Handmade jewelry – the basics


Making jewelry is one of my hobbies, and I think that it’s one of the greatest pastimes one can have. I love listening to the radio, watching my favorite YouTubers, or just educating myself with an online course all while I tend to my DIY projects.

I’ve thought about putting together a post about the basics of making jewelry with your hands, but the fact is that every person is different and might be attracted to some kind of material or the next. I like to try out everything I get my hands on, and there are many places where you can get your supplies for cheap.

The five basic tools you will need for this hobby are wire cutters, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, flat nose pliers, and several crimp tools. Of course, if your budget allows you to make other expenses, I also suggest getting several bead stoppers.



Metalsmithing with jewelry does not address complete rookies, which is to say that you will have to do a bit of research on using various tools and machines. You need things like a torch, solder supplies, pliers and files, tool boxes and saws, but also a drill press, for example. So, if you are tech-savvy or have used some of these tools before, I believe you should try it out. But if you aren’t into overly complicated activities, perhaps you have to steer clear of metalsmithing.

In terms of supplies, you can use a lot of materials from gems, beads, all sorts of metals, be they precious or not, and even wood and certain types of wax. If you have no prior experience with working with such supplies, I personally recommend an online course or a class in your area. Some associations such as the American Federation of Mineralogical Society can provide some guidance in this sense.

So, what happens once you’ve mastered the craft of making handmade jewelry? You need to start selling yourself on the internet. Some of the best-known websites you can use to showcase and sell your work are Etsy, Zazzle, Dawanda, and the ever popular eBay.



There’s also a website specialized on creatives, whether you study art, design, want to make a bit of money on the side, or would enjoy learning more about taking stunning photographs. It’s called CreativeLive it has hundreds of online courses. Of course, some of them might cost a pretty penny, but many are intended for people who build things with their own hands. How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman is just an example.

In case you don’t want to spend a cent on learning new things about jewelry making, you could search for articles on Instructables, another useful website.




Some winter camping tips


Not all people like camping in winter, but if you are really outdoorsy, you’re likely to try it at some point or the other. It goes without saying that the cold season might be a pain in the rear if you aren’t accustomed to chilly nights or if you just want to take it easy and go camping in the summertime. I’m going to let you know a series of tips and tricks that you can use to get the most of your camping experience even if it’s cold outside.


The first advice I can give you is to avoid putting your head inside your sleeping bag. Most people hate feeling cold in that area, and so that is why they end up tucking their heads inside the bag. The fact of the matter is that the product is likely to be made out of a material with some kind of insulation. There will be a certain amount of condensation inside from all the breathing that you will be doing, and the whole process is rather easy to understand. So, if you want to avoid doing this, I suggest getting a good-quality hat that can keep you warm.


Make sure you protect your extremities. What I mean by this is that if your feet are cold, you have a high chance of feeling cold overall. I used to have a problem with this issue, and I still do once in a while because I have to make sure I wear socks in the house from autumn to late spring. About fifty percent of your body heat can be dispersed via your extremities, which means that you should wear good-quality boots and a nice pair of gloves that can protect both your feet and your hands.


Avoid sleeping in all of your clothes. Think of it this way. What will you be wearing tomorrow if you are resolute on keeping warm during the night? Let’s not forget that awful feeling that you will have in the morning, when you finally realize that you have to get out of your nice, cozy, and warm sleeping bag and face the music, which in this case means the cold. Get dressed while you are still inside the sleeping bag to try to manage the situation a bit better. If you do fall asleep in all of your clothes, there won’t be a way of getting warm because you won’t have anything extra to put on.


Grab a sleeping bag that’s in accordance with your physical attributes. Normally, I would suggest that bigger is better, but this rule does not apply in this case. It’s better to opt for a sleeping bag that can keep you snug.



My camping advice


There used to be a time in my life when I used to go out camping all by myself. Now that’s impossible because I’m married and a mother of three, so I couldn’t leave the kids behind even if I wanted. Maybe that would be possible sometime in the future when they’re a bit grown up, but that can’t happen for a couple of years, to say the least.

If you are a first-time camper, I am going to share some of my experience with you. First off, it’s very important to stay organized and make a list of all the things you need to bring along. Second, you have to make sure that you’re getting at least several tools that can help you get out of a tricky situation. I’m not particularly tech-savvy myself, but my husband is, so I can at least rest assured that everything will go exactly as planned in this sense.


Toilet paper should be the first item on your list. The last thing you’d want to experience is realizing you have none with you and there’s no stream nearby where you can wash yourself.

If you have rented or bought a trailer, things might be a bit more comfortable for you. However, in my experience, I can tell you that once you have reached the campsite, it’s very likely that you will grow tired of sleeping in your RV. So my personal advice would be to invest in a cheap sleeping bag, especially if you go out camping in the summertime. While you’re at it, you could buy a pad or inflatable mattress because they mean the world to people who have a hard time sleeping.


If you don’t have a way of chilling your food, it would be a good idea to refrain from getting some that could get spoiled. I like tinned food because it gives me the feeling that it is not packed with chemicals as much as powdered food. In this respect, it seems to be a bit healthier. Of course, it isn’t a homemade meal, but it can provide the sustenance you might need at some point or the other. Don’t forget that stores are everywhere, so you can just buy things while you’re on the road. If you are interested in cooking your own food, I recommend getting as much aluminum foil as possible because you can use it to prepare anything from meat to veggies.


Before going on the road, there are some things you have to take care of. You need to learn how to put up a tent, make sure to waterproof it, and find out the basics of using a camping stove. There’s a plethora of resources you can use for all of these things, and they can all be found online for free. Sites like YouTube are real goldmines, on this account.


Simple steps to take before you leave on vacation with your RV


Blissfully married and a mother of three, I often have the difficult job of ensuring that our summer vacations in our motorhome go down as the most memorable ones ever, every time. Can you just imagine how challenging that can be every time? My husband’s perennially busy being a great provider for the family so I make do with what little help he can give in this aspect.

That makes my job even harder because I have to make sure all our family adventures are worth it. When planning an RV road trip or vacation, these things need to be done before leaving:

The right way to pack

As a rule of thumb, anything you pack should be multiplied by the number of members in your RVing party or family. That said, I still do not do that when it comes to the number of every toiletry item we bring along, so I just use common sense to figure out the optimal quantity of toiletries for the family during the trip.

Unless I am completely sure of the weather in the location we are heading, I pack at least one set of clothes for all seasons for everyone in our family. The weather can change pretty fast even if it’s just going to be a weekend trip.

Since the RV lifestyle is quite casual, I make sure to pack clothes for hanging out. We can always wear the same few outfits repeatedly. I also make sure to pack at least one dressy outfit for everyone, along with two casual dinner outfits. I never forget to add everyday items including undies, hose, socks, shoes, bedroom slippers, PJ’s, and jewelry. Oh, and not to forget, bathrobes.

I also pack everyone’s tennis shoes, hiking boots, and their flip flops and dress shoes. Flip flops are indispensable when using campground showers. Lightweight boots are needed to go over shoes and winter boots when you head over to snowbound locations. One light jacket and one winter jacket go into the packed bags, with at least one of them being waterproof.


Tools for RV travels

Don’t leave home without bringing the essential tools for a successful RV road trip or vacation. Those tools include hand tools like socket sets, wrenches, a hammer, screwdrivers, an adjustable wrench, an Ohmmeter, pliers, a flashlight and penlight, some electrical and duct tape, a pocket knife, jack, clean rags, connectors, wires and splicers with a crimping tool, a wheel lug wrench, fan belts, cotter pins, slide-out pins or bolts, jumper cables, spray lubricant, fuses, some motor oil and transmission fluid, a tire pressure gauge, light bulbs, coolant hoses, and a tire pressure gauge.

You will also need to have antifreeze for the water system, a small folding shovel if available, emergency flares, the RV operating manual, the appliance operating manuals, the RV and tow vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and roadside assistance information.

I have quit getting maps and tour books since we bought an RV GPS. Finding a good GPS for my RV was not exactly a walk in the park, but with patient research, we have now been using a top-rated device perfect for our needs and our motorhome.

Things to remember about the house

A few days before leaving, I switch on the motorhome refrigerator to check if it works, and to begin freezing ice cubes and to load frozen foods. I also leave the license plate number of the RV with my husband’s parents, along with the telephone numbers and addresses of the stops we will be making en route to our destination.

When making arrangements for the mail, I simply ask the post office to hold our mail till we get back. I stock groceries in the RV. My husband checks the propane gas and fills the tank as needed. He also makes sure to obtain a supply of oil for the RV engine. During long-term vacations, I prepare a few rolls of quarters from the bank, which are handy for pay phones and laundromat services.

I also make sure all the essential bills are settled ahead including the gas and electric, the house and car insurance, the phone bill, and the fuel oil bill.