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Urban Gardening – Growing Coreopsis (Tickseed)

Vegetable gardens sometimes require a lot of attention, so I approach my flower beds with one thing in mind – stick with low maintenance perennials that are pollinator and/or bird friendly.  If I can work in native plants, that’s a bonus!

I have a large (4 ft x 24 ft) raised bed on the south side of my home.  Needless to say, it receives sunlight from sun up to sun down.  That’s a good thing during the cooler times of the year, but summer in my part of the country can have very high temperatures for long periods of time.  So, for this particular flower bed, I look for plants that can withstand hot weather and are tolerant to drier conditions.

One of my favorite flowering plants for this flower bed has become Coreopsis UpTick.  A variety of flower colors are available, and I went with the Gold and Bronze (picture).  This is a hybrid variety suited for growing zones 5a – 9b, so roots should withstand overwintering temperatures of -10 to -20° F.  

Greenland Kayak Ornaments at Lakeside Stained Glass!

Greenland Kayaks at Lakeside Stained Glass!

     A new kayak designed especially for those who want to keep tradition alive! Lakeside Stained Glass has added Greenland kayaks to the selection of our signature kayak ornaments. I created this design during the spring of 2016, and have been using various shades of amber stained glass for the kayak and paddle.  Admittedly, the thin paddle is a bit of challenge to create in glass, but it didn't take long to figure out the best method to cut and grind the proper shape.     

     If you aren't familiar with Greenland kayaks and want to learn more about them, check out Qajaq - The American Chapter of the Greenland Kayak Association.  Lots of great information on that site!  To see the selection of kayak ornaments offered by Lakeside Stained Glass, browse our kayak ornament section!  All ornaments are handmade, with attention to detail and quality.  I look forward to creating more stained glass designs, and if there is a particular style or color that isn't available, please feel free to contact me.  As always, I welcome custom orders!

 

Cleaning Hakko Soldering Tips

Cleaning Hakko Soldering Iron Tips


After years of using my tried and true soldering iron, the day arrived when I had to make a switch.  It had become increasingly difficult to find soldering iron tips for the model I was using, and I purchased a Hakko soldering iron.  Within minutes of using it, I wondered why I had waited so long to purchase one!

My new Hakko soldering iron heated to temperature within seconds, and held temperature consistently, but cleaning the soldering tip was presenting problems.  Using a wet sponge, as I had for so many years, just didn't seem to work, and I wondered if my use of lead free solder simply was not compatible with the Hakko soldering tips. Using my sal ammoniac block was proving to be an epic fail!

Applying Black Patina on Zinc Came

Getting a successful black patina onto zinc came can sometimes be challenging.  However, it is possible, and success rests in the method (and sometimes type of patina) that you use.

Through trial and error, I have found that the keys to getting a good, consistent black stain on zinc came are preparation and a little patience. 

1)  The first preparation step is to remove oxidation from the surface of the came.  Even if your came is newly purchased, there will still be some oxidation on the surface.  You may notice that zinc came has a dull look.  To remove oxidation, rub briskly with steel wool.  The surface will look smooth and shiny when the oxidation is removed.

2)  Next, clean away any remnants of the steel wool by cleaning the came with a soft cloth.  Old cotton rags work great for this, and I’ve found that a dry cloth works as well, if not better than a wet one.

Banana Nut Bread

If there isn’t enough time to make Banana Oatmeal Cookies, this is a good substitute.  This banana nut bread tastes great when served warm or cold.  Baking time is reduced if the batter is poured into mini loaf tins!

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

My twist on my grandmother’s banana oatmeal cookie recipe.  Moist and not too dense, these cookies are especially good for gift giving during holidays and other special occasions. 

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