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.