Fused glass pendants

A long time ago I went with Barbara to a glass fusing shop and I made a rainbow cheese plate.

I heart that cheese plate.

An even longer time ago, I went with Tejas to Livermore to another glass shop and I made three fused glass pendants.

I happen to REALLY like glass fusion.

And glass blowing, as it turns out, but that’s another story.

For Burning Man, every year I come up with a project where I give away something I created.

My first year I gave away organic peppermint SPF 30 chapstick.

I know, I didn’t make it, but I DID design the label.

My second year I made necklaces out of washers and I gave those away.

Totally handmade by me.

Last year I gave away a stainless steel credit card bottle opener engraved with the Burning Man logo.

Those were VERY popular and I do believe I have some left.

This year, I’m going back to making necklaces and this time around it’s going to be fused glass pendants.

I wasn’t able to find a glass studio willing to charge me less than $10 a pendant so I bought glass pendants in bulk on ebay.

I happen to like them a lot and I was able to buy 50 of them for less than $2.60 each.

Which is great because I still have to add the bail and a 30 inch silver necklace to make a hanging glass pendant.

I’m really excited about it, if a little disappointed that I didn’t get to make the pendants by hand.

I think they’ll look lovely on the playa.

Don’t you?

Jewelry

I kinda fell in LOVE with this whole picture.

The black bodysuit.

The cutoff jeans.

The tan.

It’s all PERFECT.

But I ESPECIALLY fell in love with the layered necklaces.

They really complete the look.

So I got online and found a couple of statement and layered necklaces to add to my jewelry collection:

 

I just LOVE them.

And I think they will go well added to my Burning Man outfits this year.

Of course, I am NOTORIOUS for buying jewelry for Burning Man and not wearing it.

The reason is three-fold.

One – it takes FOREVER to get out of camp and jewelry is just another barrier to getting the hell out there and participating!

Two – It’s hard to find jewelry that isn’t MOOPY. The last thing I want to do is leave bits and pieces of my jewelry all over the playa.

Three – There’s just so many cool hand-made pendants that get gifted, I find myself wearing those instead of my jewelry.

So hopefully this year, I will do better with regard to actually wearing the things I bring with me.

And if not?

Oh fucking well.

It’s Burning Man.

CHEESE!

One of my FAVORITE things I did in Sweden was visit a cheese shop in Gamla Stan (Old Town) with The Swede.

The way to my heart is not through sweets but through CHEESE!

The Swede and I decided to have a nice cheese tray after dinner, complete with a selection of wine.

[Now, being on a diet, it makes me DROOL to think of cheese and wine!]

We stepped into a small store in Stockholm and I was overwhelmed with the smell of aging cheese.

Funky yet yummy.

Mmmmmmmm!

We selected a cheese, sampled it and approved of it.

Then another.

And another.

All in all, we selected 5 cheeses of varying degrees of softness, ripeness, and gooeyness.

All VERY delicious.

Then we went to the SPECIAL store to buy wine.

In case you didn’t know, only one chain of stores, which I think are run by the government, can sell liquor.

So we go inside and The Swede tells me he wants SWEET white wine.

Okay.

Each wine had a label that graphically represented how sweet that wine was.

And I ready the graphic BACKWARDS.

So instead of getting sweet white wine, we got regular white wine.

Ah well.

I think The Swede forgave me.

New Body

I’m celebrating.

Just a little bit.

In two weeks, I’ve lost 10 pounds.

I’d call that a successful diet.

And the weight loss is well deserved, since I’ve given up chewing, flavor, and booze.

Last week I was a little miffed that I only lost 2.2 pounds.

Then again, I did eat a grilled cheese sandwich and cream of artichoke/green chili soup.

This week I cheated by sipping two gin and tonics while eating some roast beef and spinach dip on a slice of sourdough bread.

Bad Michelle!

Despite the 10 pound weight loss, I don’t really see a difference in my body.

My guess is that I will need to lose 20 pounds before I start seeing a difference.

We can start with the double chin and move on to the tummy.

But PLEASE, leave the boobs alone!

I still have a LONG WAY to go.

Like 90 – 120 more pounds.

It hardly seems possible that I could lose that much weight.

That’s like an ENTIRE person’s worth of weight!

My friend, The Photographer, has been really supportive of my weight loss.

At a time when I feel undesirable and frumpy, he has reminded me that I am a sexy, beautiful woman.

So I’m just going to hold on to that as I try to squeeze my feet into shoes that don’t fit and shave parts of my body which are hidden from view.

Cross your fingers and say a prayer that the weight keeps coming off.

I’m really excited to reveal a new body!

Chaos

The Bay Area is filled with engineers, on account of all the tech companies that set up shop in Silicon Valley.

When I was online dating, my bread and butter dates were usually engineers.

Indeed, my best friend is an engineer himself.

I greatly admire engineers, although I usually can’t even begin to grasp what they do for a living.

Tejas?

Something to do with customer technical account management.

The Swede?

Cloud computing.

My brother?

Augmented reality.

For someone who is decidedly right-brained, I’m impressed that I can even tell you that much.

Personally, I want to wind up with a left-brained person, to balance me out.

Someone grounded and logical.

Good at math and finances.

However, he also needs to be open to other-worldly experiences like Burning Man and regional burns.

I’m quite certain there are men who exist who match this criteria.

I meet TONS of men at Burning Man who have left-brained jobs in the Default World but who are also creative and open-minded.

Does The Swede fit my idea of an ideal man?

Well, I’ve never seen him balance his checkbook, but I did see him get dressed up at unSCruz.

And I’m pretty sure he enjoyed himself.

So I’d say he’s an excellent candidate.

Plus, I like him.

I may not understand what he does for a living, but I certainly like the stabilizing force he brings to my life.

Hopefully, he appreciates the little bit of chaos I introduce into his life. . .

 

 

 

Chain reaction

The thing about putting together outfits for Burning Man is that one thing leads to another and before you know it, your $75 outfit suddenly costs $500.

First I buy a white open mesh bodysuit (undergarments not included) because I like it and it’ll strike a nice balance in my mostly black wardrobe.

Then I realize that I’ll be COMPLETELY naked under the bodysuit unless I buy something for it.

So I buy an iconic white string bikini.

Something every woman should have, if you ask me.

Then I realize I’m going to need a little coverage in all that sun, wearing only a bikini and a transparent bodysuit, so I purchase a white lace duster (aka beach cover up) to give me a little protection from the sun’s rays.

And in the process, I come across a really cool black kimono with a mandala design on the back which I simply MUST HAVE.

Then of course, I need to accessorize.

I have a white floral crown that was gifted to me by a bride at Burning Man 2017.

It lights up!

Some sort of necklaces and bracelets need to go with it, but I’m saving that splurge for later.

The MOST IMPORTANT accessory that’s needed when wearing swimsuits, in the wise words of my friend Dazzle! is a TAN!

Yes folks, I need a tan to pull off an all white outfit at the burn.

I daren’t lay in the tanning beds and get a real one lest I wind up with skin cancer.

So it looks like I’ll be hitting the spray tan salon again.

Get naked in front of a stranger and let them mist me brown.

So you know, when I calculate out the final cost of the outfit, it’s way more than the $75 I imagined I’d be spending.

It’s a chain reaction.

Crash and burn

Out of the blue I got a message from someone I met on Tinder a year ago.

“Where in the world are you?” he asked.

Odd question.

“At work,” I replied.

“I was in Denmark a few weeks ago and you popped up on Tinder. It said you were only a few hundred miles away,” he queried.

“Oh, I was in Sweden visiting friends,” I told him.

He then asked me to come back so that I could go skiing with him in Austria or Switzerland.

Hmmmmm.

I don’t ski.

Never learned and I think it’s a skill best learned when you’re younger and fearless.

I told him as much.

Well lo-and-behold he used to be a ski instructor at Squaw Valley in the winter. He can teach me to ski.

No thanks, I can passably snowboard.

Half-lie.

The last time I snowboarded I broke my tailbone.

“So you don’t want to come boarding with me? We can hit the slopes during the day and explore other activities in the evening.. . .” he hinted.

“No thanks,” I replied.

“I’ll leave you alone then,” he responded.

Please.

Sorry but this girl only travels halfway around the world to meet her Swede, not some random dude I exchanged a few text messages with on Tinder a year ago.

Momma didn’t raise no fool.

Skinny

I am trying to get ready for Burning Man.

Now that I’ve done it a few years in a row, that means organizing my gear and buying new outfits.

Guess which one is my favorite thing to do?

Buy outfits, of course!

I live on etsy when I’m planning my wardrobe for Burning Man.

You just can’t beat etsy when it comes to rave/dystopian/tribal clothes and accessories.

This year I’m having trouble though.

I’m losing weight.

And it’s really hard to predict what size I will be when Burning Man comes around.

Do you see my dilemma?

I REALLY want to shop but my hands are tied.

I’m guessing the weight is going to come off slowly so I’m only buying clothes one size smaller than I am right now.

Instead of buying an XL, I’m getting the L.

But Burning Man is 7 months from now and that is a long time to diet (my program runs 18 months).

And HOPEFULLY I’ll be MUCH smaller than I am now.

There are worse things in the world than having to resize your clothes because you’re SKINNIER!

iRobot

The theme for Burning Man this year is iRobot.

I think this is going to be a fun theme for outfits this year.

I have a pair of Star Wars robot leggings which I can’t wait to wear.

And I have a pair of robot leggings, which I just received in the mail specifically for wearing at Burning Man.

I like to think off leggings as the lazy man’s Burning Man outfit.

They come in cool graphic designs and are easy to wear.

Voilá!

Instant style.

However, it can be a little hot during the day

Too hot for leggings.

So I’ll probably wear my leggings at night.

I bought THIS awesome jacket from H&M to go with my robotic leggings:

So I’ve got my jacket.

I’ve got my leggings.

What kind of shirt will I wear?

No shirt, it’s Burning Man.

I’m wearing pasties!

Ok, I lie.

I bought a silver tank top to wear under my jacket.

Perfect for the occasion!

American girlfriend

Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I miss Sweden.

The candies.

The chocolate.

The shopping.

The company.

It’s been almost a month since I got back and I’m thinking a summer trip to Sweden may be in store for me.

I’d love to see Sweden in the summer when it’s warm and green.

And when the sun stays out longer than 5 hours a day.

There’s much I didn’t see or do in Sweden.

Check out the ABBA Museum.

Take a boat ride on the Stockholm archipelago.

Go on a road trip up the coast.

See The Swede again.

Especially see The Swede again.

It looks like he will be taking a trip to the East Coast in April and I’m supposed to join him there to check out hockey teams and colleges for his daughter.

Big, impressive colleges!

And then there is some sort of hockey tournament in Florida.

I’ve never been to Florida.

It could be a lot of fun to join them on their voyages.

The other day I joked that The Swede was spending so much time in America he was going to become an American.

He replied with a happy GIF.

Which makes me think, perhaps The Swede wouldn’t mind starting off with an American girlfriend.

You never know. . .