Hello folks, thank you for coming back to Caprilicious today. I'm happy to report that the sun is still shining over the UK - we've had the best summer since 1976 apparently, and it is set to continue for at least six weeks more. I have to say there's nothing like England when it's warm and sunny - if it were always like this, we'd never go abroad.
The fly in the ointment is that the reservoirs are running dry and we are looking a hosepipe ban squarely in the eye - if that happens our gardens will go dry and brown, rather than the beautiful verdant green England is famous for. We forget so easily that to be green, lawns need the rain! Just now we are still allowed to water our plants and Mike does so diligently, hence the scene above, photographed yesterday.
As I mentioned last week, I was gifted a ticket to Paul Simon's Farewell Tour concert in Hyde Park, at which James Taylor was his warm up act. We stood listening to these two giants play for over five hours and my feet are still recovering from that ordeal. As it was the day of the World Cup, Wimbledon finals, and a beautiful warm day to boot, London was heaving with tourists. The concert was fabulous, and I came home sad that Paul Simon was retiring, but happy that I'd been there to cheer him on his way.
The warm weather is bringing back memories of my life in India and the colours of the East are prevalent in my pieces of jewellery this week. It has in recent years, become quite fashionable for those who wear statement necklaces to look towards Eastern influences in their choice of apparel. Colourful jackets, scarves and even trousers (remember harem pants?), have become commonplace, and an East meets West vibe is now quite the thing, especially with linens and lagenlook clothing.
The pendant was handmade by artisans in the border area of Tibet and Nepal, and is inlaid with coral, lapis lazuli and turquoise, and filled with scroll work. The amount of workmanship in the pieces that originate from this area is mind boggling. I have been to a jewellery makers workshop in Nepal a number of years ago, and remember the artisans putting in the inlay work after painstakingly soldering in the scrolled metal, one piece at a time.
The pendants in the necklaces I make are purchased from Fair Trade sources, ensuring that the artisans are paid the right price for their labours.
Naila is a girl who you think is the most gorgeous, beautiful girl you have ever met. Someone who has changed you and made you a better person. She has the best sense of humor out of everyone you know and she has the greatest personality that can brighten your day .........
I made this necklace with matte cylinders of lapis lazuli which are hard to come by, and found accidentally when I was recently looking for matte amethyst beads. I added coral cylinders and a ghau box pendant inlaid with turquoise and coral which brightened the piece to my satisfaction. With the addition of a beautiful box clasp from Jaipur, the piece was good to go - simple but effective, as the best pieces often are.
That's me for this week folks. I'm off to enjoy the garden in the fabulous sunshine. I'm working all next weekend, so I'd better make the most of it!
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for joining me today. The UK is still basking in sunshine, although some spoilsports are beginning to mutter about droughts and hose pipe bans - one wouldn't believe we live on an island, surrounded by water. I suppose it's all 'water water everywhere and not a drop to drink'!! This week work at the day job has been extra busy and I've spent time in the garden in the remnants of the sun of an evening. This has meant that I've had no time at all for my magnificent obsession and my output has been a big fat zero! However, for those of you who follow the blog, I thought I'd bring you an article I wrote, which was published in 2017 in the journal of the Indian Catholic Association of Central Texas. The Journal was called A Taste of India : Jewels of India.
The proceeds from the sale of the journal went to Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Austin, Texas; victims of Hurricane Harvey, and the Indian Missionary Society, Rahagora and Sevalaya, Belgaum.
When one of the ladies on the editorial board asked me to contribute an article I was thrilled, but I thought I'd make it clear to them that I did not subscribe to any organised religion at all. As she didn't seem to mind too much, I put this little article together.
A Magnificent Obsession - a Potted History of Jewellery in India
Neena Shilvock is a cat person, obstetrician and gynaecologist, and jewellery designer and maker, in no particular order. Given the choice, she would paint the world in happy, bright, rainbow colours and her jewellery is consequently as high visibility as her world vision. She imagines that she is an introvert and that her jewellery speaks for her, but others beg to differ. Either way, her designs are interesting and unusual, her eye for colour is unerring, her workmanship excellent, and her choice of materials unconventional. Her jewellery suits the soul of the sophisticated extrovert and bashful introverts will find that wearing Caprilicious endows them with the magical ability to stand up and be counted.
She can be found at www.capriliciousjewellery.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CapriliciousJewellery .
Twelve shell beads discovered in a cave in eastern Morocco were dated at more than 80,000 years old. The beads are coloured with red ochre and show signs of being strung together. The beads found in Morocco aren't the oldest in existence. That honour belongs to two tiny shells discovered in Israel in the 1930s and dated at 100,000 years old. The shells are pierced with holes and were probably also hung as pendants or necklaces.
The earliest Indian jewellery was found in the ruins of the Indus Valley civilisation, going back 5000 years. The wide range of jewellery worn by both genders can be seen in sculptures in temples and shrines, and there are records of jewellery in various epics and texts dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Gold and precious gems were used as a crude form of banking, with the owners
converting their money into ornaments that could be sold on during hard times. For Indian women, jewellery was considered a social and economic security, the value of which would only appreciate with time.
Particular types of gemstones were thought to protect against specific ailments or threats and the evil eye. Each stone was endowed with a mystical quality and used as a protection against evil forces. The navaratna or nine gems, each representing a planet, are worn in a particular order, to this day.
For more than 2,000 years, India was the sole supplier of gemstones to the world. Golconda diamonds, sapphires from Kashmir and pearls from the Gulf of Mannar were coveted, and drew merchants across land and sea to India.
Temple jewellery in South India, was originally used to adorn idols and temple dancers. The pieces are chunky but intricate, adorned with gemstones, floral and paisley patterns, and often figurines of the god they adorn. They are now worn by classical dancers who have brought them out of the temples into the wider world.
The Turkish influence came to India via the Mughals, who brought enamel work, uncut stones, pearl tassels, and aigrettes; turban ornaments for both men and women, to the north of India.
The Islamic influence mainly remained in the north, with the exception of Hyderabad in the south where the Nizam and his wives were avid collectors of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery adorned with stunning rubies, emeralds and diamonds. Jewellery made in Turkey today still has a lot of similarity to pieces made in India and this is due to the Turkish origins of the Mughal empire.
Gold was traditionally the most commonly used metal in India for a long time, especially among people who considered jewellery an investment. Eventually it became too expensive for the ordinary man and ‘one gram gold’ pieces, which are essentially gold plated silver came into being. Women traditionally buy gold at festivals such as Diwali and the one gram gold ornament allowed them to keep up with the Joneses.
The younger, more contemporary woman, who eschews values such as buying gold as an investment however, prefers to buy silver ornaments. The rustic village/gypsy/Banjara look is very trendy today and silver jewellery is seen as a compromise - a precious metal that has value, albeit not as much as gold, but can yet be handed down to future generations as an heirloom piece.
Eventually, even the price of silver shot up, and ‘German Silver’ copies of silver ornaments became popular. These are cheap and almost throwaway pieces that can be used on a few occasions, after which they begin to look and smell strange due to the tarnishing of the formulation of 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc.
India has had a long association with costume jewellery - glass beads, semi precious gemstone beads, rudraksh, sandalwood and other wood beads, flower garlands and bracelets, tiger claws and teeth, yak teeth, shells, amber, coral, bone and ivory are some of the more traditional materials used.
Western apparel has become popular and many ladies have gravitated towards a more Western look for their jewellery. This has happened almost serendipitously, at the time when precious metals became too expensive to buy on a whim, akin to the time in the western word when costume jewellery became very fashionable in the 1950s, in particular when film stars gave it credibility.
Women have found that they can buy colourful, limited edition jewellery and look fabulous in them without having to pay the earth, and what’s more, these pieces will stand the test of time. It is important to a lot of women to be different and stand out from the crowd, and for them the handcrafted, personalised piece of jewellery is ideal.
Contemporary Indian jewellery wearers are poised at the point of rejecting the one-size-fits-all outcome of traditional manufacturing and there is a growing taste for customisation and work of a more individual nature. Artisan made jewellery has now grown very popular as have craft markets and online shopping; the world-wide-web has made shopping for indie jewellery so much easier and fun.
The new Indian woman requires each piece of apparel she wears to be different, as unique as herself, and it’s maker.
I hope you enjoyed that little read. I have friends visiting me all weekend, and on Sunday, a friend has bought me a ticket to see Paul Simon on his farewell tour in Hyde Park. I have actually watched him play at the same venue a few years ago with the boys from Ladysmith Black Mombazo and it was great, so I'm really looking forward to a repeat performance.
Have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Howdy folks,how are you this fine and sunny day. It's been a glorious summer this year, with more to come in the UK and I am so happy. You can feel the elevation of your mood when the sun shines all day long, we are able to take off our customary swaddling layers and wear clothes that we only normally get to wear on holidays abroad.
I've enjoyed the week so much that my creative juices were running and consequently my output was pretty high. The Mitchell Art Gallery from Warwick where I used to place my jewellery contacted me with a proposal to exhibit some pieces at a show in November, and they wanted a few pieces to photograph. I'm of course the classic 'I don't have anything to wear' type of woman, and so I had to make new pieces to show the management of the Gallery at the end of July and I started a small collection of statement jewellery.
The theme for this week was all about tactile texture - texture and pattern are intricately intertwined, for instance a brick wall has a distinct pattern which can also be felt when touched. We react to textures in our psyche, which allows us to mentally feel things without ever actually touching them.
The Oil Slick Necklace Mark 2
The beautiful druzy beads, coated with a vapour of gold and titanium, with Kenyan lost wax cast beads and a smooth moss agate clasp make up this fabulously tactile necklace. Mark one now lives in Scotland with a lady who fell in love with it almost as soon as I put it on the website a few months ago.
Cool ceramic black beads I found in a shop in India, with brushed silver plated copper beads and a smooth black agate clasp - this one sits close to the neck like a cravat and will do well in the neckline of a shirt, among other ways to wear it.
The pendant is made of sterling silver set with magnetite and pyrite. Magnetite is called the lodestone, due to it's being weakly magnetic and a seam of pyrite runs through the main stone. Another dagger shaped piece of magnetite descends into the decollete' and has a subtle texture to it. Faceted pyrite beads in round and teardrop shapes carry the pendant, echoing the pyrite in the main stone.
So that's my week, then folks. Actually it's been a hard week at work and I've needed distraction therapy to keep me going. Perhaps that's why I found myself making so many pieces, or maybe it was the thought of the photographs for the exhibition at the Mitchell Gallery? Whatever it was, the week was very productive and a lot of fun.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful, sunny week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello folks, gee willikins, what a wonderful week we've had! I've never seen anything like it, where there has been day after day of golden sunshine, warmth on the old bones and summer seems to have taken off like a rocket. Of course, now that I've said it, there are thunderstorms forecast for next week, but I think the gardens will sigh with relief.
I've spent a lot of time outdoors, watering the garden, pulling the weeds and generally ensuring that my plants stay alive. Consequently I haven't had time to go into the conservatory and play with my torch and bash out a bit of fold forming on my anvil.
The idea of writing this blog is that it serves as a gallery of my designs. Sporadically, people discover them and ask if I could make a similar piece. This year, a piece called the Sorcerers Apprentice has taken people's imagination and I have been asked to remake the piece twice over. As the beads are handmade, the necklace can never be the same as the original, just similar. Just now the beads above, made at the weekend are not technically 'beads' as they have yet to have holes put through them, they also need sanding and buffing before they can be made up into a necklace. This one is destined for a friend and customer in India.
I bought a beautiful Nepalese Ghau box, with loads of scroll work and filigree wire all over it. It is pretty large, and I think it was originally meant for a man. Faux beeswax amber beads, turquoise dyed magnesite heishi beads and little red beads are held together by a beautiful moss agate box clasp. The ghau is a box meant for carrying small reliquaries and prayers and of course if you need it, can be used as a pill box for when you travel afar and require medication later on in the day.
Bright and sunny to reflect the weather, this necklace can be worn with Eastern dress, but far more effectively with Lagenlook clothes, bohemian outfits or even in the neck of a simple white shirt and jeans. I love the picture opposite - the lady is so stylish and sophisticated. Iris Apfel and friends have done a lot to make this style of bohemian jewellery popular and it totally chimes with my sense of colour and requirement for bold and beautiful jewellery.
This week is a short post folks, as between the weather and garden and the day job I've been too busy to play with beads and baubles. I'll have more for you next time, have a great week and see you next Friday, same time, same place.
-Dear friends, thanks for joining me again, as always it is fabulous to speak to you each week. If you enjoy reading this half as much as I do writing it, we're both in a win-win situation.
The summer has been particularly kind to us this year with sunshine - I'd better not say any more or I might jinx it!
Last week, Mike rescued a magpie chick that was almost on its last legs and so exhausted it couldn't fly, although nothing was really wrong with its wings. It was a plump little bird, crouched at the bottom of the tree on the front of our house and I named it 'Toast' apropos of what was most likely to happen when Wilfred the cat caught up with it. Mike tried putting it in the bushes, but it just came back over the road to the same spot.
Eventually, we put it in the cat cage overnight, fed it bread and milk and replaced it in the tree from which its sibling fell from the nest and perished a couple of days earlier.
I'm happy to report that Toast survives, and flutters past our house cocking a snook at Wilfred every time he goes past. Happy ending, then - for now!
These two necklaces were made on the back of the coral necklace I made to order a couple of weeks ago. I pick beads and gemstones that chime with my spirit - they need to have a certain 'something' about them - their shape, or their colouring, marking, or texture - I very rarely picked simple round beads and if I do, I like to team them with an interesting clasp or component that makes me jump up and down with pleasure.
A few beads with a clasp on the end do not a piece of great jewellery make, and I do my best to put things together that chime with my joie de vivre. Sometimes I buy gemstones just because I like the look of them and then have to sit on them for ages before I can decide what to make with them.
The beads in these necklaces were purchased around two years ago and they sat in my stash serenely, occasionally popping up when I rummaged around looking for the perfect components for my next piece. Suddenly, I had a lightbulb moment and these two necklaces came to life.
Adding an interesting clasp and a few tiny beads in total simplicity elevated these two from being strings of beautifully marked beads to two exquisite necklaces.
Even so, I wasn't prepared for the sudden mini rush of orders. I hunted out the vendor praying that they still had them, and bought some more strings of amethyst. The citrine necklace will take a bit more time to move on as yellow is not everyones cup of tea. They are a lovely warm molasses colour, though, and I know some redheads and brunettes that they would suit to a T - I'll let them come across the necklace in their own time.
The Social Butterfly
I showed you the beginnings of The Social Butterfly last week. I pressed on with it all of this week and once I'd embellished the edges of the butterfly, I had to decide how I was going to string it. I found an image on Pinterest and decided a faux lariat style necklace would be the way to go. Unfortunately I cannot credit the owner of the image as it isn't mentioned on Pinterest. I had already decided that this was going to be a confection in pale pink and green so I used beautifully marked, faceted green agate beads.
A social butterfly is a slang term for a person who is socially dynamic, networking, charismatic, and personally gregarious and I found this amusing article on a website called Lifehacks - "20 Things You Should Know Before Dating A Social Butterfly". Everyone likes to be thought of as charismatic and gregarious even if they are not, so a bit of help is always welcome in my opinion - what do you think??
I did not make these, but found them on a website before I went to India, they are so pretty I couldn't resist them for my Caprilicious ladies - some of them were sold in India, and these are the few that remain. They are light, pretty and inexpensive and if you do like them, they are on the silver earrings page of the website. They are great as little gifts too. My nieces picked up a few and certainly loved them.
That's me for this week folks, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
"There’s so much sameness in the world. And if people are not going to change their manner of dress, at least change your jewelry so you don’t all look alike."
Hello people, how are you? I'm typing one handed today, having cut myself attempting to chop an onion and bleeding all over my kitchen. We've had a lovely week, the garden's coming together, the sun is out and all's well with the world. Unfortunately, the bird and rodent population around our house aren't having a great time of it - the warmth of the temperatures outside has drawn Wilfred outside the house and he is going through them like a dose of salts. I'm almost afraid to walk around the house in bare feet as there's always a high risk of stepping on a barely cooled furry/feathery body - no walking around with my head in the clouds, then! The other people who've been adversely affected by the warm weather are my poor neighbours.
Mike has his electric keyboard set up in the conservatory and when it is mild, he goes there and bangs out the few tunes he knows (one of them is 'White Christmas'), and what's worse, attempts to accompany himself in full throat. He has a reasonable voice, but eventually it sounds like Ozzy Ozbourne singing Bark at the Moon backwards with a half chewed bat in his mouth. That puts paid to any ideas they have of mowing the lawn or having a little al fresco picnic outdoors, they scuttle back to the house shrieking, with their hands over their ears. I'm not stupid, I've invested in a good pair of earplugs and am considering gifting the neighbours a few pairs as a gesture of goodwill.
WIth all the flowers coming out in the garden and the butterflies and bees flitting around, I was inspired to make a butterfly using a couple of hand carved pink quartz cabochons. I felt that the pale pink of the quartz needed zhooshing up with a bit of extra colour and have decided that the necklace will be in spring/summer shades of pink and a bright leaf green.
I've owned a string of tiny 1mm silver beads for the longest time, and I had no idea what I could do with them. A few weeks ago, I was idly looking at a brochure from one of my suppliers and I found strings of tiny 2mm haematite beads. The beads are electroplated with titanium in an electric blue and I bought four strings and added the tiny silver beads to them, along with a few round beads sprinkled through the necklace, to allow the beads to move on the stringing wire. The tiny silver beads are called Silver Silk and the necklace was hell to string because of the size of the beads, but I persevered as I could see that it was going to look pretty when finished, and so it does!
I left the strands short at 18" so that they frame the face.
So, here are a few pictures of the butterfly I've been working on - WIP pictures, taken at the end of each night, as I go along. For the first time I actually put a sketch down on a piece of kitchen roll, I usually start with a cabochon and design the piece as I go along. With this pendant, I'm using two cabochons and want two wings and a tip of a third to be visible, so I felt it made sense to have a vague idea of what I wanted to do rather than muddling through as is my wont, normally.
I hope it's looking vaguely butterflyish now - if it isn't, you could
This is all I had time for this week. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hey folks, how are you? Thanks for joining me today. This week I received an email notification that I was on the London Jewellery Schools blog as Student of the month for June!
Well, I've never been proclaimed student of any month, at any time in my life; so I was pretty pleased to receive this accolade. In India where I grew up, my report cards always read 'Could do Better' - it was almost as if any risk of praise falling from the lips of the nuns who were responsible for schooling me was regarded by them as worse than casting pearls before swine, so they never handed any out. Fortunately for me, I thought that 'could do better' was a kind of perverse compliment ( I'm a cup half full type of a girl) and that they were really saying to me that I wasn't a total duffer. I spent my childhood content with that. The London Jewellery School even sent me a certificate, how fabulous is that?
There is a school of thought that truly believes that reinforcing good behavior while discouraging disobedience and anti-social behavior, generally produces positive results in children. Positive reinforcement helps children feel good about their choices, which motivates them to increase the behaviors that bring rewards. Either the people at my school didn't know this theory or, to be fair to them, perhaps I exhibited no such positive characteristics, who knows?
So, now that I'm 'Student of the Month' I decided I'd better make a piece of statement jewellery to be worthy of that title! I picked out a bunch of abalone teardrops and put them together in a multi strand necklace. When I'd put the necklace together, I wasn't satisfied with the heft of the piece, so I added strands of iridescent blue glass beads to the mix so that they shine gently behind the abalone without necessarily being seen as one of the main entities, and then an added pop of colour with a few fronds of bamboo coral in a bright red that will sit on top of the other strands. The whole piece sits close to the neck like a choker and most definitely makes a statement. My first thought was that it looked like molten lava running down the side of a volcano, but my husband named it Martinique, so that's what I called it.
I told you last week about the pearl lariat necklace I made for Lisa, and that she wasn't too happy with the hooks on the earrings as she prefers studs. I sent off for some studs and when they arrived, I made this pair up for her. I hope she likes them - I can, of course remake them with just the pearls as dangles if she wishes.
The studs are pretty and set with a single CZ and the earrings are light, so every box is ticked, or so it would seem!
I also made up her strand of corals - she wanted a simple choker necklace, but I couldn't resist adding a beautiful, oversized lobster clasp - what's the point of going to a jewellery designer to have a necklace made up if there isn't a designer touch added to it? Anyone can string beads, but the addition of a beautiful clasp really brings a necklace to life - what do you think??
The weather has played ball all week, and I've spent a lot of time outdoors, replanting the pots and filling in bare areas that have appeared here and there in my borders.
This has meant less time to play with beads and baubles and clay, but who cares?? I'm having too much fun.
That's it for this week folks, have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, it's nice to be back in touch with you today. It has been a very busy week at work and I've managed to cram in a bit of jewellery making in between the rigours of the day job. The weather hasn't played ball and we're back to a questionable British summer after two weeks of glorious brightness - perhaps that's the end of our summer!
Not that I would have had any time to enjoy the sunshine, had there been any, I've been stuck indoors for most of the week.
I had a couple of orders for jewellery that have been on my books for a long time, and I've been catching up with them, getting them ready for delivery.
The first one was a necklace requested by a lady up in Scotland - for some reason Caprilicious has a lot of customers from Scotland. I wonder why that is?? This lady saw a necklace I made earlier and requested one just like it, in time for payday this month - and as the end of the month was fast approaching, I jumped to it.
I collected a packet of beads when I was in India to be made up for a lady who lives in Dubai. Lisa left them in India with a mutual friend two years ago, and I only got them during this visit to Bangalore. She is Italian, and a very beautiful jet setting socialite, who requested a couple of sophisticated necklaces made for her to suit her lifestyle. She wanted one of them to be a choker and the second, a lariat.
Lisa is on Instagram as love.like.lisa and describes herself as '.. a cosmocrat cresting the wave of vitality and wellness with oodles of curiosity and oceans of gratitude'. She was the editor-in-chief of NewYou, a premier monthly publication dedicated to Integrative Health, Medical Aesthetics, Holistic Healing and optimal longevity and is now heading The wellnessworld.blog, a portal dedicated to similar topics. She also runs fabulous holistic retreats in Greece among other places, and I hope to join her at one of them some day. She will be in the UK on a visit next month and I need to have her pieces done and dusted, so that I can post out to her while she is here.
Here's the first necklace I made for her with some of the beads in her stash.
I held back a couple of pearls and made a pair of earrings with silver ear wires that are sleek and sophisticated, raising the game, as it were. I love the tassels on the ends of the lariat, they are so 'in' this year, and I spent an evening making them up with seed beads and a couple of floral bead caps - so much fun! I sent her some pictures and she loved the necklace - boy, did I hold my breath until I heard back from her! However, she wasn't too keen on the earrings as she prefers studs, so I will have to see what else I can come up with instead. As she won't be here for another 10 days, I do have a bit of time, and I still have to make the choker for her.
I sent four 0f my showiest necklaces off to The London Jewellery School in Hatton Gardens. They have now been placed in the top shelf of a display cabinet in their foyer, ready for me to be showcased as Jewellery Student of the Month for June. Their manager, Harriet Brooks, was kind enough to send me a photograph of the display.
That's all I have had time for this week folks, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, I hope you're all having a lovely day - we certainly are, out here in the UK - it has been bright and sunny these last couple of weeks and it seems almost a shame to come away indoors when it is such fabulous weather outdoors.
I grew up in India where, as children we were called indoors by our families when the sun was beating down on us - Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and all that. Now, I've joined the ranks of the mad dogs and am out there gardening at midday, drinking shandies to keep myself cool and hydrated. Of course, it helps that the sun isn't half as vicious as it is in India and of course we get so little of it, it seems terrible to let it go to waste.
This has meant of course, that a lot of gardening was done this week with very little time for anything else.
I had an email from The London School of Jewellery naming me as their Student of the Month for June - they want me to send in a few pieces of jewellery for a locked display cabinet, and have sent me interview questions for their blog and Instagram account - I'm quite thrilled to be picked!
I sold a piece of jewellery through my shop on Etsy and the lady who lives in London, took the time and trouble to write me a handwritten note with a photograph of how she planned to style it - isn't that amazing?
No one seems to write thank you notes these days. I always include a handwritten note with my parcels of course, but no one actually puts pen to paper and a postage stamp on a card that they themselves have made. Amazing!
I was so thrilled to receive it, it was like I'd received the Nobel prize for Jewellery!
Jolene was named for the beautiful emerald green chromium diopside nugget beads in the necklace that remind me of the song by Dolly Parton, sung in this clip by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
"Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene"
The beads come from Russia where they are marketed as the alternative to emeralds, however, they are more of a olive colour and are part translucent and part transparent. This green gemstone is also thought to be able to improve intellect and encourages the desire of one to learn. According to metaphysical beliefs, chromium diopside is used to help alleviate aggression or stubbornness while in turn enhancing love and commitment.
I find these colours extremely attractive when put together, and was inspired to make this piece late one summer evening when I looked up at the indigo colored sky and saw the leaves from our Gleditsia tree (which are the exact same green) silhouetted against the blue in the garden lighting. The combination seemed too beautiful to forget and I felt that I simply had to immortalise it in a necklace. The pendant comes from Indonesia and the clasp is set with lapis lazuli and comes from my Jaipur trip, as do the faceted lapis in the body of the necklace.
That's as much as I've had time for this week folks, have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello, my lovely internet friends, thanks for coming back to join me today. I've only just managed to shake off a cold and am over the worst of the jet lag - I feel like it gets worse as I get older.
While I was in India I met a young lady who came to take a look at my jewellery and ended up buying a couple of pieces. We had made contact via the website earlier on and she wanted me to wrap a piece of turquoise she owned in copper wire. When Ms A came to the house she brought with her a little bag of bits and bobs which she wanted to have made up, among which were a pair of silver earrings, one of which had a broken catch, a few turquoise beads bought on a visit to Bhutan, lapis lazuli beads and a few pearls which came from one of the earrings. She'd made a start at stringing the beads with one of the earrings as a pendant, but had given up mid way, either bored, too busy, or unsure of the direction it was taking.
Ms A is an educator by profession, feisty, sensible, well spoken with a left wing attitude which chimed with mine, and I felt that although I had only just met her, we achieved an instant rapport.
I love bags that contain treasure - well, who doesn't? The possibilities are endless especially if one is given a free hand and I could see hours of fun in that little bag, a cornucopia of fun.
With the two earrings being virtually identical, I wanted to make necklaces that were as different from one another as possible. There was also an anxiety that the remaining catches on the earrings might break so I drilled holes into the tops of the earrings, cut off the remaining catches and filed down the ends to make them comfortable to wear. I added garnets, labradorite and carnelian chips to the mix as there weren't quite enough beads, and knowing that the lady does not like her jewellery too bright or big, picked muted colours that are more her bag. Anyone who knows me will understand that this was a design challenge for me as I tend to design big, bold and bright!
I had a single turquoise bead left over when I finished the garnet necklace and I put it in the second necklace at first, in place of the large lapis bead that now rests above the earring/pendant.
Ms A said she wasn't keen to have turquoise in both the necklaces when I sent her a picture taken with my phone. After a bit of toing and froing, with me sending her pictures of all the suitable replacements, we decided to swap it with the lapis bead, so I remade that particular strand for her. After all, the customer is always right and should have what she wants, as far as possible! This has always been the Caprilicious credo and I do my best to keep it going.
And then, of course it was the turn of the pendant bead which was destined to be wrapped in miles of tarnish resistant copper wire. The bead itself is pretty tiny, just over a centimetre long so I had to come up with a design that exposed as much of it as possible. I also had to make sure that the holes were covered up so that it appeared more like a cabochon than a bead. Tarnish resistant wire is coated with nylon and has to be manipulated by hand rather than with pliers as the nylon tears if held too tightly and the wire looks unsightly. It is a bit more difficult to use, however, Ms A wanted it and as I said before whatever Ms A wants, Ms A gets (sung to the tune of Whatever Lola wants.....).
There they are, then, Ms A's bag of beads, transformed into wearable pieces. I hope she is happy with them when she receives them, and wish her hours of enjoyment in them.
I had to make these pieces up as soon as possible because one of my friends is travelling to India and has agreed to carry them back with her. I wouldn't be able to trust them to the vagaries of the Indian postal system. I certainly wouldn't want them stolen and for Mrs Indian Postman to be wearing them on her next outing to the cinema!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.