I have realised one thing - no matter how old I get, I will seek approval from my mother - which is hard won, let me tell you. She has been resolutely unimpressed with most of my achievements - no less was expected of me ! - it is hard to compete with a parent who is an achiever and I feel sorry for anyone who tries.
So, I took another tack - at 84, my mother who is visiting me in the UK for 4 weeks, has her own routine, which I have allowed her to continue, in spite of being in an alien environment. Not a word did I say about my jewellery making, or my day job, I just continued my thing - twiddling away with my wire and pliers in silence - until 48 hours into her visit, she was sitting next to me, checking out the photographs I was editing, making suggestions and obviously wanting to see more - and then one day I caught her moving the mouse all by herself, with no prompting ( she has never used a computer before) - and checking out the stuff on my website, which I happened to leave open when I nipped to the kitchen for a cuppa - gotcha!!
So bit by bit, she started to ask about my jewellery and has now grudgingly accepted that what I am doing is 'quite nice' - high praise indeed from my mother! - can't ask for more! - she isn't one to give me a swollen head, I can tell you. It's a good thing I know her well or I might have been offended!
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I picked out some beautiful agate carved leaves and made a little necklace out of them along with some faceted tear drops. I had held a couple back to make earrings, but unfortunately the stem of one of them broke when I tried to string it on wire - so I turned the single one left over into a pendant with some wire leaves.
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The addition of a tiger eye clasp raised the profile of the necklace - and I simply love those warm colours!
I had some pretty sodalite beads - Sodalite is lapis lazuli with a high calcium carbonate content and looks like a marbled blue and white bead, and added some lucite rice shaped beads and silver tone flowers to make a multi strand necklace - mum said 'the design is a bit simplistic, isn't it' - until I added a wire focal piece on one shoulder, which was meant to resemble pools of water and called the piece Raindrops. By this time, she got into the swing of things and started to make suggestions about my photography and how I should display the piece - and to her surprise (I think), someone actually bought it after a couple of days. Phew!
The flowers have been placed so that they run up one side of the necklace, and the wire focal is on the other side.
At my mother's behest, I made an armband, and the photographs were taken under her supervision - she wasn't happy with the first ones I took, and made me redo them all - and actually, I have to admit that she was right. The band is made of a strip of wire woven copper and has a crystal and glass bead focal which trickles from the armband to the elbow and sways with the movement of the arm.
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A side view
The back of the armband
I made a polymer clay and wire piece using a faux lapis lazuli technique with gold foil that glints through the clay after it was sanded down and polished. I had to really think hard for an idea to make the piece up - I wanted to hang a simple copper Ghau box from it - it has an Om on one side and the Endless Knot motif on the other, but is otherwise simple and sweet. I made a wire torque necklace and attached the 'lapis' focal to it, but it needed something else to set it off - I had a few tiny dyed pheasant feathers that I attached to a hollow cone shaped bead I made from the same clay as the focal, but that still didn't do it for me - until I added crystal studded bead caps, which set the whole piece off - I have been 'test - driving' it ever since I made it, and although bold, it is fabulous. It looks like something a medieval queen would wear - a sort of breast plate, so I called it Warrior Queen.
The bead cap tutorial was from Lydia Muell of Ashton jewels - she makes the most beautiful lamp work glass beads - well out of my price range I'm afraid - but I have plans for loads of pieces using this tutorial.
That's all I had time for - my feet are tired from all the tramping around shops with mum, and my arms are elongated from carrying the booty back to the car! - no, actually I am enjoying having her around - will miss her when she goes back home to India in a few weeks. Her grand daughters will, however, love the stuff she has brought back - at least they will have more modern stuff than my mum would have picked - she would like them dressed like mini Audrey Hepburns - which is fine, as it is a classic style - but do teenagers today want to look like Audrey? - I think not - I wasn't allowed to buy the festival 'grunge' look so favoured today, but Manali and Alisha should be well pleased with their pressies.
That is all for now - next week is the turn of the grandsons pressies - boys are easy to buy for, so that should be much easier on my little tootsies. Catch you all next week, xx