Good Tidings

Follow me as I explore Alaska's vast coastline.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Madness

Solder Says                                                                                                                                          Inez Dunn©2013

March Madness

It all comes down to the final four. What four? Or what for? I liken it to the four visits I’ve had with my soldering iron. When I get ready to create with glass and tape it’s an exciting prospect and because I haven’t practiced enough with my iron; I usually end up with mixed results. Soldering is a time-tested skill that involves many things. Things like: set-up, clean up, and safety. There is actually a method to this madness, and believe me, each protocol is as important as the one that follows. If I gamble on safety I’m probably going to get burned. Burned as in a red splotch on my hand, and burned as in producing a pile of duds! As a final adieu to this last day of March I leave you with these guidelines. Remember with any art form it takes practice, and courage, and practice, and practice.

1. Use copper tape from this decade, and a bone folder.
2. Use flux from this decade. (I’m not sure if flux ever dies, but if it’s your friend keep it fresh).
3. Make copies of any paper or photos you might use. Just do it!
4. Use a sturdy table that is counter height in an area that has ventilation.  (I recommend standing, rather than sitting).
5. Use a large baking sheet, or a large stone tile, and a firebrick.
6. Make sure that your soldering iron is clean and in good working order. (A hemostat is fine, but optional).
7. Give your flux, solder, and Sal Ammoniac block assigned seating. Have these items separate yet, easy to reach.
8.  Place a small cup with a soaking wet sponge near to your soldering area.
9. Place tweezers, pliers, clothespins, and jump rings at arms reach.
10. Dress-up: Wear eye protection.
Wear an apron, or long-sleeved denim shirt.
Wear Pants.
Wear shoes that aren’t sandals.
If you’ve got hair pull it back, and away from your face.
ALWAYS wear tight fitting work gloves each and every time you hold the soldering iron.
Turn off your cell
Get a sitter for the kids
Make sure pets are secured in separate location.
Now, your ready to solder!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Inspiration

Sunday Sunset                                                                         Inez Dunn©2013
Sunday Inspiration

Is Sunday the day for rest? Or is Sunday the day for gathering the week’s inspirations to create something new? Homemade soup, we wait all week for this, an idea inspired by late night TV. The commercial is cast in an artificial light depicting a stream of steaming liquid with shiny vegetables and fat soulful noodles. Weren’t we going to do that today? How about the package of thank you cards we have all purchased from time to time? Card stock in creamy velum painted with songbirds in colors of crimson. Birds singing words of praise printed neatly beneath their beaks. Today would have been a good day to do that.  We crafters on any Sunday, Palm or Easter have been known to place the weeks divine ideas and inspirational moments and toss them into a brown paper bag. Its like a metaphorical shake & bake, voila! Captured concepts, ideas completed and a resolution that rests peacefully. On other Sundays we wager a bit of hide and seek, a toggle between wait and see, fingers combing our hair; we hem and haw. Why? Because for this day, this one final day of the week we recognize the human need not just to create, but also to rejuvenate, and sometimes a day of rest is the best inspiration of all!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time Change

An inconvenient time                                                               Inez Dunn©2013
Okay, so we changed our house clocks, our car clocks, even wristwatches. But do we change? The spring equinox falls on March 20th. Here in the great north we wait in anticipation for the sun to position itself at high noon, signaling the arrival of spring. On March 20th we take our final exhale of semi frosty breath and breathe in deep the rights of spring. During this time all things seem possible, vibrancy appears in the ordinary and surges of energy are offered up from an overflowing platter. Sometimes it’s hard to say good-bye, but not here in the north, we happily bid farewell to the crumbling ice and bitter winds. Only to say hello to the mud and the dust, and all things green and abundant on this magnificent side of the world!  Happy spring to all!