Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Custom and Friday Night Sale

Holiday Custom and Friday Night Sale
(From our ETSY Shop Announcement)

Friday Night Sale

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on December 30, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%, and everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00. (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Holiday Custom Sale

In an effort to compete with all of the Holiday and post Holiday sales that the big box stores are currently having, we are offering 20% discount on any custom hair stick orders between now (12/27/16) and the next Friday Night Sale described above on 12/30/16.  The following outlines the rules:

** Maximum 2 sticks per order, and you can only be on the list one time.

** Existing designs only, no " Create it from Scratch" customs.

** When you've reached the top of the list and I contact you, you must be prepared to order within 24 hours of my contact, and you must be prepared to purchase immediately upon completion.  If you are unable to fulfill either of these 2 requirements, your name will be removed from the Holiday Custom List and placed on the regular custom list if you so desire.

** From an historical standpoint, we offered a similar type of sale back in 2012 (I think, it was +/- 1 year either way), and we took over 200 orders, and the wait time was over 9 months for me to complete the list.  While I don't anticipate anything like that to happen again, I do need to cover myself in the event that we receive more orders than anticipated.  Therefore, I will set a maximum of 40 sticks eligible for discount.  Whether it's 20 (2 stick) orders or 40 single stick orders, either way, 40 is the maximum and I'll show the running count on the list.

** Link to the Holiday Custom List - http://timberstoneturnings.blogspot.com/p/holiday-custom-order-list.html

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fiday Night Sale

Good Morning,

Well, it's that time again.

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on December 2nd, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00.  Good Luck! (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)
Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

My Happy Place

I think I may have found a nice settling place for awhile. 

But first I want to thank each and every one of you that have sent me a note or two since my last posting.  I received some really good honest feedback, and your moral support was inspiring.  So again, thank you.

One of the many suggestions, actually made by 2 different ladies was for me to come up with a less expensive design like the old banded sticks that I made back in the very beginning before I had a laser.  I never really liked making them, not that they weren't nice, but moreover, I wasn't very good at the time.  Fortunately I've gotten a bit better at what I do over the years, and today they're easier to make in terms of abuse to my hands, they take less time make because I'm not interrupted with the laser time, thus at the end of the day we can sell them at a lower price point.  I think it's a win/ win.  The real bonus though is that they are just naturally pretty, more so than many of the engravings, at least in my opinion.  Plus, I've got a bazillion color combinations to choose from.

So I think I may have found my Happy Place for awhile.

Have a Great Day!

Friday, November 25, 2016

TT Update

Good Morning All,

I've been gone for a while, working on the "double top secret" Design blog... but worry not, you didn't miss much.

Well, it would appear as if I'm all dressed up, with no where to go.  In other words, I finally figured out how to make the barrettes and forks and let's just say that they haven't been a resounding success... once again.  Glad at least that I still know how to make a stick.

So let me share with you a couple of reasons that I've been burrowing down these other various rabbit holes.   The driving factor is that our business is down by a whopping 30% from this same time last year, and folks, financially speaking, that hurts.  The simple fact of the matter is that in trying to support ourselves over the past few years, I think we've flooded the market, as I certainly haven't been getting worse at my job over the years, or at least I don't think I have.  So there's that.

The other reason, which actually is a supplement to the above stated reason is that I don't know how many sticks are left in these fingers.  My fingers hurt constantly, and it's from the repetition of making thousands of sticks.  So, in addition to the income side of things, I need to find something that is marketable which I can make, that isn't as demanding on my hands.  The other alternative, which I don't really relish is trying to get a real job again.  I don't want to do that, because I love what I do and I don't want to give it up unless I absolutely have to.

In terms of additional design ideas,  just like the "secret handshake only" Design blog, feel free to tell me what you like or don't like in terms of anything that I might be working on.  My obvious preference is to make that which you like, as I'm getting tired of practicing that which I think.

So here's your TT update, I hope that I haven't depressed you too much :)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Friday Night Sale

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on November 18, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00, (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Design Corner

Hi All,

I've set up a new blog entirely focused on the design of clips and forks and whatever else we may come up with.  As it turns out, I can't have a portion of this blog that is private, so I just made a new one that is.

If you're interested in participating, just send me a note through ETSY, and I'll add you to the member list and send you a link to the blog.


Update... 45 minutes later...

Wow, that went quicker than I thought, I was going to be happy with 2 volunteers over the next couple of weeks.  Josie, the charter member has now verified with me that I need your email address.  I wasn't sure if it was the user name or the email address, so thank you Josie!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Update and Friday Night Sale

Good Evening,

I'm actually making some decent progress on the ideas that I had.  I think that I might have an actual prototype sometime within the next week or so.  Once I'm at a point where I'm satisfied with all of the preliminary behind the scenes type of stuff that I've had to build, I may ask for some volunteers.  I'm thinking of setting up a private thread that specifically lays out different design thoughts that I have, but the fallacy here is that I know virtually nothing about that which I'm trying to create.  So, if you're at all interested in helping me design the 1st one, I may ask for some help.  Caveat... (this may all be a monumental failure, and if so, you can say that you had nothing to do with it, and I'll back you up).   :)

The next FNS is this Friday, November 4th beginning at 1:00 PM... the usual time.

Have a great night!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Evening Thoughts

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all had a good weekend.

I wanted to share the essence of a conversation I had last week sometime, or maybe the week before... who knows, it's all a blur.  I was asked if I could make a comb, and truth be known, I thought a comb was a 5 cent piece of plastic I use to carry around in my back pocket back in the 70''s, so my natural inclination was no.  By the same token however, I assumed that wasn't the particular case, so I asked for a link to whatever it was that she was referring to.  Kindly enough, she sent a link to what she was wanting, and I quickly recognized that it was way outside of my particular bailiwick, and whoever makes those are good!

While I couldn't make what she was asking for, even on my best day, my head did however explode!

As many of you know, I've gone down quite a few rabbit holes over the past 10 years or so, and I can assure you that there are at least 5 times more holes than any of you know, but I think the comb suggestion just might be the rabbit hole I've been seeking.

It's getting late (at least for me), so I don't want to get into any detail tonight, but I'm going to be asking once again for your help.  You see, I've been bouncing different ideas off of our friends and family now for years, and while I value their input, I don't think they "get it"... but I know you all do.

Stay tuned, you all might be able to help me design and develop a new product line or two... I even had to go buy some new tools this weekend.  I hope some of you might be up to the challenge, as things tend to get named for those that design it... Chloe... Princess Eve... Melissa... all of our hairstick names have meaning, and I need some new names!

Have a good night, and a great week ahead.



*  Update - Monday Early Afternoon

Hi Everyone,

I suspect that there may be some curiosity, so I wanted to fill in some of the details for you. 

The comb suggestion somehow made me look at things from a more 3 dimensional perspective.  If I can figure the math out, I think I may be able to begin producing both clips and forks, engraved and inlaid of course.  The mere thought of making these 2 items in the past simply made my head hurt.  Some of you may recall that I've done both forks and barrettes in the past,  but I was never really happy with them, thus their discontinuance.  This time around I think I've got it figured out, again, assuming I can figure out the math (I should have paid closer attention in school, I distinctly remember saying that I'll never need this stuff, but I was wrong).

So that unto itself is a big deal in the TT world, but here's the cool part.  I'm having to build a number of templates, with each one requiring tons of hand sanding, that's what I've been doing for the past 3 hours, and it was only 1 template.  Once I get the templates and multiple jigs constructed, you all get to have some fun.  I'm initially working on the clips, which will be called the Timberclip.  After I'm satisfied (again, assuming I get there), I'll be able to layout schematically the primary template for you all to see, and if you so choose, you can design the shape of your own Timberclip, which will be named after you, if I decide to use it.  Theoretically, the same will hold true with the forks, after I tackle the clips.  I'm tinkering around with different design ideas for the original clip, but I'm still a long way from that stage.  The only requirement that I'm going to make however is that the design be yours and yours alone.  I don't have the time to do the research, and I don't want to find out 6 months from now that I unwittingly knocked off an existing artist or company's design... Ficcare comes to mind, and I won't do it, so don't ask. :)

So there you have it, I've got to go make a stick now.  Have a great afternoon!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

I hope everyone is doing well this Fall morning.

Well, we made it back from Virginia after attending my son Scott's wedding.  I had forgotten just how pretty northern Virginia is, but the traffic is horrible.  Only compounded by my ineptitude as it relates to Google Maps.  We spent the better part of our travel time being hopelessly lost in a foreign land.  I finally had to ask a waitress to un-cluster my phone, so we could eventually crawl back to the airport.

We stayed at a 600 acre breathtakingly beautiful complex called Airlie.  Given the discounted fares that we took advantage of, we were the first to arrive, and the last to leave.  The last day we basically went 4 wheeling over the entire property and have some memorable photos.  The wildlife was incredible,  and they say that it's home to the largest swan and bald eagle reserves in North America. 

I had to give a speech at the rehearsal dinner, that I lost more than my fair share of sleep over.  In the speech, I gave out 3 wine bottle stoppers and 1 hair stick.  Unfortunately, we somehow managed to delete the pictures.  The stoppers were engraved with the various family names with different designs and pertinent details.  On Scott and Alyssa's, I had the entire wedding party engraved and inlaid, they turned out pretty cool I think.  I gave Alyssa the stick and it was red and white paua and it told the story of their journey together up to the wedding with memorable milestones and the names of her bridal party.  The top inset had her new married monogram, it was a good one.

The wedding was great, but it was an outdoor wedding beneath a tent and the remnants of the hurricane were still alive and well.  40-50 mile per hour winds, and about 60 degrees, we were very cold.  But they did it, they are now Mr. and Mrs. Royer.

We finally made it home, lost luggage of course, but it was a great week, but we were glad to get home.

So, the next order of business is the FNS:

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on October 21, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00. (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

My boys, Scott on the Left and Sean on the right

The Wedding Couple

Erin, classing the place up a little

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wedding Time

Well, the big day is approaching, and it looks like we get to fly into some hurricane(ish) type weather, it should be an interesting series of flights.  When we return, I'll post some pictures of the gifts we made last weekend, I think they turned out ok.  In the meantime, the TT shop will put on vacation mode until next week sometime, and I'll be flipping the switch early tomorrow morning.  If we should have any down time in the interim, I'll try to respond to ETSY conversations, but don't hold your breath, as it sounds like it's going to be a whirlwind.

I want to thank you all for helping us get here, we truly appreciate all of your support. 

Doug & Erin

Saturday, October 1, 2016

"Monday Night Sale"

Good Morning and Happy Saturday,

Well, the countdown to the wedding has officially begun, and I'm spending the better part of the weekend making some gifts.  We'll be putting the shop on vacation mode sometime next week  because while I enjoy talking to you all through ETSY, next week is strictly for my son.

Once again, we have ample inventory for a sale.  So, given the scheduling, we'll be holding a "Monday Night Sale" this time as opposed to our typical "Friday Night Sale".

The next sale will be held on Monday October 3rd, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Monday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%.  (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Thanks for your continued support.


UPDATE:  The sale will start at 12:50 PM, we need to be somewhere at 1:00

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on September 23, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00... Good Luck! (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Wedding... Continued...

Hi All,

Thank you so much for all of your recent support, we're getting there, but we've still got a long way to go.  Of course it didn't help a great deal that our garage door opener decided that it was time to die 3 days ago, coupled with... suit's cost how much???  (It's probably been 15-20 years since I last bought one so my frame of reference wasn't necessarily up to date).

I remembered this evening as we were driving home from our Friday Night get together that I had scheduled the "Wedding" coupon code to expire on the 15th, apparently it must have seemed like a good plan at the time.  That said, we still need some help to get over this hump, so I've set up a new coupon code for a 10% discount entitled "Ivybean".  Why you ask?  Because The Bean just got groomed today and is as cute as a button... along with Erin's foot, yes, that was some yummy cheese... look at my tail!

So again, thank you for all of your support, I hope you all have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

The next FNS will be held on September 9, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM Munich time.

We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00 PM CST. (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Wedding

Good Morning,

September is going to be a very active month here at TT, as my son Scott is getting married in October, and I've got to kick it into high gear!  On top of our ordinary household expenses, we need to pony up the balance due on the rehearsal dinner... several thousand, purchase 4 new tires so we can get to the wedding... an 18 hour drive in each direction, and buy a new suit (I've lost 65 lbs. since the last time I wore one, and today I look like a homeless person in my old suits).

In order for me to pull this financial hat trick off, I'm going to need some help, and that's where you all come in.  To make it a bit easier, I've created a 10% discount coupon code in ETSY which will automatically reduce the price of general inventory sticks by 10% upon checkout (does not apply to custom orders).  The code expires on 9/15/16, but may be extended depending upon the circumstances.  The coupon code is "Wedding".

So that's it for now, I've got to get back to it.

We appreciate your help!


Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday Clearance

Good Morning,

Although it's not technically a Friday Night Sale, it is after all Friday, and we're having a clearance sale.  Everything has already been marked down, so if you've had your eye on something, today may be your day.  With a number of unexpected medical bills just beginning to roll in, we need to move some inventory.

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Custom Update

Good Afternoon,

I'm hoping you all are having a good weekend.

As mentioned in the prior posting, the custom list is now back open... for some period of time.  I'm not trying to be vague, it's just that I'm not certain how the next couple of weeks are going to play out.  We've got a few rather large balls in the air right now, and I'm just waiting to see where the balls land... that is to say, if they land at all.

So, if you're interested in a custom or two, send me a note through ETSY and I can put your name on the list.

Have a great Sunday!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

TT Update and Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

It's been a little over a month since I last checked in, so I thought it is about time for an update. 

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on August 5th, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%, and everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00 PM.

Like I mentioned in my previous posting, I've finally whittled the custom list down to a manageable few remaining at this point.  After these are finished, watch for a new announcement, as I'll be opening the custom list back up on a limited basis.

We're still working like crazy on the new venture, and the July 4th kickoff was successful.  The event was much smaller than we had been led to believe, which was actually a good thing, as it was all we could do to manage a small group.  Currently we're kind of in-between phases with the product which will allow me to take on some additional custom orders. 

Thanks again for all of your support, and good luck on Friday if you're so inclined.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Custom Hiatus

Good Morning,

I hope you all are doing well this Sunday morning.

As I previously indicated, we're putting a hold on custom orders for the foreseeable future, as my time and energies are being redirected.  My goal is to work through the existing list, and once completed make a determination then as to whether we open back up customs again.  The current list will probably take me +/- 1 month to complete, and I'll still be slipping some non-custom sticks into the shop as time permits.

We can't express enough how thankful we are for all of your support over the years, you've brought us here.  I have no idea how this next chapter is going to play out, Lord knows I've been down quite a few rabbit holes over the years.  We'll know in pretty short order whether our new "Tree of Life" will bear fruit, as I've pretty much bet the farm on it.  We're doing a product launch on the 4th of July, and we'll have a good feel for things then.   Just so there's no confusion, there is absolutely zero intersection between sticks and the new project, and I'm going to keep it that way for as long as I can.

TT isn't gone, we're still here, we're just kind of taking a break for awhile.  Like I said in my previous posting, at the end of the day, I'd rather just make a stick. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

TT Update

Good Morning,

I hope you all are doing well this morning.

I have a confession to make, as I haven't been completely forthright with you over the past 2 years.  I've been in the process of starting a new business, the details of which I can't disclose at this time.  It's quite a departure from making hairsticks, and I suspect the overall impression that you all will collectively have is "... Wow, didn't see that one coming".

This is the reason that the hairstick production has slowed down recently.  The new business is requiring a great deal of my time, and is only going to consume more of my time going forward. 

In terms of custom orders, I've drawn a line across the page indicating those customers still eligible for the 10% discount that we offered after my job interview.  I knew going in to the interview that it was only going to be "X" amount of time before I gave my notice, it would have been at best a temporary financial band aid.  As it turns out, this is about the time I would be giving my notice to the employer for the job which I didn't get.  Hey, I knew it was a lousy thing to do at the time, but you've got to do what you've got to do when it comes to eating and paying the bills... we somehow managed to survive.

For now I'm going to continue accepting custom orders but no longer offering the 10% discount.  I'm going to have to play it by ear in terms of customs going forward, as the wait times are going to increase also.

My ultimate goal is to get the business up and running, and hopefully be able to pass off the majority of work to other shareholders in the company, and then ultimately on to employees.  It's becoming an exciting venture finally, but at the end of the day, I'd rather just make a hairstick.

So there you have it, the cat is a little bit out of the bag.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What a week!

Hi Everyone,

It's been a rough week here at the Royer homestead, if it's not one thing it's another.  Starting last Saturday, the laser died once again, followed immediately by the untimely demise of our washing machine.  Since we know that problems generally come in 3's, yesterday it was the garage door opener that bit the dust, thus rounding out the triple crown, I hope!

The laser issue is why you've seen a run of paua sticks recently.  So, now that I'm opening and closing the extremely heavy garage door for Erin so she can run her daily errands  (it shall remain un-fixed for now), the new washing machine and laser parts have been delivered and we're now back up and running.

With the foregoing in mind, the next Friday Night Sale is this Friday 6/10, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM Munich time. 

Just a reminder on custom orders, we're still offering the 10% discount on all customs, and have changed the 2 stick rule, as we've had a number of requests recently for 3 sticks.  For those that may not already know, we only ship a maximum of 2 sticks in one box to minimize the loss in the event that a shipment goes missing.  In the majority of instances, the customers usually opt for a 4th stick in order to save a little on shipping, since 3 is obviously an odd number.  Right now I'd estimate that I'm running 2-3 weeks behind on custom orders so feel free to send me a note if you'd like to get on the list.

So here's been TT's story for the past week or so, I hope you all have a great rest of your week!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Is it Good news or Bad news... Who knows, at this point it's just news.

Good Afternoon,

I guess it all just depends upon your perspective.... I didn't get the job.

Honestly, I've been on the fence all along as to whether I actually wanted to get back into the 9-5 routine to begin with.  You all know that I truly love what I do, especially the freedom that comes from being self employed.  While I wasn't real psyched about the daily commute, I did however like the bank, the position, and the guy I interviewed with, he was a good guy and was completely "wide open".  So, this can mean only one thing for now...

You all are stuck with me. 

I really do appreciate the custom orders that we've been receiving, you all have been fun to work with.  As a thank you, we're going to keep offering the 10% discount until further notice, as I've come to appreciate that it's a good deal for both of us.  You get exactly what you want, and we've got a guaranteed sale... it's a win/win scenario as far as I'm concerned.

... again, while it is just news, I kind of think that it was good news.

Have a great afternoon!


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Job Prospects Update

Hi Everyone,

I just re-read my prior post, and I agree with most of what I said.  In retrospect however, I think the only thing that I would have changed is the 3 back and forth conversation part... I really don't care how many it takes, especially when it comes to the personal interaction... I love you gals, and many of you know it.  I didn't mean to be rude or abrupt, it was just a  reactionary response to our financial outlook, and I apologize if I once again offended anyone, it wasn't my intent.

I want to thank all of you that have sent us supportive notes, we really do appreciate them, and thank you for the recent custom orders, they are greatly appreciated.

We've heard rumors that this is some kind of marketing stunt, and I only wish that I was clever enough to hatch such a scheme.  Sadly, I'm not, but the good news (at least for our long term checkbook purposes), is that I have a 2nd and hopefully final interview on Wednesday, the day after tomorrow.  The big dogs are flying to KC for one on one interviews with myself and a few others.  Hopefully my next update won't be on how I managed to screw that up, I tend to be good at those kind of things.

So, I said that I'd keep you updated, and now you are.  Plus, we've updated Erin's resume, she's looking for some part time work also.

I hope you all have a good week.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

So Here's the Deal...

Good Evening,

I hope everyone is doing well this evening, or tomorrow morning, or whenever...

I asked the question a few weeks ago as to why it seemed that all of a sudden our business just virtually dropped off to nothing, and the answer has become clear.   We've hit our saturation point. 

I mean, let's face it, in the whole scheme of things, this is really a pretty thin market we've been catering to over the years, as there are only "X" number of ladies with long hair that actually use hairsticks and the fact is you only need "Y" number of sticks.  While we're not particularly thrilled with the prospects, it is what it is, and we have to face the music.  We simply can't survive on FNS's at 20 - 40% discounts, it's an unsustainable path.

Over the past few weeks I've been interviewing with different lending institutions with the hope of getting back into finance.  As many of you know, the interview process is painfully slow, but we've determined that it's time for us to re-enter the actual 9-5 workforce.  Ideally we'll return to me working a full time job and making sticks on the side as it was for the first 5 years.

In the interim however we still have to eat and pay the bills, and we can't just live for Fridays.  With that said, here's the deal, I'll split the difference with you if you are at all interested in a custom order.  Our typical FNS is priced at a 20% discount, sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the individual stick, but 20% overall.  Until such time as we determine the time value of new employment vs. self employment, we will offer a 10% discount on any custom orders (existing designs only with wood and gemstone changes being ok,  I won't be making any create it from scratch designs until somewhere down the line).  If it requires anything more than 3 back and forth conversations, I'll decline the request as I simply don't have the allowable time.  All I need is a link to the stick that you'd like along with the length and any gemstone or wood changes, nothing more, other than pleasantries of course. 

Should the job come through before I've completed the custom list, I'll have to ask for your understanding if I'm unable to complete your order.  While I'll do my best, I don't want to start a new job with the concern of an unfulfilled custom list, the distraction wouldn't be fair to my new employer.

So for all of you that have said "someday" I want to order a particular stick, the next few hours, days, or weeks or whatever timeframe we determine, you may consider this as being your "someday".  The job I'm hoping to land is a 1 hour drive each way, and I'm confident in saying that I won't be doing very many custom orders on top of an 8 hour workday coupled with 2 hours of travel time. 

Sorry, but it is what it is, we're not upset in the least, it's just a reality.  You all have been wonderful to work with over the years and we've made some tremendous friendships that will no doubt continue into the next chapter.  I'll keep you posted on the progress as we move forward.

Have a good night.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Morning After...

Good Morning All,

And herein lies the reason that Nightblooming suggested I maintain a blog to begin with.  It would have been so much easier to answer all of the questions on the forum in a discussion format, but history has taught me that anything I say beyond Good Morning is considered inappropriate by the moderator's and as such deleted.  I find it to be a somewhat lopsided set of rules, but I digress. 

What's even more surprising to me than the price was to you, is that it took almost 6 hours before the discussion began, I think you all are slipping, typically it would have begun much sooner :)

Just for the record, I would have been sticker shocked also, because as many of you know, I rarely creep north of $200, it's outside of my comfort zone.  I only read the thread once, so if I miss something, feel free to ask a follow up question here, I don't have that many secrets, but then again, I'm not wild about the notion of teaching my various techniques to our competitors, as I don't think it wouldn't be prudent. 

*  Yes, the price was agreed upon well in advance, and although she offered to pay more, I charged less. 

*  While I will never tell anyone how to spend their money, I don't recommend running a stick through a bandsaw to see the cross section, you're more than welcome to do so, but I think it will largely be a waste of money, and resulting in very few answers.  If you should choose to slice it down the middle, please send me pictures, as I'd be curious to see it also.

*  If you would like for me to recreate this stick for you, I'll be happy to do so, but the price is $225.  No, I will never intentionally rip the original designers head off, and then sell it for less on reproductions, as that would be wrong on way too many levels.  Have I ever done so, probably, but it was due to a poor memory, nothing else.  Believe it or not, I don't actually remember the individual specifics of 5,000 some odd sticks.

*  We began discussing this design on December 29th, and have had ongoing discussions for the past 3 and a half months.  While you may not see it, this is what I refer to as a "Create it from scratch" design, and if you look at the custom order guidelines page, the minimum price for said design is $150.  I assure you, we haven't raised our prices, in fact, they've gone down if you're looking closely.

*  Yes, I've made similar style sticks for much less, but it was for 2 insets (holly) typically bordered in a crushed gemstone, but this particular stick has 6 insets, 2 holly and 4 paua insets.  This was my 3rd attempt, and as I explained to the customer after the 2nd failure, I can't do it because it's too complex, and she would have paid nothing.  Even though I had already purchased 2 new sets of artwork for the dragons.  I've never charged, nor will I ever charge a customer for my failures.  After thinking about it for a few days, my stubborn persistence kicked in and I thought through a new technique, as I wasn't wild about the idea of losing 3 and a half months of discussions and the expense of new artwork.  This was my 3rd and final attempt before I was going to just write it all off as a failure, as I have done several times in the past, it was familiar territory.  As Kenny Rogers so eloquently sung, you've got to know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em... and I was ready to walk away from the table if the 3rd one failed also.

*  I know nothing about the decals are that were mentioned, so I can't comment either way on this point.  I only have one laser, and it's the old one.  Many of you may recall that the new laser never worked, and I ultimately made them take it back.  There are literally thousands of settings that I can program and I've just learned to work with the finer intricacies of an old and weak laser, and no, I still can't engrave ebony.

So there you have it, I'm sure I probably missed something, and if so, feel free to ask it again here. 

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

The next Friday Night Sale will be held on April 15, beginning at 1:00 PM CST (US), 8:00 PM (CEST). We will de-activate all inventory Friday morning for price adjustment with an overall discount of approximately 20% - 25%. Everything will be re-activated at exactly 1:00. (Please check your own individual time zone to make sure the start time aligns with 1:00 PM Central Standard Time in the United States.)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring has Sprung!

Good Monday Morning,

Just a quick update / photo.  Here's our first cultivation for the season, Lilac's and Bleeding Hearts, they should be dry and ready to become hairsticks in about 1 week.  We began making flower sticks I believe 3 years ago, and now we better understand which flowers work best and these are among them.  I'm personally looking forward to the roses, they're my favorite.

Just another reminder, I've got all kinds of space on the board if anyone is up for a custom.

Have a great day!

I almost forgot.  I just got on FB, and was reminded that today is officially my 2 year anniversary from when I left banking, so happy anniversary to me! 
We've never been happier yet so broke at the same time :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

We will be having a Friday Night Sale, this Friday April 1st, beginning at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time (US).  All inventory will be deactivated  Friday morning for pricing adjustments and reactivated at 1:00 PM.  With prices that have already been reduced by roughly 10%, we will mark all of the remaining items down to 20-25% off of their normal retail prices.

As a side note, the custom list is wide open right now.

Hope everyone has a great week!


7:30 PM - My Friday night thoughts:

For those of you that have actually been following along, you know that Friday late afternoons are our favorite time of the week.  A few hours and a couple of adult beverages at The Tavern with our closest friends.  I can tell you that it doesn't get much better than that for us.

We've  had a good day with the FNS thus far.  We began with 15 and we're now down to 6 sticks remaining in inventory.  Honestly, we're a bit confounded on how we got to 15 to begin with, but that's probably another story, one that I'm unable to tell at this particular moment.  In other words... I got nothin'. 

We're going to do one final markdown overnight, and what doesn't sell goes back into inventory at it's normal retail price tomorrow morning.  As far as I'm concerned, if it's not going to sell, it's not going to sell at it's retail price, not a discounted price.  So, as my good friend Denise say's... that's how I roll.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Good Morning,

I just wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a Happy Easter.  Between Church (if you're so inclined), Easter Egg hunts and gathered family meals with loved ones, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday.

This past week Erin had a birthday, and I kind of blew it.  Ladies, here's a simple way to watch your significant other's mind kick into overdrive.  It's just one simple question,  and then you can sit back and watch the unraveling and self destruction, I'm sure it's comical on your end, while not so much on our side of the coin.

After all of the morning's discussion about yesterday and what's on tap for today, or whatever your particular morning routine is, just simply ask him one question towards the end of your morning ritual, and then grab the popcorn, because you're going to see a show. 

"So, don't you have something to say to me?"

In the short amount of time that it actually takes one to comprehend the question, the male species central nervous system has already dispatched the full panic message, that you've screwed something up.  Of course there's the always reliable "I'm Sorry", and when that clearly doesn't work, maybe she'll bite on a wholeheartedly felt "Thank You?".  Once your dude figures out that the only 2 coherent responses that he's capable of digging up aren't cutting it, that's when the real fun begins.

After whatever timeframe you feel is appropriate, and you've reduced him to nothing but a bundle of incoherent nerves, that's when you can tell him that today is your birthday.... oops.

So last Tuesday, Erin hit the big 60, and I blew it, sort of.  In all fairness, it was a non descript Tuesday morning after all, just like every other day.  The ace that I had up my sleeve however is that in my mind, Saturday night (last night) was her birthday, because that was when I had 2 weeks previously reserved a private room at our favorite up-scale restaurant for her surprise 60th birthday party, and I got her good.  She didn't see it coming, and we had a great time with close friends.

So the moral here is that yes, your significant other is probably a moron occasionally, we can't help it, it comes with the gender.  But at the end of the day, there may be more than what initially meets the eye, or not, we're an unpredictable lot.

Again, I hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Friday Night Sale

Good Morning,

I hope everyone is doing well today.

I'm beginning to get back into the groove of things again, now that the 5k stick, and the EBAY debacle is finally behind us.  I'm sure it was at times confusing on your end, and I apologize.  I can tell you that it wasn't much better on our end either.  In any event, I'm glad it's in our rearview mirror. 

The only really good news that came out of the whole thing was the story behind the winning bidder.  I unintentionally blew what was to be a surprise anniversary gift, as her husband (the knight in shining armor) stayed up all night in Germany to bid on it.  In the end, it turned out to be a really cool story, and we couldn't be happier with the outcome, plus, they're talking about coming to visit us sometime.  Here I was chatting with her from my basement, and they were on the beach... the story of my life :)

Which brings me to another subject that I've meant to share any number of times, but have just kept forgetting.  If any of you are ever in the Kansas City area and would like to come visit and maybe get a demo, just let us know.  We actually have seating in the main shop area, and people come by just to hang out and watch me work all of the time.

I know it's a bit of a late notice, but we'll be having another FNS tomorrow at the usual 1:00 time slot (US, CST).

Thanks for hanging in there with us, as we attempted to dance with another, but she wasn't a very good dancer, so now we're back to dancing with the on that brought us.

Have a great day!

Update: 5:30 PM

OK, so it may be a wimpy sale tomorrow, I had planned on having 6 or 7, but we have 2 as of right now.  Worry not though, whatever we've got tomorrow will be marked down.   The only organization for the past 2 weeks that's made any money was EBAY.  I'm so happy we could add to their bottom line.  After that experience, I need someone to analyze this brain of mine, because it's clearly not functioning properly.

Have a great night!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The blog is coming down tomorrow

Good Morning, I hope everyone is doing well today.

I just wanted to give you a heads up before tomorrow. 

For reasons which you will come to understand in the coming week, I've been working on another project now for a while now, and I need the blog to "go dark" for awhile.  So don't stress out when you can't get to it, I'm still here, and I'm still making sticks, but I just need to slip into the shadows for awhile.

Hope you have a great Saturday, love to all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The first one is behind us

Good Afternoon,

Well the 1st sale on EBAY seemed to go through smoothly.  That said, I've been on the phone at least 2 times every day with EBAY since I opened the store with one problem or another.  ETSY is much simpler, but we're starting to get the hang of things.

And here we thought FNS's were fun to watch.  The winning bid was $126.39, which is in essence the same price we would have gotten in a FNS, so we're satisfied, although a bit shocked when we actually saw the sum total of the fees.  Net/Net, we lost money over selling it on ETSY, but hey, it's our 1st auction and overall we're very pleased with it.

As I've tried to explain, this whole thing is a fluid plan to say the least.  What we're thinking as of right this minute (don't worry it'll change, it has about 50 times already), is that we'll shuffle sticks between the 2 platforms.  In other words, if a listing doesn't sell on ETSY after a few days, it's off to EBAY, and vice versa.

Initially I'm planning for all spec. sticks to first be listed on EBAY, and if it doesn't open, it comes back to ETSY where it would have ordinarily been priced (remember, they're all going into EBAY at a set price of $100 irrespective of design).   So for today's example, the winning bidder purchased the stick for 84% of it's ETSY's retail value, as it would have been listed for $150, so not a bad deal.  Customs however will only be done thru ETSY, not unless the custom request comes thru EBAY.  If that's the case, the custom price will be either the greater of the retail ETSY price, or the winning bid price if it's a stick that was sold thru auction.  Suffice it say, I don't recommend you sending me a custom request through EBAY.  This is how I plan on keeping the prices set for those that follow the blog, I told you I wasn't going to raise the prices for you all, and I won't. 

So, let's take tomorrow for example:  If the current stick that's in the ETSY shop hasn't sold, which has been in inventory for 4 days, we will deactivate it in ETSY and list it on EBAY.  As for the stick that has no opening bids with the auction ending tomorrow morning, if it doesn't open, then it comes back to ETSY at it's normal retail price.  If they just flat out don't sell after all of that, the stick is clearly a loser and we'll either have a FNS or just give it away. 

I've spent a couple of hours now trying to get all of the platforms linked up.  You can see that I've added links to the different sites right under our banner.  It was a painful process for me, as doing computer stuff is one of the last things that I like to do, but it needed to be done.

Have a great afternoon!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why the EBAY store?

Good Afternoon,

I feel an earthquake coming, so let me try to explain this as best I can.  But in order to do so, I need to rewind the tape a little, so please bear with me.

When I first discovered hairsticks, many of you will recall Beatnik (sp?) and the clear Master, Gray Dog.  Since I didn't have a clue what a hairstick was in the beginning, why not study the best?  And by the way, I have never looked at another hairstick makers sticks since Gray Dog, as I don't want to be influenced by anyone other than him, and my lousy memory.  Gray Dog had both an ETSY shop and an EBAY store, or whatever it was back in the day.  We all saw it, he was a master at his craft, the best to this day, at least in my opinion.  Well, he moved on in life as did I, and I haven't even thought about EBAY ever since, up until now.

Obviously the 5,000th stick was the motivator, as I had zero desire to otherwise even consider EBAY as an additional platform.  Any artist that works and prices their art based upon their desired hourly wage is a fool.  My typical stick takes anywhere from 3 to 7 hours to create, barring a single problem, and I've yet to meet that stick.  Our  prices have always been based on the stick's complexity and material only, not because I think I can get away with something.   So here comes the 5,000th stick that took over 40 hours to create, and my problem was, how do I possibly price something like this in a fixed price system?  The simple answer is that it's impossible, someone is going to come out on the short end of the stick, either you or us.  Again, only a fool bases pricing on time spent, it's only worth what it's worth, not a penny more.

Well, I haven't been shy about the difficulties I've had trying to set all of the EBAY stuff up, and it was just for one lousy stick.  I didn't have a choice once I decided to go forward with the 5k stick, and I had no clue how to price it, thus the reason I did the Sammi stick to artificially set the value.

So all of that was my motivation, but I'll be darned if I didn't start doing some thinking along the way.  Kherome and I have been chatting about it, and I understand the push back, it's a pain, I get it.  I don't like new things any more than any of you, but here's my thought process, and it seems to make sense to me, at least to me.

I'm going to preface this with, and  I'm stating fact, not fiction, but a great number of our sales occur within the 1st 5 minutes of a stick being posted on ETSY, and while I don't get it, it's apparently true.  Don't get me wrong, we love it when Erin's phone goes cha-ching, as we've got to eat and pay the bills all at the same time.

This is where my age comes in, because I have to believe that in many of these instances, the purchase was an impulse buy on the buyers part, and again, we've got to eat, so it's worked out handily over the years.  There's that, and then there's the fact that whenever we post a stick, half of the world is asleep.  Ladies, I work 18 hours a day and I suspect that all of you are asleep at least a couple of these hours, and if not, you're probably not clicking refresh every 15 minutes just in an effort to snag a stick in your spare time.

Regarding EBAY, irrespective of design, the opening price on any stick will be set at $100, which is less than we've sold anything for on ETSY  in quite some time, excluding Friday Night Sales of course.

So, by my way of thinking, I've leveled the playing field to some degree.  The auctions are going to be for 3 days, so time zones are no longer an issue.  They are all at a set price of $100, and if they don't sell by day 3 we'll just re-list it at a lower price, thus eliminating Friday Night Sales, again, they're only worth whatever they're worth, we'll find the bottom eventually.  And finally, going back to my age reference again, there's really nothing wrong about thinking about a purchase prior to actually making it, it gives you time to think about whether you really want it or not.  I want you to purchase my sticks because you want them, not because of the rationale that 'If I don't buy it this very second, someone else will".  That doesn't give my heart the warm fuzzies.

I recognize that irrespective of my rationale, you probably still don't like it, and that's fine.  We're not closing the ETSY shop, nor are we cutting off customs, nor are we adding the fees back into the price (Kherome said that and I was shocked).  Nothing about the way we do business is changing, other than adding an additional platform, shipping will be the same as it always has been, with the possible exception of the commemorative stick, it just depends on where the final bid ends up.  If, after all of this, you're still vehemently opposed to the idea, just send me a note, and I'll put you on the custom list and  the problem is solved.  You do after all, have 5,000 previous designs to choose from :)  (sorry, I couldn't resist).

At the end of the day, we've been on ETSY now since 2009.  As of this writing, we've sold 5,007 sticks and have had 2,954 reviews, all of which were 100% positive.  We've gotten to know you, and quite a few of you have gotten to know us on a personal level as well.  Do any of you actually think that I'm trying to take advantage of anyone, or trying to falsely capitalize on this?  I know the naysayers are out there, and there's likely nothing that I can say that will change your mind or your heart, there never has been.  But for our friends (customers) that know us, and that we've come to love over the years, I hope you understand, we're just trying to do the right thing.  I may be completely misguided on this, but I have it on a higher authority that I'm correct... so with that let's just say... 'nuff said.

Have a good night.

EBAY Store

Good Morning,

I'm still struggling with all of this EBAY stuff, but I think I've managed to stumble my way through opening up an EBAY store.  I don't know whether this is going to be a good thing or not, as EBAYS fees are higher than ETSY's, so we're going to test the waters slowly.


If anyone see's anything that I've messed up, (Darkhorse), please let me know, as I'll take all of the free advice I can get.

Thanks, have a great day!


It just occurred to me that we don't have any experience on the backend of things on EBAY.  In other words, what happens when the bidding is over.  Given my not so stellar efforts thus far, we're going to post another stick this morning on EBAY on a 36 hour auction and see what happens after the fact, assuming it sells.  I would actually like to get the commemorative stick into the winning bidders hands, and going in blind on the backend isn't a very good plan.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunday Evening Update

Good Evening,

Thank you Darkhorse, I messed up the international shipping on the commemorative stick.  I did the same on the test stick that was previously listed, so at least I'm consistent.  It took an hour on the phone with an EBAY rep that walked me through getting it corrected.  I wanted to hug the guy afterwards, and I even told him so.  He was extremely patient with what had to be a very painful conversation on his end dealing with a moron like me.

As you might imagine, we kind of want our international customers involved if they so wish, I just had it set up as U.S. only... hey, I'm new to this EBAY stuff.  I did move it up to 5 days, as we were already down 2 on the 7 day listing.

Sorry, have a good night.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A question for you

Good Morning,

Yesterday I received a custom request for a Paris themed stick.  Well, I don't have any such thing, so the request would technically fall under the "create it from scratch" category, which we charge more for accounting for design time, etc.  I'm thinking about waiving the additional fee, pending a question I have for you.

As often happens, my mind began drifting back 15 years ago when we visited Paris.  We absolutely love the city, it was the most memorable trip of my life.

After having revisited Paris in my mind, I began thinking, and here's my question.  Does anyone think that there might be any interest in creating a "Cityscape" series, Paris, London, Munich, NYC just to name a few?

I think it could be kind of cool, but then again, I generally like most of my ideas initially.  If you would, please share your thoughts with me, because I'm getting tired of chasing down empty rabbit holes, and believe me I've got empty rabbit holes all over the place.

Thanks for any input, and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Reveal

Good Morning,

Well, today's the day you get to see it, and tomorrow it's off to EBAY.  Suffice it to say, I hope you like it. 

So the plan for  tomorrow is that we'll be posting it on EBAY around 5:00 PM (CST).  I understand that the start time is completely irrelevant to you, as it's a 1 week auction, so who cares what time we post it.   There is a reason however that it's relevant to us.

For those of you that have followed this little blog journey, you'll recall that our 2 favorite days of the week are Fridays and Sundays for Church.  For the past 8 months since my 40th reunion last summer, there has been a core group of us that have gotten together at our favorite watering hole, The Tavern at Mission Farms from 4:00 until 6:30ish, every single Friday, we all just clicked.  Today, Erin and I consider Neal, Steve, Deb and Keith to be as close as family, and we know the feelings are mutual.  My shop has become our clubhouse, and it's not unusual for any of them to just stop by anytime after 3:00 and out the door by 7:00, any day of the week, so I can go to bed.  I don't get cleaned up or change clothes, I just keep working, and they watch (I have seating set up in the main shop).  We drink beer, talk, laugh and most recently cry.  You see, two days ago, Neal's baby daughter Emily, 28 years old was diagnosed with, not one, but two strains of Leukemia.  The clubhouse and our "family" has been Neal's  respite of sorts, to some small degree in what can only be described as devastating news.  So, next Friday as usual we're going to be at the Tavern in our usual spot with Ipad in hand, and at 5:00 with our family, and then we'll know who's buying the drinks.  But back to Neal for a moment, I know you all don't know him or his family from Adam, but if you get a chance, say a little prayer for my good friend, Emily, and their family, because they need it.


So again, by the numbers:
Item                                                          Number
6.5"  Ebony Hairstick                                     1  (Correction - the stick actually measures 6.625")
Paua inlays                                                   18 - The underlayment below the engravings
Sterling Silver Inlays                                      6 - Thin bands bordering the abalone, and the top

Dominant Inlays                                             2 - The Abalone wide bands
Primary Inlays                                               40 - Different gemstone inlays on the diamonds
Secondary Inlays                                          426  - Mother of Pearl inlays in the numbers
Total Number of Components                  493

The final picture, the underside of the lid, lists all of the various components, basically in order from the top of the stick to the foot.  While difficult to achieve in these pictures, the owner should be able to identify each and every inlay, through process of elimination.  Several of the colors are close to the same, for example some of the greens.  There are subtle differences however, and upon closer inspection you will begin to see the differentiation.

I'm probably going to lay low for the next few days, as I have some serious catch up work to do.

Have a great day, and for those that might like to try, good luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Introuducing Mr. Craig Arnold

Good Afternoon,

One more day until the unveiling, but first you need to see the 5K sticks sleeping quarters.  A little more on the details later, but first, meet my friend and woodworking mentor, Craig Arnold.

 "I offer select custom, traditional, and original designs of heirloom furniture, wall cabinets and galleries, and boxes.

Woodworkers who inspire my work are Paul Sellers, Peter Lloyd, Nancy Hiller, and Doug Stowe, to name a few.

As a member of the Kansas City Woodworkers' Guild, I'm privileged to work in a great shop with some very talented people and enjoy sharing with those who are new to the craft.

When you buy something from me, 10 percent of the purchase price is donated to the Kansas City Woodworkers' Guild as a way for the Guild to continue to provide education and community service in woodworking.

Thanks for stopping by and drop me a line if you'd like to discuss something you see here.

Best regards,
Craig Arnold"

Craig truly is my go-to guy with any questions on how do something in our given field.  Some of you may recall last year when we went down the barrette rabbit hole, I had to take a course in finishing, and Craig was my instructor.  I've come to accept the fact that fundamentally I'm a pretty poor woodworker, I just happen to be ok if the wood is spinning at 3,000 rpm.  As a disclaimer, the box is still in it's final curing stages and it has not been polished yet, it will be polished prior to it being shipped.

Constructed from Bubinga and Curly Maple, the lid and it's underside are inlaid with turquoise.

The interior of the box features a fitted, foam cushioned, turquoise felt bed.

The exterior of the box features clean and sharp curves and bevels, while the box lid with the curly maple inset, showcases precisely chamfered edges.

As mentioned in a prior posting, you can see that Craig's work is truly outstanding.  I highly recommend Craig if you should have any wooden type wants or needs, he's great to work with and you won't be disappointed

Have a great evening, we'll chat again in the morning.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Guinea Pig

That Shawnah is one quick shopper!  34.9 seconds, she must have turbo-refresh or something.

OK, step one is completed.  Now, if I only had a clue how to put the Commemorative stick on EBAY.  Enter, the Guinea Pig.

I'm working on an angel wing white paua right now, that would ordinarily be posted on ETSY at $125.  I need to figure this EBAY stuff out, and if there's an issue of any sort, I'd rather know about it now than on Friday.  So... you guessed it... it's going on EBAY to test the waters.

From a pricing standpoint, the fact is, we've never not sold a stick, with a worst  case pricing  scenario being,  selling it through a Friday Night sale.  So, for  this EBAY listing, I'm setting the reserve at 80% of retail, or in other words, going in to it with Friday Night Sale pricing.  It seems to make sense to me, but who knows, we're entering uncharted waters for us, so we'll see how it goes.

I'll post a link here once it's posted.


ETSY 5,000th stick

Good Morning,

So here's the plan for today.

I'm guessing I'm still a couple of hours out before it's finished.  Once Erin is finished with her magic, I'll post photos on this posting.  I've spent the last day trying to figure out when to post it on ETSY, and I've got to tell you, I had all kinds of diabolical plans. 

At the end of the day though, I've finally concluded that if it ain't broke, I'm not going to try to fix it.  We'll post it in the regular FNS timeslot (1:00 PM CST).  Regarding the price, as irony would have it, it's the same price as Sammi's stick, and the reserve price on the commemorative stick, $195. 

... stay tuned.

OK, here it about 11:30 now, and I just finished it, with a whole hour and a half to spare.

I'll be honest, this entire exercise has been exhausting, and we'll be glad when things return to normal.  It was exhausting, but fortunately a fun adventure, because so many elements had to come together.  I should be getting the finished box back from Craig tomorrow sometime.  Once in hand, it will be photographed and posted here, along with all you need to know about Craig.  We're tentatively planning on posting the actual stick here on Thursday, with the EBAY games beginning on Friday... and then we rest.

One of the challenges that I had, hearkens back to Cipriana's comment on the 19th.  She in essence asked if multiples of the Commemorative stick could be produced.  My answer then, was no,  as it is today, it was simply too complicated, and I don't choose to relive the experience.  That didn't mean that her question wasn't entirely valid, it's just undoable on my end. 

So my challenge was to create a design similar in nature to the Commemorative original, that could be reproduced if anyone so desired in terms of a custom request.  The stick that we're posting at 1:00, is the stick that I'm describing.  I also understand the concern for whomever might purchase it, desiring to own the actual and true 5,000th stick. 

So here is how I'm proposing to ensure that the 5,000th stick will be identified as the original.  The stick is signed and dated February 28th, the day I created the design, obviously not today when I finished it.  Going forward if anyone would like a reproduction, it will be dated the date that their stick is completed, and numbered in sequence 001, 002, etc.

See you in an hour and 10 minutes.

African Blackwood, 6.75"
Natural and Teal Paua
Silver and gold e.p.e.
Timberstone Turnings on top band
Signature and date on bottom band
Sammi's 5,000 repeating crosshatch design


34.9 seconds... you all are quick!