Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice to see you again here at the Caprilicious blog this week.
I hope my readers in the USA had a fabulous Thanksgiving celebration - and now have a chance to do some shopping at crazy prices on Black Friday. Although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, Black Friday has crept into the lexicon of marketing speak - so we have quite a few sales on here too. I thought Caprilicious ought to join in as well, so for this weekend only, ending midnight GMT on Sunday the 30th, I offer a 20% reduction with the promo code - 13579 - do take me up on it, and of course, tell your friends - an opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping without moving from your armchair - let your fingers do the walking.
This week, I found time to play with wire to the extent that my fingertips hurt - by the time I had finished, they were screaming for me to stop. But you know what it's like when you find a beautiful object - you need to play with it - it cannot be allowed to languish in a cupboard.
I acquired three beautiful, whimsical lamp worked beads with bees and butterflies romping around in a beautiful make believe meadow of flowers. The fact that they came out of someone's imagination, are one of a kind and handmade, makes them so much more interesting to me now - at one time, I'd have just thought 'how pretty', but now, I am in awe of the person who conceived and created these beautiful beads.
I used a design by Nicole Hanna to wrap on two of the beads - I just flipped the design upside down on one of them so that it looks different, until you look at it carefully - or I let you in on the secret! Bare copper wire was used, and then antiqued with chemicals and polished up with steel wool to give the finish you see here in the pictures. I used threadwork necklaces from Nepal to carry these little pendants - they are colourful and pretty and seem to go with their whimsical mood.
A Night on the Sands
The third bead from this artisan had a violet coloured night sky, with what appeared to be a sandy beach, complete with a wave and a shell, in the light of a crescent moon. This one was hung on a leather cord.
I had a bit of time to play with polymer clay over the weekend and made some more pixie people - I made ten beads and hope to assemble necklaces using them in the near future. These beads have been sanded smooth through 3 grits of sandpaper and 3 grits of Micro Mesh, but have yet to be buffed up to a high shine - I ran out of time.
Singin' in the Rain
Circlets made of shell with an onyx bead at their centre resembling raindrops, were used to carry a conus shell pendant. The pendant is inlaid with abalone and a Shiva eye in its centre, and I added a few more Shiva Eye shells to the necklace to echo the pattern in the pendant, along with a Nepalese accent bead.
The onset of autumn must be affecting my psyche - both my necklaces this week are to do with storm clouds and rain. Black Clouds and Silver Linings is a piece instilled with hope for a better future - the sun will come out, and this too, shall pass. This is a picture of the leaves on the paving outside our house - my poor husband has to go out in the cold and sweep them up - I do feel sorry for him, but not to the extent that I want to go out and help - no sirree! I was brought up to be a Little Miss Muffet and sweeping leaves is not my idea of a fun thing to do on a cold and windy morning - if it was left to me, I would just leave them for the wind to blow away, eventually.
Black Clouds and Silver Linings
I used Tektite - I love the tactility of it - in this necklace with three dimensional silver tone chrysanthemums and a beautiful, showy clasp.
Being busy at the day job meant that I didn't have the time or the energy to create any more jewellery - in fact most of these pieces were created over the weekend and I had little or no time to take photographs to display them on my virtual shelves. I like being busy though, time seems to fly by - it will soon be time for my trip to Bangalore, the exhibition and other interesting happenings.
After my post last week, people were kind enough to write in with their choice of invitation for my exhibition and the front runner by far was the wirework peacock - so this one is going to be the official invitation.
The red and black picture received so many votes, however, that I am tempted to use it as a poster or banner at the venue. If you haven't already, be sure to save the day and come and see us in Bangalore.
That's all I had time for this week folks, have a fabulous weekend and I will catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. I've been getting ready for my second exhibition at Raintree in Bangalore, India - the invitation cards were designed by my friend Neelam Madden of Look- in- the-Bag - consummate artist that she is, she designed three of them for me and they are all so nice that I cannot make up my mind which one I want to use - perhaps you, my very kind readers will point me in the right direction. These are the three invitations - do drop me a line and tell me which one you like best - I will use the one with the most votes between the blog and the Caprilicious Facebook page.
If any of you are in Bangalore at the time, do be sure to save the date and I hope to see you there.
This week, I went back to my old routine of playing with wire and polymer clay. Rummaging around in my little hoard of cabochons, I found four pieces that I was inspired to turn into pendants with a wire surround.
A piece of carved black jade was set into a wire and seed bead surround and hung on a necklace made of citrine nuggets. Mystical good luck symbols and phoenixes (yes, that is the correct plural form for phoenix - it must be correct, Google says so) are carved into the stone and I called the piece Shangri-La, after that famous utopian land in James Hilton's book Lost Horizon. The people from this land live in a state of permanent happiness and are immortal - I'm not sure if being permanently happy is a good thing - you wouldn't even know how lucky you are to be so happy if you haven't known the other, and that is most unfortunate. La La land might not be so much fun after all!
Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert originating in the area of Venice in the Sixties. The stripes in this coffee agate pendant bead reminded me of the stripes in this dessert. The pendant was surrounded by wire and seed beads electroplated with copper.
The red quartz beads in the necklace are very pretty and glow gently in the light - I hope my photographs have been able to capture their beauty.
Sylvanus was the ancient Roman God of the Woods - protector of forests, plant life and fields. The pendant in this piece is made from a piece of petrified wood and this name seemed apt. The petrified wood fossil is set in a wood jasper surround in a composite or Intarsia stone. I wound yards of wire around it to make a pendant loosely inspired by Nicole Hanna, which I hung on a necklace of blue howlite beads.
Petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Then, ground water rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or other inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures.
This sumptuously enamelled pendant came from Jaipur in India - it is heavily gold leafed and enamelled, and studded with CZ's in Meenakari work- this form of enamelling came originally from Iran to India probably via the Mughals, and was originally meant to decorate the back of heavy gold jewellery, which was studded with uncut diamonds.
I let the beauty of the pendant do the talking and put together a multi strand necklace of shiny seed beads and gold crystals - the number of strands was determined by how many I could get past the pendant bail. Stringing seed beads is not my favourite occupation, I can tell you - and by the time I had finished, there were more on the floor than in my necklace. The kittens were having a fine old time. They jumped to attention each time one clattered to the wooden floor and tried to help me pick it up. This meant I had to stop work and find the bead before they did - they were only trying to be helpful, of course they were!
These beads are made from inspiration and help from a number of people - Layl McDill's face cane, extruder canes from Marie Segal's blog, and Barbara McGuires face beads among others. I used my cane slicer and have to say it really does work, although it's engineering is a little bit clumsy.
The pendants are meant to be Christmas presents for my juniors, and as they don't read this blog, and I know you won't tell, I can share the making of these with you. There are ten lentil beads to go with them to finish off the necklaces that will go out to the ten young ladies who work so hard, they deserve a little treat come Christmas time.
Here are the beads in the process of being made, starting with the face cane, going clockwise. I will show you the necklaces when they are finally finished later on in the month.
Unfortunately the fourth pendant I was attempting to make was an abject failure. It is a fossil coral, in a very pretty salmon pink and grey, and I meant to team it with spectrolite beads - I can see the necklace in my minds eye even now, but alas it is not to be.
I spent a whole evening weaving a cage for the stone, and then I hated it - I cut it up before I could justify it's existence to myself - 'it took ages to make, it's not so bad, actually it's quite pretty'- you know the kind of thing. I went to bed, quite disgusted, and tried again the next day - that wasn't any good either, and went the same way as the first - straight into the bin. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
At this stage, a bit dispirited, I decided to call it a day for the week. Thank you so very much for stopping by and do leave me your thoughts about the invitation for the exhibition - have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. All of last week I was blinging up my shelves in preparation for the party season and this week I decided to make the last one for a while - overdosing on bling isn't good for the eyes!
Tyrian was a purple dye used to colour the robes of kings in Phoenician times - it was extremely expensive as rather than fading with time and weathering, it got brighter and deeper. The dye came from the secretions of a sea snail and was extracted by milking the snail (how does one milk a snail?? - the mind boggles!) only tiny amounts were collected by this method, which was probably another reason why Tyrian was so expensive.
By the time I put this necklace together, I began to feel as if my eyes were dropping out of my head - I had overdosed on bling.
My reels of wire were getting really annoyed at the inattention they were subjected to - and I was getting withdrawal symptoms due to the prolonged break from wire.
I was looking through the website, and I saw a picture of a blood stone cabochon I had photographed for the magical components page about three years ago. When I bought it, I thought it had a masculine vibe and wrote that I planned to put it together with copper and possibly coral. I forgot all about it until I found it by accident the other day when looking for something else on the website and had an 'Aha!' moment.
Mellow Yellow is a colour very close to the colour of the citrine beads I used in this necklace (there is also an 'unmellow yellow - don't believe me?? - then go on and google it ) and the title of a song by Donovan in the 60's. According to legend, Mellow Yellow was about the feeling one gets when one smokes dried banana skins - I am not sure whether that is the case or not - and am not about to test that theory.
Colourful oriental components went into this necklace - porcelain beads , cinnabar, coral and black agate - I just love the vibrancy of it.
Old cinnabar beads had hundreds of layers of lacquer which contained a sulfate of mercury applied to them, which were then carved into beautiful shapes.
Today, the toxic mercury/cinnabar is replaced by combining layers and layers of colored polymer lacquer, which are then hand-carved (or in some cases, machine carved) into intricate patterns.
Caprilicious is doing a globe trotting act this week - we haven't been on a holiday for a while and I am doing it through my jewellery - a bit like leafing through travel brochures or Trip Advisor! I've been saving these beads (Ok, hoarding, really - I just love shiny, pretty things) and I thought this was as good a time as any to use them. Faceted smoky quartz - faceted beads are my favourite, the extra shine appeals to the magpie in me - and a beautiful Moroccan bead went into this simple and sophisticated necklace.
I bought three of these beads a while ago - the first couple were made up into a bright and exciting necklace called Berber Sunrise, and this one is smoky and sophisticated in a completely different style - which one do you like? Or will you be a Caprilicious Woman and match each of them to a different mood?
Jazz in The Park
These buttons were made a while ago and I sanded and buffed them as and when I had the time. Buttons are the simplest and least expensive way to embellish a garment, and these are vibrant enough to brighten up a dull outfit. They were cut from a polymer clay cane I made using a technique pioneered by Alice Stroppel. I used my fabulous cane slicer to cut even slices of the cane, and was well pleased with the result.
The Boho Babe - back to Morocco
Another Moroccan bead - this time a large one, teamed with green and black agate nuggets. I wanted the piece to be long and the bauble sized bead to sit low on the chest to avoid looking like a cow bell. I strung the beads on cream coloured genuine leather, with knots between each bead and macrame knots all the way to the clasp. I am not a fan of large nuggets and beads sitting high in the neckline - perhaps you feel differently - do tell...
The beads in this necklace came to me in the post only the other day and I had to find some way of using them immediately, they were too beautiful to put away in a drawer. Golden Obsidian is formed from cooled lava - the silica inclusions deep within the rock and patterns formed by gas bubbles lined up within the molten lava give it a golden sheen. The same post brought me a book by Lisa Barth, and in it I found a design, which when modified to suit the shape of a black and white agate pendant stone, would make a perfect focal point. I hung it on the obsidian necklace with Chinese black quartz embossed with dragons in gold, as accents - a beauty straight from the Stygian depths of the earth.
The Ancient and the Modern
A prayer box, Gau (also spelled Ghau or Gao), is a Tibetan Buddhist amulet container made of metal and worn as jewellery. They incorporate a small container used to hold and carry powerful amuletic objects such as chunks of coral, turquoise and a written prayer, or sacred mantras such as the Kalachakra. I love the secret compartment and have made a few necklaces using Ghau boxes over the years. I have made them with simple necklaces, and sometimes with outrageous wirework that none but the boldest woman would wear. The two that I have here are both inlaid with turquoise and coral - the one has been put into a simple necklace with turquoise and the second, into a necklace made of multi coloured shell beads.
You can see I have been busy all this week - but now, I have to call it a day - that's as much as I had time for - catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week.
Today, it is three years since Caprilicious was born.
To thank my supporters, I had a giveaway of six pairs of snowdrop earrings - And the winners of the Caprilicious Jewellery Birthday giveaway are - drumroll.......................
Eilidh Webster, Lorraine Szymanski, Lucy Sampson, Isobel Neilan, Luisa Heaton and Gillie Mayer - congratulations and thanks for entering the giveaway.
I hope all those who entered found something to treat yourself with, using the Promo code - everyone's a winner at the Caprilicious Birthday party!
I would appreciate it if you ladies would follow the Caprilicious blog using either of the links in the sidebar, and I will send you some pretty pictures on the blog each week.
Staying with the party theme, I celebrated by making some Blingcandescent necklaces - I was on a roll this week! I bought some beautifully shiny trapezoid shaped crystals - you saw some of them used last week- and spent a considerable amount of time separating the loose crystals and putting them in colour coded boxes so that I could get to them easily, and picking out gemstone beads to go with them.
I drew my inspiration from the pictures above, mixing colours with gay abandon - a pinch of this, and a drop of that, a bit of Bling, and loads of colour.
Of course one man's Gaudi, is another man's gaudy, not everyone is happy to wear so much colour - I wait to see how these pieces are received with interest. From what I have seen, colourful pieces are eye catching, but then some people seem to mentally shake their heads, drop the piece and move away from it quickly, as if it is going to rear up on it's hind legs and bite them. I am keen to start a colour revolution - Up With Colour, I say!
Colour blocking is a trend that creeps in and out of fashion and is very 'in' at the moment. It is the technique of using blocks of several different solid colors together in one outfit or accessory in a simple, yet extremely interesting look. Of late I have been using this technique a lot, in my effort to make my jewellery colourful. Colour blocking never looks dated as it seems to come back in fashion just as you think it is going out!
Colori is the Italian word for colours, and that seemed like a good place to start.
The pale gold of the crystals seemed to be begging for an injection of colour, so I gave in enthusiastically - agate, quartz, and cats eye glass were all mixed in to give this necklace a multicolour appeal.
The name for this necklace was lifted from a song from one of my favourite shows - Chicago. Here's a little clip from the movie...
Sodalite and dyed green howlite beads were combined with deep blue crystals and Czech glass for maximum Blingcandescence.
Silk Road - Tribal Bling
The Silk Road is a trade and cultural transmission route through regions of the Asian continent, serving traders, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, and nomads. It stretches from China and India to the Mediterranean Sea. Besides a trade in silk, paper and other goods from 206 BC, the Silk Road which stretches over 4000 miles, carried another commodity - it was the vehicle which spread Buddhism through Central Asia.
I recently took delivery of a package containing pewter Buddha beads and just had to use some of them. The rest of the necklace was strung using polymer clay beads that I made myself in an attempt to keep the necklace light, rather than use gemstones which would give the wearer a pain in the neck through sheer weight. The faux lapis nuggets contrast well with the yellow and black 'trade beads', and tassels of sari silk were added to the pendant.
A migraine inducing overdose of Blingcandescence meant that the crystals had to be put away for a while and I made a necklace using what the traders call 'Rain Flower Stone' - which on further research is actually dyed white jade with pretty splotches of colour. Sometimes the beauty of the bead outweighs it's perceived value - I don't care what they are called, as long as they are not being passed off as genuine precious stones.
I contrasted the yellows and greens of the rain flower stone with mint green chrysocolla lentil shaped beads - it reminded me of the cool colours and taste of mint chocolate. This is a necklace that is cool and screams sophistication for the 'ladies who lunch' - I see it worn in the neckline of a white shirt at a venue with tinkling fountains and perfumed interiors, cool as the mint in mint chocolate.
The spicy warmth of wooden beads that resemble cinnamon sticks, with muted crystals that gleam gently against the skin - another one for the lunchers, easily taking them to an evening do from their luncheon party. I can almost taste the spicy mulled wine one would drink when wearing this piece - very evocative of Christmas mornings and the unwrapping of presents.
Over The Rainbow
I restrung opaque crystals in four colours with contrasting agate teardrops and added a hand carved aventurine clasp - you couldn't ask for more colour blocking than this! This necklace is named after the famous Judy Garland song in The Wizard of Oz, although the colours are bright, it is a very sophisticated piece of jewellery.
Smoke on the Water
Smoke on the water was inspired by an image for free wallpaper I found online - the blues and greys in the picture are echoed in the crystals.
Fire in the Sky
Anyone who knows their heavy metal will recognise the names of the last two necklaces as lyrics from a song by Deep Purple. We listened to a lot of Purple in my misspent youth - a touch of nostalgia here. The colours for Fire in the Sky came from a picture of an afterglow at sunset.
That's as much as I had time for this week - my muse was obsessed with Bling, and neglected the spools of wire that were waiting sadly on the sidelines. I love those trapezoid shaped crystals and have a few more to make up next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend and 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