Happy July!  This summer I’ve been taking an online course to learn to make some new earrings. The class is taught by Deryn Mentock and she is an AWESOME teacher. I’ll also be taking a class (in person) from her next March at Adorn Me! 2012. I canNOT wait! For now, have a look at a couple of the earrings I’ve made:

These hoops are forged sterling silver. I made every bit of them, *including* the ear wires (confession: after working through some of the lessons in the class, I’m chagrined that I haven’t always made my own ear wires. That will be changing.). It always amazes me that I forget how much I love hammering metal.

Aren’t these lovely? Same hoops as above but I’ve added a metal clay medallion and some very pale Aquamarines.  I’ve got lots of ideas for embellishing these hoops. Lucky for me, there was a bead show in town this weekend. Check out my haul:

I wanted garnets and I was so happy to find some in the perfect deep, deep red that I adore. Also there’s some labradorite that’s going to be lovely paired with black leather for a wrap bracelet. See all the ‘white’ beads? It’s faceted moonstone! I usually see smooth moonstone & it’s kinda, meh, to me. But I fell in love with the faceted variety; the faceting highlights the colors & lights in the stone.  You’ll be seeing more of it in my designs. Yes. Those are skulls. I haven’t figured out *exactly* what I want to do with them but I was drawn to them, so now I own them. I’m really looking forward to working with all this loveliness!

Sidenote from the bead show #1: If you’ve ever seen my arms, you’d know that I’m NOT the customer that needs the how-to-build-a-collection lecture.

Sidenote from the bead show #2: Many of you have asked me about what to use to clean your silver jewelry. My first choice is my tumbler but since I know that’s not an option for most of you here’s my second choice:

I’ve used this biodegradable metal cleaner for years & years. It’s from that booth that’s always at any kind of show (Home & Garden, Holiday Markets, etc) & they offer to clean a ring for you. Both of their products are great but I was more interested in the metal cleaner this trip. It really works well, it’s safe for your fine & sterling silver jewelry & it lasts forever. If it ever dries out just add water & it’s ready to go! They also told me if you put some in a jar with water, soak your silver overnight, it’ll be shiny by morning. Fabulous! Email me if you’re interested in a jar ($10) and I’ll ship it to you. Or later this summer…

You can place an order for it ON MY WEBSITE! I’m [this] close to actually having a real, live, working website WITH a shopping cart! I spent time today loading the earring category. Really! My goal is to have it up and running by my birthday. That gives me just over a month. Stay tuned. Of course, I’ll be mentioning it EVERYWHERE once it’s ready.

Hope you’re having a great summer. We’re having a hot (normal), dry (not so normal) one here in Houston but I’ll take the heat over the chilly any day! It’s going by so quickly, the kids will be starting school in no time. Stay in touch, say hello anytime!