Archive for November, 2016

new muses

Know who I love? Iris Apfel.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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!

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