Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sun Catcher Chimes, Fancy

Fancy Sun Catcher Chime
Beach Glass Inspired
Visit the 'Under $100' page of my website to see more.

Sometimes I need to go into our solarium, where I take the pictures of my work, and where it hangs until sold, and have a good look around. This is what I did late last week, and I realized that there were no more fancy sun catcher chimes! I have no idea how long I have been sold out of this style, but I got busy right away and made five new ones.

Sometimes I also find it useful and interesting to go back and look at pictures of my work from past years. I often see something that I used to make, and like, and have not made for a long time. So inspiration can also come from the past, if you keep a record.

Now there are some really nice, new fancy sun catcher chimes available on my website and on Etsy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Framed Glass

Click on the image to see it larger
Framed beach glass inspired suncatcher with natural Pacific driftwood
Framed glass with natural Pacific driftwood
Visit my website, Coast Chimes, for more pictures and frame styles

It's been awhile. I used to make many frames, as there was a good store in Vancouver where they sold well. After making so many, I got tired and gave it a break.

After two years, I suddenly got the urge to make some frames. With renewed vigor, and perhaps improved skills, I have completed four, all of different styles. I even have one with a box of kaleidoscope mosaic glass imbedded!

I'm very pleased all four frames. You can see them on the Gallery Page of my website, or on Etsy.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Freestanding Large Double Wind Chimes

Four new large double freestanding wind chimes
See them on my website, Coast Chimes, or on Etsy.

I enjoy the challenge of making large works, and only wish that Canada Post would allow even bigger items to ship. It is easy to get carried away and go beyond the maximum size or weight for shipping. How I would love to make a truly giant sculpture!

Well, these most recent works are pretty big. One of the beach stone bases is still downstairs cluttering up our living room, as I just have not felt like lugging it upstairs. At fifty pounds, it's an armful!

Although there are beaches here with many, many stones, it is surprisingly difficult to find a stone that works well as a base. If I wanted to cheat, I could take any nice large stone over to my friend's place, and have him cut the bottom off so it lies flat and stable. But I prefer to keep it all natural, so I search, and I search, and eventually I find an attractive stone that works.

Bending the copper is also tricky. I find this is one job where I truly have to be in an excellent frame of mind: relaxed, feeling good and confident. It's easy to kink the copper, or to end up with a mess.

As always with these large works, I offer free shipping to anywhere in the USA or Canada. I bet some of these will cost around $150 in postage, so that is quite a good deal. The postage is only a part of it, of course, as packing these tends to be a half a day job, at least.

Why not take a few minutes and check these out on my website's Large Works page, or on Etsy? Also, if you click on the picture above, you can see them a bit bigger.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bird Feeder Wind Chime: New Design

Click on the image to see it larger.
birdfeeder, bird feeder, wind chime, deluxe, handcrafted
Deluxe Red Cedar Bird Feeder Wind Chime

I stopped making bird feeders for a while, as they were so time consuming and I had to charge so much even to make a minimal hourly wage. But they were beautiful, and I was proud of them.

Recently, I decided to simplify the design somewhat, but keep all the beauty. So instead of a four-sided feeder I am now making a two sided one. It still looks amazing, and it is in fact better, as it is much more solid. Best of all, I could reduce the price, since these are a little faster to make.

You can see them on my website, with more pictures, or on Etsy.

One of the neatest things about this bird feeder (aside from the super cool design!), is that when birds land or take off the chimes will chime alerting you to the feeding birds. The birds do not seem to mind the chimes at all. Who knows, maybe they enjoy them.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shipping Record Exploded

21 kaleidoscope wind chimes, 1 huge double freestanding wind chime, and 6 beach stone chimes. The largest one day shipment in the history of Coast Chimes.

It's been a fabulous, busy month. In fact, yesterday I shipped more works than ever before in one day. These were not all ordered on the same day, and most I have been working on for the past month or longer. It just happened that they were all ready to ship at the same time. Still, it is sweet to see the popularity of my work appearing to grow nicely. People still appreciate handcrafted, high quality, works with soul, as opposed to cheap generic stuff.

It's been so busy, I am a little concerned about making ample stock for the fast approaching Christmas rush. So I have temporally closed the large wind chime section of the wholesale page of my website. Suncatcher and suncatcher chime packages are still available.

Now, time to go and make some wonderful new things!

Monday, August 23, 2010

That's a Pile of Chimes!

wind chime sections ready to pack
16 of the 21 chime bottom sections set to ship.

I've all but finished the large order (21 sets of kaleidoscope wind chimes). And that feels great! It will feel even better when they are all completely done, and shipped (and the check arrives!).

I am so pleased that the customer opted for my brushed and polished chimes, instead of my antiqued finish chimes. I am not sure I could have coped with applying that labor intensive finish to this many chimes in one sitting.

I am also pleased my oldest son was home just at this moment to do all the double brushing of these chimes. It was good for him to make some money, and excellent for me not to have to do that. Back in the days when I used to only make this style (double brushed), he was the one who did all the brushing, so there was no training involved. He is a fabulous worker, really putting his back to the chore, and doing a great job.

The top sections are also all done, but I need more eye hooklets and the store is sold out (I wonder who bought all those!). Once I get more of those, and my copper shop gets around to cutting sales for me to finish, the job will be done.

Right now, I am looking so forward to starting work on my own projects, building stock for the Christmas rush. Yesterday I spent four hours cleaning my workshop: it was a mess! All is ready now. All is good.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back from New Mexico

New Mexico met and exceeded my expectations: Fabulous!

Back from a three week drive down to New Mexico and straight to more work than I have ever faced before. Busy!

The trip to New Mexico was fabulous. We camped the whole way (except for one night). As usual, I was so impressed by the USA campsites: far better than almost any I have been to in Canada. In the USA, they get it-- many people like to camp in tents. In Canada, almost all the sites are set up for vehicles. You get a hard patch of gravel that is usually almost impossible to pound tent stakes into. You see many more people camping in tents in the USA than in Canada, and I suspect that providing these tent friendly sites is one reason.

Anyway, New Mexico was even more amazing than I had hoped, and I had high hopes! Oregon was as always top notch, too.

When I came back, I had some orders lined up from things that sold while I was away, and then more and more came in. There is a corporate order for 21 wind chimes that I am currently working like crazy to get done, and also a wholesale order that I need to get done ASAP.

So work, and more work, and it 's all good, because the weather is great, the days are long, and it's all going to get done.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Back from New Mexico

Back from a wonderful, amazing trip down to New Mexico. Loved every minute of it— especially what I saw of New Mexico, and Oregon is always a treat, too.

Below, the wall of an Earth House seen in New Mexico-- another use for old bottles (and cans).

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Oh So Blue

Click on the picture to see it larger
Cobalt Blue Glass with Five Antiqued Brass Chimes

Sometimes I am actually amazed by what I put together. The wind chime pictured above is a case in point: gorgeous! Everything just works. I love the colors, the design, the copper, the antiqued chimes. Sorry to brag, but, I am proud of this!

Visit this wind chime on my website (Coast Chimes) or on Etsy.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wind Chime: New Design

Click on the picture to see it larger
Shorter Wind Chime: as requested
Visit my website to learn more, or to purchase: Coast Chimes

Over the years, quite a few people requested a shorter version of my wind chimes. Finally, I put on my design cap and figured one out. And I think it is a real success!

It features five mini-chimes suspended from a glass roundel. The chimes are cut from bronze, and they have a most attractive antique finish. Just like with my large chimes, this has a beach stone clapper. Instead of measuring 43-50 inches long like my large chimes, this sweet one measures just 33 inches long.

It can be found on my website, on Etsy, and in my Facebook Shop Now store, where fans receive a 10% discount.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Suncatcher Hanging

Click on the picture to see it larger
suncatcher, beach glass, stained glass
Suncatcher Hanging
Visit my Facebook Shop, my Website or Etsy

I just got my yearly order of plate glass from Vancouver. It's enough to cut 200 pieces for my kaleidoscope style wind chimes, and 30 of the framed pieces as pictured above. At first I was mildly taken aback, because unlike in past years this time the glass is not all cut to size. But then I realized it is easy to cut, and this gives me more options.

I plan to make some things that I have not made in quite a long time, like diamond shaped kaleidoscope hangings and windowsill suncatchers.

Another bonus having the glass uncut is that I have been using some of it to put windows in the door of my workshop. Brighter and nicer. An easy improvement. Little things can make a big difference.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

West Coast Artist Carol La Fave: I like!

Cliff Gilker Park, Carol La Fave, 48 X 36 inches

Along with abundant natural beauty, one thing the Sunshine Coast has is gifted artists. Recently, the paintings of Carol La Fave really caught my eye.

I first saw Carol's paintings several months ago, and I believe my jaw literally dropped. When I saw the price labels, it dropped some more. After expressing my absolute awe over her paintings, I told Carol that her prices were way too low. You should head over to Carol's website and check out her work before she heeds my advice!

Carol's work captures not just the beauty of British Columbia's West Coast, but somehow goes far beyond that, to the spirit. There is information about Carol on her website, but, really, her paintings say it all.

Whiskey Slough, Carol La Fave, 24 X 20 inches

Monday, June 07, 2010

Giveaway: Handcrafted Copper Earrings

Click on the picture to see it larger
Beautiful handcrafted copper earrings giveaway!
(Click on the image to see it larger)

Winner Announcement:

I have just drawn the name, and it is Robyn, of Potomac River Creations who has won- Congratulations Robyn! Sorry to everyone else, but thank you very much of entering. Robyn, I have emailed you through the email address on your website, and hopefully you get that fine. Otherwise, please contact me.

I am giving away up to four sets of my handcrafted copper earrings (approximate combined value is $80), as pictured above. These are really nice. People love my earrings!

This giveaway is open to everyone 18 and older in Canada, the USA, South America and Europe. The purpose of the giveaway is to publicize my Facebook page, and to increase my fan base on Facebook. It is being held off Facebook to comply with Facebook rules.


To enter for the draw, leave a comment on this blog posting, right here on the Coast Chimes blog. The winner will be able to pick one set of earrings from those pictured above.

If the winner is a fan of my Facebook page, they can choose two sets of earrings from those pictured above. If you are not yet a fan, to become a fan just click the 'like' button on my Facebook page.

Tweeting or sharing is not a requirement for entering this contest, but is much appreciated. So if you share or tweet my Facebook page, or this blog posting (easy icons upper right side), you will receive the bonus gift of two additional sets of earrings, for a total of four sets, as pictured above. This will be on an honour system: I will simply ask the winner if they shared or tweeted, and if yes, they will receive all four sets of earrings.

— This contest will close at 4:00 PM PDT on Monday, June 21. The winner will be randomly drawn from all those who have left a comment on this page. The winner will be announced on this page within 24 hours after closing.

Thank you, and good luck!

*NB, no information will be collected or shared from this contest, other than the winner's name, for announcement purposes.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Wind Chime, Glass, Copper, Most Recent Creation

Click on the image to see it larger
Handcrafted art wind chime, glass, copper
Beach glass inspired art wind chime with lots of hammered copper.
See it on my Facebook page: Coast Chimes

I've received so many compliments about the new style of hammered copper antiqued windsail I now make, I decided to make a wind chime with lots of copper. The result is pictured above.

The entire wind chime is shown on the far left. The other images are detail images of one of the glass pieces, one of the hammered copper pieces, and the antiqued copper chimes. For copper lovers.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Freestanding Large Double Wind Chimes

Click on the picture to see it larger.
Large Freestanding Double Wind Chime
Intertwined copper supports
Natural Pacific beach stone base

I love large freestanding double and single wind chimes. I think they look great and that they are very different and cool.

I do not love packing them! They are amongst the most challenging of the works I ship to box up. And certainly the most expensive to ship, with postage often exceeding $100.

I have several in my Facebook Shop Now store, where fans get 10% off my usual prices, and where I hold periodic sales. There is a 25% sale coming up, probably this week, to celebrate hitting 200 fans. Just visit my Facebook page, click the 'like' button, and start saving on all my Shop Now stock.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Copper Wire Wrapping: If Practice Makes Perfect...

75 meter spool of no. 2 bare copper wire, 7 stranded

I've been wrapping glass with copper wire for fifteen years now, and I just figured out roughly how much copper I have used: A lot!

For wrapping, I use bare copper wire no. 2, 7 stranded, and I buy it in 75 meter spools. So the 7 strands means each spool has 525 meters of wire. I use two spools a year. Not counting my early years, where I did not use as much, I calculate that I have used at least 14,000 meters (28,228 feet). That's 9 miles of wire!

I still have a few of my early copper wire wrapped pieces around, and I can tell you that while maybe practice does not make perfect, it will take you in that direction. Below is a recent wrapping.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bears, Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

A little black bear in my backyard.

Several days ago, my wife was out in our backyard painting a stool when she heard a branch crack. Around here, when a branch cracks you look to see why. This time, it was a small black bear coming out of the brush right behind her, about ten feet away.

My dog chased it up that tree for a few minutes, just enough time to take a few pictures. But bears here are used to dogs, and people, and it soon assessed the situation, and decided to come down and waddle off. Not much concerned.

I said at the time that given the size of that little guy, it's mother was probably not far off. Well, late yesterday afternoon I heard frantic barking just outside of my workshop. Sticking my head out the door, I saw six feet away my dog absolutely face to face with a HUGE bear. Hello Mom!

It was quite a scene. Even though my dog is large at over 100 pounds, the bear was easily three or maybe four times larger, and clearly not impressed by my dog. The bear moved an inch towards my dog, and he jumped back about six feet! Having made its point (ie, I am king), the bear slowly turned and trudged off.

That was something else. I wish I had had my camera, as a picture of those two face to face would be a keeper. However, I am mostly just glad there was no bloodshed. Henceforth, I will try to keep my camera with me more often. And I will also be keeping my bear spray handier!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wind Chimes Garden Art 25% off Sale

To celebrate achieving over 100 new fans in a week, I am holding a 25 % off sale on all the items in my new Facebook 'Shop Now' store.

Now you can shop right on Facebook: easy, fast and safe. My new Shop Now store is up and running, and you always receive a 10% discount. Even better: right now I am celebrating with a 25% off store-wide sale! The sale ends at 6:00 PM PDT, so don't delay.

Why not rush on over and pick up something beautiful for yourself, or for a friend? To receive your discount, all you have to do is click the little 'like' icon at the top of the page. Click Here to see the store. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Facebook ShopNow

Click on the picture to see it larger
A screen grab of my Facebook ShopNow shop
10% Discount! Soon, a 25% off sale!

I've been adding stock to my new Facebook shop, and sprucing things up with larger pictures too. There is quite a large selection available.

In one week I have climbed to 83 fans-- people who 'like' my shop. By clicking the little 'like' icon, you automatically will receive a discount on your purchase, and also stay up to date with Coast Chimes news.

As soon as I hit 100 fans, I plan on a surprise sale. I'm going to increase the fan discount to 25 % (!) for one week to celebrate-- my way of saying Thank YOU! Why not visit my Facebook page now and click the like button, so you will be notified when my sale starts? Just click on this link: my Facebook Coast Chimes Page.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Chimes: Freestanding Double Wind Chime

Click on the picture to see it larger
Freestanding Double Chime
Natural Pacific beach stone base
Antiqued handcrafted chimes

Lately I have been working with beach stones. They are great to work with. The only problem is shipping. Even fairly small ones are very heavy, and large ones like the one pictured above are extremely heavy.

That means shipping the above item in two boxes, and also means expensive postage. It will probably cost nearly one hundred dollars to ship. I don't make my customer pay for all of that directly (who doesn't run when they see $100 for postage?), but I do have to take it into consideration, so as not to take a loss.

As usual, the more you do something the better you get at it. I have made many of these freestanding works, but the intertwining of the copper supports is just how I like it in the above one. I think it's gorgeous.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coast Chimes Facebook Shop

My Coast Chimes Facebook Shop

There is a new feature for Facebook: Shops. I just opened mine this morning. Easy to set up. Easy to shop.

What I like is that I can offer a discount to my FB fans. To become a fan, all you have to do is be a member of FB, visit my Coast Chimes page, and click on the thumbs up, like, button. Then when you visit my shop (Shop Now tab found on the Wall of Coast Chimes), you will see the discount automatically applied. You can also shop without that, but you will not get the discount.

The only problem I see so far is that the images are kind of small. My images are made to be viewed large, as they always show the entire work, and then details of the various components. So this may be a problem I'll have to consider.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hooks and Connections, Copper, Handcrafted

Click on the picture to see it larger
The handcrafted copper hooklets and connectors for the beach stone clappers on my wind chimes, five sets. The two simple tools shown, and my hands, are all I use to make these copper works.

I have many tools, including many expensive ones like my saws and my drills. I like them all. But I take the most pleasure in my very simple tools, such as the wood spindle pictured above. With that simple, oversized pencil (and the pliers), I make all my copper hooks and connectors.

Shown above are five sets of small copper systems for attaching the beach stone clappers to my wind chimes. I string it all together with fine copper wire, and add a hammered antiqued copper windsail.

It 's time consuming to make each chime section— very labor intensive, with great attention to detail. But that's what makes it special.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Etsy Collection: Most Popular

Click on the picture to see it larger.
wind chime, windchime, beach stone, copper, handcrafted
Natural Pacific beach stone wind chime with five antiqued copper chimes. Click here (Etsy) for more information.

I was having a look at my statistics from Etsy, the art and crafts site, this morning, and noted that out of my 113 listings, the one above has the most 'hearts.' A 'heart' means someone likes and marked the listing. I can see why: I also really like my beach stone works.

This one being on sale for a very good price may also have something to do with the number of hearts it has received. In fact, the price is so good I am surprised no one has grabbed it yet.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Wind Chime, Freestanding, Copper, Beach Stone

Click on the image to see it larger
Freestanding large wind chime, with a smooth, rounded natural beach stone base.

I really like beach stones, and I like working with them. I have made quite a few large freestanding wind chimes incorporating beach stones for the base, but just last week I had a new idea.

In the past, I searched for stones with rounded, smooth tops, and flat bottoms. Suddenly, I saw that a rounded bottom might work even better, and also look even neater. My theory in practice works perfectly. The stone is very heavy, at about forty pounds, and the gently rounded bottom means that although this base can nicely wobble, even if you bend the chime all the way to the ground it self rights. Very cool! So this style turns out to be impossible to tip or blow over.

I love the rounded smoothness of this stone. A detail picture of the stone is at the bottom of this posting. More information is available on my website, Coast Chimes, or on Etsy.

Click on the picture to see it larger.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

iPod Touch Product Review, Apple

About a year ago, shortly after buying my iPod Touch, I reviewed it on these pages. It’s time for an update.

With the exception of a lot of copper and wood and tools for my work, I have bought almost nothing aside from food in the past year. I’m not much of a consumer.

That said, I do love books, music, films and art— and, yes, I have spent some money on those. And for all of that, the iPod Touch is wonderful.

After a year with my Touch, I actually like it more, and I am more amazed, more pleased and more impressed. It’s that good.

The iPod Touch strikes me as something as close to having tumbled out of the sky from another planet, superior aliens, as I have ever encountered . Holding the smooth, slim gizmo in your hand, it feels like something beyond what man could make. Did Steve Jobs swipe the design from Martians? Could be!

As explained in my previous review, my primary intention when I got it was to use it as an eBook reader. I still like it very much for that. Because it is always in my pocket ready to go, I have read far more in the past year than I would have without it. But my iPod Touch turned out to be much more than an eBook reader.

Something I don’t miss: going to the video store. I hated going to the video store! I love being able to check film reviews through Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster, and watch trailers on YouTube or Apple, and then click a button and get the film. Once downloaded (usually about forty minutes), it takes a couple of minutes to transfer the film onto my iPod Touch, plug it into our TV, and away we go.

The same goes for music. It’s great to listen first to a short clip on iTunes, and then flip over to either YouTube or MySpace and watch a video of the musician(s) playing before investing.

Over the past year I have discovered that the iPod Touch is great to have when traveling. Free WiFi is seldom difficult to locate (there's an app for that!), so you can stay in touch with your emails, check on restaurant and accommodation reviews, grab maps, get a weather report and so on.

Also when traveling, you can use Skype to call people. Yes, with a microphone enabled set of headphones, the iPod Touch serves as an excellent telephone.

So when traveling, I don’t need our laptop. I don’t need a cellphone. I don’t need heavy books. Lighten your load: get an iPod Touch.

As a lover of film, books, music and art, I would call the iPod Touch pretty darn close to the perfect gizmo. What about art, you say? Well, two things. First, I consider the iPod Touch itself to be a work of art: it is beautiful. Second, I have pictures of my art on my iPod. Previously when I told people what I do, so many would say they wish they could see my work, and now they can.

Finally, in my experience Apple provides excellent customer service. When dealing with corporate customer service, it’s rare to find real people who have real understanding, and real power to resolve issues; but I have found this to be the case with Apple. When my son had an issue with his laptop, they went far beyond what they needed to do (they didn’t actually ‘need’ to do anything, since it was six months beyond warranty), and promptly resolved the issue. When I had a small snag with my iPod, likewise it was taken care of immediately.

Five stars out of five for Apple customer service, and five stars out of five for my iPod Touch.

*This is an unpaid review.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back from Friendly Manitoba

Click on the picture to see it larger
Canadian prairies, flatlands, winter, Canada, highway 1, trans Canada highway
There is a lot of long road that looks like this on the way to Manitoba from the West Coast

We hopped in the car and shot off to Manitoba during last week's Spring School Break. It was a wonderful trip! I had been back and forth across Canada a couple of times before, but always traveling in the summer. Winter is a different trip altogether. There are not many people in the summer, I have found, but even fewer in the winter. Of course, the biggest difference aside from the climate is that we could not camp (too cold, and sites closed). We got to see a lot of crummy motels. I didn't mind (much)-- that's all part of the adventure.

While I find pretty much all of Canada beautiful and interesting, one thing I that really stood out for me was that the slogan on the Manitoba license plate ('Friendly Manitoba') is true. Spending two nights and a full day in Stonewall Manitoba, where my oldest son is doing the second stage of his Katimavik volunteer program, I was blown away by just how friendly Manatobians are: total strangers waving cheerfully from their cars, as though you are a long lost family member. Nice.

Due to not camping, we ate all of our meals out. I'd say one of the things I like most about traveling like that is not having to cook or do dishes. Paradoxically, one of the things I least like is having to eat relatively unhealthy restaurant food all the time!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Early Spring on the Coast

Click on the images to see them larger
salmon berry blossom, spring flower, wild flowers
Salmon berry blossom, March 3, 2010

I love the first bright salmon berry blossoms that appear each year. The forests are always lush and beautiful year round on the Sunshine Coast, but for me the green and brown and more green becomes a bit tiresome by winter's end. So I rejoice when the first purple flowers appear. A little color!

Since I like that so much, I posted a picture of one of the first last year, too. I see that was on April 13, 2009. I must have seen the first one opening this year nearly two weeks ago, in mid-March, so it would seem to be much earlier this year. That makes sense, as it has been such a warm winter, and there have been several nearly T-shirt afternoons in recent weeks.

I was so pleased to have my camera along on my daily hike yesterday for the blossom picture, because as I moved deep through the woods, suddenly there was sunlight, and it was filtering through the trees and morning mist in a most attractive way. The picture is below. Enjoy.

Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada, nature, forest, mist, sunlight

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Coast Chimes, Work from the Past Year

Click on the image to see it larger
Some of my work as it appears on Flickr

Back earlier last year, I added a Coverflow page to my Coast Chimes website. The way it works is I upload pictures of recent works to my Flickr account, and the fifteen most recent works automatically appear on my website on the Coverflow page. So I use Coverflow to show what I have most recently made.

The process is automatic, so I had not recently actually gone to my Flickr account much. But the other day I was there, and I was struck by the thumbnail directory of my uploads, as shown above. That's a lot of work I did! Anyway, I thought the thumbnail directory looks kind of cool, so I share it with you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

No More Free Postage

Click on the picture to see it larger
Cobalt blue beach glass inspired art wind chime
Visit Coast Chimes for more information

After several years of offering free postage on my website, the time has sadly come to stop. Due to a strong Canadian dollar (or a weak US dollar depending on how you look at it) there is about a 30% decrease in income from the sales on Coast Chimes over the past months.

Coupled with that is a substantial increase in materials cost.

So for the first time I will be having customers share some of the postage costs. For large works there will be a $19 postage charge, and for smaller works a $12 charge. Extra large works and earrings will still ship for free.

The good news is that this is below the actual price of postage, so you still get subsidized postage. The other good news is that it is going to take me a little time to implement these changes on my website, so if you have been thinking of buying something, if you act now you will save those charges. I probably will not have the changes set to publish before late Sunday, February 28, or Monday, March 1, 2010.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wind Chimes: New Look for 2010

Click on the picture to see it larger.
Beach Glass Inspired Kaleidoscope Wind Chime
Now with Antiqued Dark Chocolate Copper Chimes
Visit my website for more information, or to purchase: Coast Chimes

My chimes are always evolving and new designs are also always surfacing. For me, that is the difference between a craft and art.

Most recently, I decided to change my brushed and polished copper chimes for a hand rubbed antiqued finish. I love the look, and so for now I will be concentrating on this style. It's a warm, dark chocolate color that I find goes better with my glass.

Please visit my website to to see more examples, or my Etsy shop, where I have some great sale prices right now.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Diamonds are not Forever

Click on the image to see it larger
diamond ball bits, Dremel bits, diamond bits
Diamond Ball Bits

I laugh every time I hear this advertisement on the radio for jewelry where they say 'diamonds are forever.' Any stone or glass artist who uses diamond bits will tell you diamonds are far from forever, unfortunately.

The prices vary widely, as does the quality. Cheap retail usually means extremely poor quality, which means the diamonds all fall off after just a few stone cuts. And cheap retail does not mean all that cheap. The retail prices vary for my style of ball bit from around $7 to $35 each.

One of my unhappy days was when this great source I had in the USA went AWOL. I used to order ten bits at a time for about $30. They were very high quality, and the service was good. I bought hundreds of bits from this fellow, and then one day he was gone. Fortunately, the price had been good enough that I had many bits that I had put aside that were still pretty good. So for several years I have just been getting along with those partially worn bits. However, the end was here: all those old bits were cutting way too slowly and hopeless for stone.

One of my happiest days was when a local fellow was over buying a wind chime, and when I was showing him around I mentioned my diamond bit problem. He asked if I did not know of the local 'bit lady.' Huh? On this lightly populated Sunshine Coast, someone deals in diamond bits?

Eventually I tracked this woman down (way under the radar), and this weekend went to see what she has. Unbelievable! She must be one of the biggest bulk dealers in Canada, perhaps North America. She has thousands and thousands of bits. And the price? The best I have ever seen: a dollar each!

How odd that something I so needed and was just prepared to start a big Internet search for should be found ten minutes away from my house. That's simply wonderful.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Freestanding Large Double Wind Chime

Click on the image to see it larger
wind chime, freestanding, large, beach stone, copper, glass
Freestanding double wind chime with a natural beach stone base and intertwined copper supports. Two handcrafted sets of chimes with beach stone clappers. For more information, or to purchase, visit Coast Chimes by Clicking Here.

It was a challenge to get back to work after that fabulous holiday on Maui, especially with the very heavy rains we have been having here on the Sunshine Coast, and high winds. But last week I did buckle down and get a lot accomplished.

Finally I have some new stock of the very large freestanding wind chimes. These are great! Each one has a nice, smooth natural Pacific beach stone base, my smooth with mat finish beach style glass, and handcrafted copper wind chimes. The double ones have intertwined copper supports. There is only one thing I do not like so much about these: packing them to ship! But that is not your problem, and for the USA and Canada, I ship them for free!

Why not visit my website, Coast Chimes, and see more of these amazing wind chimes? Soon there will be four different sets available.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Hawaii, Maui

Click on the image to see it larger
Hawaii, North of Kapalua
North of Kapalua, Maui. Not your usual laid back beach scene.

Back from a most excellent ten days on Maui, Hawaii. I had been there about thirty years ago, and had fond memories. That rather concerned me, because sometimes going back to a place you enjoyed can be a disappointment. Things change, and often not for the better.

I had heard and read that Maui had become much more developed and a much busier place. True enough, there certainly were many more large resorts. But I found it still easy to get away from it all, and even the main beaches not very crowded.

What a beautiful, beautiful place. I actually found it much nicer than my memories, which says a lot, since I had such great memories. The weather was perfect; it was not as hot and humid as I recalled— just a delightful warmth. And there were no bugs etc. (I recall sand fleas being a minor issue last time). Everything was so clean; there was almost no garbage or litter around, and especially the beaches were spotless-- I remember more trash around last time.

In short, an absolutely ten out ten little holiday. Now back to work.