Sunday, August 24, 2014

DIY: Refurbished Chinese Dolphin Wind Chime

Refurbished Chinese Dolphin Wind-chime

This dolphin chime is so old, that I've had it since the first term of G.W. Bush when my daughter as just an infant baby. I got the thing from a business associate of mine, maybe around 2003 Christmas Season who's push-cart was next to mine at the Hanover Mall (Mass). That year, my spouse did another cart at the Plymouth/Kingston Independence Mall (Mass) whilest my in-laws from China flew in from China to take care of my baby. It was very hard.

 My business associate was another entrepreneurial merchant like me named Andy, whom was ethnic Chinese/Former Vietnamese-National. I wouldn't call him old, but since I was only in my early 20s at the time and he was in his mid 40s, I'd say that was significantly "older" than I was. If I recall correctly, his wife (also ethnic Han Chinese) was slightly older than he was, but they both has 2 young wiz-kid children in elementary school, whom are probably on their way to college by now.

Andy was a really cool, and really nice to me. I worked very hard, which I guess to old-school Southern Asian/Southern Chinese is considered an excellent personality trait or quality. He used to buy me lunch, snacks, or dinner, or cooked stuff at home. (That's the Chinese "way. It's generally called "guanxi".) Whenever I tried to return the favor, he would always try to give me another favor and out-do me, I guess because he looked upon me like a "little sister" (Xiao Mei-Mei) and he often hugged me. He also talked a lot, and spoke more languages than I did. He also made lots & lots of jokes in Chinese (Mandarin), with his Southern Asian accent.

We watched each others' push-carts when the other needed to use the rest-room. his wide also had a push-cart in the same mall my spouse did that year, which I think was also next to his. Some days Andy's wife would come instead of Andy. And, she often came with new stock for the cart... usually it was funny sex trinkets that looked like a fish, or some other animal, or plant, shape on a keychain that you opened up, and inside was some kind of sculpted relief of 2 lovers engaged in sexual positions which were inspired from Qing Dynasty, or Ming Dynasty China.

Anyways, by the end of working EVERY F*@#ING DAY during the ENTIRE Holiday Season, working your butt, fingers, feet, and eyes off you start to get incredibly worn out, but I just kept going. The ONLY day I had off was Christmas Day... So, before New Year's Eve. It's kinda normal for other small business merchants like myself to swap left over stock/goods.

Andy, and even his wife, used to give me stuff all the time anyways... but, Andy knew I liked this blue dolphin chime, and he saved 1 for me. So, that last day he told me I could pick whatever I wanted, and I picked lots of dragons, and all kinds of stuff. This was 1 of the things he gave me. 

This chime has fallen apart, and I've mended it so many times: Hurricanes, snow blizzards, northeasters, hail, etc...

AND, I've mended it more times than I can recall.

Well, this time is a bit... or more than a bit... different.

Well... here it is inside a bucket. The office here at my condominium is run by draconian nasties, whom use any reason they MUST do their job as an excuse to be villainous, and nasty deliberately. Let's NOT turn this into a rant (because I COULD TOTALLY GO THERE) but, this is what they did to my wind-chime while "power-washing".

It was absolutely disgusting this morning soaking in muddy water.... But, this is after washing it.

 And, here it is in shambles on the table. This nylon is terrible. It always seems to decompose over time, and become brittle.

So, what I need to do is remove ALL of the old nylon line/string and replace it. 

I'll be using Chinese Jape/pearl grade chord/line from China. You can see it here on my new Bistro table set. ^_^

Those goose feathers sticking out of that pewter antique/vintage tea-pot (that's another project for another day to refurbish. PLANS!-PLANS!-PLANS!) will be going onto the wind-chime.

I have ALWAYS loved working with feathers since I was a child (probably because I am of native American Descent).  
I have found that using Goose feathers helps to increase the amount of tinkling, & chiming of the wind-chime.

Why Goose and not others? Well, you could also use ducks, or other water-fowl like seagulls... but, Goose feathers weather especially well, because they are water & weather proof. I've had goose feathers outlast metal wires, nylon, etc... other types of birds' feathers get mildew on them, or fall apart with wind weathering & erosion. Goose plumes are exceptionally sturdy, and tough due to the large size of them. The best are from wild geese. These are from Wild Canadian Geese.

I will also be adding more beads, and brass jingle bells.

When I lived in Northern China (Shanxi Taiyuan/Northern Manchurian Industrial Region several times from 2003-2008) it was a common belief that the color red, means strength or to hold something in place. It might sound like superstition, however, many of my necklaces which I frequently wore that broke a few times a year no longer break once we began using the traditional red chord... it could possibly be due to the higher quality... but, who knows? *shrugs*

So, here it is, now, having been restrung with red silk/pearl chording string. I also added faux pearl beads, Manao Jade beads, and you should be able to see the brass jingle-bells.

The feathers catch more wind and knock more into the chime cylinders, and the bells & jade or crystal beads ad a variety of tinkling & jingling chimes, tones, and sounds. before you could only hear this chime if it was VERY windy. But, now even a slight breeze will cause lots of relaxing chimes.

I noticed this with my other chime that I mended & refurbished. I only added ONE feather with beads & bells to it, and I could ALWAYS here it, but this one was quiet... well... I can hear it RIGHT NOW.

Unfortunately... I lack the fine tools to do true "pearl knots" for the beading work. But, it'll have to do for now...
If you want to learn about that, seriously, go check youtube. there's lots of variations on that.

Now my wind-chime has a very Bohemian/Boho-Chic look & feel to it. 
(That's kinda been my thing for quite a while now, and also when I was a kid.)

If you're looking for more tips, tricks, or how-too stuff for this sort of thing I recommend searching: Google, YouTube, Tumblr, Deviant Art, and Pinterest.

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