Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery everywhere, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog. This week I've had time to put together a few multistrand necklaces - getting ready for Bling season in the main - there are only 89 days to Christmas and it will soon be the time of year for pretty things and gifts. I hope that some of you will be sufficiently enthused by what you are looking at to pick up your gifts from Caprilicious. I am happy to gift wrap and send the parcel to an address of your choice with a little card from you, all you have to do is ask.
The Shaman's Necklace
'Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos.'
Labradorite is a Feldspar with a rich play of colours called Labradorescence, first discovered in Labrador, Canada. The North American Indians call it the Stone of Shamans - it is meant to aid clarity of thought, protect against negativity and from misfortune, thus bringing balance to chaos.
I love it because it shines so beautifully when moved in the light -at one angle it is a boring grey stone, but move it a bit and Wow! it flashes with such brilliant colour one is simply carried away by its beauty. Combined with rare and beautiful grossular green garnets and a copper wire surround, the labradorite is superb.
Inspired by Isabella Rossellini's shirt necklace in Death Becomes Her, this is my first 'Bling' necklace of the year. Ms Rossellini would look beautiful in a sack, but when she rose out of the water and glided over to her robe purring like a little panther, I just knew that one day I would make a necklace like hers. With plenty of crystals and hammered gold tone links, it shines beautifully, and although I haven't gone overboard, it is still pretty opulent.
Coral, freshwater pearls and an ornate clasp - my muse was in seventh heaven. A pair of earrings complete the parure which is going to be worn with a black and cream lace dress and a little black net fascinator at a wedding.
Daytime Bling - Monet
This painting of water lilies by Monet has so many beautiful colours, and I have been collecting pictures of them to use as inspiration for a piece of jewellery for the longest time - here is the picture, and the necklace - You like?? I love...
This necklace was made for a moonlit walk along the edge of the sea, the breeze blowing in your hair, scarf and skirt billowing - dancing in the moonlight. The pearls and blue jade are ethereal, lending themselves to romance on a moonlit night. If I knew the lady in the picture, I would offer her this necklace.
These two pairs of earrings are so organic, they almost made themselves - I just took the wire where it seemed to want to go and after a while, the earrings appeared as if by magic - they both started with the same material in the same quantities, but ended up being so different. The difficulty with organic designs is to know when to stop with the curls and squiggles and say "The End" !
That's it for this week folks. I have to report that my kittens are pretty useless at being helpers - they sleep most of the day and when awake fight with one another or eat me out of home and hearth - I sound like my mother complaining about her 'helpers' !! I go to my third Polydays in the Cotswolds this week and am sure to bring back some fabulous ideas to Caprilicious. See you next week, same time, same place
Share and share alike - that's what a good marriage is all about, right?? Well, if that's the case, ours must be solid - or Mike is being too literal - he generously gave me a good lashing of his cold. Oh, the muzzy head, the aching joints, the stopped up sinuses (and now I sound just like Mike - minus the Tarzan-esque thumping of the chest)- I just crawled into bed on Saturday afternoon, and stayed there all day, every day till Thursday. The weekend was all nice and sunshiny, but I couldn't go out - nor did I have the energy to play with clay - I knew all my efforts would turn into mud!
Sitting in front of the telly of an evening, I picked up my pliers and an oxbone face - I thought I'd make something from an idea I had earlier - it took me two days to wrap the face and give it a head dress - and I just couldn't see how to take it further - a complete constipation of ideas.
I took a photograph of the half finished piece and put it on a couple of wire - worker's forums on Facebook, and posted that I was planning to cut it up to salvage the beads. It was almost as if I was punishing the little piece of jewellery for my cold - childish?? - of course, but I was way beyond rational at that time. A very gratifying hue and cry went up - after that, I had to save her from the knacker's yard and make something halfway decent with her, if only to justify comments like these -- 'you were going to cut that up are you mad, it's stunning, must be the cold, hope your feeling better', and 'This piece of art is beautiful. Please don't cut it up. It would be a crime. xx'.
So, onward I went!
This is a mask I bought last year when in Venice - everywhere you turn, it would seem that there are masks for sale - at first I said I would absolutely not buy one, but, by the end of the holiday, I had got so used to seeing them around I felt I would miss the damn things if I didn't have one of my own!
The history of Venetian masks goes way back to the fourteenth century, and there are many types, with names of their own. Colombine is the type of mask that fits over the eyes and is held on by a baton or with ribbon - probably because the first woman who wore one was too vain to hide her face in it's entirety. One can only imagine the intrigue and skulduggery that went on behind the mask, not to mention the bad hair days that were hidden by the wigs which were part of the ensemble.
I like the colours -the carnival effect is played out by the colours that my hands chose instinctively - I say that, cos I sure didn't do it consciously with that muzzy head, no way!
I slept most of Sunday and Monday away, and on Tuesday, feeling only a little better, stayed off the day job for yet another day.
While idly surfing the web, I found this image of Barbie in India - actually this is the least hideous one I found - all the others are even more over the top - I found myself wondering whether the designers at Matel had been dropping acid when they put together these caricatures of Indian womanhood. And then I remembered blue eyed, blond haired, Barbie - yes, of course they are on acid - they probably live on LSD fuelled dreams of what their dream woman/ Stepford wife would be like, and go through later life in a permanent fog of disappointment, not being able to find her when reality bites.
I decided I'd design a piece for Barbie - if she actually came from Bollywood.
Maybe I should change the name - to Pink and Pretty (using the 'say what you see' rule), rather than associate Caprilicious with Barbie ? Oh well, it's not her fault, poor thing, that she has an image problem - would you agree??
The Bollywood Barbie Earrings
Wednesday rolled by, and by now we were both deaf as well as anosmic, coughing and spluttering in tandem. The house stank to high heaven - Mike poached smoked haddock in milk - that's what his mother gave him as a lad when he was sick - normally I protest at the smell, but this time I was blissfully unaware.
The Modern Victorian
I learned a new weave called the Kokkocik weave from a wire worker in Poland and thought I'd use it to make up a little pendant. Using a beautiful labradorite cabochon, which flashes the most fire of any I've ever seen, I made a little pendant with seed pearls, copper wire and ruby quartz.
Seed pearl jewellery was especially popular from the last quarter of the 18th century and throughout the nineteenth century, when the burgeoning middle-classes of Europe and the United States grew fascinated with pearls and had the money to purchase them. The Victorians favoured the look of these delicate, almost lace-like pieces against the skin and often associated seed pearl jewellery with purity. They were especially fashionable as bridal gifts and refer to natural pearls that are 2mm or less in size.
Drilling holes into pearls of any size is difficult enough - imagine how difficult it was to drill into a pearl that was as small as a seed before the advent of lasers and other aids used today. I don't suppose the Victorians really cared too much about the eyesight of the people involved in the making of their intricate jewellery.
Each week, I tend to make three different kinds of jewellery - with polymer clay at weekends, a piece or two with beads and gemstones, and have a bit of a play with wire. With Mike and I having the dreaded lurgy, it has meant that I have almost exclusively stuck with making small pieces of jewellery with wire for two weeks - and this is the result - wire worker's thumb nail! This comes from scooching the wire along while weaving it with my right thumbnail, rather than using pliers which might mar the wire or break it. I wonder if I should submit this picture to the British Medical Journal, to the column entitled Minerva on the last page - after all, we have 'pigeon fanciers lung','malt worker's lung' and even 'hot tub lung' - I now present 'wire-worker's thumb nail'!!!
What's that you say?? - stick to gynaecology and wire work and stop this madness ?? - OK, right you are then - it must be the head cold making me go doolally!
That's all for this week folks, catch you next week, same time, same place
I deserve my halo this week, I really do - the sand from the Sahara has blown over to the UK and it feels like every grain has ( at least he thinks so) firmly settled on my poor husband's chest; making him wheeze and groan and thump his chest, in an effort to expel it.
I watched him, unmoved - and unmoving; until he began to cough like a dog - a dog with diphtheria! I had to sit up and take notice then, and thought it was time to minister to him - but now, even my halo aches with fatigue!
Mike is no different to any other man who gets 'man-flu', and he loves to exaggerate - so usually I just allow him to malinger on. This time however, the half human/ half Baskervillian-hound cough scared me (and I don't scare easily), so I bestirred myself with inhalers and steam, antibiotics and rice pudding (??!!) - he's still moaning and groaning , so I've sent him off to bed for a bit, while I write this.
Betwixt and between playing an angel, I took time out to play with wire - the easiest medium to work with, as I can put it down when summoned to fetch a cold compress to soothe a fevered brow. Having pulled out a couple of glass donuts, I made a couple of pendants and connected them together to make one piece - this was inspired by a conversation between two ladies on a wire-work forum on Facebook about the difficulties people who are left handed face when they try to follow instructions written for right handed people. I thought I'd try to make two mirror image pendants and link them together - it is good practice anyway and comes in handy when making earrings. The second donut is a bit smaller than the first, and the central bead is a little faceted agate.
My friend's daughter Meg, took me out to lunch on my birthday, and she was wearing some earrings that I had made a while ago.
In this picture she is wearing them on holiday in St Lucia - the design is quintessentially Indian - called a jhumka - a sort of an umbrella or bell shaped earring worn on a hook or attached to a flower shaped post earring. I decided I'd make yet another pair using only wire and a couple of shell beads I had bought from a friend recently. The shell beads are a beautiful silvery blue, and have black squiggles on them - they are fairly rare, and very pretty. Once the earrings were made, I put together the rest of the shell beads in a necklace, along with cylindrical beads made of wire.
The hyacinths are out in the garden - this is the first time I planted some, so I am very pleased to see them pop up for me. We have some bluebells and primroses as well, and of course, the daffs are out. It will soon be warm enough to go out and do stuff in the garden - not yet, and certainly not this week, I would only be followed by a plaintive call for a cuppa and a paracetomol and a hacking cough that was feeling very sorry for itself indeed!
My house elf has been at work again - I bought some beautiful earring components shaped like little orchids - and they have been spirited away, never to be seen again. I wonder if there is a little dead letter office-like space in my house where this elf is secreting all my lovely stuff - if so, I am in for a fabulous surprise one of these days. I only hope my stuff hasn't gone into one of our 'circular filing cabinets' and thence to the tip!
That's all I've had time for this week folks. I'd better go and fill the hot water bottle, twitch the blankets, plump up some cushions, and generally soothe the fevered brow - honestly, this angel lark isn't a barrel load of fun.
Have a good week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Good day to you readers, I trust you have all had a great week. I certainly have - but more about that later.
People in the UK awoke to find a fine covering of dust all over their clean cars this week - a sandstorm in the Sahara desert had picked up fine particles of sand and blown them all the way overland to us, and a light rain had deposited them on cars and other stationary objects. People had loads of fun writing on car windows - the favourite witticism was 'I wish my wife was as dirty as this' and the newspapers coined a new term 'Sandageddon'!
It seemed just right that I should make 'Dune' - a little pendant I made out of a composite or Intarsia cabochon and wire work.
Derived from the Latin word Intersere, meaning 'to insert', Intarsia is a form of marquetry in wood or stone. The composite is made of a number of pieces of stone, each one cut and faceted to fit exactly into an adjoining piece. Sometimes areas of the pattern are raised to create more depth. Once the individual pieces are complete, they are fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle and fixed to a stone backing which is sometimes cut to the outline shape of the image like a border.
The cabochon in the piece above contains jasper and amazonite, surrounded by onyx and marble. As the cabochon is a work of art in itself, I framed it simply, with wire curls embellished with turquoise and coral. The artisan who cut the jasper and amazonite to fit the pendant probably had a picture like this one I took in the Sinai desert last year in his mind's eye.
The amazonite sky in the pendant has to my eye, the beginnings of a sandstorm, due to a smudge like marking in the amazonite - but I'll bet the artisan who cut it didn't imagine this uniquely British reaction to a sandstorm. I saw this van in the car park of my local supermarket and was compelled to take this picture. I wonder what his wife thought when she read that??
The wire frame was antiqued and embellished with a little wire rose containing a red coral at the top right corner and turquoise beads down one side.
I had a fabulous birthday - I was treated to a long weekend at the Savoy in London as part of a theatre break - we saw The Jersey Boys which I enjoyed very much, ate our weight in food and sweets, wandered hand in hand like young foolish things (ageing by the minute) in Covent Garden and the West End, met friends, had drinks at the American Bar, were treated to lunch - all sorts of fabulousness - I hope it was a harbinger of the year to come.
What do you give a jewellery maker?? Why, jewellery that she can't/wont make herself, of course. This necklace is from Tibet and is embroidered onto a backing of cloth, with a sash to tie it around the neck - I love it - thank you Michael! The Savoy of course is lush, as one would expect and we enjoyed being waited on hand and foot, and then some. Breakfast, which is a meal I do not usually eat, was a must have and we sat down at the American bar both evenings - their mocktails, and they have but two - the Cucumberland and the Savoy Ice Tea are both to be recommended. We were there at Earth Hour, and the whole place was lit up with fairy tale candles - who needs electricity??
Earth Hour at The Savoy
Pearls are in this season as a hot jewellery trend, but I've never really been a pearls person. Being a bit of a trend watcher I have now decided after a bit of soul searching, that actually I do like them, just not in grandmotherly mode - growing old gracefully and wearing age appropriate jewellery - what's that all about?? There are tons of modern ways to wear pearl jewellery - and none of them prissy.
I have made it a personal mission to look for different ways to wear pearls and create looks that even the most non grandmotherly Caprilicious woman will love. Baroque or misshapen pearls have a more contemporary look and the design possibilities are endless.
In this necklace, I have put together five strands of pearls and interspersed them with raw uncut nuggets of garnet. The clasp is pretty too, and can be worn to one side - it is a blister pearl, which is a pearl still attached to the shell of the oyster. The necklace can be worn twisted into a rope, or with the strands still separate, with the clasp in different positions - on the back, to one side or to the front.
Pearls and garnets are a well known combination, the twist in the tale here being the raw nuggets which give the piece its Noir Baroque look.
The rest of the week was spent making little earrings while watching television of an evening - I seem to always have a project on the go, and when I don't, making earrings are a fall back way to enjoy an evening!
That's all I had time for this week folks, have a good week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Thank you to those of you who chose to accept the Caprilicious offer of free gift wrapping and delivery to your friends - it was brought home to me how far internet shopping has come over the last few years. My arms were going like bee's wings - wrapping and packing, be-ribboning and posting - not just your presents but mine as well. Besides, I made all my presents, so that went a bit crazy for a moment there.
I just wish my handwriting was better - Oh well, it's what's in the package that matters, I suppose.
This is one of my favourite Beatle's albums, and having listened to it just as I was setting out on a present making bender, everything I touched turned out quirky and fun - no bling or pretty, sweet stuff was involved - well, very little. Here is some of the stuff I made...........
This particular song - 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite' was inspired by an antique circus poster for Pablo Fanque's circus in Rochdale, and the fab four used calliope or steam organ music to make the record sound like it was straight from the fairground. Apparently the song was written on the spot, using a lot of the words from the poster.
Once I settled into the crazy mood of the circus, all the stuff I made followed suit. The colours too, came from the iconic cover of the album!
My muse was in overdrive, in a bright and crazy mode - I hope the recipients of these have a smile on their faces when they wear them. These slipped out of the pasta machine as well, almost as an aside.....
My very last Afghani pendant went into Soraya - named for the last queen of Afghanistan - a great beauty and a very modern woman, who ended her days in exile in Rome. I put some highly coloured handmade polymer clay beads with it, and added a couple of cowrie shells, to complete the tribal look.
This, I think, is the last necklace I shall make in 2013. I shall continue to play with clay and wire of course, it has become second nature to me now to sit in front of the telly with a piece of wire - like Madame La Farge who wouldn't let a revolution disturb her knitting - incidentally, no one said what she was knitting so furiously - I wonder whether she had a grandchild coming that she was making a layette for?? Anyway, Madame Caprilicious will weave her wire till 2014, when I shall be back with some goodies from India and Thailand - you'll have to come back and find out what they are!
Have a fabulous Christmas - and I will catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello all, I hope you have all had a good week and beat the pre Christmas anxiety bug by getting it all ready beforehand. If you haven't, don't forget, Caprilicious offers a free gift wrap service and your gifts can be sent straight out to your friends from here.
Last week was all about bracelets - Neelam Modi, of Look in the Bag kick started this orgy of bracelet making by buying one that I had tucked away somewhere, and almost forgotten about. She sent me this lovely collage, and I decided straight away that I ought to make some more in a similar style, it looked so good on her (she is a graphic designer who conjures up the most beautiful silk scarves with her own designs on them, paired with a little piece of jewellery, all presented in a bag that can be used as an accessory, as well as packaging for the scarf - what a fab gift idea).
So I looked around for stuff I could incorporate into this sort of bracelet, and here's what i came up with. The first one is a blue agate geode - not dissimilar to the one on Neelam's wrist - except that one was green. I also used an amethyst flower, and a bronzite flower that I got off my friend BN, in a bead swap. I sat in front of the telly the whole week making nets out of wire - I hope you think all that effort wasn't wasted.
Then, I had a phone call from my sister in law who suggested I make some more bracelets in the Chinese Whispers mode - out came the polymer clay and these rolled off the table a few hours later.....
Sisters go to Tea
I played with the face cane, made a week ago and under instruction from Alice Stroppel, I manipulated the cane so I got three different faces from the same cane - I wouldn't say these ladies are beauties - not by a long chalk, but their faces have character ( is that one way of saying they look like old boots!) and they look like they are related to one another - so, 'Sisters go to Tea' was the title of this little offering - since I still have some face cane left, there may be a 'Sisters...' series forthcoming. I think the bracelet is whimsical and fun, and my sense of humour ensures that I will wear it - what do you think? - do you think it's a fun bracelet or do you prefer you jewellery to be more ornate and conventional/sedate?? I think there's a place for both kinds.
For some reason, I was a busy little bee and felt like making a few more pieces - every time I took a break from the wire netting, I made a necklace!
Kyanite and opalite in different shapes and sizes carry the last of my leaf skeletons. Dyed red and blue jade teardrops were added to the leaf with a wire flourish. I love kyanite, which resembles shards of blue cracked ice, with a shimmer deep inside the stone. The molecules are arranged in sheets or layers, which give the stone it's distinctive shimmer - to me it resembles a mirage.
The main colour in the Majorelle gardens in Marrakesh is a cobalt blue, which is vivid and cheerful. At the entrance however, as if the architect wanted to ease you into the brightness, is a restful pond in a very different shade of blue. I named this necklace after the gardens, the blue chalcedony in it is such a restful colour. The yellow agate and creamy jasper provide a calm counterpoint. I know these colours are very summery - but the very drabness of winter makes me want to create in Technicolour - and these days people follow the sun for holidays, so there's no such thing as a seasonally inappropriate colour.
A song from my youth - Rose Garden!
I made some roses for the Caprilicious birthday giveaway a couple of weeks ago - and I made these two fairly robust, so that they could be used in a necklace - much like the wedding garlands worn by the main protagonists in Indian weddings. Along with an Afghani pendant, the necklace looked pretty festive - I test drove it one evening, to rave reviews!
I love that I made almost all the elements myself - in fact all the elements except the pendant and the crystal beads and clasp.
This weekend, I will bring out the tree, and put up all my decorations, get all my presents wrapped up and ready to go, and work at the day job - HELP! At least I've posted off my Christmas cards, so there's one thing crossed off the list.
Have a good weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by. This has been a productive week, made difficult by the lack of a camera. I realised how important a camera was to Caprilicious when my little Canon IXUS went to the 1st Aid Centre (no, I'm not joking - it is called just that) to have it's LCD screen replaced. I have no camera phone, and so was unable to take a single picture all week.
I generally take pictures of almost everything I make as I go along - it's amazing how minor flaws, like a wire end going awol, or a crookedly placed gemstone show up clearly on camera, but cannot be seen when I eyeball them. The camera hospital were kind enough to return it in three days time - phew! and I was off and away again. While I waited for the return of the invalid, I played with wire and made some earrings - wire filigree is so much fun.
This is not a colour I would generally pick - but I fell in love with the delicacy of the iridescent peachy pink of these quartz needles. I sent off for glass teardrops to put in between them - I think this is such a pretty piece of jewellery - I might even wear it myself, and sit down demurely sipping a cup of tea, and nibbling on a cucumber sandwich, just so I can suit the necklace, as I do love it. I am sure it will find a home with someone who is a bit more ladylike than me.
This next necklace was inspired by my crab apple tree, and made with wire and Czech glass beads. Why Rula?? - well, Rula Lenska is an English actress of Polish origin - in the late eighties she was in a TV commercial, and her line was "My hair is a brilliant red, my eyes a dazzling green and if you're not seeing that you're not watching on an RCA television"... besides, the piece is so theatrical, I could see Rula Lenska wearing it.
I think this most definitely qualifies as an Explosion of Colour!
For those of you who celebrate it, a Happy Diwali to you, and I'll see you again next week, same time, same place
'When a woman puts on a heel, she has a different posture, a different attitude. She really stands up and has a consciousness of her body.'
I was raised to be a mouse, shy and quiet, dressed in simple clothes that helped me to merge with the crowd - that was the way good little Indian girls were brought up when I was a child - very Victorian - unfortunately, my personality wouldn't be repressed and the mismatch when "I" escaped was sometimes very odd.
Eventually, I said to myself, to hell with being quiet and nondescript - I shall be me - and then, it was like a weight dropped off my shoulders - I was free! The habit of being shy and quiet though, has been ingrained into me, and rears its ugly head when I am in a roomful of people I don't know - that is when I need my piece of statement jewellery to give me a boost with a soupçon of extra confidence, and help me regain my equilibrium.
When I make a piece of jewellery for the Caprilicious Woman, this is what I aim for - the wearer walks tall, knowing she wears a distinctive piece of jewellery, marking her as a feisty, interesting woman, who cares about herself, has ideals and dreams and is capable of taking her destiny in her hands and running with it - she is the 'Caprilicious Woman'.
Just as your Louboutins give you that 'attitude', a piece of Caprilicious jewellery should help you stand out from the crowd, be noticed and most importantly, feel good about yourself.
Mike and I watch Some Like it Hot, with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon at least once a year - it is a standby favourite for rainy Sunday afternoons, along with Singing in the Rain, and Top Hat. Isn't Marilyn cute?? Apparently she was four months pregnant when she shot this scene - I couldn't tell - clearly, she has some really good foundation garments on here.
I was looking to use these Moroccan Berber tarnished silver metal beads I recently acquired - they are large but light, as they are hollow. Teamed with a couple of hot pink agate beads, and rough cut black tourmaline, I used fuchsia pink pearls as spacers - I had to call this necklace after my favourite film.
Some Like it Hot
I used both my little point and shoot camera and my brand new Nikon to take these pictures - I can see why I am going to enjoy the Nikon once I understand it better - just now it feels like I am driving a car for the first time, coordinating all it's functions seems like an impossible task.
Sruthi Singh, a design blogger who calls herself the East Coast Desi, featured our house and garden on her blog - she was curious about how the design ethic in the decor of the place I live in matched up to the jewellery I make. You can read her article here - the photographs were taken by a friend, and the piece was written by Sruthi. Don't forget to leave a comment on her blog - she will be really chuffed to hear from you.
I took delivery of these exciting and colourful pendants from the Afghanistan/ Turkmenistan area and decided to make some colourful beads to go with them. Armed with a tutorial from a Russian polymer clay artist,
Ms Kopilka and my extruder, I set out to put some really bright colours together and see what happened.
The extruder reminds me of an implement from my mothers kitchen, used to make deep fried savoury snacks. I have never made these snacks myself, my excuse being that I don't deep fry anything ( although this hasn't stopped me eating them!) I find it really ironic that I, the most un-domestic goddess, am now using kitchen implements in my avocation that I would never have dreamed of using to cook with!
This is how the beads from this technique came out - pretty colourful, eh? I still have loads of the cane I made in the picture above and more beads to come from it later on. I also made some Kumihimo braid using Chinese satin thread and nubbly sari ribbon fabric ..........
The first of these beauties went onto the Kumihimo braided cord, which I then festooned to my heart's content with coins made of shell and pewter - very pretty, with a tinkle and a rustle reminiscent of belly dancers in Istanbul.
As the story goes, people threw coins at the feet of Ottoman street dancers, and having nowhere else to store them to protect against theft, the dancers sewed the coins into their belts and scarves. After a while, it became an issue of prestige - the belly dancer with the most coins was obviously the best one, so they began to wear their coins attached to their clothing, visible for all to see, as a sort of clanking, rustling, curriculum vitae cum bank account. They add rhythm and colour to the costumes and the dance, and I certainly think they suit this necklace down to the ground - what do you think ?? It would have been a boring necklace without them, in my opinion.
That's all I had time for this week, folks, stay well and have fun, and I'll catch you soon, same time, same place
Hello, I hope all of you reading this are having a good summer - in the UK, we are about six weeks behind the rest of Europe, hopefully we will be paid back in October when it lasts six weeks longer than it does on the Continent - but, somehow, I don't think so, do you??
I made a necklace with graduated coral heishi beads and a single fog quartz focal - I loved the idea of a fog contained in a bead - I wish we could do that, come winter. A load of people liked it - and thank you to those that did. However, one lady put a comment under the picture 'Gaudy!', she spat! I chose to think she got the spelling wrong and actually meant 'Gaudi'! People are the strangest creatures - if they don't like something, they seem to have a compulsion to make sure the designer knows it - I wonder why?
They could vote with their feet, or fingers in this case, and just click over to something that suits them better. One lady saw fit to comment that my little flight of fancy about a pendant I had made was 'pure BS' and that I should 'cut it out' - a lesson in good manners was in order, I think. At the end of the day, all designs are born from somebody's flight of fancy - I just verbalize mine, is all! Anyway, let me show you some pictures of Parc Guell in Barcelona, designed by Gaudi - I say vibrant, some say gaudy......................
I think she meant Gaudi - don't you???
If not, I invite her to use her finger..........
Ammonites are cephalopods that lived 240 - 60 million years ago, and are now extinct. They are related to the cuttlefish and octopus, and are thought to have lived in shallow water, as the predator of the day. Many specimens found in Madagascar and Alberta display iridescence. These iridescent ammonites are often of gem quality (ammolite) when polished - ammolite is very, very expensive. I just love the little critters, and buy them whenever I can - I do not understand my fascination with them, as I usually look for highly coloured objects. I decided to make some up as earrings in polymer clay, using a faux Raku pottery technique - this involves the use of real gold and silver foil, alcohol inks and layers of transparent clay - so I played, and these are what I made.......
The little elongated shapes were from left-over veneer, and I shall make earrings out of them. I made so many ammonites, that I offered them up for a swap on a jewellery makers swap shop on Facebook, and got a string of coral in return for four beads - a win, win result!
The last little critter was turned into a pendant with a bit of wire work to one side, and a wire embellished leather thong - very now, I think.
Charis is a Greek word for grace - and specifically relates to the three Charities - goddesses of beauty and were Aphrodite's attendants. When Aphrodite rose from a cushion of foam in the sea and reached the island of Cythera, where the Graces were, they dressed her in jewels, placed her in a chariot, and led her to Olympus, where Aphrodite became one of the Olympians.
They were Aglaia (Beauty or Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth) and Thalia (Good Cheer), the daughters of Zeus and the nymph Eurynome. Considered the embodiment of grace and beauty, they brought joy to gods and men and inspired artists. This story inspired artists like Botticelli and Rubens, and I thought this necklace could easily be worn by one of the Graces in the painting below - it is simple, and elegant.
I have been busy producing little earrings and pendants - a friend of mine up in Cheshire has offered to invite her friends round to a jewellery party for Caprilicious - my very first! I am anxious that I must get the mix right, and have something for everyone - I don't want anyone to go away disappointed, since some of them will be driving a fair distance to see what I have on offer.
These lovely ceramic flowers and donuts are in pretty summer colours, and I hung them on suede cord that can be tied around the neck - the donuts have contrasting suede tassels and lamp work beads, and look like Chinese lanterns.
Miles and miles of wire has been wrapped this week, and my hands are quite tired and sore. If you want to have a closer look at the pieces I have made specifically for the party, here's the link :- https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.512787555442719.1073741880.171880539533424&&l=fc852cbf61
I am at work at the day job all weekend, and hopefully it will remain quiet enough for me to make a few little bits and bobs - I want to make some butterflies and dragonflies in wire - I just love them and they are so right for summer.
Catch you next week, same time, same place - have a lovely week in the meanwhile
The Denise Cuff Bracelet
I finally finished the floral cuff bracelet for my friend Denise - and I named it in her honour. Last week it was almost done except for a touch of varnish, and I thought the leaves were a bit bright, so I dulled them a bit before varnishing the cuff.
Denise visits us in late August, and I will ask her to carry a gift for a friend who lives in 'Vegas. She took one look at the Enchanted Garden collar, and asked if I could make her a headband - I thought long and hard, before I made it - a clay lining to the headband would make it too heavy to wear - instant headache! I prefer to keep my friends, so decided to make some roses with the wire cured into them, and wrap them onto a headband with beads and leaves, almost like a tiara. I named it after Anna Karenina, the ultimate romantic tragedy heroine.
The Anna Headband
I took this picture on a glass dummy Mike brought back from a junk shop many years ago - it sits in a corner wearing a Chinese silk cap with a queue attached to it and a spare pair of my glasses on its nose. I wasn't allowed to use this picture on my website or Facebook page - Mike said it looked too weird (did he mean wired ??) and might put people off - wonder what he meant!!!!! I think it's quite funny, actually.
Begin the Beguine - brings back a night of tropical splendour....
I am very proud of this piece - it evolved from a butterfly I made when making some faux ivory pieces - I coloured it with alcohol ink, and put it away. Something made me bring it out again, and I made some more butterflies, and my favourite - a dragonfly to go with it. I made this necklace with some jewel coloured quartz nuggets and crystals, and it is so tropical and summery, I just had to call it Begin the Beguine.
These are a pair of beautifully cut, matched cushion cut citrines, and they have an asterisk shape cut into the back to allow even more light through. They were wrapped in square sterling silver wire which was then fashioned into heart shapes. They are very light and pretty, and I have had to provide rubber ear stoppers to prevent accidental loss - we all know how painful it is to lose a favourite earring, I won't let that happen to any of my patrons!
Begin the Beguine wrung me out - all those intricate butterflies, each one different from the other, and then putting them together so it would look like they were all fluttering around the necklace - but it was worth it for the message I received from the lady who bought it - she loved it, and I am so happy it went to a good home.
I also had a phone call from India, from the lady who bought Meluhan Sunset - a piece conceived by her imagination, translated into a piece of jewellery by me. It was taken to India by my mother and then couriered to New Delhi, to her office, where it sat, waiting for her to pick it up. Of course, she didnt't go to her office for one reason and another that week, and mum and I sat on pins, praying that it wasn't lost.
Anyway, she has it in her hot little hands now, and said she was drooling all over it, she loved it so much - it was fantastic to hear from her, and the relief that she had it, and loved it, was almost palpable.
I made the brooch myself this time with polymer clay and attached a wire dove to it. I am enjoying these little brooches - polymer clay is such a fantastic medium to play with. I concealed the wire holding the dove deep inside the brooch, and it is such a pleasure when the engineering of a piece works just so!
Last week, The Bollywood pendant was snapped up almost as I posted this blog, and an old school mate from Melbourne asked if I could make her another, with a pair of earrings to match. She is a wedding gown designer and makes evening wear as well, she says they will match the new gown that she will wear to a Fashion Award affair. Check out her designs on Facebook - Arlene D'Monte Designs and at Brides on Main http://www.bridesonmain.com.au/collection/collection.html
Here are the pieces I made for her.....
My designs on a red carpet - would you credit that??? - Hollywood next, I suppose!
That's all for this post, see you again next week, have a good weekend
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