News

The Ichiban gets a facelift for ’18!

The Ichiban has received a new/alternative graphics treatment. The new pattern will be offered (at least for now), along with the classic design.

You might also notice that the new pattern has the split tail that graced the original Ichiban. The split tail will be available in both graphic patterns. The Ichi ’13 “banner” tail will only be available in the classic pattern.

The new look brings a great deal of flexibility to the look of the Ichiban, as is illustrated by the image below. The pattern can be done in a range of configurations to suit the desire of the owner. Pricing is still being worked out, but will vary based on the options selected. Contact me, and we can start a dialog about putting a new Ichiban in your piece of the sky!

Introducing the Vixen

After several months in development, the Vixen is ready for prime time!

The Vixen was already in its third generation when I showed it off on Facebook last September. Four generations later, it’s finally ready to be released into the wild. I’m pleased to announce that I have three of the first “production” Vixens on my table, and expect to have them completed this afternoon.  They’ll be ready to make their way to new homes come Monday.

There is no real rhyme nor reason behind the colors of the kites that will make their way to the shop at BMK. Mostly, it’s going to be a matter of making up a few attractive color combinations as time allows. This gives me a chance to try out new color schemes, and gives you a chance to shop for a new kite at 03:00 in your PJ’s. As much as I like these first three, I’ve already got ideas for other interesting combinations and variations.

Of course, if a custom kite is more your style, that’s always do-able! Just drop me a line, or give me a call.

I’ve got a good start on setup and tuning instructions, and will be working on making sure all the information is updated over the next couple days.

If you’re a subscriber to my email list,  you should have received an advance heads-up on the Vixen going live a couple days ago. If you’re not currently a subscriber, please take a moment and sign up. You’ll find a subscription form at the bottom right of most pages on the site. I promise to not flood your inbox with mail, and it’s easy to unsubscribe if you choose to do so.

Without further ado, below are three of the first Vixens. You can find larger images, and more information on the Vixen shop page.

 

 

 

Blue Moon & Mail Chimp

Are you one that likes being at the front of the line? Well, here’s your chance. On most pages of this website, as well as the Blue Moon Kites Facebook page, you’ll find a link that says “Join BMK’s email list”. List members have a place reserved at the front of the line for new kites and accessories. Before it’s posted or announced anywhere else, you’ll know when and where first.

I promise not to flood your inbox. Most of the time, you’ll get one, maybe two emails a month from BMK. Our email list is hosted and managed by the good folks at Mail Chimp, who use world class systems and procedures to protect your privacy and security. I hope you’ll join us!

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.

Perhaps even more critical was the fact that I felt myself “phoning it in” for the last several years, having lost the passion for something that I’d once enjoyed as much as anything I’d done. The new century had brought changes to the sport kite hobby. It went from being social and inclusive, with teams and pairs, and open festivals and competitions, to being about solo flying and technical tricks. I found myself at a point where I no longer had the flying skills to develop new designs at that “cutting edge.” More importantly, I didn’t want to. Time to make a new plan.

After closing BMK, I took some time off to figure out what to do next. Since day one in kiting, the “hobby” part, for me, was designing an occasional single liner to keep the creative spark alive. In 2013, the hobby became a my primary focus, and I devoted myself to the art of single line kites.  There have been, honestly, as many failures as victories with new designs, but, I must say that the last few years have been some of my most challenging, rewarding, and fun times in kiting.

So, why Blue Moon Kites, again? Simply, it just feels right, like coming home at the end of the day and slipping on that faded old blue shirt. The sting of closing the business in 2012 has softened, and the new direction has finally put me in a pretty good place. I’m more optimistic and focused than I’ve been in a long time. The designs are starting to come again, after a long dry spell. Plus, isn’t “Blue Moon Kites”(and Moonie) just more comfortable and fun than kmacfab? 😉

I’ll still be using Ken McNeill Fab as the “back end” of things. Credit card receipts, etc. will say Ken McNeill Fab.  I’ll also be using that name for “outside” work, but more on that later…

I’m feeling more secure already…

I’ve made a small upgrade to the site by adding an SSL certificate. You should notice that the site address at the top of your browser now starts with HTTPS instead of the old HTTP.  An SSL certificate encrypts the connection between a website and the visitors’ browser so hackers can’t intercept and steal personal information. Although we don’t collect credit card information, we do save passwords and other personal information on our server.

If you have your own website, or manage one, check out Let’s Encrypt. They’re a non-profit provider of SSL certificates. Quick, painless, and free! Your hosting company may even offer their service as part of your package.