Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Finished Soldered Necklace & More

Hey Sweeties, Happy Hump Day!!!
Today's the day of the big reveal...
the finished product of my 1st soldered necklace & even I must say,
It may actually be worth all the aggravation
of soldering! ;)

Don't you just love my little civil war girl's grumpy face?
She reminds me of Shirley Temple for some reason.
Something I DO enjoy doing, is hand-wiring together crystal beads.
When done with an annealed steel, they have the look
of a vintage rosary...Heavenly. 

Now, being that I am the Queen of SPOONIN,
I had to add a vintage spoon to the mix.
I chose one that is very close to my heart,
a souvenir spoon from
Long Beach, Ca where I was born.

I also added a small vintage brooch as a chain connector.
I love that this piece is just as beautiful on the back, as on the front.
My antique ledger paper I got from The French Larkspur
is perfect with it's 1855 date showing.

I have to tell you though, it was very hard for my to cut something
that was so old. I only know that I will cherish each little piece
& put it only in my art projects that will be loved & treasured.

And how cool is it that on the back of my favorite spoon
the date is marked 1917. This truly is an heirloom necklace.
So overall soldering is still a struggle for me, but I've found that
the end result can be worth every burnt finger &
swear word I had to go through to get here. 

Now in contrast to soldering,
making these cute little vintage coin purses into necklaces is easy
& so much fun. Since I adore tintypes, I just include them to
everything I make these days. They add that touch of the past
that really brings your piece to life!

I LOVE copper!
I love the patina it gets with time

I had a fabulous antique copper skeleton key that I used as a
chain connector for this necklace & I added a bit of
chain with an old Pepsi Cola coin dangling from it.
It worked perfectly as it is an old coin purse, right.

I even made a pair of matching earrings with a couple of metal
elements I got at Round Top from Sandy Schor. I swear,
his booth alone calls me back to Texas!

The set together...
too bad I didn't notice that the key was
backwards when I took the picture. :)

All in all, this past week has been full of creativity.
I've tried my hand at techniques that scare me,
I've learned about the concept of wabi sabi,
I've embraced the beauty of imperfection,

& I know as with all things,
I will only get better with practice.
Patience Grasshopper, patience.


Monday, January 23, 2012

I Can Solder, But it SUCKS!

 Hi Sweeties...
Well, here I am as promised, back to tell you about my
weekend of soldering. I was so inspired having seen all the absolutely
gorgeous pieces of handmade jewelry on Pinterest.
But let me tell you a little secret....
it's NOT as easy as it looks! LOL

I must say, this is not my first attempt at trying to conquer my fear
of soldering, it's my 2nd. My 1st try was a complete failure & you can
check that sad experience out HERE!
Let's just say, I BURNED shit!

So, the good news is...I love to copper wrap!
Instant gratification, just like wrapping a beautiful present...
it's easy & tidy & neat, me likey.  ;)

{don't ya just LOVE the face of my grumpy little girl}
But then comes the hard part, the SOLDERING...arggggggghhhh.
My problem is, I want it to be perfect & as far as I can glean,
there is no perfection in soldering, or at least not in MY soldering.

In the pictures above, I bought the glass soldered charm on the left
& my soldered charm is on the right. When comparing, I see that even the purchased
glass charm has solder dripping on the edges on both sides & I bought it & loved it.
But I need mine to be smooth, which comes from the anal, OCD part of me.
Another problem I have, is that the flux always gets under the glass
leaving a wet mark on my antique, 1855 French paper.

Like I said before....arghhhhhhhhh!
By Sunday evening, this is exactly what my face looked like. lol

But through it all, the trials & tribulations, I did manage
to create this one little perfect gem.

And look...the flux didn't even get under the glass this time.

To reward myself for suffering through a weekend of soldering,
I also worked on some yummy little vintage coin purses
that will be made into long necklaces. 

I still have a few, treasured metal jewelry pieces left from my
Round Top, Texas trip last spring & they make perfect little frames
for a Tintype photograph. 

I ADORE Tintypes...
you can see & feel the history they share with us.

Sooooo....short story long, I can solder, but it SUCKS!!!
I know I will get better in time & I know practice makes perfect,
but for right now...
I will try & find the beauty in imperfection.
And keep in mind,
I haven't even TALKED about jump rings...arrrrgggghhhhhh.  ;)