Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Closing UKIRT ...

Twenty-odd hours after first hearing the news I think I can finally write something without breaking out in tears.

Those of you who know a bit more about me than just the beading side probably know that I'm working at the Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC), for UKIRT, and have been for the past 13 years.

We (UKIRT) were supposed to be funded until May 2012, which is near enough but leaves some breathing room. Yesterday we got the big bad news: the STFC wants to stop funding UKIRT as soon as they possibly can (I heard March 2010 by rumor). Here's the (click link) Press Release that came out at 4 a.m. this morning our time. Our management doesn't like for us to have to find these things out from elsewhere, so they told us about 12 hours ahead of time. We don't know how long we have at UKIRT at this time. It may be only a few months.

In the meantime, attrition happens. Some people, me included, may be able to switch telescopes. It was after all JCMT that got me to Hawaii in the first place, helping with the commissioning of a brand new sub-millimeter telescope. Some of it I remember like it was yesterday (but it was in 1987), things changing ALL the time. Things you knew how they worked yesterday worked differently the next day/night. For now JCMT is funded through 2012. But that (for me at least) was true for UKIRT yesterday.

FYI: I had to change the link to the press release in the middle of writing this - because STFC changed it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Fair in December: Sunday, Dec. 6 at Hilo High School

The Hilo High School PTSA have their Christmas Craft Faire on Dec. 6, 2009 (that's a Sunday (!)), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Hilo High School Cafeteria. I managed to get the last available table, and in addition to jewelry, beads and beading supplies - on the table as space allows - I will also be selling home grown cloves (I'm not the only person in this area who grows cloves, in case you wonder) and table top Christmas Tree size potted Norfolk pines for those who would like a live tree.

And a P.S. on Memories of Tim Hawarden:
obviously I wasn't the only one who had memories of Tim Hawarden to share. The ATC put up a web page about his life and career with a link to anecdotes and memories at the bottom.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Memory of Tim Hawarden

In case you ever wondered what got me to Hawaii, Tim Hawarden was the first person I ever talked to who had anything to do with me getting here and this whole outfit. In the summer of 1986 my phone rang. It was to invite me to a job interview in Edinburgh, Scotland. The person who called was Tim. At that time he was the "UKIRT Astronomer in Charge, Home End". I went to Edinburgh, my second time ever on an airplane, and while things didn't work great (I came in about 5th for 3 jobs, but in the end 2 people pulled out, that's another story), I ended up here. Tim's wife Frances, about the second person in this whole outfit I ever talked to, made my travel arrangements, first for the job interview in Edinburgh, later for my second interview in Hawaii, and eventually to move here.

I got to Hawaii in January of 1987. Imagine my surprise when in the summer of 1987 Tim and Frances came here too. Frances had retired for health reasons, and Tim came to UKIRT. I was working at the JCMT then. I remember applying for a job at UKIRT, where I had worked as a temp for several months in 1990 or so. I remember Tim quizzing me about servos and eventually saying "OK, I know you know more about servos than I do". I the years to come I went to the CSO and Tim oversaw the UKIRT upgrades program - and a few other things. He was still there when I went back to UKIRT now almost 13 years ago. They moved back to Edinburgh some time later. I had the opportunity to visit with them (and their cats) last in 2006 after Tim had retired to take care of Frances who has MS (which is why she retired in the first place) full time. I love both of them, as well as Miranda and Sam (Tim's children from his first marriage).

God bless all of them.

Added later: I was so taken aback by the news when I wrote this that I forgot to mention why I wrote it, but I guess the title of the post sort of takes care of that. We got the news that Tim passed away this morning, very suddenly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fairs this month

This month I'm signed up for 2 fairs, both in Hilo.

The first one is at Keawe Center (190 Keawe St. in Downtown Hilo, if you know where Island Edges bead store is, that's where it is), Saturday Nov. 21, and rather short, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.. I will have all of my beads and other supplies including dome that aren't on the website yet there, but probably not all of them out. Of course I'm also going to have my jewelry - and possibly some plants if I have space left in the back of the truck.

The second one is at the East Hawaii Cultural Center, Saturday Nov. 28, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., jewelry and lampwork beads though I will probably have 'the other stuff' under the table. If you happen to be in town that day and need fresh water pearls, gemstones, chip strands or crystals (etc.), I'm going to have them there but not out. I'll be in the same space as last year, close to the back entrance.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's my mom's birthday

was by most accounts yesterday. She is 82 now, and I meant to call her last night. I got side tracked. Then, I woke up at 5 this morning, said, even if they are probably in the middle of afternoon coffee, I have to call. I'm glad I did. My brothers and their families were there (minus one college student), and they were indeed having afternoon coffee. I'm happy to report that both my parents are well. I am concerned about them not having had flu shots yet, at least they are going to, but don't seem to be too concerned about H1N1, talking about getting the regular flu shot only. DH and I just getting over H1N1, it's not something to mess with. We got it before vaccines were available here, so not much use for us getting vaccinated now.

Get yourself vaccinated when/if you can, the sooner the better.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clove tree seeds

Really nothing to do with beads, but it's that time of the year that I have clove tree seeds. For those of you who haven't come across them: out of water they live for maybe a week. Some die on the way to Ag inspection (and there really is no way of telling ahead of time). But, there definitely are survivors. I was sent a picture of a clove tree seedling in Germany last week.

I have clove seeds again now. I can ship those to any US state, Canada and to the EU that I know of. There may be other countries that don't require more than a free inspection, but I don't know which.

I am not certified to ship plants out of State.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Base metal findings and wire prices

Brief update, no pictures. As I made up my mind about the base metal findings and to let you know more specifics about the base metal wire (it's not on the web site yet):

Prices (other than the 1.5" headpins, these are for both the silver and gold colors)
earring hooks:
100 pieces (50 pairs): $4.-
50 pieces (25 pairs): $2.50
16 pieces (8 pairs): 1.-
2" and 3" headpins (these are thin enough to fit through fresh water pearls):
100 pieces: $5.-
50 pieces: $3.-
12 pieces: $1.-
1.5" headpins, silver color only, these are thicker:
100 for $3.-
50 for $2.-
20 for $1.-
Craft wire (gold, silver and copper color, Beadsmith), tarnish resistant:
$4.-/spool (for 20 gauge it's 45 feet, 24 gauge 90 feet, 28 gauge 120 feet)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A bunch of updates: AGLF, Kalera beads, my new camera, base metal findings

Rather than trying to find the time to do these piecemeal, I'm going to try to do them all at once.

I mentioned earlier that there was a defamation attack going on, labeling artisans as "fraud". None of this is true (of course), some details can be found here: and references therein. To help with a legal fees to put an end to this a private fund was created to which many donated, and many donated some of their creations and supplies. This is the AGLF (main page, links to Ebay, Etsy and Artfire listings are further down), which stands for Artisan and Glassworker Legal defense Fund.

Here is finally a picture of most of the beads I bought from Kalera Stratton, an experienced lampworker in Portland Oregon, who I had the opportunity to meet in person and watch make beads. Some of the beads already turned into jewelry, some on the way there, one being another wire crochet example, another one preliminatrily conected to my first attempt at so-called French Knit. Which brings me to:

my new camera. I hate dealing with new things as there are always learning curves involved. My new camera is a Canon PowerShot A1000 IS, and so far I'm happy with it. I finally got the pictures out of it that I took 10 days ago, a necklace and earrings made with another set of the lampwork beads from Kalera:

This set is currently available in my
Etsy shop

and some chip strands which I'm going to list at Etsy in the supplies category (they're long enough to wear as necklaces as they are if you prefer that):

The first set is picture jasper, leopard skin jasper and unakite, the second is white howlite, snowflake obsidian and blackstone. Each strand is about 32" long, strung on monofilament. There will be more.

A local customer recently asked me about/for base metal earring findings. So I now have the following (not priced yet): french earring hooks, the silver colored ones are surgical steel, the gold color ones I don't know, both silver colored and gold colored headpins, 2" and 3" in length, that are thin enough to fit through the holes in freshwater pearls, and 1.5" silver color headpins that are a bit stiffer and I'm sure won't fit through the holes in fresh water pearls.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fixed my computer crashing problem - a year later

While I probably never mentioned it in my blog, I've been fighting my notebook crashing sometimes every half hour for a year. It makes a real crimp in your productivity (and sometimes sleeping hours) if you have to wait for a 5 year old notebook to boot up several times a day.

Last summer while on vacation I bought a new network card. The old one doesn't work with all networks, so I needed a new one to be able to access the net from wherever. A day later my notebook crashed for the first time.

This was in a hotel room, with the flat surface being the bed, so I thought of dust, overheating, and such things. Well, no such luck, it continued to be the case. Including, after I borrowed a "can of air" from work (I use the same notebook for work when I work out of hours), took it apart and dusted it rather thoroughly.

A week or so before that I got the first blue screen of death rather than just a freeze, and Microsoft sent me a URL that told me the problem had to do with my network card. I got the available updates for the driver, hoping that would fix it, but no such luck.

As something similar happened again a few days later I decided, oh well, maybe I'll just switch back tot he old network card. - The notebook has been running since.

In case anybody wants to know: the old card (which is rather old and rather slow, but quite reliable) is a D-Link, the new one is a Linksys. I don't have the notebook here, but I'll try to remember adding the model numbers later.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A few new things in my Etsy shop

Just a brief update: As somebody asked and bought the same day I put in a (new) listing for 50 mgambo seeds/weleweka seeds/Hawaiian pussy willow seed in my Etsy shop. You can also now find fresh water pearls in bundles of 10 (you pick the colors and shapes - there are more than Etsy has space for pictures, so if you don't find 10 there, go to my website for a look, I'm happy to combine) and Tahitian Gardenia seeds (tiare seeds, gardenia taitensis seeds), so far only in quantity of 20. I can ship those seeds to most countries even if they're not listed as such. Some countries however are very picky about what they let in, Australia is one of them. Send me email, or a convo on Etsy or a PM on Lampwork Etc. (if that's what got you here) if you're not in the US or Europe.

I'll get new pictures on things as I get around to it, I finally have a camera of my own now. And I'll be putting up more jewelry as I bought a wonderful collection of lampwork beads from Kalera Stratton (

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Google shopping , and a few other things

Well, if you don't do Etsy (some people I talked to quite recently had never heard of it), maybe you do Google shopping? What is in my Etsy shop can now also be found in Google Shopping. There will be more, and better pictures, as I decided that I finally needed a camera that isn't a hand-me-down (usually twice), so light and such permitting I'll be able to take some half decent pictures. (For now I'm still a way away from putting up even a light tent).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Storing botanical beads and jewelry

As somebody asked me by email whether she should store her mgambo seed and freshwater pearl necklace refrigerated, here are some tips on storing botanical jewelry:

- Botanical jewelry (i.e. jewelry that contains any kind of seeds or plant parts) should be dried
thoroughly and preferably rather soon if it gets wet. Best is to not let it get really wet in the
first place. It may look like beach jewelry, but if you want to keep it it isn't. Try to keep it dry. Plant seeds don't mind getting wet, but they are not meant to last, they are meant to germinate.

- Job's Tears will chip if gotten wet and dry too often.

- Should you develop a bug problem (I have seen that with Job's Tears once but never with mgambo/weleweka/Hawaiian pussy willow seeds or Royal Poindicana seeds, I'd dry the jewelry in the refrigerator for at least a few days and then put in the freezer for a week.

I do not have to refrigerate botanical jewelry here in Hilo where the daytime temperature is usually above 80F (26.7 C) and the relative humidity normally above 70%. I do not see problems with bugs or mold.

You can normally find these in different package sizes on my website (HiloBeads) and in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Job's Tears in my Etsy shop

I put some Job's Tears in my Etsy shop. There will be more, but so far it's just 1/2 lb of the brown ones.

Work got the better of me last week, and as lilikoi season has started and I'm also harvesting cloves I'm rather busy.

On top, somebody started attacking members of the lampwork community as well as some other artisans. The latest people cleared of the attacks can be found in this blog: - while I am not directly involved, some of these people are my friends, and most of them are at least acquaintances. Please read the blog and help out if you can.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Etsy shop, fused glass and bead crochet.

This has been a busy few weeks. You can now get some things from my Etsy shop. I will ship to other locations than what's indicated so far, but I have to figure out yet how to make "everything EU" at least similar, as what I have listed so far is or contains botanical beads and shipping to the EU is easy and shipping to a lot of other places (other than Canada) is next to impossible.

In May I took a fusing class at Hilo Art and Glass Supplies, who are sadly not longer in business. I got myself some glass fusing equipment, not a whole lot, but I think I will do some more glass fusing in the future.

As a member of the Lampwork Etc. community I got a wire crochet tutorial from Hannah Rosner of GoodRiverGallery.
So I did some wire crochet.

Both of these are done with craft wire, so I'm not listing them for sale, but I would part with them. They both contain some of my first lampwork beads, annealed in Eva Anderson-Terada's kiln right after they were made, the first one also containing some clear about 8/0 seed beads, probably of Chinese origin and clear glass druks that I got out of a Ben Franklin "bead soup". The second contains a light yellow to brown matte seed bead mix and garnet beads of various shapes and sizes that were given to me.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

HiloBeads sale at Hilo Art & Glass Supply extended to include Sunday (June 28)

Due to the amount of traffic I had today I decided to extend the bead (and plant) sale in front of Hilo Art and Glass Supply and be there tomorrow too. The hours will be a bit shorter as the store closes at 3 p.m.

New jewelry set:

Velvet / weleweka / Hawaiian Pussy Willow / mgambo seeds, amethyst and lilac AB Swarovski crystals.

I haven't added this one to the website yet. It'll be about $70.-

Monday, June 22, 2009

HiloBeads sale at Hilo Art & Glass Supply on June 27

Last week's HiloBeads sale at Hilo Art and Glass Supply was decided too late to make much sense to put in the blog, but, it's Monday (early Tuesday, actually) today, and already decided that I will be having a stand outside Hilo Art and Glass Supply (318 Kinoole St., downtown Hilo, between Sack&Save and L&L, mauka side) this coming Saturday, unfortunately for the last time on a Saturday but I may extend to Sunday as well, as the store is closing at the end of this month. I'll be there from about 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m. with beads, jewelry and some plants. If the weather gets any better I may have a hapu'u cutting or two (yes, there can be too much hapu'u in one's front yard).

In the meantime beads are still available in the store and I will restock. I got new Unakite chip strands today as well as some shell bead strands that I haven't had there up to now, but I'll try to get them there tomorrow.

I also have new 4, 6 and 8 mm amethyst round bead strands that I will have with me on Saturday. Of course I will also have the regular supply of beads including the mgambo/Hawaiian pussy willow/weleweka/velvet seeds, some Job's Tears and Royal Poinciana double drilled seeds, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver wire, $1.- baggies of assorted base metal findings, gemstones, liquid silver and a supply of Ornela seed beads in 11/0 and 8/0 sizes by the hank.

And, watch this space, I have some pictures of new things still in the camera. They're likely to be posted here before they get on the website.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Beads at Hilo Art and Glass Supply

I meant to post this a week ago, but, sometimes life gets in the way. Some of my beads, as well as the necklace pictured, are now available at Hilo Art and Glass Supply, 318 Kinoole Street, Hilo (Downtown). Most of the beads available there never made it to my website. There are several varieties of chip strands, temporarily strung on monofilament, but long enough to wear as they are, some mixed gemstone strands, as well as some fresh water pearls.

Hilo Art and Glass Supply is open 7 days a week, 9 to 6 on weekdays, 9 to 5 on Saturdays and 10 to 4 on Sundays.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"Artsy Garage Sale" at Hilo Art and Glass this Saturday

This is rather late to get into the blog, but if I have any local readers, you can find me at the "Artsy Garage Sale" at Hilo Art and Glass this Saturday, May 16, between 10 and 4. I may have some Artsy Garage sale items (if I can find them in time), but otherwise mostly my inventory - and some plant seedlings I have in the back of my truck that I;m not going to take out extra for this. Should you happen to read this and are interested in seedlings of bell peppers, yellow lilikoi, spider lily, quite possibly some clove seedlings, coffee, or small to medium size planting pots, I'll sell those too (I'm the one with the beads :-) ).

Eva's announcement in her latest newsletter reads as follows:

Art Supply Garage Sale & Swap Meet
at Hilo Art & Glass Supply

MAY 16th - SATURDAY - 10AM - 4PM
Great Deals Throughout the Store as Well as Garage Sale
- used equipment, bead wholesale vendor, and even glass!

(I think I'm the bead wholesale vendor - I know I'm underselling everybody else in town here.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

New weleweka/mgambo/Hawaiian pussy willow seeds

Just a brief note for now: I have new un-drilled weleweka seeds from the Kona side of the Big Island. These are a bit bigger and lighter in color, like the drilled ones that I managed to get a while ago. In case you want to drill them yourself you now have a choice between the smaller darker ones from Oahu (as long as they last) and the bigger lighter color ones from the Big Island. I am not currently planning on drilling more of the Oahu seeds.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Aloha Sunday April 19 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and some new stuff

Just realizing that I haven't put this in the blog yet: the next Aloha Sunday is next Sunday, April 19. I'm going to be there with my jewelry, beads (beads not necessarily on display, but I'll have some out) and some plants. It's downtown Hilo on Kalakaua Street, across from Kalakaua Park, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with Hawaiian music:
10:30-11 a.m. Ben Kaili
11-12 noon; Sam Kama & the Kapakahi Brothers
12-12:30 p.m. Kirk Shimabukuro
(12:30-1 p.m. intermission);
1-2 p.m. Kaleo Evans & The Ukulele Kids
2-3 p.m. Darlene Ahuna
3-4 p.m. Ikaika Marzo.

And I have some new "stuff" (as usual, no pictures yet): beadable metal chokers (silver and gold colors) and bangle bracelets (silver plated only), some new colors of Swarovski cubes and some new weleweka/mgambo/Hawaiian pussy willow seeds from the Kona side.

The chokers and bracelets require larger hole beads, you can't fit e.g. Swarovski crystals on them other than as pendants, but not as big as e.g. Pandora. Lampwork beads made on 1/8" mandrels fit quite well on those, and I'll have them, as well as some annealed lampwork beads. I'll try to get some larger hole weleweka seeds done, but I can't promise that for this month's fair (in spite of it being Merrie Monarch week - I may update this later in the week).

I also have quite a bit of new glass but so far the weather hasn't been cooperating with torching in my still wide open outdoors studio. I hope to get a partial back wall soon so that I will be able to make beads when it's raining, and anneal at least some of the beads as I make them, as I have a kiln now as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A few new bracelets

I'm afraid that's all I've been up to lately, just a few Royal Poinciana seed bracelets. Apart from the Royal Poinciana seeds the first one contains 4mm round amethyst beads and 3mm tanzanite AB Swarovski crystal bicones, the second one has 4mm round tigereye beads, 4mm Czech topaz fire polished crystals and 3mm jonquil AB Swarovski crystal bicones and the third one 4mm Swarovski bicones in light azore and turquoise.

The tigereye+crystal and the light azore and turquoise Swarovski crystal ones are now available at Trudy's Island Art in the Kailua-Kona International Market. The tanzanite AB Swarovski crystal + amethyst one is on my website (or will be soon) for $25.-

Dealing with the second staph infection caused by a spider bite since the beginning of the year, the antibiotics for that (beats losing a leg by a long ways, but 4 times a day equally spaced is a bit of a problem in the long run) and a rather nasty cold on top had me more or less out of action for a few days. It looks like all of this is going away now so that if the weather cooperates I may get to make some beads with my new glass and frit, anneal them in my new kiln as well as finally all the old ones - after catching up with a lot of other stuff, and getting rid of the crab spiders in our yard.

Monday, March 9, 2009

EHCC Aloha Sunday canceled for March

This morning the EHCC called. I hadn't even tried to make it to the Aloha Sunday market, no point getting everything wet, so I apologized, but that wasn't whet they called about. They said they're going to postpone it, not clear which date. This morning they called again and said that this month's Aloha Sunday is canceled. The next one will be on April 19 (3rd Sunday, because Easter is on the April 12).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back from San Francisco ...

A bit of a surprise trip, rather important and urgent, but I got there and back not only in one piece but also got my passport application done (the reason why this trip was both important and urgent), saw a lot of sights (thanks to our friends Lawrence and Chizuko), may post the odd picture later, and came back with a pound of glass rods in several shades of red from Aanraku in San Mateo where I got shown around the whole place and set up a wholesale account. They have more stained glass than lampwork glass supplies, but a good selection of Moretti - and I think I may get one of their frit makers sooner or later. I also got some smaller hoop earring findings elsewhere (but those were the only things I found there that I was willing to pay the price for that they were asking - which is why I'm not mentioning names). For the time being I'm exhausted, but in a positive way.

And I'm glad to be home in Hilo again, Norman picked me up from the airport sick as he is (rather nasty cold), all 3 cats accounted for, back in the normal humidity (my skin feels like sandpaper - under-window type heater/air conditioners do that to me every time). It's raining as it should be, I always find it wrong when I get back home and it doesn't rain at least at night.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Server OK, for the time being ... (+ other updates)

Since the time I wrote the last post the server stayed up. A big thank you to our IT guys.

The EHCC Aloha Sunday was a good bit of fun, and while I mostly sold plants I sold a reasonably good amount. Nice neighbors too, and you may find some of my broken lampwork in Carol's pottery in the future (Carol sells her pottery at the Hilo Farmer's Market on a regular basis, and I'm happy to give her a plug here. I like both her and her pottery.).
The next Aloha Sunday will be on March 8, and I'm hoping and planning to be there then too (makai side of the EHCC, second booth from Kalakaua, next to Carol).

Updates on the subject of lampwork: I am waiting for my kiln, a few pounds of glass rods, some frit, and Hilo Propane's (happy to put in a plug here too, we have known the Palermos for a long time) order of connectors to come in so that I can connect a propane tank to my torch rather than continue to work off of small bottles. I need to find a cheap or free piece of metal about 3ft by 6ft to allow me to torch when it's raining (doesn't have to be in too good a shape, but I'd like it free), but I have my didymium glasses now (and they fit over my reading glasses too) so that I can torch after dark without fearing for my eyesight. And I got my larger size mandrel (and a few more smaller ones) in the same order (and some stringer, but for me for now I ordered the wrong COE. The color is perfect for me though).

The following paragraph doesn't have to do with beads:
It is still clove seed season but getting to the end of it. If you're interested in clove seeds, email me now rather than later. And this late in the season I will replace some or all for free if they arrive all brown and yucky (whatever goes for yucky for clove seeds. They ought to be pale green to darker green, possibly pink, but not brown.) - Shipping and Ag. inspection are a consideration, so I may not be able to replace them completely free, but I won't charge for the seeds a second time. I know this has nothing to do with beads, but it's been keeping me rather busy.

Back to beads. I can still get some Swarovski colors in 4mm bicones and 6 mm cubes (I'm not willing to expand on anything else for the time being in spite of that I do have some 3mm and 5mm bicones already) at last years prices. Please let me know if you need any of those, they might just be in the offer I got or extend my order to the level I'm comfortable with placing it (Heidi, if you happen to read this, please send me email).

Sorry this is a blog post without pictures again, but I haven't had time to take any, let alone make anything new other than a few new and different color eyelash scrunchies. The one bead I made last weekend broke as I took it off the mandrel - not too surprising to me, as I ran out of gas on the torch the second I have it vaguely round (and it wasn't even supposed to stay round). You may find the remains of it in Carol's pottery at some point.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Webserver problems (hopefully over)

Well, you may have noticed this: a lot of the web pages are still on a webserver where I work. And the last 2 days we had a real bear of a time for the thing to stay running. Our IT guys copied all the files over to a different machine and brought it up as the server instead. On top of that we had some power glitches (thunderstorms and such, and there's always a first time for a UPSD to fail) and a few more other problems on the side, but I hope all of this is now stable again.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Aloha Sunday it is!

To update that: LeeAnn called me today, said she has the forms and the flyer ready and I went and signed up and paid. Kalakaua Street may or may not be closed, which makes for less parking spaces but nicer (and safer) walking around. Sunday Feb. 15, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., East Hawaii Culture Center, the entertainment line-up is in yesterday's post, and there will also be food booths and some other things, the newsletter mentions story telling and face painting. And it's free.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New tools, new displays, new ideas, and the EHCC Aloha Sunday + market

I'll start with the East Hawaii cultural Center's Aloha Sunday, Farmer's Market and Craft Fair. I still haven't formally signed up yet, and I still have some work to do for it, whether I'll make it there or not. I said I was going to help with the publicity and I'm determined to do so too. It's next week Sunday, at the East Hawaii Cultural Center (downtown Hilo), and the performers will be Diane Aki, Ben Kaili, Sean Robbins, Alu Like (hula with Haunani) and John Keawe. If I make it (watch his space) I'll be bringing some seedlings/plants: clove, lilikoi, bell pepper, coffee, and quite possibly others, some hapuu growing cuttings, what I can fit in the truck in addition to the tables and the hand truck, as well as my jewelry and beads (though I may leave some of the beads in the truck). There is probably still space available, have to have a Hawaiian theme for the craft fair, and the farmer's market is strictly locally grown only (but doesn't have to be native plants). If you're interested, call the EHCC, they are on the 'net. (To some extent that's "we", but please don't call or email me about it).

As tools go:
Today, after again having 'stuck beads', I went and got myself a rivet tool, and I got the stuck beads off their mandrels before I paid for the rivet tool (the guy at Home Depot was quite intrigued by what I was doing). And I must say I'm rather grateful that the subject just came up at Lampwork Etc., otherwise I wouldn't have known and gone on getting them off with a hammer (with a rag on top of the beads, but this is much easier). That's one new tool. I also finally (a while ago) got myself a proper mount for the torch, makes it much easier to get it on the table and back off. I ordered myself a kiln to anneal the beads, impatiently waiting for that, as well as a larger size mandrel to make large hole beads, and for Hilo Propane's shipment of connectors to arrive so that they can make me a hose to connect a bulk tank to my HotHead torch (those guys know their stuff, and their repeat customers). I torch outside, so I'm comfortable with a propane tank (we use those for cooking anyway), but I'm rather uncomfortable with a propane tank (small tank for those who are local, 5 gallon) right by my feet when I have a propane flame only a foot away (OK, propane scares me as it should and I have been around it for long enough to know what I can deal with and what I don't want to deal with. I don't want a tank by my feet.).

One of the words that came up time and again at the EHCC craft fair committee meeting was "honu" (those who aren't local, look that up. Google knows what a honu is.), and I decided one way or another I'm going to make honu beads. First will be to attempt a honu imprint. I have wire honu made up for that, and tested that I can make a bead that's flat and almost big enough for that imprint without a kiln. Working on small tanks in 100% humidity and not very warm temperatures I can make about 1-2 beads before my tank gets really wet and the pressure goes down.

As displays go, my old foam displays are still on, but the one with the kukui nut and the glass bead earrings is already gone and replaced by wire screen in real life. I made a copper wire display that I had intended for necklaces, but it's only good for earrings weight wise, and I'll sell it if anybody wants it (it's 16 gauge copper wire with the loops wrapped in 24 gauge. It collapses flat with only a bit of bending). I got more wire screens today and will convert all or almost all of my displays to that. I'll save the display that the Job's Tears earrings are on, but I'm not going to use it for the time being. I'll reuse the foam boards that already cost me 2 necklaces where the stones broke (long pieces) when it got blown over for road advertising signs. I am going to donate those to EHCC.

The necklace and earring set at the top consists of mother of pearl fan sets, 4mm jet black and 3mm Montana AB Swarovski crystals and twisted square Sterling silver liquid silver (1x4mm). The hoops are plated memory wire, the necklace is strung on SoftFlex and crimped with sterling silver crimp tubes. The split rings to attach the clasp are plated, the clasp is base metal. Price as is is $40.-, with modifications to all sterling silver for the necklace $45.- (there is no such thing as sterling silver memory wire - if there was I'd buy it, just for making earrings.).

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Swarovski crystals (etc.)

Earlier in the week the new Swarovski crystals arrived, so I'm happy to announce that HiloBeads now added 4mm bicones in aquamarine, jonquil and tanzanite AB2X and garnet and lilac in AB, as well as 6mm cube beads (5601), all AB, in aquamarine, light colorado topaz and tanzanite (the cube beads are $1.30 each, $12.-/10), and I can still hold the same prices for the bicones (other than for the Hilo Farmer's market jewelry makers' prices for the 144 packets of the AB2X bicones - sorry, I can't sell them to you for less than what I'm paying, and I'm not publishing what I was or will be selling them at).
(I'm not saying I counted all those crystals into packages yet, but I have 144 packages of aquamarine 4mm AB2X ready to go and I can count the rest out for you (almost) any time if you're willing to wait)

When I got the new pearls I also got some more chip strands, adding leopard skin jasper, picture jasper and unakite to the blackstone, snowflake obsidian and white howlite that I already had. I don't have pictures of those yet, they're about 30" strands strung on monofilament (sturdy enough to be worn as necklaces until maybe at some point the monofilament breaks - I do not sell them as necklaces but I wear them as such), and $2.- each. There are also some new mixed 16" gemstone strands for $2.-/strand and some that I have identified (Chinese marble agate, aragonite, and yellow turquoise (probably dyed) for $3.- to $5.-.

Other than that, I have ordered an annealing kiln (with a digital controller), so that I can feel comfortable about selling my lampwork beads (I will batch anneal what I have), as well as start trying to make more complicated beads than what in the lampwork community qualifies as "spacers". I'm comfortable enough with my setup and abilities to make sets of spacers (watch this space if you're in the market for lampwork spacer sets), and it's time for me to move on to a bit more complex beads (and more spacer sets). I also hope to start making beads from bottle glass. I have some bottles saved up for that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Swarovski crystals coming - and pictures of pearls

I had hoped that the crystals would come in before the weekend, but they didn't. I'm adding 4mm bicones in aquamarine, jonquil and tanzanite 2AB, garnet and lilac AB, and 6mm cubes in aquamarine, light colorado topaz and tanzanite AB. Some on request and some because I wanted them myself. The prices I have listed on the website aren't changing yet (and I did order some spares for colors that sell a lot or that I use a lot so that I won't have to change them until those are sold), but some of the the "special Hilo Farmer's Market (and similar) jewelry makers only" prices are. If any of you read this blog: I can't sell the crystals to you for less than what I'm paying. You know who you are.

Some of the pearl strands are already sold, but here are the pictures of all of them:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Please let me know soon if you need any different Swawovski crystals

Aloha, after getting a bunch of new freshwater pearls, fire polished crystals and low priced semi-precious gemstone strands (the pearls and those gemstones will still be $2.-/15"-16" strand and the fire polished crystals $5.-/strand), I'm also putting together an order for Swarovski crystals before the end of the month. I am not going to be able to hold the "Hilo Farmer's Market special price to jewelry makers" - that those of you who aren't in the area and pay retail don't want to know - no matter what.

The rest of my life has been rather busy lately, currently dealing with an infected spider bite, getting a "creation station" to mount my torch, and hoping to buy a kiln, in spite of that I haven't had time to make any lampwork beads since October.

My daytime job (the end of a 2 year project) and craft fairs got the better of me, and it's coffee harvesting season, still kinda lilikoi season, if I didn't have this spider bite, and a few other things to do.

To repeat this, if you want any particular Swarovski crystal colors, shapes,
sizes, please let me know.

And, I'm getting a lot of spam on the hilobeads email account right now, but so far every legit email got through. I may not have been able to get back to everybody, in some cases because your spam blockers ate my email, and in at least one case because I didn't read all of it and just hit the reply button.

I'll put up pictures of the FP crystals, pearls and gemstone strands after some local customers have taken their first dibs (I'm local first, on-line second, sorry)

Friday, January 2, 2009

The first year of HiloBeads

The time came to renew the HiloBeads domain, and I was happy to do so. So, while I may not always have time to update things, HiloBeads will be around for at least another 3 years. A repeat customer at the Hilo Farmer's Market found me last week, needing Swarovski crystals, and I hadn't been to the market the week before, also saying that she might like some more freshwater pearls as well - in spite of that she will be moving away in the not too distant future.

I may be getting my hands on some more Hawaiian mgambo/weleweka seeds, and as those are already drilled I will then be able to take a larger order or two without my usual waiting time for the drilling. I'm also planning on getting some more Ornela seed beads (Susanne: real soon now, I sure hope), fresh water pearls and fire polished crystals (those are getting a bit picked over by now) and quite possibly a few more colors in Swarovski crystals. I'm certainly planning on Aquamarine AB2X for the next order.

I'm also still planning on getting an annealing kiln for my lampwork, and a proper mount for my torch. And maybe a new torch.

If you have any particular colors and sizes you'd like in fire polished crystals, please let me know in the next few days. I know I'll be ordering 4mm jonquil, aquamarine, cobalt.

The fuzz cat wants to be let out.

Happy New Year, everybody.