Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays!

wind chime, stained glass, sea glass, copper, Tim KlineMy last beach glass inspired 'kaleidoscope' wind chime... until I have the chance to make some more. For more information, or to buy this amazing wind chime, Click Here.

Wishing all my customers and friends all the best for the holidays, and for 2008. Thank you for making 2007 so special! Thank you for all your kind words, and for supporting me in my artistic endeavors. I appreciate it!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Rush

handcrafted wind chime, marbles, beach glass, copper, tim klineKaleidoscope wind chime with large colorful 'shooter marbles. The red cedar box frame, chime holder and windsail have been treated with an exceptional eco-friendly tung nut oil finish. The beach stone clapper produces sweet sound against the five heavy copper chimes.
For more information, or to buy this wind chime, Click Here.

Every year it seems people wait a little longer for their online holiday shopping. It got pretty crazy at the end of last week, and over the weekend. That's great, as I always need money for groceries and the dog has to go to the vet today for his (expensive) shots and check-up. But it certainly is a bit stressful to have to pack and ship super fast, and then have another order come in, and have to pack and ship again. There are little things that add to the fun. Like now I always include a gift of my copper earrings, and I never have enough of those made in advance. So I need to run out to my wet workshop and pound out a pair in the rain, and then scamper back inside. Then another order comes through, and it's back out to make another pair of earrings!

Last year some people who received my work as a gift took the time to email me a thank you note. I found that remarkable. I don't think anyone writes to the Sony Corporation, to thank them for their video camera! It was really sweet to get those emails, and to know that I had helped to make Christmas special for some people. Most stuff falls apart, gets outdated, stops working, but I know my wind chimes play on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Website updated ~ special offer

I have updated my website (finally!), and all the works are now current, and available.

There is also currently a special offer. When you buy two wind chimes, you get 50% off a second wind chime of equal or less value. You also save a lot on combined postage, so this is a really great deal!

Here is the new homepage:

And here are the wind chimes currently available:

To visit the site, click on either of the images above, or Click Here. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New Works ~ Interesting Wind Chimes

wind chime, marbles, beach glass, copper, Tim Kline
Wind Chime, windchime, cats-eye marbles, copper, handcrafted

For the first time I am using some of the large 'shooter' marbles that have been accumulating over the years. Most often, in each small bag of marbles I buy, there is one large marble~ a shooter. I've obviously bought a lot of bags of marbles! These beautiful wind chimes are available for instant purchase in my
eBay store, or on the neat arts and crafts site, Etsy. They are very well made. The red cedar box frames, chime roundels and windsails have been treated with an exception eco-friendly tung nut oil finish. A beach stone clapper sounds great against the five heavy copper chimes. A treat for the eyes, and the ears.

A very busy, productive day, yesterday, despite the cold weather. So cold, sometimes I lost all feeling in my hands. One can't wear gloves when using a table saw, or sanding, and I do all that sort of work outside, in unheated space. Not to complain, but I sure wish it was (a lot) warmer. This morning, it's snowing again!

Yesterday illustrates well just how varied my days often are. Cutting cedar, cutting copper, sanding, brad nailing, soldering, cleaning plate glass, selecting glass, applying tung nut oil, cutting roundels, taking pictures, computer work, answering emails. Tools used: sander, table saw, jig saw, drill press, brad nailer, camera, computer. Oh~ and the wood stove might count as a tool yesterday, for thawing out my hands!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shipping from Canada

art windchime, cedar, sea glass, copper, Coast ChimesBeach glass inspired cedar and copper art wind chime. The cedar top section, chime holder and windsail have been treated with an exceptional eco-friendly tung nut oil finish. A beach stone clapper produces sweet music against the five copper chimes. Great gift! For more information, or to purchase, Click here.

Many exceptional works available for instant purchase (or make an offer!) in my eBay store. Or why not check out Etsy~ a wonderful arts and crafts site where I also have many items available. There is also a very special offer available on my own website~ buy one wind chime, and get a second one of equal or less value for 50% off! A one-of-a-kind art wind chime or suncatcher makes a very special and memorable gift.

Please remember~ these ship from Canada, and shipping can take a little longer. Most often shipments arrive at their destination is about ten days. Sometimes things do get hung up at the border, and take even longer. To be safe, you should order in the very near future.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Neat Suncatchers

suncatcher, freestanding, beach glass, sea glass, Tim KlineI have several new neat suncatchers. These sit on a windowsill and look beautiful. I especially enjoy the early morning and late afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky and filters through the glass. I've made this large one with mixed media, and a large one and a medium one with my beach glass inspired glass. Great gift! For more information, or to buy, Click here.

Here is the medium size one, with my beach glass inspired glass:

To view or purchase this one, Click here.

Finally, we have early snow this year. It's pretty and nice for hiking, but tough for working, as I do almost all my work outside. Cold! Here is a picture taken this morning through one of our new skylights~

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Roof is done, Back to work

windchime, freestanding, large, beach glass, copperI needed to help the roofers put a new roof on our home. For over a week, things were too busy here to do much other work. But it is finally done, and I'm back!

At last I had time to put together a few large works. Above, a natural Pacific beach stone freestanding double wind chime. Below, a natural Pacific driftwood double wind chime. Both are suited to year round outdoor use, or consider using them indoors as kinetic art.

For more information, or to make an offer, for the stone Click here, for the driftwood, Click here.
freestanding wind chime, deluxe, Tim Kline

Friday, November 09, 2007

Web Site Update ~ At Last!

wind chime, cobalt blue glass, stained glass, beach glass, copperDue to high demand, I just never had the time to update my website. A shame, since it is really best for me if people buy from my own website, instead of eBay or some of the other sites.

At last, I have taken the time to update the site. And I cut it way, way down. I now feature only wind chimes. A nice selection! And for those who read my blog, a special deal! Buy two, and pick a third for equal or less value and receive it for free!* You can email through this blog, or through my website, if you have questions. By the way, you also save some dollars with combined shipping for several items. With the holiday season coming up fast, and shipping taking longer from Canada, act now. Three for the price of two? What more can you ask for?

So check out my new, simplified, improved website by clicking here. Thank you!

*offer valid from November 9 through December 12, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007


Click on the picture to see a larger picture.

wind chime, beach stone, copper, huge, large windchimeThe new giant chime natural beach stone wind chime. Sometimes, you just have to go back to the drawing board. See below for the previous version. For more information or to buy this wind chime, click here.

I started thinking that maybe it was not such a great idea to hang five very heavy chimes from glass. Then I woke up yesterday morning, and I was sure it was not a good idea. Back to the drawing board. It's really the chimes and the beach stone that should be the focus here, and the purplish glass detracted from that. Also, what could look nicer than beautiful red cedar? In the end, all is for the best. I like the new version better than the old.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


art windchime, stone, glass, copper, Tim KlineGiant true verdigris copper wind chime with a natural Pacific beach stone top. 61 inches long, with chimes cut from 1 and 1/4 inch diameter copper. Sold, but you can read more about this or find other beautiful works by Clicking here.

Fairly often, someone emails asking if I can make something a little different. These are frequently people who have looked closely at my work, and like what they see, but want certain colors, or a certain size.

Recently someone wanted one of my wind chimes, but very large. As it happened, I had such a wind chime down at the bottom of my driveway as part of an address sign. It had been there for several years, and the copper had aged beautifully to an old penny color. I brought it in, took a few pictures, and also took some pictures of it hooked onto a large piece of driftwood I had. While the person who had written was making up their mind, someone else bought it.

That was a good thing, as it turned out the first fellow actually really wanted the chime to be verdigris. Also, that the old penny chime sold so quickly showed me that I should work more with these large chimes~ that there is a market for them.

I invested in a couple of lengths of this (Very) expensive large diameter copper, and got to work. It's always a pleasure working for someone who wants something amazing, but who does not know exactly what, as I appreciate a free hand when it comes to design. And I was not worried that he would not like what I put together, because I knew someone else would, and it would sell. As it turned out, he loved what I put together, and so I'll pack it today, and ship it tomorrow.

I'm exceptionally proud of how over the years I have developed the skills to be able to take an abstract idea ('I want a really large wind chime, maybe with something interesting on top'), and turn it into a concrete finished object of beauty. The longer I do this work, the more I like it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Big Boy

Click on the image to see a larger picture.
beautiful glass and copper wind chime, large, Tim KlineHuge handcrafted copper wind chime with a beach stone clapper. The five heavy chimes are cut from one and a quarter inch diameter copper; the longest one is 32 inches. The chimes are suspended from beautiful glass. All copper connections. Great sound! For more information or to buy, Click here.

I enjoy making large works. Although they take a lot of time, and the materials are expensive, and shipping is a headache, it's worth it. It's satisfying to create something that makes a bold statement, that stands out. When people see my smaller works, they tend to say something like 'How pretty' or 'neat' but when they see something like this gigantic set of chimes, they are more likely to say 'Wow!'

I plan to make several works with these chimes. Perhaps one with a big rounded beach stone on top, and one with a big slab of driftwood.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


windchime, driftwood, copper, art chimeNatural Pacific driftwood~ naturally beautiful. The beach stone clapper produces sweet music against these heavy copper chimes. For more information, or to buy, Click here.

The other day I posted a driftwood wind chime (see below) and it sold within hours. So here is a different one.

The first wind chime sold off a site called Etsy. If you have never explored this arts and crafts site, it is well worth having a look. My own corner of Etsy can be found by clicking here.

Etsy seems to be increasingly popular for both artists and art collectors. It is the only site I have found (and I have tried many), outside of Ebay and my own website, with much action as far as sales. It is also a very user friendly site, both for browsing and for listing things for sale.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Natural Driftwood, Natural Beauty

driftwood windchime, glass, copper, artist tim klineA rugged piece of Pacific driftwood (this guy has had a life!) with an impressive set of handcrafted extra large copper wind chimes. The beach stone clapper produces sweet music against these huge chimes. Natural driftwood, natural beauty. For more information, or to buy this, Click here.

Destiny? One of my earliest childhood memories is from a family vacation to a northern lake in Wisconsin. There I found what to me was something extremely beautiful and valuable: a piece of driftwood. I took it back home and treasured it deeply.

When we moved to Vancouver Canada, that piece of wood came with me. I well remember frequently polishing it. How I loved that wood! It was so smooth, the grain was so interesting.

A little later, there was a radio show in Vancouver where people could phone in and offer whatever for sale (obviously way, way before the internet!). People would phone and describe their washing machine or their chair, and others could get in touch to buy the item. Well, I phoned and offered my driftwood for sale ($5.00). It seems to me the guy running the show had quite a chuckle.

But here I am, 40 years later, selling driftwood. Destiny?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Slow Learner

sea glass, beach glass, art windchime, wind chime, copper

Talk about pretty wind chimes! Beach glass inspired with copper chimes, a beach stone clapper, and tung nut oiled red cedar. For more information, or to bid, Click Here.

After getting burnt on last week's auction (see below), you'd think I would have learned a lesson and tossed in the towel on these listings starting at .99 cents. Nope.

This week I started two auctions at .99 cents! Looking for pain, I guess.

The fact is, this is pretty much the slowest time of the year for me, just before the holiday rush (which I sure hope is coming soon!). But the bills keep coming in. Poor pup had a little run in with some poison, and that vet bill needs paying. And the family for some strange reason still wants to eat, even when things are not selling well. So I persist with the .99 cent listings, and cross my fingers that this time things will go better.

Why not grab the chance to get a bit of a bargain? Especially since almost certainly in a month or so, things will be flying out the door for way more money. If past years are anything to go by, soon the bidding and buying will go nuts. Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Steal?

free gift earrings from Coast Chimes, copper, pebble
Huh~ I had a neat little flash thing here showing a listing from eBay, but the auction ended a long time ago, and the player showed... nothing. So I decided to revise and show the neat little earrings I make and give to customers. Whenever anybody orders anything at all, I always include a free set as a little thank you gift. Sometimes the emails I get lead me to believe the customer is as excited to receive the earrings as the windchime!

Only a little more than a day to go, and such a low price? Looks bad for me. Good for some lucky bidder. Oh well, things can change in a day. I hope so. (things did change~ I got an okay price~-- updated March 1, 2008)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Freestanding Beach Stone Double Art Wind Chime

windchime, freestanding, beach stone, copper, glass, wind chimeFreestanding beach stone double copper chimes~ beach glass inspired. I love this. It has all the elements I like, from a smooth, rounded natural beach stone, to the intertwined copper support. For more information, or to buy it, click here.

It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. We are doing a traditional feast, and inviting friends and neighbors. One of my favorite holidays~ all the fun of being with friends, and none of the stress of gift giving. It's going to be great!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Prices to Increase!

I just love smooth, rounded, natural Pacific beach stones~ so I use them as often as I can. This is a triple stone wind chime, with heavy copper chimes. There is also a beach stone clapper that produces a sweet sound against the copper. Heavy copper goes right through each stone, so very strong! This is an ideal wind chime for all season, all weather use. To learn more, or to buy it, click here.

Woke up and faced reality this morning. Sad. With about a 37% drop in the value of the US dollar next to the Canadian dollar, and with a 300% increase in copper prices (not to mention all those other increasing expenses), I realized that regretfully I have to raise my prices.

I already get too many emails from nice people wishing they could afford my work. So this is unpleasant. But I need to feed the dog, and the family, and that means raising prices.

I just wrote to those on my mailing list letting them know this, and giving them about a week's notice. Maybe some want to do some early holiday shopping, before the big increase. I guess I will have to raise most prices about 20%~ split the difference.

The drop in the dollar also means that I need to increase my shipping. I am currently loosing about 5-10 dollars way to often. Wish I did not have to do this, but it is reality.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Double sided reverese painted wind chimes

Detail images of the top sections of two of my latest series of double sided painted wind chimes. The colorful designs are reverse painted on thick glass, and all the color is well sealed on the inside of the glass~ weatherproof!

I love these, and always think it's almost like two wind chimes for the price of one! Each has a fine handcrafted set of copper chimes with a beach stone clapper~ great sound!

For more information, or to purchase, click here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cool Wind Chime

I love this wind chime~ the most recent addition to my shop. I'm nuts about beach stones, so adding one into the mix is something that I like very much. Actually, there are two beach stones, since I always make a beach stone clapper, which sounds great against the copper chimes. For more information, or to buy this wind chime, click here.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why I Hate (hated) My iPod

I love to read non-fiction books about all sorts of things. Recently I read one entitled ‘The Perfect Thing : How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness’ by Steven Levy. An interesting book, and it convinced me I had to get one of these things. So I did.

Sure enough: I loved my Nano... for a week. Then I hated it. Here’s why.

I haven’t been a fan of music since my teen years. I would sooner always hear a radio show or, preferable, sweet silence. Sweet silence isn’t really silence, since I have thoughts running through my mind. At some point after my teen years I realized that music interferes with that process. But I was willing, even eager, to give music another chance.

Also, the iPod book mentioned these things called podcast, and they sounded right up my alley. I guess the theory is that anyone can be a radio host, right, and so all these people make all these shows, and they are available for free. Sounded interesting, since I like talk, and I don’t have much chance to listen to the radio or television talk shows. Well, let me tell you right off that while maybe ‘anyone can make a show’, unless you enjoy a couple of morons droning on and on about nothing, most of these homemade ‘shows’ are worth considerably less than you pay for them (they are free, by the way).

So I decided to try music again. I loaded my iPod with a whole bunch of songs, set it to shuffle, and let the beat go on.

I thought this was pretty cool~ for about a week. Then it started to happen.

Then it started to happen a lot.

The ‘tunes’ would intrude on my thoughts, even without the contraption. On my daily one hour hikes I would leave the machine at home, but instead of a wonderful, peaceful moment in the forest where my own thoughts could sort through my head, some stupid refrain from some stupid song would start playing over and over in my mind. Oh yeah, baby, heading down that long and lonesome highway! There was no way to turn this noise off.

Before long, these song snippets were constantly intruding on my thoughts. Annoying! My own thoughts and ideas may be none to brilliant; but they are my thoughts, and important to me. With this line or that of some song playing on a loop in my mind, I was being robbed of my own thoughts.

I wonder how many other people have found this, and how many are bothered by it. My guess is that many people experience this, but that since they have always been listening to music, they just assume it’s normal. Believe me, if you frequently have some song snippet playing through your mind, I think you are missing out on something of real value: your own thoughts.

I was so happy to give my iPod away (aside from a little guilt-- feeling a bit like I was giving a bag of smack to some innocent kid!). It took over a month, but finally I am free of all those stupid lyrics trespassing on my thoughts. Once again, when I go on a hike, when I am working, when I am living, I am free of that noise in my head. Well, almost free. Once in a while, one of those lyrics still pops by to annoy me-- to remind me how nice it is to no longer have that stupid iPod with all its noise.

You may believe that music adds a lot to your life, and you are more than welcome to believe that. I believe it is like a drug, numbing one’s brain, interfering with thoughts that might be important to think about-- thoughts that might be more important than the sound of some guy droning on. A catchy tune? I’d sooner catch a cold.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Eye-Popping Exchange Rate

Most of my sales go to the USA, and even my Canadian and international buyers tend to pay in US dollars. In the past, that has been really great.

Not so long ago, for $1000 US I would get around $1600 Canadian. So it was a real sweet deal.

Yesterday for the very first time, I got less in Canadian dollars than I exchanged. Oh, how I miss the good ol' days! Combine that blow with the 300% plus increase in copper prices, and it looks like before long I will yet again have to raise my prices. Either that, or stop eating. Ouch.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Strange Days on eBay

After so many years I still can't figure out eBay auctions. Like this one. Usually, this wind chime would go for somewhere between $130 - $180 dollars, but here it is, well into the auction, and only at $31. What's with that?

On the other hand, most often I have only around 10 'Watchers' (people who use the eBay system to bookmark an auction), but for this one there are currently 46. So either all those folks are watching to have a good laugh when I get burnt, and the auction closes at a very low price, or maybe things will get interesting towards the end. I hope for the latter.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cool things to spruce up your home and yard for summer!

Ready to add something really special to your home or yard this summer? Look at all these neat things I have made!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time to Play?

When it's busy, like now, I can easily take over 400 pictures a week. There is only a small window each day where the light is right, in the late afternoon. That means waiting, watching, and then taking as many pictures as possible, hoping to catch the right look. And the 'right look' does not include a large golden retriever!

But unless I remember to invite Yukon inside before starting, invariably he will stand right there, ball ready, clearly saying: 'Hey, how about a game of fetch?" Good idea Yukon, but bad timing. Aside from the half hour or so I have of good light, I'm always pleased to be reminded that it should not all be work, work, work~ life's short so don't forget to play. I could go on and on about this, but I have to go out and toss a few balls for the dog.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Showing the Details

Click on the image see it better, and read the text.

Recently a happy customer wrote that she was amazed at the work and attention to detail that went into my wind chimes. Before receiving it she knew it was a nice looking chime, but had no idea of the care I put into it:

' I really think in this "fast food, get it right now, instant gratification" society we live in, most people have NO IDEA of the time and effort you put into your designs... ...I think if people had a "black and white" idea of how even the smallest of details on your wind chimes receives careful consideration and thought, that they would quickly realize that they can't
afford to NOT have one of your pieces! '

I think she is right, and put together the picture above with some details of what I do. It's not the whole picture, but it provides a glimpse of the care I take, both in design and construction.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Customers Have Great Memories

Cat's-eye marbles deluxe wind chime. Five polished copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. Tung nut oiled red cedar. Click here for more information, or to buy it.

I make quite a few different styles of wind chimes, so it's not surprising that sometimes I forget about a certain type. I am always happy when a customer comes along and ask about this or that type of wind chime, reminding me that I haven't made one for a long time. That's what happened with this cat's-eye style. It must be over a year since I made one, and I had pretty much forgotten all about them. Until someone wrote. Another advantage to selling through the Internet~ direct communication.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Always Trying to Improve

To the left: old style. To the right: new style.

I'm always looking for ways to improve my work. I'm constantly making small changes, learning new tricks. Most often, it is something small that most people probably wouldn't even notice. But every once in while, there is something major.

Thanks to an extremely sharp-eyed and thoughtful customer, who was kind enough to share her thoughts, I have now radically changed the look of my chimes. For years I have made them with a double-brushed mat finish. No more. The customer was right. Same great sound, same beach stone clapper, but now even prettier. They are richer and more elegant looking with a shiny, polished finish. Thanks for the wonderful idea, Kim!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

eBay Stars

eBay just introduced a more detailed feedback system. I've been waiting for the necessary ten new feedbacks to see how I'm doing, star-wise. Today, the first results are in, and I am happy that I've rated a perfect score so far. It's nice not to have been punished for shipping time, as I try to ship same day or next day, but things can take a little longer crossing the border (and maybe not everyone understands that). I work really hard to please my customers, and it's nice to see that reflected.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Made Etsy Home Page !

Etsy is a neat, upbeat arts and crafts site. I've always wanted to be on their homepage (who wouldn't?), but that's like winning the lottery. Well, what do you know, I made it tonight. Nice way to start the weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Broken Link ~ Oooops!

Starting this $230 wind chime on eBay for 99 cents, and I went and put a broken link here a couple of days ago. So for those who tried to see the listing~ Sorry! It's gotten a few bids, but at $51 is still an unbelievable deal. So to visit the listing, just click here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bigger can be Better

Large Driftwood Double Copper Wind Chime ~ a Treat for the Eyes, and the Ears. See other large works in my eBay store, or the major works page on my website.

Sometimes I really enjoy making big works. I forget that one day I will have to pack them and ship. There are strict limits on both size and weight, so always my first thought when the 'sold' notice comes through is "Yipee!" followed shortly by "Oh, Oh" as I realize what a job it will be to pack, and also wondering if it might be too big, too heavy. As I've made more and more large pieces, I have become a little more clever in designing them for easier packing. But it's still quite a chore.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Large Beach Glass inspired Kaleidoscope Wind Chime
Copper chimes with a beach stone clapper

99 Cent listing on eBay!

So I think I am addicted to 99 cent auctions. This is the third week I've run one, and this is one of the nicest yet.

This wind chime usual resides in my eBay store for $225.50, but I have just listed it for 99 cents on eBay. Learn more about it, or bid, by clicking here.

Spreading a Little Happiness

It always makes me happy to see one of my works at its new home. Quite a few customers send pictures, and I really appreciate that they take that time and trouble. This one is special, as it is the first of my works to arrive in Scotland. It's hanging outside from the side of a Russian-built log cabin. Pretty cool.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Record Broken

Beach glass inspired kaleidoscope wind chime. The beach stone clapper produces sweet music against the five large copper chimes. Tung nut oiled red cedar. Started at 99 cents on eBay.

I don't usually get all that many "watchers" on my eBay listings. Watchers are the number of people who have bookmarked a listing through the eBay system. Sometimes I have five or six. This particular auction has attracted a record number: 41.

The auction itself is still at a very low price. But with that number of people watching, things could get interesting. I hope so. I just bought $900 of copper.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cold Forged Copper Earrings, Niubium Wires

My niubium copper-colored ear wires came~ and they are Great! Do you know about niubium? It's the latest and the greatest in hypoallergenic metals. These are just perfect for my cold forged copper earrings. I'm pleased with these earrings~ people who see them want them!

As a way to say 'thank you,' I'm giving a set to each customer who orders $150 or more of my work. It's always nice to find a little something extra in the box.

They are also for sale on eBay.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

99 cents

99 cents? I hope not. But that's what I listed this Beach Glass inspired Kaleidoscope wind chime at on eBay. So far, it's still at 99 cents. Five heavy copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. Eco-friendly high-quality tung nut oil rubbed red cedar. Sweet. For more information, or to bid, click here.

I seem to be going nuts these days with crazy listing prices. As though it was not bad enough to have my $255 cobalt blue beach glass inspired wind chime sitting at $41, I just had to go ahead and list this kaleidoscope wind chime for 99 cents. A fool for punishment, I guess. Well, I've had dozens of emails from people wishing they could afford my work. This might just be their chance.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Must be Spring

Sure signs of Spring: warmer weather, bees, flowers, and the large increase in the number of wind chimes shipping.

Packing glass is never easy. But with an injured thumb, even tricker. I had to learn a new way to hold scissors! But the job got done, and the packages look presentable.

I know how sad it would be to open a box of broken glass, so I take great care. I've learned over the years, and haven't had anything break now in over four years. Part of that is investing in great packing materials. I use a lot of sill foam, which at over $8.00 a roll adds to my expenses, but it is perfect for my glass.

I also know that the first impression on my customers will be the box I ship in. So I go to extra trouble to have the outside look neat and clean. I'm not sure, but guess maybe that helps things slide smoothly across the border, too.

My $255 cobalt blue beach glass inspired wind chime with cold forged connectors and hook is still way too low ($41!) on eBay. Why not add something amazing to your yard this Spring? See this wind chime by clicking here.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

It Hurts

Missing part of my thumb (see last post) hurts, but it hurts more to see this exceptional cobalt blue beach glass inspired wind chime with cold forged copper hook and spiral connectors sitting on eBay for a laughable price. A treat not just for the eyes, but five heavy copper chimes with a beach stone clapper make lovely music for the ears, too.

Perhaps I was not too bright to start the auction at 99 cents. This is easily a $250 wind chime. Alas, there it is at $41, with the clock ticking. Now that's just plain silly.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Table Saws and Hands

A moment of inattention is a moment too much, when using a table saw.

I've never been so busy, so rushed. Seems like just the other day, things were too slow, too few orders coming in, almost not enough to do. Then, all of a sudden, swamped. So much I need to make, so much to pack. So this morning it was not that I was exactly rushing the cutting of some new windsails, it was more that my mind was elsewhere. I think I was trying to figure out the best way to pack these heavy beach stones which form the base of a freestanding wind chime.

Just a fraction of a second, one stupid movement. There was a small end that I had cut from one of the windsails and it was in the way. I went to flick it, and the noise and pain told me I had done something really, really stupid. Yep, I got my thumb into the blade.

Well, I can't tell you how happy I was when I looked and saw most of my thumb still there. Lots of blood, and the side and quite a chunk of the end gone, but something like that, it's easy to loose the whole thing. So I was really relieved.

My son drove me down to the emergency department, and they cleaned it up, gave me a tetanus shot, and a fancy bandage. I was back at work in less than two hours. It's a little awkward working with this fat bandage, but you can believe I realize how much more awkward it would be without any thumb at all. I'm happy!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oh, oh~ 99 cents?

Well, I might have been taking a risk last week putting that $177 wind chime on eBay for 99 cents. But this week I am just plain crazy. I just put a $255 wind chime (see image below, last posting) on for 99 cents.

It's one of my nicest wind chimes ever. Maybe others will see that, and bid. If not, please send Kleenex.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Sigh of Relief

Cobalt blue beach glass inspired copper wind chime with cold forged copper connectors and hook. The beach stone clapper produces sweet music against the five heavy copper chimes. To learn more about this wind chime, or to buy it, click here.

Last time (see below) I wrote of my anxiety over listing one of my $177 kaleidoscope wind chimes on eBay auctions for a starting price of 99 cents. How would I feel if it ended at something like $10? What a relief that the listing has stirred considerable interest, with already over 600 views, 20 'watchers' and 25 bids. There are still two and a half days until the auction ends, so this could get even better. I'm thrilled to have such support for my work.

Now I am thinking of repeating the experiment with the cobalt blue wind chime pictured above. I'm not sure yet, as I would be even more anxious about this one. Cobalt blue is not everyone's favorite. On the other hand, those who like it tend to fiercely like it.

Blue glass is the most difficult to work with~ along with frosty white. It's tough to achieve a nice smooth mat finish without the glass getting too thin. It also tends to fracture in undesirable ways when sculpting or cutting. So most often I price my blue glass works higher, to reflect these challenges. Starting this one on auction for 99 cents would be pretty scary.

A customer in England bought one not quite as nice for $270. She then had to pay $75 postage. A further blow was that she got hit with heavy taxes for importing it (something my US customers never have had to deal with). Still, she was absolutely thrilled with her wind chime.

So I'm pondering whether to list this at 99 cents to try and stir more excitement, or let it sit until the right person comes along. I'll think about that for a couple more days.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well, This Probably Wasn't so Smart

Beach glass inspired kaleidoscope wind chime. The beach stone clapper sounds great against the five copper chimes. Listed at .99 on eBay~ a foolish mistake, perhaps.

Oh boy... I may have made a Big Mistake.

After getting burnt on eBay a couple of years ago by starting a beautiful glass hanging at .99 cents, and having it finish at something like $15, instead of closer to the $125 it was worth, I vowed never to make that mistake again. No more .99 cent auctions for expensive works. But here I go again. Short memory for painful events? I guess so.

I just listed this wind chime, for which my usual price is $177.50, at .99 cents. This could be bad. This could wreck my week. What a fool.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Search Engines — Miffed at Google

My most recent (and one of my favorite) beach stone wind chimes. A very large, smooth and rounded, Pacific beach stone. The connections pass right through the stone, so Very strong. Five heavy copper chimes with a beach stone clapper. Tung nut oiled red cedar. On eBay now.

Until I made my own website I didn't pay attention to search engines, other than using Google dozens of times a day. For me, Google was it. It seemed to work okay, most often.

But once I had my own site up and running, I entered the mind boggling world of search engine optimization, or SEO as those in the field call it. Those not in the field, or who only dabble like me, might more often refer to it as ABN, or A Bloody Nightmare. ABN is the art / science / shot-in-the-dark of using text, mega tags, and design to have your site reach higher and higher on the search engine indexing results for important key search words. Important stuff, because if your site is not found, it might as well not exist.

After three months, I have been fairly happy with the steady indexing improvements for my site on Yahoo and MSN Search, but distressed by the indexing, or lack of, on Google. For a month or so, things seemed to be improving, and then, bang, something happened and I lost most of the progress I had been making on Google. That stinks. It doesn't seem right that unless you have a PhD. in SEO, or hire some company for hundreds of dollars, you can so easily fall off the search results.

That got me looking at other search engines. There is a very cool new one that has totally wowed me. It's called hakia. It's different, and it's Great! If you haven't tried haikia, I highly recommend giving it a whirl.

Hakia is now my favorite search engine. And yes~ from a quick look, I like how my site seems to be indexed there. And no, this is not a 'paid for' posting.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pictures say it All

The original poorly lit image, and the somewhat better retake. In my excitement over a new design, I often can't resist taking pictures under far from ideal lighting conditions. Then, alas, I later have to go back and retake the pictures. A time waster. The latest beach glass inspired garden stakes are available on my website (three for the price of two!)~ now with better pictures!

An ongoing time gobbler for me is taking decent pictures of my work. Clearly, for selling the piece, the picture is key. After nearly nine years of doing this, pictures are still is a challenge.

Most often I know all too well when the light is wrong, and that I should not be taking pictures. This happens after just completing a piece, and being so excited (yes, still, after all these years!) I go ahead and take pictures. I know the best light to show off my work~ late afternoon as the sun sets, or a little earlier on an overcast day. Too early, and everything is too bright. A little late, and everything is too dark. So there is a fairly narrow window of opportunity for the best pictures. But in my enthusiasm for a new work, I sometimes can't resist.

Often I end up going back and retaking pictures. Sometimes I am horrified by how poor the first pictures were~ no big surprise that the wonderful new piece didn't immediately sell!

After dropping my beloved old Olympus D-250 three times, it finally broke two years ago. After trying out several cameras, I chose a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2, and love it. The macro function is fantastic, and it has this steady shot business which helps to compensate for a wobbly hand. Often I hold a big light in one hand, so taking dozens of pictures with one hand, this anti-shake function saves the day.

All I need is some sunlight filtering low through the sky, this time of year around 6:00 PM. Just a little while ago, 4:00 PM was the time to shoot. It moves up a few minutes each day, depending on the clouds, and how the sunlight is passing through the trees as it sets.

Yep, pictures eat time. But they sure are important.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Oh Boy, Copper Prices Soar~ Again!

Heavy copper chimes. Yeah, I know, they have to find the stuff, dig it up, melt it down etc. etc. But still. Over a two hundred percent price increase in two years? That hurts.

Thirty day prices for copper

Not so long ago, I used to think it was such a great deal~ a length of heavy copper for under $10. Then it went up. Then it went up a lot! At $17, I stopped thinking it was such a great deal. At $23, I started to freak out. Now at $33, I am starting to figure out why they put the copper and gold charts on the same page! It's not just the price increase: it's how fast it is going up. Over 200% in such a short time. Ouch.

Well, I may have to raise my prices, or people will start buying my work just to strip the copper!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Internet (customer) Appreciation

Pretty? I had forgotten all about this mixed-media style kaleidoscope wind chime until a customer asked about them. Thanks to the internet, customers, viewers, other artists are able to easily drop a note, a comment~ this is a huge source of inspiration and motivation. To learn more about this wind chime, or to buy it, why not visit my website?

I feel an often overlooked advantage to selling one's art on the internet is direct contact with people. When you place your work in a store or gallery, you drop it off and (with luck) later get a check in the mail. You have no inkling of who has seen the work, who bought it, what people said. You don't know if ten people saw it or a thousand, and you don't get any idea of what people said and felt. But, depending on which site(s) you choose, using the internet you can receive feedback within minutes from potential customers, and other artists or craft people.

First, using counters and other statistical gathering tools, you know how many people are seeing your work, and even where and when they are looking, and for how long they look and read. If you have only a few visits a day, you know you need to figure out better ways to get your work 'out there.' If you have hundreds or thousands of visitors, and no one buys, you know you may have a problem with the work itself, or with the price. Either way, this is valuable information you never get from dropping things off at a store, where your work may not be displayed well, or perhaps the store is just not a busy place.

Second, and even better, selling on the internet brings comments, suggestions, ideas: Inspiration. Some of my very best ideas have sprung from a comment or question. How valuable is that? Extremely, and, once again, you just don't get that through a store.

Finally, and perhaps sweetest of all, are all the people who take the time to simply email and compliment your work. What a pleasure to wake and, with the first cup of morning coffee, read several emails from people who simply had to write and say how they love what you have done, how one day they hope to own something, how something impressed them so much. This past Winter, many a cold, wet, dreary morning has been brightened for me by such emails. You don't get that by dropping your work off at store.

So internet appreciation ~ Yes!