STOP! Etsy time.

Oh, yes people. Stop what you’re doing, there are BEADS to be HAD!

Click HERE to get to my Etsy shop, or the thumbnails below for each item.

Junque du Jour in Ultracerulean:


Girl Stuff Bubbles:


Wildflower Mirror Mosaics:


Jeweltone Bubbles:




Here’s what I usually give you for preview, a bit late of course, but I kinda like these photos:


Okay! Since I’ve already eaten, I guess I’ll go find something to do. Maybe I’ll take a walk, because I’m really high on cheap takeout pizza right now. I hope you like the beads! Thanks for checking in.

The chickadees have landed.

The” chickadees” being the stuff left over from last week’s Superstars sale that I finally got around to adding to my Etsy shop. (I could have said “eagles” but eagles are like WAY too serious, man.) Anyway, check them out – you can click HERE for my Etsy shop or on each item below:

Ember Glitterbomb:



The Real Mod Dot Ring in Spring Green:



Spacegrass (boro):



The Real Mod Dot Ring in Grrrly:



And more good news for my neglected Etsy shop, and for you, if you like Etsy – I’ll be adding more stuff later this evening! I probably won’t do the usual pre-post to announce my earnest in getting everything done before midnight… I’ll probably just do my usual “hey I just put some stuff on Etsy and now I need to go eat something” post. I don’t have a sneak peek for you, but I can tell you that I’ve been excitedly exploring my new Mirror Mosaics design seen below (these sold at last week’s Superstars sale):


Mr. Sarah thought they were really fab, and he has a good eye, so I made some in different colors. You’ll see them later on etsy, along with petite hollow beads and a fanciful sampler.

See you guys later!

Superstars Tonight!

Important business first, though – a pile of cute in the windowsill.


Look at Nelson snuggling Fred’s tail. I haven’t given you a very in-depth Nelson update lately. (My dad used to call me and demand a Nelson Update. I really miss that.) We’ve seen a measurable improvement in his (c)attitude.  My husband is convinced that this shift is thanks to all the fresh catnip we’ve been giving him. We’ve decided he’s just different from the other cats we’ve had. That said, he fits in quite nicely and gets along with the other two cats, and even though he’s still pushy and rude about the cat food, he’s quite affectionate toward them otherwise. They seem to like him too. He’s always hanging out with one or the other, or one of us. I caught Mo and Nelson spooning one night, and considering their rocky start, this was not only adorable but something of a relief.

Rather than purring when he’s happy to see us, he yawns. But when he’s ready to get serious about being happy, he will purr. His incessant counter surfing has dwindled to very occasional counter surfing. He has gotten onto my lap a few times, which is new. He has never bitten or hissed or clawed us on purpose – he’s actually a very sweet and tolerant cat. I’m sure it helps that we’re fairly sweet and tolerant of him and his various shenanigans – and believe me, there have been some Shenanigans.

One other example of Nelson’s improvement: he got outside through an unsecured window screen the other day. I got up that afternoon and looked everywhere, even shook the food box and shouted “hungry!?” That usually sends him Scooby-doo’ing into the kitchen, sometimes even sliding into the lower cabinets. Still no Nelson. Then I noticed the loose screen and opened the back door, and who did I see standing right outside? I opened the screen door and expected him to run away right then, because that’s classic Nelson. Instead, he just stood there. I told him to come inside, and he continued to just stand there. So I leaned over and picked him up and he didn’t even try to run away and he didn’t argue with me once I had him and gave him kisses. I put him on the kitchen floor and he looked ashamed of himself and halfway afraid I would scold him. (Mo took care of that for me, she hissed at him and slapped him the moment he hit the ground.) But who could blame him for his grand escape, there’s a whole flowerpot full of fresh catnip right outside the window! I deduced that he hadn’t been out that long, and generally, when Nelson can no longer resist the smells and the birds (about once every six months) it takes several hours for Nelson to want to come back inside and we practically have to chase him down and bribe him with treats. Progress!

The first time I ever saw Nelson, he was on top of my garbage container in the driveway. He was so small that I wondered how he got up there. Oh, Nelson. Out of the garbage pail and into our hearts.


Anyway… Superstars tonight, you guys! For those of you who don’t know, this sale happens on my website, http://www.z-beads.com, and it’s first come, first served. If you miss out on something you really love, orders can be placed for most selections.

What’s happening:

7:30PM – 8PM Central Time – Superstars sale preview. Look, read, decide, and ask any burning questions.
8PM Central Time and Beyond – start sending in your requests!
There will be 12 fantastic selections, including new (experimental) bead designs, sterling rings, glitterbombs, some old favorites and a set of boro beads.

aren't WE fancy!? click on us t get to the superstars page on www.z-beads.com!

aren’t WE fancy!? click on us to get to the superstars page on http://www.z-beads.com!

I hope you can join in on the fun!
Back to the e-grind with me, gotta get it all done so I’m not late to my own sale. That would be just like me.
Thanks for reading.

My lack of prattling on…

… (on the internet, anyway) does not necessarily indicate inactivity. Have a look at what I’ve been doing.

I made these for a friend to give as gifts to the bridal party:


I didn’t intend to make such a rainbow, I only wanted to get a balanced sampling of color. I guess I can’t help dropping rainbows wherever I go. (What a joke.)

I made these custom bracelets for a special someone who has been jonesing for chunky bracelets made from my boro beads:


I made this necklace for a client who normally buys beads and has them made into necklaces by her local jeweler, but I offered to do it for her this time:


Then, I got out the metal and made this to order in a custom size/cabochon in my Cake design:


And then I made these:



left to right – for me, for you, for you, for you, for my stylist. Rings will be available at the Superstars sale, coming up soon.

Oh, and I found these fabulous spoon rings (sterling plated steel) at my favorite antique store:


And then I got the glass back out and made a set of Teensy Tinsy Mod Dots to order:


So, now that I’ve gotten all that business (and some pleasure) behind me, the glass torch is my oyster. I guess we’ll see what happens!

Thanks for checking in… don’t forget, a rollicking good Superstars sale is around the bend! I’ll keep you posted.


Hey! Here they are.

Click here to get to my etsy shop, or the thumbnails below to get right to the individual listings.

Minty Fresh Fireworks:


Fancy Boro Tabs:




Mmkay. Enough blogging and computering, I need to call my mom and tidy up the bead cave. I went glitter shopping this week (what a life I have) and it needs to get organized, because it got spilled and the cats have glitter on them and while it’s kind of cute, I don’t think it’s good for them to eat glitter.

Smell you later! Thanks for checking in.

As the President of MORTAB, Inc, what can I get away with NOT doing today?

Welp… just grinnin’ and wavin’ does not a good President make, and I’m not so good at smiling OR waving, so thank goodness I won’t have to do any of that. Let’s see, I already did my taxes… I fed the cats… I stayed in my pajamas the entire day the other day. And that’s kind of a big deal because I’m famous for sleeping in my heavy sweaters in the cooler months and often in my jeans in the summertime. I’ve even been known to wear my shoes to sleep a time or two. Believe me, my husband LOVES that. He also loves that my memory is like a steel trap. I think he’s about ready to chew his own leg off to get loose.

I’ve been busy working on orders and steering clear of drug addled neighbors. We narrowly missed a drive-by shooting in front of the house last week because I suddenly got a wild hair to go antiquing and convinced my husband to come with me. Even though he really needed to be doing yard work right there on the curb, and shopping is something I usually prefer to do alone. (is anyone sufficiently convinced that I’m psychic yet? yes, that’s a big lol, sort of.) There are other prices to pay for cheap rent and zero pet deposits and no neighborhood associations all up in my hair. Some day I hope to have a slightly grander, sparklier illusion of security and some ice cold air conditioning to keep it from forming condensation.

I’ve contemplated the choices I’ve made that have led me here, to this moment, but I don’t regret them. Sure, I could already have something nice of my very own to cling desperately to, if only I had done a few things differently. The most significant being my avoidance of higher education. If only I had been willing to jump through their very special maze of flaming hoops and rack up overwhelming financial debt for the privilege of being stuck underneath the thumb of Management and a steady paycheck… A paycheck I wouldn’t be able to keep anyway because I’d have to hand it all over to the fatcats back at the flaming hoop joint. I’m sure there’s something else that I’m missing here, like, the whole point. And that’s fine because I’m reasonably sure that whichever path I had chosen, I’d be dodging bullets of one sort or another. Call me simple and uneducated if you must, but you can definitely call me mostly happy, most of the time.

So I guess there isn’t much I can get away with not doing, seeing as how I’m self employed and president of my own life… looks like I’ve got some serious bumbling about ahead of me today. Tossing some glassy things into my Etsy shop should be the first thing on the to-do list. I’ll get on that this evening, and I’ll post here again when it happens. Here’s a look at what’s to come:


we’ll be on etsy later…

See you guys later this evening…

more air

My reward for all my sweat (besides all these boro beads) is another cold front. Can we have this every year? Pretty please?


bowlful of boro beads, 2014

bowlful of boro beads, 2014

As usual, the boro binge got off to a pretty sluggish start. This happens every time, even if only a few months pass between the binges. The work area is different, a lot more messy and much more hot. If I could ever learn to plan things better, I might manage to schedule these things for cooler months. Mom and I had dinner and pie Friday night and we put all these beads into sets for the long list of lovely ladies waiting for their turn to ravage them. Here are a couple of my personal favorites from past boro binges:

Melba: z-beads boro set from a few years ago

Melba: z-beads boro set from a few years ago

And another:

Colorblast Dots & Lines boro beads from several years ago

Colorblast Dots & Lines boro beads from several years ago


Meanwhile, I’m listening to:

The Knife: Shaking The Habitual

The Knife: Shaking The Habitual

Click the pic for reviews and snippets.

I’m wearing:

Bvlgari Black

Bvlgari Black

Click the picture for more reviews and descriptions.

Here’s the sequence: Satya Sai Baba’s Nag Champa incense in the box (not burnt), then the rubber tire aisle at the locally owned tool store, then back to Nag Champa and something very ordinary, and frankly bland. I’m not a fan of the Bvlgari house because the staying power is very weak, and their entire line seems to have been designed purely with “office friendly” in mind. Black is my favorite out of all of them, but as much as I admire it for what it is, it’s just not one of my favorites. I have my eye on a couple of perfume books in hopes of training my snobby nose to make better distinctions than “tire aisle”.

And I’m reasonably sure a sizeable opossum has been waddling around in my basement for a while. The landlord left the board off of the wall to the other part of underneath the house when he replaced a pipe. Every once in a while I hear a ruckus under the bathroom floor, which is at the opposite end of the house as the basement. Then I saw its footprints in the mud when I looked in the basement to check on the rain leak. I told Mr. Sarah about it and he asked if he had to replace that board right then? I asked if he was scared, but I smiled knowingly and reassured him that I knew it was because it was still a bit wet in there, and he probably didn’t want to get chased around by a opossum in a muddy wet basement and end up with rabies on top of all of that.

He scoffed and looked at me and without even looking at the keyboard he typed in “possum and rabies” and I told him “you forgot the “o” before possum, and he said “SEE? It’s nearly impossible to get rabies from a opossum” and I said “why aren’t you in there RIGHT NOW, then?” Anyway, he still hasn’t set foot in that basement, but I haven’t heard a opossum party under the floor in a long while anyway. I guess this is what living in a nearly 100 year old house is like. I’m quite sure our junk is what’s holding this place together – we joke that when we move, the whole place will collapse.

Thanks for reading, I’m off to take photos, which will probably be an all-day affair.

air from the north

Yes, I’m still alive! More alive during the summer than I can remember ever being! There’s no feeling on earth like a cold front in the middle of July. When it arrives, the air smells and even sounds different than it did moments earlier. We’re already three days into this cold front and we still have more lovely ahead of us. Can you believe it? 69 degrees for the high in the middle of July in Oklahoma!?

7 day forecast from koco.com

7 day forecast from koco.com

My current obsession is perfume. I’ve always loved it, but I’ve just begun to get a bit more serious than “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” The other night, I was revisiting my late teens with Paloma Picasso, multitasking on beads, tidying up, and sweating like a sauna rock in the kitchen over a vat of pasta destined for my first stab at Pioneer Woman’s Best Macaroni Salad Ever. Then I returned to the bead cave and parked myself behind the triple mix and I literally heard the cold front arrive. It was so alarming I paused Jennifer Horton/Devereaux/Horton/Blake/Horton/Devereaux/Horton mid stunned cringey gasp (Days Of Our Lives) for a better listen to whatever was happening outside the window. It was nothing but a significant pressure change, and seconds later my new metal bottle of denatured alcohol popped and announced the arrival of the long awaited cold front.

At that very same moment, Paloma became slightly more appealing. It is a fragrance best worn – and more likely to be appreciated – in cooler weather. Strange how that happened so instantly once the air cooled. Maybe it’s purely psychological or maybe there’s something to it. Paloma Picasso, in case you don’t know it, is a cacophonous fragrance released roundabout 1984. Where I attended catholic elementary school (which would have been around the same time period as Paloma’s release, incidentally) the outdoor boys bathroom was legendary. The girls always tried to peek in when the door swung open and a grubby member of the opposite sex emerged, but as far as I knew, no girl had ever set foot inside. All I ever caught a glimpse of was dark dankness and a yellowed wall revealed by a dim bare light bulb. The rumor was that there weren’t even toilets in there any more; the nuns had simply given up on training them to aim, and the charming little lads were allowed to pee on the walls. It certainly smelled that way each time the stench wafted out the door. The point is, Paloma’s first spritz summons to mind those miserable days on the playground where I spent cold and lonely hours in my green plaid uniform, sometimes finding shelter from the north wind in that nook outside the boys’ bathroom door while I waited for my mother to fetch me after work. Woe was me.

Paloma Picasso

Paloma Picasso

But after a few minutes, Paloma cleans up that cesspool with a burst of bar soap and freshly potted plants – and she does it all in her black wool suit and 5 inch heels and tomato red lipstick, her board straight Cleopatra hairdo sweeping across her shoulders with each movement. I’m not sure why I imagine her this way, I have no idea what Paloma Picasso looks like (I think I may be imagining a younger Angelica Huston), and I’d almost prefer to keep it that way. I have a complicated relationship with this fragrance, as I do with most fragrances that have been in my life for this long. During my teens, Paloma was in fairly permanent rotation amongst other screamers such as Opium, Aromatics Elixir, Chanel’s Coco, Krizia’s Teatro Alla Scala, and Karl Lagerfeld’s KL. On one unforgettable evening during the fall after I graduated high school, I wore (what I thought for years afterwards was) Aromatics Elixir. But after trying repeatedly over the years to recapture that scent memory with my last few drops of Aromatics, I gave Paloma Picasso a sniff at Macy’s several months ago and thought “hmmm… it could have been Paloma” and after spraying the tester into the crook of my arm it was confirmed. They’re similar, but very different in a few distinct ways – and it’s been Paloma all along and I’ve been wasting my precious (pre-IFRA* nonsense) bottle of Aromatics in vain hope of recapturing what turned out to be a false scent memory. Woe once more.

Perfume is so different now. Few of them still have that same character, that lengthy evolution from first loud awful spritz to whimsical and long-lasting dry down. The truth is, most modern (and accessible) fragrance isn’t as much about fragrance as it is about marketing. Many people assume that their long-time fragrances are simply gone forever when they can no longer find them at the department store. Sometimes that’s the case, but most can be found online or in independently owned local shops. Unless they’re adventurous, many of today’s young women will never experience a bold, complex love-and-or-hate fragrance of Paloma Picasso’s ilk because they’re not marketed to younger women. I’ve experienced this myself. The overwrought department store employee recommends the newest celebrity fragrance dripping in sterilized rose and gooey candy because that’s what’s for sale and you look like you’re about 25. Even if you’re on the home stretch to 60, you might be asked “aren’t you a little young for that?” when you request a tester of Opium or Paloma Picasso… if they even have a clue what you’re talking about. One must ask because they’re generally behind the counter to make way for the trendy jasmelon spritzes that stay that way start to finish, and fade within two hours. Sometimes that quick fade is a very good thing.

Considering my description, I do love Paloma Picasso, although this is a fragrance that should be allowed to calm the hell down before you go near other people. I found that the dry-down is very similar to one of my favorite stick incenses, HEM’s Patchouli. Sometimes I spritz a teensy bit of Les Orientaux Patchouli (a nifty single-note affair meant for layering, produced by the French perfumer Molinard) and Paloma will be tame enough to wear much sooner. Or if I want it to stay true, I often smear a bit of lotion over it to help spread it out a bit.

*IFRA – International Fragrance Association – We are why your favorite fragrances have seen significant reformulations over the years and are merely a shadow of what they once were. We serve only the whiny people who hate patchouli and are allergic to their own skin and the litigious windbags who seek to line their pocketbooks with the dollars of said whiny people. JOIN US OR DIE. (Seriously, though – have a look at this website if you’re at all curious about perfume. You’d probably need to be a lawyer and a chemist to understand most of it, but its an interesting read all the same.)

Anyway, I’m still working on boro beads and I’ll have another update for you very soon. It’s looking like there will be many, many boro beads. We shall see. Thanks for reading!



we'll be at the superstars sale tomorrow. click us to get there!

we’ll be at the superstars sale tomorrow. click us to get there!

We could also call it the I’m Mad At Etsy sale. Etsy could have warned me that they were going to steal my banner, hide my shipping prices, make my favorites public for who knows how many days and just generically cheeze me off dang near permanently. Actually, I did have some warning about the cheezing me off thing before I signed up, that militantly warm and fuzzy schtick should have been the big tip-off. They send me an email for everything else that doesn’t matter one bit, so why couldn’t they have told me about their silly tests? Whatever, it took me a while, but I finally figured out that Etsy’s moustache-on-a-stick mascot is a charming metaphor for the figurative dirty sanchez they surprise sellers with every so often “because they love us.”

OMG, I did NOT just say that! But I did!!! Did you miss me?

The Superstars sale begins at 8PM Central Time tomorrow, Thursday, June 26th on the Superstars page on my website. The sale preview begins at 7:30PM Central Time, and that’s when you can look and decide what you want before you send your request in at 8PM. I hope to see you there!



In other news, my hunny took me on a quick lightning bug hunt and instead of lightning bugs we found a pile of tree stumps. He said “look! tree stumps!” He knew I’ve been wanting one. It was dark and the stump was heavy and we didn’t notice it had a patch of rot on it until we got it home. You might be wondering what I’d want with a tree stump. These are great for the kind of metalsmithing that requires a lot of banging, like forging and disk cutting. This one appears to be the perfect height. I think it might have bugs. We’re going to set it out in the sun for a while and treat it with something before we bring it inside.

Speaking of crap on our front porch, we figured out what’s been eating Nelson. Or maybe what Nelson hasn’t been eating that’s driven him to eat a spatula and plastic flowers and paper towels. We let him out onto the porch to eat a june bug one evening because he was going to come unglued if we didn’t. Small pleasures for small creatures. He enjoyed it so much we let him go again the next night. We thought it was cute (gross, but cute) and june bugs aren’t good for anything but being eaten anyhow. We saw a remarkable improvement in his mood and attitude during the short-lived june bug season. Of course now that it’s June and the junebugs are gone, Nelson is back to hunting down paper plates with pizza grease stains on them and “killing” them on the rag rug in front of the kitchen sink. Look how cute he is, though. And he gets sweeter every month. It’s hard to stay mad at something that looks like this and holds so still for the camera and kissus on his face and nose.



If you want your bubble wrap and customs forms, you must get by me first. I dare you not to get distracted by my whisker dots.


Oh, and I found this guy (Griffin) at the thrift store a little while back. I told myself I was getting it just for the frame, but who was I kidding? Mr. Sarah concurred that Griffin was one of the best thrift store scores we’ve had in a while. I didn’t buy him and then the more I thought about him I decided that I had to go back to that store and get him.



Anyway, those are just a couple of highlights, the rest has just been made to orders, metalsmithing and gravy. At my house, we all know Sarah’s been busy at the silver bench if there’s glitter in the toilet and we hear cursing through clenched teeth in the bead cave.

See you guys at the sale! Or whenever!



Many, many apologies for being a total booger. I’ve told you guys before that I fell out of my mom butt first and two weeks late, and it pretty much set the tone for all that came after. I dilly-dallied too long and had cat conundrums and now I’m finally ready. So.

Click HERE for my etsy shop, or the thumbnails below for each item.


Star Signs Necklace:


Fresh Linens Chunky Bracelet:


Mod Dot Ring:


Fresh Cut:


You are correct, the boro beads you might have noticed in the photo in my previous post are conspicuously absent. A kind soul saved me the trouble (and Etsy fees) and claimed them. Thank you!

Okay, now I’ve been at this way too long, as usual… at this very late hour I still have things to do. Thanks SO much for your patience and patronage!



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