Thursday, January 31, 2008

More gemstones

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

Lampwork, and some other things

To start with some other things:

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

Fresh Water Pearls sold out (well, almost)

4 days after I posted the fresh water pearls on Craigslist they're on the way to NY State. The only ones I have left are the 12 strands I took out for myself to keep. I can sell those, but I'm not going to go to great length doing so. I'll be ordering more, probably on the weekend.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My beads came!

My beads came. Not that I'm done with the rest of the web pages, but they're getting there. More pictures to take, more web pages to write.

In summary:
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

2 orders came in

My first 2 orders came in, the Swarovski crystals and the few findings I ordered. The web page for the crystals is up, but only for small packages. I'll probably put up the page for the findings without pictures first and add pictures later, just as I did with the Job's Tears.

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.

Early January

On New Year's Day I wandered into Eva Anderson's new store. I'd been to the previous one and was wondering whether she'd be carrying beads and beading supplies again, but she doesn't. But she said to me (who she didn't really know from Adam) "This town needs a bead store".
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 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

Ancient history

A long time (on the order of 15 years) there were a lot of lilikoi (that's passion fruit for those who aren't familiar with the Hawaiian term), a lot more lilikoi than I knew what to do with.
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.