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Know who I love? Iris Apfel.

irisapfel

Mom called me several months ago and told me I must watch a documentary on PBS about a woman with one of the largest costume jewelry collections in the US. Mom said she reminded her of us with her jewelry and colors and her very “I Am Me” attitude. I already knew about Iris because on the one extremely rare occasion I landed on HSN while flipping channels and stayed there, I saw her HSN exclusive jewelry designs and thought it was really cool. I couldn’t pin down PBS’ second run of the documentary and sort of forgot about it. Last weekend I accidentally stumbled onto it on Netflix. It’s simply titled “Iris” if you’d like to watch it. I was certainly meant to find out more about Iris Apfel…

"Color can raise the dead." Iris Apfel

“Color can raise the dead.” Iris Apfel

Iris has three residences, each one full of her artisan and designer clothing collection. I look at my own various collections and become overwhelmed and really wonder at my compulsion to collect things to the degree I do… but I don’t feel so badly when I look at the photos of Iris’ apartment and see beautiful things on the floor in the hallway.

irisapfel4

I should put my collections to good use, just as Iris has. The bead collection should be used for jewelry, not for simply having been collected. I have new jewelry ideas constantly, but I feel squished by the sheer number of them, not to mention the limited time and space I have to execute them in. So I languish. Iris is older than everyone and she still goes everywhere. I truly have no excuse. Simply having great ideas and beautiful things is not enough. One thing at a time is better than nothing at all, and sharing it is better still.

irisapfel3

Other inspiration: this makes me want to make beaded flowers again.

Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noir super special edition with embroidered flowers

Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire super special edition in black crystal with embroidered flowers

I’ve been in the mood to make jewelry lately. When I get moving in a certain direction…

special order bracelet

special order bracelet

A new necklace, below… the three lampwork beads in the front were begging to be made into something. I sold the other 4 beads (they were from the Seeds set from a couple of years ago), and made the two foiled cones specifically for this necklace. The 5 cinnabar looking beads are actually old pressed glass beads from Germany or Czechoslovakia. I saw these at an antique mall and had to have them. I probably paid a little too much, but in all my years of bead browsing I have never seen anything quite like them.

newnecklace

A few more things from my own collection, below. I was pleased to find that old strand of very nice yellow mother-of-pearl at an antique store on sale for $12. I guess it kind of made up for how much I spent on the cinnabar-looking ones.

my collections in warm, cool and green

favorites from my collections in warm, cool and green

And some new additions to my perfume collection:

newfume

I love them all! I wonder if you can recognize any of your favorites. There’s a bottle of Dior Addict from its good old days – it’s more smoky and floral than the newer batches. We also have one of the first bottles of Coco Mademoiselle EDT, Chanel No 19 in pure parfum, and Ungaro’s Diva (wow). And Boucheron; double wow. A candied sweet tuberose that fades to a lightly spiced powdery incense – how did they do that? 80’s and 90’s perfumes are simply the best. Every time I do my Jazzercise workout from 1986 I imagine what that exercise studio must have smelled like, in the times before everyone became so apologetic for smelling fabulous. And Alien (artsy purple bottle on the far right.) That stuff is crazy. Cold metallic mentholated jasmine, earthy and otherworldly all at once. Like the floor of an aluminum forest at first frost. Alien is a very fitting name for it, and the purple bottle was a good choice. It’s very easy to find if you’re curious. Patou’s Sublime is here too. It was a surprise inclusion, and I LOVE it. I’m gonna tell you all about that one later.

I suppose I’d better get back to work on making beads and jewelry for my teeming masses (ha). But I think I need a nap first. I partied too hard on my birthday yesterday. I got free eye shadow at Ulta and had too much microwave lasagna and home made strawberry shortcake.

Thanks for reading!

Etsy … like, right now!

what's that incessant crinkling sound coming from the living room? nelson, what else.

what’s that incessant crinkling sound coming from the living room? nelson, what else. most cats like boxes. nelson likes bags. ask nelson if he wants paper or plastic… he’ll take ’em all.

Hey guys! I’ve been cleaning, organizing, making jewelry, and most excitingly, ironing out the details of a bead/perfume trade. This is very exciting, seeing as how it’s growing ever more obvious that I am hopelessly addicted to perfume. Silly, I know. Then again, there are worse things to be hooked on. Once this trade is completed, I plan on wearing one each day and sharing my thoughts on them. Meanwhile… I want to tell you about one of my newest acquisitions:

Cartier's Le Baiser du Dragon

Cartier’s Le Baiser du Dragon

The further I delved into online perfume reviews (or the maze with no exit I know as Fragrantica) the more fragrances I stumbled across who had various sorts of booze listed as their top notes. One that really caught my eye was Cartier’s Le Baiser du Dragon, which has amaretto listed as the most noticeable note. I have had two Cartier vials since I was very young: Must de Cartier EDT and Must de Cartier pure parfum. Two very different animals these two, might I add. But I never saw Cartier for sale anywhere locally until very recently, so my exposure to anything Cartier was practically nonexistent. The Fragrantica reviews for Dragon were all over the place, but at some point I concluded that the less positive reviews were from people who were sampling the new formula (you can tell this by the lid – new formula has a flat black cap, old formula has a chrome maze in relief on the top of the cap.) I figured out that Dragon had actually been discontinued for a short while and then brought back fairly soon after with the black cap.

lbdd2

So I bought a parfum dabber in 2014 of the old formula – it was mistakenly listed on ebay as an edp or edt miniature, and it was priced accordingly to this mistake, so I practically stole it. I clearly remember the day I received it – I truly was disappointed. Even a bit insulted. It seemed rather… I don’t know… uncomplicated. All fuzz and no claws. Not worthy of the praise it has received, or even the cool bottle it was in. But I persisted. It took me at least a few tries of the parfum to decide Dragon deserved more than a dismissive Dr. Pepper + mothballs, which was my first impression. The problem with the parfum, which I only had in a little dabber bottle, is that it was a dabber. With a spray, you seem to get better coverage and the fragrance has more lift, more air, more sparkle. I continued to sample it, and continued to be unimpressed, but inexplicably fascinated by it at the same time. I guess I was interested enough to look on ebay and stumbled across a big bottle (close enough to full) on auction still at a low price. Additionally,  it was one of the pre-reformulation bottles, with an estimated production date of 2004, only a year after Dragon was first released. What luck, why not – got it for $32 shipped.

lbdd3

So it gets here and I uncap it… okay, it’s definitely Dragon, the bottle shows some age, things are looking good. I spray it on the back of my hand… yeah, okay. This is nice, better than the parfum, but… I don’t know. Is it really something I would wear? I tend to buy similar fragrances all the time, so maybe I ought to stretch out a bit. Over the next few days, I continued to tentatively spray it on the back of my hand, which is probably not the best method of testing, but I was wearing something else. I liked it more with each wear but it just… wasn’t… quite. By then I had figured out that the parfum focused more on the sweeter boozy notes and not so much on the other cool stuff Dragon had to offer in its other concentrations. So I took a long bath, scrubbed myself fresh and gave Dragon a very serious try. Well? Honestly? Wow, this is pretty good stuff. After experiencing old and new Must, I figured out that Cartier fragrances bloom – not in an old school perfumery way, but in a fresh and modern way. It isn’t like my 90’s bottle of Chanel Coco that starts out on a choppy rollercoaster of old lipstick, then goes lemon Pledge, then goes what the hell is this, before it finally becomes the magical thing that is Coco. Cartier fragrances are delicate, but stealthy and strong too – like those naked lady lilies that literally appear overnight in your yard and stand curiously tall without tipping over in the blazing summer heat.

le baiser du dragon vs hypnotic poison

le baiser du dragon vs hypnotic poison

Another reason I was so persistent with Dragon is that I had the almond themed addition to my collection finally narrowed down to two choices: Dior’s Hypnotic Poison or Dragon. I wouldn’t say they smell alike at all, but they do have a thing or two in common: in addition to the almond, both have an effervescent, distinctively soft drink beginning to them. Dragon is Dr. Pepper, and Hypnotic is root beer. When considering food and drink I generally prefer root beer, but there are times when Dr. Pepper is unquestionably the better choice. As for these two fragrances, they’re both very sweet, but neither are nauseatingly sugary sweet. Once it has evolved on the skin, Hypnotic Poison hovers on the edge of almond cookies and baked goods but is kindly held back by Dior’s moldy flowers house accord. I hated Hypnotic Poison at first, but I’ve grown to at least respect it, I even like it a little bit. I ultimately decided against it because it doesn’t fit me somehow. Dragon, on the other hand, is a boozy amaretto further sweetened by amber, chocolate and orange, which could easily reach the heights of over the top syrupy sweet. But a gentlemanly patchouli and vetiver combination rescues it at the last second from landing face down in the 21st birthday gutter streaming with sticky, vomitously sweet booze. I’m no sugary sweet girly girl, and I gotta have a little growl, so a testosterone tinged facet is generally all I need to be convinced. (By the by, this patchouli+vetiver combination in Angel’s new Muse works similarly – the whipped cream and hazelnut, which I would usually find to be too much sweet, is grounded significantly with the addition of vetiver. Good move, Mugler! I like it!)

———————————

Anyway, what you’re probably most interested in is the beads. Right now, on etsy:

Go HERE to get to my shop, or click on the thumbnails below for each item.

Acid Grass Glimmer Strips:

acidgrassglimmeretsygal

Chiffon Sorbet:

chiffonsorbetetsygal

Pink Tie Optical Ellipses:

pinktieopetsygal

These Funny Things:

funnythingsetsygal

Outsider Art in Red:

outsiderredetsygal

Outsider Art in Blue:

outsiderblueetsygal

Grrrly Super Stripey Triple Toggles:

grrrlyssttetsygal

Nineteen Ninety Eight:

1998etsygal

Rhodochrosite Mega Star Woozballs:

rhodowoozetsygal

I hope you find something you like! Next up for me is a bath (and a generous spritz of Dragon afterwards), a Taco Bell taco salad and coffee at mom’s. Thanks for checking in!

 

Superstars Tonight!

talkin

right on

Wow, I could totally be sunning myself in a paved parking lot with these 2 broads, at what looks to be the Jersey shore. But noooOOOooo. I’m stuck at the computer putting together a sale of quasi historic proportions. Size-wise anyway… I think there were 15 selections at last count. The beads themselves aren’t too shabby either. I’ll warn you right now, I was in the mood for pink. I have no idea what that was about. Here’s a hint at what’s to come:

happypills4

see us and all of our rowdy friends at the sale tonight. click us to get there!

Not to mention some new (and old) experiments, some old faves and a Foof set that includes THREE fragrances!  Oh, yes. The perfume is taking over my headspace again. In fact… do you know this one?

Estee Lauder's Azuree

Estee Lauder’s Azuree

You probably know Aramis (1966), but you might be less likely to know Cabochard (1959)… and maybe even less likely to know Estee Lauder’s Azuree (1969). These three have several things in common: leather, oakmoss and patchouli, and all three were designed by Bernard Chant. These fragrances are very similar in that, by today’s standards, they would probably pass more for “a strange odor” than a fragrance. I know Cabochard and Aramis quite well: Mom wears Cabochard and Dad wore Aramis. Poor Cabochard and Aramis are both merely a shadow of what they once were, now that oakmoss has been almost completely banned (at least, in the molecular/chemical/sciency form they were allowed to be in their better times – ie approximately pre-2000.)

azuree

Oakmoss is a difficult odor to describe, but once you have identified it, you’ll always be able to find it when it’s there. In this particular bottle of Azuree, which I suspect is from the 70’s or 80’s, the oakmoss is pungent, almost bread-doughy. You guys, I just LOVE Azuree, particularly the older stock. The fresh-baked oakmoss weaves daintily in and out of a leathery, smoky, but at the same time very fresh and airy sheen that can’t really be described as minty fresh, nor can it be described as aquatic or melony fresh. This stuff is wild. It’s fabulous in both hot and steamy weather and cool and dry weather. I can’t seem to wear Aramis or Cabochard in their current iterations, and I suspect it is due to the reduced or entirely absent oakmoss and/or what has been used in its stead. They both turn offensively sour on me. I will attempt to find older bottles of both at some point. But my Azuree? People are like “WHAT is THAT? It’s so good!” It’s because it’s OLD. Unfortunately the new bottles of Azuree are not much better than the new Cabochard and Aramis. Rumor has it that Theirry Wasser, current head perfumer guy at Guerlain, found a way to remove the offending molecule (the one that causes photosensitivity) from oakmoss, while keeping oakmoss’ odorous/fixative properties mostly intact. Or something of the sort. But that is most likely limited to Guerlain fragrances; Wasser, who I reckon is as smart as he is handsome, is probably keeping that little trick up his own sleeve for now.

Thierry Wasser

Thierry Wasser

Anyway. The moral of this story is, if you have an old bottle of Azuree that you don’t want any more, and I have some beads that you DO want, we might can help each other out. In fact, if you have anything else you think I might like (as long as it isn’t Avon or a celebrity fragrance) drop me a line. I might be interested.

—-

I hope to see you at the sale tonight! Here’s what’s happening on the Superstars page of my website:

7:30PM CENTRAL TIME: The new beads will appear on the Superstars 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!

we'll be at the sale too!

we’ll be at the sale too!

Thanks for checking in, see you later!

you know what your problem is?

mom

I know what mine is. I’m a slave to my emotions, all of them. I get stove up if I can’t express them properly, and I’m not so great at expressing them in the usual ways. So I paint pictures of these confounding emotions with words and put them on display. Call it art, call it whining, call the authorities for a well check. But once these words have met your eyes and comprehension and acceptance (or lack thereof) they’re gone. And there forever as a reminder of where I’ve been. This is difficult for some people to grasp. That’s fine, we all deal with things differently and there’s room for all of us. Writing helps me simplify and manage it, but sharing once it’s written is the only way for me to actually get it out. It’s part of my process. This is a small, but still very important, part of the end result that is the rainbow’y chunks of glass. You do still like those, right?

You, dear readership, are my Milk Of Magnesia. Thank you ever so much. I mean it. It isn’t like you haven’t been warned… “curmudgeonly ponderings” in the header and all…

a painting by Laura Sullivan

a painting by Laura Sullivan

These are grim times and I’m feeling it and I’m not afraid to say so. The earth is shaking us to pieces, the sky is trying to drown us and we’re fighting each other. When I talk about how spaghettied in I feel, it’s not because I’m depressed. I’m disillusioned and dissatisfied; I can’t help but see what is in front of me. I’m finding it difficult to accept the things I cannot change… but maybe if I pile a bunch of rainbows on that crap it will soften the edges a bit.

I've been working on a huge order since I last posted

I’ve been working on a huge order since I last posted… work is good!

Therapy? I’ve received your hints. I’ve considered it, any sane person would. But I’ll ask you this: would you put a lion into therapy for wanting to gnaw on a zebra? Should you send a rabbit to therapy for being too timid? Should I hurl myself upon the altar of therapy because I choose to feel everything and be honest about it? Why shouldn’t I save myself a few dollars and trouble… and just be honest about it? If you don’t feel everything, if you pick and choose, you’re merely existing. To truly live is to feel it all; to let it overcome you, to let it twist you into knots of anticipation or joy or despair, maybe all at once if you’re feeling brave, and allow yourself to teeter on the very edge of the edge and fall freely into the next huge wave of feeling. It’s just as real as anything you can see and put your hands on. It’s what differentiates us from the other animals, but just like they are, we’re doing what comes naturally to us. Why not embrace it?

another made to order - designer gummies and Hawaiian mint hana

another made to order – designer gummies and Hawaiian mint hana

I spent a good many years trying not to feel much of anything. I thought I was being strong, not being a bother. If you do feel something and actually admit it, people think you’re weak or that you’re off your nut. Or from hell. You’re threatening their safe little ball of fluff. People discuss you behind your back, “how concerned and worried they are!” but they still wouldn’t touch you with a 30 foot pole. Especially if you’re a woman. Especially if you’re a man. You can’t see me right now, but I’m flipping the bird at glazing over with polite conversation and memes. I’m not a cardboard cut-out and I don’t portray one on the internet, either. It isn’t like I’m hurting anyone, including myself, by expressing how I feel. This might be dreary, but at least it’s real. I understand, better now than ever I have, why people turn to drugs and other sorts of self harm. Feeling nothing would be so much easier. But I don’t have time for that, either. I need to work, I need to live, and my work springs from my emotions, my perceptions, my ability to absorb my surroundings with a clear eye and mind, and in turn, sell my work so that I can continue the cycle of survival. Which I have slowly been bringing into a state of truly living. Even though it’s been for a very positive cause, this process has been disquieting and disruptive to every aspect of my life. It happens that way sometimes.

yet another made to order: super stripey triple toggles and olive rain

yet another made to order: super stripey triple toggles and olive rain

My other problem is that I second guess my small pleasures. I don’t mean the guilty ones… because ALL my pleasures are guilty pleasures. I should be working or washing something or feeding someone or whatever. Once upon a time, I only spent money on work. Glass, beads, jewelry, tools. I never indulged in anything but what I needed to survive. I ate too much, I stockpiled toiletries and stayed inside. My kitchen stovetop was always fairly clean. Instead of finding practically new $200 jeans for $3 at the thrift store, or binge watching tv shows, or experiencing life and inviting the treasures and dramas that other people have to offer. Instead of simply enjoying and being open to what might be next. And my perfume habit? Talk about silly, guilty pleasures…

Ysatis, Opium, Ysatis, Private Collection, Safari, No. 3, Safari

Ysatis, Opium, Ysatis, Private Collection, Safari, No. 3, Safari

Someone did me a solid a few weeks ago. Within a period of 6 days, I acquired 7 bottles of perfume for less than $40 total. All prior to major reformulation. Back row: 1990’s Givenchy Ysatis 1.7oz, late 1990’s YSL Opium 3.4oz, more 1990’s Ysatis 3.4oz (sadly, without a lid) Estee Lauder’s Private Collection 1.75oz (exact age unknown, but definitely older because today I’m pretty sure it’s Eau De Private Collection). Front row: Old formula Ralph Lauren Safari 4.2oz, Gucci No. 3 (not made since sometime in the 1990’s I think) and a slightly newer, but still old, Safari 2.5oz..

no3

Out of all of these, I was most thrilled to find the Gucci No. 3. My sister gave me a mini of this when I was in my early teens, and it was one of my favorites. I didn’t use it much because the bottle was so small and I wanted it to last. I love it because it’s full of contradiction: soft but assertive, powdery but youthful, cool but warm. A tart stemmy green with the roots intact. Mossy as all get-out. Full of fine wood, champagne and suede, as if an adjustment had been made in a hard spirit to allow a few luxurious comforts to soften it somewhat. I think this is one of the best fragrances ever made, and I can hardly believe my luck in finding it.

Ysatis was also on my wish list when I was younger. My 9th grade English teacher wore it and I looked forward to that class every day; but by then they were pushing Amarige and the Ysatis tester could never be found. I was surprised to find it at Von Maur several months ago and it was quite awful by comparison. Original Ysatis was this initial burst of sweet ylang-ylang that morphed into a flowery incensed civet. Now it smells like someone tried to cover stale cigarette smoke with some unpleasant perfume. Much like most older fragrances containing (natural) civet, the magic happens on your skin. Speaking of civet…

Joy parfum, Rochas Byzance and Eau De Joy

Joy parfum, Rochas Byzance and Eau De Joy

I was telling a friend about my luck at finding perfume lately. Like everyone else, she asked if it didn’t get old and turn bad? I told her that just about anything was probably fine for my purposes, and my luck has been good. She said, “oh, well, I have some old perfumes you can have… I can’t promise that they’re anything good…” But I knew that with her taste, it wasn’t anything bad. She brought out the three pictured above and my jaw, of course, dropped. The Joy parfum is empty, but the Eau de Joy is very perfumey and VERY civet’y. So civet’y in fact that one might even call it pissy… to me, the pissier the better. Civet just agrees with me. Fitting, as I’m an unfettered cat lady. The Byzance initially reminded me of vintage Poison, what with the tuberose and spices, but it’s more sheer and smooth, cooler and powderier. I luvs me some tuberose.

next thursday!!!

next thursday!!!

And… in addition to made-to-orders, I’ve been working on new beads for the next Superstars sale. The feeling of opening the kiln to an entirely new idea-turned-reality waiting inside is matchless, and also worth sharing… but not until the sale! And it’s gonna be good… new ideas and energy will abound. I’m aiming for next Thursday and I think I might be able to make it happen. I’ll keep you all posted.

Thank you all for reading.

ETSY!

It’s that time! Here they are! Click HERE for my etsy shop, or each thumbnail below for the individual items.

I’ve been thinking about !BLING’ed hollow beads for months and months. I finally got around to that.

Red Deco !BLING! Glitterbomb:

redblingbombetsygal

Alien Egg !BLING! Glitterbomb:

purpleblingbombetsygal

Baby Blue !BLING! Asteroid:

blingasteroidetsygal

sandyebraceletfinished4

When I was making this bracelet, I decided I needed to make smaller Floopy Flowers. The regular sized ones are kind of, you know, floopy. The smaller ones might be easier to handle for some things. Sooo….

!RED! Fun Size Floopy Flowers:

redfunfloopetsygal

Neon Harvest Fun Size Floopy Flowers:

neonharvestfunfloopetsygal

Both of these sets include one regular sized Floopy Flower, in case there is a regular sized Floopy Flower Emergency. When it comes to beads, there is always an emergency of some sort. It’s better to be prepared!

Yay! Thanks for checking in! I hope you like.

a few of my favorite things: fat cat tin, youth dew amber nude mini, incense, green tea kitkat, spoon rings, scarab amulet, urban decay moondust eyeshadow, poofball thing I found on the ground, chalcedony briolettes, bigass safety pin and dad's pocket knife.

a few of my favorite things: fat cat tin, youth dew amber nude mini, incense, green tea kitkat, spoon rings, scarab amulet, urban decay moondust eyeshadow, poofball thing I found on the ground, chalcedony briolettes, bigass safety pin and dad’s pocket knife.

Heavy times, bead ninjas. Us sensitive artsy-fartsies are given to bouts of angst and malaise and some of us don’t think twice about sharing. I’ve thought 20 or 30 times.

So I’ve been pretty quiet. I’ve been thinking more and saying less. Ultimately, it hasn’t really gotten me anywhere. I’m no smarter, no happier, no less in a hole than I was when I didn’t think as much. I really thought, right before I started thinking harder, that thinking harder would make my life better. Maybe I’m just not very good at it. And if you look at the broader scope – not too closely, mind you – not thinking is much easier. If you stick to sports and beer and nothing else you’re better off. (And while I’m at it, I should probably replace “thinking” with “feeling”, actually.) Why bother with standards? Why bother working harder, and putting any real effort into anything or anyone? Why care? They’ll think you’re a hoity-toity bourgeois for aiming for better. But I don’t mean better things – better cars, better vacations, better houses – but something more. More isn’t something you can see and hold in your hand. It’s a feeling. You can have a funky house and an old car and have that feeling at the same time. It’s like you’re Andrew McCarthy’s character appearing to be slumming it with Molly Ringwald’s character in Pretty In Pink, but it’s exactly all you need.

Yeah. Maybe. If you’re 3/4 crazy and you really don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks. Right? Burning questions…

a bracelet I made recently

a bracelet I made recently

Thing is, easy is a tricky mistress. It can steer you down the wrong path, it can entirely take over your life. If it’s too easy, too shiny, you have everything you want and all the answers are effortlessly given, you can also figure you’re not totally in charge. You’ve probably been sucked into someone else’s whirlwind, and tomorrow you’ll be debris from yesterday’s parade. With great (personal) responsibility comes great power. Yes, I did mean to say it that way. I’ll let you think about that, and I’m going to think about that too.

some rings I made recently

some rings I made recently

This is something us atheist/agnostic types struggle with. We have it a bit rough because we have so few answers and more personal responsibility. Nobody is looking out for us and pulling the strings – we are ultimately in charge. Okay, sure, we might be more inclined to suspect we’re white rat equivalents in a Gene Roddenberry’esqe hologram experiment thingee because shit’s too weird for words. Or that maybe someone put something in the water. We have no way of knowing. Does it matter? How could it possibly? We are here and we have to deal with it somehow, every day, without clear answers.

We can stay home, escape into Netflix and Fragrantica. Giggle at fluffy fakebook memes and internet cats. Drink ourselves into numbness. We can stack whatever comforts us high enough to provide a barrier between us and the others. Have ourselves 5 minute freak-outs when we know we won’t be caught with our mascara running. No matter how well we hide, we can still feel the invisible strings that bind us to the rest of humanity. But witnessing the pain of others beats the hell out of feeling your own, does it not? I’ve gotten away with it for a long, long time. I’ve eliminated some of the stacks that have been obstructing my own and I can barely deal with what I uncovered. By becoming more open, more exposed, I’ve lost my barriers, my brave mask.

even downtown Oklahoma city isn't immune to gnome bombing. this makes me pretty glad.

even downtown oklahoma city isn’t immune to gnome bombing.

My job as an artist, if you can actually call me that, is to try, at the very least, to neutralize the negativity with a little bit of beauty and cheer. But I’m not doing my job right now. Lately all I’ve been able to manage is the bare minimum. I swore that I’d do better. But it’s been like trying to drive a car through spaghetti. It isn’t that I don’t have the brain power to come up with something new and good… it’s the hazardous spaghetti conditions within my relatively meaningless skull. I stay inside a little shelter in there and hope the spaghetti will let up so I can scrape a path out and get on with things, and maybe find a few extraordinary people who can help me, who I can help scrape their way out, too.

We’re all so big and yet so small. So powerful and so powerless all at once. If we let ourselves think about this too much, it’s maddening. Part of me understands the need to thump one’s chest and make a point, to have a cause, to exercise that power. My only cause has been survival, and finding a sliver of happiness here and there. The slivers were once larger expanses of time, which slowly dwindled to chunks, then to slivers, and now specks. I may not be a fighter, but I quietly, stubbornly stand firm. I know the bigger chunks are there. But am I ready for them? Am I too prejudiced against easy to accept real happiness that might simply be masquerading as easy?

newest acquisitions: late 1980's Poison, Must de Cartier and Cassini

newest acquisitions: late 1980’s Poison (sooo gooood!), Must de Cartier and Cassini

The part of me that wants everyone to just chill the hell out and be nice stands firm too. I’m a naïve Pollyanna, for sure… but one with a penchant for depth, repeatedly sticking my curious fingers into pastel marshmallow fluff that belies pitch black pools of who-knows-what. I only want to find the balance, whatever will pull me down out of the marshmallows or up out of the muck. You can’t even walk around without balance. I believe I have nearly driven myself crazy trying to find whatever will keep me sane and upright. Some people will say that’s just how life is if you bother to care at all. But be careful about caring – once you’ve cared, you can’t UNcare.

I haven’t written in months, so pardon my lengthiness while I publicly challenge myself. Alas, I feel as though I’m repeating myself (and have been for years) and going in circles. I’m obviously confused. I could have said nothing at all and accomplished the same thing. There’s only one place I know of where I don’t have to be confused, or feel, or speak, or worry. I’ll stay here and drive through the spaghetti with you.

This is what I can work up the courage to try and sell you:

tonight on etsy

tonight on etsy

Some new spins on old faves. FUN SIZE Floopy Flowers, and !BLING’ed! Glitterbombs. I’m dusting the cobwebs out of my Etsy shop tonight and putting these in there, and try to do what I feel is impossible right now: bring both you and me a sliver of happiness. It’s a small thing, but small is better than not at all.

I’ll be back later this evening with the announcement.

Thanks for reading.

Superstars Tonight!

Tonight’s the night! Here’s a gander at one of the selections that will be available this evening:

blue mood oblong fizz tabs... see us tonight at the sale. click on us to get right on over there!

blue mood oblong fizz tabs… see us tonight at the sale. click on us to get right on over there!

 

I’m a bit ahead of schedule for once, but I can’t help but feel I’m forgetting something… I’ve got my keys, my tea, the cats are fed, I didn’t leave anything in the washing machine last night… it must be that I didn’t go to my high school prom. Yeah. Me in a prom dress? Nope. But… maybe, if it could have been this dress:

polyester nightmare a'la Grandma Moran's closet

polyester nightmare a’la Grandma Moran’s closet

I wore this dress to school one day my senior year. With my biker jacket. ‘Twas the grandest thing ever. Mom rolled her eyes and grinned as I walked out the door. And you should have seen those cheerleaders’ faces. They were sooo jealy.

 

In case you’re at all curious, here is today’s playlist:

ss
Singapore Sling: Perversity, Desperation and Death
This smooth, dark, sometimes droning neo-psychedelia takes me back to the early 1990’s when I discovered that I had a preference for anything that fit into the “alternative” or “post modern” category… and when I discovered Daniel Ash (of Love & Rockets fame). I like to think of Sling’s sound as The Black Angels met Love and Rockets in a dark echoey basement and made some stuff. Henrik Björnsson’s vocals take smooth and deep to entirely new depths.

 

jackwhite
Jack White: Blunderbuss
Well… Jack White. It’s good. ‘Nuff said. I’ve never been a huge fan, honestly, but I do respect him as a musician and I do like most of what he does. My favorite project of his is The Dead Weather… The Dead Weather’s got claws.

 

tcv
Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures
This is truly, definitely my favorite album. Ever. That’s saying something because I like a lot of stuff. So what’s so great about the Vultures? Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, et al), Dave Grohl (you don’t know who Dave Grohl is?) and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin). JPJ’s talent and influence really shines here. Bass players don’t often get much credit, even if they’re outstanding bass players, mainly because lead guitarists suck up all the attention. Jones’ work on this album is a gleaming display of what a great bassist can contribute, and undeniable proof that he played a huge part in making Led Zeppelin the powerhouse it is.

 

tmbglincoln
They Might Be Giants: Lincoln
I bought this album in fifth or sixth grade. Accordions, triangles, nasal vocalists, sciency subject matter and interesting turns of phrase… music for nerds, no ifs ands or buts. Folks, I’m afraid I may have been a nerd. Surprised? My friends would come over and be like “what the heck are you listening to?” If you haven’t yet heard of They Might Be Giants, then I don’t know what to tell you. How about one of my favorite tracks from Lincoln, Snowball In Hell.

“…if it wasn’t for disappointment, I wouldn’t have any appointments…”

Back to the business of beads… this is tonight’s Superstars schedule:

7:30PM CENTRAL TIME: The new beads will appear on the Superstars 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!

You should see 11 or 12 selections when the sale preview goes live.

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

Thanks for hanging out for a while.. maybe I’ll see you at the sale tonight.

 

Page Of Wands: learning and traveling.

The tarot card I drew for myself today is Page Of Wands: learning and traveling.

This blog, I mean. And the internet. Maybe the computer too. I swear, every time I look at something on the internet I find a symbol where once there was a word. The World Wide Web Consortium is now catering to the lowest common denominator. And all those misplaced apostrophe’s! Tattoo’s! Donut’s! Cookie’s! Their not going anywhere, I’m afraid.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. What a colossal pain in the ass THAT has been. Eventually I’ll share. For now I’ll glaze it all over with fluffy selfies of me and my cats, like a normal person would. It’s nice to pretend sometimes. I know, I don’t have the correct selfie angle and I don’t do the duckface right. And it blows my mind that wordpress’ spell check didn’t put a red underline under “apostrophe’s” or the misplaced ones thereof, but it put a red underline under selfie and duckface. Weird.

Nelson thinks that selfies are narcissistic society's acknowledgement of its own disposability and lack of identity.

Nelson thinks that the selfie phenomenon is our narcissistic society’s acknowledgement of its own disposability and lack of identity. You can totally tell that by the look on his face.

 

Mo thinks she isn't served nearly enough of that vile pate the cat food factory has crowned Fancy Feast.

Mo thinks she isn’t served nearly enough of that vile pate the cat food factory has crowned Fancy Feast. And that I look funny in my work glasses.

So there’s my cats. I’m still missing my Fred. He is the only cat I’ve ever seen chase his own tail right in front of me. He did that purely for his own amusement and I’m pretty sure for ours, and usually in the most precarious spot. Like on the back of a dining room chair. Or in the bathtub. I was really missing him the other day when I realized he was the only cat I’ve ever had that didn’t insert himself dangerously underfoot or scream incessantly during food preparation in the kitchen. He used to caterpillar around on the kitchen floor, inch and squirm around on his back, and flip over for pets and skritches, and then caterpillar around some more. But only when it was convenient for everyone… especially Fred. He was a cat, above all else.


Anyway, my main purpose of slinking in here after all these weeks is to announce a Superstars sale this Thursday, June 30th, 8PM Central Time. Check out  my website, http://www.z-beads.com and click on the Superstars link for more info!

More to come this Thursday, and I will hopefully be able include a sneak peek at what’s coming up. Currently the dozens of beads I’ve made over the last month are sitting in a cottage cheese container full of water as I attempt to muster up the energy to clean all of them. I’m not having much luck with the cleaning thing, but the making thing, not too shabby.

Thanks for checking in!

 

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…

glass

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:

gunieahenweb

Thanks for checking in… see you again Thursday.