A few months ago, we were contacted by the awesome folks at M.A.I.L. – Maille Artisans International League with the very cool news that they had added a new feature for users that want to use B3 rings to make any of the thousands of weaves they have on their site. Users can go in and change their preferences so that when they hover over AR information for the weaves in their library, they will see ring sizes displayed in Blue Buddha language (Letter + Number, i.e. H18). Here’s how you do it!
First of all, if you’re not familiar with MailleArtisans.org, you should be. This site is one of the greatest resources for maillers on the web, we use it all the time. For this feature to work, you must create an account. It just takes a minute and will give you all access to everything great on this site.
Once you have you account created, Login. After logging in, click on “My M.A.I.L” under “User Panel” in the main menu.
Once on that page, you should see your user information in the main column of the page and a menu on the left-hand side of the page. You can scroll down to your user preferences or simply click on “Prefences” in that menu to jump down the page to them.
Under your user preferences, you should see a box labeled “Ring Size Preferences” containing 3 drop down menus. Click on the second drop down menu labeled “Ring ID Measurements” and select “Blue Buddha Axx”. Click submit to save your changes.
Once the page reloads, try it out by scrolling back up to the top of the page and selecting “Weaves” under the main menu item “Library”. When you go to a weaves main page, you’ll see AR information below the picture of the weave. If you hover your mouse over the number labeled “Ideal AR” (AKA – place your cursor on the number but do not click) you should see a little box pop up with a list of sizes in Blue Buddha terms. For example, let’s look at the page for Box Weave. When I hover over the number, I am shown the following:
No tricky translating needed! See a weave in the library and get the ring information for your B3 shopping list right there! Cool, right?
That said, this feature is purely math/number based meaning it does not account for springback and other real world variants. We’re still discovering the best way to compensate for this, however our advice as of right now is to go up a size or two from the recommended ring size on M.A.I.L. It’s not fool proof right now but it does at least give you a starting point for your project which as many of you know, is half the battle!
Make a project which primarily uses our featured product. The project can most definitely use other rings and components, but the featured product should really be the star of the piece. Note: The project does not necessarily have to be brand new to be submitted – if you have some amazing piece you made last year hanging around that uses the featured product of the month, share it!
Take a picture of your project and post it to our page on Facebook. Give your piece a title and Make sure to write something like “This is my submission for the Featured Product Contest!” in the little box that says “Say something about this photo…” when you upload it to our wall.
Submissions will be accepting between the 1st and 15th of every month so make sure to get your project posted in time! Please limit your submissions to 2 per person.
Get Votes! Submissions will close on the 15th of each month at which point the B3 Staff will choose our favorites. The top entries will be eligible for voting through a survey which we will post to our blog as well as our wall on Facebook. If you are one of the finalists, feel free to share the link with friends via email, Facebook, Twitter or any other means.
Voting will close on the last day of the month.
This month, our featured ring is X12 AA. We made a blog post about these rings when we first started carrying them last October, but noticed recently that they were getting more attention again (lots of orders for them and mentions of them on our page on Facebook.) We think they’re a blast to work with too (and have a ton of potential for interesting projects like Rebeca’s Mystic Waterfall Necklace shown left) so we thought they’d be a great choice for our first contest!
From our biggest size to one of our smallest, size D20 rings will be the featured product for October so start brainstorming for that as well!
Weave Samples blog post coming soon for this size – stay tuned!
It is with mixed emotions that I write this blog post. Many of you long-time customers have been excitedly awaiting news about our new, larger facility. The space will allow us to once again host classes, as well as display our kits and instructions in a retail setting. We’ll have a small “gift shop” for patrons who don’t want to make chainmaille, but who want to purchase artisan-made items for themselves or others. This is our dream space, and we can’t wait to open it!
Unfortunately, wait we must. Creating the facility we want is no easy task. First we had to go back and forth with the city on zoning and permit issues. Some of which were, frankly, odd: the by-products of big-city legislation with little benefits. (For example, for zoning issues, it was a potential problem that the parking lot was not adjacent to our store, but rather, was at the end of the block. We were also required to install a separate water fountain–not for customers, but for employees–and it was not acceptable to attach a filter to an already-existing kitchen sink or have a stand alone water dispenser. The water fountain fixture had to be connected to the city system. And so on.) We stuck through it and worked with our amazing architect to meet all the city requirements.
In the meantime, however, the bids from general contractors were coming in at 25%-100% more than we wanted to spend. That made us nervous, especially because it was the first time the business was going to need a loan. Looking at our cash flow projections, though, we could still make it work, so we decided to forge ahead.
Then, over the past few weeks, it became painfully clear that the landlords were not invested in maintaining the building up to our high standards. We realized that we could not spend so much money on a build-out, only to potentially have the landlord sell the slowly deteriorating building out from under us to a developer who would tear it down and put up a strip mall or condos.
It was with a heavy heart that the dream died. When I first walked into the space in the fall of 2010, after having looked at dozens of other spots, I just knew “this is it!” I could imagine our success there, could feel it just outside our grasp. On the one hand, it is difficult to let go of something that initially felt so right and in which we’ve already invested time and money. On the other hand, it is easy to let go of something that clearly does not seem to be in the best interest of the business. I have a dozen employees that depend on me to lead the company and provide a successful future for them. We have thousands of customers that rely on us to provide the best products and services that lead to gratification–and, for many customers, sales–worth far more than the amount spent with Blue Buddha.
I knew that moving forward with these plans would jeopardize this wonderful entity that we’ve built. So, a few days ago, I canceled the lease (thankfully we can get out of it easily!) and we’ll start looking for a new space again. It doesn’t feel as though we’re starting at Square One, though. We’ve learned a lot through this experience, and we’re confident that we’ll ask better questions and look at aspects of the properties we never thought to look at before. We’ll find a better space, perfectly suited for the atmosphere of creativity and sharing we want to create.
And then, we’ll see you there.
In the meantime, the silver lining to all this is that because we don’t need to focus on preparations for our new space right now, we can work on some programs and services that we know will help you with your chainmailling adventures. We’re not giving any hints just yet, but we think you’ll be especially excited to see the new website content we’re developing! We’ve got lots of goodies in store for you!
The newest issue of Wirework Magazine hits newsstands this week and we are thrilled to announce that it contains not one, but TWO great chainmaille projects by B3 Ambassadors! Pick up your issue and try your hand at Kat Wisniewski’s Celtic Diamond Pendant or Vanessa Walilko’s Art Deco Necklace (…or why choose? Make both!) We will not be selling kits for these projects as of yet but we will of course be selling everything you need to complete them including 20mm Crystal Rings and Crystal Triangles. Check out our magazine projects page for your shopping list for these projects and more (we’re working on doing some major catching-up/updating to this page in the coming weeks so check back often for even more project supply lists.)
by Kat Wisniewski
Customize this project a million different ways with our top-quality jump rings and shiny glass rings. Note: the sizes in the magazine are incorrect! We’ve tested this piece heavily in our ring sizes listed on on the magazine supply page, and it works perfectly.
by Vanessa Walilko
We’re selling these dazzling large crystal rings and crystal triangles, especially for this beautiful project. Make it impossibly light with our bright aluminum rings, or pair these glittering crystals with our impeccable sterling silver rings for a real show-stopper.
Apple Cinnamon Upside Down Muffins.
For muffin batter:
Prepare muffin batter: