I was planning a scarf post, and then my friend KnitYarns put up a comment on my post about certain expensive costume jewelry just happening to resemble the product of kindergarten crafting using multicolored cereals. KnitYarns' comment was exactly the perfect summing up of what I was blethering on about in the post (yes, I blether. Don't judge me.) What you would spend on a couple of pieces of junk that won't live more than one season, if that, you could tuck away and by the time you've made 2 or 3 shopping trips, you will have the wherewithal to indulge yourself with a piece of real jewelry.

Clearly no matter how long you abstain from the purchase of cereal bits, you won't achieve the purchase of, say, a ring with diamonds that can be seen without a magnifying glass. What you can achieve, however, is a string of real pearls, not plastic. Or a real gold chain, by which I mean 14 Karat or 18 Karat. Accept no substitutes. If the chain is at least 18 inches long, you can add a pendant - or if you want to get cute, an antique charm.

If you collect two or three chains, of whatever length, you can wear them together - like the "layered necklaces" that are popping up all over the internet. Or you can string them one after the other, finally close them into one very large loop, and double the loop around your neck with a "shortener."
Here's a good starting place to look for components. If you don't keep a pair or two of needle-nosed pliers in your desk drawer, a local jeweler can attach things for you. Or you can order a length of chain and the clasp of your choice, which is more fun.

If you like a more antique look, I've found some fascinating things at Nalfie .  Bear in mind that like any dealer in antiques, the stock can vary from day to day. Note that one or two antique watch chains make a nice necklace. Or bracelet.

When I buy estate (jeweler-speak for "used") pieces, I'm careful to check for the metal content and for any hallmarks. 18 carat and 14 carat content are usually stamped into a piece by the maker, in an inconspicuous place. Sometimes the maker's name will be shown as well. On the web, look for detailed pictures.

What about scarves? Well, the first time I traveled to France, I decided not to buy lots of little dust-catchers  souvenirs. I figured when we reached Paris, I'd buy one lovely thing. That turned out to be a scarf, and I was instantly addicted. Same analysis - I didn't buy the junky souvenir poncho, mug, other mug, t-shirt, statue... didn't take cabs...

Volumes have been written about the consistent value of a really fine scarf. You don't need that here. The ones that appreciate most in value are generally the ones you wouldn't part with anyway.

Summon the entourage

                                    a set of four armchairs, described as "perfect for travel."

and I'm back!

A whirl of family visits (fun!), rounds of discussions about various family health issues (mm, not so much), and not enough rest. This was probably not the best time to try to establish what my hair would look like without color added - I started going gray in high school, but since everyone had blonde streaks, or was blonde and had blonder streaks, it wasn't all that noticeable... Anyway, life got in the way of visiting the colorist, not once but twice, and so I thought I'd give my hair a mini-vacation. Not a good idea, when last-minute company was coming, and horrible greyish-white roots glared from my scalp,  I rushed up to the mall and bought a dashing little straw fedora at Barney's, forgettingt that I had taken an oath never to use my Barney's charge again and then I also forgot that I had used the Barney's charge and then misplaced the statement and forgot about that. Anyway, a long-suffering phone rep at Comenity has promised to remove the outrageous - ruthless is a better word - late fees and usurious interest, and there went a sunny summer day that I won't get back - and we shall see if he is as good as his word. Unless I forget that, too.

What else? oh, yes, another birthday has come and gone. Himself simply doesn't understand that present-getting days occur on the same day every year. As in, oh, isn't Christmas a little early this year? One summer I renumbered the little doors on a used Advent calendar, on the pretext that I'd promised the kids they could make me a birthday dinner all by themselves, and the calendar was to teach them forward planning for events. Oblivious.

Anyway, when reminded of birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, Himself's idea is to go out to dinner at a restaurant he likes, and since many of those are closed in August, or over Christmas, to postpone the festivity for a month or two. He's also shocked when I start setting up for Christmas dinner, and then wants to know who all those people are.

I on the other hand am descended from tribesmen (tribespersons?) and warriors whose very presence in the distance would cause simple villagers to bury gold artifacts in unlikely places. When it's my birthday, I demand tribute. AND THIS YEAR I REALLY MEAN IT.

Here are some forms of acceptable tribute.

Which brings me to the subject of cost-cutting in sourcing and production. You've patiently put up with my rants about shaving seams and hems, cheap buttons, etc. Now I turn to the subject of what is laughably called "jewelry."

Don't these look like Froot Loops and Lucky Charms?
with maybe a coat of varnish?

In case you missed the memo, Lucky Charms now include 
diamonds, that is, diamond-shaped charms.

Definitely nothing that even remotely resembles acceptable tribute.

Please, no.

I was wondering just how influential Donald Trump really is.
Like, just who takes him seriously?
Is he a role model for America's young people?
Or could his influence be spreading in different directions?
A quick frolic through Google and Insta suggests that
a potentially dangerous trend is starting to take shape....
And beyond the feline kingdom.....
These Trump-like objects are pinatas, made in Mexico!
Oops, that cat doesn't look like the Donald, although I do perceive a resemblance to a notorious and fanatical right-wing demagogue....

July 14

July 14th is Bastille Day.
Will there be champagne? There may....