Archive for the ‘blah blah blah’ Category

I know you guys enjoy a quick peek at what’s to come, and I completely spaced it in my last post. So here you go! In about an hour or two, this is what will be in my shop:

z-beads etsy, week of march 20th

I’ll post here again with the links as soon as they’re live!

Meanwhile, I made this over the weekend, a slight nod at “fine” strung jewelry – a verrry long rhodolite (?) garnet, raspberry quartz, my favorite little garnet Japanese seed beads and thai silver necklace:

I suppose I could six it up and wear it as a bracelet:

But I’ve been wearing it long and tied in a knot:

It was strung on softflex and the clasp secured with crimps in 4 different spots. I’ve come to distrust silk cord for anything but pearls…

Anyway, I’ll be back in a jiff with the etsy stuff.

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I’m a bit behind… I’ve been trying to make one more set, one more bead, one more whatever, for the amount of effort required for listing things on etsy. Which probably isn’t much for a responsible person. But me, I’m not so good at doing un-fun stuff. Like opening mail. I’m terrible about opening mail when I get it. If it doesn’t look like a bill I just set it down somewhere. When/if I finally clean, I gather up all the offending mail from its various spots and put it on my desk and I still don’t open it. So today, before I could even get to my keyboard, I had to eliminate an enormous pile of papers that turned out to be 95% pointless and a gratuitous waste of trees. The other 5% were bills. Before anyone suggests that I switch to paperless billing, I should mention that I need paper bills because I’ll forget to pay them otherwise. Typical me. “Gimme only the paper that I want and none of the paper I don’t want.”


I’ve had many distractions these days, some chosen, some not. I used to be so good at making beads all the time! I was better at staying ahead of things. Now… sometimes I miss the silence, the days and days without leaving the house or speaking to anyone on the phone… but mostly I don’t. Lately, I’ve been pretty good, though – about both trying new things and about writing my bead/jewelry ideas down as they come to me. (I actually made a cheese spread. 5 years ago I would have made a gaggy face at the mere suggestion of it.) But finding the thrill in turning the kiln on to warm up some nights is overcome by my appetite for other things – mainly jewelry making. Which may not be a bad thing, but to me, it feels more like rebellion than anything else. I feel like I’m shirking my duties as head glass melter around here, and the cats aren’t gonna fill in for me. My previously reliable muse is leading me somewhere else. Astray? Or exactly where I need to go?

Should you follow your muse into the dark and creepy woods if that is where Muse is obviously headed? What if Muse ducks into a truck stop restroom? Or buys a one-way to Denver? Muse isn’t putting its hand on a spinning saw blade or jumping in front of a bus. These are simply unknown destinations; the unknown isn’t as fraught with danger or as blindingly, boringly mountainous as long as I don’t overthink and make assumptions of danger and boredom. Maybe Muse should be followed faithfully wherever it goes, even if only out of curiosity, with the fact in mind that I can turn around and go home whenever I want. You’ll see a few of the results of my curiosity on Etsy later today. Fingers crossed I don’t end up in Denver.

See you guys later today!

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Business as usual.

MAN STUFF I wear proudly: Aramis JHL, Guerlain Heritage, Opium for Men, L’instant de Guerlain Extreme EDP

And some leather.

leather studded bracelets

I haven’t worked with leather in many years. I dated a guy who worked at Tandy in the late 90’s, so I caught a little swag in the form of odd scraps and beads and other leather goodies purchased with the help of his employee discount. I recently found a humongous bag full of leather studs and those funky concho thingees at a thrift store for something ridiculous like $6, so I dug the leather out from the back of my closet and got busy for an evening. The studs alone are worth hundreds of dollars – those things were not cheap 20 years ago, I can’t imagine how pricey they are now.

ugh. I have so many of these now.

If memory serves, the concho things were popular with the line dancing/pseudo rancher crowd in the latter part of the 20th century, along with lace-up cowboy boots adorned with fringe and, of course, Glamour Shots. Just think, if we could convince those hipsters with skinny jeans and gawdawful neckbeards to lace their floopy scarves into these concho things, we could bring back Ranch Fabulous in an amazing way. And I could make a mint selling them on etsy – seriously, look at what the hipsters did to bacon prices. It couldn’t be that difficult, most of them already think the unkempt truck-driver look is the tippity-top of fashion. I’ll be glad when that fad has passed and clean shaven men (or at least manicured beards) are back in favor.


And some Moonlighting. Ever watch this series? It was on in the late 1980’s and it starred Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. My step-dad Bruce absolutely could not miss Moonlighting, and I hated it. As a 7 or 8 year old, I found Bruce Willis to be old with a receding hairline, Cybill Shepherd to be old and matronly and Allyce Beasley to be adorably charming. I didn’t get any of the quirk or hilarity, and even the vaudevillian perp chases were lost on me. As an adult, I love this show. I find Bruce Willis as David Addison to be absolutely hunkerriffic, Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes to be astoundingly gorgeous (her clothes, though – not exactly) and Agnes Dipesto’s character to be quite annoying. Funny how things change as you get older. TV totally blows chunks now. Change isn’t always so good.

mmm, that five o’clock shadow makes me weak in the knees… neckbeard hipsters should try this look instead.

In other news, I pay way too much for crappy cable. I’m sure everybody does, but that isn’t my point. In this crappy cable package I get channels 1-24, almost all of which suck, plus some other random stuff somewhere between channels 25-2000. On the latter end of the dial are several music channels. No music videos, mind you, but songs are played while photos of the band members and trivia and occasional ads flash across the screen. Even MTV doesn’t show music videos anymore, just rehashes of whatever new absurdity popped up on YouTube that day. (There you have it: the cheapening of everything in one prime example.) You can have your pick from R&B, reggae, oldies, “alternative” and loads of other genres. Today’s alternative is not the same as it was 20 years ago; for that type of “alternative” you have to tune in to the “indie” channel. I don’t like most of what’s on there either, but every once in a while they play something good.


Kim Gordon’s “Murdered Out” from 2016
As a long-time Sonic Youth listener, I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to hear more from Kim Gordon solo. I never quite knew what to think of Kim Gordon when I was younger, in the pre-internet era. I tried to imagine her face while smoking cigarettes in dim light with my friends as “Kool Thing” droned out of my old boom box. In the few photos I saw of her she seemed older than most of the people making that kind of music at that time, and I wondered what her story was. Now that I have internet, I can finally know. Turns out she’s just a dedicated artist and musician and is my mother’s age. However old you are, you’re never too old to noisily rock out.


Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression (2016)
So, it’s 2016. What’s an elderly punk star to do? Release an album, duh, and prance around shirtless with the energy of a 30 year old on the stage of Austin City Limits. My first awareness of Iggy Pop was the song “Candy” featuring Kate Pierson (from the B-52’s) in the early 1990’s. Later on that decade, it was “Lust For Life” featured in the movie Trainspotting. In other words, I’ve never been a die-hard Iggy Pop fan, but always had respect. I was surprised and pleased to hear something a bit different from Iggy Pop late one evening when I tuned into the indie channel. Something titled “Sunday”: something a bit Saturday night fever kinda funky that ended with a fancy orchestral ensemble. I had to hear more, so off to Google Play Music I went. Why was I not surprised to find Josh Homme’s name in the credits? Josh Homme is my favorite rock star, probably because he isn’t just a rock star surrounded by parties and babes. He’s a serious musician who turns every project he touches into solid gold rock. Post Pop Depression is no exception, even considering Pop’s signature (in my opinion, a bit awkward) lyrical style. I need to check out the other guys who contributed to this album.


Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band: Take Me To The Land Of Hell (2013)

If you know anything about Yoko Ono at all, you know she’s pretty weird. Considering the misogynistic and racist BS she endured as John Lennon’s wife, it’s understandable… but really, though, I think she was already weird. And that’s okay! Some folks might not be aware that Double Fantasy was not the extent of her musical career. Yoko is still getting down like a kicked chihuahua with her son Sean and just about any other established musician who feels like throwing their hat in. My favorite one from this album is Cheshire Cat Cry, as it has a distinctly post-punk feel to it. By the way, I didn’t hear this one on the indie channel – I heard it on my favorite local radio station, 91.7 The Spy.

And then there was a song by Ty Segall, and I heard only enough of it to be curious so I googled him and found a mention of him making a video about something called “emotional mugging”. Instead of going straight to that video, I just googled emotional mugging and stumbled onto the website of one Martha Beck. The first few sentences of Beck’s Emotional Mugging article showed in the google search results, and the cynic in me thought “here we go… I know I’ll feel like posting something like “is this a joke?” in the comments section, but won’t, since I’m not that much of a cynical jerk. Or an emotional mugger, as it were.”

Martha Beck

But in keeping with my vow to give everything (and everyone) a chance to prove itself worthy of serious consideration, I clicked on the link and read it. Then I read several of her other articles. I have to say, for a self-help type of person, Martha Beck is somewhat atypical. Her message is very easy to grasp, probably because her writing style is conversational and humorous. She’s quite likeable, you probably won’t feel like she’s telling you what to do. I haven’t noticed her using words like “narcissist” or “sociopath”, which, in my humbly unprofessional opinion, are inappropriately bandied about too frequently these days. The more of Martha Beck I read, the more I like her. I feel like she’s giving practical advice, ways to deal with people as they are, rather than diagnosing anyone or encouraging people to drag their loved ones to therapy. And hey, it turns out my vague, esoteric blog posts about my emotions and lot in life are actually a healthy way of dealing. Yes, it’s probably a bit unconventional, but I know for sure it’s preferable to attacking or blaming or grabbing a captive ear and yammering endlessly. And the beauty is, I’m not making anyone read anything. There’s that back button at the top of the browser and everyone can feel free to use it at any time. And don’t feel badly about it, please. Live and let live.

Oh, and beads:

bracelets for a friend


I made the blue leather and color block bracelet for my stylist… they even kind of match her tattoos.

I’ve been busy with that sort of thing, and I’m working on some stuff for Etsy. Hopefully I’ll have everything together and ready to go by the weekend. I’ll check back in soon and give you an update. If you like anything posted above, give me a holler and we’ll see what we can do.
Thanks for reading!

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I’m on it!

It has taken me longer than planned, as things often do these days, but the good news is my butt has been glued to the seat for more hours than I care to count, and later today, most likely in the afternoon/early evening, the beads will land on Etsy! Wow that was one long sentence. As is this many hours of photo editing. No complaints. Not really. My legs are just numb.

Meanwhile, here’s something from a long time ago to look at, just for fun.


See you later today!

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the order of things

… is out of order. Please try again later.

Or, a better idea… you could keep trying. Kick it. Bang on it. Feed it candy. Let it outside. Whatever you think will help.

BFF’s Tammy N Sarah Gonna Sniff The World in 2017. Completed Tour Dates: Jovan Woman, Coriandre, Mauboussin, Ambre Sultan, Jai Ose, Silences, Habit Rouge, Vetiver Extreme, Kenzo Jungle Elephant, vintage Angel. Coming up: Yatagan, L’Instant de Guerlain Extreme, Rochas Femme, Mitsouko EDP, Aramis JHL

February? I’ve had the windows open for days to let the warm breeze blow in. I’ve been sweating during my Jazzercise. I think it’s 90 today. This is so weird. I feel like I should be outraged at the whole global warming thing, but I can’t help but love not freezing my cookies off in the bead cave. I’m actually getting some work done. And I’m thinking about painting my toenails red and wearing open toed shoes. In February!

stuff I like this week: David Lee Roth (all weeks), Yatagan, Mitsouko, Grandma Moran's snake necklace, my black pearls and safety pin necklaces, Acharya incense and giant 8lb shoes.

stuff I like this week: David Lee Roth (all weeks), Yatagan, Mitsouko, Grandma Moran’s snake necklace, my black pearls and safety pin necklaces, Acharya incense and giant 8lb shoes.

Cat Update: they’re still kickin, lickin and scratchin. Here’s the skinny on Mo and Nelson!. (yes, Nelson!’s name is, in fact, spelled with an exclamation point at the end. If he was your cat, you’d totally get it and you’d spell it that way too.)

The Poopie Perpetrator

The Poopie Perpetrator… I should hope that when I’m as old as she is I’ll still be alive to perpetrate my poopies on everyone who still loves me. Guess I’d oughtta start making some friends.


nelson's "oh crap something's happening in the kitchen and even though my eye is still watering from the sriracha jalapeno stuff I licked off the floor I wanna do it AGAIN" face

nelson!’s “oh crap something’s happening in the kitchen and even though my eye is watering from the sriracha jalapeno stuff I licked off the floor I wanna do it AGAIN” face

I’ve been kickin, too. I’ll be putting some stuff on Etsy soon enough, and here’s a peek at a few of the things I’ll have for you:


February 2017

color block bracelet

color block bracelet (or necklace, whichever you like)

These seed-bead color block things… I’ve been seeing them around quite a bit the last few years. I’ve been thinking about them and finally made a couple. I’m not sure if there’s any meaning to them, but the ones I have seen seem to be strung up rather willy-nilly. I can do willy-nilly sometimes, but not so much in jewelry. There must be some order. I must count. The numbers must match. The colors must balance. And when it comes to MY bracelets, the Lucite buttons must stack. This was strung on high quality tigertail and it was a whole lotta fun to make on a stormy night while watching Forensic Files. Morbid? Yes. Informative? Yes. Helpful? Unlikely.

I’ll be seeing you again real soon… I’ll probably take a few more days to get some more beads made. I’ll give you a holler when I’m getting them ready and they’re good to go. Thanks for reading!

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veni, vidi, melted some stuff

perfect for the dandy in your orbit... Madonna wears this one.

Madonna wears Habit Rouge. Often referred to as Shalimar for men, it’s citrusy, powdery, and a bit smoky. It’s quiet and delicate. It’s one of the most perfectly gender neutral fragrances I’ve come across.


Here’s the deal. I’ve been having a hard time mustering up the wherewithal to conduct a big Superstars sale… all the emails, the photoshopping, the writing, the… everything. Little bits at a time are working better for me these days. So today and tomorrow will be spent doing all that, plus putting on the finishing touches for about 5 listings worth of beads (possibly more). They will go live on Etsy either tomorrow evening or Monday. Here’s a quick peek at what’s coming:

this week's stuff

this week’s stuff

See you again tomorrow or Monday!

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Nuh-nuh-no, not the wood shavings at the bottom of your hamster’s cage. But ever upward! And victory to boot! Even though I’m only semi-famous, I still made it out of 2016 alive. Perhaps I shouldn’t assume that 2017 isn’t going to be the bad year for the semi-famous, or the people with delusions of being semi-famous. Not sure which applies here. But I won’t worry myself with that, I have beads to make and perfume to hunt for. Come what may.

guerlain vetiver and vetiver extreme

guerlain vetiver and vetiver extreme – two of my new loves

Oh, how I love Guerlain’s Vetiver! I’ve always been an “oriental” lover, often preferring the heavier things of the 80’s and 90’s, the ones dripping with spices, carnation, ambers and honey. Chanel’s Coco, YSL’s Opium, Krizia’s Teatro Alla Scala. You know. But Estee Lauder’s Azuree has broadened my horizons. Technically Guerlain’s Vetiver is intended for men, but the lady at the Guerlain counter told me that plenty of women buy it for themselves. I can see why. It’s very pretty. It’s dry and spicy, but without all those manly edges, such as what juniper and lavender would add to a composition. It has a softer fuzziness, an ever-so-slightly floral woodiness that I think some women might find very appealing. But I think you might need to like vetiver to start out with, so your mileage may vary. Vetiver is easy to find, Vetiver Extreme less so – but I can tell you for sure, if you love one, you’re bound to love the other one.


this week's inspiration, l-r: Animale, Le Baiser du Dragon, Agent Provocateur L'Agent and Jean Couturier's Coriandre

this week’s bead/foof inspiration, l-r: Animale, Le Baiser du Dragon, Agent Provocateur L’Agent and Jean Couturier’s Coriandre

I took a rather long nap after gorging myself with salad this afternoon, so I’m a smidgen behind. I will be working on Etsy listings though the night and will wait until I get up tomorrow to officially list them, probably noonish or a bit later. I’ll post here again when they’re ready. I dislike posting things in the middle of the night as much as you dislike waiting for me to post things in the middle of the night.

we'll be on etsy tomorrow!

we’ll be on etsy tomorrow!

I’d best get my fanny to work… thanks for reading!

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However and whatever you celebrate, I hope you’re enjoying it.

this week's foof muses

this week’s foof muses – Insolence, Alien, Alien Essence Absolue and Alien Eau Extraordinaire

I had an odd memory the other day. It must be the new leg exercises squeezing out long-buried grey-matter with the shrinkage of surprisingly few fat cells. Anyhoo. The memory was from when I was about 5 or 6. On Christmas Eve, my maternal grandmother told me that Santa’s elves were currently making my toys and Santa was going to bring them after I fell asleep that night. I remember thinking to myself “Crap, I don’t want toys that elves made – I want the exact toys I saw at the store.” Being raised by artists and craftspeople, I knew, even at such young age, there was a distinct difference between home-made and store-bought. I also worried that if the elves had to make them, the toys wouldn’t be ready when it was time for Santa to leave. Another result of being raised by artists and craftspeople, who tend to have a rather odd sense of time and urgency when it comes to pretty much everything… But I kind of felt that if Grandma herself trusted these elves to make the toys I asked for, I probably shouldn’t complain because Grandma knew what was up. She took me to K-Mart and always had Jello and let me blow bubbles in the house. And I’m happy to report that everything turned out all right.

this week's Etsy stuff

this week’s Etsy stuff

Well, this here elf has made some home-made stuff that, if we’re being perfectly honest, is far better than some of the beads you’ll see at the store. I know it’s like 3 days before Christmas and you’re probably ready to tear your hair out. If the tales of woe in the parking lots and shopping malls are enough to make you want to stay home and nail the windows shut, perhaps you’ll see fit to do a little online shopping while you’re in.

I’ll be getting these listings ready over the next several hours, and I’ll check back in when everything is good to go. See you real soon!

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…you just gotta say WHATEVER. Come what may. And just make some beads, or some pies, or some sandwiches, even when all seems to be lost. And be open, even when you have doubts…

Like this.

the NEW azuree

the NEW azuree

On multiple occasions, I have expressed my disdain for fragrance companies who disrespect the original formulas of historically significant fragrances. I mean, if anyone likes them, and they’ve been produced for years and years, they’re significant, right? They tweak the vanilla, they delete the moss and aldehydes, seemingly to satisfy those who likely couldn’t be satisfied anyway. They water it down and jack up the prices. Dior does it. Chanel does it. And I had mistakenly come to believe that they ALL did this. Estee Lauder, it turns out, has treated most of their old formulas with respect, save for the rare misstep, which they usually promptly correct after being roundly trounced by their loyal customers (eg Estee, circa 2008 – 2010… may they eventually come to their senses regarding Cinnabar). I was afraid Azuree was doomed to suffer endlessly, considering what it smelled like when I tested a new bottle in 2014, and also considering what ignorant accountants have perpetrated on Aramis and Cabochard.

So I decided last week to find Azuree in its new bottle to find out for sure. I’m so, so glad I gave it a chance. It’s strong, long lasting, and the evolution is adventurous… leather, spice, marijuana, bread, incense, ashtray… artful. Just like the old Azuree, and better than what it was a few years prior. Better yet, oakmoss is on the list of ingredients. I could barely believe what I was smelling. I went back the next day and bought a bottle of it, and informed the sales associate that Azuree is too good to be hidden behind the counter as if they’re ashamed of it. I suspect the biggest difference in old vs new is simply age, and perhaps the new will age just as gracefully. So, the moral of this story is, if I have piqued your interest in Azuree with my incessant yammering about it, you can be assured that you needn’t scour ebay for the oldest and priciest; eek, the prices of vintage Azuree these days. At this moment, a 1.7oz  bottle (whose shape and design is rather lacking in character, in my opinion) shown above, can be had just about anywhere there’s an Estee Lauder counter, and for the astonishingly low price of $52. And it will go far… I wasn’t kidding about its strength. I can still smell the shirt I wore with it across the room, and that was from well over 24 hours ago. Two sprays, people. Hell to the Yes.

Why yes, I AM listing some beads on Etsy this evening! Here’s what’s around the bend:

z-beads, week of 12/12/16

z-beads, week of 12/12/16

Looks like I’ve been making hearts these days. I got an order for them, and since they’re not my forte, I felt the need to practice a bit. I will be focusing a bit more on Etsy through the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled.

I’ll be working on these listings for the next few hours… I know it’s a bit late in some spots, but I got a late start today, and it was grey and cold and I didn’t have the best lighting conditions for photos… but I muddled through.

I’ll be back in a bit! Thanks for reading.


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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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