28 February 2013

And now for something completely different

I am quite reluctant to share these pictures, they are .......... well, pretty bad. I was getting ready to put what I'm going to show into a box to mail it off and, almost as an afterthought, decided to snap a few pictures. And that's exactly what they look like, an afterthought. Unfortunately, the little quilt has made its way to its new owner. I'll try to do better with the next project.

 There is a reference to the same little quilt here:

19 February 2013

Molten lava

I should have done housework this morning, but did this instead:

I am taking Terri Brush's Molten Lava class. All the shapes were cut from sheet metal and, no, I didn't do them freehand, that's something I simply cannot do. They are still practice pieces but I have ideas for a few of them. There were problems and a bit of frustration along the way, but, all in all, I am quite happy with the outcome.
They look shinier "in person" - the light is bad today, but I did scrub with steel wool and polish like crazy after oxidizing
Of course, having played all morning, I'd better do something serious now.

14 February 2013

What I learned this week

I took a (real life) class a couple of weeks ago, we made rings with bezels (picture to follow eventually). In the morning, we practiced with copper using silver solder. Somebody asked if there was copper solder because the silver does stand out. Yes, it exists. But it's possible to turn your silver solder copper-colored. It's as easy as dipping your steel pliers into the pickle. I thought I remembered that it was supposed to happen instantly.
Well, I tried it yesterday and, no, it didn't happen instantly. It took a google search to get it right.
I don't have any "before" pictures, sorry, didn't think of it.
But here it what my little heart looked like when it came out of the pickle:
Not very pretty, right? But no silver solder, either.
And here is what it looks like after I scrubbed it lightly with steel wool:
A little better, right? Not superbright and shiny but still no silver solder showing (and I used quite a bit). I didn't scrub too hard, I was concerned I'd end up with the solder showing again.
And I didn't use my steel pliers, either. I used a piece of annealed steel wire from the hardware store and left it lying on top of my heart. And everything soaked in the pickle for quite a while, I didn't time it, sorry.
Here's where I found all the info that explained it in detail:

Walk anyone?

The other day I was practicing my soldering, paid bills online and found this little guy patiently waiting for me by the front door. He's polite, only barks when somebody comes to the door, so it took me some time to find him. And, yes, we did go for a long walk. How can anybody say "no" to that face?

08 February 2013

Banglemania continues

Two more bangles this morning, both of which took two attempts, I seem to underestimate how much wire loops and flattened paddles for cold connections take up.
The top bangle shows a wire wrapped bead using Sari ribbon (unfortunately all the cute little seed beads seem to have ended up on the other side. The bottom one has a centerpiece using molten and stamped solder, something I learned in class with Terri Brush.
It may be time to move on to something other than bangles, but I sure am having fun.

07 February 2013

And more bangles

Somebody created a monster ............ I made two more bangles today, no soldering this time, one is riveted, the other has a wire wrapped bead as a focal point. Actually, that's what I was aiming for, but I cut the wire a little too long and just kept hammering until it was big enough for the rivet.
I wonder how many bangles one can wear at one time :-)

06 February 2013

I really can solder

I thought it was more luck than skill that my first bangle worked out a couple of days ago. So, I tried again today and I made a little friend for the first one. Okay, that worked, how about trying those dots Terri Brush taught us to do? Yup, those eventually worked, too, although there were a few "oops" moments involved.
I am really quite thrilled to be able to do this - finally.
Of course, with all the soldering and hammering I never got around to cooking dinner. Take-out it is.

05 February 2013

Soldered bangle

I am taking another very enjoyable class with Terri Brush, this time it's silversmithing. We jumped right into soldering rings, made soldered hearts and progressed to bangles.
Now, I have to confess that I've soldered before, I took my first class over 5 years ago and never really took to it. I took a few more classes, ended up with some finished and quite a few unfinished projects.
This time around, though, I jumped right in: I did simple links, I soldered a few very simple hearts and yesterday I dug out the heavy wire (12 gauge) and, since it's copper and inexpensive, I just did it. And it worked, I like how it turned out. It's simple, unembellished and, yes, you can see the seam in the back, but I'm happy with it. The edges are neat (I hammered a lot), there's nice texture and I've worn it constantly.
There will be more bangles. I have small wrists and big hands so any bangle flops around on me. I figured out (finally) that bangles look better in multiples. So, yes, there will be more.

03 February 2013

I knit

I knit in front of the TV just about every evening and I have a pile of almost finished projects, mostly scarves, next to my chair. I seem to have a problem with completely finishing, I obviously enjoy the process more than the finished product. But, this morning I made myself sew in the ends on two scarves I knitted recently and I took pictures and uploaded them to ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/SummerfieldDesign). I need to photograph lots more but it's a start, right?