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Click on each item below, or go directly to my shop.

Mossy Teal Shimmer Spike Pendant Necklace

 

Rhodochrosite Deconstruction Shimmer Spike Pendant Necklace

 

Extravagant Purse Charm in Purple & Pink

 

Extravagant Purse Charm in Green

 

Lavender Daisy Pin

 

Four Leaf Clover Pin

 

Pretty Party Button Ring

 

Evil Eye Ring in Teal Capri

 

Thanks for checking out the new stuff! I hope you find something you like. I’m raring to go to the post office! (half joking there, lol)

what-ever

I don’t need to say anything. You know what it’s like. So I figured out when Joann Crafts was open and I treated myself to a pom pom maker to combat the insanity and sadness. Any little thing helps, even if it only lasts for a couple of hours. They’re even better when saturated with liquid catnip, as you can see.

A steady diet of cured meats, popcorn, grilled cheese sandwiches and candy left some extra time open to be spent on things like…

A sale is in the works, indeed! I’m shooting for before the end of the week. I’ll give you a heads up here when I’ve added the new stuff to the shop.

Sorry for being so quiet, you know, the usual story. Sale day should be more wordy and will definitely bring better photographs. Thanks for looking in!

 

 

 

 

new beads for you!

Click HERE to get to the shop, or the pictures below for each item.

funky mushrooms

 

modern mustard hana

 

happiness in milligrams

 

‘rona bubble katamari in periwinkle and green

 

‘rona fly-eye katamari in true blue and red

 

under the microscope: rust fungus spores


That’s everything! I’m not currently taking made to orders for any of the above items because I need to get my oxygen delivery situation sorted out first. Due to the obvious circumstances it might take a little while. You are still welcome to ask, I will just have to jot you down and let you know when I can get to it. I still have a mostly full tank and will be working with silver instead, since it uses so little gas and air compared to the glass. So the perk of that little bugaboo is rings, pendants, and there’s no telling what else.

Thank you so much for checking in!

It’s a quick update to let you know that my z-beads online shop is live! There are a few things in there right now that didn’t get picked up at the last sale, and there is more to come.

this is about what it looks like, and you can clicky the picky to get right on over there

I’m so glad I went ahead with this plan. I did figure out a thing or two in the process: firstly, for the purpose of selling, it’s so elegant. I realize many of you are using various devices, oftentimes smaller than a home computer or a standard laptop, and it looks great and works well on a small screen. And the shopping cart! What a wonderful thing. I don’t have to tend to the inbox like I did before… even though I never hated the extra chit-chat, sending the invoices manually created a good bit of extra work for me and I’m pretty relieved that a bot is going to do that for me. (but again, if you want to say hello directly, please do!) I was also able to find my Photoshop disk last month, so now I can properly edit my photos to a reasonable size, and they are also saved to load quickly. I think you’ll be pleased with the appearance and functionality.

But one not so great thing – sales tax is added to each item. I know, it sucks. It’s getting harder to escape this on the various online sales platforms. I’m sorry. I just thought I would warn you because I still forget about it when I buy stuff on ebay and I’m surprised almost every time. Apparently I have the memory of a flea.

Here is how I will be doing this – on the days I list things for sale, there will be a brief period when my shop won’t be available, so be aware of that and don’t worry. Also, I’m pretty sure I have arranged things so that even if something is sold out (and it will be marked as sold out, so there shouldn’t be any confusion there) you can still see it in the shop until I manually remove it. I don’t necessarily expect you to be waiting with baited breath, but either way, I will announce it here when the listings are live. I’m reluctant to make a big to-do about it like I have in the past, times being what they are and all that rot… then again, creating a little excitement about something fun and positive like beads might not be such a bad thing.

I normally list things for sale on Thursday, but I might change it up a bit – let’s just say I’m aiming for sometime this week, for sure. You’ll be hearing from me again soon. Thanks for being such wonderful and patient bead friends!

missing the not so old days when you and your bestie could lick the world with reckless abandon?

(Before I begin, I will note that I refuse to give the THING – you know the THING to which I refer – any more acknowledgement than it already receives. I won’t get politicky or boss you or rehash what a bummer it is because you already get it, and you’re probably here because you need a break from it. But I will say that anything you buy from me will be cleaned and handled carefully on my end and suitable for being submerged in disinfectant on yours, unless otherwise noted. In that circumstance you can use your own judgment.)

So, hey, remember more than two years ago when I was all “Blah blah BLAH, Etsy Wants to Usurp The Bank Accounts of Helpless Little Artists and I’m gonna get a bigcartel shop”… and then I was all “NEVER MIND, I’m a cheapskate.” Well, I had pretty good luck hosting the last few sales on my blog in 2017, and the best thing about it was that I could have all the pictures I wanted, I could blather on endlessly about what a bead dork I am, and best of all it was FREE.

Then, in accordance with The Divine Law Of Nothing Is Free, several people informed me that they couldn’t tell if stuff was available or not at the last sale. I updated when things were claimed in real time, many times, but everything still showed as available via most viewing methods. My apologies. On that Sunday that I announced the upcoming sale, I had decided just a few hours earlier that I was going to do it and that I didn’t care whether or not I had everything perfectly perfect. As such, something was bound to go wrong, and I’m glad it was something minor. I’ve learned that excessive nitpicking doesn’t necessarily get you any farther than not giving a rat’s patoot. Something somewhere between the two things is probably going to accomplish something, but without the added stress of feeling like a control freak or a lazy bum. Who needs that kind of aggravation? Not me, homes. I’m just a chill bead artist without an Etsy shop.

oh, but wait!

With the come-what-may attitude I have acquired over the last couple of years, I said frig it and gave Big Cartel’s free trial a go just to see how functional it is. And I’m happy to report that it’s fine. It’s customizable and seemingly without hassle. But the best thing of all: we now have a functioning shopping cart. That’s in bold because it’s so freaking great. You won’t even have to email me unless you just want to, and please do email me if you want to say “hey. great stuff but your hair’s a mess”. There will be no mistaking available vs not, because if it’s sold you can’t see it anymore, as far as I can tell. Seems easy enough to add photos here too when I announce the sales. I like to show my work, and you seem to like to look at it, and it would be a good solution to that little nuisance and give me something to talk about besides… well… this. I’m a problem solver who often gets so bogged down in the details that the solutions just look like more problems. No solution is perfect and everything in life is fraught with drawbacks – but the easiest, most comprehensive one is often the best option. Even if it costs (only) $10/month. And it does, with no additional fees per item. I guess I can deal with that.

like you don’t know who this is

So HERE is my bigcartel shop (it likely isn’t live at the moment, but you can have a link to it here, as well as on the sidebar: z-beads.bigcartel.com

Also, I ditched the z-beads facebook page in favor of Instagram. I mean, the z-beads page is still active but utterly useless as a means of marketing unless I want to fork over the dough, and I reckon facebook has enough money, don’t you? And since Fakebook owns Instagram it doesn’t really matter anyway. Instagram is way more fun and breezy, allowing for less frustration and more whimsy. So here is my instagram, and you can also find links to it in the sidebar:  https://www.instagram.com/zbeadslampwork/

Now, if only someone could tell me where I can dump my 2016 and 2017 galleries with such grace and ease. Or my whole website. Gah. I need to do something about my website. It’s old and clunky and needs to be updated. I don’t want to think about it.

Meanwhile, I’m working up to having a little sale next week – nothing too big, just something to alleviate the boredom, hopefully yours and definitely mine. Keep your eyeballs busy with some things I’ve made for myself over the last little while:

BRACELETS:

NECKLACES:

RINGS:

amazonite, amethyst and vintage glass set in sterling silver

Thanks for checking in! You’ll be hearing from me again soon.

AVAILABILITY STATUS ON ALL SELECTIONS UPDATED Dec 6th 5:30AM CT – There are still quite a few things available! 

Turns out the lawn gnomes didn’t have any use for me after all, so here is the stuff! You may notice that everything I’m selling this evening is jewelry. Which is new, but not necessarily what you should expect from now on; it’s just what I’ve been doing for the last year or so. Most selections are one-of-a-kind/won’t be repeated type-deals, and the remaining few are made-to-order only, and in a limited quantity. This is so I can deliver what I promise in a timely manner.

When submitting your request via email – z-beads@sbcglobal.net – please provide this info:

1. your request(s), of course
2. your paypal address, if paying with paypal
3. your preferred payment method if sending a money order (US buyers only)… or check (established US buyers only) … I can only accept Paypal from international buyers
4. 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. Even if you’re a day or two late, if it says it’s still available, it probably is! It won’t hurt to ask.

The 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. Most metal elements/jewelry components are sterling silver. I do my best to provide an accurate representation in the photos and descriptions. If you are interested in buying but have questions, please contact me.

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BEAD CROCHET

During my absence, I’ve made myself conquer a few very simple things that I’ve struggled with in the past. One of the bigger challenges on the list was bead crochet. Keeping constant tension with regular crochet was tough enough for me. I found a video that obviously didn’t exist the first two times I attempted it, the first time being in 2002, and again in 2009. Otherwise, several things in my life would have gone very differently heretofore. This time, it took. Patience, determination, good basic instruction, the correct tools (properly sized hooks) and materials (c-lon!) – and perhaps just the right kind of free time – got me working in a spiral of perfect tension and doing math without knowing I was doing it. Remember me? That’s right. It’s the only kind of math I do. So I guess it’s finally settled for sure – as long as beads are involved, I’ll probably do okay with it. I’ve tried spiral crochet with size 8/0 and size 11/0. I won’t be going anywhere near the size 15/0’s for this particular technique now that I have fully experienced the excruciating tedium of crocheting even a row of 7 size 11/0’s in a continuous spiral. The 8/0’s are good enough, and provide a texture and drape that I like.

SEMI-IMPORTANT INFO regarding the bead crochet necklaces: Photos don’t really show the true beauty of the colors, the texture or the sparkle of these necklaces. Everything about them is so much more deep and rich in person. The beads are crocheted around a heavy, very strong waxed nylon base cord, and that is what the components (connectors/button clasp) are connected to as well. In other words, this is a very solid, stable piece of jewelry that should last a very long time. BUT they are surprisingly light in weight for as heavy as they look. In addition, these ropes are quite washable. The c-lon (nylon), so far, doesn’t appear to fade or stretch. I’ve worn the heck out of Black Diamonds over the last several months, so I took it into the tub with me and gave it a good scrub with my body wash, a toothbrush and water, then I drip-dried it. It came out sparkling clean. On to the jewelry…

#1 : Black Diamonds Knotted Snake Choker (MADE TO ORDER IN YOUR SIZE) – $275 (click photos to view full size)
1 AVAILABLE FOR ORDER

(Made to order in your size. I don’t normally do this with made-to-orders, but where custom jewelry that requires a good bit of work is concerned, a 50% up-front deposit will keep us both earnest. Please allow up to 1 month for completion and possible variation with the button. If you are interested in ordering, please email me and we will discuss measuring for correct size and other details.)

Here’s to finding beauty in the ordinary. Be sure to always look a little deeper; in the absence of color or flash, you may find a depth and sparkle you wouldn’t have with a jaded glance. Also, lack of color lends endless versatility. I wear the heck out of this necklace and it gets plenty of looks. Colorless transparent seed beads, with a silver Czech microfacet glinting every so often, catch bright and low light each in their own special way. Two decadently ropey strands are tied into clever knots and finished off with my foiled lampwork glass beads and my own handmade sterling strand separators. It is signed with a sterling tag and fastens with a button and beaded loop. Each rope is 7/16″, or 10mm wide.

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#2 : Emergency Red Knotted Snake Choker (MADE TO ORDER IN YOUR SIZE) – $275 (click photos to view full size)
1 AVAILABLE FOR ORDER

(Made to order in your size. I don’t normally do this with made-to-orders, but where custom jewelry that requires a good bit of work is concerned, a 50% up-front deposit will keep us both earnest. Please allow up to 1 month for completion and some variation with the button. If you are interested in ordering, please email me and we will discuss measuring for correct size and other details.)

How many pieces of red jewelry does a girl need? Who knows, but if she has any red beads, she probably needs as many tubes of red lipstick. The red seed beads in this necklace are one of the most divine shades of red glass I’ve ever gotten my hands on, and some of you know how picky I am about red glass. It can’t be too brown or too streaky and it must stay true red in awful fluorescent lighting, and these tick all the boxes. It doesn’t come across as the true red that it is in the photos… do you know the red on the box of Cheez-Its? It’s a very close match to that. I’m well acquainted with that box, as Cheez-Its have contributed an inch of fat to my midsection, sharing the same zip code with another inch of fat caused by pie. This two strand, cleverly knotted to-do has a line of sparkly bright Czech silver microfacets running along the length of both strands. I did math again! It ends with my own almost perfectly matching opaque red + silver foil lampwork and my own handmade sterling strand separators. It’s signed with a sterling tag and fastens with a button and beaded loop. Each rope is 7/16″, or 10mm wide.

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#3 : Chocolate Sparkle Knotted Snake -$275 – AVAILABLE NOW, in your size – (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

If you are interested in ordering, please email me and we will discuss measuring for correct size and other details. It won’t take but a few hours or so to finish it up. If finished as is, this necklace will be APPROX 16″ long – length can be reduced, but not added to. Each rope is 7/16″, or 10mm wide.

This stunning vintage dark chocolate brown is the perfect backdrop for the subtle bronze Czech microfacets sprinkled in here, there and everywhere. A little glint happens every once in a while to brighten the darkness. This is so, SO much better in person, this color does not translate well in the images. The vintage glass button, which I’ve had since I was a teenager, matches the bronze microfacets. A lovely, somewhat serendipitous piece indeed! This one has copper components, the signature tag and strand separators are both made of copper, handmade by me as well. It is accented with 5 of my own lampwork round beads in a very close chocolate brown with bronzeish foil dots. You’re seeing it in its mostly finished form – once the correct length is determined, the knots will be knotted and strings trimmed, and it will finish very similarly to Emergency Red and Black Diamonds.

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#4 : Ivory Snakeskin Lariat- $400 – ONE OF A KIND – (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

Wow, if I can say so myself. It has no clasp, but can be worn a few different ways. It’s very long, heavy, extravagant and tactile, and it even rattles a bit with the dangly clusters of pearls that end in coordinating lampwork Shimmer Spikes (a’la moi) on each end. It also includes 4 ivory lampwork spacers, and I made those too. All metal components are sterling silver, wires are securely wrapped and rings are securely soldered. It is discreetly signed with a sterling tag in one of the pearl clusters. The color of the rope isn’t quite beige and it isn’t quite yellow. It’s a warm ivory mottled with warm brown and deep peach spots.
4 feet long, from tip to tip
rope is 7/16″, or 10mm wide
spikes measure approx 16x29mm

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THE USUAL SUSPECTS

#5 : Bubblegum Candyfloss Twinkleball – $175 – lampwork and kunzite oblong nuggets with sterling silver components, ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

This necklace features a wire-wrapped chain made from sterling silver and kunzite oblong nuggets, a hollow lampwork “ornament” stuffed with silver sparkles and capped with etched flowery sterling silver. The pink tone is very cool, leaning toward blue but stops before it hits lavender. The Twinkleball is also a bit oblong to match the kunzite beads in shape and color, suitable for wear during any season. Finishes with a sterling lobster clasp, signed with a sterling tag. Length can be added to or reduced.
17″ long, Twinkleball is 21x28mm

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#6 : Aquamarine Candyfloss Twinkleball – $175 – lampwork and aquamarine rounds with sterling silver components, ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

This necklace features a wire-wrapped chain made from sterling silver and aquamarine rounds, a hollow lampwork “ornament” stuffed with silver sparkles and capped with etched flowery sterling silver. Suitable for wear during any season. Finishes with a lobster clasp, signed with a sterling tag. Length can be added or reduced.
17″long,  Twinkleball is 25x27mm

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#7 : Prickly Pear Necklace – just lampwork and seed beads – $210 – ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

You gotta respect the cactus, am I right? There’s no mistaking a cactus for something else, because it will let you know with an indubitable quickness that you have found a cactus. However, this loose interpretation of the prickly pear cactus is one you can get a bit more up close and personal with. Transparent greens over a white core with somewhat random bumps are etched the way most transparent greens etch: inconsistently. I knew it would happen, I just wasn’t sure exactly how it would happen. It fastens with a matching lampwork button, and has a signature “z” bead at the end. Get it for yourself or the cactus person in your life because there is also no mistaking a cactus person for a non-cactus person; they tend to be about as prickly and demanding of a wide berth as the cacti they love and care for. How many Scorpios have you met who have a cactus in their front yard? That’s what I thought.

necklace is 21″ long, beads range in size from (approx) 20x21mm – 19x30mm, 9mm thick
strung on heavy waxed nylon cord, loop and button closure

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#8 : THE Black Pearl Necklace – $90 – freshwater pearls on knotted silk – ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

I wear a black pearl necklace very similar to this one just about every day. I layer it with other jewelry, such as my knotted ropes, chains, or lampwork jewelry, and so many people have stopped me to compliment my black pearls. Obviously they aren’t Mikimotos for the price, but they’re surprisingly good for what I paid – they’re quite smooth and pretty consistent in shape and size (some pearls are not), they’re pearly without being like an oil slick, and they’re kind of a greyish/brownish eggplant color. They’re neutral enough in color to be warn with other colors – I wear them with bright red, fuschias and purples, blues of all shades, even green sometimes.

35″, sterling clasp, hand knotted black silk

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BRACELETS (or…?)

#9 : Chinese New Year Colorblock Bracelet/Necklace/Whatever – $60 -ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

It’s 6ft long, long enough to wrap around your neck at least a couple of times, or around your wrist many more. Made from Czech, French and Japanese tiny glass seed beads in reds, purples and ambers, ranging in size from 15/0 (very tiny) to 8/0 (less tiny) in several different finishes, and with carnelian, garnet and amethyst here and there. Fastens with a lucite button stack, strung on Softflex.

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#10 : Better Than Mustard Colorblock Bracelet/Necklace/Whatever – $60 -ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

It’s 6ft long, long enough to wrap around your neck at least a couple of times, or around your wrist many more. Made from Czech, French and Japanese tiny glass seed beads ranging in size from 15/0 (very tiny) to 8/0 (less tiny) in several different finishes, and with apatite, peridot and jasper here and there. Fastens with a lucite button stack, strung on Softflex.

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EARRINGS

For most of my jewelry making existence, I have abhorred making earrings with the fury of 1000 comets screaming towards earth. Okay, maybe 47 house fires in the northeastern states in the dead of winter. They just weren’t of any interest to me because I often felt compelled to use my lampwork and lampwork is heavy and I didn’t feel there was anywhere too interesting for me to go with it. I had no reason to make earrings for myself, since for many years I wore 8 gauge steel hoops in my lobes. I gave that up a while back, and since they’ve shrunk to a more natural size I’m more inclined to hang something from them now and again.

All earrings below have 21g sterling silver earwires, handmade by me. All components are made of sterling silver, all rings are soldered and/or wire wrapped for security.

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#11 : Sapphire Sparklers – lampwork and sterling silver earrings – $95 (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

 

A most luscious denim/sapphire blue pair of hollow beads, stuffed full of love, silver sparkles and probably a curse word or two because, boy, those holes are smaller than I’m used to dealing with regarding hollow beads. But I did it, and they look really nice! Dressed up or dressed down, these will fit just about any occasion. They’re not terribly heavy, either, surprisingly.

18mm lampwork beads, 40mm long (not including earwire)
all sterling components are handmade by me except for the chain

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#12 : Firefly Sparklers- lampwork and sterling silver earrings – $95 (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

A most luscious pair of hollow beads in true firefly green, stuffed full of love, silver sparkles and probably a curse word or two because, boy, those holes are smaller than I’m used to dealing with regarding hollow beads. But I did it, and they look really nice! Dressed up or dressed down, these will fit just about any occasion. They’re not terribly heavy, either, surprisingly.

I didn’t know that fireflies (lightning bugs) were beetles until just a few years ago. Beetles are my favorite insect, there are so many varieties and colors. The internet says that there are over 350,000 species of beetles. Some roll dung, some are metallic and click bugs, who can swiftly flex their spines a certain way to return themselves to an upright position with a loud CLICK, often join me in my studio while I work. Unlike other flying insects, they seem to be smart enough to avoid my torch flame. And who doesn’t love to find a ladybug? Unless there are a couple hundred of them on your living room ceiling. That happened to my grandma. I’m not sure how she got rid of them. I think she just moved to Missouri and told them to keep it.

18mm lampwork beads, 40mm long (not including earwire)
all sterling components are handmade by me except for the chain

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#13 : Double Hoop Dangles $80 – sterling and quartz – (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

Hand formed silver hoops, all rings are soldered. My best guess is that’s natural quartz crystal for the dangles that dangle inside of each hoop. Top hoop measures 20mm, bottom hoop measures 29mm. The top teensy smooth, round crystal measures 4mm, the bottom faceted rondells measure 4x6mm. The details are really nice on these, the outer edges of the dainty hoops are hammered into a nice random facet. They’re playfully swingy and not heavy at all. 2 1/4″ long, not including the earwire.

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#14 : Sea Green Triple Drops – $50 – sterling and stone – (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
AVAILABLE

This type of stone has been sold to me under at least a couple of different names, australian opal and chrysoprase, and I’m not sure I believe either are the true name for this stone. But I don’t really care, it’s beautiful. It’s mainly the color of the sea green crayola crayon, and the hue tends wander into yellower, darker greens and sometimes olive, khaki brown. I’ve collected the best matches of the hues my strand had to offer and put them together here. They are delicate drop shapes with lovely facets.

3″ long, not including the earwire

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#15 : Ocean Stuff Gem Clusters – $60 – ONE OF A KIND (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

Chrysoprase and green garnet briolettes, and green garnet rectangular dangles are accented with turquoise rounds, even tinier faceted pale green stones, wire-wrapped in sterling and hang from a small but sturdy sterling hoop.

1.5″ long, not including earwires

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RINGS

#16 : Geodesic Cake Ring – MADE TO ORDER IN YOUR SIZE – $250 (click photos to view full size)
1 AVAILABLE FOR ORDER

 

This is my #1 most complimented new ring, a tall faceted geodesic disco-ball affair. Bleak futuristic meets 1930’s German pressed glass in the shade of cheap mirror tint and the two collide somewhere mid-century to create an ever so slightly brutalist thing to be worn on your finger. It’s big, but it isn’t heavy, it’s a hollow form – one of my favorite things to do in silver. A challenge and a statement, without the weight and expense of a completely solid sterling thing of its size. Hollow forms require a hole for hot air to escape so the piece doesn’t explode or crack while being soldered. The back of this ring, which is mine to keep, has a very large hole because I was rusty and drilled the holes too close together. For the purpose of showing what you’ll get with a made to order for this ring, I have displayed the back of a different hollow ring to show you what it will look like.

24mm across
20mm tall from base to tip of the stone (does not include ring shank)

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#17 : TV Cake Ring – $125 – size 6.25 – (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

It’s kinda like those cakes that professional cake makers make on the TV. It’s topped with a flower motif and a teensy tinsy pink tourmaline stone, with a scalloped base. It’s hollow, and relatively simple.

18mm across
22mm tall, from base to tip of the stone (does not include ring shank)
band is 4mm wide

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#18 : “What The Heck Is That” Ring – $200 – size 7 – (ONE OF A KIND) (click photos to view full size)
SOLD

It’s pretty interesting, though, don’t you think? It has a sterling silver base and bezel, a red brass* dome set as a stone would be, with an odd hole from which a lovely sage green glass ball pokes out. The green glass ball (made by me, of course) is post-set beneath the dome. A little odd, just like its author.

25mm across
9mm tall from base to tip of the stone (does not include ring shank)
band is 6mm wide

* (red brass is brass with more copper content than typical yellow brass, and is a bit more cooperative in general)


And that’s everything! Nelson was zero help. Thanks for coming, everybody!

The Sale Is Happening!

Unless I’m kidnapped by lawn gnomes between now and tomorrow evening, the sale is ON!

Getting it done, y’all! Bump It! This “arteest” is not a natural at photography and a little camera shy to boot….

Quick rundown:
The sale starts at 8PM Central Time, Thursday December 5, 2019.
The sale will happen HERE on my blog.
Items will be marked sold as they go.
YES, you can request more than one thing!
Email me directly, z-beads@sbcglobal.net with your requests.
I will respond as quickly as I can, and will send your invoice soon after (please be sure to tell me the email address to send your Paypal invoice to).
I will pack and ship your stuff within 24 hours after receiving payment.
If you have any questions at all, shoot me an email.
I’ve probably missed something, so more info will be included at the sale tomorrow.

Yay, so excited! I hope to see you tomorrow evening! Thank you!!!

 

 

 

 

Before anything else, I’d like to express my gratitude for the many kind and encouraging messages sent after my last entry. Really, truly. Sometimes the only thing better than going on vacation is getting back to work. And I have, slowly but surely. I’ve said it more than once, I fell outta my mom ass first and two weeks late, and that is actually a true story. She says the labor was fairly quick and painless… and things usually are when I finally gather the nerve to show up.

As you can tell, I’m a bit rusty at everything (considering the language I’m using to announce an upcoming sale), but I’m feeling pretty whatever about things at the moment. What do I have to lose, I’ve been POOF for, like, two years, right? Neither one of us knows what to expect, so let’s have some fun with it. Here’s a quick peek at what’s to come later this week (click on each photo for a better view). LATER THIS WEEK! I say emphatically, as much for myself as I say it for you. I hope you’ll find something you like. These are not the photos I will be using for the sale, I have a few finishing touches to put on, mainly antiquing the silver. More detailed photos will be provided for the sale.

You who know me know my style: Easter eggs in October, red and green in June, and a sale during the week after Thanksgiving, when you’re more likely to be stuck on a tarmac or in a parking lot instead of at home in the twilight glow of your computer screen. Here is what you CAN expect:

  1. I’m shooting for Thursday, old school z-beads style
  2. I’m aiming for 8pm Central Time
  3. If it’s looking promising, I’ll post something like “It’s Happening” with more info on Wednesday
  4. The sale will happen HERE on my blog – yes, I’m still proudly flipping the big fat moustachioed bird to the ETSY Yarn Burglars
  5. This is a fixed price format, NOT AN AUCTION. I dislike auctions, and I suspect most of you do too.
  6. A few items will be one-of-a-kind and will not be repeated, and a few will be available made to order in your size – expect jewelry featuring my lampwork, a few sterling silver rings, and some entirely new offerings that might surprise you
  7. My shipping time will happen at the usual rate of efficiency, which is generally within 24 hours of payment
  8. I may be rusty and forget a couple of things in the descriptions, but hopefully you’ll bear with me

Thanks for being such wonderful bead friends in these trying times indeed. I can’t wait to share the details!! I hope to see you again soon…

PS – Something else you might find noteworthy: I started a perfume blog about three years ago. I haven’t done anything with it, so far I have only staked my claim to the name, The Perfumed Pontificator. The mere mention of fragrance in a place of bead and jewelry craft might send some highly sensitive individuals into a state of migraine or anaphylaxis, so there’s another place you can go if you’re actually interested in the subject.

 

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!