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.).