Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Flowing Copper Wind Chime

Flowing Copper Art Wind Chime
Beach glass inspired. Five copper chimes with a beach stone clapper.
Click on the picture to see it larger.
Click Here (www.coastchimes.com) for more information, or to purchase.

My flowing copper wind chime is one of several styles I sold out of during the Christmas rush, and I have been working overtime trying to replenish my stock. Finally I got two flowing copper wind chimes made, one of which is pictured above.

I love this style. The curved copper top compliments the copper wire wrapped glass so nicely. It's peaceful and pretty. Practical, too, since this is a style that can is very well suited to year round outdoor use. That said, I know some people use my wind chimes inside, and that is certainly an unusual and interesting decorating idea.

You can see from the image that we still have a lot of snow here on the Pacific Coast. I don't recall it ever having been so cold and snowy for such a long stretch. What a great year to have finally put heat into my workshop! I don't believe I would be getting much accomplished these days without that. Heat and light, truly a delight.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Snow Pacific North West

An updated picture from my last posting, which showed the start of the snow. There is more on the way today. According to the forecast, it looks like we will be enjoying a rare, white Christmas on the Sunshine Coast.

Below, some pretty early morning sunlight illuminating the trees. The clouds are rolling in, and the snow looks to start soon. I'm heading out to turn the heater on in my workshop, as I need to finish some copper chimes before taking a couple of days off.

To all my friends and customers, Season's Greetings!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Comes Early to the Pacific North West

December 17 is pretty early for winter on the Sunshine Coast.

There are years when winter never acrtually arrives here on the Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada. But evidently this is not such a year. After several days of much colder than usual temperatures, this morning it is snowing hard. And the forecast for far into the future they is for more of the same, except even colder.

The forecast is predicting minus 14 C at night, a few days from now. I guess maybe I should have ordered seven cords of firewood, instead of six.

Below is a picture of the guy who really appreciates a good load of firewood crackling in the stove. Yukon, my seven year old golden pup, likes nothing more than roasting his hide. This morning, when I cam downstairs, I saw that my son had moved the dog's pillow over near the fire. No complaints about that from Yukon, to be sure!

When I come in from working on my latest neat wind chime, with frozen hands and icy feet, I see Yukon snoozing next to the fire. Most often I have to push him aside a bit to make space for myself. I do think these creatures are clever. After all, part of why I am out there working in the freezing cold is so that I can buy him his next outrageously expensive bag of food. Meanwhile, he sleeps a warm and happy sleep, knowing I'll be dragging in a few more heavy loads of wood to keep the fire going, that his meal will be served on time, that all is right with the world.

I'd write more about that, but I better get back outside to make some more things to sell, so I can be sure to have enough money to buy that sack of dog food.

Yukon, oblivious to the world of cold and work.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

(Click on the image to see it larger.)
Set of five handcrafted beach glass inspired
Christmas ornaments

In past years I always started early making lots of sets of Christmas ornaments, as I knew how popular they would be. This year, I forgot all about them! Probably because there is not enough profit involved to make the time spent making them, and photographing them, packing them, worth it.

That's too bad, because I know how much past customers have enjoyed these. Well, I had one set of accent ornaments available on my website, and I just realized someone might like this set for their tree this year. So I put this set on sale right now: marked down from $47.50 to $29.50 including postage.

You can find them on the 'Sale' page of my website, by clicking here.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

US Dollar Rises Fast, Canadian Dollar Tanks: You Save!

Whoa! No one saw this one coming a few months ago!

Talk about early Christmas presents! I could deal with the 300% increase in copper, and all the other materials going up significantly too, but the rising Canadian dollar on top of that was too much. Worse, all the 'experts' lecturing on the radio did not exactly cheer me up, as a few short months ago they predicted a higher and higher Canadian dollar.

The simple math was that when I sold something two years ago for, say, $100, I would trade those US dollars in and get $145, or more. But a couple of months ago I would trade those same $100 in and get $90, or less. Ouch.

So you can imagine how pleased I am to see our Canadian dollar falling. And you should be happy too. Why? Because this change of scene has enabled me to lower almost all the prices on my website. Many prices have been not just lowered, but slashed.

Visit my website, Coast Chimes, with the new, low prices, by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Christmas ~ Still Time to Ship, if you shop now

Coming Fast ~ Christmas!
(but, if you order soon, there is still time to shop)
Unique, Handcrafted, Wind Chimes
and other items for the home and garden
Great Gifts!
Coast Wind Chimes

It always gets pretty crazy as Christmas approaches. Sadly, every year too many people wait too long to order. Most of my customers are located in the USA, and they perhaps don't realize that I'm located in Canada, and shipping takees a little longer than what they are used to when ordering online. Once in a rare while a shipment can get hung up at the border, too, which can slow things down a lot.

But the postal system has been excellent, and most orders arrive within ten days. That can be even much faster, if you live near the west coast.

So if you have been thinking of a really special gift for someone, consider a unique Coast Chimes handcrafted wind chime or suncatcher. There is still time, if you order now.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Copper Prices Tumble, Yippee.

Several times in the past, I have written (see previous posting) about copper prices going up up and away. For a while, it seemed I was getting hit from all sides. Copper way up, Canadian dollar way up (hurts because I sell mainly in US dollars), fees and gas way up. Tough times!

Well, things are changing fast. For example, the market price of copper. From a high of over four dollars a pound just a short time ago to near $1.50? Wow. However, this has not yet translated into any reduction of the copper wire and piping I use. Those prices seem, for now, to be stuck at their all time highest. But there is hope. Perhaps in the not too distant future those prices will start to creep down.

The Canadian dollar is so far the biggest and most direct positive on my front. A couple of months ago no one I heard was talking about a lower Canadian dollar. At that time it was around $1.10 US. Ha! Now, at around $.80, I could not be happier.

These small things make a huge difference in the bottom line when running a (very) small operation like mine. You need to really watch the nickels and dimes, as that is where the profit, if any, can be found. Trading in $100 US dollars and getting $85 vs. trading in the same and getting $117-- that's a really important difference.

Driving down to the post office a bunch of times, filling the tank for $85 a few months ago, or filling it now for $50-- there is another significant positive.

Not all is roses. Obviously many people are worried, or having a really hard time, and this is reflected directly on sales, or rather lack of sales. This means more sale prices, lower prices, (see the great low prices here) and so, in the end, there are only a bunch of positives and minuses, and one struggles on.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Website Coast Chimes Updated

Click on the picture to go to the website
Coast Chimes  website snapshot
A new, cleaner look. Coast Chimes website.

The other day was very cool, and very wet, here. A perfect day to find any excuse to stay inside and feed the fire! Cleaning up and changing the look of my website is always a good way to kill a few hours.

So a new, fresh look. Some lower prices. The high-quality, unique designs, and expert service remain.

I also fixed a bug that interfered with multiple orders. You should now be able to add as many items to the shopping cart as you like. Safe, secure shopping through PayPal. And you do not need to even be a member of PayPal to shop-- just about any credit card will do.

Don't forget, ordering from Canada can take a bit longer. If you are located in the USA, once in a blue moon things get hung up at the border: avoid holiday disappointment, shop soon.

One thing I did not change— every order receives a free gift of my handcrafted cold forged earrings. Also, speaking of gifts, if you are ordering a gift and need it shipped directly, that is no problem. In fact, send along a personal message, and I will be happy to include that on a nice card for you.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Wind Chimes on Sale, Bargains

Click on the picture to see it larger
wind chime, stained glass, copperBeach Glass Inspired
Kaleidoscope Wind Chime
Five Copper Chimes — Beach Stone Clapper
Visit the 'On Sale' page of my website for more information, or Click Here

The 'On Sale' page of my website is a very popular place these days. I understand. The economy does not encourage people to plop down $180-$400 on a wind chime, no matter how beautiful, how well made. So a sale is nice.

And all my wind chimes and other works are beautiful, and very well made. This includes my sale items, that I pull straight from my stock— these are not seconds, or inferior in anyway.

So, while the last, why not visit my website and grab a fabulous wind chime for a nicely reduced price? Free shipping to the USA and Canada. Free gift cold forged copper earrings. Enjoy. Oh-- if you find the one featured above is marked as 'Sold,' bookmark the page and check back later. I usually put a new one on within a couple of days-- for now. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Let There be Light (and heat)

Click on the picture to see it larger
The 'new' workshop

As the days here on the Sunshine Coast get shorter, darker, wetter and colder, I can not adequately express how happy I am to have a dry, warm, bright workshop. A couple of weeks ago I finished insulating the ceiling and bought a small heater. Now, with very cool mornings, heaven.

For the past thirteen or so years I did all my work outside, in unheated, unlit spaces. My primary workshop was my old 'greenhouse' as pictured below. It was not bad. Just really cold on cloudy fall and winter days. And usually wet, too, as the condensation would collect on the inside of the roof plastic, and any banging or wind would set it to falling, just like rain even on dry days. Bad enough.

Although I still have to go outside when I use my large saw, or to cut long lengths of copper, much of my work can now be happily done in my new workshop. It may not look like much, but for me it is absolutely fantastic.

Here is the old shop:

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wind Chime on Sale

Click on the picture
to see it larger
windchime, stained glass, copperBeach glass inspired
Kaleidoscope Art Wind Chime
On sale marked down from $177.50 to $137.50
including postage and insurance (USA and Canada)
Visit the On Sale page of my website

Until we get a little closer to the holiday shopping season, due to the financial turmoil I am continuing to offer certain wind chimes for an exceptional sale price. This is your chance to own a handcrafted, deluxe, beautiful, unique wind chime for a very, very low price.

Once I see an indication that shopping has increased, which I expect soon, prices will go up. So enjoy these deals while they last.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Better Pictures

windchime, stained glass, copper, verdigris(Click on the image to see it larger.)

Mixed media kaleidoscope wind chime
Five true veridgris copper chimes
See this wind chime in the 'Artist-picks' section of my website

Has it really been over thirteen years that I have been making wind chimes, and taking pictures to sell them on the Net? Time flies.

You would think after all those years, all those thousands and thousand of pictures, I'd have picture taking down to, well, an art. But no. I still learn.

Despite the many new windows I put into the shop this past summer, there is often not enough natural light when it is cloudy, or when the sun sets so early. So I grabbed a 500 watt halogen shop light. That's bright!

It's so bright I got a bright idea. I took the lamp to the solarium where I take all my pictures, and found that it is very helpful. I used to use a small table halogen lamp to brighten the front, but that did not have much ooomph to it. This big boy is way, way better. Now I can have the great sunlight filtering through my glass from behind, showing the 'kaleidoscope' effect, and not have the front so dark that it looks like the wood is black. Good stuff.

So I just retook most of my kaleidoscope wind chimes, and a bunch of other works. New, and improved, pictures. I also made a whole lot of new woodwork pieces, taking advantage of what dry weather remains. As long as it is not too cold, or wet, I'll be working full steam ahead. (That explains why I have not had the time to post here for way too long of a time.)

More good news. With the economic melt down, I've increased the number of nicely marked-down (sale) items on my site. They are marked down enough so that they sell pretty briskly. I understand why people may not be in the mood to spend $177 or more on a wind chime just now (although that is, I believe, a fair price), so I offer some with a price that's too tempting to pass. Enjoy.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Wind Chime Sale

Click on the picture to see it larger.
wind chimeBeach Glass Inspired
Kaleidoscope Copper Wind Chime
Visit Coast Chimes website Here

Many people are concerned about the economy, and their own finances right now. So I am offering some truly exceptional deals on my wind chimes. Why not visit my website and grab some bargains?

I'm offering wind chimes that are usually $177.50 for as low as $135.50, including shipping.

Sales usually start to pick up around mid-October, so this sort of great deal may not be offered for too much longer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Taking Pictures

Click on the picture to see it larger.
wind chimeYukon wrecks another one.
Beach glass inspired copper wind chime.
Click here to visit my website and see this wind chime sans dog

With arts and crafts, the single most important marketing aspect is the picture. You can write all the lovely things you like about a piece, but if the picture sucks, forget the sale.

I've been taking pictures of my work for nearly fourteen years, and I know the best time of day, and the best lighting conditions. Unfortunately, especially as we get into shorter, cloudier days, these moments are not that frequent, nor do they last that long. At the best of times, I have perhaps twenty minutes to take my pictures.

The other day, the sun was very iffy, but given that the forecast was calling for at least several wet, dark cloudy days, I knew I had to take pictures.

As usual, my big golden retriever, who spends almost all day sleeping in the back of the car, had to jump out (he has some sort of sixth sense about when I take pictures) and stand right in the way. Out of the dozen I took of this wind chime, he wrecked the very best one. Man's best friend? Not always.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Great Sale

Click on the thumbnails to see a large image

Special Sale!
Usually $177.50 each.
On sale for $137.50
or buy two for $250.00
Or, even better, All Three for $350.00
including postage and insurance (USA / Canada)
Visit my 'Flowing Copper' wind chime page on my website

Currently I have three sets of wind chimes hanging on my sundeck, and that strikes me as a very nice number. My chimes are not terribly loud, so the sound even from three sets is still just very pleasant.

With Fall here, there is more wind, and that, for me, means excellent wind chime weather. My wind chimes are designed for year round outdoor use, so no need to only enjoy them through the summer.

With my current sale, you too could enjoy three sets for a very reasonable price. Or get a set for yourself, and share with friends and family. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


chanterelle wild mushroomsChanterelles — delicious wild mushrooms

As followers (yes, all ten of you!) of this blog know, everyday I go for a hike with my fine hound Yukon. Most often, it is with some initial reluctance that I drop the work I am doing and head off up the mountain. It's the 'up' part that is partially responsible for that reluctance, but also the dropping of the work. After all these years, I still love making wind chimes and other cool stuff, and it is hard to take a break. Lucky me-- how many jobs are there that people are reluctant to take time off from?

This time of year, with the right weather, there is an added incentive other than the beauty, peace and quiet of the woods. There are wild mushrooms.

I first was introduced to the sport of mushroom hunting back thirty years ago, as a lad living in France for a year. Where I was, mushroom hunting was not just a hobby, but a passion. Just about everybody did it. The enthusiasm was contagious, and I certainly caught the bug.

So you can imagine how delighted I was after moving to the Sunshine Coast to discover that this area is extremely rich in wild mushrooms. And unlike France, where everyone being out hunting made for fierce competition, here almost no one bothers. I guess they go down to the farmers' market in Vancouver and buy them for $25 a pound!

These days, I don't go to the greedy extremes that I used to when we first moved here. Back then, I'd hunt everyday, long hours, and pack the freezer with bags and bags of them. Now I just gather a few for our dinner, and somehow that's better.

I've also started introducing friends to this pleasant hobby (yes, don't worry, I warn them in no uncertain terms that they must be with me or someone else who really knows the good from the evil-- with pleasant little guys like the Death Angels lurking about).

I've been trying out a few new recipes. The best one I have found so far this year is yukon gold potato and wild mushroom gratin with blue cheese. With 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream, and lots of cheese, truly decadent, and also truly superb.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Framed Suncatchers

Click on the image to see it larger
Deluxe red cedar framed suncatcher
I have two of this style on my website.
For more information, or to buy this art, visit my
website by clicking Here.

It's usually a little slower, sales-wise, than usual during September. But having a few weeks to breath and and work on more complex items is not so bad.

This past week I worked on two very special framed suncatcher hangings. These take a really long time to plan out and cut and put together, so I don't make many of them. These two came out amazingly well— I think they are perhaps my favorites from all of this style I have made.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Septermber Blues

Click on the picture to see it larger.
Beach Glass Inspired
Kaleidoscope Wind Chime
On Sale on my Website

I've been making neat things for the home, yard, garden for long enough (13 years) to know that it is totally usual for September to be slow for sales. And yet, each time this happens, I am surprised. It's always so busy just before this slow down, and so very busy just after.

Well, slow or not, the bills keep arriving. Not to mention that I better buy a ton of copper ($$$) to get ready for the rush that is fast approaching. So to encourage hesitant shoppers, I have put a super low price on my sale item this week: a beach glass inspired kaleidoscope wind chime with five copper chimes and a beach stone clapper that usually sells for $177.50 for a sale price of $139.50 including postage and insurance to the USA or Canada. Now that's a deal!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Teredo Driftwood

Click on the picture to see it larger.
Teredo Driftwood
Five Heavy Iron Chimes with a Beach Stone Clapper

For more information or to buy, visit the Driftwood Carousel
on my website.

Driftwood is such a lovely, naturally beautiful medium to work with. And what is really neat is teredo worm driftwood. It is actually not a worm at all, but a small clam. But whether you call them a worm or a clam, they do a terrific job of carving wood. Beautiful and intriguing.

What I also really like, especially with an all natural top section like this driftwood, is heavy iron chimes with a natural rust patina. The look is great, and the sound even better.

A lot of people think of wind chimes as a summer thing. Not me. A chime like this one is extremely well suited for year round use. The fall and winter brings brisker winds, and these heavy iron chimes live for that. So be cozy in your house, while enjoying the sounds produced by the fierce weather.

Friday, September 05, 2008

More Mixed Media

Click on the image to see it larger
mixed media art wind chime, copper and glassMixed media wind chime. Visit my website to see more.

I make several styles of mixed media kaleidoscope wind chime— always in demand. In fact, I had run out for sometime, and so I am happy to have finally gotten around to making a few more.

The one pictured about, with five handcrafted copper chimes, is a knock out. And then the same style of top section but with my magnificent large rusty iron chimes can be found in the iron section of my website.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Suncatcher, Freestanding, Extra Large

suncatcher, beach glass inspired, extra-largeExtra Large Freestanding
Beach Glass Inspired
(Click on the picture to see it full size)

I receive quite a few special orders. Recently an excellent customer ordered two extra-large freestanding suncatchers. I had made a few hanging large ones before, and so for once I had a good idea of what I was getting myself into: they are very challenging to make!

With plate glass this large, even just washing it and handling it is tough. Putting everything together tougher still! And the amount of small glass pieces these hold always amazes me. They weigh a ton!

While making hers, I decided I would put together an extra one, for the 'Artist's Pick' section of my website, as I knew they would be spectacular.

Now the final 'fun' part. I need to figure out how to pack these two so they have a chance of arriving in great condition. That's a tough one. They are so long and heavy, I fear if someone drops the box they are almost certain to be damaged. Maximum foam, maximum padding. It's going to be one more challenge.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Deluxe Wind Chimes

Click on the picture to see it larger

Back from beautiful Montana, and set to go. I'm excited to be working on some really extraordinary wind chimes. Having added in a page called 'Artist's Pick' to my website, I want to have around half a dozen remarkable works to display.

Of course, all my works are special: all unique designs, all handcrafted, not to be found anywhere else or made by anyone else.

However, the works for this new section of my website will be priced in a way that will allow me to spend those extra hours to make things with an even larger 'Wow' factor.

For example, pictured above is a beach glass inspired wind chime with pastel blue (very subtle tinge of blue) glass, and true verdigris copper chimes. The verdigris takes a lot of time to achieve, but looks fabulous, and will simply look better and better over time as it matures.

An amazing wind chime, fully qualifying for display in the new section of my website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Click on the image to see it larger
Montana, Glacier National ParkGlacier National Park, Montana

Just back from a quick trip to Idaho and Montana— Great!

Last year we visited Washington and Oregon, and that was one of the best holidays I ever had. So it is no surprise that when planning this year's little holiday I chose the USA again. And again, we had such a fabulous time!

What makes it so great? The tent camping is almost always way better than what we have found in British Columbia, or anywhere in Canada for that matter. Gas is way less expensive. Some other things are much cheaper, too (like many campsite fees).

Last but certainly not least, the people are so friendly and helpful. Just ask a question or look a little lost, and someone will go out of their way to help out. Just about everyone has a smile and a kind word, and that is really nice.

Now back home, and back to work. I have a very difficult special order to put together. And then I plan to make some extra-special items for the new 'Artist's Pick' page on my website.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Click on the picture to see it larger
freestanding driftwood wind chime, Bonsai driftwoodBonsai driftwood freestanding chime.
For more information, or to purchase, visit
my website.

I do love driftwood. When I was seven years old, my first awakening to natural beauty came when I found a piece of smooth driftwood at a lake where we were holidaying. I picked that piece of wood up, saw something amazing about it, and kept it as a treasure for years.

That was a long time ago!

But my appreciation of driftwood has not lessened in the least. What to most is just a stick on the beach, to me is art. When I take a piece of driftwood home and build a tung nut oiled red cedar stand for it, and hang a set of my handcrafted copper chimes, then that truth becomes apparent to other people, too. They will visit my little studio, walk by, stop, turn around, and stare at it with awe. Such beauty! But it's just a stick, right? Hardly.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Busy Times

Click on the picture to see it larger
windchie, flowing copper, sea glass inspiredFlowing Copper Beach Glass Inspired
Wind Chime
For information, or to buy this wind chime, visit CoastChimes.com

I'm thinking there must be something wrong with me. Everyone I know is either on holiday, or pretty much lazying around at home. But I have never been busier. Seven days a week, twelve hours a day (at least!). If I hired someone and made them work like that, I guess they would arrest me for employee abuse.

First there is the chimney repair, and then the seven cords of firewood to stack. Lots of things have been selling, so there is all the packing and shipping and website updating. Then there is the challenge of making new things to replace those that sold, and also making enough copper chime bottoms so I am set for when the next wind chime sells. There is all the glass that needs work. And so on, and so on.

Oh well, at least I like my work. And I seem to work well under pressure-- Look at that neat flowing copper wind chime I made the other day!

And I do get a holiday soon. One full week. We are going to Montana-- Glacier Country. Can't wait!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Virtual Hike, Sunshine Coast British Columbia

Everyday I go on a walk in the woods, but maybe once a week I go for a 'real' hike. Yesterday, for example. I grabbed my pup and we went on one of my favorite trails.

It begins just a few minutes from my home, and goes up the mountain for about an hour.

Then the trail levels off and you get to meander in and out of the woods, through clear cuts, across streams. The clear cuts are so grown in that at times the trail is all but invisible.

Want to go on a hike? For once I took my camera, so here is a mini-virtual tour. Click on any of the pictures to see them larger.

mystery wild plantIf you don't look closely, you will miss some of the neatest things. A small, intricate dot of color almost lost amongst the huge trees.

colorful forest plantLook at this cool little plant, also almost invisible in the forest.

hiking trail, sunshine coastThe trail through the woods, green and cool

clearcut sunshine coastOut of the woods, into the clearcut, where plants grow at an amazing pace with the bright light.

golden retriever hikingYukon is actual useful for finding the trail in this overgrown jungle.

fireweed, sunshine coast bcAt this time of year, the fireweed is spectacular.

huckleberries, huckleberryNo need to take a snack along— there are berries everywhere, such as these huckleberries.

walks, sunshine coast, bcReentering the darker woods, looking back at the clearcut.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Chimney Hassle, Taking a Brick Chimney Down

Preparing to take this chimney down

This roof is actually a lot steeper than it looks in the picture. I had a brick expert out to look at this thing. He was coming up, and started to slip. Once you get going on a metal roof like this, with nothing to hang onto, you aren't going to stop until you hit the ground! Fortunately, I was within arms reach of him, and could grab his hand.

Sadly, it was not until after we got our expensive new roof and skylights installed that I found out this thirty-five foot column brick chimney is toast. It has to go. No one wants to touch the job, so that means I get to do it by default. Yipee.

Yesterday I got started on the sheathing to protect the new roof from falling bricks. I lined some of our old decking boards with sill foam so they would not scratch the roof, and now I will put cross pieces and build a wood cover for the skylight. Then I plan to build up a little platform by the chimney, and get going with my hammer drill and a chisel bit. Once the top couple of feet are off, I don't think it will be too bad. Bad, but not too bad!

Inside is another matter, with all the dust. Well, at least I won't have the sun blazing down on me. It has not been all that hot here, but up on the roof, it's hot enough. Fun.

Friday, July 18, 2008


What does this fellow...

Yukon snoozing after a long hike

Have to do with this Bonsai Chime?

River Driftwood Bonsai Chime

My dog Yukon is great. So what does he have to do with my river driftwood bonsai freestanding chime? Lots.

See, I take Yukon for a long walk every single day. Mostly we head right up the mountain, near our home. He's a golden retriever, which means he wants to jump into any water he can, which means we usually visit a couple of creeks on our hike. And the retriever part means he wants me to throw sticks for him to... retrieve.

Well, that's no problem as there are lots of creeks and lots of sticks. But the other day one of the sticks I picked up was clearly not a fetching stick: What a beautiful, interesting piece of river driftwood! Yukon was extremely unhappy to see me with a stick that I guarded from his chompers, but I knew this was no fetching stick— it was a chime stick.

So there you go. If it wasn't for my water-loving, stick fetching hound, I never would have found this stunning driftwood, and the bonsai chime would never have been made. When I sell it, which I don't think will take too long, I'll consider that to be payment for a few sacks of the pups pricey chow. In a way, he's paying his own way. What a pup.

You can learn more about my bonsai chime at my website (and see another cute picture of Yukon!).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Not a Dime — Introducing Free Shipping

Not a cent — Introducing free shipping

Everyone needs a break these days.

That's why I have introduced absolutely free shipping, including insurance, on my website. I have not raised prices, but I have removed the postage and insurance-- an average savings of $27. For some items, like my huge freestanding works, the savings are even more impressive.

Free shipping applies to the USA and Canada. Other countries will benefit from discounted postage.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Little Things

Click on the image to see it larger
A set of five sweet suncatchers with copper.
For more information, or to purchase, visit my 'Under $75' page on my website.

It's enjoyable to face the challenge of making a really large work. I love to take various materials and combine them into something amazing, like a large freestanding double wind chime with a big beach stone base. But there is something to be said for small works, too.

It's all in the details. I pride myself in taking great care, and doing the very best I can to make every part of every work special. Some of that might get lost in the large works, which show well from a distance; people might not be as likely to walk up and look closely from every angle.

For these little suncatcher ornaments I make, I think that is not the case. You can hold one in your hand, turn it over, look and feel every part of each one. You will note the double soldered spots on the back, and see how the holes in the glass are neatly cut, and how the edges or the glass are so smooth.

These are great as decorating accents-- just hang them anywhere for fun. And then, when Christmas roles around, they make fabulous tree ornaments.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

More than Chimes — Earrings!

Click on the picture to see it larger
Introducing a new page on my website: Earrings!
Cold forged copper, sea glass inspired, or beach pebble

Unique, pretty, handcrafted, comfortable and affordable
Visit my earring carousel gallery by Clicking Here

I enjoy putting a special gift into the box for people who order my work. That's why I started to make earrings-- so I could give something nice. Eventually I also put a few of my earrings on the Net for sale, and was quite surprised at the number of orders. Surprised not because they are not nice, but unlike my wind chimes you can find nice earrings all over the place and so I did not really expect a lot in the way of demand.

There has been enough interest that it got interesting for me to explore more neat designs, and I now have enough that I just decided to give them a page of their own on my website. An earring page on a wind chime website? Why not. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Garden Grows Wild

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Foxglove plant, flowersFoxglove next to my workshop

About three months ago, I wrote a brief blog entry rejoicing at the first little bit of color (other than our year round green) in our local forests. The post was about the first salmon berry blossoms, and I call it A Little Color (other than green!) is Nice. Well look what I have next to my workshop now— Foxglove galore!

Very pretty, but also very poisonous. From the Wikipedia: "The entire plant is poisonous (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being enough to potentially cause death."

It's not all bad, though. First, it is simply beautiful. Many of the plants stand around seven feet tall. Secondly, the bees just go nuts for these blossoms, as do the humming birds. And finally, while poisonous it is also it is used for making a heart medication, digitalis.

It's worth both looking at the flowers from a distance where they create a landscape of their own, and close up as the details are pretty neat.

detail image, foxglove flowers

digitalis flowers

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Smaller Works

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suncatcher, stained glass, copper, beach glass inspired, handcraftedBeach glass inspired cobalt blue suncatcher
with three handcrafted copper chimes

A month or so ago, I realized that my new website could give me the option of placing a few less expensive works online. That has not been an option with eBay, for me, for quite sometime, both because of the fees, and because of the US dollar now being worth less than the Canadian.

See, back in the good ol' days (yes grampa), I could put something for, say, $65 on eBay, and when I traded in those US dollars they would magically turn into $100. Now I would get maybe $60.

Anyway, people really seem to appreciate having some less expensive works available, and I suddenly realized that almost everything on both my under $75 page and my under $100 page
was marked sold. That's a drag, if you are shopping!

So I've just made some neat new works this week, and this morning got them all put on the site. Fresh start. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Windsails, Cold Forged Copper

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Cold forged spiral windsail on my mixed-media
beach glass inspired kaleidoscope wind chime.
See all my work on my website: www.coastchimes.com

Sometimes I feel almost as though I am verging on craft rather than art. This happens primarily when I make a series of some standard popular wind chime, like my kaleidoscope style. I know crafters, and they are perfectly happy making the same thing day in and day out, year after year. I consider what I do art, because there is no way I can stand still and just let a design be. I always need to play with it, from small changes to big.

That's what got me working on my cold forged copper windsails: something different, something that changes the whole look of the wind chime.

It's fun to play with elements, to explore. For me, change is not just good, but essential.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Click on the image to see it largerNew Windsails!
This mixed media beach glass inspired wind chime
is this weeks (june12) featured sale item
on my website.
Usually $187.50 -- now $145

For a long time I have been planning to design some new style windsails. Nothing at all wrong with the tung nut oiled red cedar sails I have been using for years. But I thought it would be fun to explore some other directions. I've cut a tone of cedar windsails-- time for a bit of copper.

So I have several new styles made from cold forged copper, and I plan to develop a few more in coming days. I think the ones I have made so far are pretty jazzy. I won't be discarding the cedar style, though-- those are tradition.