Jan 8, 2015

Rolling Mill Texture Embossing Plate

Ear in the Envelope Inc now carries a variety of Rolling Mill Texture Embossing Plates.

You can find these Rolling Mill Texture Embossing Plates in our Etsy shop at: 

A Rolling Mill is a GREAT jewelry making tool.

A Rolling Mill combined with a Rolling Mill plate can create amazing texture patterns in your metal jewelry.

A Rolling Mill is a heavy manual machine with two hardened steel rollers, a tension adjustment and a crank that moves the metal and a texture plate through the rollers.  The pressure created by the rolling motion presses the design from the Rolling mill plate into the metal.  Adjusting to a tighter tension will create a deeper impression.

Durston is my favorite brand of Rolling Mill.  Their quality is amazing and they accept the thicker Rolling Mill Texture Embossing Plates.

Here’s a link to the Rolling Mill we use at Ear in the  Envelope Inc:

Rolling Mill Texture Embossing Plates - are placed on a piece of dead soft metal and rolled through the rolling mill which creates a beautiful impressions in the metal.

Until now there were a limited number of designs available.  I don’t know about you, but I need variety.

HERE's a Video on How to Line Up Your Blanks on the Celtic Rolling Mill Plate


So we took on the challenge of creating a good variety of Rolling Mill plates for our customers.  A group of fantastic artists have been working to create some amazing designs.  We will also accept custom requests for rolling mill texture embossing plates.

These plates measure 3” x 6” with a thickness of just about 1/16” (actual .053”).

***WARNING - Our Rolling Mill plates will NOT work on the Eurotool Rolling Mill.  The rollers will not extend far enough to for the thickness of our stainless plates.  

I recommend using a Durston Rolling Mill.  Make sure that your rolling mill can accept a width of 3”.

Our current list of designs are:
- Puzzle
- Wavey Leaves
- Van Gogh Swirls

*****PLEASE let us know what designs you would like?

Enjoy creating,
Liz :-)

Ear in the Envelope Inc.

Follow our Blog for Updates on New Techniques and Tools


These are a few of the most helpful links on my blog:




**Video: HOW TO USE A WRAP 'N TAP (Ring Bending Tool)










Oct 16, 2014

Our TEAM at Ear in the Envelope Inc

Ear in the Envelope is the name of our business.

Gottagettadeal is the name of our ETSY shop.

www.foodsafemetal is our blog

Watch this great video about our business and our team.


It takes an amazing TEAM of people to cut, corner and polish blanks for our customers.  

Each employee is hard working, dedicated and has an eye for detail.

We currently have 9 employees:

Lizz Barnes – Owner and Artist
Clint Kehlert – Manager, Artist and Musician
Liz Guerrero – Studio Assistant, Custom Orders and Musician
Peter Kennel – Studio Assistant, Chef, Tool Maintenance, Artist and Musician
Zachary Leachman – Studio Assistant, Tumbling Manager, Artist and Musician
Jordan Delgadillo – Metal Cutting, Refunds, Artist
Chris Smith – Studio Assistant, Musician
Kavante Barnett – Studio Assistant and People Care
Jessica Peterson – Sublimation and Printing Services, Photography, Artist

******Order your metal stamping blanks and supplies****** 
from our ETSY shop gottagettadeal


Thanks for your business!  

Enjoy being CREATIVE!!!!
Lizz and the TEAM

Ear in the Envelope Inc

Metal Stamping Supplies Blanks and Tools

Check out our ETSY shop gottagettadeal

Food Safe Aluminum Stamping Blanks, Sterling Metal Stamping Blanks, Brass Metal Stamping Blanks, Copper Metal Stamping Blanks, Metal Stamping Tools, Polishing Cloths

**********Proud to Carry Food Safe Metal - Safe for Your Skin!!!!****************

Sep 12, 2014

Setting Rapid Rivets in Leather Cuffs

Setting Rivets in Leather can be a challenge.  
But with a few tips you can succeed!

You'll need a Leather Cuff and an ID Tag with 2 holes.
The leather cuff I am using is 1/8" thick and the ID Tag is .063" thick.

Step One:  Flip the cuff over so you can make marks on the back.
Find the center of the leather cuff.

Step 2:  Center the Blank on the back of the leather cuff.

Step 3: Use a pen to mark the location of the holes.

Step 4: Use the smallest hole on a leather punch.  
Punch holes in the marked locations.

Step 5: Flip the cuff over to the front.  
Place the blank in the correct position making sure to line up the holes.
Place the post half of the Rapid Rivets through the hole.

***I use Mini Rapid Rivets for this project because the holes 
on the oval tag are about 1.5mm.  Because this is just barely long enough 
for the thickness of the metal, you will not be able to use a setter 
or the regular recommended process.

Step 6: Flip the cuff over and attache the rivet caps.  
Hammer the cap until you are sure that the two pieces are attached.
Make sure to use a hard steel hammer.

Step 7: At this time you can flip your cuff and over so the ID tag shows.
Use the large curved end of a chasing hammer to smooth the shape
of your rivet.  

****You will notice that the rivet will be flat or
may dome inward.  The is because we are not able to use the domed setter.
Since the rivet we are using is so short, we're trying to
squeeze every but of length out of the post.

******You will notice that your blank is very flat.  
You can add a cure to the ID tag by using a curving block.

Step 8:  Flip the bracelet face down into the curve of the block.

Place the block on top of the cuff and hammer.
Double check to make sure that your rivets are still secure.

Voila!!!!  You have a beautiful ID Cuff!!!

All of these supplies are available in our ETSY Shop
click above to go to our shop

Enjoy creating!
Lizz Barnes 
Ear in the Envelope Inc

Aug 27, 2014

Ring Sizing Information

Ring Sizing can be a headache, but with some simple tools you can be successful.

You'll need a ring sizer.  There are a few different styles in paper, plastic or metal.

Blue Nile has a great link to a PDF and specific size measurements.

Remember that we at Ear in the Envelope use the US sizes.

Here is the sizing for the Ear in the Envelope ring blanks:


Small - Size 5-6...... 2"

Medium - Size 6-8...... 2-1/4"

Large - Size 8-10...... 2-1/2"

XL - Size 10-12...... 2-3/4"


Regular Wrap - Size 5-1/2 - 7... 3"

XL Wrap - Size 7-9... 3-1/4"

2XL Wrap - Size 10-12... 3-1/2"

Just a note, the gauge of the blank can add a bit of variation to the sizing.  The more you work with the blanks, the easier estimating sizing will become.

Hope this helps,


FALL 2014 CLASSES at Ear in the Envelope Inc

820 SW Adams, Peoria, IL 61602
John Selburg

Class Fee $120 
Mondays - 6-8pm

September 8 - October 20
***NO CLASS October 13

November 3 - December 15
***NO CLASS November 24

***Drop in for one class    
$20 per class
Students will be challenged and guided through a variety of styles and media, including graphite, pen, and charcoal.
All skill levels are welcome.
***Students will need an 8 x 10 or larger Sketchbook a white eraser and a #2 pencil.  All other supplies are included.
Classes Held in Upper Studio 

Kids Metal Stamping Classes
Age 7-13

***Parents welcome.
Class Fee $25
Saturdays, 11am - 12pm
September 13, October 11, November 15

Students will learn to hammer punches into metal to create original pieces of Food Safe Aluminum Jewelry.
All tools and supplies are included.
Classes Held in Lower Studio
Lizz Barnes

Simple Soldered Sterling Rings
Saturday, September 20
Class Fee $50

Glass Fusing
Saturday, October 25
Class Fee $50

Flip Rings
Hammer a Washer into an amazing ring. - 1 Copper and 1 Sterling Ring
Saturday, December 6
Class Fee $50
***All supplies are included.
Classes Held in Lower Studio

Registration Form
Address ________________________________
City _____________________ Zip ___________
Phone # (     ) ______________

Date / Class Choice _________________________

Class Fee/Fees ____________________________

I release Lizz Barnes, John Selburg, and Ear in the Envelope Inc
from any and all liability, loss, change, injury, or expense that I
or my child may suffer as a result of participation in Art Classes
at Ear in the Envelope Inc. In signing the foregoing release, I
hereby acknowledge and represent that I have read the foregoing
release, and understand it and agree to it voluntarily. In the event
of an accident or illness Lizz Barnes, John Selburg, is authorized
and empowered to obtain any medical care deemed necessary for
my child until I can be reached. I will assume financial responsibility
for all medical charges incurred in such an emergency.

Signature __________________________________
Print Name _________________________________
Date ____________________

Ear in the Envelope Inc
820 SW Adams Street
Peoria, IL 61602

Jul 31, 2014

Metal Stamping on two sides

Many of you have asked about how to metal stamp on two sides.

The key is to prevent marking on the opposite side and to use a light hand when you hammer the punch.

I've found that the best solution is to use a piece of packing tape to cover your metal block.

This will protect the metal from taking on any of the scratches or texture that may be on your block.

A simple but very effective method for metal stamping on two sides of a blank.

If you have any other suggestions, please comment and share your wisdom.

Thanks!  Enjoy Creating!
Lizz Barnes

Ear in the Envelope Inc

Gottagettadeal on ETSY


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Apr 17, 2014

Ear in the Envelope: An Entrepreneurial Tale from IBI

Ear in the Envelope

An Entrepreneurial Tale
A head-turning name, eye-catching designs, and the birth of a business…
“Van Gogh cut his earlobe off, the story is, put it in an envelope and gave it to a prostitute,” explains Lizz Barnes, recalling the notorious tale associated with one of her favorite artists—and the inspiration behind the name of her business. “I just thought, ‘Ear in the Envelope… That just sounds like such a creative phrase.’ It’s one of those things that as soon as somebody hears it, they don’t forget it.”
Indeed, while it’s easy to overlook her studio space, tucked away in Peoria’s Warehouse District, it’s a name you surely cannot miss. Established in July of 2011, Ear in the Envelope Inc. is an umbrella company founded to manage the operations of Barnes’ numerous ventures, which include the Etsy shops Designs By Lizz Barnes and Gotta Getta Deal and the blogfoodsafemetal.com. A multi-talented metal artisan, Barnes has carved out a niche for herself in the arts business designing food-safe aluminum jewelry and selling her own DIY tools and hypoallergenic materials online. But before launching her own business and making a name for herself as an artist, Barnes had a completely different career path in mind.
The Big Lie
“I thought I was going to go into medicine,” the Peoria native declares. “I didn’t take any art classes in high school… I went away to school and hated college, and I didn’t know why. Then I came back, went to ICC and took an art class with Chuck Flagg… and it was just like, ‘That’s it!’ … I was meant to be an artist.”
In 1998, Barnes earned her bachelor’s degree in art education and glass from Illinois State University. Soon after, she moved to the Chicago area, where she taught art part-time and began experimenting in glass torchworking—a technique, she says, that piqued her interest in jewelry design and, ultimately, metalworking.
Eventually returning to Peoria and settling down in her hometown, Barnes began teaching classes at the Peoria Art Guild, where an experience with a special-needs student set her career destiny into motion. “I was trying to figure what he could do, and he could hammer really well,” she remembers. “I knew that metal stamping was getting really popular, so I decided maybe we’ll try that. Then, the metal that I could find was very bad-quality aluminum, so I just started looking around.
“Now here’s where the story starts,” she continues. “I started thinking, ‘Food-safe aluminum pans—they’re supposed to be good for cooking, so you’d think that would be the perfect thing to make jewelry out of.’” Determined to get an affordable supply of food-safe aluminum—pure aluminum that’s naturally hypoallergenic—Barnes began her quest, which quickly became trickier than she anticipated. “When I started calling around, I didn’t even get responses from people. They’re probably thinking, ‘Lizz wants a 1”x1” piece of aluminum… I am not calling this person back!’
“So finally—this is the big lie of the business—I said that I was [in her best gruff voice] ‘Joe, from Joe’s Sculptural Fountains, looking for some metal,’” she laughs. “Once I did that, I started getting phone calls! And so I’d say, ‘Yeah, this is Joe’s wife, but I know what he wants, so let me tell ya…’”
The Basement Years
Upon securing a metal source, Barnes started creating and selling her own food-safe aluminum jewelry, opening Designs By Lizz Barnes on Etsy. But about the same time her online business began taking off, the hands-on artist was dealt a devastating diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to make jewelry,” she recalls. Though she had been toying with the idea of selling supplies for some time—a much less physically demanding venture—the burdensome recovery from her first hip replacement convinced her to pull the trigger. “I was sitting at home thinking, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’ [fake crying] I think I’ll start an Etsy shop,’” she laughs. “Kind of at the lowest point of [my] life, where I don’t think if I had been laid up, I ever would’ve taken enough time to get a shop set up.”
Running the entire operation out of her basement, Barnes began cutting her own metal and selling pre-sized aluminum and jewelry crafting tools online through a second Etsy store, Gotta Getta Deal. Soon, sales skyrocketed—so much so that she hired a team of metal artists to help—as did the demand for jewelry crafting tutorials, prompting Barnes to create the “how-to” blog, foodsafemetal.com, and ultimately, her umbrella company, Ear in the Envelope.
Today, Barnes considers her “basement years” a stressful, yet valuable lesson. “You’re inventing everything. You’re inventing your customer service and all the answers to every possible question,” she describes. “At the beginning, you’re trying make to everybody happy, and then you move into ‘I have to survive…’ I want them to be happy, but I have to sleep and I have to have a life at the same time. So you start putting up boundaries.We’ll do this, but we won’t do that.”
Blossoming in the Warehouse District
Two and half years later, having outgrown her basement, Barnes decided it was time to move. In June of 2012, she began leasing a space at 820 SW Adams, where today, business has never been better. “You don’t realize how if you’re in a small space, it’s almost like a plant,” Barnes remarks. “It can only do so much in that space.”
With a converted warehouse serving as her new studio, Barnes has seen Ear in the Envelope’s profits double each of the last two years, and is on track for record-breaking revenues yet again. Working almost exclusively in food-safe aluminum, Ear in the Envelope cuts, corners (a process to remove sharp edges), tumbles (a polishing technique), and packs all of its metal in-house, distributing anywhere from 20 to 75 orders a day all around the world. Barnes also sells her premade designs, which include intricately hammered and anodized (finished using an electrochemical process that allows the metal to be dyed) rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and more starting as low as $15. Customers can also purchase everything they need to start up their own jewelry crafting operation—from aluminum blanks and charms to metal punchers, pliers, bracelet benders and beyond—for about $120.
With the desire to help other artists kickstart their careers, Barnes has opened Ear in the Envelope up for the First Fridays studio tour, and earlier this year, began offering classes in metal stamping, glass fusing and precious metal clay. Having never anticipated her success or loyal clientele, Barnes feels fulfilled just knowing she has made a difference in the local arts community. “I love to make and I love to help people make,” she explains. “I don’t want to make a million dollars. I would rather pay our bills, be able to hire people, and have an impact on the community.”
And Barnes has found that running her own business and working with other creative types is a pretty awesome gig. “I think that is an amazing thing—when your vision starts running through the veins of your employees and they’re just as excited as you are. Now, instead of just me being this crazy person with an idea, it’s a bunch of crazy people with ideas!” she laughs. “A job really can be a fun place to work. It doesn’t have to be a drag at six o’clock to hit the alarm. I actually get pretty excited in the morning.”
Going For It Having seen the simple idea of helping a student grow into a lucrative business, Barnes encourages other “born” artists—from painters and sculptors to creative inventors and innovative office managers—to find their inspiration and just “go for it.” “You have to be a leader and you definitely have to be organized… but I think if you really want to do something, start it small on the side. Dabble in it and see what you want to do,” she says. “The Internet is a great place to do that now. There are great opportunities to do things you never would’ve been able to do before!”
“And you can be somebody else if you want to,” she jokes. “You can be Joe!” iBi
Ear in the Envelope is located at 820 SW Adams Street in Peoria. Find Barnes’ designs and supplies at etsy.com/shop/DesignsByLizzBarnes and etsy.com/shop/gottagettadeal, and her blog at foodsafemetal.com.