There are weeks when I spend as much time with a calculator in my hand as I do with metal... and this has been one of them.
Not that metal's been absent! I've acquired the materials for several recent commissions, and have begun work on them. But there's been a lot of time doing other related things, too.
For one: making the trek to the stone dealer. And a fine trek it was! I got everything I needed for my current work, plus other things: they are very, very skilled at setting temptations in my path, and I am not as skilled at resisting them!
A few high points: chocolate diamonds (just 2 tiny ones) to go with my black mabe pearls which to me look like dark chocolate; gorgeous carved carnelian maple leaves that are SO pretty and fall-like, and I have not the vaguest notion (yet) what I will do with them; and the opalized, 17-million-year-old fossil clams. Just stunning! They'd make great earrings... except that they are so individual that I can't put together a pair that's anything alike. And they're delicate, as natural opal is. But oh! so pretty! I'll try to get and post a pic of some of them, so you can see the range.