June 21, 2008

Bikini Dryer

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful well wishes for my new Papertrey Ink Design Team position. I love to read all of your comments. I think that stampers and paper crafters are just THE nicest people in the world!! I wish I could just give you all a big hug!! You will see my first *official* projects with Papertrey during the July release. *Squeal!*

Okay, on to today's post. I made something really fun that I think you'll like! I know the title of my post has you curious.....but stay with me and wait to see the finished product at the end!

I'm creating a soldered piece today! I know, I know.....you're scared right? First off, you've never soldered before and you're scared of the soldering gun! And secondly, I know what you're thinking.....grrrrreat.......Mish is going to show us some more stuff that will empty out pocket books! Welll, yes I am.....because it's soooo much fun! I am not an expert by any means, but who cares. It's fun and I guarantee you that with a little practice, you can do it too!

I'm not going to give step by step instructions for how to solder. Ellen has a great tutorial on her blog HERE so no need for me to repeat the basic soldering instructions. I just want to show you some of the cool tools. Everything I've used on my project can be found under the soldering section of Ellen's store HERE.

First, I stamped and colored a new Karen Lockhart beach chair image with Copic markers. The colors are show below.
Then I cut my image down to a 2" square. I used the actual Memory Glass pieces and just placed a piece over my image. This allows me to see exactly what part of my image I want to cut. I love Tim Holtz's new teflon craft scissors for this type of cutting. Sharp and a comfy grip. I also selected a piece of K and Company patterned paper for the back of my soldered piece. The back of your piece should always be just as decorative as the front. You can use snippets of patterned paper, old sheet music, vintage wall paper,etc.
Now that I have my two pieces under glass, I'm ready to assemble my piece for soldering. Below, my photo shows lots of soldering tools. There's the soldering gun in it's stand, some clamps, a little bottle of flux, copper tape, solder, the 2 x 2 Memory glass, and a bone folder. All of these items except for the glass and the bone folder come in a great starter kit by Simply Swank(isn't that name a hoot, I love it.....and those two girls at Simply Swank are CUTIE PIES if I do say so myself!) I'm sure they'll be at CHA again so be sure to stop by their booth....GORGEOUS soldered pieces! Okay now...first thing you do is make sure your glass pieces are clean on both sides. You can use glass cleaner and a lint free cloth to do this. Then it's time to add the Copper Foil Tape. This is actual copper tape with a sticky side. Usually it comes in straight lines but today I'm using a fun Wavy Copper Tape to resemble waves at the beach. COOOOOOL! The copper tape is what the solder sticks to....the silver stuff you see when you look at the finished piece. All you have to do is peel off the backing and center your glass *sandwich* on the tape. I start at one corner and just rotate my piece til all four sides are covered. It's easiest for me if I keep turn the square *sandwich* on my work surface. By the way, I use one of those silicone work mats when soldering....it's heat proof and wipes clean.
Once you've got the Copper Tape wrapped around your piece, you'll need to snip off the end and then fold the edges down on both sides. For my piece today, I will have the wavy edges on the front and a straight edge on the back. I carefully use my bone folder to burnish down on the edges......or flatten the edges and smooth them all out. Be careful or you can break the glass. We don't want that.
Next you're ready to solder. See Ellen's blog for soldering tutorials. In a nutshell, you add the liquid flux to all the exposed Copper Tape. This is what the solder sticks to. The solder is the silver stuff that looks like a long thick piece of wire. As you touch your heat gun to the flux and solder at the same time, the solder melts onto the flux. It's SOOO cool to see, but a little scary that first time. It's okay to be scared, I was too!!! You must use clamps to hold your piece or you will burn yourself. The clamps pictured below come with the starter kit. The little locking pliers are great for gripping the scrolls or jump rings that you attach to hang the soldered piece. The locking pliers and scrolls/jump rings are sold separately at Ellen's store. Once you have your piece all soldered....and you want to say a million bad words because you can't get the flippin' scroll piece soldered on.......(need help with that part!).........your finished piece will be dirty. You can purchase the Super Shiny Solder Polish to clean it up. Just apply with a brush and wipe clean with a cloth or paper towel. Now, here's what you've been waiting for.....the finished soldered piece. Isn't it pretty! There's such a homemade feel to soldered pieces that I just love. I particularly think they go well with all the vintage stuff I like. I'm hoping to make labels for all my wire baskets in my craft room. Actually I think every single item in my home needs a soldered label. Adding that to my list! And here's the final use for my soldered piece......a new fangled BIKINI DRYER!!!!!!!!!! I took a vintage hanger that I acquired at an antique store and tied the soldered piece to the hanger part. The old clothespins can be used to hang my bikinis to dry.

Pause. Pause. Okay, now that you are done laughing at the thought of my butt fitting into THAT cute bikini in the photo, I will tell the truth. You will never see me in a bikini. However, my cute little reds love their bikinis and have LOTS of them. Usually, they end up on the shower floor and I find them all dried stiff about a week later. But now the girls have a special place to dry their bikinis. What do you think? Should I get a patent? Snort!

Seriously though, I hope you will try the soldering if you think it's something you would enjoy. It's a little intimidating but so much fun once you get the hang of it. Ask me questions, I'll try to post an edited Q & A post at the top of this one.

Check out some of Debbie Olson's bee-u-tee-ful pieces HERE.

39 comments:

Lori said...

Ok, love this and want to try it. I have purchased most everything except the flux and the glass...Where do I find these items?

Great job and I so want to do this!

Lori

Tami McBeain said...

You always make me smile! Okay...you're right, I need to visit Ellen's store again. By now I'm sure she has my address memorized! LOL I love your little bikini dryer, hey I'd buy one! Not for MY bikini mind you!

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

love the commentary! LOL! I haven't soldered since high school!! love the bikini dryer charm though Ü

Karen said...

The soldered piece is very cute. What I want to know is how big is your room that you store all the supplies in for these crafts that we love. I am starting to run out of space. Have a great weekend.

Dottie K. said...

Wow this piece is just adorable. Love those colors and that beach chair. I knew I should have ordered it. TFS :)

Elaine said...

It is just adorable and I need one too!! Talk Ellen into another sale so I can get that stamp and more! lol.

Lisa said...

You must be the tiniest person in craftland. Either that, or you have SUPER HUGE copic sketch markers. They look huge in your little hand.

I'm jealous. :O)

Marilyn said...

Your piece looks fab, Mish! We learned to use this solder kit at Creative Escape last year, and yes, it was very intimidating at first, but then we just had fun! Our finished pieces didn't look as good as yours, though! I may have to pull out that kit and try my hand at it again.

Kristin said...

I am highly impressed! Very cool piece... I think I'll stick to stamping, I can only imagine what my dh would do if I stole his soldering gun!! (it was bad enough when I started asking for different sandpapers grits)

Shari said...

Love the "Bikini Dryer"! lol! Your soldered piece turned out great, I like the wavy edge on the front! I am still a little intimidated by the whole soldering idea but am getting close to giving it a try.

Tam said...

Ok, so I followed a blog link here from Nicholes blog,and I think I will add you to my favorites! Very creative bikini dryer and beautiful work. I am so impressed and jealous! You seriously could sell those things ya know, look what Vera Bradley started, ya nevah know!

Lauraline said...

I love your soldered piece. And I'm glad I'm not the only one having problems to solder scroll, jump ring, etc... I guess I need more practice.

Dawn (stampinscotsgirl) said...

Michelle, I have just discovered your blog today and it is absolutely fantastic!! (I know, where have I been?!!) I absolutely love your style and I just wanted to say a big congrats on being picked for the PTI design team. They are my most fave stamp co!! I just love the style of stamps Nichole and her designers have come out with and I think you will be a huge asset to them and I really look forward to seeing what wonderful creations you have in store for us!! You are a true inspiration:)

retiredheather said...

I love the way you explained this. I almost want to do this. I have soldered colored glass into suncatchers so I think I could do it but all that work for an inchie! I keep thinking what about a larger piece. What do you think...go for it or not?

Sherrie said...

This is so cute! I recently bought the soldering kit and other items (not the wavy copper or the polish...back to Ellen's store) and can't wait to use them. Thanks for the wonderful post (as usual)!!

Beth said...

Cute 'kini dryer!

Great schtuff there Mishy Sue!

Stefanie Staniak said...

Adorable - I can see labeling everything too !! :)

Michelle said...

Snort away girl! I can definitely see people paying money for this. Crazy americans...we'll buy just about anything.

Love the little charm. Now you've got me looking into soldering!

{Anya} said...

I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that you have joined the PTI family! I am really looking forward to seeing your creations. I'm not much of a commenter, but I read your blog every day and love it. I love your soldered piece today and hope to see more! TFS!

Anya

Terri said...

I think I am actually sorry that I stopped by your blog today...I am pretty sure that the words "I want to learn how to solder" would never have crossed my lips had I not seen this absolutely darling little "charm" that you have created. Guess I will be out shopping for these supplies in the near future, thanks...I think!

Michelle said...

Wow! That is so neat! I love it! I have too many addictions! This one will have to wait! LOL! My handyman would kill me if I brought more home!

Chelle said...

a) i have always wanted to do this! i will have to save up my pennies for yet another fabulous project!
b) i want a bikini dryer! i will never wear a bikini, but chicka does and this would be sooo cute hanging up by the pool!
c) i am happy to know that you are a 'snorter' too!
d) thank you for yet another fabulous project! your talent, creativity, and style is wonderful and inspiring!
chelle

Raquites said...

ROFL! you are too much sometimes Mish! The bikini dryer is adorable. If I started buying everything that I love that you do, we would be living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. *but boy would it have some awesome craft supplies stored in it :)

Amy said...

Oh mylanta, this is so cute, so hilarious and so ingenius! You are the queen of tools, baby! Put on your belt and let's ride!

Amy Ü

Heather said...

SO CUTE! That piece you made is Beautiful!!! WOW! It would make anyone want to try it! .. and you explained it so well. thank you for taking the time to share!

Viv (VivLyn) said...

The soldering has me intrigued but I have a hard time keeping my kitties away from my projects when I'm creating. Your piece is adorable and I love the bikini dryer! What a cute idea!!

Patsy said...

So cute!! What a great idea.!! Great tutorial!!

stampwitch7 said...

...cutie patootie...soldering is definitely on the list of "to do's"...:o)...doreen in nashville (stamperjack7 on papertrey)...

Tanya said...

Wow! I love it! Your solder project turned out great and the bikini dryer idea is great!

You know...they had us solder a Mother's Day stained-glass present in 6th grade, so it really is ok to try it! LOL!

Thanks for all your ideas!

Charlene Austin (Willow01) said...

SWEET!! Love the idea. I am so looking forward to your PTI DT projects. Picking you was total PERFECTION on Nicholes part. Cannot wait!!

DeeDee said...

Oh Mish, I LOVE it!!! WOW, you are just a wearer of many hats huh?? My step-Mom just got this exact kit and was showing me how to use it (we watched the video that comes with it) This is so very CUTE.....Oh and BTW...you crack me up and make me SMILE every time I visit!! HUGS!!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE YOUR BIKINI DRYER. I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL PIECES DONE WITH GLASS AND SOLDERING AND THOUGHT NO I DON'T NEED TO START ANOTHER HOBBY. BUT WHAT THE HEY WE ONLY LIVE ONCE AND I RECENTLY RETIRED SO I ORDERED THE KIT TODAY. THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR PROJECT AND YOUR INSPIRATION. ANN LIND

Debbie Olson said...

Bwahaha! Mish, I love it! I owned only one bikini, and it was 20 years and ** pounds ago! (Those were the days. . .)

marianne walker said...

gosh darn it. you guys are tempting me to take up stained glass again. I do NOT need another hobby :)

Linda McClain said...

This is so adorable! I am so wanting to start working with metal. It's on my wishlist for my August birthday - we'll see if I can hold out.

Robyn said...

just darling! Come by and say hello when you get a chance!
Cheers!
Robyn

Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

Oh wow!!! Now that is truly amazing and unique and FANTABULOUS!!!! Waaaaaaay beyond me at this time, but I just LOVE seeing your creativity and gorgeous projects!!!!

stampinc said...

I love it. It's so bright and cheery!

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