Books & Accessories
Odds & Ends
Beads by Color
Beads by Finish
Next sea shipment from Miyuki is scheduled to arrive around January 12th. See list for contents and new beads.
A tale of H&R Block
My daughter, Jocelyn, recently went to a local H&R Block office for help preparing her tax return. Part way through the process she realized that the woman helping her was making mistakes. Joc called me with questions and eventually the return was completed. Without Joc's intervention the return would have been wrong and she would have overpaid her taxes by more than $1,000. Not a trivial error.
I don't know about you, but if I go to a restaurant and end up having to cook and serve my own meal, I'd expect it to be free or at least greatly discounted. H&R Block however happily charged Jocelyn almost $400 for "preparing" her tax return. Joc called the branch manager who said she'd review the return and then never called back. Headquarters said unless there is an error in the return, they're keeping the money. No refund, no discount.
This appears to be a common experience for their customers. There are hundreds (maybe thousands--I don't have time to read all the complaints) of furious posts on the H&R Block Facebook page. Look at the section titled "Recent Posts by Others."
It takes a lot to make me furious but if this isn't legal robbery, I don't know what is. If you agree please tell your friends and ask them to keep warning others. If enough people find out, maybe H&R Block will get the message and decide customers are an asset, not suckers to be fleeced. As for us, our next stop is the Maine Better Business Bureau.
Updated May 21, 2014. Jocelyn filed a complaint with the Maine Better Business Bureau. They in turn contacted HRB and eventually Jocelyn met with a more qualified HRB employee who reviewed her tax return and found errors ($400 in her favor). In addition she was told that she would receive a refund of the original filing fee, and that arrived a couple of days ago. In conclusion, Joc is glad that the ending was acceptable--for her--but one can only assume that for other wronged customers who do not have the time, confidence, or temperament to scream bloody murder, the story would not end as well. Buyer beware.
October 25, 2014
We finished unpacking the October Miyuki sea shipment this afternoon and will resume regular shipping Monday. The website inventory has been updated. The shipment included many items which were out of stock, so if you submitted an order Friday evening or this morning, please let us know if there is anything you wish to add.
Another four new colors of Tex 400 C-Lon are now in stock: Antique Gold(AGO), Apricot(AP), Pale Heather(PH), and Persian Indigo(PI). Additional colors will be coming monthly.
Check the links at the top of the News Page for lists of the contents of the shipment that just arrived as well as the next sea shipment due in at the end of November.
August 20, 2014
After reviewing our stock of Miyuki sample cards, I've put some of them on sale. (We sell these at our cost so this is the first time we've ever had a sale on any of them.) Some are overstocked due to ordering mistakes (oops!) and others are going to be replaced. Stock varies from way too many to just a few so the sale pricing is in effect while we have cards available. They are linked below the regular sample cards.
Reminder: You can now explore the Miyuki beads grouped by color or by finish. Check the bottom of the left navigation bar.
Four new colors of Tex 400 C-Lon are now in stock: Flax(FX), Moss(MO), Sienna(SI), and Tan(T). Additional colors will be coming monthly.
August 7, 2014
Please take a look at the bottom of the left navigation bar where you'll find the Miyuki beads grouped by color or by finish. We haven't finished checking everything so if you find a glaring mistake (like a blue bead in the red category) please let us know.
Note: if you see beads labeled "cobalt" that look distinctly purple, they're really cobalt blue. My old Nikon routinely converted cobalt to purple and we obviously didn't spot them all. Once we get this project done, we'll be doing a new round of photography.
Miyuki just shipped our September sea freight. Detailed list at the link above.
Four new colors of Tex 400 C-Lon are due in any day: Flax(FX), Moss(MO), Sienna(SI), and Tan(T). Additional colors will be coming monthly.
July 23, 2014
The July sea shipment from Miyuki just arrived so we'll be unpacking it for the next day or so. Normal shipping will resume as soon as we finish; until then only overnight and 2-day orders will go out.
June 9, 2014 8:15am
The June air and sea shipments from Miyuki are unpacked, and we have lots and lots of orders. We should be more or less caught up with regular orders by tomorrow afternoon. New items or ones which were out of stock and need to be tubed up will take a few days, so if your order includes tubes, please be patient.
We now have gorgeous top-quality Hamanaka Kumihimo disks in stock. They are listed under the stringing materials header at left. New Delicas starting with DB2101 through DB2142 are in stock but already running low. If you want any of these, please order soon.
April 17, 2014 8:15am
We're still unpacking the April sea shipment and hope to finish in 3-4 hours. We'll then resume shipping orders.
Important! Please note the following items which are IN STOCK but NOT yet listed on the cart. Time permitting* I will take care of that later today, but in the meantime if you wish to order any of them, or to add them to an existing order, send us an email with the item numbers and quantities desired.
- BGL2-195 Bugle 2(6mm) 24kt Gold Lined Crystal | 100 grams
- CARD 934 Luminous (Neon) Seed Bead Sample Card (2014) 15s 11s 8s
- CARD.MINI.1 Mini Promotional Card
- DBMIX-25 Delica Mix - Water Garden | 100 grams
- DELICA.CARD 899 Miyuki Luminous (Neon) 10/0 Delica Beads Sample Card (2014)
- LMA-4204F Miyuki 4x7mm Long Magatama Duracoat Galvanized Matte Champagne | 250 grams
- SB-4501 Miyuki 4mm Cube Bead Tr Lt Topaz Picasso | 250 grams
- SB-4502 Miyuki 4mm Cube Bead Tr Dk Topaz Picasso | 250 grams
- SB-4511 Miyuki 4mm Cube Bead Black Picasso | 250 grams
- SB-4513 Miyuki 4mm Cube Bead Op Red Picasso | 250 grams
- SB-4514 Miyuki 4mm Cube Bead Op Turquoise Blue Picasso | 250 grams
- SB18-1052 Miyuki 1.8mm Cube Bead Galv Gold | 250 grams
- SB18-11 Miyuki 1.8mm Cube Bead S/L Ruby | 250 grams
- SB18-190 Miyuki 1.8mm Cube Bead Nickel Plated | 100 grams
- SB3-18 Miyuki 3mm Cube Bead S/L Aqua | 250 grams
- TW2012-190 2.0x12mm Tw Bugle Nickel Plated | 100 grams
- TW2712-190 2.7x12mm Tw Bugle Nickel Plated | 100 grams
* (Well, probably not later today. My mother-in-law's helper just reminded me that she has a noon dental appointment and expects to be out for the rest of the day. So I will be home taking care of grandma.)
March 6, 2014
We are now (10:30am Eastern) unpacking the latest Miyuki sea shipment. We should finish unpacking around noon and will then break for lunch. S regular order processing will resume this afternoon. Your patience is appreciated.
January 23, 2014
It is very cold again. The wind whipping snow off the Caravan roof reminds me of photos of the jet stream ripping the snow off the top of Mr. Everest. Brrrr! But on a cheerier note, our January sea shipment from Miyuki arrived yesterday and we will be unpacking it all today (Thursday). We'll suspend shipping (other than overnight and 2-day orders) until we finish unpacking and have a chance to update inventory on the cart. So minimal shipping if any till Friday.
January 2, 2014
A bit of a rocky finish to 2013. The 6-inch underground water line to Caravan Beads broke on Christmas Eve. We do not yet know when it will be excavated and replaced, and until that happens we're getting by with portable toilets in our back warehouse and bottled water. Like camping out indoors. Further complicating repairs are the snowstorms that seem to be coming every few days. It's snowing right now and the weather mavens are predicting a foot or more of new snow. It's also bitterly cold; three degrees this morning when I started my not-very-happy old Subaru.
To complicate matters further, the water line runs below the driveway beside our retail store. Right now retail is closed for inventory, but it will probably have to remain closed until the repairs are done as the excavation will create a 5-foot deep trench right past the retail entrance. So local customers, please call before trying to visit. And before excavation starts, Dig Safe has to mark the location of other underground stuff like the natural gas line, and that requires clean pavement so they can spray paint, and clean pavement after they paint so the backhoe operator can see where to dig, and the falling snow will hide the paint, etc. Yikes!
Happy New Year!
December 5, 2013
We received a small air shipment from Miyuki today which included the first 10 colors of Luminous Delicas in size 10/0 (DBM2031 - DBM2040). They are just as radioactively neon as their smaller brothers. Blinding!
Our December sea shipment is due in any day. We're also looking forward to receiving the new half-Tilas which Miyuki will be shipping in the not-too-distant future. These are literally half-width full-height Tilas which will be available in 50 colors to start. We've been really busy but perhaps Sunday I'll have time to post a list of the colors and start getting the info up on the website. Miyuki sent some images of pieces they've made combining full and half-size Tilas and they open up all sorts of interesting design possibilities.
November 7, 2013
It really can't be November already. Impossible.
Our next sea shipment from Miyuki just left Japan and should arrive here the week of December 9. It includes many of the luminous Delicas and this time in, I hope, adequate quantities to last for a few months. See the link above for a list of what is coming.
August 6, 2013
Lots of new C-Lon arrived yesterday. There are 8 more colors of Tex 135, plus four new neon colors in bead cord (CLC) and Tex 400 (CLC.400). We're still putting it all away and probably won't get time to photograph everything for another day or two. The neons are blindingly bright and can be used to wake up overly sound sleepers...
June 18, 2013
We've had many requests to expand the color selection of Fine Weight (Tex 135) C-Lon beading cord and the new colors are starting to arrive. Eight colors came in this morning:
- CLC.135-CHA Charcoal
- CLC.135-G Green
- CLC.135-GY Golden Yellow
- CLC.135-L Latte
- CLC.135-N Navy
- CLC.135-SE Sepia
- CLC.135-SI Sienna
- CLC.135-TQ Turquoise
Photos in a day or two.
June 2, 2013
I've posted the contents list for our next Miyuki shipment. (See link above.) It's due in around July 8th. I've flagged the new beads and there are lots of them. We won't be taking preorders for these as we have more than adequate quantities coming. Very exciting!
May 21, 2013
Both air and sea shipments arrived from Miyuki yesterday. We're buried in beads and boxes. Hope to finish all the unpacking and putting away in the next hour or so and then will begin processing orders. The cart inventory has been updated and I'll send out Wait List notifications shortly (unless lunch arrives first, in which case I'll do it after lunch. I'm famished.)
Lots and lots of new beads in the air shipment including the new luminous Delicas, matte Duracoat Delicas, 5/0 Baroque beads, and maybe more--I've lost track. There were many preorders for the luminous Delicas so stock is already slim and I expect we'll run out soon. If you order tubes expect a wait of at least 3-4 days before we ship. We have about a week's worth of beads to tube up right now. More luminous Delicas will arrive by sea in June and I've reordered them already. Blinding colors, some of them. Put on your sunglasses!
May 4, 2013
Awesome videos from the folks at Beadshop.com! If you've wondered how to make your own C-Lon wrap bracelet, look no further.
The May sea shipment list is now available. Use the link above.
March 30, 2013
I'm not having much luck linking to the newsletter so here's a quick summary:
- Our next Miyuki shipment is due in mid-April. See the link above for details.
- Miyuki is working on a small air shipment for us which will include new sample cards. See the February news (below) for details. If you want to preorder cards, let me know.
- We're beginning to work on choosing new C-Lon colors to bring in later this year and perhaps in 2014. If there are colors you've been wishing for, send us a sample (not too small) that can be analyzed.
- The C-Lon factory raised our prices 5% in February. I will be raising our prices 3% to compensate. It's on my list of things to do today.
- Ultrasuede prices also went up and those were updated online yesterday.
March 29, 2013
I sent out an email newsletter today. If you didn't receive it and you wanted to, your name may have been dropped by accident when we verified our email list a month or two back. Please sign up again using the link at the bottom of the page. Tomorrow I'll try to figure out how to create a link to the newsletter but right now, it's time to go home and check on the injured kitty.
Feb 15, 2013: New Miyuki Beads
Miyuki has been busy coming up with new colors of existing beads as well as some entirely new beads for 2013. The links below will take you to sample card scans. (They are large images.) I'll be planning our initial orders this weekend. Wholesale customers can help by letting me know the ones in which you're most interested. Just tell me the sample card number or numbers. You can also preorder now if you want everything on one of the cards. We already have several preorders for the new Luminous Delicas on card 897.
Note that while we're happy to receive pre-orders, they're not usually necessary as long as you don't wait weeks or months after new items arrive to order the ones you want. But do please let us know which of the new beads interest you most.
Card 888: Long Drop Beads
Card 897: Luminous Delicas
Card 931: Picasso coating on various beads, and more.
Card 932: Matte Duracoats, various sizes.
Card 933: Matte Duracoat Delicas
Delivery: Miyuki hopes to ship the new Delicas in March or April and the Long Drops in April. We would receive them a month after they leave Japan. No ship dates yet for all the others but I would imagine we'll get them by early summer or sooner.
Also in the new stuff category: 16 recently added colors of C-Lon Tex 400.
Feb 9, 2013
We are in the middle of a record-breaking blizzard. Portland has already surpassed the previous record snowfall for one storm and it's still coming down. The Caravan Beads parking lot is a disaster and the snow on our sidewalks is at least four feet deep. The snow is light and fluffy here which is a blessing, but it's also gusting 40-50 mph which means that the snow is blowing and drifting everywhere. Needless to say, our retail store is closed today and may even be closed Monday depending on the condition of the parking lot. Assuming we can get things somewhat cleared out tomorrow, I hope Monday we'll be able to reopen retail and also ship orders. But since this blizzard has slammed all of New England, I am sure there will be delays with UPS and postal trucks moving packages from here to the rest of the country.
Feb 7, 2013
Our February sea shipment from Miyuki just arrived. This is good timing as we have a large snowstorm arriving tomorrow into Saturday. Note that shipping out of New England will probably be delayed tomorrow. Our own order processing will stop until we get this shipment unpacked and put away, hopefully sometime tomorrow afternoon. We'll make an exception for overnight and 2-Day orders; all others will probably go out Monday. Note that this shipment includes new silverlined Duracoat 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads.
Miyuki has been showing off new Delicas and Long Drop beads in Tucson. We're expecting sample cards for these to arrive today or tomorrow and will order them after we review the colors. They hope to ship the Delicas in March or April and the Long Drops in April; we'll receive them a month later. I'll post lists and we'll accept pre-orders starting next week.
Dec 21st, 2012
Telling you about delayed shipments risks becoming a habit. Our December Miyuki sea shipment was due in around the 14th and will actually arrive on the 26th or 27th, delayed by a West Coast dock strike which has ended. Another East Coast strike in January is possible, so our January shipment may arrive late as well. I'll keep you posted.
Holiday schedule: Our retail store will open at 11am on Monday December 24th and probably close by 3pm. If you were planning to come by, I recommend calling first or coming before 2pm. A few employees plan to work in the warehouse on the 24th, also for part of the day, but no orders will be shipped. Everything will be closed on December 25th and our normal schedule will resume on December 26th.
On New Year's Eve we'll also work shorter hours and be closed on New Year's Day. So best holiday wishes from the Caravan Staff and we wish you all a happy and healthy New Year!
Nov 30th, 2012
Our November sea shipment, long-delayed by Hurricane Sandy's disruption of freight shipments to the East coast, arrived this morning and thanks to some friends of employees who pitched in to help, we finished unpacking everything a little after 5pm. Normal order processing will resume Monday with one exception: there are a lot of beads in the shipment which have been out of stock for a while and if you're ordering tubes of those, it may be 2-3 days before we have time to get them ready. So regular orders will go out with at most a one-day delay, but assume 2-3 days for orders needing tubes of beads that just arrived.
Nov 25, 2012
Delivery of our Nov 10th sea shipment has been delayed almost three weeks by Hurricane Sandy which damaged hundreds of chassis used to transport shipping containers. Salt water can be bad news. (See the link above for a complete list of the November shipment contents.)
Eight new colors of C-Lon Tex 400, heavy weight, are now in stock and another 8 colors should arrive by Friday. We've been straight out super-busy for many weeks but will try to have the new C-Lon up on the cart with photos and new mixes made as soon as time permits.
If you receive our email newsletters you already know that our primary supplier of tubes for packaging retail quantities of Miyuki beads was also a victim of Hurricane Sandy. The tube factory had five feet of water inside their plant and are just now resuming production. We hope to start receiving tubes again in the next two weeks. Some of them will come from other companies so if you receive some tubes which vary slightly from what we've shipped in the past, that is why. We appreciate your understanding.
While we've been waiting for the November shipment, Miyuki has already shipped another sea freight which--barring any more storms!--will arrive in mid-December. I'll post that list soon.
Curious? Click to see a container chassis.
Sept 25, 2012
Our September sea shipment is probably coming tomorrow. See the link above for a complete list of contents plus a just-received list of what will come in our early-November sea shipment. The September shipment includes a few new items: 11-464, 15-4202, and SB18-1F, plus some 9/0 seed beads which are mostly destined for a customer in Europe. I ordered some extra for us, however, so if you'd like any to play with let me know.
We've had a large increase in demand for our heaviest C-Lon, the Tex 400, so I recently ordered 16 new colors which should come in later this year. We're also planning to add eight additional colors in the Fine Weight Tex 135. More details as soon as I have them.
August 15, 2012
Our mid-August sea shipment--filled with exciting new beads--just arrived. We'll be unpacking it for the rest of the day. If you sent us an order last night it will go out today; any orders that come in today will ship tomorrow. Cart inventory with all the new beads should be updated this evening or tomorrow morning depending on how far we get today.
July 1, 2012
Our next Miyuki sea shipment is scheduled to arrive in about two weeks. A list of what's coming is available at the updated link above. (Yes, some much-needed Tilas are in the shipment.) Miyuki is also prepping additional shipments with some of the new long magatamas, Tila Beads, and more. I'll have those lists available soon. Almost all the new beads are now listed on the cart as well. It's going to be a busy summer!
We received a large shipment of new colors of Swarovski Crystal pearls last week and finally finished unpacking them yesterday. Hope to get photos up tomorrow or Tuesday. Retail customers have been begging for these for weeks.
June 1, 2012
We received both air and sea shipments from Miyuki yesterday afternoon. We started unpacking and hope to finish around lunch time today, and will then update inventory on the website and send out Wait List emails. If you sent us an order last night or are sending one today, assume it will go out Monday.
Miyuki emailed recently to say that production of new colors of long magatamas and Tila Beads is taking longer than originally predicted, so it looks like we'll receive the new beads in August at the earliest. I'll keep you posted as we get updates.
February 19, 2012
Our February sea shipment was delayed by engine trouble but now is in Boston and should arrive sometime Tuesday.
Miyuki just sent us sample cards for new colors of long magatamas, new Duracoat silver lined dyed 11/0s and 8/0s, picasso coatings in 8/0 and 6/0, and some specially coated drops, Tila Beads, and long magatamas.
I've scanned the sample cards and they can be viewed here:
Dyed Special Coatings
Note that some of the beads on the Long Magatama card are already available. Regarding delivery, Miyuki is currently collecting orders from their distributors and plans to make an initial shipment at the end of May or early June. If they hold to that schedule, we'll have stock in late June or early July. (The special coating beads will come later, probably at the end of the summer).
Yes, we'll be ordering all of them--how can we resist when they're soooo pretty?
January 16, 2012
Dang it's cold! I know the good people of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other deep-freeze states won't be impressed, but one degree in southern Maine is chilly for my old bones. Not to mention the wind chill.
Miyuki sent us the list for our next sea shipment which is now somewhere on the Pacific Ocean. it is due in around February 15th. Details linked above.
Happy New Year again, and stay warm!
January 1, 2012: Happy New Year!
Our retail store will be closed starting tomorrow for annual inventory. This usually takes about four days so check this page again on Thursday or Friday for a status update.
The warehouse will be closed as well tomorrow (both UPS and the post office have the day off) and we'll resume normal order processing and shipping on Tuesday.
Miyuki just sent us the list for our next sea shipment (due in around February 10th) and I'll have that info posted with a link above later this week.
Thank you all for your support in 2011 and our best wishes for 2012. May you and your loved ones be healthy, happy, and safe.
JB also wishes you a Happy New Year. May your food bowl always be full and your naps deep and refreshing.
December 24, 2011
Our retail store is now closed and will reopen at 11am on Monday. The warehouse will be closed on Monday and we'll resume normal order processing and shipping on Tuesday. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday!
December 16, 2011
Our December sea shipment from Miyuki arrived yesterday. It was a very large shipment and we're still unpacking it so no shipping today other than a couple of rush orders. We'll resume regular order processing on Monday and already have a large pile of orders to work through, so some shipping delays are possible on Monday and Tuesday.
To see what just arrived, please use the December sea shipment link above. Note the shipment included 40+ colors of Tila beads.
December 10, 2011
Join the fun! Our holiday trunk show is hopping and there's still an hour and a half to go!
December 3, 2011
Local customers! Our annual holiday trunk show is next weekend!
It starts Friday December 9th from 5pm to 8pm and continues all day Saturday.
Stop by for a chance to buy from talented local bead and pendant makers. Also special sales and lots of new beads. Enter for a chance to win a $100 gift card!
My very old iPhone recently gave up the ghost. I was hoping to get another six months out of it but no such luck. So I replaced it and have been getting acquainted with my new one. In particular it is nice to have a decent camera. Since then I've been learning about the many excellent photography apps available nowadays. Yesterday I discovered the free Photosynth which lets me take 360 degree panoramas. Here's a panoramic view of our retail store taken this morning.
Our next Miyuki sea shipment should arrive the week of December 12. It's a large shipment; see the link at the top for the contents list.
Reminder that we're now carrying large-hole Swarovski pearls and after Heather twisted my arm and threatened to do unnamed but painful things, I also ordered some Rivolis. She might share but I think she has her own projects in mind. Oh yes, we've also ordered some new colors of Swarovski crystal daisies which should arrive in the next week.
October 31, 2011
Last night's big snowstorm knocked out power to parts of Portland but compared to the huge mess in states like Massachusetts and Connecticut, we got off easy. Seems like there's way too much weather of the wrong sorts these days.
On a more cheerful and beadier note, our October sea shipment was delivered on Saturday and with luck we might get it all unpacked by the end of the day tomorrow. If you sent us an order over the weekend, it will be delayed a day going out unless you requested overnight, 2-Day, or 3-Day shipping. Also please check the sea freight list to make sure that it doesn't include items you need*. I'll update the shopping cart as soon as we finish checking everything in and also send out the Wait List emails then.
*(If you do plan to add items to an already-submitted order, just shoot us an email and let us know to hold the order for additions.)
September 22, 2011
The thirty new colors of Tilas arrived and in some cases have already sold out. We're hoping for more in November. They are difficult to produce and right now Miyuki simply can't make them fast enough to keep up with demand. In addition they weren't producing the original colors while they made the new ones, so there are many colors out of stock. My guess is that it will be a few months at least before supply and demand get rebalanced.
Our eight new colors of Fine Weight C-Lon are now all in stock. We'll make a new assortment pack tomorrow and add it to the website.
September 15, 2011
Our September sea shipment from Miyuki just arrived and we are starting to unpack. Tomorrow, Friday, we will only be shipping urgent orders (next day and 2-Day). We expect to resume normal shipping on Monday.
The five remaining new colors of Tex 135 shipped from the factory yesterday so should be here on Monday.
September 14, 2011
The thirty new colors of Tila Beads arrived on schedule. When I checked yesterday we still had stock of all the new colors but we sold about 60% of what we received in the first couple of days, so if you want to play with these or purchase some for your shop, please don't wait too long. We have more on order but it'll be a while before they arrive.
The new colors of Fine Weight (Tex 135) C-Lon bead cord have started to arrive. Cream, gray, and orchid are now available and the remaining new colors should arrive within the next week or so.
Our September sea shipment is due in any day. See the link at the top of the page for a list of what's coming.
September 7, 2011
Any minute now we hope to see a Fedex truck pull up to bring us the thirty new colors of Tila beads. If they arrive soon we might be able to ship some of your preorders out today; otherwise they will be on their way tomorrow. Very exciting!
We're also awaiting the arrival of eight new colors of Tex 135 Fine Weight C-Lon bead cord. Those will probably arrive early next week.
August 10, 2011: The Decline and Fall of the US Dollar
Watching the dollar fall vs the yen is quite depressing. Raising prices on Miyuki beads is also depressing, but we've once again reached the point where it's raise prices or shut the doors. For the morbidly curious I've borrowed a couple of currency graphs from Yahoo (thanks, Yahoo!) which show the past two years and five years respectively. Kinda grim.
So I'll be raising Miyuki prices by 10% sometime after 8pm EST on August 23rd. Prices on other items from Japan including Miyuki beading needles, miracle beads, Miyuki thread, etc. will also go up by 10% although it may be a few days later before I get around to those. Note: I encourage you to submit any orders currently in your baskets before the price increase as the new pricing will be applied to any orders we process starting the morning of August 24th.
The first chart below covers two years and shows the dollar falling from a little above 95 yen to the dollar to its current miserable level of around 76. In simple English it means that our costs have increased by about 20% in the past two years.
The second graph spans 2007 to the present. At the high point in 2007 one dollar bought over 120 yen; now it buys 76 so a more than 40% increase in our costs since 2007. And unfortunately, all the predictions for the future are for the dollar yen rate to stay at its current level or get even worse.
July 21, 2011
It's hot in Maine although other parts of the country are definitely worse off. Please take care!
We're expecting air and sea shipments from Miyuki to arrive next week. Details soon.
June 23, 2011
Our June sea shipment from Miyuki arrived yesterday afternoon and we hope to have it all unpacked by noon tomorrow. For today we'll only be shipping overnight and 2-Day orders. If you need something urgently, please be sure to let us know when you send in your order. Thanks!
June 1, 2011
Another month gone by. But since it rained most of May here in southern Maine, we're happy to be in June and finally enjoying warmer weather and some sunny days. This is a quick update which I'll follow with more information in a bulk email soon. I mentioned the Berry Beads last month and now I'm happy to report that Miyuki is coming out with some new--very colorful--Tila Beads later in the summer. We'll be adding all of them to our inventory and time permitting, I'll scan the sample card soon and post it here this weekend.
We're also in the early stages of overhauling and updating the website so over the course of the summer you can expect to see some changes. Some of the updating are code improvements which will be invisible but will help the whole site work more smoothly and quickly. Other changes will be quite visible. Hopefully when we're done you'll like the results.
April 30, 2011
Where did a month go? Oh well. Our end-April sea shipment arrived late yesterday and we expect to have it all unpacked by Monday afternoon. I've already updated inventory on the cart and sent out Wait List emails.
Miyuki has announced a new bead which they have named "Berry Beads" (you may know them as "peanut" beads). The initial release includes 33 colors, and we expect to receive them at the end of July or in early August. I'll have more information soon.
And last, I'd like to recommend a book: The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water by Charles Fishman. Non-fiction and absolutely fascinating. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give it a 15 at the very least.
March 26, 2011
Looks like our March sea shipment will be here sometime Monday. We'll try to ship as many orders from the weekend as we can Monday morning, and then will turn our attention to unpacking the shipment. Order processing will probably resume sometime on Wednesday.
Our new governor, Paul LePage, has drawn national attention several times since taking office for ill-considered remarks. Unfortunately for those of us who live and work in Maine, this comes at a price as this article shows.
March 23, 2011
Miyuki is fine. They posted this letter on their website yesterday. Right now we do not forsee any problems with production or shipping.
We're expecting our March sea shipment to arrive within the next week. Details here. We also just received details of our end-April shipment. I'll post those as soon as the March shipment is here and unpacked.
Later this year we're expecting additional colors of long magatamas, Tila beads, and perhaps a new shape. Stay tuned!
And speaking of Miyuki, they've added some Tila project instructions to their website here.
February 21, 2011
It did snow this morning but let's not go there...
Our February sea shipment is here and about one third unpacked. With luck we'll be able to finish putting it away late tomorrow afternoon and I'll try to update the shopping cart before I head home. Tomorrow we will only ship urgent orders: overnight and 2-Day. We'll resume regular shipping on Wednesday.
February 1, 2011
I used to run a bead business, but now I work in the snow blowing & shoveling industry. It is snowing steadily here as I type, and tomorrow the prediction is for another foot or more on top of the 3-5 inches that may fall today and overnight.
So if you need some beads, please order today. Tomorrow all our employees will be staying home and both the warehouse and retail store will be closed. It is also quite likely that UPS will shut down their New England operations again, so plan on at least a one-day delay in receiving orders shipped today, and possible delays later in the week as well since this storm is messing up half the country. What a mess!
January 11, 2011
Another snow storm is on its way. Weather forecast is calling for 8-14 inches tomorrow with possible whiteout conditions for part of the day. Our retail store is closed till Saturday for inventory anyway, but I don't think many of our warehouse employees will be coming in. So if you placed an order this evening or happen to send one in tomorrow, allow an extra day or two for shipping.
Happy New Year!
December 27, 2010
Let it snow, let it snow...It's not very nice out! I just came in from a couple of hours of trying to clear the Caravan sidewalks. Mostly done but the wind is stronger than ever and the snow, which had let up briefly earlier this morning is now falling again and blowing everywhere so I suspect my efforts will be buried in a couple of hours. I told all employees to stay home and we just got an email from UPS saying they have suspended operations in the Northeast till tomorrow.
And I saw this chilly article in the NY Times yesterday explaining how weather in Siberia effects us. Thanks for nothing!
December 26, 2010
Happy Holidays! The current weather forecast for our area is predicting between one and two feet of snow to fall between tonight and tomorrow evening. I've already contacted employees and told them to stay home, so if you've sent in an order over the weekend, please assume that it won't go out till Tuesday. (There's always a faint chance that the storm will track farther out to sea, but I'm not counting on it.)
We do have a sea shipment coming soon. You can see the contents here.
It's officially due on December 30th, but more likely--especially given the holidays and current weather--to arrive the first week of January.
December 1, 2010
Our latest Miyuki sea shipment arrived a few minutes ago and we'll be unpacking it today and tomorrow. This shipment includes Tila beads as well as new sharp triangles. For today we will ship orders which came in yesterday, plus any urgent orders (overnight or 2-Day).Other orders will go out Thursday or Friday depending on how long the unpacking takes.
When we finish unpacking, I'll send out Wait List announcements and we'll also start processing preorders. If you have questions, email is best as we won't be answering the phone much today. Thanks!
November 21, 2010
Where does the time go? We've been busy and then busier--and all of a sudden it's almost Thanksgiving. No snow yet in Portland, but it's coming.
To business. First, our November sea shipment will hopefully arrive on the 29th or 30th. It includes Miyuki's new sharp triangles and a much-needed restocking of the Tila beads, plus some new precious metal plated beads. As usual it will take us about a day and half to get everything unpacked, checked in, labeled, and put away and then we'll fill preorders and get back to regular shipping. If you missed it, here's the final shipment list.
Local customers, our annual Holiday Trunk Show Sale will take place on November 26th (2-7pm) and November 27th (10am - 6pm.) Full details in our newsletter archives under trunk show.
And our dear friend, Claudia Chase, inventor of the Mirrix Loom, was recently interviewed by Syne Mitchell of Weavezine. It's an entertaining and very informative interview; you can retrieve it here.
Oct 23, 2010
Our October sea shipment from Miyuki is unpacked and we're back to shipping. The new Halloween and Xmas kits* are selling quickly along with other items that have been out of stock and are now here again. It's always nice to see the bin boxes full to overflowing! The String-Me-Along project bags are also proving popular and customer reaction has been very positive. One of our European bead shop owner customers sent this note:
"I must say that the String-Me-Along project bag was even better than I expected. You know when you just see a picture of a product your expectations are not too high as it might be a disappointment...But they are absolutely fantastic and we will probably be back for a lot more - a perfect gift for Xmas."
*Retail customers please contact us for sources for the Miyuki Kits. (And wholesale customers, remember to log in to your account to see pricing and availability.)
Upcoming price changes: With few exceptions, we haven't changed the Miyuki retail tube prices in our store since we started importing from Miyuki in 1994. In the last five years,however, due to the decline in the dollar vs. yen exchange rate, our cost has increased by roughly 40%. So correcting these prices is way overdue and we're planning to work on this in the very near future, possibly in the next few days if I have time. This will also change the pricing for wholesale (but not beadstore) customers since your pricing is a discount off the retail price. This change will apply to retail Miyuki tubes in our store as well as online.
So...if you were planning to stock up on tubes, I'd suggest placing your order sooner rather than later.
Sept 23, 2010
Monica's wedding was great! A lovely ceremony, super food, great music and a good time for all.
I'm a strong believer in product testing, so when we got some samples of the String-Me-Along bead project bags to try out, I turned them over to my beadaholic daughters Heather and Jocelyn for testing. They are both hard-core beaders and do not have any patience with poorly designed products. So when they both asked, after a couple of days, if they could keep the samples and how soon I could get them some extra project bags, I knew that we had found a winner. Heather posted a more formal review on our bead blog, and the String-Me-Along and extra bags are now in stock and available on our shopping cart.
Sept 9, 2010: Sea Shipment
Our Sept Miyuki sea shipment arrived late this afternoon. We'll be unpacking it all day tomorrow so probably won't be shipping orders again till Monday. If you need something urgently, please email or call and let us know.
August 13, 2010: Empty tubes need adoption!
We've been migrating to 2-D barcodes on our tubed beads, with the result that we now have a large supply of perfectly good bead tubes that need new homes. We are already selling them to local customers, but the supply is currently greater than the demand, so we're offering them at a discounted price to bead stores or anyone who can use them for bead storage. They are available in 9/16 x 2 1/2 inch and 9/16 x 5 inch lengths. We can supply you with blank labels to cover the existing ones, or if you'd like pre-printed labels we may be able to supply those as well. The shorter tubes hold approximately 10 grams; the longer ones approximately 20 grams.
The recycled tubes and blank labels are now listed on the shopping cart.
August 6, 2010
We've had some requests for Tila projects and now that we have them in stock, Heather has been working away. Her
first design is on the blog and she's started another piece which combines Tila beads and the new 2.8mm mini drops.
Speaking of Tila beads, we have already sold out of several colors and are low on some others. I fully expect to sell out of our current stock within the next couple of weeks if not sooner, so if you haven't yet purchased any, you might want to do so soon. We've already ordered more but Miyuki has told us these are slow to produce, so it may be sometime in September or even October before we get another shipment.
July 27, 2010
Our July sea shipment just arrived. We'll be unpacking it for the rest of the afternoon and probably most of tomorrow and then will resume regular shipping, including all your Tila and 2.8mm drop preorders. If you call, we probably won't answer but you can leave a message on my extension, 201, and we'll get back to you within 30-45 minutes.
July 22, 2010
We received an air shipment from Miyuki today. It includes nine colors of Tila beads plus lots of out of stock Delicas. For a bonus, silver and gold Duracoat Delicas in 11/0, 10/0, and 8/0. (Color numbers 1831 and 1832.) Expect those to vanish in a day or two. The sea shipment with the remaining 21 colors of Tila beads should be here soon. Fun!
July 12, 2010
Our July sea shipment from Miyuki is on its way and should arrive during the week of July 26th. It includes new 2-hole Tila beads and new 2.8mm drop beads. Here is a list of the contents.
Miyuki has been sending us samples of other new goodies as well, including lots more sterling plated beads (drops, bugles, cubes, etc.), new sharp-edged triangles coming in September, and Duracoat Delicas in sizes 11, 10, and 8, some of which will start arriving in August. It is, if my rusty college French can be trusted, an embarras de richesses.
Also now in: Fine weight C-Lon (Tex 135) available to wholesale customers in Light Copper and Shanghai Red.
June 19, 2010
Fine weight C-Lon (Tex 135) is now available to wholesale customers in purple and rose. More colors coming over the course of the summer.
June 17, 2010
Miyuki's June sea shipment arrived late this afternoon and we've begun unpacking it. Hope to finish by early afternoon tomorrow and then we'll resume regular shipping and also work on preorders for the new 15/0 Delicas and the 6/0 Duracoat Galvanized beads.
May 30, 2010
Where did May go? We got busy and suddenly another month is receding into the distance. This acceleration of time that seems to accompany increasing age is for the birds.
Now that I'm done speechifying, our next Miyuki sea shipment is inbound and should arrive in about two weeks. It includes Duracoat Galvanized 6/0s plus 106 new colors of 15/0 Delicas. Nice! There's a link to the shipment contents at left.
Finally, having absolutely nothing to do with beads but one of the more amazing sites on the internet. My son, Owen, showed it to me a few days ago. Check out the GEL speech for a quick intro.
April 24, 2010
I'm back from three days of visiting colleges in and around Boston with my son, Owen. We returned Friday evening and learned that our April sea shipment had arrived earlier in the day and well ahead of schedule. We'll be unpacking it all day Monday and hopefully will be ready to start shipping from it by Tuesday afternoon. This shipment includes the new 8/0 Duracoat Galvanized beads so if you have preordered some or all of those, we'll contact you soon to arrange shipping etc.
April 5, 2010
A quick update with more info to follow. I'm hoping to send out a newsletter in the next 2-3 days. If you're not on our mailing list, there's a link at the bottom of the page.
First, Miyuki just shipped our next sea freight which will arrive at the beginning of May. It includes the Duracoat Galvanized 8/0s. Links to what's coming are in the left column.
Second, we've received quite a few inquiries about Miyuki's new Tila Beads and the small 2.8mm Drop beads. Both are on order. No delivery info yet for the drops, but the Tila Beads should be here by the end of July or early August. The Tila Beads are now listed on the shopping cart and pre-orders are recommended. Check out the Bead Blog for more info and photos.
March 4, 2010
Two quick notes: First, our March sea shipment arrived late this afternoon. We'll have it unpacked by Monday morning if not sooner and then will be ready to start shipping preorders including the many for the Duracoat Galvanized 11/0s.
Second: We started shipping the 100-card sets of C-Lon bead cord sample cards today. What a project! We prepped roughly 8,000 cards to get these ready. Wholesale customers can find them on the shopping cart (remember to log in first). If you're not on our mailing list (there's a link at the bottom of this page), here's what the cards look like:
Feb 19, 2010
Very busy this month! But it's calm for the moment so here's what's new. First, we received very positive feedback from designers who tried out the new C-Lon Tex 135 bead cord. We're calling it "Fine Weight" and fourteen additional colors (black and white are already in stock) will be coming in during the year, with the next six colors expected in two months or less and the rest by the end of summer.
Second, a reminder that we are using a new service to handle our retail and wholesale newsletters. If you're not signed up, or if you want to check and make sure you are, please use the link at the bottom of every page on the site.
Third, this weekend I will be posting the contents of our next Miyuki sea shipment on the site. It's scheduled to arrive in early March.
That's it for the moment. It almost feels like Spring today here in Maine. My 1000 year old cat even decided to go outside and sunbathe.
Feb 3, 2009: 9:45pm
I sent out an email to everyone on both our retail and wholesale email newsletter lists earlier this evening asking you to verify that you still want to receive the newsletters. The combined lists are close to 5,000 addresses and I'm quite sure that some are no longer valid. We're using a new service to send out the newsletters so I thought I'd use their cleanup service to get the invalid emails out of the list, and also to let you opt in or out as desired. So the email you got earlier is legitimate (some cautious customers have emailed me to confirm, which in these perilous times is very sensible!) and it's okay to click the link to verify you want to stay on the list. We've already gotten about 700 verifications so I know it's working correctly. Thanks and may your computer(s) behave.
February 2, 2010
A busy January! Let's see:
The next eight colors of C-Lon Bead Cord will be arriving in a couple of weeks. They are: azalea, dark tan, eggplant, fern, ice blue, pearl, steel, and violet.
In addition we're adding a new fine weight cord to our C-Lon line: C-Lon Tex 135. It's now available in black and white but we plan for at least 16 colors which will be arriving over the course of the year. The thickness is halfway between the Micro Cord and our regular Bead Cord. Excellent for bead crochet ropes, fine lace work, stringing, and lots of other uses. Just as there can never be too many colors, sizes, and shapes of beads, based on customer inquiries it seems there can never be enough colors or thicknesses of thread and cord.
Today's mail brought us a new Miyuki sample card for 2.8mm drops. Cute doesn't begin to describe them. More news as we find out Miyuki's production schedule and begin the painful job of choosing which colors to order for the first round. There are also more colors of 15/0 Delicas in the pipeline.
Our bead blog is now getting regular updates with free project ideas, and we're working on revisions to this site as well. Today the retail page got a partial make-over and there are lots more changes planned.
Here is our retail store class schedule for the next six months. There are some very cool new projects like these ladder stitch rings:
Miyuki just sent us the contents list for the next sea shipment. I'll post details later in the week or on the weekend. It includes the Duracoat Galvanized beads in size 11/0. Speaking of which, Jocelyn's bracelet made of Duracoat Galvanized 11/0s (see the November news below) still looks great.
Jan 8, 2010
Our January sea shipment from Miyuki arrived this morning so we'll be out in the warehouse all day unpacking. We'll ship urgent orders only this afternoon and I'll send out Wait List announcements as soon as we finish checking in the shipment.
January 5, 2010
Happy 2010! I tried to convince older daughter Heather that I was now a year older--having gone from 2009 to 2010--but for some reason my stupid tricks that might have worked when she was four don't impress her adult self. Oh well; it's a dad's job to keep these important traditions alive.
On a more serious note, we've had a busy start to the year with lots of orders. We're expecting our next Miyuki sea shipment to arrive later in the week. For a list of the contents, see the links in the left sidebar.
I've had lots of inquiries about when the new Duracoat Galvanized™ beads will be available. The answer is sometime in February, as far as I know. We have had lots of preorders for these, so if you want to be sure of getting some from the February shipment, please email and let us know which ones you'd like reserved. And remember that putting them on the shopping cart Wait List is NOT the same as pre-ordering.
We've also started preparing the new C-Lon sample card sets. These will be sets of 88 cards, one each for the current 88 colors of C-Lon Bead Cord, plus two additional cards with samples of Micro Cord and the heavier Tex 400. Each card has approximately one yard of bead cord wrapped around it. They should be very helpful to both bead store owners and designers. They should be available in another few weeks.
Claudia Chase, owner and inventor of the fantabulous Mirrix Looms, has just posted her workshop schedule for 2010.
Finally, Jocelyn, who is currently visiting friends in New Orleans, reports that it is as cold down there as it is in Maine. But her Duracoat Galvanized™ bracelet still shows no signs of wear. So that makes about two months of 24/7 exposure to skin oils, showers, hand washings, airport security, New York air pollution, her cat, New Orleans night life, and who knows what other biochemical stresses. I keep waiting for her to refuse to keep wearing the same piece of jewelry, but so far she hasn't threatened to cut it off. It's stitched into a closed cuff, so the only way to remove it will be with scissors.
December 22nd, 2009
After six weeks of day and night wear, Jocelyn's Duracoat Galvanized™ bracelet still looks perfect. Speaking of the DG beads, we expect our first shipment of these to arrive in February and we recommend preordering if you want to be sure of getting some. More will arrive in March and April.
November 28, 2009
It's now been three weeks since Jocelyn started wearing her bracelet made of Miyuki's new Duracoat Galvanized™ 11/0s, and as the photo shows, they still look perfect. I'll update their condition again sometime in December.
Our trunk show has been going great--still a couple of hours left before the guest artists depart...
November 21, 2009
Some quick updates:
First: Local customers should check the classes page for a list of our December/Holiday classes. Fun!
Second: I think we have four warehouse employees who will be away on Monday, and we've already got a lot of orders in the queue. We'll do our best to get everything shipped, but please be aware that your emergency order may be in line behind other rush orders that we're already working on.
Third: New C-Lon sample cards should be available in 3-5 weeks. I'll have more information in December but I've finally come up with a solution that I'm content with.
Fourth: Miyuki is packing up a small air shipment of Delicas, some kits, and beading needles for us. It should be here in 7-10 days.
Finally, have a great Thanksgiving!
November 14, 2009
We'll be unpacking our November Miyuki sea shipment on Monday and Tuesday, so on those two days we will only ship overnight and 2-Day orders unless you request otherwise. If you are placing an order this weekend and need it to urgently, please let us know. The contents of the shipment are listed in the left sidebar.
In addition to the bracelets that Jocelyn is wearing and testing, I asked another employee, Caitlin, to make a necklace with some Duracoat Galvanized™ gold 6/0s that Miyuki sent us as a sample. This necklace is now three days into 24/7 testing and also shows no signs of wear.
November 11, 2009
Younger daughter Jocelyn is off to New York for the weekend, so the two galvanized bracelets will be exposed to air pollution in the Big Apple as part of their testing. The Duracoat beads still look great but the old-style ones are visibly losing their finish. I'll update the report when she gets back.
A note for our bead store owner customers: As you know, we recently updated our Miyuki wholesale pricing to compensate for the big drop in the value of the dollar vs the yen. Over the next couple of days I'll be reviewing the store tube pricing (items beginning with TB) and expect that many of these will increase at least by a few percent as well. These price adjustments should be completed this weekend at the latest.
For those of you running your own small business, or just interested in how difficult it is, I ran across this compelling article in the NY Times yesterday.
November 10, 2009
Miyuki is about to begin production of their new Duracoat Galvanized™ beads. Traditional galvanized beads have a very weak finish which rubs off easily. Miyuki's new beads are much more durable and if treated with reasonable care, can be used for jewelry. Please be aware that there are no "permanent finish" galvanized beads, in spite of claims to the contrary. Any dye, plating, or coating applied to the surface of beads can wear off or deteriorate depending on the amount of wear and tear the beads suffer.
That said, my younger daughter is currently field testing a bracelet made with four colors of Miyuki's new Duracoat Galvanized™ beads. (Shown on the right in the photo below.) She's been wearing the bracelet 24/7 for four days now and it's holding up nicely in spite of showers, dishwashing, and a lot of deliberate rubbing. As a control she also made a bracelet with the original galvanized beads. My quick snapshot below doesn't show it, but the finish on the old-style beads is already flaking off. I'll keep you informed of the results of our testing, but it's already clear that the Duracoat finish is much stronger.
When we will we have stock? I'm expecting an initial shipment in January with more to follow in February and March . Miyuki has said that it will take them some time to ramp up production of these, so for quite a while I anticipate that whatever comes in will already be promised to customers. If you would like to reserve some, please call or email and let us know which ones you'd like. I think we will restrict orders to a maximum of 250 grams per color per customer initially so that as many of you as possible can get some. And please contact us directly to preorder these. If you are not in a hurry, using the Wait List on our website is fine, but remember that the Wait List is not the same as preordering and reserving in advance.
You can see the new DG beads listed under the New Products tab on our shopping cart. We have not yet set tube pricing for bead store customers so you'll only find full and half pack prices listed. Other customers will see all prices.
I almost forgot: the initial shipment will include 11/0s, 8/0s, and 6/0s. Miyuki has now started to test other shapes and sizes, so more to follow later next year.
Here's the preliminary sample card for the new DG beads:
November 5, 2009
Local customers: We will be hosting another fundraising evening for FIRST on November 17 from 5-8pm at our retail store. We hope you'll join us for an evening of holiday beading. 30% of all sales will be donated to this worthy cause.
October 31, 2009
Happy Halloween! Our November sea shipment from Miyuki just left Japan and I'll post the contents list shortly. But today's news is that after months of literally day and night labor, my daughter Heather and her tall pal, Jeff, are launching their new business and website: Chrononaut Mercantile. I hope you'll take a look and tell your friends so we can show that viral marketing is alive and well. Note that there are still a few known glitches in their new cart. They'll fix those soon but right now they're getting ready for this evening's launch party. (I recommend their About Us page for an entertaining place to start.)
October 21, 2009
The latest round of 8 new colors of C-Lon Bead Cord arrived this afternoon and will be available on the shopping cart later this evening. Another sixteen colors are still to come in 2010 along with who knows what other surprises?
We're entering the season when emergency ordering occurs the most. I know it's not always possible, but when you can, please plan ahead. We try to process and ship orders quickly, but if your order arrives an hour before the UPS truck is due here, chances are pretty good we won't ship till the next day. On the same topic, we just reviewed planned employee vacations and travel around Thanksgiving, and staffing will be light the week before and the week of Thanksgiving. I'll mention it again when we get closer to the holiday, but please assume it will take us a little longer to process and ship orders in the second half of November.
October 14, 2009
REMINDER: Price increases on Miyuki beads are now in effect and the shopping cart is open for orders. The overall price increases averaged about 12%, but in reviewing all the Miyuki items, we found plenty of errors to correct. In some cases the new pricing is actually lower than it was before (by as much as 10-12%). We found other items which have been underpriced for years and some of them needed price increases of 15-25%. But overall, as I said, the prices have gone up about 12%.
Oct 9, 2009
Our October sea shipment from Miyuki arrived early this morning. We'll be unpacking it today and probably most of Monday as well, so we will only be shipping 3-Day, 2-Day, and overnight orders today and Monday. If you place an order and need it urgently, please email or call and let us know.
Sept 29, 2009
Miyuki is prepping an air shipment of Delicas for us. Hopefully it will arrive in a week or so, and since it consists exclusively of currently out of stock colors, we'll be especially happy to receive it. Shortly thereafter we should also receive our October sea shipment. Amazingly the excitement of getting boxes full of beads never fades.
Back in February I had scheduled a price increase on all our Miyuki beads due to the horrible exchange rate between the US dollar and the Japanese yen. Then the dollar rallied a bit so we were able to cancel the price changes. Unfortunately the exchange rate now is even worse. Our costs have increased about 17% this year because of the decline in the dollar, and that's on top of last year's dollar decline of about 12%. We've been importing from Miyuki since 1994 and till now we've been able to keep prices unchanged, but at this point it's either raise prices or find another way to earn a living. So effective October 14th, we plan to increase prices on all Miyuki items between 12 and 15 percent.
If and when the dollar recovers, I will be delighted to restore prices to their current level, but all the present trends point in the opposite direction.
Sept 22, 2009
Black C-Lon bead cord (CLC-BK) is back in stock.
Well ahead of schedule, the retail-ready packaging of Miyuki beads for bead stores is now listed on the shopping cart. Please read the notes on the cart home page.
With help from my teenage programmer son, Owen, the RSS feed for this news page should now work. (I do my best but sometime it takes a 16-year-old pro to keep up with the code. I salute his arcane expertise.)
We recently received some large-hole Czech crystal rondelles which were a special order for a local customer who canceled on us. We're going to put them out for sale in our retail store but if you're interested, let me know. I'll check the hole-size tomorrow but they were intended for hair wraps so the holes are probably at least 2mm.
Sept 14, 2009
The eight new colors of C-Lon bead cord are all here and will be available to purchase tomorrow.
Bead store owners: We'll be adding Miyuki beads in retail-ready packaging over the next month, starting with 11/0 Delicas this coming week. I hope to have all in-stock Miyuki items available by mid-October, about 4,500 items.
All colors of long magatamas plus their sample cards have arrived, as well as a couple of new 11/0 and 8/0 Delicas. Remember to check the new items link on the cart to see which items have arrived during the past month.
August 28, 2009
We have a Miyuki air shipment arriving Monday. Links with details are in the left sidebar. Miyuki will be shipping our next sea freight in early September for early October delivery. I'll have a list of the contents posted next week. It includes the new Miyuki thread.
August 20, 2009
Our August sea shipment from Miyuki arrived this morning. We'll be out in the warehouse all day unpacking it, so only 3-Day, 2-Day, and overnight orders will be shipped. If you sent us an order yesterday, you might want to check the shipment list (links at left) and if there are any items in the shipment that you want to add to your order, please email and let me know asap. I'll send out Wait List notifications as soon as the shipment is all unpacked, probably tomorrow morning.
Phone coverage will also be somewhat spotty today so if you call and no one answers, please leave a message on my extension, 201, and we'll get back to you soon. Thanks!
August 8, 2009
Early next week we'll be adding about 75 varieties of Colombian seeds to our online store. As mentioned previously, we are now handling wholesale distribution for the Colombian Crafts Connection.
August 4, 2009
Miyuki has been selling their own brand of 100% nylon twisted beading thread in Japan for several years. They recently asked us to distribute it for them in the USA and we agreed. There are currently twelve colors with an additional six now being produced. We should have it in stock sometime in September. It is similar to the Japanese KO thread which some of you may already have used. Miyuki's thread comes on 50m (55 yard) bobbins and has a strong slick coating which makes waxing or other lubrication unnecessary. Here are the first twelve colors (can you tell which one we used for testing?):
Wholesale customers: we've just added Swarovski pearls to the shopping cart in sizes 4,6,8,10, and 12mm. Most of these have been available in our retail store for a couple of years but we're now carrying all the colors in these sizes. Backordered Swarovski is continuing to arrive; more details below in the July news entries below.
Also new from Swarovski are style 3700 crystal daisies which make nifty little Xmas trees (design is from Swarovski). The daisies are also now available in our retail store and to registered wholesale customers.
Miyuki recently shipped our next sea freight which will arrive late this month. I'll have a list of the contents available soon.
Finally, we've added a new page under the retail store heading so you'll know what's new up there.
July 24, 2009
The overdue July sea shipment is coming later this morning. (Apparently the container it was in got picked for an X-ray scan in Long Beach which delayed its trip across country, and then it was 'forgotten' down in New York for a few days. Better late than never...). After it arrives, we will only process and ship overnight and 2-day orders so we can get the shipment unpacked quickly.
Other news: Two shipments from Swarovski have arrived so far and more are coming. See the entry below for more information
Beads made from various kinds of Colombian seeds--not to be confused with 'seed beads'--will be arriving late next week to add to our Colombian Craft Connection collection.
July 17, 2009; 10:20am
A correction to the last correction. We received DB 1803 in the last air shipment and we're still waiting for DB1804. We'll get this straightened out eventually!
The July sea shipment should be here early next week. At least we hope so: it was officially due into Boston on the 15th.
Two notes about Swarovski beads. First, Swarovski has created a new style of bicone, 5328, which is gradually replacing the original 5301 style. We have two Swarovski shipments inbound and will be adding new colors and replacing some of our current listings with the 5328s as they arrive. Pricing for the new bicones is the same as the older style.
The second change is that all our bicones and rounds (style 5000) are now available in half packs and quarter packs.
A reminder that we are now handling wholesale distribution for the Colombian Craft Connection. Wholesale customers: the Colombian category is listed below Gift Cards on the shopping cart left navigation bar.
July 3, 2009
Miyuki is sending us an air shipment of Delicas which will arrive around July 9-10. It includes the replacements for DB 502 and 509-513 (see April 12 below for details). The shipment list is available as a pdf file. We also just received the details of our August sea shipment and I'll post those soon.
I'm delighted to announce that the sun is shining here for what feels like the first time in over a month. It's marvelous!
June 25, 2009
Can't believe it's been two weeks since my last entry. That's what happens when a shipment comes in: we get super-busy and I get distracted. Combine that with the rainiest June in living memory and I've got lots of excuses for neglecting the news.
So here goes. First, I launched our new bead blog a few minutes ago; it has its own tab on the menu bar above. Hope you'll like it, and if you're a bead store owner or designer, please consider contributing. It's free publicity.
Second, here's a pdf list of our July sea shipment.It should be here around July 20th. We are also expecting a large air shipment of Delicas early next month.
We've also received a preliminary list of the Miyuki shipment which will arrive in August. It includes the remaining 20 colors of long Magatamas that we've been waiting for. Yippee!
June 12, 2009
Our June sea shipment arrived this morning so we will be spending the day unpacking it. The new long magatamas are excellent! I think these will become popular very quickly and I already wish I had ordered more. We may get everything unpacked by the end of the day, and if we do I will update the cart inventory tomorrow. Note that we will only ship rush orders (overnight and 2-Day) today; all other orders will go out Monday.
June 4, 2009
So exciting! We just received an air shipment from Miyuki which includes many new 11/0 and 8/0 Delicas. A pdf listing is available here. Inventory on the cart will be updated in about 15-20 minutes at which time you'll be able to order them. Supply is very limited for now, so I fully expect most of these to be gone in a couple of days. New sample cards are also available and will be on the cart later today. See the May 7th entry below for a link to photos of the new cards.
We've had numerous requests to offer smaller packs of Swarovski beads so we're working out the logistics to do that. Should be all set in a couple of weeks.
May 16, 2009
Miyuki just shipped our June sea shipment, which includes the new long magatamas.
Local customers have been asking for several weeks when they would be coming, and we're starting to get pre-orders for them online as well. It'll be fun to see how they are used.
I've updated the photo of the week. If you are good with identifying plants & animals, please help me out.
May 7, 2009
The new 4x7 long magatamas, and the new colors of 8/0 Delicas, are now listed on the cart. No photos yet since we won't start receiving any of these till June, but you can use current colors in other beads as a reference for many of the magatamas, and all the 8/0 Delicas match existing colors in 11/0 so you can use those, or your 11/0 Delica sample cards, to see the colors.
As promised, here are scans of the new Delica sample cards.
May 1, 2009
Miyuki sent us sample cards yesterday showing new Delica colors: fifty in 11/0 and sixty-six in 8/0. I'll scan the cards soon and get them posted so you can see the colors. We'll also get them up on the cart as soon as we create descriptions and set pricing. I don't have any firm delivery information yet, but I expect to receive many of the new DBL (8/0) colors in July. We have, of course, ordered all the new colors and will be ready to accept preorders fairly soon.
The new website is mostly done, which is good cause I have other projects that need my attention. The latest addition to the site is a retail store photo album.
And speaking of the retail store, we just made a large purchase of new Czech glass strands which Jocelyn and Monica are tagging and hanging as I write this. We recently restocked pearls as well, so the stock is looking great.
April 24, 2009
Yep, it's a website makeover. I decided a month or so back to try and learn enough CSS so I could rejigger the website whenever I want to, without the limits of site-building software that hides the code. I will confess that it's been a slow process, but I'm starting to get the hang of how it all works. Fortunately my 16-year-old son hopes to study software engineering in college and spends much of his free time teaching himself to program, so I have someone to turn to for aid when I get stuck. (It is a bit startling to see how fast he is, however. Makes me feel my years.) If you find any horrible errors, please let me know. Also note that if you're using a very old browser, these pages may not format properly. Recent browsers should work fine and are also a lot safer to use.
The April sea shipment arrived Wednesday afternoon and we finished unpacking it early this morning. I've added a new page to the site called "Photo of the Week" under the Resources tab. The inaugural photo is from the shipment.
April 12, 2009
Last month I mentioned that Miyuki had come up with an alternate plating to replace the rhodium platings they discontinued a couple of years ago. (Rhodium prices went up ten-fold, from around $400 per oz to over $4,000 per oz--and it just became to expensive to use.) They have now announced the new colors on their website and also have an image showing the old and new platings.
Here's the list with the old numbers on the left and new ones on the right. We've already ordered all of these but no delivery date yet.
While I'm reviewing older news, we still have some specially priced 9/16 x 3 3/16 inch triangle tubes and lids available for wholesale customers. This was an order the factory produced for a customer who then canceled, so we got them at a discount and can sell them for about 30% below what tubes like these would normally cost. Sold by the 100 with an additional discount for 1,000 or more. The item number is 501-SP1 and they are listed with the other triangle tubes on the cart.
April 9, 2009
If you're signed up for our wholesale newsletters, you should have received an email yesterday. If you didn't, we may not have your current email address, or you may be using earthlink and it's blocking our emails. If it's an earthlink issue, send me an email and I'll go through the challenge response business. If you're not sure we have your current email, please register again.
In either case, the mailing gave two links: one to the current inbound Miyuki shipment list, and the other to the current newsletter. Both are pdf files.
We've made some new 1.8mm cube mixes and they're now available on the cart. (Remember, only retail pricing is visible until you log in.)
We've chosen two winning entries for contest number 3. Enjoy the wildlife!
Miyuki has officially announced a new shape of bead which they are calling Long Magatamas. There's more info and some photos
on their site. We have 75 colors on order including some that are not on the official sample card. We'll also have our own sample card available later. Right now I'm expecting these to arrive in our May sea shipment and I'll update that as we have more information.