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Stanley Tools ~ Barbara’s Way Tool Bag

Those of you who know me know my passion for the color purple. I can spot this color from a mile away. Ok, maybe not, but in this case, an aisle away.¬† ūüôā

About a month or so ago, Dan & I were doing our weekly shopping and skirting the tool section in our local Wal-Mart when I caught a glimpse of purple down an aisle. At first I thought this was an unusual color to see in a tool section, so it beckoned me to come.

As I approached, I saw this canvas bag, trimmed in more of a lavender than purple, but I’m not one to quibble about that when it’s in my favorite color family. I opened it, saw a number of clever side pockets for storage, inspected the way it was constructed, discovered a handy little side storage pouch, plus another zippered pouch for storage too.¬† I loved it.¬† Of course I bought one!

They run about $10 and I don’t think you can beat the value.¬† It’s pretty awesome as far as I’m concerned.

It’s absolutely perfect for taking the right amount of tools when I go for a lesson at Lexi’s or a workshop at one of the local metal studios.¬† I could not be happier with this convenient bag to transport tools.¬† Lexi uses a Plano fishing tackle box and hers is great.¬† However, they no longer manufacture that model so I tried in vain to find something close to hers.¬† Well, I found one, that worked sort of, but it was just so frustrating to use and didn’t work well for transporting files, pliers, metal, sand papers, etc.

Now that I have this tool bag, I can pack it as needed for whatever metalsmithing class I’m taking.

This is a view of the inside of mine.¬† The zippered opening is reinforced with a metal frame so it opens like an old fashioned doctor’s satchel.¬† Perhaps that’s part of what appealed to me?¬† It’s great to have that nice wide opening.¬† From this angle, I’m trying to show the interior side pockets that work well for holding pens, pencils, smaller sheets of metal, pliers, and more.¬† And some of these side pockets have Velcro to hold things in place.

The bag is approximately 12″ long and I have been able to fit a 12″ ruler in there without any problems.¬† The opening is roughly 5″ wide so it’s very easy to take things in and out.

This is another pouch that comes with the bag; it fits inside the bag.¬† I’ve used it for pens and pliers.¬† There is clear vinyl so you can see what’s inside.¬† Just a convenient way to know where things are.

Another folding tool holder on the outside.¬† It’s held in place by Velcro fasteners.¬† This little side pouch is perfect for holding my files.¬† You can see I’ve added a little luggage tag with one of my business cards.¬† Just an easy way to have your identification on the bag.

I just love the convenience of this tool bag system.¬† It helps keep things well organized in preparation for a traveling to a class or as you are cleaning up after a class.¬† I find it makes it so simple to inventory what you took and make sure you don’t leave without all of your precious tools!

Stanley also has a line of the hard sided tool boxes in this same family.¬† I’m tempted, but I don’t really feel I need one in addition to this nice canvas tool carrier.¬† I’m sure it’s a matter of personal preference.

I have not found these available on Wal-Mart’s website, but they still can be found in their stores…at least our local stores still carry them.¬† And I’m fairly certain that Stanley tools will help you find a store that carries them as well.¬† I think they are a pretty valuable addition to the tool arsenal…even if it isn’t a tool, it carries and organizes them very well.

There’s an addendum to add to this post that I know you will enjoy, but that will have to wait until another Talkin’ Tools segment.¬† For this post, I wanted to focus on Barbara’s Way Tool Bag by Stanley tools.¬† I highly recommend it.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Emergence
Soul Searching Series
Photograph Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another piece from my Soul Searching Series, I call this one Emergence.  The stone is an Amethyst Sage with Dendrites that I purchased from The Clam Shell, while attending the Denver Gem and Mineral Show in September.  I think this is my favorite piece to date.  It evolved as my work tends to do.  I find the stone captivating.

The reason I called this one Emergence is because I see a beautiful white cloud emerging from the stormy surface of a planet….as if a creative spirit has been freed from its bindings and released from the surface that has deep purple and rich rusts that comprise its surface. ¬†It was a very freeing experience for me as I worked on this piece. ¬†Why? ¬†Well, it became more than the original design as I show in this next photo.

Working with metal has opened so many doors for me. ¬†I really do work on my designs for the stones and I don’t just start something without a plan anymore. ¬†I tended to not have specific designs in mind with the wire wrapped glass pieces I made. ¬†Those wire wrapped pieces did turn out rather free form, which worked. ¬†But now that I work with metal and stone, I can’t take that kind of cavalier approach anymore.

As you may have noticed, there are three textured sections in the final piece, not just two. ¬†When the metal was ready for soldering, I looked at it with the stone and realized it wasn’t balanced. ¬†The famous/infamous threes in art! ¬†Keep the balance. ¬†This was part of the fun for me in this piece. ¬†I drew what I felt was the appropriate accent on the right side of the piece to draw attention to the shape of the stone and balance this pendant. ¬†I found it worked. ¬†And it made me very happy to realize that I could still capture some of that free ‘spirit-ness’ that made my wire wrap so unique. ¬†I like carrying that into my metal work too!

I used Sterling Silver for the setting and applied liver of sulfur gel, with a hint of ammonia, to create the rainbow of colors that you see on the metal.  A couple of the textured components were overlaid to create the depth. And I really like adding the diamond shaped pieces of silver at the bottom.  I love the way this one moves too.

This piece truly symbolizes how I feel about my artistic spirit emerging as I grow with metal. ¬†It wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning Lexi¬†Erickson, my teacher/friend/mentor/sister. ¬†She nurtures and nourishes me as a metalsmith, a person, an artist, and a friend. ¬†Thank you Lexi!

I have been absent over the Thanksgiving holiday, but rest assured that I have more pieces in the works.  I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

Until the next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person!

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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