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BPAL Madness!


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About tartchef

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    BPAL Jedi Madame
  • Birthday 05/23/1973


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    United States

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  • BPAL of the Day
    The Floating Market
  • Favorite Scents
    The Heavies: Anne Bonny, Mum Moon, Kathmandu, Sri Lanka, Mme Moriarty, Tzadikim Nistarim, Valentine of Rome, No. 93 Engine... huh, resins & incense much? The New Kids: Sagittarius, Under the Harvest Moon, Visiting the Temple..., Hermes Trismegistus, A'Arab Zaroq The Dark Horses: The Darkling Thrush, Hod, Dragon Moon, Earth Rat, Tanuki, The Norn's Farmhouse, The Floating Market Teh Icks: Civet; vetiver; dragons blood; most florals, save carnation & violet; and now oakmoss, apparently >:(

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    Super soapin' :)


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  1. tartchef

    300F v1

    Dark, dry & very strange... 300F opens with a very perfumey note for me, akin to dragon's blood & musk. Once that quiets down, I can see where cfrancesca gets black tea - maybe tea & a leafy patchouli? There's a bit of smoke & spice in here, too, like ground cassia thrown on hot coals. The extended drydown is reminiscent of Lunar Eclipse & Labores Solis, shadowy & dark, bittersweet & otherwordly. I'd venture that if you enjoyed The Cracked Bell, you might like this one...
  2. tartchef

    2010 SW Q&A of DOOM

    9/8/10 Do you have a special symbol or totem that is meaningful to you? The Queen of Swords Do you need a box for your bpal bottles? Your imps? Your something else to put in a box stuff? A travel imp case would be nice - something rigid & leak-proof, preferably If you could be any person, being, or animal from Fantasy what or who would you be? If you could go back to any point in time, where, when, why? Favorite Halloween Candy/Treat? Candy corn! Once a year I eat an entire 2-pound bag in one sitting. It is just as gross as it sounds... 9/7/10 Socks? Sock Dreams? Anyone? YES PLZ. What is something you use to comfort yourself when feeling yucky, depressed, or in pain? A cup of tea, some time on the front porch with a book, a walk in the woods. Favorite Halloween/Scary movies/books Ray Bradbury! I am pining for a copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes... What would the name of your custom blend be? The description? COMIC BOOKS. Do you read them? Are there any series you like, or some you would like to try? I read some - fairly fussy about what I like... Warm drinks? Oh yes - tea, coffee, hot milk, you name it 9/6/10 When you go to an etsy wishlist, it will tell you what things are sold. If you click on the sold item, sometimes it will give options that are similar to what was sold, but not identical, would you like the similar item or prefer not to get it at all unless it's the same item? How picky are you? In most cases, a similar item would be wonderful... Do you wear make up? Minimal. Eyeliner nearly every day, lip stain & concealer for fancy. Disney movies, Yay or Nay, and favourites if you do like them? Meh. Do you have A VCR, DVD Player or Blue Ray or a combo of the three? DVD, but we're trying to get a VHS for all our old tapes. Would you like custom icons as a gift? Sure 9/5/10 What is your favourite snack food, something you could grab any time? Cheese, bread & apples Ebooks EVIL. Nail Polish: Not much of a fan... Soft/plushy things: Awash in them. No more, please. I beg you. What hobby/craft would you like to learn how to do? I'd love to get back to learning how to knit... For those who decorate for Halloween, do you prefer cute decorations or creepy ones?: Classic, vintage. Also, as part of the cute-or-creepy question, would you want hand made, molded, glazed (by yours truly!) ceramic decorations (napkin rings, potporri/tart warmers, etc) to add to your stock? Erm. No thank you? how do you feel about mortars and pestles Could really use one, actually... Is there anything you have a phobia of, or that would make you go "squick" if you saw it in a package? Mass amounts of cat hair 9/4/10 Are you into Austen's books? As in Jane? She's alright... Prefer Hemingway. Do you read Tarot cards? If not, would you be interested? Once upon a time... a new Rider-Waite might be nice. So for those of you who are into Harry Potter at all, which house do you think you'd be sorted into? Ravenclaw. Brainy but safe. What, if anything, is your guilty TV watching pleasure? Oh geez. Uh... Firefly? If you cosplay or need a costume for your bellydance/burlesque hobby (or any other hobby which needs dressup/different from your normal wear), is there anything you need/want for it? I dream of getting to play steampunk someday, but that's not happening any time soon... Celebrity crush?: Clive Owen, Jack White Knitted things?: Yay! Natural materials, plz. What about [mixed or otherwise] DVDs? The what now? DVDs: Do you prefer widescreen or formatted? Widescreen - je suis une snob. Music: Any preference towards MP3 or CD? Either way... Do you like scented tarts? No, thanks. Lip balms? Sure - just mild/herbal flavors, please, nothing sticky sweet/foody. Do you have any body mods? If so, do you need any new jewelry, o-rings, plugs, etc (and if so, what size, length, etc)? Do you like pro-body mod stickers? Going for 18g in my ears sometime this fall. Booze. Do you drink it, would you like some Love it, want it, State of Pennsylvania says nuhuh. What is your favorite artist or art style? (including if you have links to favorite pictures/paintings/photographs) Jules Breton, Song of the Lark; O'Keefe & Steiglitz; wood-block prints; ukiyo-e 9/03/10 Hallowe'en plans? Porch-sitting while DH & Tiny C do the neighborhood rounds. Maybe a bottle of hard cider hidden in my robes Mix CDs? Yes please! Girlyness level? Meh. I wear skirts, cute socks & girl-cut tops, but I don't shave anything, don't own a blow dryer & abhor being in large groups of women O_o 9/02/10 Baked goods: Yes please! Gifts for other household members: A little something for DH & Tiny C would make their day - they get a bit moony when all the packages are just for me Are you someone who'd rather have lots of small testers of different things on your wishlist, or would you rather have one or two "big" things? Testers! I have fickle taste & can make an imp last 20-30 wears - partial decants are perfect. social networking usernames, ie twitter, facebook, livejournal, ravelry, anything else: would you like to receive Groupons or similar deals/gift certificates from your Witch? Honestly, we don't do chain shops/restaurants at all... How about tshirt/bottoms sizes? Top - XXL, pref V-neck Bottom - 18-ish 9/12: Marzipan for the MFing WIN I have an ancient Dell pod that I rarely use - I am much more likely to listen to CDs & vinyl. On rotation right now: Janelle Monae - Archandroid Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers REM - Murmur Various Neil Young albums The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldier Not much on the vampire lit/filmage - give me wizards & elves any day. 9/13: Homemade preserves? Yes please! Bonus points for chutney, fruit butters & the esoteric old-fashioned fruits (gooseberries, elderflower, damson plums, rhubarb)... Vintage decor? We are trying to be low-clutter, but small Arts & Crafts-era/inspired bits are always adored - ceramic tiles with trivet feet, bookends, tea towels, magnets, tiny prints, etc. Not so much on the journals/notebooks, but pretty blank/thank you cards are awesome. How do you all feel about flowers and plants? Flower and plant seeds? Drawings of flowers or plants? Pressed flowers? Yes, yes & yes again! I am a botany dork. I love homemade stuff, even the wobbly/wonky/not-quite-how-you-wanted-it-to-look Do you like maple sugar candy? Gods, YES. I make it last forever, via a highly ritualized method of consumption. I'm an only child, yes. If you are a tea-drinker do you need a tea-cozie for your pot? I have one I made years ago, but it's decidedly... floral. I shall add some more suitable options to my Etsy list! Go to your spice cabinet, what are the three most used spices? Nutmeg, ginger, dill weed (honorable mentions for oregano, curry, cumin, bay leaves... OK, stopping now. My spice drawer is fairly epic. I lovelovelove new/whole spices, BTW...) Are you a foodie? You need to ask? Yes. Yes, I am.
  3. tartchef


    Normally I'd run far from anything mentioning lily, but I am such a sucker for olive blossom, this had to be tried... It took me a few days to realize what in my office was smelling so heavenly - my decants had arrived, & my Okiyaki had leaked ever so slightly. Even my DH was taken with it... In the vial, there's a definite resemblance to L'Estate bath oil - that same kind of golden floral amber, sweet & glowing. On my skin, a coolness emerges, & I can detect a trace of bergamot that's cutting the thickness ever so slightly, but that sunny sweet floral is still the main attraction. The longer this wears, alas, the more it thins out, until I'm left with little more than a faint bit of snow & perfumed amber. I'll be saving the rest of my decant for a linen spray, I'm thinking - it's a perfect scent for pillows & delicate underthings
  4. tartchef

    Paper Kite

    Oh Paper Kite. How you break my heart. Actually, no, I take that back, it's not YOU. It's just your white sugar note. The moment you hit my skin it transforms into a bizarre singed plastic scent, turning a gloriously milky coconut & pepper scent into something utterly unwearable ETA: Wait. Waitwaitwait. Given an hour to burn itself off, that miserable plastic char has vanished, & holy heaven This is divine. Lightly sweetened coconut, not too unctuous, barely sweetened, with a nearly imperceptible brush of cream & peppercorns. Angelica is coy, hiding no doubt under the coconut. Edible. Milkysweet, & totally lickable Worth the initial funk, oh yes.
  5. tartchef

    The Floating Market

    Oh yum I adore Beth's odd, herby blends, & this is no exception. It's green & bittersweet, with a jumble of woodiness & spices. On first wearing I got a fair amount of husky coconut, but that seems to have calmed down after a few days, & I'm left with a really unusual botanical scent. I vaguely reminds me of sweet woodruff, or scented ferns, but with something crunchy & seedy blended in... Decidedly weird, but not at all unwearable - actually, it's quite pleasant, quiet & crisp. I'll be trying this again when it gets too hot to wear anything particularly "perfumey"...
  6. tartchef

    Velvet Tiger

    I'm on a licorice kick lately, & Apple kindly sent me Velvet Tiger, one I would not have thought to try. Vetiver & I have a rocky relationship, & I don't tend to be fond of orange/tangerine... Well. Just shows you should take a risk now & then. Vetiver & teak are the standout notes for me, with licorice right behind them - it's a dry, grassy, woody, herbal scent, not too far from Oya on my skin. Once it dries a bit, I get this lovely fuzzy orange halo around my wrists - tangerine & spices, warmed by non-powdery amber, but underscored by deep herby deliciousness. It's a quiet, prowling scent, warm & spicy, but cast in shadows. Decidedly feline, of the large cat variety. It shares a lot of ground with Bakeneko, but is a much quieter, darker scent, without the playfulness of Bakeneko's cherry blossom. Really quite delicious - not one I see wearing often, but this could be magnificent in late summer... ETA: Aw dammit The vetiver got out its stompyboots. And it's the Bad Vetiver, the one that gives me headaches )
  7. tartchef

    The Harp of Cnoc I'Chosgair

    Yowza. The Harp's a strong one, & no mistake... I amp amber like no one's business, & it likes to go powdery if left to its own devices. In the vial, The Harp is thick & sweet & heady, strangely alluring, like some sort of honeyed nectar. The instant it touches my skin, though, it's like I've been walloped with a sock full of powder There's a sharp hairspray note here, as well - I got a similar effect from Black Lace & Arrival at the Sabbath. Left to dry, there's not much more to it - faint ambered powder & a funky aerosol note. No woodsiness, no spices... Well phoo
  8. tartchef


    I amp tobacco flower/nicotiana like the dickens, so unfortunately Door ends up quite masculine on my skin - the honey & chamomile hold their own bravely, and on another person, I can see how this would be glorious, sweet & pollen-y. If Against Idleness was too syrupy & cloying for you, definitely try Door...
  9. tartchef


    Unlike most of the above reviewers, I ADORE black pepper, & here it is a star player on my skin, buoyed by a rasp of sandalwood, hot & dry. The honey & rice flower add a heady, sweet layer & the contrast is really interesting... Alas, Mr Oakmoss STOMPYBOOTS ruins the party, like the guy with too much cologne who INSISTS ON TALKING OVER EVERYONE & TURNING ON THE FOOTBALL MATCH THAT NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH Sometimes, oakmoss plays nicely for me, but here, it's distinctly man-fume, sharp & invasive & vaguely industrial. Maddening. Much like the aforementioned party, I know there's something awesome happening in the background - I keep getting faint whiffs of honey & pepper - but Oakmoss just keeps turning up the telly.
  10. Vetiver & I have a rocky relationship, tonka can be a total bully, & until recently, I wasn't a huge fan of coconut. So why am I trying this? I was bracing for a smoky but Fuwu nearly disappears on my skin - it's very strange, almost a negative-space scent, a bit bitter & ashen, with a hint of husky coconut & a rasp of dry sandalwood. It's vaguely earthy, I'm reminded of Badger, but Fuwu is far more gentle. I can't shake this black-hole-on-my-wrist feel - Fuwu is hiding deep, deep down in a charcoal-black tunnel, & I can catch vague whiffs of coconut & wood incense & drifting up to the surface, but it's mixed with the char & stone of the hole. Just bizarre Vaguely sinister, quietly unsettling, but I can't stop sniffing it... ETA: A few hours later, Fuwu has gently shifted to a very dry, ashy incense with a trace of sweetness. I'm tempted to say that if Snake Charmer didn't work for you, try Fuwu - it's missing the Snake oil sweetness & stickiness that make SC almost unwearable for me...
  11. tartchef

    Medicine, medicinal notes

    Hooray! Someone else who appreciates the medicinal scents! Kathmandu is gorgeous - vaguely bandage-y, with a sweet mentholated note. Aged it is even better - I have a bottle of Old Kathmandu that is my baby It's so comforting - I wear it when I can't get warm, or when I'm feeling poorly... Sri Lanka is another favorite - the myrrh & gum mastic really stand out when it's fresh, & the dry woods give it a pleasant sharpness. The Wrestler, from Sakuracon this year, has a similar feel - brown & menthol-y, but with more honey & a bit of tartness. Pontia, from last year's Lupercalias, is lavender & bergamot, & the combination reminds me of a delicious infused honey cough mixture. The Norn's Farmhouse has all kinds of great herbs in it, & the horehound gives it that nice medicinal sweetness. Also seconding Against Idleness & Litha '09 for herby, honeyed goodness.
  12. tartchef

    Shirafuji Genta With a Kappa

    I adore osmanthus, & was delighted to try this... It starts as a wonderful blend of Manners Among Men & Women & Tamamo-no-mae, with a snap of citrus & lavender... Wet, the citrus element is a bit overwhelming, a bit needly & egged on by the juniper. Given a few minutes to warm up, though, & that sharpness fades, making way for a big slosh of rice wine It's delicately perfumed by the leafy mint & lovely, almost peach-y osmanthus. The cedar & benzoin are adding just a bit of fullness, & the herbs are lurking in the middle, slowly taking over. The end result is a fast-changing scent, going from citrus to heady rice wine to an interesting muddle of menthol-y herbs underscored by cedar & sweet benzoin. Not as promising now as it was in the early stages, but worth hanging onto to see if the individual elements meld a bit, & if the rice wine ages as beautifully as it has in Manners...
  13. Mmmmmmmmnyomnyomnyom I adore Beth's white honey note - it's gorgeous in The Oblation, & I was so excited to try it in a completely different setting... The Wrestler is that gorgeous clean honey note, almost whipped or crystallised, front & center, underscored by smokey, cedary woods & resins & a delicious snap of black pepper. It's almost chewy, like a lump of tree gum stuck in your molars... There's a medicinal edge that calls to mind Kathmandu - that same mentholated bark-iness. It almost reminds me of aged balsamic vinegar. As it settles, the honey melts into the woods, letting the dryness of the sandalwood come forward. The tobacco is really shining at this stage, rich & brown & sticky - it's the same almost caramelised tobacco note I get from A'arab Zaroq, but here the balsams & gums keep it from getting quite as sweet & edible. Oh heavens yes. Not the kind of thing to wear every day, but a deliciously complex scent that I will savor on cold wet days...
  14. tartchef

    Gold Phoenix

    I requested this on a whim, & once it arrived I set it aside, distracted by other smellies... I feel silly now - to think something this lovely was staring at me for weeks! Normally lemon verbena amps to high heaven on me, but in Gold Phoenix it is remarkably balanced & very true to the real thing - I think the angelica is giving a boost to the green sweetness. The heliotrope & ambers are quite subdued, adding just a bit of silkiness that echoes the frankincense. The end scent is clean & sweet & bright, like the true sunlight of a late spring day. Lovely, & just the thing to lift me out of the winter blahs...
  15. tartchef

    Shotgun SW Q&A

    What is everyone's take on Valentine's Day? I abhorred it all through school - fabulous, a day specifically designed to publicly humiliate & destroy the unpopular I sent black Valentines one year in HS, all bitter pithy quotes & dead flowers My first husband's total obliviousness to the holiday is what oddly made me give a rat's about it - it's a gimme, fer chrissakes, you can't go ten feet without some kind of reminder/idea, and he totally whiffed it. Came home 4 hours late from work, empty-handed, looked blankly at the nice dinner I'd made & said, "Oh. I already ate at BK." When I started seeing now-DH, I told him straight-out, I don't need anything ridiculous, but please, at least get me some flowers & a card so I don't feel totally overlooked. We don't do much, but we do try to go out for a nice dinner at some point around the day. I refuse to go out ON V-Day, having worked fine dining for too long - it's a miserable, overcrowded, over-priced experience, and no one in the kitchen is having much fun... Valentine's colors? in terms of clothing/accessories/decor, I like a nice, washed-out poppy red, or a deep scarlet, that's about it. Unless we're talking real flowers - then I'm a sucker for blowsy pinks Peonies especially, the huge white ones with the blush of pink in the center, but the hot magenta ones are awesome, too. A Favorite love poem? We do like Neruda, especially The Sea & the Bells... What's everyone's favorite semi-obscure (or underappreciated!) animal? Naked mole rats! (Watch Errol Morris' Fast, Cheap & Out of Control for a primer) Also, hedgehogs, Inca terns, bats, & slugs. I actually have a pet slug right now - a tiny one I found in the lettuce we got at market. I have him in a jar with a lettuce leaf & a damp paper towel. His name is Steve What is your favorite sign that spring is coming? Oh, so many! Geese overhead, robins in the garden, big fat buds on the trees, snowdrops pushing through the leaves, seed catalogs in the mail, the smell of damp earth... Knitted things? I'm well-set on nearly all things cozy, but I would die of happiness for a Felicity... Love story? While I do admit to getting sucked into the likes of The English Patient, my soft spot is for the more When Harry Met Sally-type stories - the friends oblivious to what everyone else can see, the disastrous attempts to find love elsewhere, the gut-punch moment when they realize The One has been sitting next to them the whole damn time... so, basically, how J & I got together I like the love-not-spoken stories, too... My favorite elements in Gosford Park are Maceachran & Parks' confidences, quiet exchanges & near-clinches (doesn't hurt it's Clive Owen), and then their quiet parting. In theory, you know they'll never see each other again, but Parks is the sort of man who would re-appear out of nowhere years later to make good on what was hinted at... Naughty bits? Oooer. We have a precocious 3.75-year-old in the house, so nothing too... memorable. I do like me some Hydra-Smooth... Pet toys? No pets, but I do feed the birds regularly. Suet cakes, a sock feeder, anything like that would be lovely.... Who on the thread likes attending Ren Faires, SciFi/Comic Cons & the like? And do you dress up for them? Once upon a time, I was all over this. I was costume mistress for our HS drama department, which included costuming for the Shakespeare troop... But now? Meh... If I had all the time in the world, I'd give steampunk cons a go, but it's not really in the cards right now. Do you need any accessories for your phone, computer, mp3 player, etc.? Erm... I could really use a fun mouse pad! Gently Used CDs/DVDs? Preferred, actually! First five songs on the "Top 25 Most Played" list on iPod No iPod, so here's what's been on heavy rotation in the house/car as of late: Skinny Love - Bon Iver My Car is Haunted - Royal Bangs Home - Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros Convinced of the Hex - Flaming Lips Icky Thump - White Stripes Freeway - Kurt Vile Red Dress - TV on the Radio White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes Chicago - Sufjan Stevens I'm Not Looking for a New England - Billy Bragg Too Nice to Talk To - The (English) Beat Interested in receiving gifts representative of Witch's country or culture? Yes yes yes please! What about UNTOUCHED make-up samples or any other type of girly-sample thing? Don't wear much at all, but a nice lip-stain is always good... WoW Nope! Mix CDs Sure! Favourite candy Anything caramel, esp Goetze's caramel creams/CowTails aroused.gif Plush microbes No more critters, plz! Kitchen Gadgetry A new OXO peeler, would be great - I stole ours for soap trimming Mardi Gras Can take it or leave it... What about handmade sewn gifts? Any fabrics you wish to/need to avoid due to allergies, etc? Yes, please! Would you like new nail polish? If so, what colors are you craving? Never paint my nails Do you like incense and/or scented candles, and are you able to burn them in your home? If so, what kinds of scents do you like? Overrun with incense, but some bamboo charcoal would be AWESOME. Boxes? For Bpal (bottles and/or imps) or otherwise. All set, thanks! Would you use a natural sea sponge? No, but thank you. So, what is this unobtainable miracle your Witch found? My witch last round found it - a copy of The Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken Would you like some of my favourite recipes? Yesyesyes! Do you like alcoholic beverages? If so, what is your preference (beer, wine, liquor...)? And finally, is it legal to ship alcohol to your state? I do, but PA has draconian alcohol laws - can't get any shipped here Are you into steampunk? Not hard-core, but yeah, I appreciate the aesthetic... Would you like or accept an energetically-charged item or gift? Something that had power poured into it? If so, do you have a particular purpose that you'd prefer? (Love, protection, money, etc.) Oh yes. Something to aid in new business ventures/financial fecundity would be well-timed, indeed Do you have any significant upcoming events in your life you'd like something for? A child/yourself graduating from high school/college? Are you buying a new home or car soon? Moving in with someone/getting married? Taking a new job? Moving to a new part of the country/world? I may well be solely self-employed in a few weeks - whether I like it or not. Part of me is thrilled, but... well. See the above request. How are we feeling about Burlesque? I don't mind a bit of shimmy now & then Win some earrings? No holes in these lobes, thanks I custom mix nail polish, a process called 'frankening'. If you were my witch, would you enjoy a custom 'franken', based on whatever colors/theme you chose? Oooo, yeah! I'd wear something weird & metallic.... Since everyone is spending the same amount of money on this swap, would you be interested in seeing the cost breakdown of each item in your package? No, unless you were particularly cunning. What color are your eyes? Dark brown/green/grey If you had to choose a color for a nightie to sleep in what color would it be? I sleep nekkid What's your favourite flower? Oh man. Not fair. Cut flower? Freesias. Potted plant? My Red Cross & burgundy oxalis. Garden plant? Too many to pick a top favorite - I love bleeding heart, columbine, crocuses, narcissus, peonies, grape hyacinth, lobelia, harebells... if you can imagine it in an English garden, I'm probably a fan. If you like tea, what are your favorite kinds? Unflavored black, primarily - I like a good malty Assam, but Ceylon & Assam blends are lovely. I also ADORE Harney & Son's Yellow & Blue herbal tea, but it's so damn spendy I rarely get it. Absolutely no rooibos please Hogwarts house? Gryffindor all the way. Space, the final frontier? We are big Star Wars fans, & I do like Star Trek, as well. Not a big astronomy buff, but stars is purdy. Favorite animals? Birds. Birds. Birds. Sheep. Birds. Are there any languages or countries that you're really interested in? I'd really like to get back to my Welsh some day, as useless as it is... Japan, Scandinavia, New Zealand & Tibet are on my life-list... If you could be in any fictional universe, what would it be? ***DORK ALERT! DORK ALERT!*** Tolkien's Middle Earth. Yeah, I know. But I'd want to be one of the Rohirrim, or a Hobbit. None of that nancy Elven crap. Do you like gardening,growing vegetables, house plants? Need any small tools, seeds, labels? Oh heavens, yes! We have a big veg plot we share with the neighbors - any heirloom tomato/bean/melon/lettuce/herb seeds are welcome, as are plant markers, tomato ties & the like...