Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soldering 101 & a Rainbow

Look what I woke up to this morning...
do you think it's a sign??
Or maybe just the start of something unexpected & new.
Whatever the reason for it's appearance, it made me smile & GRAB my camera! ;)

I have been afraid to try something new for quite some time now. You may say to yourself..."Is this the middle aged woman who drove half way across the country by herself so she could see some coooool junk & the largest ball of twine?" I'm sad to say, yes, it is.

For years now I have longed to solder. I ADORE double sided, glass pendents with awesome vintage images in them. With sayings & lace & cool tiny elements. I bought a wonderful little starter kit a while back with a cute pink iron & all the components needed to start creating, but it sat on my shelf in my studio at the shop for wayyyyy toooooo long. Then I moved & voila, here it sits in my kitchen waiting for me to be brave & just TRY!

And so with the rainbow & all, I thought today should be the day. I knew exactly what I wanted to put inside my glass pendent. A favorite tin type I got at Round Top, with the image of a sweet little girl from the civil war era. I found a great vintage photo to put on the back & trimmed them both, ever so carefully, using the glass as my pattern.
Easy Peasy!

Next comes the copper foil, which has tape on the backside to stick to the glass & hold everything in place. That was fun, although I was a bit disturbed that it wasn't completely even on all edges & sides. This is where my OCD & anal as a rooster with a stick up it's butt, comes into play. {I have no clue where that disgusting analogy came from & I'll try to never use it again! lol} comes the hard part!!! I have the iron holder together, I have the iron plugged in & warming up, the solder & flux are ready for me to get down to business, when suddenly I realize...I need 3 HANDS to do this job & I was only born with TWO! 1st hand to hold the soldering iron...2nd hand to hold the bottle of flux...3rd hand to hold the glass piece I'm working on.

At this point, I'm stumped...truly, I was stumped. While standing there, staring at all the things I'm suppose to be holding at the very same time, looking completely, STUMPED, in walks my remarkable & talented hubby. Off he goes to the garage & comes back with a small suction vice for me to use as my other hand. Yeahhhh...I can do this!!!

Well, maybe not! I did try my friends, boy did I try. I soldered this for hours, which is probably why it looks so awful. I couldn't make it flat, I couldn't make it even, I couldn't get the jump ring straight or even to stay on, I somehow got flux under the glass & it was now on my treasured tin type from Round Top, it smelled like smoke probably from burning the copper foil & my OCD'ed, anal self, just couldn't take it another minute.

Quietly, like a robber in the night, I snuck into my bedroom & took the whole thing apart! I cleaned my little civil war girl & told her how sorry I was for the abuse. See the charring on the glass? Obviously, I need a lot more practice before I use something I love in one of these pieces. But, I will try again...

I'm not afraid to fail...

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
Mary Anne Radmacher

So, I will try again tomorrow...

& I only hope by the next time I wake up to an amazing rainbow, I will have mastered something that today, I can not do. Sweet Friends, here's to the learning curve & in knowing that, 'The journey is the thing.'