Mercury is definitely in retrograde.

Sometime this weekend, my blog decided to completely change it's own layout and such.. and I can't get it back to what I had, no matter what I do.
Jim has been trying to pass a kidney stone (he gets them every 18 months like clockwork)
I got stung by a bee (accidentally stepped on him while walking barefoot). Now my foot looks like a red, angry puffer fish that is crying... and I am wheezy, itchy and can't walk very well at all.
Our dryer died.
My email decided I was no longer allowed access.
ZeeZe got sick and threw up... all over.
My camera's SD card is no longer being accepted into my laptop without extreme measures.
And I've thrown out my lower back again.

On the plus side!
I was able to spend some time in the studio yesterday, and while it was sort of a one step forward, 3 steps back kind of thing... it was good.
I've been reading a jewelry making book, and have decided to follow along with some of the tutorials in it. One of the first "lessons"... is making a ball end headpin. Now, let me preface this by saying that I have tried to do this before with all kinds of wire, and it has never worked for me. The key here, I've discovered, is to use FINE SILVER wire. Not sterling, not artisan. Apparently you can ball end the ends of these kind of wires... but not with the micro torch that I currently own. It involves a higher temp that I just can't attain. There is a certain finesse to it... so that you get perfectly round balls... (sounds kinky, I know).
Another one of the first "lessons" is drilling beads. This takes lots of practice, and a steady hand (unless you have a drill press... which I don't). Also... you need a diamond drill bit.
So... yesterday I made ball end headpins -- dipped them in a pickle cleaning solution, sanded and filed, and polished them. Then I took some natural BIWA pearls that I had, and drilled them vertically... and taDa! ... fabulous, minimalist earrings. Total drop length is about 1 3/4 inches.