Wednesday, July 19, 2006


A variation on my 'kaleidoscope' wind chime~ large beach glass inspired artist-made glass pieces, tung nut oiled red cedar, five copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, Click here.

I've been without a saw for several weeks, and so fell behind in all my wood work. Fortunately, my very kind neighbor just loaned me an extra saw he has, as the repair shop in Vancouver is now talking about August for getting the parts needed to repair my two year old (!) Bosch 4000. If my neighbor had not come along with this super offer, I guess I would have had to consider investing in another $800 saw. How nice not to have to do that!

So I have been working hard trying to catch up. I make my 'kaleidoscope' style wind chimes in a series, usually five or six at a time. A store in Victoria B.C. wants six of this style, and the store in Gibsons is sold out so I need to get some down to them. And then eBay always needs some. Putting these together, I suddenly thought of trying larger pieces of glass. Wow~ I like the look! Funny how just a little variation changes something so much.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Warm Days Mean Dry Driftwood

A large, freestanding, Pacific Driftwood copper wind chime on a large cedar plank. For more information on this wind chime, or to bid on it, Click here.

It's so much easier working during the summer. To be honest, I enjoy cool days, where you don't have the sun sapping your energy. But I think most projects take about half as long when it is hot and dry out. I swore I would not complain about the heat, after so many wet cold days last winter. And, so far, I have kept my word.

In the winter, one frustration is any wood I collect from the beach is bound to be sopping wet (not to mention the stuff from the lumber store!). That means several weeks drying by my big wood stove. In the summer, even if it is a little wet from the ocean, it dries in no time outside. So nice! The large driftwood wind chime pictured above is a case in point. In the winter, I doubt I would have retrieved that piece~ it would be a big thing to have lying around the stove. But I certainly could not resist it now, knowing it would dry quickly. I brought it home, even though I was not sure what I would do with it. Who could resist?

It sat around curing in the sun, and I spent time thinking about what to do with it. These big cedar stumps left by a recent logging operation were just the thing to cut big planks from. That done, I knew I wanted to somehow mount this big piece of driftwood. That is where the thinking came in: How best to do that. I thought of all sorts of possibilities, most comically complex. In the end, as I have come to learn, the simplest is the best: Two feet of copper driven into the base of the driftwood, and a hole in the stand into which the protruding copper fits. Simple and sweet, and set for shipping.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cool Ideas for a Hot Summer

Deluxe tung nut oiled red cedar bird feeder garden stake with two sets of handcrafted copper chimes~ beach stone clappers. Beach glass inspired artist-made glass. For more information on this, or to buy it, Click Here.

It's been hot here, and sales have been hot too. A little overwhelmed, folks. And the Bosch table saw is still at the repair center in Vancouver~ sigh.

Should the bearings burn out in a $700 saw after two years? No. Has it happened to others? Yes. Browsing through the Amazon customer reviews, I found about 5 others that have had the motor burn out. Not good enough, not by far.

The good news is that not having the saw has given me time to catch up a little on chime production. The deluxe copper chimes with beach stone clappers take quite a while to make, and I am always short of them. I made about eighteen sets this past week. That's good.

And I also had time to put together some new ideas. Like the bird feeder double wind chime pictured above. I've wanted to do that for a long time, but never quite had the time. Now it's done. I also used my chain saw to cut some unbelievable planks from a cedar stump. Spent an hour sanding the top of one of those yesterday, and treated it with tung nut oil. Too beautiful for words! Not exactly sure what I am going to do with it~ but it's going to be great!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Logging and Chopping

Busy? Oh yeah.

Not just the usual glass making, creating, picture taking, listing on eBay, packing and shipping (already a job and a half!), but now a logging operation.

I needed to cut next season's firewood~ actually a chore that should have been done late last winter, but...

And then I saw that there were about fifteen cedars blocking most of my firewood trees. You don't want to burn cedar~ much too nice, and not great firewood anyway. So I am selling those to Westcoast Log Homes. You really should treat yourself to checking out there website~ Unbelievable homes. My cedars will be turned into part of some of these outstanding, artistic homes. I believe that they will be happier there, than in my fireplace.

By the way, did you know wood is actually one of the most ecological ways to heat? At least if you have a high-energy efficient stove?

But as you can see from the picture, back breaking work is involved. It's not a lot of fun wading through that war zone with a heavy chain saw. And it's not a lot of fun lugging the rounds out. And it's not much fun chopping the stuff up either. Fortunately, I have a very strong 16 year old son who works like a mad man-- if I had to do it all myself, I think I would collapse. Especially having to do it all under the blazing sun we have recently been enjoying. Well, gallons of water, both down the throat and over the head, and little by little it all gets done.

On Tuesday the heavy machinery comes in, and everything is going to look a lot tidier... I hope. Not exactly Better Homes and Gardens stuff right now.