Saturday, December 20, 2008
Another quite successful (for me at least) Artists' Fair. I am going to order more Ornela seed beads soon, and probably more fresh water pearls, fire polished crystals and some gemstones too. Please send me email if you have any requests. This includes lampwork, though I so far only make what most lampworkers call spacer beads, and so far they are only flame annealed, though I hope to get an annealing kiln soon.
The image included in this post are the malachite round beads that got this started (of sorts) about a year ago. I got a new fleece jacket (yes, I'm in Hawaii, but I work in what to me qualifies as a fridge). It's green. I wanted to have matching earrings and decided they had to be malachite. There were no round malachite beads in Hilo. There are now, and I sold some as just plain beads today (not a strand of the large ones, but individual beads at a decent price to both me and the customer)
One of my prettiest commissioned sets contains malachite:
A bit of bad news: I'll have to raise the price on mgambo seeds again as I was just asked whether I could supply them by 1000s, and at the current price I can't, and I'm not sure I'll be able to supply those in large quantities anymore until my own trees start bearing. I don't like this anymore than you do ...
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Had my share of fun (and reasonably good sales) at the Artists' Fair today. Thanks to everybody who came by, whether you bought anything or not - with special thanks to Felisa who bought a necklace and earrings set I just finished last night -.
My next fair will be at the East Hawaii Culture Center in 2 weeks, but that's jewelry and lampwork only, no beads and beading supplies (I may have some, and if you ask I may sell them anyway, but I won't have them on display, and I won't have everything with me).
The only other fair I'm currently planning on is another one of the Artists' Fairs at Hilo Art & Glass on December 20, for those last minute Christmas presents, of for those who think they may have a bit of extra time for those beading projects over the Holiday Season.
Oh, and before I forget that: Eva (the owner of Hilo Art&Glass) had a boy earlier this week, congratulations, both are in good health.
The jewelry in the picture uses some of the beads I bought from a fellow-beader who suffered a stroke in her eye (if you read this, you know who you are - and I still would have been happy to pay more for most of what I bought) and lost sight in that eye (and is about my age).
I may go back to Hilo Art&Glass tomorrow and buy some frit (they have 104 COE frit right now) - I would have bought it today if I could see finding the time to use it any time soon, but my day job still takes most of my awake time (+ the lilikoi, yard work, and the rest) in spite of that I do a lot of thinking about what I'm doing in my off-work hours.
Mr. fuzz cat jumped into my lap and wants to be petted and combed, but at least he doesn't start walking on the keyboard.
(and as long as the spell checker only complains about works like Hilo, lampwork, lilikoi, etc., I guess I'm vaguely OK with the typing, fuzz cat or not)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The November Fair at Hilo Art and Glass will again include my $2/strand fresh water pearls, shell bead strands and gemstone strands - and whatever lampwork I made in between, jewelry, gemstone beads, Swarovski crystals, mgambo seed and Royal poinciana seed beads, and, should you be interested locally, I have some packaged Job's Tears too, and, yes: etc. (wire, findings, and some other stuff) -
Sorry, no pictures in this one, I hope to get around to that soon.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Some new things came in as well: mixed gemstone strands at $2-3 each (these are over a foot long), 13 piece fan collars in several gemstones/colors. I'll have $1.- bags of findings, ranging from split rings through clasps to rubber earring stoppers and memory wire. There are still $2.- fresh water pearl strands, the only SoftFlex in East Hawaii, and of course all the Swarovski crystal colors and Jablonex Ornela seed bead colors and all the gemstones listed on the HiloBeads website. I may get around to counting Sterling Silver and gold filled 2x2mm crimps into $1.- bags, but I may not.
See you this Saturday at Hilo Art and Glass Supply, 318 Kino'ole Street, in Downtown Hilo, between Sack&Save and L&L Drive In, in front of the former Farmers' Exchange building.
Friday, October 3, 2008
There are also now finally some hoop earrings on the earrings page, and I'm in the process of actually making more memory wire hoop earring wires.
I have some new memory wire come in, including gold plated, but I'm not entirely happy with the plating. It's the same manufacturer as the silver plated memory wire i have, but while the silver plating adheres well the gold plating flakes in the tight loops on the earring wires.
I also have a shipment of semi-precious gemstones on the way, some "mini-collars" that do well in necklaces as well as hoop earrings, and some mixed gemstone strands that will be really inexpensive (in local terms: reasonable).
I will be in the following fairs:
Artists' Fair at Hilo Art and Glass, Oct. 18 (which will include supplies+lampwork)
EHCC Art and Fine Crafts Fair, Nov. 28 (which may include lampwork)
Artists' Fair at Hilo Art and Glass, Dec. 20 (last minute gifts, and whatever else)
What held me up some, outside of my day-job, was rather large amounts of lilikoi
Some people may think I make up words like this, but it's the Hawaiian word for passion fruit, which are mostly yellow hereabouts, and I have been picking and selling those for a lot longer than I have had anything to do with beads (I think I put that into my first post, entitled "Ancient History"). What's there in the back of my truck is my largest weekly pick yet, 516 lb. My lilikoi customer would be happy if she'd get that every week, but things don't quite work that way for me, or for the lilikoi.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Not for jewelry makers. Some of my customers at the Hilo Farmers Market have been hinting at stocking up, and one has started. Most of the things I sell I just have in stock, but this is not so for things I make myself, and some have longer lead times than others. If anybody who reads my blog thinks they may need drilled seeds, be that Royal Poinciana seeds, double drilled or single drilled, or Mgambo / Velvet Seed / Weleweka / Hawaiian Pussy Willow / Maui mink (these go by more names than you can think), please let me know this soon. I still buy the Mgambo seeds from Oahu, so there is additional lead time when/if I run out. The Royal Poinciana seeds I pick myself, and I have several pounds of them.
I am also thinking about doing a craft fair again this year as I found one that's only one day and relatively inexpensive, and for that I will have to have more inventory in jewelry, which obviously will also leave me less time to drill seeds.
People who have seen them like my memory wire hoop earring findings. I have not made any for sale yet, but I'm thinking about it. If you're interested at a price of $2.- for 3 pairs (+ shipping, and excise tax if you're in Hawaii), just email me.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
3mm: White Alabaster
3mm AB: Tanzanite, Montana, Jonquil, Emerald, Capri Blue
4mm: Chalk White
4mm AB: Morion, Indian Red, Lime, Caribbean Opal, Rosaline
4mm AB2X: Light Azore
Prices will be the same as on the website for the non-AB and A2XB colors, but only because
I got a good price break on these.
The prices for the AB colors are :
(It'll be for sale, but I didn't post it yet)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I may have invented these, so I want to put them on-line.
There are hoop earring designs on-line that use memory wire, but I have only seen ones that were hung from other earring hooks.
It's possible to make hoop earrings from memory wire without using other earring findings as you can see here. The lampwork is from my very first batch of home-made beads and they are not annealed, and the cages are craft wire. I never made bead cages before, but they worked out. The instructions I used for the wire cages are from wigjig (I don't have a wigjig and the wire cages have tool marks)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
It took sleeping over it a few times, and getting to the weekend to put together something where I can make beads. I wouldn't exactly call it a studio, but it's rather well ventilated by being outside, yet out of the wind (no cracked beads in my first batch, even without a kiln). As I can't find didymium glasses that fit over my reading glasses I borrowed some welding goggles from work, those do fit, but as Eva told me, I didn't really need them for the soft glass. I got myself some clip-on sunglasses, and those will probably do for a while. The hardest thing to get going was to get the mandrels dry on that almost 100% relative humidity day - but if it hadn't been raining I probably would have been working in the yard -, of the first 14 mandrels the bead release cracked on 9 during drying. So, I used the others, had myself a break after washing the mandrels off and re-dipping, and started again, and a 3rd time, but after that my 14 mandrels were used up. One time the bead release cracked when I already had glass on the rod, so it went straight into the water bucket and turned into some greenish sand.
One thing happened that I found rather curious: when applying the glass for one beads the bead release released. Turning the mandrel the glass stayed in place. So I said, well, if this one doesn't want to be round I'm just going to leave it as it is.
The colors I used aren't exactly my colors. They came with the kit. As I didn't expect to get anything near viable out of this first attempt at home made beads I took the colors that I would least likely have bought.
The cloudiness in some of the beads is probably due to using propane, but I thought I'd give that a shot as we have it anyway and those little Coleman bottles are getting rather rusty. And at least for the time being I'm going to stick with propane. We have propane anyway and it gives me more time to get the glass where it's supposed to go. You can tell from the "accidental pendant" that it's not exactly going where and how it's supposed to go just yet.
Friday, June 13, 2008
One of my co-workers asked me about hoop earrings. I used to wear hoop earrings a lot, and "had a think" about them. I don't like to wear hoop earrings that dangle from e.g. French ear wires unless they're strung on SoftFlex (or some other soft material - I have SoftFlex at HiloBeads), but I wanted to make real hoop earrings. Given that I don't like to wear 20 gauge wire in my ear holes, I made them from memory wire, and that works rather well. I'll need some mini crimps to secure the beads on the wire (I hate using glue), but I think I'll be making more of those (I'll get a picture in here when I get one. My outdoors 'light tent' only works in reasonably good weather, and I'm not saying that I've been home during daylight since Kamehameha Day, and before that the weekend).
I put the 30" 4 strand royal poinciana seed and seed bead necklace on Craigslist today. It's a good necklace and I don't insist on keeping it. The price it is listed at, both at my website and on Craigslist, reflects the amount of hand work and materials in it more than any design thinking or other creativity. (So if you like it, grab it before I change my mind. And there are no kinks or twists in it.)
Friday, June 6, 2008
My second batch of jewelry got sent off to Trudy's Island Art today. I don't think she'll put it on her website (just yet?), but if you're in Kona, you can find some of my jewelry there in the International Market as well as at Showcase Gallery in the Keauhou Shopping Center. Kona Beads have a Royal Poinciana seed bracelet as well as some of my Royal Poinciana seed spacer bars. The latter, as well as some of my mgambo seed/weleweka/velvet seed/Maui mink/Hawaiian pussy willow (these go be several names), are also available at Island Edges in downtown Hilo.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Being on vacation (which unfortunately is almost over) gave me some time to update the web pages, so the seed beads are now actually on a seed bead page, the "side bars" are updated to reflect that, and I put some new pictures up, of new things I had time to make, a 30" 4 strand royal poinciana seed and seed bead necklace, as well as my first mgambo/weleweka/Hawaiian pussy willow/velvet seed and Swarovski crystal set that contains a necklace in addition to the earrings and bracelet like I made in the past - I'll put crimp covers on the necklace as I had to use crimp tubes rather than crimp beads. - There's a bigger picture at HiloBeads.
My own royal poinciana seed earring and bracelet set became bracelet-less again, it found a new home at Kona Beads as Mark wanted an example for what to do with the royal poinciana seeds that he bought from me in March - and I needed some things from his store anyway. Of course I don't have enough of the olivine AB2X Swarovski crystals with me to make a new one, so that will have to wait until I get home.
Yesterday I went to the Kona International Market and found that after Katrina's (of Katrina's Kona Pono Art) passing her former business manager Trudy continued the store as Trudy's Island Art. As I much rather have my jewelry on consignment in a store that sells jewelry that I like and real art than at a store in the same area that mostly sells things that look mass produced I'm hoping to leave some with her (without descriptions yet, as I don't have a printer here), consignment or not. Noticing that she'd like them in boxes tells me that I progressed into a different category. She also remarked that $90 was about right for my copper wire, aventurine, mgambo and Swarovski crystal necklace. Not something I would have dreamed of when I started making jewelry.
Update after getting back: There are 8 sets or single pieces of mine at Trudy's Island Art now. I'm currently sold out of simple mgambo/weleweka seed jewelry as well as all royal poinciana seed bracelets. One of the necklaces I didn't get a picture of. The rest can now be found on the gallery page. I guess I'll make some more ...
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
My wire order came in some time last week, sterling silver in 20-24 gauges, some soft and some half hard, and 24 gauge full hard.
The beads came in long before that. It is mostly 4mm beads, some aventurine, and larger donuts (20-25mm) than are otherwise locally available, aventurine, turquoise howlite and tigereye. In fact, I sold the 6mm onyx rounds already, to somebody who questioned my pricing, bought them anyway and then found out that they weren't glass druks but onyx.
Given the rest of what's going on in life, I didn't make much jewelry other than some seed bead eyeglass retainers (you can find them on Craigslist (Hawaii, obviously))
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Lots of things happened, enough that I didn't get around to updating the blog.
During spring break we went to Kona for a few days and some of the mgambo seed earring and bracelet sets are now available at Showcase Gallery in the Keauhou Shopping Center.
Last weekend I took a wire wrapping class from Sharon Turner who owns the Island Edges bead store (Eva (Anderson) Terada is right: Sharon is a wonderful teacher - and yeah, Eva got married.) In that class I made a bracelet and earrings set, Czech glass with sterling silver. I don't usually wear link bracelets, so I'm hoping to sell this one.
Sharon says $45.-, so I'll go with that.
I started experimenting with wire again before I even took that class and will do more of that, especially after the encouragement I got from Georgia after I posted link to the 'weave' bracelet. That's craft wire and African Trade Beads. After I finished it I went to Sharon's store and bought some other beads with large holes in different colors, but I didn't get around to doing anything with them yet.
Couple days ago another order of semi precious gemstones arrived, mostly small beads, medium size to large donuts and some onyx. But the aventurine teardrops look artificial. Those I haven't even put price tags on yet, let alone started to work with them. - To quote Bob Dylan "I got a head full of ideas and they're all driving me insane" (that's from "Maggie's Farm" - yes, I am that old). -
This coming Saturday I'll be at the Glass Artists Fair at Hilo Art & Glass Supply, so for one day I'll actually be a store and that of course requires price tags, packaging, supplies to be already there when people want to buy them (not: I can drill those mgambo seeds by tomorrow), findings in packages in the quantities on the website,
order forms for things that I'm planning on ordering anyway like soft sterling silver wire, softflex and small (tiny) ziplock bags, and all kinds of stuff that I probably haven't even thought of yet. - That's Saturday April 19, 2008, at Hilo Art & Glass Supply, 318 Kino'ole Street (where Farmer's Exchange used to be), starting 10 a.m. -
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Other than that, I have some mgambo seeds now but need some notice if you want them drilled as I sell about as many as seeds as as beads, and the same is true for the Royal Poinciana seeds, which make fabulous spacer bars. As I drill by hand the Royal Poinciana seed spacer bars are "best efforts" 8mm hole separation as I usually drill them. If you want some with a different separation or with just one hole, please send me email. I haven't tried drilling them lengthwise yet, but I expect that to be difficult.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I should finally try to catch up with the blog. Since the last entry I got sterling silver wire 24 to 18 gauge (selling by the foot, ask for prices), some AB2X Swarovski crystals, mgambo seeds, and I started drilling those as well as double drilling Royal Poinciana seeds into spacer bars.
I made one bracelet with some of those. As is normal with Job's Tears, they are very hard to match in sizes and so some of the spacers aren't at right angles (as you can see). It's for sale at $10.-.
I'm in the process of ordering some Ornela seed beads, mostly for a customer, but they'll be up for sale as well once I get them. We have a definite shortage of good seed beads here, the only (other) source I know of is Sara at the Hilo Farmer's Market. For the time being I only have some clear 8/0 beads at $1.-/0z, but they're not very regular.
Friday, February 8, 2008
2 orders came today, the one with the new pearls (200 strands this time) that spent 4 days in Nashua, NH, and also has some crimp covers, shell beads, coin pearls, and so-called mini-collars, 13 piece graduated size rectangular beads in several different gemstones. The other one has 24 gauge sterling silver wire, half-hard round, 5 hole daisy spacers and some more 4mm jet black Swarovski bicones as I use those a lot.
2 more orders went out today, 4mm Swarovski bicones in funky 2AB colors and more findings.
One more to do, Czech seed beads and Czech cut crystals. Hoping to get that done today or over the weekend.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
"one time only" items to that at some point. I have some of those now, as I found 2 heishi shell necklaces and a necklace made of metal spacer beads for sale somewhere, and while I'm sure one of the two spacer bead types used is base metal (6mm hollow round large hole, there's 34 of them), I'm not sure about the barrel beads because those are rather heavy, not very shiny and much lighter in color than un-plated pewter.
I managed to sort out the mixed color fire polished crystals and put them on the crystals web page - even if most of the other web pages still refer to that at "Swarovski Crystals" - that's in the works.
As the weather is concerned: Hilo set a new rain record for the 2nd of Feb. yesterday, 10.82", breaking the old one of 7.34" set in 1969. Waiakea Uka, one of the 'suburbs' recorded almost 19". We had somewhere on the order of 10 or 12, the Piihonua rain gauge (in our area) stopped either reading out or transmitting data some time yesterday - there is no data for us. We didn't lose power, we're not flooded - though the carport was for a while, which leads to flooding in one room if left to itself, and the cesspool filling up from the top when when water runs across the walkway for too long -, but we don't like it very much and neither do the cats.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Got the new gemstones up (jadeite, onyx, picasso jasper and blackstone donuts). Still working on the fire polished crystals and sterling silver wire (by the foot, cut to order). I also have a lb of clear 8/0 seed beads that's I'll be selling by the ounce or 2 ounce package.
Other than that, I'm still doing lot of web-site cleanup. All the web pages have been relocated at least once, and I haven't relocated the images yet, that's another re-organization project. If you find broken links, please let me know.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
As I have now started selling fresh water pearls that I meant to keep I'll order more of those, probably sooner rather than later.
I will be bringing in some Swarovski crystals in AB2X rather pastelly colors that aren't really my colors (or coatings), but as they are wanted here by somebody I'll be bringing them in. For all I know they aren't otherwise available in Hilo.
Some of my earrings and eyelash scrunchies (for now, this may very well expand) are now available from Adah Glasser at the Hilo Farmer's Market on Saturdays, later in the morning and well into the afternoon. she's at the mauka end, Puna side of Mamo Street, fairly close to Ratana (of Ratana's Green Papaya Salad, which is pretty good, so, OK, and Ratana doesn't know I'm writing this: it is great!, and so are her summer rolls (have to be rather early to get any) and the chicken pumpkin curry) - that's all I tried so far.)
A lady who got Job's Tears from me started posting some advice on how to make jewelry with them, and probably will probably post some more jewelry making advice in general. We never met in person (yet), but I learned (quite) a few things from her.
I'm not going to get heavily into yarn selling or making a lot of things with eyelash yarn, but I found an offer that was just too good to refuse for any eyelash yarn I can think of having use for right now: I now have 150+ skeins of eyelash yarn, mostly in primary colors but some fun stuff too. Willing to sell at about Ebay level - some colors more likely than others.
Now to lampwork:
I'm an almost complete novice to lampwork, I made one bead before that's hanging from my cell phone, in the studio of Kalera Stratton under her supervision and with her advice. Yesterday and today I took a beginning lampwork class from Eva Anderson here in Hilo.
I find this highly addictive and at the same time with my almost complete lack of fine motor control quite challenging. Knowing some physics most certainly helps ...
But, 2 of the 4 beads I made yesterday broke after going into the kiln. As they didn't shatter completely it may be possible to glue them back together. I hope today's beads fare better. I find this highly addictive (applied physics taken together with my fine motor control challenge. It's got to be possible to get past the latter), so at some point I'll most certainly get back to lampwork.
I'll post pictures when I can, my 'light tent' depends on sunlight, and there isn't a whole lot of that right now.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
4 sizes of round malachite
2 sizes of round Picasso jasper
2 different shapes of Lucite
5mm amethyst rounds - as I've worked myself almost out of the small amethysts I had
a mix of rondelles (10 different strands, not unpacked yet)
and a lot of fresh water pearls, most of them dyed, but not all of them
and some liquid silver, 4mm fire polished crystals in yellowish colors, extra round nose pliers and a lot of little plastic bags. I'll be counting beads this weekend ...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I'm planning on ordering more findings because I forgot something and will probably also order wire then, and I will probably order more crystals before the price increase hits.
Right after that I found myself in front of a locked door to what I thought at the time is the closest to a local bead store there is in Hilo. Ben Franklin had closed early because of a football game (college football no less, but it was a bowl game).
Driving around taking care of other stuff like errands (to me holidays usually are days to get some extra work done outside of work) I decided to try to give this a go and the name became HiloBeads.
After I got home I did some research into prices on-line and found it entirely doable to sell beads for a lot less than what I have been paying myself, and if I can do that locally I'll probably find some takers.
Then I emailed some suppliers asking them stupid questions, and Eva, asking her stupid questions too, but they're all nice people and slowly things started to fall into place.
On the 7th (January 2008) I registered hilobeads.com and didn't go to sleep until I had a front page up - which is a bit of a thing to do if you're in the process of finding your way around your webhosting company on a notebook -, as well as placing my first order. The second and third followed on the 11th.
In the meantime I had found out that there are 2 other people selling beads in Hilo and I met with both of them in their selling locations on Saturday (Jan. 12). They're both very nice (bead people. What do you expect?), one is a seed beader who makes intricate stuff that I'd have problems seeing if I tried it, the other one is a wire wrapper, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to take a class from her, and she bought a lb of Job's Tears from me.
Some more web pages came into existence during this time as well.
Eva's store is Hilo Art & Glass, located downtown, where Farmer's Exchange used to be. She is planning on and Art Glass Fair in April and asked me whether I'd like to provide the other things needed to make jewelry out of the beads in that fair.
Friday, January 11, 2008
It happened that at that time a local juice maker was looking for lilikoi, and what I thought was a lot was not a lot to her, and I have long since changed my opinion about what 'a lot' of anything is. It's a matter of perspective.
What was a lot of lilikoi to me then was 45lb. A lot of lilikoi to me now is more than I can fit into my pickup truck. It's never happened yet, but I'm still picking wild lilikoi. These days in a few selected areas.
What I really wanted to do then, on the side, still on the side, was to grow plants, especially palms, and more particularly fan palms. I don't have any fan palms right now, or fishtails,
they're all sold (not that there were ever a whole lot). And fruit trees, and a lot of other useful or pretty but long-lived plants. Landscaping plants. And some herbs, and some vegetables, fruit trees (trying to get avocados year round, and I'd still love to get lilikoi year round too).
Then came the Gardenia Taitensis seeds. I'm probably still the main source for those on the 'net, even if you get them from somebody else. Then somebody wanted Job's Tears and so I got into Job's Tears. and whatever other seeds I can find a lot of around here and that sell for enough to make it worth my while to pick them. I may be the only source of mail order ohia seeds on the planet (and I do small orders of those only).
Then one year the Job's Tears didn't sell and I started making jewelry with them. then of course the Job's Tears came to the point that if somebody asked me what I'm doing with all of them my reply now is "wrong question, any idea where I can find another 20 lb?".
during this I found rec.crafts.beads. It's a really good group for anybody who has anything to do with any kind of beads. Except, don't try to sell 'em (including me) jewelry. We grow or make beads, and a lot of us make jewelry too. We may buy beads, but we don't buy usually buy jewelry. I do still sell Job's Tears, but I don't have a lot right now.
Here ends the ancient history, the rest of the history will follow at some other time.