Being that our product focus was soldering during the month of July, I wanted to showcase yet another way to use your supplies to create gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Each year we have the girls pictures taken with Santa. The reason I love these pictures so much is because it is the one record in time that shows their growth at the exact same time each year. The other reason of course is the wonder that is in their faces as small children - their expressions almost appear "magical" when they talk with Santa.
As I shared in the newsletter it has always been a bit of a dilemna as to how to showcase these pictures. I have to admit I am thrilled with this little "resolution" to my problem. Another awesome way would be to turn each picture into an individual ornament for my tree! I still have to try this one being I think it might be the direction that I take. I can just envision my tree with these precious little pictures hung all over it. Perhaps this one is best suited for Grandma's house.
One of the elements that usually stands out when creating soldered pieces are the embellishments that are added to the corners. My work is usually a little "lumpy" in appearance and then there are the prestine corners that I add - it just doesn't jive.
My solution to this problem was a result of a happy accident I made on one of my creations. I happened to overheat one of the embellishments and it changed color on me. Needless to say I was very sad after working on my piece for some time and then having this happen. This is when I began to experiment. One of the first things that you do when preparing your copper foil is to "tin" the foil, so I thought - I'm going to try "tinning" my embellishment. For complete step by step directions on soldering you can find two fairly complete tutorials on our newsletter blog - Simply Soldered Stamp Stuff (tinning is covered in Step 10) and Itty Bitty Lavender Soldered Charm, by Debbie Olson.
I love the look of these embellishments "roughed up". I find that this look is more suitable for the look that I am able to create when soldering.
The center piece of this design was created using a combination of this Millinery stamp, Christmas from Ledger Me, and Cheer from Heart Warmers. Being I wanted to have some texture in the paper I added some piercing as well using the soon to be released, S4 166, Ric Rac Scalloped Pierceability as my guide.
The trickiest part of this project was figuring out how to add my hinges. I couldn't find any information showing me how to do this and so it was an experimental process figuring this one out. Needless to say my first try didn't succeed and therefore I also learned how to remove pieces from my project that are substandard - LOL!
Let's start with the correct way in hopes that you won't need the removal process Ü What I found to work the best was to place my images face down on my solder mat. I then spaced my project out placed my hinges at a distance that would allow me to solder and still keep the hinges operable. Be certain not to get solder on the actual hinge being it won't operate then - LOL! (Guess how I know that!) I then proceeded to solder on each hinge one at a time. Carefully pick up one hinge at a time and apply flux to the hinge (avoid getting flux on the actual "hinge portion") and to the picture frame. Melt a piece of solder on to the tip of your soldering iron and run this drop of solder along the back edge of the hinge. The solder will dip down into the holes and fill the holes attaching the hinge to your finished project. I gently held my hinge in place by pressing down lightly on it with my hemostat pliers as I applied the solder.
Now if like me your first attempt, and perhaps your second and third (like mine - LOL) don't work right you will too figure out how to remove crooked hinges Ü To remove the misplaced hinge I found that if I locked the hemostat pliers on to the hinge and then gently placed the hot tip of the soldering iron between the hinge and the "frame" my hinge would easily pluck right off. I then would need to "reflux" my frame and smooth out the solder I had just glumped up. My project was then ready for attempt number two (or three) at attaching the hinges.
You would have thought this was rocket science by the time I figured out to place the whole project out flat on my work surface - LOL! Needless to say I did laugh at myself when it finally dawned on me that this simple positioning would do the trick. Forget the clamping, etc. just lay it flat girls Ü
Lastly, I polished it with Super Shiny Polish and cleaned it all up. Believe me when I tell you that it was not so pretty covered in flux and residue. But a little buffing with a soft cloth and some Polish and it is now so pretty and sparkley!!!
I encourage you to just pull those soldering irons out of the packages right now and GO FOR IT! There is nothing quite as fulfilling as seeing such a beautiful, shiny little piece created by mastering these tools. Start with something simple, something square, something small and just do it! Yep, go for that Nike slogan ladies!