Superstars TONIGHT!

Hey bead homies, tonight’s the night!

I think the internet might be taking a piddle in the midst of my sale. I’m not sure all my notifications are reaching everyone since about half of them aren’t being returned to my inbox like they usually are. Who knows, maybe it wouldn’t kill me to start using my gmail account. The main z-beads email has been around a long while and I’m not sure how reliable yahoo mail is anymore. I guess we’ll see, I’ll give it some time before I get too lathered up. It’s the internet after all, and we know what that’s like. If you feel like your requests or emails aren’t reaching me, feel free to message me through Etsy’s convo system. Here’s a link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/zbeads

Here’s a glimmer of what’s coming up:

come see us and our friends at the sale tonight. click us to get right on over there!

come see us and our friends at the sale tonight. click us to get right on over there!

The Superstars schedule:

7:30PM CENTRAL TIME: The new beads will appear on this page for the sale preview. Take this 30 minutes to read and decide what you want, and email me with any questions.

8PM CENTRAL TIME and beyond: Start sending in your requests via email. 

If you’re unsure of where your time zone falls in this scenario, google it!

See you tonight! You should see 12 selections when the sale preview goes live.

Go here: http://www.z-beads.com/workingfolder/superstars.html

Not scared, not scared, not scared…


I turn these

into these

into these

with this contraption

with this contraption

So there you have it, folks: the proof that the rainbows didn’t come out of my ass.

And also… SUPERSTARS THIS THURSDAY! May 26th, 8PM Central Time, with a 30 minute sale preview at 7:30PM Central Time. Check out  my website, http://www.z-beads.com and click on the Superstars link for more info.

One more thing I couldn’t resist:


Thanks for checking in… see you again Thursday.

I’ve said it before: I fell out of my momma’s ass butt-first and two weeks late, so it’s no far stretch that my mother’s day post would happen belatedly as well.

Here you go, sweet, kind, demure wallflower of a lady, have a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

photo courtesy of avasflowers.net

photo courtesy of avasflowers.net

For MY mother, on the other hand, here’s something more befitting:

Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley


Here are just a few of my favorite Mom quotes:

“If you (insert dumb behavior here), your life would be sucky, f*cky and not worth two bucky.”

In response to an archaically sexist comment: “What corner of your 15th century ass did you pull that one out of?”

“I’m not bitter, I’m a smart ass.”


“The best way to ruin a perfectly good relationship is to get married.”

In response to a telemarketer/scammer telling her answering machine they’d be in her neighborhood: “Well, I’ll be sure to hang my bare ass out the window for you.”

While we were driving past a long-standing grimy convenience store, our exchange went something like this:
mom: How does a place like that stay open for so many years?
me: It’s probably a front for Uncle Whoever’s whatevers.
mom: …or Uncle Whatever’s whoevers.

Happy Mothers Day, Mom! I couldn’t have hand-picked a better mother.




We had to let our sweet Fred go yesterday.



Everyone who met Fred loved him. Fred was the calmest, sweetest cat. Unless someone else was getting HIS skritchins, and then he’d walk away in a huff and shake his leg as he did so. And if you stopped skritching him? Nope, he wouldn’t have any of that either, and would lightly bite the skritchin hand. He had the sweetest meow. He loved to be hugged and held, sometimes he’d visit me in the bead room and if the litter box was clean or if he had eaten recently, I’d know he just wanted me to pick him up and hold him. He made eye contact and listened when we spoke to him, and he’d get a Wise Old Lion look about him when he was really paying attention. He got the I Love You Face when he was really happy to get snuggly. He truly loved us, it was obvious. He was very patient with children and visiting cats, and he never put the whoop-ass on little kittens who came to live with us. He would often leave a few bites of food behind in his bowl for the other cats. I never heard him hiss until The Great Enema/Tooth Pull of 2007… after that he hissed at every offense. When Gelly (spawn’s cat) stayed with us for a while, Mo kicked Gelly’s ass and drew blood regularly, but Fred tolerated him just fine and let him chase him around. Fred would act all annoyed and hiss at Gelly, but would often walk back over to Gelly and run away from him, hoping Gelly would chase him again.


Fred was always so polite about food – he would wait patiently until it was time to eat, and would ask nicely, even if he had been waiting way too long for someone to get up and feed him. He never shrieked at us (like Mo) or tried to trip us on the way to be fed (like Nelson and Sugar). His favorite people foods were French fries, raisins and yogurt, and he was still stealing pink cupcakes as recently as last summer, even with his fading eyesight. I lost count of how many times Fred totally slapped Mo upside the head for screaming incessantly when it was obvious they were about to be fed in mere seconds. Even after he had gone blind his aim was still spot on.

sweet baby fred - all ears, eyes, nose and whiskers

sweet baby fred – all ears, eyes, nose and whiskers

Fred was the first cat that was truly mine – the first cat I found on my own and took home and knew I could keep. We found him at some funky dude’s house and very nearly took his sister instead, but she had allegedly been claimed so we took Fred. (We suspect a friend of a friend ended up with his sister and she fared just as well in life as Fred did.) This cat-napping wasn’t planned, so his first night was spent without a litter box. The moment we found one in the garage in the morning, he got right into it and took a long, yellow leak – even without cat litter in it. What a good boy, holding it all night! And never once in his entire life, even when he was sick or injured, did he ever do his business anywhere but the litter box. Thanks Fred!

When we first got him, we thought Fred was a girl. I think it was because he was younger than we thought he was, and his little danglers hadn’t dropped yet. So when we took (her) to the vet to get spayed they shaved (her) belly and thankfully someone figured out this cat was a boy just in time. He ended up being a slightly larger than average cat and perhaps that’s another reason we thought he was a month or two older than he actually was.

Me and Fred, 1999 - check out his mistakenly shaved belly!

Me and Fred, 1999 – check out his mistakenly shaved belly!

His eyesight was entirely gone by late last fall, and he developed pneumonia due to inactivity. I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe in gambling at the vet’s office. I think that this cat had a better life with us than he would have if he had been left to his own devices – he got plenty of love and food on the regular, he was kept indoors, he was neutered immediately, and he received medical attention when he absolutely needed it. Like the time he ate all sorts of random crap and couldn’t use the toilet as a result. And that other time when his fang got an abscess and had to be pulled. You know, stuff like that.

Fred and Mo, 2001

Fred and Mo, 2001

But when a cat is 17 years old, can’t see, probably has arthritis, has bad teeth and can’t exercise, well… to keep a sick, ancient animal alive just because a veterinarian has the tools to do so, doesn’t mean you should. I don’t think it’s right to repeatedly restrain an animal and stick it with needles or poke pills down its throat several times a day in the vain hope of undoing what time naturally does. It’s the worst way to make sure you don’t feel guilty for not doing EVERYTHING YOU COULD. I’ve decided that some areas of veterinary medicine are more for the pet owners than the pets.  We did the everything-we-could thing with our Shoogs, mainly because we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and we didn’t even know how old she was, so down the rabbit hole we went. And believe me, it’s no better than simply allowing a beloved friend to fade away and being kind enough to end their suffering before it becomes excruciating for everyone. You don’t have your friend anymore, either way. So to let them live their last days in peace and not go broke in the process seems to make the most sense.


And that’s what we had to do yesterday. I knew early that morning as I was preparing for bed that it could be the day. Fred seemed restless, and Mo and Nelson seemed concerned about Fred, which was telling. He wouldn’t go lay down on the futon or in the bed, and that was highly unusual for Fred these days. But that afternoon at about 3pm, I heard Fred coughing and sneezing and gagging in the bed with me and somehow I knew before I even opened my eyes that when I did, what I would see wouldn’t be good. I won’t describe to you what I saw, I’ll just say it was very clear that I needed to gather my wits and take action. Nelson, of all cats, got up into my lap as I was having my tea – he could tell I was sad. Luckily it didn’t take too long to get into the clinic and get Fred taken care of. Poor Fred, sweet to the very end. Never cranky, never bitey or scratchy, just sweet little Fred. I’ll miss his mittens-and-bib, his head butts, his penchant for eating inedible yellow things and just hanging out listening to music. Whenever my husband would play the guitar, Fred would come into the room and sit next to him. I’ll sure miss my very best boy.

nelson loves fred

nelson loves fred

Love your fuzzy buddies. Even if they steal your bread, eat your shoelaces and lick every surface in your kitchen. It’s what they do. It’s better to laugh about it and enjoy every minute you have with them.

Thanks for reading.

Skglarg Part 3.

Here I am.


It took weeks to find someone who would actually fix my electricity, and the third one was the charm. You never know what you’ll get when you call service people to your house. You guys should have seen this one alpha dude who strutted in after assessing the situation outside. He thought he was really clever – he was gonna get the little woman scared straight by informing me that wouldn’t let his kids spend the night here. Heh. Wrong lady to play the kid card with. I just rolled my eyes at him and thought to myself “wow, it isn’t just because it’s obviously freaking weird here?” and a little bit of “If you let your kids spend the night here I’d eat them well done with lots of ketchup and hang the dirty dishes on the wall to commemorate the event.” (Sorry, but scare tactics deeply offend me.) He said he took a picture of the “situation” for his “hall of fame” and instructed his helper to put an advertisement sticker on the indoor panel because we’d surely be calling them back. He actually said that. Then they charged $50 for the trouble. It’s almost enough to make me want to go to electrician school so I can go to peoples’ houses and be nice to them and find a real solution instead of trying to frighten them out of thousands of dollars.

these are about the right color... were inspired by an upper respiratory virus about 6 years ago

art imitates life… just about the right color.

Then, I kid you not, literally the day after weeks of not being able to work, I caught the Epic Wads of Snot virus everyone has been passing around. Just when I was starting to feel left out. I’ve used the neti pot about three times a day for the last week, and the amount of acid green goop it beckoned every time was astounding. I’ve never seen anything like it, I cannot fathom how all of that was fitting into my little sinuses. I wondered when it would start coming out of my ears. Not just that, I was hacking so hard every 10 minutes I thought my lungs would come out of one of my ends, with my fuzzy hair going in all directions and my roots exposed due to the lack of my timely hair appointment that I had to cancel…  No, this hasn’t been good at all. But I finally have clear(er) breathing passages and a lot less green stuff in my life.

complete with a little square of toilet paper barely sizeable enough to hold the colossal green wad

complete with a little square of toilet paper barely sizeable enough to hold the colossal green wad



So while I was waiting for the electricity to be fixed I left the computer off for the most part. I have lots of email to catch up on, and I will do that this week. I made the wire-wrapped chains for these bullets (both of which are ALL MINE, hooray!), I got rid of loads of stuff, found lots of good things I had forgotten I had, caught up with friends, cleaned some stuff, fixed mom’s toilet, knotted some pearls and basically took a vacation from my life. Forced vacation sucks. I like to work. I thought I was going to go insane. Staying busy isn’t the same as working. I believe that doing something productive for pay is something a bit different than doing something productive for fun or necessity. It’s probably just a symptom of the American condition I’ve been afflicted with – but as with all things, balance is good. I try to be productive no matter what, although my productivity commitments generally end up tipping the scales toward the for-pay end of things. Can’t complain.




I just needed something green and purple, you know? You may notice that the silver on the bullets/spikes is a bit shinier than usual. I thought I’d try a more traditional finish on these. I did the Tripoli and rouge combo, liver of sulphured them, then went over everything with these little foamy Eurotool polishing pads. They’re more aggressive than a cloth – a sheen happens in the direction you move the pad. I like it. It isn’t quite as shiny as going over it again with a rouge buff.

Oh, and for those of you with orders for bon-bons… I’m on it! Another day or two of diligent work will yield finished results and photos/invoices in your inboxes. Then bead orders are up next… if you have an order for lampwork, you’ll be hearing from me very soon. I’m so sorry for this long delay!

proof of their existence

proof of their existence

I’ve never made so many bon-bons all at once before. To avoid total overwhelmed’ness I had to get real organized about it. I needed to make sure the correct bezel stayed with each bon-bon, and I only worked on 4 at a time. It worked!

Anyway, thanks for checking in. You’ll be hearing from me again soonish!


Hey bead freaks! Etsy was very impromptu tonight. Sorry for the absence of the usual pre-listing warning, but that’s not how my time is running today. I’ve got two new exceptionally fabulous Shimmer Spike trios for you, and two things that didn’t go at the last Superstars sale, which are equally as fabulous, especially the Party Lights Spike. What’s wrong with you guys? Don’t make me keep it for myself… I’ve already made myself two spikes, I don’t need any more.

Go HERE for my entire shop, or click the thumbnails below for each listing.

Electric Watermelon Shimmer Spikes:


April Showers Shimmer Spikes:


Party Lights Sterling & Glass Spike:


Polka Dotty Goodness:


And if you’re one of those peeps who has an order in for bon-bons or glitterbombs or other sterling what-have-yous, I’m on it! I made a vague promise of completion sometime this month, but it’s looking like it’s going to be closer to the end of sometime this month before it’s all done. This is why I don’t take pre-payment… sometimes these things take longer than expected, and people get antsy when someone has both their money and ADD (Artsy Dingbat Disorder).  Broken electricity and exploded closets are stomping all over my best laid plans. I can do things like wield fire and drive a stick shift, but monkeying around with electricity is something I leave to the professionals. I can’t run my precious Foredom at reduced power, woe is me. I’ll keep you all posted.

Hope you find something you like… if you miss out on anything you liked tonight, hit me up for a made to order! I’ll be back at the glass sometime next month.

Catch you guys next time, maybe I’ll feel more chatty then. Toodles!

Superstars Tonight!

Tomahawk on the Google Play, food that requires zero effort to prepare and eat, and staring at Photoshop for 10 hours straight. What else could it possibly be? I hope you guys can make it to the sale tonight! I hope I can make it… new next door neighbors with a dog that apparently gets to spend 6am to midnight outside doing what dogs do best: barking his fool head off at every single blade of grass in the yard. Nice. Some dog people. One of these days I’ll give you a detailed description of everything that goes into a Superstars sale… if you’re an insomniac, it’s sure to help you fall asleep for a good long while.

Here’s a glimpse at a teensy bit of what’s coming up tonight:

click on us to get to the superstars page!

click on us to get to the superstars page!

Here’s what’s happening tonight:

7:30PM CENTRAL TIME: SALE PREVIEW. The new beads will appear on the Superstars page on my website. Take this 30 minutes to read and decide what you want, and email me with any questions.

8PM CENTRAL TIME and beyond: Start sending in your requests via email.

If you’re unsure of where your time zone falls in this scenario, google it!

Catch you guys later!

Yep, it’s time for me to start chatting you up about the next Superstars sale. Which is tomorrow. As usual, I’m a bit behind. So I’ll keep this shortish. I do my best work under pressure. Only under pressure I’m applying, mind you. If it’s from outside forces I’m more likely to freak out and go hide behind the toilet or eat massive amounts of pastry.


This collection of cat drawings by Louis Wain allegedly charts his descent into madness – you’ve likely seen it in a textbook if you’ve ever taken a course in psychology. However, Wikipedia says that these works aren’t dated, and since Wain’s state of mind had its ups and downs, it can’t necessarily be proven that each drawing corresponded with any specific marker in a downtrend of mental soundness. Anyway, point is, I could just as easily demonstrate my own state of freaked out’edness with a pan of brownies or a bag of doughnuts, and the rate at which I consume them.

I don’t have any new photos yet of what’s coming up tomorrow, but you can have another glance at the silvery things in my last entry to get an idea for now. I have something else to show you today. In my bead descriptions, I often advise “throwing a set of beads onto a leather cord and getting on with it”. The following photos are an example of what I mean. I knot them in between, or not, and use a double fisherman’s knot which makes the length adjustable and a piece of jewelry feasible without the bother of a clasp.



cinched up as tight as they'll go

cinched up as tight as they’ll go


what the double fisherman's knot looks like

what the double fisherman’s knot looks like


boro beads in the sun

boro beads in the sun, just because

Learn how to make the double fisherman’s knot at Animated Knots by Grog:

It takes a little bit of practice, but don’t give up. A good rule of thumb for deciding how much length of leather to cut (this can be trickier than you’d think, especially if you’re me) is to wrap it loosely around your neck at least twice, possibly three times if there will be multiple knots. It’s better to have too much length to start out with than not enough, you waste less leather that way. Believe me. And knots in leather use up more length than string does, probably due to its heft in size and lack of ability to stretch. If your fisherman knots don’t glide as well as you think they should, sometimes adding a dab of olive oil helps. Just don’t make the knots too tight or too loose to begin with and you’ll be fine. Adding smaller lampwork beads to the ends of the knots makes it easier to grab and pull the ends in the opposite directions to tighten and loosen. If anyone has anything helpful to add, feel free!


Sooo… Superstars tomorrow evening! In case you’re new, the Superstars sale happens on my website. Click HERE for more info, or go to http://www.z-beads.com and click on the Superstars link.

Thanks for checking in, more to come tomorrow. I may have a sneak peek photo for you then.



Don’t be.

the chump who's constantly running her fingers at y'all

here you go, teeming masses: the chump who’s constantly running her fingers at y’all, right here in my first bathroom selfie

I do go on, don’t I? And on and on… and on. Then I get concerned emails. It’s the nature of being honest about my feelings. My feelings, waaah.

Really guys. I’ve got this. Punk Rock Sarah, lest you forget. Nobody’s victim, even when I am. Flying under the radar, waiting for the other shoe to drop… and I still manage to melt rainbows and bang on silver and feed cats and help Mom plug stuff into the wall and smile at whoever needs to be smiled at. Those first 5 blissfully unaware seconds after waking up are what get me through a day full of coming to terms with life’s rich trainwreck. Shattered illusions and like totally slicing my finger open on my canned dinner… pee-shaw. When I start sounding like I sounded in my last entry it means I’m ready to get real and cause some better things to happen. Life is short. The world is mean. If you can’t be kind, then, well, I don’t know, get outta my face.

I shall close my eyes and thunk my giant shoes together and say three things:
I will not crawl out of my own skin.
My “sanity” will rub off onto whoever needs it worse than I do.
I’ll pull my chestnuts out of the fire just in time.

don't tell me I don't know how to have fun

don’t tell me I don’t know how to have fun, I left the crappy shower curtain and hanger for the full bathroom selfie effect… the dorky grin is from the amusement of seeing the shutter open on my camera

Anyway. I went to Gordman’s* on Valentine’s Day and while I was there it became clear that I missed my calling as a perfume salesperson. I saw a hard working guy in a worn leather jacket and cowboy hat who was obviously shopping for a last minute gift for his lady. Poor dude was looking mighty out of his element in the narrow aisles. Another shopper and I both approached him. The other lady immediately suggested Viva La Juicy, without knowing the age or tastes of this potentially touched but disappointed woman. I asked how old his lady was (he said she was 40) and what other perfume she liked and how much he wanted to spend. He said money wasn’t an issue, he wasn’t sure what she’d like, she had a bottle of something called Luna and he described what it looked like. Luna didn’t ring any bells, so I asked if he would consider it a “sweet” perfume. He said yes, and I said Juicy might work… although personally, I find anything Juicy abhorrent, and would recommend that for a teenager before I’d recommend it for a woman who has had a chance to develop a preference.

So I sprayed a bit of Calvin Klein’s Euphoria into the lid of one of the boxes. He was kind of “meh” and then I held the bottle of Thierry Mugler’s Angel EDP out to him and told him to sniff the nozzle. He looked vaguely interested so I sprayed it into the lid of one of the boxes, and you guys, you should have seen his eyes light up. I knew that would happen. Men LOVE Angel. I don’t know why, but they love it and even if you don’t you should wear it anyway because it drives them bonkers. I know that when a man likes a perfume more than I do, I’ll wear it to see that look on his face. But I loves me some Angel so no problem there…

kinda like this. nelson, son of a motherless dental floss farmer

that look, kinda like this. nelson, son of a motherless dental floss farmer


I haven’t just been taking selfies in my funky bathroom all week… I made all of this!:

spikes, glitterbombs and bon-bons in sterling and glass

spikes, glitterbombs and bon-bons in sterling and glass


another view

another view – these will be for sale soon!

And I made this special for a client:

pink scarab ring, special order

pink scarab ring, special order

The beast (me) is hungry. I’m gonna go jazzercise and then ferociously tear into some egg salad and zesty bread & butter pickles. I’d show you a picture of that too, but this ain’t fakebook.

Check you bead ninjas later!

death and taxes

HR Giger's sandworm

HR Giger’s sandworm

That’s right, folks. You read it here first. They’re the only two things in life that you cannot avoid. Actually, poop is another one, and short shrieking parasites in light-up sneakers every time you go to Walmart. And a whole slew of other things. But death and taxes is so succinct – the way I like most things to be. You know, on the surface, of course. I can also boogie way down in the dirty complications with you. Whatever you need. Us evolved scorpios can do it all. And we’re not gonna be driving by your house at 2am with clenched teeth 10 years after you break up with us.

So, two deaths happened in the family week before last, within hours of one another. Viewing dead bodies is grueling. When forced to sit in the same room with them for an extended period of time, they’ll catch my eye as I sense that they’re on the very edge of movement. Perhaps that same part of my brain that fills the blind spot in my eye with what it knows from experience should be there also expects them to shift to a more comfortable position. It’s disquieting when the rest of my brain remembers that they can’t. Repeat several times until I finally get to go home.

Sometimes I think it would be a huge relief to be completely insensitive.

Sinister enough for you? Good, because that’s the kind of mood I’m in. And I’m gonna try to lay down some brutal truth while I’m here because I’m also in the mood for some of that. First truth: I write better than I speak, that’s why I do this. I MUST do this. Otherwise I’d be forever tongue-tied and flustered, especially when I try to share something real.

end cane by Stephen Boehm

end cane by Stephen Boehm

Dear Friends,

Life is duality. Take the good with the bad and all of that. It’s a shame it isn’t really that simple. I’ve made attempt after futile attempt to distill everything down to its simplest form – grocery lists, my wardrobe, what’s good, what’s bad, other people, my relationships, my emotions, you know. When I was much younger, I didn’t know how to manage my emotions. I was happy, but always guarded. I fell too easily into the blackness of feeling misunderstood, mingling with dirty box knives and bruised knuckles and abject confusion. So I put on my big girl panties, ditched those dead-end friends and fashioned myself a prison of simplicity and solitude. I’ve tricked myself into believing that how I feel doesn’t matter, to benefit the greater good of my own comfort and that of those around me. But the old scars are my reminder that superficial ripples hide consuming depths. Now I only skim those depths, alone, and leave without sustaining any scars that would prove I had been there. It’s not denial, per se, it’s procrastinating the inevitable. Feel it now, or feel it later in ways you wouldn’t believe. Whatever it is can’t be hidden or hidden from forever.


And the duality of other people. I’m endlessly fascinated by them and scared shitless of them. They cannot be avoided. So I glint across their surfaces, yet dig fervently through the psychic junkyards for the twinkling gems amongst the rotten cores. I’m as patient and determined as a stringy-haired weirdo with a pick axe and a bucket at a touristy corundum mine. These gems are rare and worth the trouble. Funny thing, though – they tend to show up when you’re not even looking for them, in places you’d never expect to find them. I’ve found a few in my lifetime and I instantly recognize them when I do. They glow. Like glittering treasure under a mile of cold debris, a signal of hope, a kindred spirit, a tether to something higher. Like a warm light by which souls can be safely laid bare without uttering a single word. They make a difference, even if they’re around for only a short time. We all need these gems. They shouldn’t be stolen away or hoarded in dark musty boxes. They should be cherished and allowed to glitter and glow for whomever enjoys their light.

I can’t see these gems and cores within myself, I’m too close, too afraid to expose what’s beneath my fragile punk-rock shell to myself. I’m my own worst scrutinizer, psychoanalyzer, 24-hour martinizer. This is something I’ll leave to you… I know I can count on the warmest and kindest and glowingest of you to help iron me out when I’m beginning to resemble microwaved hell. To say “Hey girl, it’ll be okay. Let me show you something good.” You probably won’t even know you’re doing it. And that’s fine, it means you’re the real thing. To lock myself away from you would be to not know me.

Thanks for the sparkles.



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