I finished the massive paper of doom a few days ago.  It's turned in now - no take backs allowed.  I have to wait for it to be graded, and I may not know until we get our semester grades the 18th since it's worth half of my final grade for this class.  I'm still worried about it, but it's out of my hands now - no sense fretting over what I can't change, right?

This means that class is almost over! I get out May 11th, officially, but I may be done sooner depending on class schedules and stuff.  I'm not taking a summer class, so I'll have until August 20-something to have fun!  I'm getting all geared up for some awesome hobby stuff this summer, like painting a few models, making a few props, taking some new photo show pictures, and of course making saddles! 

I've never been happy with the silver on my western tack, so I picked up some silver leaf stuff at Hobby Lobby today. 

It all looks like SO much fun to play with! I'm not sure exactly WHAT I'll be using.  I need to talk to another hobbyist who has successfully used this stuff before and find out what she does.  To be safe, I bought silver leaf, adhesive, liquid silver leaf, and a one-step liquid leaf stuff.  I'm not sure if one of those liquid products is better than the other; I need to do some research.  The beauty of it is that I can return any of them if I decide they're not going to work for me.

I'm hoping that I can do some really cool stuff on bridles and swells now without too much worry.  I'm also hoping that I can completely phase out tinfoil or aluminum on western saddles.  I'm always worried that it will pop off.  Leather, glue, and metal are not exactly good friends.

And of course, I had to go see the clearance aisle.  I found micro beads there! Or maybe they're micro micro beads...whatever they are, they are TINY.  They work great for studs on saddles, though. 

These came in a bead assortment "designed for mixed media exploration" and packaged in little glass vials.  Yeah, yeah, glass vial, okay, whatever.  I wanted those little silver dots, and at $3.35 I figured I could find some other use for the other beads.

I was very careful with the bag, trying to make sure that my foil wouldn't get messed up, but one of those little vials broke on the way home.  Of course, it was the one that could make the most mess.  I found it in time and siphoned most of the beads off into a little cup  I'm going to be picking itty bitty silver dots off of my desk for a long time.

Here's the lovely little glass vial:

You can see some shards of glass in the cup I used as a temporary container for the beads.

And a few of the beads on my finger for scale:

Of course, there are beads stuck in the tape that sealed the other containers...I'm going to have to get those off.  Waste not, want not, right?

I'll have to play around with all of this stuff soon, and I"ll get back to you guys with a product review on the silver leaf stuff!