Saturday, December 20, 2008

Something for the ladies

I was looking at a block of briar today, and found a huge crack ran through the top and out the side. It was just a bit too big of a flaw to be able to make a small pipe. I didn't want to toss the thing. I ended up hacking the bad chunk off with a clumsy hand-saw.

I then sliced a chunk off and started shaping. The moritse hole on a pipe just happens to be the same size as a standard camel light cigarette, so I hit the block with my mortise bit, drilled an air hole the rest of the way through, and voila!, I had a cigarette holder.

The end result is pretty sharp, I think. I don't think a holder is necessarily feminine, but it is definitetly less masculine of a product than a pipe. It is always good to have something for the ladies. The idea also helps fill the gap in my shop of the under $50 listings.

The couple I made today have been posted in the shop. This is yet another thing that will be so much easier to do once I have a bandsaw. Sawing a hard wood like a briar burl with a cheap handsaw is a huge pain in the elbow.

cig holder 01


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A new pipe and a great buy

It has been a good last couple of days. A couple pipe sales. A couple of pipes made. This is the one I finished today. A nice little poker pipe, with virgin stain to show the almost flawless grain. There's one tiny dot of a sand pit on the base, the size of a pin point. I like this shape. Sharp lines with a rounded base that balances perfectly.

pipe 28

I got a package today, something I ordered for myself as a reward for making my first couple of sales. I probably shouldn't have since it is xmas time, but as I could barely make a justification for it being for my business, I got away with it.

It is a business card holder, made by an etsy seller named Douglas Thompson (my mother's maiden name) who has a shop called SDIWoodworking. He sells several beautiful wood products including business cards, wooden pens, bowls, and some other fantastic works.

The holder I bought was well packaged, nicely priced, and quickly delivered. It came with a card describing the wood. Two types of cherry, with a circle set in the back made of cocobolo. It is constructed firmly enough that I feel comfortable carrying it in a pocket.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Relaxing before work

Christmas approaches. Ugh, only two weeks to go. I have yet to buy a single gift. I'm so bad about getting that stuff done.

I did buy another batch of briar, which will hopefully arrive friday or saturday. I'm hoping I don't have to wait until monday, but with the holidays in full swing the mail does get a bit slowed down. I have the weekend off, so it would be wonderful to have a fresh batch of wood to get a big start on. I'll be finishing the last two pipes I'm working on tomorrow, and then I'll have nothing to do.

I was wandering etsy the other day and stumbled on a great wood-worker. His shop is called andrewsreclaimed. He saves old cedar from construction sites and creates wonderful works for your yard. His shop has bird feeders, bat houses, and very cool bee hives, along with some other pieces.


You can also check out his blog here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun times

What a good time at the Art Hop! The big snow held off until today, so there was a constant stream of people the entire time. The were about 20 sellers crammed into the studio, and a huge mob. I never had a chance to take pictures during the event, but here's one of our nice little table before things got going.

art hop/ first show

Today was a little sad because it was the final day of our favorite vintage clothing store here in Kalamazoo, Polly and Esther's. They were having the final $5-bag sale. Jess scored a mountain of clothes that she's happily tearing apart for projects. The ladies at Polly and Esther's decided to make the move to etsy. Check them out.

I found a couple of shirts, but my big score was the shoe rack. They let it go really cheap, and once I used my new sewing machine skills to make sleeves to cover up the metal, I had an awesome, huge pipe-rack. Jess was wonderfully enthusiastic about letting me put the big thing up, though I think it means I owe her some sort of display stand for her projects. Probably soon.

Some people wouldn't like it, but I sure do. It is big enough to hold pipes waiting to sell, pipes in progress, and my own pipes. That's it on the right side of the picture, just past the plants. It is pretty empty now, but I hope to put in a small briar order in the next couple of days, and a large one soon after that.

new pipe shelf

I'm hoping the cats don't decide to try climbing it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ready, let's go!

So the work is done on my prep for the Art Hop. I'm feeling a bit burnt-out after having a deadline for all of this stuff. I took wednesday off work to have an extra day to get ready, and am so happy I did! Jess and I worked all day, and most of the night, finally going to bed around 3a. We had to put price tags on everything, print labels and posters, pack stuff up. Jess has an amazing amount of stuff to display, so she's feeling a bit more stressed than me. The show starts at 5p today, and she's still finishing some little things up.

During our big prep night I sold another pipe from the website, the very nice pick-axe. That pipe came out perfect, and I am very pleased it went to a very nice lady, for her husband. She and I exchanged quite a few messages, and was very pleasant throughout the entire process. I know there are always a couple of bad eggs in a bunch, but so far all of my experiences on etsy have been good ones.

I'll post pictures from the show tonight, probably tomorrow. I'm glad I have the day off after Art Hop, just to laze around, start a new pipe, and recover. Large groups always drain me a bit, and being a focal point even more. It will be a great night, but still, I'm gettin' the jitters.