Monday, November 15, 2010

Pure Comfort On A Rainy Day

For today, another post about my trip to my sisters.
This was too good to not post, so I'm hoping you feel the same!!
My last day in Paradise was wet, wet wet. But, no fear. We made it into a fabulous day by soldering and cooking. What could be better?

This is my sister's work space. It's located in the pool house, which I take over when I come and visit. Each one in our family says it's "their pool house" but really it's mine. 

It is so fun to be in someone else's creative space. My middle sister has a KILLER stamp collection that I enjoy looking through. It's like being at your own personal stamp show.

So, we set up all the soldering items and went to work.
It was fairly frustrating and we both realize it takes HOURS of practice to even begin to master soldering.

One thing I realized is that having a block of salicylic ammoniac to rub the tip of your soldering iron on is essential. It keeps the tip smooth and the solder clean. It's that little white block next to the blue pliers.

We practiced on broken pottery, and dominoes. We also realized that having a really good soldering iron is beyond essential. This one that my sister is using was one from Lowe's Hardware store. Do not get one of these, even if the price is only $14.99. The tips disintegrate as you use it. Very frustrating. My soldering iron is from Simply Swank Soldering. I bought it at a show and got the whole package for beginning soldering. And while I have been very happy with it, my next soldering iron will be a REAL one. Not one with a pink or orange handle. I think the temperatures stay more even with a heavy duty iron. All though, you can buy temperature regulators.

This is a great way to hold the piece you are soldering. Clothespins will not crack the glass if you are using the small glass slides. 

This is what I ended up with. My sister said she would never, ever solder again. 
Thankfully, she changed her mind and said she would be willing to give it another try.
There really is something magical to it.

I think these would be fun as gift tags or hung on a little tree.


I had begun these little- bitties last summer and finished them during the time at my sister's:

I really vacillate with whether or not to use original images with these. I ended up using the original pages from a dictionary printed in 1943. The pages are as fine as tissue. Is it really sacrilege to tear up an old book? Once these images are set in the solder, that's it. No more left. Unless I find another dictionary.
Yeah, that's it! Really, though, there's nothing quite like the original.

Well. I have pattered on about soldering so much, I'll have to show you our foray into cooking next time. But here is a little teaser:

Hoping your day is spectacular!


  1. Dear Lynn,

    I soldered this weekend, too, using my new "big girl" Weller soldering tool. It was great except I didn't have the right size tip. I think I do a little better each time. Silver Bella was wonderful and exhausting! I can barely move today but I am so glad I went. I took pictures but I am afraid my camera didn't work :-(

    I am so glad you get this lovely time with your sister!

    Love you,

  2. Those are so cute! What a great space your sister has, I'm so jealous!

  3. OK, I thought it said "soldiering" at first and thought you and your sister had marched off to champion some cause.

    Got it.

    I really love the work you did and think it's MUCH better to reuse an old book than to let it not be used at all!

    Looking forward to the cooking post, too.

  4. Hi Lynn! What a wonderful pool house "you" have!! And a great creative space...one like I dream of!

    You soldered charms are awesome! I love them and would love to learn how to do them!! The dictionary pages are great! I'm sure you could find more! I treasure hunt a couple of days a week for the shop, so I'll look for one for you!!

    Have a wonderful week!

  5. How fun! your sister studio is so cool. I have not braved up to use my soldering equipment yet, got it last Christmas (bad me) but I did get a really great iron that my husband keeps snagging to use for little projects. I need to take the time to teach myself this technique. Love your charms and the original images are fantastic. I hope you have a great week.

  6. You are such a sneaky little devil, what with all of the pics of the pool house. You should see the grin on my face right now. Happy as a clam! It was a great day, despite all of the frustration. And I later said, "I'm going to learn how to do this if it kills me." Remember THAT PART??? :-) Someday we will be sooooooo good at it we'll look back and laugh, just like the Sister Saturday picture. With that much love. I love that everyone on both sides of the family love to stay in 'their' pool house. it's a very special place and I am blessed to be co-steward of it.And I hope that you can stay more often.Pleeeeeeezzzz!

  7. A good soldering iron is the best investment. Go to a stained glass shop or order on from a shop online. A damp sponge to clean the tip on while soldering. Some good flux (use sparingly on the charms so it does not seep in between the 2 pieces of glass) and lead free solder. Your charms are great and I love the christmas ones!

  8. I love your sister's creative space, Lynn, and it looks like you had a lot of fun! I've wanted to try soldering but thought I'd probably injure myself since I can't use a curling iron without inflicting burns..LOL. However, seeing how sweet your little charms are, I really think I'll give it a go. A good soldering iron, per your advice, might be a good gift idea to leak to Santa.

    I also want to thank you for your lovely anniversary wishes...much appreciated...:)

  9. wonderful and tidy creative space and you really took to soldering Lynn...Love your creations...I found out a few years ago soldering is not my thing...like your sis ;) I sure do admire everyone that does it!

    using original ephemera is something I am getting better at ... I finally realized I have plenty so why not...that said there are still times when I find myself scanning LOL

    apple something ... yum!

  10. look at you solder, girl!
    get down here to the ranch and let's do some soldering together:)

    it is not a wrong thing to do to use a vintage book for your art. You are renewing it's life.

    ttfn, jan

  11. Wow! Those turned out wonderful!! "She" has tried to solder using Gramps solder gun. And since he only uses the better stuff, I'm thinking that it's not the solder but the operator that keeps "her" projects from looking as good as yours. Purrhaps that little block would help, I don't remember seeing that on the workbench. Of course, I do tend to nap off rather quickly.....

    So glad to hear that you had a grand time with your sister! And oh yeah, I LOVE YOUR pool/craft room ;)


    Romeo and "her"

  12. Lynn,
    The Weller 100 is the best iron for soldering because it is consistent in temperature. And you will want to order a 1/8 or 1/4 inch tip. Do you have the etsy shop for Robin? Cornerstone Glass... she is the BEST. Her glass is not that cheap stuff that cracks & she sells all the supplies you could need. And... I see you know the tip about the clothes pins. They are great aren't they? I assume you use 2(one on each side so the piece doesn't rock). Have fun & get a Weller. Tell Santa! Charlene

  13. Wow, what a cool work space, ya, that would be MY pool house too. I've made one attempt at soldering and I agree, it's going to take alot, alot, alot of practice.