problem and take constructive action, a positive outcome is still possible, even for the situation currently happening in the US. Canada proves that well meaning people, willing to act can solve this problem. If we are to become Canada and not Pritchard, Alabame, Greece or Argentina, then all of us must work together to let our politicians know that we won't ignore the problem like the mayor of Pritchard. We must solve this problem. The solution must include very, very significant spending cuts. Tax increases tend to result in reduced income for the taxing agency. For that reason, tax increases may sound good, when we are going to sock it to those evil rich, but they actually don't help with deficits.
The following sunset pictures were taken on July 24, 2011. They show three pictures of the same sunset separated by minutes from one another.
Actual Sunset 8:25PM
Some people might be curious why we have so many sunset pictures. Our office and the desk in that office, face west. Every night at approximately sunset, we process our orders for shipping the next business day. This means that we see the sunset most days and have our camera sitting near us. Ergo, lots of pictures of sunset in Texas.
Shipping Policy. We waive the shipping charge on orders over $60 shipped within the US (as long as these orders remain over $60). For International orders we ship via Global Priority Mail and charge $5 over the US Mail charge for this shipping service. Please select here to view our entire shipping policy.
WigJig University. We provide over 3,000 web pages of free information, tips, techniques and free jewelry making designs in WigJig University. We encourage everyone to view this information as a source for new ideas, projects, or a way to learn new techniques. We now have a page in WigJig University that shows our designs sorted by the WigJig tool used to make them. Please select here to view that information.
International Vendors. We do have vendors who sell our WigJig products outside the US. We encourage customers to contact these vendors in their home country. Please select here to view our list of overseas vendors. We are also happy to sell our WigJig tools to stores. Please send us an e-mail if you are interested in selling our WigJig tools.
Classes. We have a listing of various jewelry making classes using our WigJig tools that are offered by bead stores throughout the country. If you are interested in classes, please select here. If you know someone who has classes in using our WigJig tools, please ask them to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can include them in these pages.
We are continuing to improve our newsletter, so please feel free to provide feedback at email@example.com.
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