Tuesday, April 01, 2014


Ah, Spring Break.  What a glorious thing you are.

Normally I run far, far away for the entire break.  I did flee the state for a few days to visit the aforementioned Rainbow Jesus with Fara.  But we returned to Colorado on Monday and I had almost a week of unplanned days stretched out in front of me.

As you may suspect, the "unplanned" part only lasted a few minutes.

Happily, as a fellow teacher, Lisa was also freed from most responsibilities that week.  We immediately made plans to play virtually every day.  Top on the agenda:  a craft.

Lisa offered to teach me how to solder.  We picked up lunch from Tommy's Subs, pulled out all of her supplies from her soldered past, and started melting metal.

There's something almost magical about the way liquid metal moves.  It was fascinating to manipulate and I loved watching it slink its way across the copper foil until I tried to attach the damn jump rings and then I burned myself, dropped my project on the floor, broke one of the pendants, and cursed the person who claimed that all you need to do is "melt a dab of silver then quickly tap the jump ring into place."

But by golly I finished it!

I went with a literary-themed set of pendants with green-and-coral paper on the back.  The long pendant is a quote from Jane Eyre, the larger square a passage from Little Women, and the smaller square is a tiny-font version of one of my favorite poems ("Westward wind, when wilt thou blow/the small rain down can rain/Christ, if my love were in my arms/And I in my bed again") which I learned from a Madeleine L'Engle novel.

Lisa's tutoring came in handy when I tackled my next craft project for the week.  My parents kindly brought me back a set of lamp covers from Morocco (since my own attempts at bargaining for such things were thwarted).  I went to a few hardware stores looking for the necessary wiring to hang them but couldn't find any that fit the lamps or that were long enough to run down the wall and across the floor.  An employee at Home Depot suggested I make my own lamp wires.  Done and done!

I bought plugs, 60' of white lamp wire, and three sockets; then set out to find and purchase my own set of soldering equipment.  Soon I was stripping wires and soldering them into place:

Success!  They're not even sparking!

The best chain I could find was a bright brassy-gold, so I bought some hammered-metal bronze-colored spray paint and matched the chain to the lamp shades before hooking them all together.  Here's the final results:

I love them.  It was definitely time to change out my former bedroom lamp (a set of paper cube lamps from Ikea), and I am a fan of the Moroccan look.  Now I'm ready to tackle a new project this summer:  curtains!

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