Hello readers, how nice of you to drop by - autumn will soon be here and the colours of my new statement jewellery collection are reflecting this. No, they are not brown and grey - they are bigger and brighter than ever, to zhush up the autumnal hues of rust, must and dust that most dress designers pick as being suitable for us during this season.
I will let you in on an open secret - I am a very shy person - and when I tell people this, they laugh at me disbelievingly. I am even intimidated by hairdressers because I cannot relate to them, and small talk with a stranger is a no go area for me - I usually come out looking like someone else's mop - they seem to have a pack instinct when they see me coming - there's no 'Hello moddom, would you like a coffee?' - it's all snip, snip, snip - and when they've finished, they make me look like the person they perceive - a raggedy Orphan Annie type on a bad hair day - and that's cos she's exactly who they see when I slink in, looking apologetic for breathing the same air!
At the age of - well, older than many of you - I am now qualified to tell you how I overcame this using my passion for jewellery, and perhaps you will find you can do it too.
1) Spark A Conversation - Effortlessly
This is where Caprilicious comes in - wear one of your pieces of statement jewellery and you will find people coming up to you and complimenting you on what you are wearing. It doesn't have to be a massive piece of jewellery and you don't have to be blinged up to the eyeballs.
Take Glamour Puss - one of the pieces I made this week - all it is is a piece of pink and black agate - but it is presented on a pink stainless steel torque, wire wrapped, with an extremely shiny Swarovski crystal square wrapped onto it - a definite conversational opening gambit if ever there was one.
Obviously, no one can guarantee that people are going to walk up to you - you may have to do the walking - find someone in a nice ensemble and tell them you like it - instant spark! they will compliment you back ( people love a compliment and usually reciprocate - I'm sure you've noticed that) and Bob's your uncle!
2) Have Something to Say Prepared
When someone compliments your jewellery, don't just mumble your thanks or go the 'this old thing??....' routine- smile widely, tell them a little story about it - perhaps even how clever you were to find it - if it's a piece by Caprilicious and you have read the blog, there's a backstory all ready for you to tell.
At Caprilicious, I attempt to make jewellery that is interesting and different - I have the occasional daytime, everyday piece - but even that is usually different from the norm - you have plenty to talk about.
These little lampwork beads were turned into daytime earrings, but they are so pretty, I'm sure you will be noticed when you wear them. I turned the leftover beads into bracelets with braided leather, so you can have a whole ensemble if you want one.
They are made to resemble the spinning top I had as a child - I was only allowed to play with it if I promised to be very, very careful (?), and eventually it was used by both my siblings, probably with the same proviso, and in turn, by their children. It still exists in my mother's cupboard - waiting for her great grandchildren, I guess! Unfortunately, their toys of choice are likely to be an internet enabled mobile phone, so mum has wasted her efforts to save what has now become an antique heirloom - perhaps it will be worth something one of these days.
3) Ms. Attention - To - Detail
Be Little Miss Attention-To-Detail - wear the right piece for your neckline, to coordinate with your outfit - and if you are in Caprilicious Woman mode, dare to wear jewellery in a completely contrasting colour to your outfit - after all, an orange necklace with the outfit in the picture would be drowned out by the colour of the vest - the blue necklace is definitely the better fit.
4) Get Up Close and Personal
Once you have complimented someone about their jewellery, and received one in return, you have chatted about your sources for said jewellery and smiled at each other, you are fast becoming friends - after all you have found something in common - your love for pretty jewellery!
Introduce her to someone you know, she reciprocates - and before you know it, you have a networking session going on right there, under your very shy nose - did you know that was going to happen?? I did! There are a few more tips on Reggie Darling's fabulous blog - Reggie's Advice For the Tongue-Tied Guest at Table Amongst Strangers, and I recommend this post to you. And of course, you must never get so carried away by your success by turning into a Conversation Hog! Click on the link to find out how not to do it.
5) Be Different - and Revel in It
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was to be like everyone else, to merge seamlessly into the background - I blame my mother for this (as I type I can hear her grumbling in the background 'you blame your mother for everything') - I was expected to be a Little Miss Muffet - but I was also expected to go out and fight my corner in the world of modern medicine when I grew up!
And then I ended up in Britain, and have found that a lot of the time I stick out like a sore thumb, and there is no Marks & Spencer camouflage that works. It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm over the worst. I'm happy to be me and revel in being different.
I wear Caprilicious all the time, and that helps me walk tall ( I'm only 5'2") and people come up to me and talk about my jewellery. I like to take the stuff I make on test runs, but sometimes they get sold before I get a chance - here's one of the pieces I made last week that lasted fifteen minutes on my pages...
It is most definitely evening wear, and I didn't have an occasion to wear it before someone from work snapped it up.
A statement jewelry piece by Caprilicious will give you confidence, help you stand out in the crowd of 'samey people', and allow you to start a natural conversation - the death knell to shyness. The end result is a helpful, natural connection. The best part? It’s a great excuse to start shopping!
That's it for this week folks. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello all you Caprilicious women out there, I hope you are all relaxed and ready for the weekend, ready to go partying in your statement jewellery.
I have some exciting news this week - Caprilicious is due to have a second exhibition in January 2015. I am negotiating with the good people of Raintree, where I had my first exhibition, to find us a suitable weekend at the end of January when I am due to be in Bangalore visiting with my mother.
Lipstick on your Collar
That's right, I've made this necklace before - last time, I used the jasper I acquired from my friend BN with a coral pink howlite - I happened to have some pale, blush pink howlite lying around and a few black veined jasper beads left over from last time and they just seemed to cry out to be put together. I am by no stretch of imagination a 'pink' person, but I just love the combination of pink and grey/black - very cool and sophisticated. You wouldn't catch me in a pink outfit though - one has to draw the line somewhere! There are plenty of greys, blacks and whites in my wardrobe that could be accesorised beautifully by this necklace when I take it out for it's test run.
For the longest time, I thought seahorses were mythical creatures, like unicorns, phoenix', dragons, dinosaurs and pixies - only kidding, honest. I love the little critters, they are the cutest and I am always on the look out for them. I found an aventurine carved into a seahorse, so smooth and shiny - an instant love affair. With a little wire bail, and the addition of agates and glass beads as well as pearls, it was transformed into a cruisers necklace - or for someone going on a holiday to an island paradise. I used the colours in this photograph to make this necklace.
Do you know the story of Salome?? It is from the New Testament - Salome, who by all accounts was a raving beauty and a femme fatale, who is hailed as the embodiment of female seductiveness and an icon of sensuality , did the Dance of the Seven Veils at her step fathers birthday bash - he offered her anything her little heart desired, and Salome, being as thick as two short planks, looked to her mom for an answer.
Her mom had dumped her first husband, and married his brother - she was extremely put out that John The Baptist had denounced her marriage as unlawful; and he didn't just say it once - he raved and ranted and denounced her from the rooftops, unfortunately prophets just don't
seem to know when to stop - to silence him she decided to get her daughter to demand that John be beheaded.
Salome could have asked for anything - gold, diamonds, pearls - but being a bit sweet and unworldly, she said 'what shall I ask for mommy??' and chose to obey her mother. The king had no choice but to behead the hapless John and present her with his head on a plate.
But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
My necklace is named Salome - I'm sure it wouldn't have looked out of place during the Dance of the Seven Veils - men will lose their heads over the wearer - but hopefully in a nicer way than poor old John. I've tried to put nuances of sensuality and fiery desire into this magnificent necklace and the haematite gleams brightly in contrast to the hand carved black jade and the paisley howlite beads in the second strand of this piece.
Her face is hand carved of ox bone, she wears a sterling silver and marcasite helmet, her helmet straps are fastened and she looks calm, yet resigned, as if off to do battle for a cause she believes in, wearing her regalia. A beautiful faceted citrine teardrop dangles below her chin - she is The Warrior Princess.
I teamed her with citrine and carnelian freeform nuggets, pearls and blue goldstone beads to make this piece.
Now that I've decided that there will be an exhibition, a bit of anxiety has started to creep up on me - yes, I know I'm being silly, and that I have five months to go - but I'm just a ' have everything ready ahead of time' type . So, I made some earrings - they will go on the website, and eventually make their way to the exhibition, or not, as the case may be - but at least I will have them ready in time.
These are sweet, and helped me watch one of my favourite movies 'The English Patient' for the n'th time as my pliers moved rhythmically along with the soundtrack. And then, with mental calm restored, now that I have enough earrings, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the truly righteous. Now all I have to do is to remember to carry them along - one time I did a jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house, and I left all my earrings and other little bits behind in the cupboard at home.
That's all for this week, folks, I hope you have enjoyed looking at my bits and bobs - if you have, do leave me a message - I'm beginning to think I'm talking to myself.
One of my kittens, Wilfred has found a spool of wire and is chasing it around the room, whilst Charlie has bumped into a wall and got a huge bruise on his nose - £50 to the vet and a clutch of tablets later ( I'm so in the wrong profession), he looks like a rugby player after a particularly violent scrum. Thankfully he is a kitten and not a child, or they would have had me up for non accidental injuries!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, how's tricks?? I hope you've all been rocking your statement jewellery on holiday and that all of you are enjoying the summer. I've been nose-to-the-grindstone this week - my holidays are usually in and around winter, when I seek out warmer climes - I love England and my little garden in the summer and it would take something major - like dynamite - to budge me out of here.
This week I discovered a string of Rudraksha beads, waiting patiently in my stash - hoping to be turned into a piece of jewellery one day . I last used them here and here, and if you want to know a bit more about them, do click on the links.
I felt so sorry for the poor darlings, I made two necklaces using the rudraksha beads - one with red and black polymer clay beads made by me and the other without. Since the rudraksha beads are meant to be sacred, I thought the name Ascetica was a good fit. They were made using light alpaca silver and glass pendants from Afghanistan- and are very pretty, as I'm sure you'll agree. One of my clients complained that her last necklace with a pendant from Afghanistan was heavy, so here's a couple of light pieces.
I sent for some vibrant threadwork necklaces from Nepal, and when they arrived, I couldn't resist using one of them straight away - when the parcel opened and the contents spilled out as if from a cornucopia, my eyes grew wide and I wanted to play with all of them, like a child in a sweetie shop. I contented myself with making a pendant using an impression jasper bead wire wrapped in one of Nicole Hanna's designs, and hung it on one of the necklaces - it suits it down to a T. The whole effect brightens the mood of the wearer, like a sunshiny day.....................
While I was looking for beads for Ascetica, I found some tiny beads I made ages ago- they were pinched by my house elf and then thrown back at me in disgust when he realised he didn't know what to do with them - they were found at the bottom of the wrong pile, in the wrong drawer - that's how I knew it was his doing - I am of course so tidy, it couldn't possibly be my fault!
Anyway, before they went walkabout again, I made them up into earrings, took their picture and put them in a box reserved for earrings - so take that, malign house elf! Kapow ****! The beads were made with leftover cane from a technique made popular by Bettina Welker, and to me they look like Morse Code - would you agree??
Blueberry Kisses - xoxo
Frosted purple Czech glass beads that have been in my stash for over a year found their way into a necklace this week. I still find it weird that I can look at a bead for the longest time and not know what to do with it, and then Wham! the idea just arrives and takes over - if I didn't know better I would have said I am like a woman possessed - well perhaps I am, by my muse! Anyway, I thought I'd put them together with some Nepalese brass beads I received in the same package as the threadwork necklaces, but a string of gold glass beads had other ideas and stubbornly clung to my arm till I agreed to use them - and I am glad I did, they raise the necklace from being merely pretty into something special.
I used all the beads I had, and the necklace grew into a ten stranded beauty, that looks and feels substantial.
And that's all I had time for this week folks, I must go and play with my little kittens now. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello, fancy meeting you here - yes you, in your statement jewellery by Caprilicious, trying to blend in with the furniture and failing miserably in the attempt. Let me ask you a question - why did you wear Caprilicious if you didn't want to be noticed?? You should have known you'd turn heads - what you're wearing is making you sit up, walk tall and look happy - and that's what people notice about you when you wear your Caprilicious Jewellery.
I love this song - the word 'Happy' is repeated so many times, it's almost an affirmation - all you have to do is sing along.
Affirmations work by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and in turn, negative actions and by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. Try it sometime - acknowledge your own self-worth; and your confidence will soar. Look good, walk tall, feel great - you are a powerhouse; you are indestructible.
This week, I set about remodelling my website - I now have a new page called 'She Sells Sea Shells' - I love shells and abalone, and have a number of pieces that seemed to group themselves together and demand a page of their own, and I gave in.
Two abalone pendants, set in silver were the basis for a couple of necklaces - teamed with Biwa pearls - unusually shaped cultured pearls from freshwater mussels.
First produced in the 1930s in Lake Biwa in Japan, their quality rivals that of cultured saltwater pearls, and they are just as beautiful. I love Biwa pearls because they are so different from the usual image one has of pearls.
Naiads were water nymphs who lived in the most beautiful streams and rivers, and spent their days gently washing the freckles from the faces of the girls who bathed in the water and generally being sweet and gentle - until of course an unwary young man came by - and then they all rushed up and threw themselves at him, until the poor sap was overwhelmed and gave up his life to join them in the underwater world.
One of these is a bit more unconventional than the other - but it's that unconventional asymmetry that makes it a piece by Caprilicious. The colourful crackle agate lozenges go with the lilac Biwa pearls and the abalone - lilac was a colour much beloved by my grandmother - every year my mom bought her a saree in either 'lilac or ash colour', as requested by her on her birthday. Much as I loved her, I wouldn't really want the jewellery I make to be grandmotherly in any way, Heaven forbid!!
Kohima is the capital of Nagaland, a north eastern border state in India, sharing boundaries with Myanmar. When I was little my cousins, with whom I spent a lot of time, moved to Nagaland with their father who was posted there by the Indian Army - they came back with the most beautiful artefacts and shawls - I think some of the artefacts still exist in their house after all of 45 years - I would have loved to go and visit them there, but it never happened, perhaps I was too young to make the journey.
I got the little brass medallions and spacer beads from a vendor in Nagaland and strung a two stranded necklace, with a simple button clasp.
This picture was my inspiration for my next piece - it is made from stock photo manipulation, an art form I recently discovered, by LeeAnne Cortus. In this art form, bits of stock photographs are Photoshopped together to form a coherent picture and you can see more by clicking on the link above.
I went to an all day party on Sunday - Nicole Hanna was celebrating 5000 'likes' on Facebook and handing out wirework designs to party guests all day, one or two every hour. It was a fabulous day, with hundreds of virtual guests held fast in front of their computers. She handed out about sixteen of them - I got all but one, and that was because my cousin phoned me from Toronto and we had a long natter,forgetting all about the giveaway.
I stayed up till 5am on Monday morning - she released one every ten minutes in the last hour, and then fell into a deep and grateful slumber. I made up one of the designs, putting a Caprilicious spin on it and this is what appeared......
I had the design from an earlier giveaway and these were the first pair I made - they went in a diplomatic pouch to live with a nice lady in Bangladesh!
As I've been writing , we've had a minor panic - Wilfred just tried to go up the chimney - all I could do was watch with my mouth open as his brother Charlie chased him up the flue till all I could see was the white tip of his tail. I yelled for Mike (which probably frightened Wilf into going further up into the space) and we had to coax him down with some food - I had visions of having to call the fire brigade and a bunch of men in hob nailed boots tramping all over my floor - and no, that is not one of my fantasies! We've now stuffed the flue with newspaper - Phew!
That's it for this week folks, have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by to read about the statement jewellery made at Caprilicious this week. It was my privilege to provide a piece of jewellery to the Children's Unit at the hospital as a raffle prize - the manager who requested it of me was very complimentary about the piece I handed in - I was quietly pleased with it myself, and the reaction on the Facebook page was heartening when I posted some pictures there. The carved jade flower had been lying around in my stash, just waiting to be used and this is a very worthy cause, very close to my heart.
If you're wondering what the mention of statement jewellery in the opening line was all about - I've been reading blogging guides - and the theory is that a googlebot, which in my imagination looks like the picture above, worms it's way into a website and if the raison d'être of the blog is mentioned in the first few sentences, the botworm gets the message - and when people look for 'Handmade Statement Jewellery', the Caprilicious Jewellery website comes up in a Google search - having done this for a few weeks, I was quite gratified to find that I haven't been misguided by the bloggers guide.
However, I don't know any woman who goes to Google when she wants to look for handmade statement jewellery! I certainly wouldn't do a Google search to look for jewellery, would you?? What beats me is that knowing this fact doesn't make me chase the botworm any less frantically - just shows how competitive I really am, I suppose, and also that I like to test a theory before I accept it as common wisdom.
Anatevka was a fictional shtetl in Imperial Russia where the musical Fiddler on the Roof was set. We went to the Eutin Festival in Germany, where they had this musical on, inspiring me to create this necklace.
I acquired a necklace of hand knotted shell pearls in beautiful colours of bronze/ cream, peach and shades of grey - the pearls are large and very beautiful, and though I normally would have cut up the necklace to restring the pearls, this one was so well made, I couldn't bring myself to wantonly destroy someones painstaking work - in fact, I had to agree that I couldn't have done it better ( a rare admission for me ).
I decided to make a pendant for it, and string it onto the necklace directly. An agate druzy cabochon, surrounded by wire lace, with pearls and crystals thrown in just grew and grew until two days later, my muse declared it finished. Although wire lace looks pretty, it is hard work on the finger tips which resembled Shreddies by the time I was done - but hey! I love the way it looks, so won't complain. The pendant is very baroque in appearance, and suits the necklace - and the name!
If you want to know what shell pearls are, here's a link to a very well written article I found during my research - I couldn't have put it better myself.
And with this, I decided to put my Lacemania aside for a while - and my fingertips heaved a huge sigh of relief!!
I've had two new helpers this week - Charlie and Wilfred have moved in with us - they must have been techies in a previous life, they are fascinated by the moving cursor on my laptop screen, and keep trying to help me type this blog and won't take no for an answer.
They are also interior decorators of sorts, and are helping me to remodel my house and change the decor, by systematically destroying anything they dislike - Mike's 40 year old German oil lamp (he's had it 40 years, but it was an antique when he first bought it) is something they have taken a dislike to - only he refuses to part with it - the boys are most annoyed that it is now out of reach!
With my fingertips sore and out of commission, I decided to give them a rest. I have these peacock feather pendants in from Indonesia - the ends have been fringed, much like a Rastafarians dreadlocks, with beads, and I love the effect. I used shards of electroplated quartz needles in the necklace, strung with spacers of crackle quartz in a deep peacock blue and a couple of enamelled beads from India. The quartz needles remind me of the silver rain that sheets down during a monsoon - the rain in the UK though persistent, is usually gentler.
Durga is a wrathful form of Parvati, otherwise known as Mrs Shiva, and the mother of Ganesh the elephant God. Kali is an even more angry form - women of all ages, at different times of their cycles have fleeting resemblances to one or another avatar of this multipurpose Goddess.
According to legend, Parvathi was peed off at something- or someone (possibly, but not necessarily hubby), and she knitted her brows together in a frown - a third eye originated there ( watch out - the gaze from that third eye when provoked into opening can burn you into a frazzle). When someone else peed the already irritated Durga off, she went wild, hair unbound, arms akimbo - and she didn't stop until she killed the annoyance, hung his head around her neck and drank his blood.
She laughed and laughed, and did a dance that a whirling dervish would have envied, until suddenly to her horror, she found that she was trampling on her poor husband Shiva - Oops! she said and stuck her tongue out - and an ancient photographer took her picture (or maybe the wind changed and her facial expression stuck), so she is doomed to being immortalised as the crazy one with her tongue stuck out, hair wild, with strings of demon's heads hung about her person.
This story, I am sure will resonate with my female readers - we've all been there, pootling along, minding our own, when along comes this nuisance - whether we turn into Durga or Kali depends on the irritant!
Anyway, I digress - this necklace is made of a pendant from the Banjara tribe in India, with two paisa coins from 1962. I put them on a rope, which can be tied so that the pendant sits where you would like it to and can be worn with all sorts of necklines. It looks like something Durga might like to wear - well, she's most definitely a Caprilicious woman....................
That's it for this week folks. Charlie has destroyed a bunch of silk flowers I had prettifying a dull corner of the house, and the two brothers are now flicking the flowers around the house like crazed confetti - I'd better go and rescue what's left of those poor flowers. Have a fab weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
Follow me on Pinterest
I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
What's in the Store
Look for them by their names in the search box
Free Mini Tutorials