A little news from BMK

I sent out a newsletter last night to members of the BMK email list. I can’t believe how long it’s been since I sent out a list mail! Not counting the one in August announcing the launch of the Kite Gnome project, it goes all the way back to last May when we kicked off the Moonie Mambas.

Thank you, to everyone that let me build something for you over the past year. 2019 was a great year for me and Blue Moon Kites, the strongest in quite a while! I had a great time building the Moonie Mambas. There’s nothing like a relatively large batch of kites to help you refine techniques and discover a few new tricks. They did take longer to finish up than planned.

Coming into December, I was already running behind, but hoping to have them all finished up by the end of the year. The plan was to get the build queue cleared, and then spend most of January working on long-overdue new kite development. That was until I developed pneumonia just before Christmas! All told, I was off work for the better part of five weeks, which ate up my plan for development time, as well as the little cash cushion I’d been able to set aside. Continue reading “A little news from BMK”

Flames and Eagles on Mambas, oh my!

I sent kites off this week to England, Australia, and the UAE! Perhaps my most global week ever. It also clears my build queue.

So, I took a little time this morning to regroup and make a rough plan for moving forward. Part of the plan was taking a little time and learn a bit of my vector drawing program, so I can actually share the images I see in my head. My previous program was so old (1996!) that it wouldn’t run on an OS newer than Windows XP. My last older school computer died a while back, and I’ve been too lazy to dig in and learn something new.?

The two drawings attached are still rough, but represent the kind of things that might be popping up in the BMK shop. One of my goals this year is to use the shop more effectively and use it in conjunction with my email list. List members get first ‘heads up’ on breaking news and new goodies coming up, or posted to the shop. If you’re not an email list member, you can find a signup form on most pages of the BMK website. You can also find it directly here – If you’re not an email list kind of person, that’s OK, because I’ll be sharing news here within a few hours of the mail list going out.

Mamba UL Specifications Change

When I first developed the Mamba UL, I built it with the non-tapered SkyShark P90 in the leading edges and 3PT lower spreaders. That’s always been my favorite framing for the kite, but moved to the tapered 3PT leading edges several years ago, for reasons that really didn’t have that much to do with performance.

Effective immediately, I’m changing the frame for the Mamba UL back to the original specs of P90 leading edge and 3PT lower spreaders. This combination balances the kite a little better and makes its handling smoother and more graceful.

This change will affect any Mamba UL orders currently in the build queue, including the Moonie Mambas.

Moonie Mamba!

An anniversary edition of a “Moonie Mamba” is happening!

As you may know, I offered a limited build of 25 special Mambas in 2004. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of that kite, as well as the 20th anniversary of Blue Moon, let’s do this again!

This will be a limited run, with a maximum of 25 30 kites offered for sale, plus 3 for myself (one to keep and two for gifts or donation). At my current capacity, I’m able to add these to the schedule at a rate of 4-5 kites a month. If I start the first of them around the last week of May, the run should be completed sometime in December. The kites will be numbered in the order built. The cost will be $399, including a $50 deposit. Your choice of std or UL framing.

Like the classics from 2004, these will feature white sails with purple and sky blue accents. The logo will be updated to the version shown here. The logo colors are sky blue, silver and black. Continue reading “Moonie Mamba!”

A pair of anniversaries…

2019 is the 20th anniversary of the inception of Blue Moon Kites. The beginning was longer and messier than I would have preferred, and there was that “vacation” a few years ago, but overall it’s been a good ride. It never would have happened without the friendship and support of a lot of fine folks along the way.

Mike Gillard and I first talked about it on the patio of the hotel we were staying at while attending the KTA show in Clearwater, FL in 1999. It became “Blue Moon” at least in part because there were two blue moons early that year.

In September of that year, I brought a handful of new kites to the festival at the Air Force Museum in Dayton. They were well received, and I was encouraged to move forward. After the festival, Holly (my wife) and I spent some time at Mike’s home in Columbus, OH and started dreaming and scheming in earnest.   Continue reading “A pair of anniversaries…”

Like the swallows to Capistrano…

…the Mamba is coming back to Blue Moon Kites.

A couple years ago, a good friend suggested that I should never really discontinue anything. I didn’t give it too much thought at the time, but in retrospect, he was right. I’d already made the decision to discontinue a couple of my kites, and darned if I was going to let good sense and wisdom get in my way!

I’m excited about the return of the Mamba. I had a chance to spend a little time with one recently, for the first time in a long time, and it reignited that old spark.

I think the time is right to bring a sport kite or two back into the Blue Moon lineup. For me, it represents a return to my roots in kiting. It also helps keep alive the tradition of the dual line kite that’s made from scratch by the professional kitemaker that designed it.

Continue reading “Like the swallows to Capistrano…”

It’s a pattern…

Is it odd that I love making patterns? If I had to pick one thing that I enjoy the most about making kites (besides watching someone fly one of my designs with a big grin on their face), it would be making patterns. Maybe it’s because once I get a design to the point where I can do final refinements on the pattern, the rest of the process can be put on autopilot. Cutting, scraping and sanding the edges of a perfect progressive curve, making sure to leave enough of an entrance flat to make it easy to hem the edge smoothly and repeatably? Yeah, probably a little odd, but I’m OK with that. 😉

Blue Moon Kites 2.0

As you can see, I’ve returned to using Blue Moon Kites as my business name. I just wanted to take a minute and give you an idea of what’s going on.

I did business as Blue Moon Kites (BMK) from 1999-2012. I shuttered BMK in the spring of 2012. I pulled the plug because the business hadn’t been viable for a couple years. It became a game of propping it up by doing “limited edition” kite runs, which usually sold to the same handful of friends and regulars. Between these mini-boom periods were long months of barely getting by. It got to the point where even the specials and discounts weren’t enough to sustain a failed business.

Continue reading “Blue Moon Kites 2.0”