Proceeds from A NEW HIVE support the establishment of beehives in public gardens, educational programs focusing on the importance of bees and the art of beekeeping, as well as research for the development of sustainable beekeeping practices. ...
I've often commended the labor of bees (but then I ponder the engineering of spiders). What you see is the honey, and it's simple, and you eat it. But how many bees travelled how many miles to gather nectar from hundreds of flowers, to alchemize said nectar into what you see. I prefer honey to sugar, myself.
What I've been up to...
Face. The Zia pressed powder of a few posts back...meh. And I seldom say "meh." If it's not the worst powder I ever tried--and it's not--still I miss my MAC Blot pressed. What's in that stuff, that can't be replicated anywhere else? I've decided to repurchase Blot after all. Not sure what to do with the Zia...I don't like returning used cosmetics even to stores which accept them...but until I update my review...meh.
Clothes. Made it out to the City last weekend, to visit both Golden Gate Park and Stonestown Galleria. The park has a certain amount of sentimental value; once, I lived within walking distance of it, and I've seen much of it. It's still good, though they recently decimated the children's playground, replacing funky old swings, merry-go-rounds and see-saws with sterile New Age-y constructions. I don't know what they were thinking, beyond fewer lawsuits, and fewer things for older children to play with, but it's hardly worth going to the playground any more.
Stow Lake still rocks.
Stonestown was surprisingly lovely. I got a couple of items--a sky blue hoodie, and an aquamarine blue skirt.
Perfume. Still using up samples. I retried Annick Goutal's Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, after reading Dain's review of the EDP (I doubt they smell different, particularly, but the Annick Goutal EDT's don't last well).
I can smell more clearly these days. In Les Nuits... there lies the same exquisite lemon-and-cypress heart of Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien, only prettied up with frills of more traditional perfumery. I haven't smelled Eau d'Hadrien in ages, but there was something geometrical about it, the way they managed to trap sunlight and evoke whitewashed houses, narrow streets, lemon groves, and pretty dark-haired girls, in a scent perfume mavens don't seem to particularly care for lol
It's a good thing I don't do decants. I think I'd end up with a hundred, easily.
Not much else to add; I may go to a bead show this weekend, although I'm not sure.
Now that I've rejoined the 9-to-5 culture, I can admit this holiday has become, well, okay, a paid holiday, yet it is still Independence Day of course, and let it ever remain the magnificent celebration it is.
Jewelry. Today we did what we do every year; we went to the Fourth of July Fair. I don't buy readymade jewelry that much anymore, but I always find something at this fair (I have for years). Particularly rings, since these cannot be made without metalworking. People have made lovely rings with wire, and I've made them too, but it's not the same.
I got a ring of heavy silver set with a rough ruby. I like this style; they also use rough emeralds. By "rough" I mean a fairly low-grade stone, translucent at best, but somehow, I just like it. I also got a spectrolite ring and a blue topaz ring, both for my daughter.
More jewelry thoughts. Making jewelry has now become almost too easy. lol! Okay it's not actually easy, but I've become better at it. For one thing, I've gotten accustomed to the idea that even a simple piece of jewelry can take all day, two days, or longer to make.
And the same piece usually has to be redone several times. Unless you're copying an existing design, there are quite a few variables at play, and no hard and fast rules about anything. You have to go with the materials at hand (I've long given up the romantic notion of having everything you need at hand, because that never happens), so you need to be versatile enough to bend half-hard wire as easily as soft, and use whatever gauges you have.
Tried my hand today at making post earrings. Not intentionally--I had the idea of making a hammered silver spiral to cover the ear lobe, and hanging something underneath it. I've felt in a rut; most of my earrings are french wires or hoops. I have tried my hand at making kidney wires (and should make more), and have used argentium silver leverbacks, but anyway...I made the spiral, and realized it would never sit right unless it had a post back, rather than the french wire style I had originally.
It was a matter of cutting the french wire and straightening it, and digging up some earring backs, and getting them to fit the wire (I used a piece of stiff heavy wire to enlarge the earring backs slightly).
For the spirals, I couldn't use too-heavy wire (this works for necklaces but not for earrings, where you need more delicacy and less weight). But I decided to hang teardrop-shaped hoops from the spirals, and these should be heavy wire. I used 18 gauge but would have been happier with 16 (as I say, you have to use what's at hand, otherwise you'll never make anything, but I have plans to try thicker wire later on).
It's a sort of...gestalt (I'm envisioning dudes with elbow patches and pipes, bear with me). The spirals would be wrong without the post, or made in heavier wire (or lighter for that matter). The hoops would be wrong without the spirals (I've tried many times to make heavy wire hoops, to no avail). The shape of the hoops can't be too perfect (which would make them appear prefabricated), nor too crude (making them look amateurish, by someone who can't intimately bend wire, with tools including fingernails, mandrels, the handle of the chasing hammer). It's crossed my mind I love nothing so much as working with metal. It's my dream to do metalworking someday (silversmithing is more attractive to me than goldsmithing, though the latter would be more lucrative). It's the sheer physics of it.
Face. The Zia pressed powder I bought last weekend...hm. It's not as good as MAC Blot pressed powder, for all-day oil blotting goodness. Yet it's not bad enough that I'd toss it and head out to the MAC counter, either. It's a decent pressed powder, better than a Dior one I have in ability to suck up oil. More coverage than MAC Blot pressed (not something I look for in powder though). I got the "Smoky Quartz" shade; it's definitely darker than my MAC Blot "Medium," but then Medium was getting too light anyway. (The "Quartz" shade might be more similar.)
I'm not likely to repurchase it, but have decided to use it up.
Clothes. One of my favorite dress shops bit the dust, just like that.
I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in and look around. Cripe! They used to have two solid aisles of dresses, each aisle comprised of stands, each stand with four kinds of dresses...and yet more dresses, further in. All they kept was the aisle bordering the display windows, and this aisle was sparse, buddy, it was sparse. I used to grab ten dresses at a pop to try on, and walk out with two or four. This time there was one that looked nice (sheer layer with a print, over a solid layer of the same print; the interplay was interesting), but I hesitated, as it was similar to dresses I already own. But that's it. One dress in the "tempting to try on" category.
To replace the dresses, they'd put separates...crappy separates (this shop never had good separates, only good dresses).
I hate to finish on a sour note, but I've run out of things to say.
I shop rather strategically now; long gone are the days of carefree middle-class browsing. An item is either astronomically expensive, requiring months, even years, of planning to acquire, or else it tends to be junk, worth less than the space it occupies. It's truly an art to figure out where to shop, and to emerge with something of value, without blowing half a week's paycheck over it.
This time I went to a b & m bead shop, something I don't do often anymore. But sometimes it's worth the markup to be able to choose individual beads, particularly for earrings. I got some carnelian and some jade beads. I had this odd impulse to make red earrings, and I've wanted for some time to use green jade for something.
On to our local health food store, where I repurchased Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream. Normally the price would have been a tad appalling, but I tried this out first as a sample, loved it, bought a full sized tube, found it lasted five months and noticeably improved my acne-prone skin. I felt it was a good purchase.
On a bit of an impulse, I also bought a Zia pressed powder compact. I'm almost out of my traditional MAC Blot pressed, and was planning on the trek out to the MAC counter to repurchase it, but if this stuff works, I'd rather buy it instead. I've long fallen out of love with MAC in general, so the Back to MAC isn't much of an incentive to me anymore, plus the customer service at our local MAC Counter isn't much of an encouragement to go there. The first two ingredients listed are mica and cornstarch. I've used Zia liquid foundation for years, to make tinted sunscreen, so I'm fairly optimistic about the powder prospect.
Finally, I picked up Avalon Organics Lavender shampoo, since I had run out of their Lemon Clarifying one. The Lavender is more moisturizing, but then I often use two shampoos anyway--a little tea tree oil shampoo on my scalp (Giovanni, but I'm thinking of trying the Paul Mitchell one when that runs out), and a different one on the rest of my hair (it's not as complicated as it sounds, just slap on a bit of one and a bit of the other, and lather).