Saturday, February 27, 2010

No More Free Postage

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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

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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

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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.