Sunday, November 24, 2013

Melissa's Coconut Butter Chocolate, Banana, Rum, Bacon Bark



 Melissa's Coconut Butter Chocolate,
Banana, Rum, Bacon Bark


I stumbled upon the recipe for Chocolate, Marshmallow, Whiskey, Caramel, Bacon Bark (pictured and linked below) and made it for my husband and his friends for their recent "guys night." I won't even begin to tell you how much sugar this recipe uses. But I will say, it was sticky, chocolaty heaven!


One of the guys, like me, had just finished his Whole 30 (no dairy, grains, sugar, alcohol, legumes for 30 days) and we joked about how we could make this Whole 30 compliant.

So of course, my mind mulled over this thought all day. And, although this is not compliant and I certainly wouldn't call it health food, it is dairy and processed-sugar free. But, there is rum hidden inside...and bacon...well, that's not so hidden. If you like frozen chocolate covered bananas, trust me, you'll love this!

8 oz. jar of coconut butter
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 medium overripe banana
3 Tbsp rum (Zaya is my favorite)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crispy crumbled bacon
8X8 pan lined with parchment paper

1. Place the coconut butter into the microwave, lid off, for 1 minute. Stir the jar so that the butter has even consistency. You can heat it again 15 seconds at a time, but if you overheat it you can burn the unstirred butter at the bottom.


2. Spoon out half of the coconut butter into a small dish and mix with 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder. Reheat as needed to get a smooth consistency.

3. Spread half of the chocolate mixture into the 8X8 dish and place in the freezer until firm.


4. Mash up the peeled banana with the back of a fork until smooth. Place it in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until it turn light golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 3 Tbsp of rum and the vanilla. Stir in 1 Tbsp of coconut butter and reheat the entire mixture if needed to get an even and spreadable consistency.


5. Remove the chocolate from the freezer and spread the banana rum mixture over the chocolate. Return to the freezer until cooled. The banana mixture will become firmer but will not solidify completely.

6. Reheat the remaining chocolate mixture. Remove the pan from the freezer and spread the remaining chocolate mixture across the banana. Top with crumbled bacon, pressing it in lightly. Return to the freezer until chocolate is firm.


7. Remove from the pan, break into pieces and store in an airtight container the refrigerator.

Creating recklessly in the kitchen this week,

Melissa

PS - If you are in the Seattle area, join me up at the Ranch Center for Arts and Craft on December 14 at 10am for a class called "Get 'Er Done." Bring your unfinished projects or projects you've been meaning to start and I'll help you jump in, recklessly, and get 'er done! We'll cover lots of techniques and materials as we learn from the varying projects students bring. And...I'll bring some of the chocolate, banana, rum, bacon bark! Visit the Ranch's Facebook page for sign up information.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Leather Embellished Wood

Wood, Leather by Melissa Cable, 2013

Some of my favorite projects in my next book, Beautiful Leather Jewelry (Jan 2014), are leather embellished wood beads. There are capsule beads, spool beads and more. So when I saw a Facebook ad for wood plugs by WidgetCo I was both excited and horrified. Does Facebook know me THAT well...eek!

But, regardless, off to WidgetCo I went and ordered a variety of face grain wood plugs. I am always happy to feature a company that has great products and service and this company qualifies. The wood plugs were beautiful, the package came quickly and they even followed up with an email (promise this is not a paid endorsement, they don't even know I am writing this!) I included a copy of my order here to make it easier for you in case you decide to make one.

If you leave a comment below, I'll draw a name and send the winner some of my wood plug stash! Let me know if you've worked with wood and why or why not. I'd love to hear what you've been doing.



I'll admit, I was a cold connections snob. I did not count adhesives among quality connections. But a class with Bob Ebendorf changed that, thank goodness, because much of the work I do with leather and wood would be difficult if not impossible without adhesives....including this bracelet as it is made by drilling holes in the sides of the wood plugs and gluing them together with 2mm round leather cord. Here is a quick step-by-step on making this bracelet, with TWO types of glue...eek!

1. Mark the holes on the wood plugs. This is best accomplished using the tape covered circle template I described in my post "Finding Center." Remember that the interior plugs will have 4 holes, the exterior 3 holes and the corners only 2 holes.


Let me make the mistakes for you...be sure to mark your holes! I failed to do this with my piece, I jumped right in because I was anxious to try it! Next time, I will definitely be more precise.

2. Place the plugs in a small vice (this is my favorite ZONA vise). Be sure to put scrap wood below the plugs so you don't drill into your vise. Use a drill size that works with the leather you chose. I used 2mm leather and a 3/32" drill bit.


I painted the sides and back of each wood piece with a metallic bronze paint, which is optional. I also painted the leather cord in a light coat of the same paint.

3. Place a needle tip on a bottle of Zap A Gap. Work in vertical sections by connecting three plugs together at a time. Drop glue into the hole and slide a piece of leather into the hole. Hold for a moment to let it set. Be careful to use only 1 drop of glue...excess glue can and will ooze out of the other holes easily.


Trim the leather so that it is approximately 1/2" so that you have 1/4" between the wood and 1/4" to glue inside the adjacent plug (1/8" for inside smaller plugs). Keep glueing vertical sections of three together, making sure they end up the same height. When you are done with vertical sections, connect these sections together by gluing in leather cord horizontally between the holes.

4. Punch circles out of leather and place edge coat on the edges to both clean up the edges and frame the leather. Use Tandy Leather Weld to glue the leather discs on top of the wood as desired.


TIP: I remove the lid from the leather glue and leave a paintbrush inside. Early on, I put painters tape around it to keep it sealed, but now over time, it has created its own glue plug. While not attractive, it works well and I always have a brush for glue.


5. I spray sealed the entire piece with a shiny acrylic sealant, which really made the wood pop, and then on the center end plugs I inserted antique copper eye screws to attach the hook clasp.

This bracelet is amazingly strong (which is why I love and prefer Zap A Gap for my cyanoacrylate needs). I tried to pull two pieces apart and no matter how hard I tried, could not get them to separate. I had to trim the leather cord and drill into the leather when I accidentally left a piece of leather too long!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get a chance to Create Recklessly this week!

Melissa

PS: The winner of the Surface Texture Bible is....Angi Mullis!
Let us know how you like it Angi. : )












Friday, October 25, 2013

Inspiration from Inspiration: Now That's A Jig!

wax string template

The embossed/debossed leather I made yesterday has been rattling around in my brain. I am so inspired by its texture and now envision a collar made up of triangular pieces. The original inspiration of organic texture on a refined shape is asserting itself (see last blog). Little did Eva Sherman know her bracelet would spark such a creative flurry!

I decided to try and mimic the texture on the leather using wire... and when I think wire, I think Brenda Schweder's Now That's A Jig! I use this tool constantly in my workshop, but to be honest, most often I use it for things other than wire. The many threaded holes allow me to screw things down, anchor objects, bend sheet into neat corners...the list goes on and on. So I am always thrilled when I can go back and use it for its original purpose...wire!

What I am really excited about sharing is that, because I had the wax covered string out from part I of this project, it occurred to me that these strings would make great templates on the jig! They stick nicely, won't damage the jig, and I know exactly how much wire to use because I know the length and quantity of the string I used.

The trick is to lay the strings down as if they are one long string, allowing you to have an unbroken path for your wire. I had to adjust my strings as the original path (below) was not an unbroken path.



Next, place peg at all of the turns. I used the 1/8" pegs but could have used some of the larger or smaller ones as needed. When I make the final version of these components, I may use the 1/4" in the corners.


TIP: If you get a post stuck did you know you can use the top of another post to help grasp it to twist it out?

I used 14 gauge wire. In the future, I will anneal it first. I used three 6" wax strings so I knew I needed at least 18" of wire...I cut about 24" to give me plenty of tail to anchor as I pulled on the wire. I started in one corner at the center of the wire and began to follow the path.


Once done, I pulled the wire off the pegs gently. When I am done with this project, my plan is to remove the pegs and then carefully transfer the wax sticks to a piece of paper for future use.


I then soldered the wire form in select areas and ran it through my rolling mill to flatten and apply texture. I need to practice refining the shape a bit more, but there is proof of concept here I believe. I traced the shape on the back of the leather and cut it out. Design wise, I am not fond of the difference in the "weight" of the two components and will likely experiment with soldering bezels for stones or other things onto the wire in order to beef it up.


Also, I mentioned in the last blog post that I was thinking of finishing the cut edges by pulling the leather up, cutting the string back and then gluing it flat. That worked beautifully.


Thanks again for stopping by. I'll be sure to post the final piece once I get all of the components made.

Create Recklessly!

Melissa

PS - Leave a comment below and I'll draw a name next week and send the winner a pack of waxed string to make their own templates! : ) Let me know if you shared the post on any of your social media and I'll enter your name twice. Shameless self-promotion, yes, but I've learned some great things from our readers! My favorite tip was where to get colored 2.5mm CZs....I use them constantly now! Thanks Georgette and Julie!





Thursday, October 24, 2013

Leather Embossing/Debossing


Embossed/Debossed Leather sample

Earlier this week Eva Sherman posted week #43 of her "Year of Jewelry Projects". I have been a big fan of watching these mostly fold-formed pieces being created throughout the year, but something about this one really inspired me. I loved the organic texture on the refined rectangle shapes.


I immediately envisioned creating an embossed leather version, probably because I had just finished proofing the galleys of my new leather jewelry book and was enjoying perusing the book The Surface Texture Bible. In fact, I bought two of these books at my local book clearance store, so leave a comment below and I'll draw a name and send the second copy out as a prize!

Leave a comment below and
you may win this book!

The first thing that came to mind was a project I did with my daughter's kindergarten class in which we laid down wax colored string (also known as Bendaroos or Bendy Sticks) onto a wood frame and then did paper maiche over them. I mulled over gluing down string or using hot glue, but the wax string method seemed the least messy, the most flexible and was a technique I was familiar with.

My poor kids. They are getting used to hearing, "Hey everyone, put on your shoes, we are running up to Michael's." So off we went, and although no longer carried at Michaels, the wax string was found at the adjacent party store.

A step-by-step of how I created the embossed/debossed leather (can't decide which it is technically) is below. I had intended to cut the leather into rectangles, paint them and connect them together in the same fashion as Eva's piece. However, I found that I am really drawn to this piece of leather and its texture and am going to sit it aside and play with its use in my brain for a while.

1. Lay the waxed string across the backside of a piece of 2-4 ounce vegetable tanned leather. Press firmly to keep the string in place.


2. Paint 1/4 of the leather and strings with a thin coat of leather glue, I prefer Tandy's Leather Weld. Lay a 1 ounce piece of leather over the strings, backside down, and use a wet paper towel to gently press the leather down, wetting it so it becomes flexible and defining the outlines of the string at the same time.

3. Use dapping punches, chasing tools or leather modeling tools to press the leather down into the recesses. You will need to go over the sections several times as the leather will keep pulling from its neighboring recesses as you stretch it. I found that pressing on both sides of the string helped stretch the leather evenly.


4. Glue and wet the next 1/4 section and repeat.



5. When I finally do a finished project, I will need to determine how I will deal with the cut edges. I will likely pull the leather up, trim the string and glue the leather back down flat. I'm also curious to see if the wax migrates to the surface of the leather and stains it. This will cause blemishes if I use a water-based dye or may prevent adhesion if I use an acrylic leather paint. I'll share the results when I get there!



I know I still owe you a post on how to create line art from paintings (see my last blog post). I recently took apart my etching tank for a good cleaning an once I get it back together I will get on it. It's a fun exercise and I look forward to sharing it.

Thanks for stopping by. Create Recklessly this weekend!

Melissa

PS - Stop by my daughter's new blog "Diary of a Cursed Brother" and see her new project. November is National Novel Writing Month and it is a great time to get writing!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Inspiration Comes From...



Untitled by Barbara Fox, acrylic on canvas


Last month I put everything aside to redecorate my daughter's bedroom. As I removed everything from her walls so that I could paint, I took down a painting that has been a part of her room since she was born. Before that, the painting hung in my retail shop, before that in my office, and before that in my living room. The 90's frame is enough to signal I've had it for a while. It was painted by my friend Barbara. With our Synchroblog topic this month of "My Inspiration Comes From..." it was the perfect time to introduce you to this driving force in both my personal and professional life.

At nearly any given time during my sophomore and junior years of college I had three jobs, including being an assistant to a woman named Barbara Fox. At that time Barbara was one of the longest survivors with her type of metastatic breast cancer. She had been diagnosed in her late 20s and was then in her 50s. Her team of physicians asked her to document her care, as they were curious what might be her secret to survival. That exercise lead her into writing an autobiography.

I have so many stories that I am having a hard time deciding where to start! So I will boil it down into one simple point...Barbara changed my life. Barbara was an extremely independent, confident, vibrant, professional woman. I will always remember her bright pink lipstick, bleached blonde hair and the twinkle in her blue eyes. Now, I know that sounds like such a cliche, but seriously, this woman had twinkle.

For well over a year, I would show up a few times a week, be handed a pile of yellow legal note pads filled with her crazy handwriting that only I could decipher, and enter it into her Macintosh computer. We'd spend the last hour of my time visiting. It was during this time that we really got to know each other and became friends and confidants.

About a year after I met her, her cancer returned. Over that year, more often than not when I arrived, she would say, "let's go on an adventure." I'd drive her up the Southern California coast through Malibu in her red convertible Mustang (again...seriously cliche...Malibu, Mustang...but trust me, this is an unembellished true story) and we'd stop for lunch where inevitably we would strike up a conversation with some stranger. In almost every situation, people went out of their way to give her their contact information, hoping to connect more with this charismatic woman.

She'd speak with anyone. For nearly an hour, she and Patrick Dempsey discussed the merit of green beans in the salad we were eating at her favorite restaurant. She chatted up the parking valets at Johnny Carson's house on the night of his last show, nearly scoring a secret way into his party until their bosses showed up. The employees at her favorite clothing store would hold clothes aside for her until they went on sale. And on Friday nights, she and her girlfriends would go skinny dipping in her pool. Barbara had had a double mastectomy, but she was always, by far, the most comfortable one in the pool.

When Barbara became too sick to go out on our adventures, I would show up and she would hand me an envelope with cash and have an assignment for me. They included going to a movie by myself, sitting down at a restaurant and having a meal by myself, or treating myself to a terribly ridiculous piece of clothing. She convinced me to go out and get a job at a newspaper, I was a journalism major afterall, what was I waiting for?

Part of who I am is because this woman demanded that I respect myself enough to be independent. I hang Barbara's painting in my daughter's room as a reminder to pass on Barbara's independence and love of life. And perhaps through this post, I am able to do so just a little more. 

On a final note, when Barbara passed away, her attorney called and said the unfinished book had been left to me. I struggled to finish it for a while, but I could never recreate her experiences or gain her expertise. But then it occurred to me that the true story wasn't how she lived with her disease, it was simply how she lived. So one day, I hope to write our story, one of a woman at the end of her life, and another at the start of hers. Maybe that day started today.

Create (and live a bit) recklessly today!

Melissa


PS - So, thanks for hearing me out today! Phew...a little more personal than I normally get and I find it curious how uncomfortable and uncertain that makes me feel. But, I'll return to jewelry in my next post when I show you how to use photoshop to turn your favorite painting into a black and white image that can be etched into texture plates...using Barbara's painting of course!

Please visit the other bloggers this month:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Inlaying Wire into Wood

Wire inlay experiment #1, Melissa Cable
Brass, sterling silver and reclaimed wine barrel


I am completely enamored with Andrea William's work. Her inlaid beach stones have been haunting my brain. I love jewelry that makes me go "how did they do that!" I let it rattle around in my head for a while and find, almost always, it inspires me in some way. This exercise was born of that inspiration.

I have been playing with wood on and off this year and thought I'd take a stab at inlaying wire into wood. My kids are back in school so once again between the hours of 10am and 3pm I can get some uninterrupted work done.

1. I used a cross cut bur from my favorite bur assortment to carve out lines in the wood, which was a slat of reclaimed wine barrel from the Stikwood assortment I recently ordered. I tried the round, cylinder and flame burs but the cross cut seemed to work best for lines.



2. I flattened 16 gauge wire using a chasing hammer.


3. I inserted 1/8" brass brads (mini hobby nails) into a solderite block and flowed some solder onto each head.


4. I soldered the flattened wire on top of the brads.


5. I used a hammer to gently flatten the nails to harden them and then hammered the wire into the carved slots in the wood.

6. I used 240 grit sandpaper all the way down to 600 to sand the wires flat.

7. The silver dots were made by using a jewelers tap and die and turning 14g silver wire into screws that were inserted into smaller pre-drilled holes in the wood. They were cut short and then the tops hammered flat.

8. The stone is actually a leather compression rivet to fill a hole where I had unsuccessfully tried to inlay a 4mm bezel-set stone. I tried to countersink the bezel but did not leave enough wood for the nail that was soldered onto the back of the bezel.

9. I set an eyelet in the corner to hang it from a chain.

I learned a lot through this process. The wood I chose had a deep, pronounced grain and it cracked at the end of the small wire inlay. It was easily glued using wood glue but I know next time to choose a more compact wood or to stay further from the edges. I also wish I had used 14g wire for the inlay based on the size of the bur I used. While that would mean more sanding, it would have filled the carved lines better. I'm quite sure this is not the last time I'll play with this. One of the things I like best about Andrea's work is the fine lines...they are the perfect contrast to the heavy stones. I'll likely order a smaller cross cut bur and practice being more precise at carving so I can do some finer work. 

But first, it inspired me to spin this into another experiment... inlaying wire into leather. I plan to carve some leather and solder tube rivets onto wire and inlay it into the leather...good thing school has started!

Creating recklessly in a quiet house,

Melissa





Monday, August 26, 2013

Chang "My" Noodles

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe. After a week of belated Spring cleaning (meaning a week of eating take out while my house is in a state of disaster) I am sitting down and planning meals for the next few weeks. In the process, I came across one of my favorite recipes. Although not reckless in itself, how I fell in love with this noodle dish was unintentionally, unconsciously and uncontrollably reckless.

Have a great week!

Melissa

Chang "My" Noodles


While pregnant with my oldest daughter, I craved this soup constantly. When my local Thai food restaurant, Typhoon, took it off the menu, I had a pregnancy-hormone induced breakdown in their lobby. There were tears. And sobbing. I'll leave it at that. As a compromise (mostly, I believe to get me out of their lobby), the chef agreed to make it for me every Monday, on which my husband picked it up weekly on his way home from work. 

The restaurant closed last year, but luckily, without pregnancy hormones I could be creative enough to learn how to make it myself rather than throw a tantrum (although I think there may have still been some tears). After some research, I was able to adapt a Seafood Hot Pot recipe by Sam Hazen from Self Magazine (November 2006) to reflect the flavors of this traditional soup from the Chang Mai region of Thailand (an area known for its beautiful silver). This soup is also good with shrimp in place of the chicken.


1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 small diced onion
2 thinly sliced shallots
1 minced clove of garlic
1 large thinly sliced raw chicken breast
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
3 cups of chicken stock
1 can of coconut milk
2 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce 
1 Tbsp sugar
4 ounces of rice noodles
1 lime, juiced
2 cups of baby spinach
6 sprigs of cilantro, plus some chopped for garnish
1 cup of bean sprouts


1. In the olive oil, sauté the shallots, garlic and onion until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken breast to the onion mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 1 cup of mushrooms and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, rice vinegar, fish sauce, Thai chili paste, curry powder, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to boil over medium high heat.

4. Add cilantro and simmer for 10 more minutes.

5. While simmering, bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Stir in rice noodles and remove from heat. Let stand 7-10 minutes until soft. Drain.

6. Remove cilantro. Season soup as desired with the juice from one lime.

7. Add baby spinach and allow to wilt.

7. Divide noodles between 4 bowls and top with soup. Garnish with bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.

PS - If you are in the Los Angeles area, be sure to try out AmazonFresh grocery delivery services, now available in your area. We've been using it here in Seattle for years and its great!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Warm Connections


Hilary's Garden: Brass, Sterling silver and spinel by Melissa Cable


Warm Connections

Anytime I learn something new, I find myself in a phase that I call the "why phase." This is a period of time in which I question whether I am doing a particular technique out of habit, because it is new and I am excited to apply it, or because, simply, it is the right thing to do in that particular circumstance.

Case in point, now that my soldering has improved, I want to solder everything! However, my most recent creation really pushed me to stop and consider when to combine cold connections with soldering...what I am going to call "warm connections" for the sake of this discussion.

Hilary's Garden was commissioned by Hilary Halstead Scott from Halstead Beads for their 2014 catalog (available in January). I've had Hilary as student and know she has the mad skills to create some killer flowers herself, so I was especially honored and excited that she would ask. Even more inspiring was that there were no parameters...no request to use certain items, no specific jewelry type, size, or color...I had a blank canvas to work from.

I happened to have some Sterling silver branch pieces that they had in their catalog and they became my source of inspiration. They had three loops - one on each end and one in the middle. Rather than give you a step-by-step on how to make this, I believe there is more learning in the thought process. I first considered:

1) Connecting the branches together with jump rings and riveting the flowers to the center loop. (Problem: The flowers covered most of the branches.)

2) Soldering the flowers together and between two branches. (Problem: The branches became solid, meaning the necklace would not have any flexibility.)

So I finally decided on a hybrid. I soldered the flowers together and then soldered them to a tube rivet. I then use the tube rivet to connect the branches together, which allowed them to still pivot freely. Surprisingly, it took me a long time to get to that solution...I had a mental block with soldering something that would eventually be riveted anyways! But when I finally stopped and realized that this "warm connection" had purpose, it was the right thing to do, the choice became clear.

It is also of interest to note that once I was all done with the necklace, I didn't like the look of the empty center rings on each branch and I was frustrated with myself that I hadn't soldered on some brass ball bearings from the start. At this point, everything was polished and ready to go.

Warm connection to the rescue! I soldered the ball bearings to a tube rivet and riveted them on. Now, if I were to remake this necklace, I would solder them in from the start, but finally becoming comfortable with using "warm connections" allowed me to make, what I feel, a much stronger piece with the addition of the brass accents.

To sum up the lesson learned: You never graduate from one technique to another, you simply add a new technique to your toolbox.

Thanks for stopping by, and create recklessly this week!

Melissa

PS - Congratulations to Rebecca Rose of Sculpturings, this year’s winner of the Halstead Grant for design excellence and business strategy acumen in the silver jewelry market! Be sure to check out her work...its gorgeous!





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pinterest Inspired

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.


This month's topic: Pinterest Inspirations



Melissa Cable (Copper, C-Koop enameled headpins, air plants)

This month we were tasked with creating something inspired by a Pinterest pin. I had seen this planter last year and pinned it so that we could make it for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. It was the perfect inspiration for my kitschy pendant.



This pendant really stretched my soldering skills! Believe it or not, the plants are real. They are "air" plants and just require a light misting now and again. I'll be interested to see how this affects the patina of the copper over time. 

Want to give it a try? Step-by-step instructions are below...sorry there are not more photos...I got so excited while making this that I forgot to stop and shoot pictures!

1. Start with a trip to the hardware store (yay!) to buy 1", 0.75" and 0.5" copper couplings and some 3/32" copper tubing. I suppose you could buy slip caps and have less soldering.


2. Apply a pattern on your couplings by inking a stamp with Stayz On ink and rolling the coupling across the pattern. Heat set the ink with a heat gun.

3. Etch the copper. See the recent issue of Art Jewelry for an article I wrote on vertical etching and the Edinburgh Etch. I create a hook using a 3mm Faux Bone strip so that I could hang my couplings into the solution.


4. After the copper is etched and cleaned, use a jewelers saw and cut a 1" piece from each coupling. Lay the edges flat on 320 grit sandpaper and sand flat, follow up with 400 grit sandpaper.

5. Solder each coupling piece to a piece of 22g copper sheet to create a bottom for each pot. The 1" coupling is thick and requires quite a bit of heat, but I was still able to accomplish the soldering using a butane torch and medium solder.

6. Use a jewelers saw to cut off the excess copper sheet.

7. Use dapping punches to flare the top of each pot. Turn the pot over and hammer down flat on the bottom to get the edge of the pot to flare evenly and flatten some.

8. File the bottom edge and the rim edge. I used a sandpaper disk on my flexshaft.

9. Drill a 3/32" hole in the center bottom of the medium and small pots.

10. Pickle if needed and then solder a 2.75" piece of 3/32" tubing to the inside center bottom of the large pot (I used easy solder). I flared the bottom of the tube to give it more stability while I soldered. 

11. Solder 1-2 headpins inside each pot so that you can use them to secure the plant. I used enameled headpins by C-Koop with soft solder to add a pop of color. This can be tricky as the pins easily melt if they get too hot.

12. Feed the medium pot onto the tubing and position it as desired on top of the large pot. Locate a solder point and solder the medium pot in place (I used easy). I soldered the inside rim of the pot to the tubing. Repeat with the small pot. I soldered the bottom of the small pot to the rim of the medium pot.

13. Solder a ring to the top of the tubing (I used easy), making sure to place your chain in the ring before soldering. I had also soldered a small brass ball bearing on the top of the tubing to give it a finished look, but it fell off and my 4 hour time limit was running out!

14. Pickle, patina and polish. Insert the plants and wrap the headpin(s) around them to keep them in place.

Have fun with it and create recklessly!

Melissa


Be sure to check out the other great Pinterest inspirations by my fellow Synchrobloggers...what an awesome group!!