Software....and stitches..reflecting on life's changes as we go along. It started with my OU journey, but the blog and I have evolved over time, to become something more - right now it's friendship and cross stitch, tomorrow - who knows?
This blog is about all kinds of stuff, and about learning.
Yesterday we learned something brand new.
Hubbyman and I are obsessed with an American TV show, Forged in Fire, where bladesmiths compete to make knives.
This gave me some inspiration for his birthday present, as Moving Day last year kind of overshadowed his 50th.
So, as a family we went to learn a little of the craft and have a go at blacksmithing and making our own (decorative) knives.
Taking an American railroad spike as our materials, we got started (our instructor explains this as having the right carbon content to be hardenable without extra tempering time).
We start by flattening the steel down using a hammer. It's surprising how many times we had to hammer then reheat just to get any movement. We flatten one way to make the blade wider, and another way to stretch it length-wise.
Next comes the process of 'drifting', to create a finger hold for our knives. It may be hard to make out here, but the smith hammers an increasingly large spike to create a hole and expand it to fit the finger of the wielder.
This bit was exhausting, and for my short legs, I needed to stand on a bucket to get sufficient height above the larger anvil!
My lanky teenager has no such worries!
Finally... No photos for this part directly... We were on to twisting the metal to make the handle. We added an extra chisel line down either side of the handle first, which shows up nicely in the finished blade.
The twist was actually much easier than I'd expected.
We have 3 different twist patterns so we can tell who made which blade.
And finally we got to 'quench' the blades to harden them, heating them up in the forge again, then plunging them first into oil to harden, and then into water to cool them down.
From top to bottom... The source material, my blade, hubby's blade and then our son's.
It was an incredible day out, and one we're very keen to repeat. The smith offers many different options, so I suspect we'll be back again at some point!
We often say that about the way we approach our SAL pieces. So it's not a new sentiment for my blog.
But the context this week is not quite that... I'm talking about the weirdness of the plastic Aida. It's odd. It looks like normal fabric but it behaves very differently. It doesn't flex in the same way, so I end up with stiff hands after pushing thread through filled holes. I like the lack of fraying, although I am still managing to see a little of it. Not sure it's an experience to repeat regularly.
I had some extra time on my own today as my BFF had a meeting beforehand. So Elfis now has hair, and a face, and a present. Still feel like I'm playing catchup though!
Gifted Gorgeousness for me this month is a Diamond affair all round. Firstly from me to my son.... A Star Wars image. I completed the diamond painting under cover whilst he was at school or out with friends. I do think the frame really sets off the image.
And what about the other?
That would be the wolf, which was my first solo diamond painting, which I completed with my mother in law in mind. She was very happy to receive it for Xmas.