You might have some questions, so I’ll get right to it: the stuff that lands folks in jail or rehab ain’t my jam. My heart just grew too heavy and I had to rest. I’m adjusting to the harsh reality that I’m too small to move the really heavy things. In my own life, in the lives of those I care about, and the people I’ve never met and never will, who I also care a great deal about.

If you emailed me I probably didn’t respond. I’m sorry, truly, but I thank you for reaching out to me because it did make a difference. I’ve been writing this entry for nearly a year and perhaps it will be an adequate response. I’m not entirely comfortable with it. It feels like too much, yet incomplete, but I’m trying not to overthink because it’s time for me to do this. This will barely cover it, but it still feels like a titanic sized gob of… vague, guarded honesty? Self-pity? You decide. I’ve lost my muscle memory of the me that you may have come to truly admire or be completely nauseated by. And now I’ve reappeared after a year to trot out this weak excuse for my absence.

Last year, I paid a visit to a used book store. I’ll admit that I did not accidentally land in the midst of Dr Phil schlock and colorful hardback pamphlets crafted to convince teenagers to stop acting like psychopaths. I’m usually able to keep my own counsel just fine, but I was feeling particularly desperate at that moment. A strange little nearsighted man, who was also standing in the cramped space, studied me for several minutes before he asked, “What’s bothering you?” I took several seconds to consider an ambiguous but honest answer to such a probing question from a stranger. I finally replied, “Everything.” Turns out this fellow was just looking to sell his neurolinguistic programming services, which included hypnosis. But I know why he was there in my life right that second: to ask a question that needed asking. What IS bothering me? Dissatisfied with the self-help section, I left with a stack of books about jewelry and even more questions.

entre chien et loup #2 by josette simon-gestin (the hour at which the light is too dim to discern a dog from a wolf)

Soon after, I tried therapy. I’m sure I have at least a couple of therapists in my readership. In advance, I’ll go ahead and make it clear that I mean no offense, and note that this is not a criticism of the service I received. I’ve been told by my personal counsel (I don’t mean the therapist, although she did hint at it, too) that my expectations of therapy were a little bit off. I needed a professional to tell me what to do because I obviously couldn’t hack it on my own right then. When I expressed this desire to my trusted confidants, they actually laughed at me, much to my confusion. Every single one of them. By most accounts, the purpose of therapy is to be “gently guided” into knowing what to do, without being told directly what to do. But I prefer direct. Direct gets the job done. Sometimes painfully, but at least it’s quick. Of course, one of the perks of that indirect and gentle arrangement is that the professional can remain blameless for any bad choices I might make, and they could gently draw this guidance out, along with my money, for years.

Yes, I am a cynic, and I suppose the high value I place upon personal responsibility, thrift and simplicity prevented me from fully committing to being “handled” this way. If I want the unvarnished truth badly enough to pay for it, it’s a freaking emergency. But since my “I feel like I’m losing my damn mind and I’d rather save us both the hassle and just die” face is very similar to my “oh, hey, what’s up” face, nobody should be blamed for proceeding with caution. Ultimately, I felt just as foolish, misunderstood and out of place in that office as I did everywhere else in my life. And since I have trust issues (as we all should) the whole thing was bound to fail. Some people need a therapist to tell them they have trust issues, but I walked in there knowing it, and walked out of there feeling completely righteous in retaining them. Go ME.

death is a circus by dorshak blok (bombsawayart.com)

I have since pulled myself together, somewhat. These are strangely serious times. There is no comfort when we must choose our words and our actions so very cautiously. It’s hard to be light when so many things are so terribly wrong. And when it comes down to righting certain wrongs, certain other things could suffer too greatly. Sometimes I wish it would burn down and we could start all over. And what is it, exactly?

I used to have a few quirky words of wisdom, and a “we’ve got this” sort of resolve to share, but when it has lost its effect on me, what’s the point in sharing it with you? I removed three paragraphs of some pretty serious doom and gloom stuff, because even though I feel it to the very center of my core, it isn’t the message I’d like to send. That’s why I haven’t said anything in a really long time. But I’m still here, with my usual eye out for a twinkle in the fog, for diamonds in the debris. I do find them now and then, and that has to be enough for now. Hope is about all I have, and I’m clinging to it for dear life. LIFE, people. I want to live, but in a better world than the one we’re living in now. I hope you will cling to hope too, that you’ll hang on and resist the wrong, whoever you are, in the tempest of whatever you might be feeling in this moment.

life is persistent

Maybe I have been working this past year in a different sort of way: walking miles, painting my eyelids a different color each day, closely examining humanity and myself… and finally accepting that it’s okay to be human, to need other people, to need help in times of weakness and sadness. But mostly, I’ve just been trying to be brave in a terrifying place. I think we all are. This work has not produced much of anything tangible or quantifiable, and it means nothing to anyone but me… and even that meaningfulness is iffy. ‘Tis the nature of the emotional free fall, I suppose, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t landed yet. I may never. The good news is, something new is looming on my horizon. This hiatus may have yielded new ways for me to work, share and be inspired. Be looking for new work from me in the not too distant future. And I mean it this time.

If I haven’t lost you yet, thank you for helping me let this go. Feel free to email me (z-beads@sbcglobal.net) if you have any comments or curiosities.

I’ll leave you with this, a pearl of inspiration:

watercolor by carol carter

“It takes irritation to produce a pearl…and pearls don’t form in a day. There are irritants in your life at this moment demanding of you to rearrange yourself inside to address the discomfort, annoyance, and intrusion. Yet these elements in our lives we experience as noxious are the very things around which we craft an inner beauty, our pearl of great price. That process is not always a pleasant one, and, who doesn’t wish at times that we could produce that glory in a day, rather than in a year, or a lifetime. Still, I believe the treasure will far outlast the discomfort. That annoyed little critter inside the oyster shell will be long gone, though the pearl will remain.”
Gil Hedley, Integral Anatomy


a beautiful visitor on my live forever last fall

It’s been a long while since we’ve seen each other, and I don’t really want to talk about why. My relationship with details has taken on a different flavor these days, and I’ve lost my taste for discussing them. I needed a break, probably not the kind I took, but I took it nonetheless. Us ‘Merkans do enjoy our moving pictures, so I’ve opted to console myself with shows about baby animals, art and cake. I never knew how much work and detail was involved in cake. Those are my kinda details…

Recently, the Japanese technique of kintsugi came up twice in conversations with two different people. Both times it was used metaphorically – in one conversation, as a way of gluing your damaged, broken self back together with some character and beauty. The other was the mention of the title of Hipster King Ben Gibbard’s (Death Cab For Cutie) album about his breakup with his Hipster Queen Zooey Deschanel, utilizing the same metaphor, but with a heavy dose of “waah, because of my beautiful superstar wife, I’m no longer the center of everything” added. I found it interesting that this somewhat obscure subject came up as many times as it did within a matter of days, and if you’re like me and the sort that pays attention to such things… well, even in the midst of my fog of confusion, I paid attention.

mom’s new cat – the tabby siamese I’ve always wanted, and one of the sweetest cats ever. she reminds me of my Fred, who left us a couple of years ago. mom needed her more than I did.

Finding the gold to fill the cracks with, or even being able to recognize it as such when your perspective has lost all of its color, can seem impossible. Sometimes fool’s gold will have to do, and I do have that on hand. Barrels of it. It’s sparkly enough. Making the best of what you have to work with in any situation is better than feeling sad about what you don’t have.

Above is some of the jewelry I’ve made (or have decided to part with) in the past several months… it will make its way here for sale soon, but if you’re feeling impatient and are curious about something you see there, hit me up and I’ll reply with photos and details. (yes, details – I can certainly deal with details of this sort)

Thanks for sticking with me through these times of totes redonkulousness… you all are such great bead friends. More to come!

this once tiny grey kitten is getting huge, and the little pink bell on its itty bitty turquoise and pink leopard print collar matches its TOES and its YAWN. Ehrmagerd.

I mean, they’ve been here… but they’re here-here. Anyway, it’s Monday. Why hasn’t The State of California determined that Mondays are carcinogenic yet? Mondays are sooo bad for you, you guys. You really shouldn’t do them. Most folks spend the weekend partying, candying, arting, kittening, whatevering, like, way too hard, and Mondays are such a terrible thing to top it off with. Me? I brownied and kittened myself into a stupor. But beads will help!

So here are the beads.

When submitting your request via email – z-beads@sbcglobal.net – please provide this info:
1. your paypal address, if paying with paypal
2. your preferred payment method if sending a money order (US buyers only) or check (established US buyers only)
3. your location (US or abroad, so I can request the correct shipping amount)
Shipping within the US is $7.50 for USPS Priority Mail
International shipping is $10 for USPS First Class International

I will mark each selection as SOLD as they are claimed. If you miss out on anything, hit me up for a made to order! I love those.

These lampwork beads are made by me, Sarah Moran, with soda-lime glass (also known as soft glass), and are kiln annealed for strength and long life. I do my best to provide an accurate representation in the photos. If you are interested in buying but have questions, please contact me.

SELECTION #1: available
Stars & Stripes Ball Buttons in Candied Orange – 6 beads or buttons, whatever your pleasure – $95
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

I love me some ball buttons… the lucite sewing kind are my very favorite, probably because they’re truly balls. With glass, this is significantly more challenging, as it isn’t so easy as drilling a hole. These have shanks, as you can plainly see, but the button part itself is indeed a fun little ball shape. These might be good for knitting/crochet projects, possibly even sewing or embroidery. I don’t do much of any of that, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if they’re suitable for such things. But truth be told, I can see these as the perfect finishing touch on a pair of handmade gloves. If you want to keep it simple, they’d make good dangles for a necklace.They have a lovely burnt orange base with transparent violet, orange, dark amber and lavender stripes and each one ends with a lavender star.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 14x18mm – 15x20mm
hole size: 3/32″
nearly 2.5 inches of beads

SELECTION #2: available
Royal Mint Sampler – 7 beads – $135
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

This color combination was used originally for a !BLING! set titled !BLING! River. But this isn’t !BLING! – at least, not the faceted kind – but maybe “bling” would be a better fit, as there certainly is a good bit of sparkle and interest going on here. It’s also very similar to Mint Royale, but without all that purple. Here, the colors include the darkest lapis in my arsenal, who, as usual, is looking mighty ultraviolet on my monitor, but be assured, it is not nearly that purple, or even purple at all, for that matter. We also have a deep true purple (104 COE purple rose, to be exact), but only used as small dots and accents here and there, with a lovely sapphirine aqua, and each bead has a base of encased pale sea green. Very nice colors, indeed! And so much texture and smooth in all the right spots. Perfect for a junque chain or chunky bracelet, or just to collect and admire.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 21x24mm – 16x20mm
hole size: 3/32″
about 6 inches of beads

Neon Caravan Bicones – 9 slender bicones – $100
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

Maybe you remember the Neon Caravan sampler I made some time last year. I love grey glass – it’s less stark than white and softer than black, and it goes with just about any color, generally, as long as it’s a cool grey rather than a warm one. And since there’s something about the combination of orange, lavender and violet that plucks my heartstrings, let’s add some aqua blue to the mix… and I suppose that would officially be the Crash Wanda color combination… but hey, let’s not get all bogged down in the specifics. Let’s just get to the point and say that these have a pale grey middle, bright opaque orange ends, and little foil dots in lavender, aqua and violet. Each one is the same, essentially, save for a slight differentiation in shape, as is the nature of handmade things made without molds. These have 1/16″ holes, making them a bit more suitable for daintier applications such as wire wrap or stringing a very long flapper style necklace.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 12x25mm
hole size: 1/16″
9.5 inches of beads


SELECTION #4: available
Lemon’s Lib Fly-Eye Rondells – 7 beads – $100
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

When will we be liberated from the Lemon’s Lib color combination!? I suppose when the currently fashionable ocher has taken its leave. But it’s still here. I saw ocher pants the other day. What a terrible idea. But they haunt me. I hate them. Yet I want them. But I know I cannot have them. They cause my pinkish skin tone to reflect a sickening shade of orange. I tried on an ocher sweater the other day to make extra sure. Alas, ocher and I will never be. But ocher glass? Yes, we are and will always be. So I continue on… this time, with the Fly-Eye Rondell design. There are 5 rondells and 2 tabs in olive green, bright lemon yellow and a slightly more buttery/flowery yellow with accents in transparent greens and ambers. A bit of foil shimmers beneath each textured Fly-Eye panel. Some of my beads are weird, in case you didn’t already know. Foreshadowing: if things go as planned, they’re about to get weirder.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 13x19mm – 14x17mm
hole size: 3/32″
3.5 inches of beads

SELECTION #5: available
Fancy Glimmer Pills – 7 beads – $115
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

If you’ve been with me a while, you might remember the original Happy Pills – those were rather basic compared to these, with an opaque base and opaque decor in various shades of Effetre 420 Coral. I think at that time I only had 11 different varieties of coral in my collection, now I think it’s something closer to 20. Odd, isn’t it, that 420 is never the same twice. Anyway, these are much more interesting in that the bases are glittery! Hooray! I think I’m finally getting the hang of encasing foil all the way around. The colors are transparent orange, red, lavender and purple and they have opaque decorations in a nice opaque blue-purple, streaky brilliant pumpkin orange and a deep natural red. The opaque red I used here is a slightly browner one that the brighter blood red I’ve been using lately – this red actually came across fairly accurately in the photos this time. I was going for a slightly more autumnal red than a vampy red, and it appears I got what I wanted.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 13x21mm – 14x24mm
hole size: 3/32″
3.75 inches of beads

Precious Blues Opal Glimmer Strips – 7 beads – $135
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

Blues are precious, so long as you don’t wallow in them forever and ever. Us melancholy sorts struggle, though, you know. And us denim lovers, too. The darker the better, and the boo-hooing ensues when it fades. Anyway, I’m rambling. I got a new book of foil, and it’s real nice. It seems just the slightest bit heavier than my other book of foil. And the blue glass was calling me, and so were the new bundles of the boutique glass that yields these glorious opalescents. As usual, these are the kind of beads that look great strung on a string/ribbon/chain/leather cord without any extra fuss, or do them up fancy with some opalescent Czech beads. Whatever you do, it’ll be great!

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 18x19mm
hole size: 3/32″
4.75 inches of beads

Frosty Thistle Hollows – 7 hollow beads + a hollow button – $120
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

Just what we needed to neutralize the blues and oranges: a strand of petite decorated hollows in purples, pinks and greens. These hollows have a core, which means the insides of these beads aren’t etched, making them just a teensy bit more shiny/glowy than they would have been if they had not been made with a core. AND they’re easier for me to clean, and for you to string. It’s just peaches all around with these, I tell you. Polka dots, Dot On A Stick, more polka dots, and a couple of liney stringery design thingees compose this group of beads, and there’s a hollow button! The shank isn’t hollow, but the face is, and if you look closely, you’ll see a cluster of dots under the frosty exterior. Hooray!

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 15x20mm – 18x19mm
hole size: 3/32″
5.25 inches of beads

So that’s that! I hope you find something you like! I’ll be available to answer emails and requests all evening, so don’t be shy. Thanks so much for checking in.


new beads tomorrow (Monday)!

Hey beaded buckaroos! Check it:

The new stuff will be here tomorrow, Monday September 18th 2017 at 8PM Central Time!

As usual, you’ll get an update from wordpress as soon as the new beads are live!

That’s that for now… I’d best get busy. Thanks for checking in!

thank you

I get paid to melt rainbows into eyeballs, I don’t have any kids, or debt, or a gym membership… the cats poop in a box, and pretty much help themselves to whatever’s on the stove, so that’s mostly covered… and now my life is easier still, even if by only one teeny tiny increment, now that I don’t have to maintain the z-beads mailing list all by my lonesome anymore. Thank you all so very much for signing up for notifications through wordpress. You’ve saved my bacon, and probably a big hunk of my grey matter. I’ll need that hunk later.

fizz tabs, also known as Rancid Eyeballs by the vodka soaked ravingpoodles on stumbleupon

I find myself saying “thank you” often. I’m thankful for what I have: shelter, food, sanity (I think…) I work hard to maintain these things I have, and I know it all hangs by a thread for me as much as it does for you. But kindness, generosity and sincerity are gifts, not givens. Especially these days. When I do my outside-the-house things, I’ve noticed that people are actually taken aback when someone is nice to them. More so than ever before. They sometimes seem surprised when someone smiles at them or holds the door for them, or when someone is friendly and polite when placing an order for food, and understanding if something goes wrong. They have come to expect you to be distracted by pointless gossip on the phone, or to be extremely rude and impatient. I think a growing lack of empathy for our fellow travelers is to blame.

I get it – empathy is exhausting. Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear that it’s natural, or that it’s learned. Or that it’s purely a psychological function of the human brain or that it’s some of that with a largely intuitive component. I tend to agree with the latter, and feeling this, that’s where I begin to doubt my own sanity. I have a hard time in large crowds, and talking to strangers, but I’m working on it. So being the (relatively) sweet-natured Scorpio I am, I crawl under the dresser and hide in the dark for a while so that I don’t sting someone with all that venom that’s been welling up. I try to turn that venom into more rainbows. The more technical term for this is “effective coping skills.” This is why I go *poof* for a while, from time to time. I find that I need to re-energize, to gather the courage to face humanity once again, because it must be done if I hope to find the glimmers under the murk.

Truth is, I do not like what I see right now. Maybe it’s just my INFP’ness, but I have spent my entire life being utterly confused by the way people treat each other, and it seems to be getting close to saturation point. Critical mass, maybe? I dunno, I’m no scientist. But I can identify that when people who hold a great deal of power are encouraging us to deny each other basic human dignities and kindnesses based on gender, skin color, religious beliefs, political leanings, sexual proclivities, and other nebulous labels yet to be determined, the end of civilization as we know it is nigh.

the chanel counter at neiman’s (dallas)

This is not my soapbox. I mean, it is, but I’d rather kvetch about beads, perfume and the price of silver. I am not trying to scare you. I don’t like to talk specifically about politics, religion or other hot button issues because a) I don’t know much about any of it and b) some people get really mad when you don’t agree with them 100%. But every now and then, and a bit more frequently than usual these days, even at the risk of my livelihood, I feel called upon to remind you that being kind to your fellow travelers is how we change the world… I can probably count on the fact that if you’re reading this, I’m preaching to the choir. Just don’t give up, is all I’m saying. Especially now.

I have come to know that creative people – the artists, writers, musicians (and cat people, I’m sure of it) – the people of simple means, wants and ideas – are exponentially more powerful than those not so nice guys in suits who stack weapons and hate and money. I was so lucky to have been born into the family I was born into, to learn to do what I do as an artist, and very importantly, to meet all of you, whether you are long time patrons or admirers of my work from afar. I’ve been selling my work for many years, and have met so many kind, thoughtful and considerate people through that. Other avenues have not been nearly as fulfilling. Creative people and people who truly love art – not just because it will match their carpet – make life just a little bit more bearable.

the guerlain counter at neiman’s (dallas)

Also, I have been watching some shows lately. I like to watch stuff that makes me think.

Here’s a good one: I Love Dick, on Amazon Prime – it’s a light little story about artists and their strange lives and loves, but it’s mostly centered around a married woman who falls in love at first sight with the main art guy in town and writes stacks and stacks of flowery letters to him. These letters remind me of the letters I’ve written privately throughout my lifetime but never gave, and the ones I’ve published here, and addressed to no one specifically. Some were to you… some were to me, maybe. Someone once referred to these as “my love letters to the world”. I took it as a compliment because the world needs more love letters and less Tinder/syphilis. So if you like interesting stories about quirky people and weird art, I Love Dick won’t disappoint. I should warn you, it’s a little racy at times, so keep that in mind.

Mr Robot

Mr. Robot. Wow, what a thing this is. A hacker and his crew set out to erase everyone’s debt. If you think someone has to be crazy to do such a thing, you may be right. Or maybe not. There is much more to the story. So as not to spoil anything, I’ll just say this: to witness such a succinct portrayal of the division, the struggle within a complicated psyche such as that of Elliot Alderson should be something of a comfort to thinking people. The people who crave more from life than stuff and things, the people who truly care about other people. The message I take away from Mr Robot: Question EVERYTHING. Including yourself. You may have no idea how truly powerful you are.

warning: very tiny kittens may cause smiling in the grumpiest of grumpy cats

And lastly, my friend Laura called me one night a couple of weeks ago with a strange noise in the background… she said “there’s a very tiny KITTEN on my PORCH and I don’t know what to DO.” (She’s a dog person.) I said, “it sounds like you have a kitten now” and she actually thought she was just going to bring it over here and leave it with “the cat people”. Instead, I instructed her to get some kitten formula and a bottle and I sent her a link to instructions on how to care for a very young abandoned kitten. I think she’s glad I did, because she dotes on it and is very good at taking care of it. So, no, I don’t have a new kitten, but there have been many kitten visits, and more proof in my pocket that I’m not particularly motherly towards anything except kittens, and even that is questionable.

NOM!!! I’m gonna eat Laura’s tiny grey kitten

See? Not motherly at all.

And there was that whole total eclipse of the sun thing… did you guys hear about that? Har. It was weird, the last one happened when I wasn’t even two years old and I swear I remember it. The one last week solidified that memory. The light outside looked strange, just as it did before. Filtered sun, as if it was behind a cloud, but with shadows cast as if in full light. Surreal, just how I like it. I figured “they” would be coming for me, but here I sit, so I thought I’d check in and tell you I’m still alive and making beads. I’m currently working on a big order, but will be back to the come-what-may grind soon enough.

Thanks once again for checking in… you guys are the greatest!!!


The beads have landed!

When submitting your request via email – z-beads@sbcglobal.net – please provide this info:
1. your paypal address, if paying with paypal
2. your preferred payment method if sending a money order (US buyers only) or check (established US buyers only)
3. your location (US or abroad, so I can request the correct shipping amount)
Shipping within the US is $7.50 for USPS Priority Mail
International shipping is $10 for USPS First Class International

I will mark each selection as SOLD as they are claimed.

These lampwork beads are made by me, Sarah Moran, with soda-lime glass (also known as soft glass), and are kiln annealed for strength and long life. I do my best to provide an accurate representation in the photos. If you are interested in buying but have questions, please contact me.

Twilight Swamp Toggles & Tabs – 9 beads and a button – $130
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

I’ve been doing my due diligence, investigating deeper into this season’s ocher phenomenon. The verdict: it has reached fever pitch, for certain. Leather bags, shoes, pricey sweaters… yep. What a commitment to ocher they’re asking of us. And I wonder what autumn will do to counteract these varying shades of bright buttery yellows and harvest golds. I can tell you what *I* have done: I combined it with a deep olive green, a mustard relish, and a surprising shock of deep purples, a sedate periwinkle and aqua. Just look at all those bubbles, people! And the ocher ones have little relish dots all over! Somehow it works. Not that I haven’t done this before… many years ago in fact, and a few times since, with my Twilight Swamp colorway. Everything old is new again, eventually. Another case in point, Beverly Hills 90210 jeans have come back around to bite us on the camel toe. A word to the wise: don’t sacrifice style for fashion. Says the “arteest” trying to sell you beads made in colors she saw on the racks just the other day.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx):
toggles: 11x27mm
tabs: 16x18mm
button: 15mm across
hole size: 3/32″
about 4.5 inches of beads

21st Century Goth – 7 foiled, polka dotted and frosted beads – $130
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

Who on earth attends a springtime outdoor arts festival dressed all in black? MMMEEEEE, of course! With my black + colorful polka-dotted umbrella in tow to shield my pasty complexion from the evil sunbeams. While there, my friend Laura said “we need to find you some linen to wear to these things” and I replied ” the linen must be black, and black linen doesn’t stay black for long. Plus, I only do synthetic fibers. And night. So let’s call the whole thing off.” I’m not even sure if goth is still a thing anyway, since Hot Topic has been taken over by Generic Disney Princess and Cutesy Star Wars accessories. “Goth” used to be all The Cure and Bauhaus and black lipstick, but since I don’t subscribe to convention, even when it’s unconventional, I’ll opt for the red lipstick and throw in some rock and roll for good measure. That’s me, folks: an enigma wrapped in a Van Halen video wrapped in a fried pastry that I dipped in canned icing and snuck into the other room and ate while you were checking your messages. So here are some beads to commemorate my dorkiness, because yes, above all, I’m a huge dork. But the beads are great! There are three larger rounds, two smaller rounds, and two excellent cones. They’re not gargantuan beads, so they may have more versatility than too big or too small beads. They have a silver foiled core encased in clear, framed in black with grey dots all around, with multicolored polka dots in random sizes and colors all over! A bit more exciting than black + polka dots. I guess.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx):
rounds: 14x17mm 18x19mm
cones: 17x21mm
hole size: 3/32″
almost 5 inches of beads

Jadeite Glitter Dots Bracelet – $105
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

This bracelet is made from cool and happy rounds of pale sage, mint green, green turquoise, opaque uranium and deep sage, decorated with tiny dots of very sparkly aventurine green. The beads were strung/knotted on cool brown leather cord for a slightly more natural/less stark feeling. It is finished off with a matching lampwork button, a signature dangling bead, and an extra tiny matching sage green bead for good measure.

comfortably fits a 5.5″ – 6.5″ wrist
beads measure approximately 12x16mm
button measures 15mm across

Hallucinogenic Cantaloupe… Or Something. BIRDS!!! – $125
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

It’s summer, apparently, and you’ve probably eaten some sort of melon already. I’m not much into melon, it makes me nervous sometimes. But I’ve never hallucinated. You can wear these to counteract (or clash delightfully with) all that yellow ocher this summer! These beads have a mango yellow base with a delicately contrasting raised design in sort of a pinkish-orangeish shade of intense cantaloupe, with accents of transparent purple, lavender and intense glittery fuschia. Except two of the beads don’t have the purples, just the stringer decoration. The shape is a sleek and comfortable spree type of shape, and everything is on both sides of each bead!

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 22x22mm
hole size: 3/32″
5.5 inches of beads

Colorblast Happy Bobs – 9 beads – $100
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

When the ceiling of your life is bulging inward, threatening to bust open and crap who-knows-what all over you at any second, you can reach for these and perhaps things will look up. And hopefully, Things won’t get smoot in its eyes when it does. 9 fairly random color combos, who, as a whole, look pretty good together… or maybe even just a few at a time. They’re simple and fun and full of happy polka dotty goodness. I luvs me some polka dots… these have slightly smaller than usual holes (1/16″ rather than the standard 3/32″) so these may lend themselves to a bracelet on thinner strands, or fun mismatchy earrings. You know, whimsy and all that rot.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 15x18mm
hole size: 1/16″
a smidgen over 5 inches of beads

So there’s the beads! You know what to do, and other than that, have a great rest of the weekend! We’re going to see Corey Feldman and his Angels or some such tomorrow night. I’m a bit surprised that he deigned to visit Oklahoma City. I may be forgetting someone, but I’m pretty sure he will be the only really really famous person I’ve ever seen in person. We’ll see if it was worth the $25. Dude looks like a mess, if you ask me.

corey feldman and the angels

ETA: Yep, Corey Feldman is weird. Not necessarily the kind of weird I like. He takes this band stuff seriously. He doesn’t like when things go wrong. They showed a braggadocious promo video for him before they came on stage, as if to convince us that we weren’t daft for spending the $25. He also apparently likes Michael Jackson, his music seems very heavily influenced by him. Which is kind of cool, I guess, I mean, it could have been much worse. There were at least two wardrobe changes. I don’t regret going, but it isn’t going to be something I tell the grandcats about, if you know what I mean. I enjoyed the very brief opening act much more.

First order of business: I now have a facebook page for z-beads!

click here to get to the z-beads facebook page!

You can’t imagine how many emails I have received over the years from clients and peers, gently nudging me to get my beaded hiney onto facebook. Actually, I bet you can imagine. I signed up for facebook only a year and a half ago, like, ages after the rest of humanity and half of the cat, dog and hedgehog population. I fully intended to create a business page toot sweet… but, well, I won’t bore you with the hassles that plagued me. I created the page early this morning because it was time. So. Like/follow me if you’re into the facebook thing, and I hope to be mostly on top of updating that as regularly as I do here. If in doubt, subscribe to this blog. Facebook doesn’t lend itself to the lines of unabridged screed I trot out here, so guess where I’ll be spending more of my time?

where’s nelson going? not too far, that suitcase is full of perfume.

Also, in the interest of keeping things cheap and streamlined, I have opted to hand Wordpress (the host of my blog) the task of managing my Superstars mailing list for me. No, this isn’t a service WordPress offers, per se, but they seem to be aces at making sure the new post notifications get to my blog subscribers’ inboxes in a timely manner. I don’t seem to have much luck with that when trying to manage my sizeable mailing list myself. For free, anyway. (A 60 day “free” trial with Constant Contact yielded numerous early morning phone calls and incessant email. Constant Contact, indeed. I was too annoyed to even mess with it after that.) Due to Verizon eating Yahoo, and a switch to a new operating system in the very near future, I don’t see things getting any more manageable. Especially if I end up having to ditch my Microsoft Outlook and rely solely on a web-based mail interface. So if you’re interested in continuing to receive Superstars notifications, all you must do is subscribe to my blog up there in the Email Subscription field on the upper right of the page (if you’re on a mobile device you may be prompted to “follow” and enter your email address there) and you will get an email every time I add a new entry. You’ll also stay up-to-date on my weekly specials. I’ll try to be clear about which entries are about beads for sale, and which ones are about The Meaning of Life and Frozen Taquitos.

So I’ve posted this info here, sent out notifications to my Superstars email subscribers, posted it on my website… and the redundancy portion of my e-business/marketing is now concluded.

Now, for the new beads – have a quick peek at what’s to come… they’ll be here, on this blog, tomorrow (Saturday 7/29/17) at 3PM Central Time!

We’ll be for sale here Saturday 7/29 at 3PM Central Time! Set your alarms or watch your inbox for the notification.

And on that note, I’d better get on with making it all presentable for you tomorrow (Saturday). See you then!
Thanks for reading.



this week’s beads

And here they are!

When submitting your request via email – z-beads@sbcglobal.net – please provide this info:
1. your paypal address, if paying with paypal
2. your preferred payment method if sending a money order (US buyers only) or check (established US buyers only)
3. your location (US or abroad, so I can request the correct shipping amount)
Shipping within the US is $7.50 for USPS Priority Mail
International shipping is $10 for USPS First Class International

I will mark each selection as SOLD as they are claimed. And please see the post from the last sale HERE. The Wildflower Bubblicious Bebeaded Necklace and Xmas in July are still available!

These lampwork beads are made by me, Sarah Moran, with soda-lime glass (also known as soft glass), and are kiln annealed for strength and long life. I do my best to provide an accurate representation in the photos. If you are interested in buying but have questions, please contact me.


Frosted Whatevers in Ocher – 7 beads – $130
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)


Believe it, people. Ocher, yellow ocher, mustard yellow, whatever you want to call it – is IN! It’s everywhere! It’s in your sunglasses, your dresses… now it’s in your beads!!! Only a little bit, though. Just enough to satisfy that craving without taking over your entire wardrobe. These, of course, would look fabulous with black or white, and maybe even just the right shade of grey. I’ve always thought ocher (and other shades of yellow, as well) looks good with a cooler grey. But always in small doses. Particularly with my complexion. But it may work very well with yours… Here, we have a variety of shapes. Each one has a white base encased with clear, with ocher polka dots floating on the frosty surface, sometimes even casting slight shadows on the opaque surface beneath, framed with white, black and more ocher dots. Everything is etched to velvety perfection, and anxiously awaits your geniusly ideas.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 16x18mm – 19x31mm
hole size: 3/32″
about 5.5 inches of beads

Dotty Isles in Turquoise and Purple – 7 beads – $140
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

I haven’t made Dotty Isles in a while, and always believed they would look good in these colors if I ever got around to it. What could go wrong with intricately dotted and striped rounds in various shades of turquoise and purple with bases of white encased with shades of – you guessed it – transparent turquoise and purple? But the dots and lines steal the show, and since they’re etched, there is no reflection to steal any of their bedotted glory. These are chunkeriffic, people. Each one is different than the next. They might be a bit large and bulky for a bracelet, but you may not agree! You could use them one or a few at a time for different projects, or the usual: throw it on a chain or a cord and get on with things. (see the decadent hollows necklace this week for this paticular design idea.)

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 17x20mm – 19x21mm
hole size: 3/32″
nearly 5 inches of beads

Blazing Spice Toggles & Tabs – 9 beads – $125
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

Blazing indeed. All we need is more heat in the summertime. But if it’s spicy heat, that’s cool with me. Red curry with peppers and eggplant, flaming hot cheetos, spicy pad thai, chile rellenos, mmm – stuffed with beef, cheese, battered and fried to a golden crisp, smothered with ranchero sauce and a spritz of lime… oh dear, I think I need one of those chile rellenos. Wait here while I go get one. Okay, I’m back. And I have doughnuts, too. Hooray! Onto the beads… we have (7) Toggles and (2) Happy Tabs in my Blazing Spice accord, which consists of opaque deep maroon, curry yellow and harvest gold, with transparent accents of orange, lavender, purple, amber and olive. Each Toggle ends with a little bubble. Two Happy Tabs end it all with just a little bit of happy.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx):
toggles: 13x32mm – 10x28mm
tabs: 11×15
hole size: 3/32″
just over 4 inches of beads

Lemon’s Lib Decadent Hollows Necklace – $160
(click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size)

I don’t know if you guys knew this, but I buy most of my clothes second-hand. In fact, I get just about everything second-hand – shoes, furniture, dishes, even a good bit of my perfume is already used. (With one exception – I buy my bras and undies new. That would be extreme thrifting, especially undies.) I have terriffic luck, I consistently find expensive clothes in incredibly good condition at very low prices. I guess I have a good eye for beauty and quality, and since I don’t subscribe to “hyper-relevant” fashion and strictly do my own thing, I’m free as a fluffy little bunny rabbit. However, there is one rule that CANNOT be broken: wash before wearing. No exceptions. One day a lady came up to me at the Goodwill and said “Girl, you dress like that shopping at the Goodwill? You’re smart!” Yep, my momma taught me well. I scoff when I see a $46 t-shirt or a $250 pair of jeans. They’ll be at the superthrift sooner or later, likely having been worn only once or twice, and they will be mine. Anyway. I found a woven wool skirt that would be best described as spicy mustard, and that’s what inspired me to make this necklace. I went through my gallery and found Lemon’s Lib, which is a combination of all the colors woven into that skirt. So, hey – while I’d much rather sell this necklace, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I had to keep it. As you can see in one of the photos, I modeled it with an intense kelly green, rendering myself an irish caricature… but I think this sort of thing works just as well with black, as all things generally do. I also modeled it layered with my beloved olive green pearls and green garnet spike necklace, Iris Apfel style. “More is More and Less is a Bore.” My hair and I both look frightened in that one. Lol.

These beads are made of different shades of opaque yellows and greens, and combined with a variety of transparent greens and ambers they make for a smashing combination to wear with all sorts of… well… yellows, greens and ambers. The beads themselves are quite interesting. They are hollow beads with a (green or amber) foiled and polka-dotted core, with more dots and lines on the surface, just enough to lend even more texture and interest. There is a Lava Lite Trio on each end, and the knots are adorned with foiled/dotted/framed barrels. No two beads are alike here. These are much more interesting in person, as usual. This is my “throw it on a leather cord and go” design. Each bead has a knot in between, and the length is very adjustable with double fisherman’s knots, and with a bead on each fisherman’s knot for easy grabbing.

hollow beads measure approx. 18x20mm – 20x22mm
lava lite trios measure approx. 12x22mm
barrels measure about 11x15mm
adjustable from 11″ to 20″

My, that sure was efficient of me. For once. I sure hope you guys find something you like! I’m gonna eat a sandwich and watch the Breaking Bad series for the third time. As if times weren’t dark enough… But I’ll be right here to answer questions and send invoices! Hope you guys have a fabulous Saturday evening!

the blessed unrest

I’ll keep this short – these are the beads I made this week.

z-beads, week of july 10th 2017

They will be available here on my blog later this evening. I’m shaking my tail feathers to get it all done by a reasonable hour. I’m shooting for 10PM Central Time, but I might get it done a bit earlier. I hope to see you later this evening!

everything for the week beginning june 26th

You guys, I’m kind of loving this. I can have as many photos as I want, they can be any size I want, and you can scroll through them very easily. I hope. This is all very tentative still and I’m trying not to get attached. If you have any problems or would like to make suggestions, please do.

When you email me with your request – and yes, z-beads@sbcglobal.net seems to be fully functional again, but feel free to CC to evolutionnow@sbcglobal.net – you may ask by name (eg Rambunctious Rambutans), or by number (eg, Selection #1). Of course, you are allowed to request more than one item! Be sure to include your paypal email address, and let me know if you’re in the US or abroad so that I can send you an invoice with the correct shipping total. For my US buyers I also accept money orders, and checks from established buyers. If you will be mailing your payment, let me know so that I can reply with my mailing address. I would like to receive payments by mail within 10 business days. I will mark each selection as SOLD as quickly as I can, but I will reply to let you know whether your request is still available or not.

Shipping to the US: $7.50 for USPS Priority Mail
International shipping (First Class): $10

I feel like I might be missing something, so if you notice any glaring lack of info give me a jangle. Now that that’s out of the way…

These lampwork beads are made by me, Sarah Moran, with soda-lime glass (also known as soft glass), and are kiln annealed for strength and long life. I do my best to provide an accurate representation in the photos. If you are interested in buying but have questions, please contact me at z-beads@sbcglobal.net.



Rambunctious Rambutans: $125 (SOLD)
click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size

Have you guys ever seen these? I see them fairly often at the fancy grocer, like Whole Wallet or Sprouts. But somehow, I can’t imagine eating one. Maybe their appeal is similar to that of gourds – you display them in a bowl, your guests are all like “ooohhh, how interesting, is that supposed to be edible, no thanks” and then they eat the real food and go home, hopefully in time to catch the late show. Unless you’re the weirdo (me) who is at least curious enough to cut it open and look inside, smell it, and decide from there whether or not I should put it in my mouth. Mom taught me good.

I took a bit of artistic liberty with these, as I often do, and added some green and pink and orange to what might have turned out to be a red and not much else kind of color scheme. These are a bit smaller than the standard staggered dots, so they might be good for a bracelet or a heavy pair of earrings, should you have lobes of steel. They’d also be good for a leather cord, or a ribbon or a chain or anything that makes you happy, really.

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 16x19mm – 17x20mm
hole size: 3/32″
about 4.5 inches of beads

Wildflower Bubblicious Bebeaded Necklace: $425 (SOLD)
click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size

Before we get way too into it, I should tell you that there won’t be another one just like this. I may feel like making something similar at some point in the future, but it will likely be far off, and it won’t be in the same colors. These beaded beads are a lot of work. Each one takes many hours, and this process includes custom-mixing the acrylic paint colors for the wooden bead bases. These particular beaded beads were made with size 15/0 seed beads (very, very tiny) that were stitched onto a 20mm wooden bead, one at a time, using the peyote stitch method. The smaller the seed beads, the longer it takes to cover a sizeable bead with them. I developed this particular method myself, mostly from years of understanding the stitch and figuring out the math, how many, when to decrease, the best approach, etc. I made some coordinating lampwork hollow disks (with colorful foiled cores) to fill out the length, and strung them onto leather cord with a knot between each one. As for the closure, I made (doubtfully, but still quite possibly the first of its kind) a hollow button. The shank isn’t hollow, but the dome is, and to me, it’s quite exciting, and something I will be experimenting with in the future. The loop end is adorned with a “Z” signature lampwork dangling bead. And the colors in this! Oh, my. I love Japanese seed beads. Again, the colors! Cotton candy pink, very pale purple with a brilliant fuschia core, darker purple with a slightly rainbow finish, glowing gold lined wisteria, perfect green, super sparkly foil lined bright orange and sage… such heaven these are. The sphere is such a beautiful, classic feminine shape for a piece of jewelry, and this piece has it front and center. The glitzy hollow disks add some interest in the back without making it too chunky and spherical all the way around. It’s comfortable, being rather lightweight. If you like this in the photo, you will love it even better in person. The seed beads have a lovely texture, and they and the foils in the lampwork sparkle beautifully when they catch the light.

bebeadeds measure approx 23mm
lampwork hollow disks measure approximately 10x18mm – 15x23mm
lampwork button clasp is about 16mm wide, and is easy to manage
Inside circumference measures 14 inches

Rhodochrosite Mega Star Woozball Bracelet: $135 (SOLD)
click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size

I’m feeling a bit like a woozball these days… you know, those little ballz of wooz that stick to your clothez and annoy you nearly half to death when you figure out you’re covered with them and you’re already late and mostly out the door and there’s no lint picker-upper thingee in sight and all of a sudden you have to pee really bad. I made these beads because I like mega woozballs, not because I feel like a woozball. The realization of personal woozballery came after. But hey. These have silver stars in them. Life ain’t so bad… This is my world-famous (snort) rhodochrosite colorway: subtler and brighter greens, ambers and pinks with a layer of frosted clear glass trapping little silver stars inside. Then I made them into a bracelet. I strung them onto super strong acculon (nylon coated steel) with little frosted size 6/0 Czech pink lined seed beads with a stacked lucite button clasp, and crimped in 4 spots for extra security, cause lordy knows any kind of security is hard to come by these days.

lampwork measures approximately 14x18mm
lucite button is 20mm across
will comfortably fit a wrist between 6″ and 7″


Xmas in July: $125 (still available as of July 29th)
click on any one of the photos to scroll through at full size

This colorway was inspired by an ad for some type of beauty product, probably in a fashion magazine at the salon where I get my hair did. Seems like it was just the white/purple/green, but then and there I decided red needed to be added. I think the dye and the bleach do something funny, and my stylist’s assistant Bianca is such a ravishing beauty (and a highly evolved Scorpio to boot) and is so good at the scalp massage and getting ALL the dye out of my monstrous greasemop and giving me the eucalyptus towel followed by the cold water rinse straight after that I leave the place in a cocoon of highly styled excellence. That said, I insist upon getting home and getting mousse and leave-in into said greasemop straight away. And honestly, these look a bit more like Christmas than I had intended, but that’s okay. Right? Christmas in July is a thing I’ve heard about, but I don’t know what we’re supposed to do and I’m happy to let it be a mystery for now. One Christmas a year is plenty. So, what have we here? Toggles, foil polka dots, a cone thing, a foiled hollow with bumpy dots inside and out in pleasant colors of blue-violet, sage green, red (in both transparent and opaque) and clear encased white. I found that white encased in clear isn’t quite so stark as it would be without the encasement, so there it is. This would make a fun chunky bracelet in your own design, or a junk chain type necklace strung however you wish. Meowy Christmas! In July!

glass: soda lime
size: (approx): 9x28mm – 18x31mm
hole size: 3/32″
about 5 inches of beads

Well, that’s that! I hope you find something you like here and maybe find some fireworks wherever you are. I love those things. From a distance. And not at noon. Neighbors.