Friday, August 19, 2011

Stampaway 2011

Stampaway, which is held each August in Cincinnati, OH, is one of the largest rubber stamp conventions in the country.  It offers two days of excellent (and generally affordable) classes, followed by a limited-attendance Friday-evening "Preview Party" and a one-day convention on Saturday.  For me, this convention offers the additional opportunity to once again see friends from the eight years I lived in Cincinnati, as well as folks I've gotten to know simply by taking classes with them over the years.

I took six classes this year, so here's the necklace I made in the "Haunted Little Houses" class taught by Shari Replogle of Burlington, KY:

For this pendant, we cut out images, and altered them however we wished.  I decided to use an orange colored pencil to add a collar and belt to the girl's dress, and a black colored pencil to draw in the belt buckle.

After I came up with a whimsical saying, I wrote the words on cardstock with a black Sharpie and cut them out individually, edged each word with a black Sharpie, and used a glue-stick to attach them to the image.

I sandwiched the collage between a piece of clear glass and an aged mirror (for the back), carefully wrapped and burnished foil tape around the piece, and then started the soldering.

At this point, I have to ask:  Have you ever bought a tool that you intended to use in your art, and then threw it in a corner and promptly forgot all about it?  That's the tale of me and my soldering iron.

I took a soldered charm class at Stampaway in 2008, and ended up buying the soldering iron, holder, rheostat, sal ammoniac, solder, flux, glass pieces and foil tape.  And then I put everything in a bag in my studio, and never used it, because I kept getting intimidated by the very idea of soldering.

The soldering on my "Up to No Good" gal went pretty well until it came time to attach the jump rings.  I managed to attach the ring on top, only to find that it was perilously leaning off the front of the piece.  When I tried to melt the solder with my iron and move the jump ring back, the ring flipped and became embedded in the solder on top.  I ended up having to have Shari help me get the ring unstuck and placed correctly.

I DID manage to correctly attach the jump ring on the bottom of the piece.  While it's not perfectly centered, I've decided that this just adds to the off-kilter nature of the whole project.  I may eventually hang the button from some added jump rings, and put the entire piece on a chain, but for now, I've tied it all together with a black silk ribbon.  Trés spooky, no?

The real lesson I took away from this class is that with soldering, you just have to practice, practice, practice.  So I'm determined to get out my soldering iron and equipment and actually work at this.  Maybe I'll someday master those darned jump rings!

Are there any projects you've wanted to do, but you keep putting them off because they seem a bit difficult or scary?  Please feel free to post about them.  Maybe we can help each other overcome our fears so we can make something wonderful!


  1. Woot! Good to see you in blogland! I like this post where you give an overview of what you did - in a way that made sense, but didn't overwhelm. LOVE the up to no good girl!

  2. Thanks, Dana! You're one of the people who've inspired me to give this blogging thing a try!