Hello readers, thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoyed the guest post by Divya of The Jewels of Sayuri last week. I know I usually post just once a week on the Friday. However, Divya's post came in and I felt I should share it with you straight away.
We finally did it - the Number 9 that I made for the door was framed and hung on the wall under the deep eaves of our bungalow so that the weather and rain doesn't get to it. The wall was originally densely covered over with ivy and Mike spent some considerable time hacking it all away. Under the ivy there were two screws already in the brickwork, as if waiting for the frame, so on it went - I started making this piece in January and it has taken five months to finally get the finished number on the wall.
This is a necklace I made last week - big, you say? - yes, it is big and beautiful. It is a vintage Banjara choker which was probably originally made for a young girl as it is difficult to get it up around the base of an adult neck without deforming the metal severely. I acquired it last year and held on to it until I decided how I wanted to use it. It is of course, a very ethnic piece and is looking for a home with someone who likes their jewellery unconventional and dramatic - a proper Wild Child.
I restored it by cleaning and polishing it, gently hammering out all the dinks and replacing the glass that had fallen out of it's settings, finally adding a threadwork piece to the back using little colourful seed beads.
Simsim is the word for sesame in various languages of Arabic origin. I first heard the word when my mother read to me from the 1001 tales of Scheherazade, Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves being one of them. Ali Baba discovers a cave kept by forty thieves filled with treasure, whose entrance only opens with the pass word “Open Simsim”.
The beads in this necklace are Red Sesame jasper, given to me by my friend BN who found them a bit too big for her taste in jewellery. I held on to them for a while as I tend to use brighter colours usually, but I reckoned that I could brighten the mix by adding another bright colour and a few pyrite beads. Red sesame jasper has a reputation as a stone worn to alleviate stress and reconnect with Earth’s grounding energies, and a cleansing effect that eliminates negativity, stabilizing the aura. It is an ideal worry stone for soothing the nerves and restoring balance. It has other properties, including the enhancing of tantric sex - if you wish to read about this and it's other metaphysical properties in greater detail, I refer you to this site.
Bluebell Fields Forever
The May day Bank Holiday rolled up and it rained - surprise, surprise! But the forecast said it would clear up by the afternoon, so we set out to look for bluebell fields - I got Mike to drive me to Arbury Hall, a stately home which is only open to the public on Bank Holiday weekends and pay the entry fees to wander around the gardens belonging to the Viscount of Daventry. Mike walked around behind me, grumbling about the landed gentry, money made from slavery and working the poor into an early grave, tax fiddles and other such like mutterings, making it clear that he didn't want to be there and resented paying money into the Viscount's already bulging coffers. Me, I just wanted to see the bluebell fields and try and get some photographs, and so we tramped around looking for the best views - once we had them, I was bundled into the car (which I wasn't complaining about as it had started to rain in earnest) and driven back home.
When we got home, it was early yet and I had a play with clay and came up with these beads that I fancy are shaped a bit like gooseberries or Chinese lanterns. They are beige and black and chunky, but quite light as they are hollow.
And these came to me all the way from Morocco - they are so colourful, I shall enjoy putting them to use. The coin placed beside them to give you an idea of their size, is an English ten pence piece.
That's me for this week folks, hope you've enjoyed your read. Do join me again next weekend, same time, same place,
Hello readers, and thanks for joining me in wishing Caprilicious a very happy fourth birthday. Every year I have made Ms Muse a special necklace with my most favourite pendants and beads. This year, I decided to celebrate Caprilicious' fourth birthday by learning a new technique and use it in making a birthday necklace for my muse.
I purchased a tutorial by Barbara Becker Simon to make the hibiscus flower clasp and spent a week carving and embellishing it. To do this, I needed tiny wood carving gouges and I spent a while surfing the net to find them in the UK. The clasp is made in bronze clay and is large and showy. The central 'stick' part of the toggle is a stamen and was a lot of fun to make. I looked for the perfect beads to go with it, and my eyes fell on a beautiful strand of stick or Biwa pearls in my stash.
Stick pearls are made by inserting long strips of shell or a nucleus into the mantle of the mollusc. This allows an elongated pearl sac to form quickly. Once they have been nucleated, the mussels protect their flesh from the irritants by secreting nacre, the calcium-carbonate compound known more commonly as mother-of-pearl. Over the course of 2 to 7 years, the mussels deposit layer upon layer of nacre around the central nucleus. It is from pairs and groups of closely-spaced stick pearl sacs merging together that more or less flat pearls reaching an impressive size are harvested.
Lake Biwa in Japan produced pearls like these regularly for some years, so it is possible that a technique learned from there is being acknowledged by calling these pearls Biwa pearls. You can read more about it in this article.
The pearls in the necklace are V shaped and have a pale peach lustre. The clasp can be worn to one side - or at the back with the hair up, to display it to its best advantage - it most definitely warrants displaying. It is set off by a couple of enamelled beads from Rajasthan and little garnet beads between the pearl sticks.
Mini Tribal Necklace
Here's one more in the mini tribal series. I added a little crescent shaped pendant to tiny green seed beads to make a vibrant necklace.
The little paisley beads of blue howlite are set off by the lost wax bronze African beads. The peridot beads are just the right shade of green and go perfectly with the howlite.
I love labradorite - at first glance it is a pale grey insignificant stone - only when it is moved in the light does it come into it's own. The flash of colour that emanates from deep within the stone are like mini fireworks. I teamed labradorite with pale pink beads - the colours are so sophisticated together.
The pendant for this necklace came from the Banjara people in India and I teamed it with colourful beads in lucite, gemstones and polymer clay to make a vibrant necklace. The coins dripping from the lower edge of the pendant rustle pleasingly when moved.
And that's a wrap folks, in this, the final week of Caprilicious' fourth year. I am going to celebrate Diwali this weekend with a few friends. Have a great weekend and I'll catch up with 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.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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