I got here in the afternoon and dumped my stuff at my hotel (a funky Towne Suites by Marriott - slumming it!) and off to a couple shows that are open. Not many open today. I found these cool slices of stalactite I will make into pendants, very cool. I got some crystal beads, not the ones I am on a mission for but very cool. They are barrel shaped and I really like them. I got some other mounted pendants, peridot, aquamarine, and a super cool tourmalated quartz which I have never seen in my 10 years going to Tucson, a true find! I got some very unique pearls that I have bought before but the place I got them said they don't have any more since I have never seen them at the other big pearl places, of course I bought them!! They are stick looking with the hole going all the way through it. Watch for some really cool jewelry with those.
Opals are huge here this year, but most are from Ethiopia. I talked to a guy from Australia who had both Ethiopian and Australian opals and he said the Ethiopian opals will loose their color if they get wet or are subject to oil on the skin. Well that won't work!! I am glad I didn't buy those, which I almost did. I am still thinking about the Aussie opals. I do have some at home waiting for my attention.
I am taking a class all day today and tomorrow on soldering and general jewelers bench work. I am having so much fun!! I love this class but I am just vibrating with anticipation to get out there and see everything!!