Monday, September 24, 2007

soldering fun...er...mess....

A little of both, actually...
I've been teaching myself to solder glass sandwiches together...sounds yummy, but it's just pretty (and messy).
I originally learned how to solder while in tech training in the Air Force, so I thought it would be a piece of cake, now. Well, the benefit, at least, was that I knew I had done it before, so I had no fear of wielding this hot (900 degrees!) tool and using it to melt silver...but soldering little contacts on a circuit board is not quite the same as this. I think I've managed to do just about everything wrong that could be done wrong...which is a good thing, because now I know what to do to get it right!

I followed some instructions that I found online, as well as some of what there is to be found in Sally Jean Alexander's book, Pretty Little Things. It is a beautiful book, with lots of fun projects, but it's very short on soldering instruction...nothing more than some tips, with the assumption that the reader already has learned the basics of soldering. Then, I wore my first project in to the Aikido dojo and, after asking about soldering, was given a very thorough lesson by Randy, an instructor who also teaches in college. That helped tremendously, as did going back to the book Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories by Lisa Bluhm, which is very thorough in teaching soldering techniques.

Here is a photo of my first attempt at soldering.....
The pendant is 1 1/2 inches square. This is actually much less messy than my second attempt, as I learned that I was only 'tinning' with the solder....painting a thin layer on the copper tape that holds the pieces together, and what I want to do is have a rounded layer of solder on all sides of the tape. This takes a bit of practice, as well as getting the right temperature on the soldering iron in order to have the solder melt smoothly...so, I need a bit of work on this part of the process.

Here is a sad, blurry photo of the back of attempt number 2...

Quite messy...but I do love the little dried leaf...and I am quite thrilled with both of these as I feel that I am making progress and they really are very sweet in person.
I'm not quite ready to show the front..that has a photo that Kateri let me use from her blog, and I want that to look really good when I post it!

The possibilities are endless....just about any little flat piece of art can be sandwiched between glass pieces and soldered together, and I have lots of ideas! (and lots of patience for my messy attempts!)





On another subject...this is where I was just before midnight tonight....



Not even my wildest dreams of raising kids included video games, in fact, my wilder dreams had us all out in the wilderness with no form of electricity...but here we are at the midnight release of Halo 3! At least, here's a photo of the guy in front of me and Michael, along with the 80 to 100 people who were in front of him. The first people to go in the store at midnight had waited on line for three hours. We got there at 11:50 pm, and only had to wait about 45 minutes, then got to see some of our friends who work there...yes, another thing I never would have dreamed of, having been so much a regular to the store a few years ago, that they not only know us by name, but miss us when we don't show up for a long time! John, the manager, who also owns an internet gaming cafe nearby (though the website is unavailable right now or I'd post it), told us to check the disc for scratches, since he'd learned over the internet that there was a problem with the version that we got, where the disc was loose inside the case and could be scratched from moving around in there. We checked it in the car, and I ended up having to take it back in to the store for a replacement. I wonder how many people will be doing the same tomorrow.

One more photo...of what a ferret does after I've thoroughly cleaned the cage that they were using as a litter box...added several more litter boxes....and guess who doesn't really get it about what litter boxes are for?

Ferrets also were not included in those wilder parenting dreams of mine ;-)...but what did I know, anyway?

6 comments:

kateri said...

What a nice mom you are! It had to be kind of exciting....

And a fresh new bed, hey?

But mostly, I think your first attempts are really lovely... I LOVE what you put on the back of the photo one.

And I wanted to live in a cabin with no electricity, but I would need a lumberjack to keep me warm...

Love you...

Cindy said...

Well, Michael kept insisting that I didn't realize how BIG this whole launch thing was...but my mind was elsewhere and I wasn't really 'into' it, yet it turned out to be nice and quiet...the first person out of the store raised his arms in triumph and got cheers...the people behind us talked all the way through..and the line just moved along fairly smoothly and quickly..it was interesting to be there.

The ferrets are so happy with their fresh new beds!

I knew the earthy look of the back of the photo pendant was something that you'd love ;-)...have to start over though...I'll keep working on it.

The 'lumberjack' was supposed to be a willing participant, but that was the part of the dream that crumbled ;-). I believe the Universe has known better what I've needed, though. I'm learning ;-).

Love you too.

PixieDust said...

Love the pendants! The little leaf is darling... can't wait to see the other side...

So exciting that we get to see some of your lovelies!

:-)

All sorts of new exciting adventures with our little ones, yes? I had to learn how to play video games, as my daughter is an only child and wanted to "battle" someone else - as the games have changed single-person quests adventures I did not have to learn the more intricate computer games she now plays.

Ooooh, happy ferret...

:-D

Cindy said...

Thanks pixie! I'll try to get some more done and post them, soon, along with the front of the leaf one, or a new version.

I'll bet you and your daughter had some great times together! It's a good thing she likes the single-person games now, they keep getting more and more complex. I tried playing Halo 2 with Michael, but he was way beyond my skill level...no fun for him.

Ferrets are so adorable, especially the positions they get into when they're sleeping...and the places, too. At least they've designated one box for it's intended use ;-). Makes my life easier!

Carter said...

So I heard that Halo 3 just broke a record as the biggest video game opening ever. It outgrossed the biggest Hollywood Box Office opening ever, co-incidentally. And you were there to help make it happen!

Cindy said...

Thanks Carter! I think I feel better now ;-)...it is amazing...I guess there is some kind of trend happening here...a shift to entertainments that can be interacted with? and the online aspect of Halo 3 makes it a very social thing as well, whereas sitting in a movie theatre is a very passive experience...plus I suppose there must be something about the story line to Halo that captures people's attentions. Very interesting to wonder about.