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Archive for July, 2017

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.


SELECTION #1: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #2: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #3: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #4: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #5: (SOLD)
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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

—————–

SELECTION #1: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #2: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #3: (SOLD)
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


SELECTION #4: (SOLD)
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!

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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!

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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.

————————

 

SELECTION #1
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


SELECTION #2:
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


SELECTION # 3
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″

———————————————————————————————–

SELECTION #4
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.


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Dear Readers:

The internet is just a microcosm of this fine planet earth. Both are full of trash, noise, beauty and despair. I’m touched beyond words that you spend any length of your valuable time in my little corner of it.

Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement, always.

The last few years of my life have been very strange, indeed. Perhaps you’ve noticed. At the beginning of this bizarre stretch of time, I expressed my intention of being more open, more fearless. I got way more than I bargained for; self repair is not an easy maze to navigate. Some people never bother and opt for sweatpants. That’s fine… for them. No judgments here. I was teetering on the edge of the sweatpants abyss, closer to falling in real permanent-like than ever I had been, when one day, while in the midst of the seemingly menial activity of trying on purple lipstick at the mall, the hand of fate? destiny? slapped me firmly on the buttocks and the mirror said: “Girl, you’re jiggly in all the wrong spots. You’re sick and angry, you’re in physical and emotional pain, your face is blotchy, and the people in your life are gonna draw and quarter you. And you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.” *** “Oh, and that particular shade of purple is not a good fit.”

My generally unflappable veneer was quite flapped, I’ll admit. This revelation was so tiny you could have fit it onto the point of a pin, but also crackingly larger than life. Like lightning. All of the pain and burden that I could no longer avoid had actually done me the favor of finally breaking me open, just a little bit, so that I could see a wee glimmer of what was inside. Everything I thought I had forgotten and willingly gave away was still there under the armor of fear, chub and denial. I saw it all, in one second. I was so rattled, in fact, that I scurried home and contemplated my next move. The solution was very clear – I had work to do. It wouldn’t be easy, but the important tasks rarely are.

I am so willful and self-reliant that I seldom know when I truly need help. But I knew I needed it then, and I knew I had to be open to accepting any little bit that was extended to me. I knew I had to leave my house to retrieve it, which would be new. It turns out that all I really needed were just a few friendly human gestures that, under any other circumstance, would have registered as another day at the office. I saw the beauty in it, the importance of it… finally. The kindness of both friends and strangers, along with my willingness to accept it, to see it for what it was, has been richly rewarding. I find myself seeking it out now because it takes the sting out of the human unkindnesses doled out on a daily basis. I’ve sorted many things out, uncovered hidden treasures and truths – some of these nuggets have been illuminated by brilliant emotional explosions. What a mess! As I’ve plucked the answers from the detritus, more questions have revealed themselves. I often wish I had started on this endeavor sooner, but so much in life is about timing. And I know at least one thing for sure about myself now: I am endlessly patient, and I have a good sense of when the time is right.

Joane Fogel 8/8/32 – 5/31/2017

As my beloved and powerful Aunt Joane lay unconscious, mere days from death and surrounded by her equally powerful female descendants, I sat on her front porch on a picnic bench, contemplating the path my life has taken. As I sat, a small black beetle walked in a circle around my feet three times, following the exact same path each time. I didn’t give it a chance for a fourth because I was afraid I knew what it was trying to tell me: I’m going in circles and I’ll never find a way out of this maze now that I’ve gallumped so deeply into it. Tears threatening to spill forth, I regained my composure and went inside. And I remembered what Joane told me when I had just turned 19 years old as we sat at her kitchen table. She looked at me and said tearfully, “You have a gift, a greater sense, and you’re strong. You are meant to do great things. You can help people.” And she gave me a metric ass-ton of beads and such and sent me on my way.

fogel family portrait: norman, joane, nancy and dara

At 19 years old, I could not fathom anything greater. In fact, I felt aimless and without any real purpose. I felt like I had the potential to grow up to be a real disappointment instead. At that time, I was staying up until the sun rose, piddling with beads while bad late night TV droned on to help distract me from my weighty wonderings. If we’re being brutally honest, things are no different now, except for the size of the apparatus and stacks of means to create. Sometimes it feels hollow. Unimportant. But I keep doing it because it’s all I can do. I’m grateful for my talents and abilities, yet at the same time, I long for something more reliable, more common. Alas, each time I reach the same conclusion: the ONLY entity I can rely on is myself, and this is by no means a common frame of mind in the state of humanity. I’m the only thing I am totally in charge of, I am the only one who deserves my unwavering loyalty. No one is in charge of me. Fate included. It can tell me what to do, but the work and decisions are ultimately mine, and mine alone.

These days, I find myself disgusted by excuses of “I can’t, I shouldn’t, because that’s not how things are or ought to be.” Especially my own, especially when I dare to utter them out loud. It’s almost empowering to hear myself say something so patently untrue, and quite frankly, ignorant. When I’m in a confident mood, or when someone else points it out to me, I look at my life and realize that I make things happen. Often I must break my own rules, destroy my own shell, in order to do that.

strike a pose, woozball. that unkempt hair is just the tip of the unruly iceberg.

So you know what this may mean, right? I will spend another stretch of time without any sort of shopping cart system, just to see how it hits me, and you, to break that self-imposed rule. Over the next several hours I’ll be editing photos and writing descriptions for the next little bunch of beads that will be available right here in my corner, and I’ll post them at a very reasonable hour tomorrow. Sound good? Perfect. See you then – or not!

Thank you once again.

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