What is Statement Jewellery??
Hello readers - this is the start of a series of blog posts to explain the ethos of Caprilicious Jewellery and why a piece of statement jewellery is the perfect accessory to make any casual outfit go from basic to spectacular!
The idea for this post came to me when I was talking to one of my colleagues at my day job about Caprilicious, and he stopped me in my tracks by asking me (with a very puzzled look on his face) 'What on earth is Statement Jewellery' ?? - at first I laughed because I thought he was joking, and then I realised he truly had no idea what I had been talking about.
I had to step back and think for a minute before I answered - I had never before been asked to explain it. And then, as a wonderful coincidence, I was asked by a fellow blogger if I would write a guest post about this very subject, and I jumped at the chance.
So, what is Statement Jewellery?? and what's the difference between a statement piece and a signature piece???.....
To my mind, statement pieces make you feel good, reflect your personality and the way you are feeling at that particular moment.
They stand out and are noticed as unique and individual - making your wardrobe basics come together in a way that makes for visual interest.
Larger pieces will obviously make an impact more easily, but small and delicate can make as much of a statement - they just give out a different message about you at that point in time.
A statement piece should make you feel happy with your look, reflect your personality, and help you to walk tall, and feel confident.
In any given week, a woman might want to wear leather, copper and spikes in a very edgy and modern look on one day, and vintage lace and flowers on another - as I said, it's the way she feels when she wakes up that particular morning.
Signature pieces are statements that people recognise as your particular style - Cleopatra eyes, Jackie Onassis sunglasses and pearls or Frida Kahlo and her monobrow and flowers are examples.
The wearing of jewellery could easily be your signature - can you hear people say 'Ooh, she always wears the most interesting jewellery!!' when they talk about you??
To be continued next week..
In the meantime, do take a look at the pieces made at Caprilicious recently.
I made the butterfly with miles of wire, and as if that wasn't enough wire, I made a couple of twisted rope sections to bind it down into a necklace. I watched a real butterfly flit around in my garden as I sat weaving in the dappled sunlight and thought how lovely it looked - like the embodiment of a piece of music hand written on a page, and I had the urge to unchain my little wire butterfly.
This picture was my inspiration for the piece 'Safari Sunset' . The pendant is made of annealed corrugated glass from Italy and has a tiger stripe on it, which got me thinking of a safari. I wrapped in about twenty feet of wire and attached a tree silhouette to the front of the frame. The little sunstone squares and orange agate beads are from India and my sister in law brought me the trade beads from a safari holiday. I love the warm colours of this piece. The copper wire has been patinated and waxed to hold the patina.
The two pieces I made this week are almost diametrically opposite to each other - one of the days I will have to sit my muse down and ask her why she is so capricious - of course, I know the answer - she is a Caprilicious Woman and she lives by her strapline - Delicious jewellery for the Capricious Woman!!
That's my lot for this week folks - have a great weekend and I'll see you next week, same time, same place
p.s. The other two articles in this three part series can be found here and here.
Hello readers, this week I have spent some time thinking about the essential Caprilicious Woman - the woman who wears my jewellery. I was idly looking at photographs I have taken of the jewellery I have made over the last couple of years and I realised that the jewellery on the website is extremely eclectic - there doesn't seem to be a theme running through it.
For instance, some websites I have looked at have sweet and simple, very pretty pieces that appeal to someone who dresses like a fragrant rose. Yet others have large, bohemian pieces that are a cross - cultural patchwork for people who like to dress in a more exotic manner.
The Caprilicious website, however, caters to both these tastes - in fact they may be the same woman in two different moods, on two different days. That, in essence is what a Caprilicious woman is - someone who cannot be corralled into a box, a blithe free spirit who changes her attire with her moods and looks great in all of them! A bit schizophrenic, you say?? You might think so, I couldn't possibly comment!
Why the introspection? Well, I made some sweet and pretty floral earrings in one half of the week, and then the wind changed, and so did my mood - and out came Oshun - a very tribal piece of jewellery.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to make jewellery while watching the telly of an evening, much like a knitter, and I lay the finished piece out on the coffee table till it is photographed and ready to put on the website.
I caught Mike standing at the table one morning, and he said he couldn't believe the same person had made the two pieces of jewellery - that got me thinking ....I just wondered what on earth was going on in my tiny mind that I could find both pieces of jewellery equally engaging - and then I realised - that's what a being a Caprilicious Woman was all about.
I bought these really pretty orchids - and my house elf promptly stole them from me - I turned the house upside down looking for them - I've even mentioned the story on my blog - and then one day, there they were - just sitting on the side of my table, as if butter wouldn't melt and they'd been there all the time. But I know better - I know it is my malign house elf playing games with me - so to foil him, I made them up into jewellery ( he doesn't like made up pieces, only components!) and having photographed them, put them away in my cupboard - aha! take that, malign house elf! Kapow!!
I have been trying to make Ranunculus flowers out of polymer clay - and ending up with only mush - but finally, finally, I made these really pretty flowers that actually look like ranunculi. You can't see it very well in these pictures, but each layer of petals is in a different shade of the same colour.
The Kaleidoscope Saga
This story started with a polymer clay cane I made for a friend - she was picking a design for a commissioned piece of jewellery, and this cane was a reject. I hate wasting stuff, so I put together this kaleidoscope cane, and made a bunch of earrings with it - the last one was made with the end of the cane, turned into a swirly bead. I stuck a spike on it, and connected them with some wire - here it is....
Dog Rose Earrings
I made these flowers in my kiln last year - but didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I wanted them to be different - but what would make them stand out from the earrings made by everyone elas?? - it took me an year to figure that out. I am very proud of them because they are entirely handmade - well, I bought the tear drop shaped jade beads - but you knew that - you didn't expect me to go rock hounding as well as everything else, did you??
Anyway, I finally decided that the addition of colour would make them 'pop' - and that word immediately brings to mind polymer clay, which is quintessentially mouldable colour. The ear wires were made with 20 gauge wire, hammered and polished, the headpins to carry the jade drops made with the same wire. So here, I present my very first entirely handmade pair of earrings..... (drumroll)................
Once I made these, I was on a roll - I had a pair of hydrangeas which received a similar treatment, and a little vine leaf pendant charm was hung with a polymer clay backing sheet with a real leaf impressed into it, and cut out in the shape of a leaf.
Oshun is an Orisha - the beautiful and benevolent Yoruba deity of rivers, love, feminine beauty, love, life, sex, fertility, and art. I was given the beautiful wooden tribal head by my friend BN - I gave my Orisha a shock of hair made of a clutch of beads, some shells, and made the necklace with wooden beads I found in India. My sister in law brought me the trade beads while on a trip to Kenya, and I used some of them to add colour to the piece.
The tribal look is an antidote to 'sweet and pretty' - and I have gone as wild as I dared with this piece. It can be worn with neat and tidy clothes as an almost shocking counter balance, or as an accessory to summer linens and slouchy trousers, with loads of chunky bracelets and fringes and feathers, in a sort of uncontrolled, joyful clutter. Go as Tribal as you dare - it is such a fabulous look, you can but enjoy it. I have loads of pieces on my Out of Africa page - I enjoy making them, and I certainly enjoy wearing them.
A couple of warm days at the beginning of the week, and my thoughts turned to butterflies and dragonflies - those entrancing creatures who embody summertime. Unfortunately, the rest of the week was only fit for ducks as it rained persistently - but the inspiration stayed with me and I made one of each of these, and hung them as pendants.
That's it for this week folks, catch you next week, same time, same place - have a fabulous week
Hello readers, I hope you are all feeling better than I am today - Mike and I have had the flu for nearly two weeks now - I had a week off work and spent Easter in bed. But, things are looking up now, and I am looking forward to the weekend.
This whole week I stayed warm in my armchair, making little bits and bobs with wire and beads.
The Islamic origins of these Moroccan beads are obvious - they come from a shop in Casablanca, as do these pictures of the Hassan II Mosque.
The amazonite slab nuggets in this piece are cut in such a way that when strung, it gives an illusion of there being two strands of beads - a very clever way to cut the stones, as two strands of these undoubtedly beautiful gemstones would be too heavy - and expensive!
The Butterfly's Wedding
I acquired a pendant made of a sheet of mother-of-pearl from my friend BN, and it lay around the house for a while, my house elf moved it from spot to spot - until one day, I decided to make something with it before the elf 'disappeared' it forever! I sat down with it one evening, and played with wire - I meant to cover over the brown markings on the edge of the pendant - to my mind, they marred what would otherwise be a pretty, shiny sheet of MOP. But by the time I was done, I had used the entire pendant as a backing sheet for a profusion of leaves, vines, and tendrils in a fanciful garden populated by crystal butterflies. The piece reminded me of a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen called 'The Butterfly' - you can read it if you have the time and want to find out what happened - just click on the link - it is the story of a butterfly who was looking for a bride, and the most famous quote from that tale is “Just living is not enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower for company.”
I've been experimenting with using donuts as focal beads, held in an asymmetric wire weave, which is harder than you might think. These donuts have no aperture where the wire may be passed vertically through them - the central hole has to accommodate the wire, which has to pass through it gracefully, and yet securely. I tried out yet another method, using approximately four feet of the heavier gauge wire, and twenty feet of the fine weaving wire - and another evening bit the dust! The stone here is a blue agate geode with druzy, which is a coating of fine crystals on the stone fracture surface, in the centre.
More Earrings and a Giveaway
Although I felt better with each day, I hadn't the strength to summon my muse and put her to work - I felt as if I was chasing her all around the room, and boy, was she eluding me.
I gave up in disgust, and made some earrings with ideas I had had earlier, but just not executed yet.
My mother turned 87 on the 22nd - she is fit and well - in fact she's fitter than I am - she walks on a treadmill every day for an hour, and takes painting lessons, to which she has to climb two flights of stairs. On that day, I felt well enough to want to play with clay, and although I didn't spend too much time in my craft room, I managed to make these little sweetpeas, and turned them into earrings that evening. I decided to host a giveaway - yes I know the last one was a disaster, logistics wise, but what can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment. So, the earrings are on Facebook till Sunday the 27th - all people are required to do is to like them and share the image on their page - I will draw the five people who win the earrings from a random number generator.
That's me for this week folks, thanks for stopping by, have a great week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Good morning, and how nice it is to have you stop by. How are you today? We have had a mixed bag, weather wise, in Britain (what a cliché - a blog from the UK mentioning the weather in almost the first sentence!), and our collective moods have been up and down with the vagaries of the elusive summer sunshine.
I spent the week preparing frantically for the jewellery party at my friend's place at the weekend - cleaning and polishing stuff I tried to chose carefully to match the demographics of the people who are likely to be there.
I am determined to put on a decent show - both for Caprilicious, and for my friend, who has bigged me up and invited all her friends - Gerri and I have known each other for ages, having been at school together. These good folk will be driving for up to an hour to get there and will be expecting a decent show for their effort.
I will tell you all about it next week, when I have recovered my equilibrium. Just now, I am wandering around the house muttering and shaking my head, looking for stuff the house appears to have eaten - a bit like Gollum and his 'Preciousssssssssssssssss'.
These stones landed on my doorstep earlier this week, bought from a vendor in India - 342 carats of carved cabochons in Labradorite and rose quartz, 73 carats of prehnite teardrops, and best of all, 233 carats of a labradorite slab.
You might well wonder why I would want to buy a large flat grey stone - enlarge the picture, and you will see a fine tracery of blue, that resembles lightening bolts running through the stone.
This is what happened when I tilted the stone so it got some light shining on it from the living room window - the flash of Schiller is unmistakeable.
When I tilted it further towards the light, the flash was so brilliant, I almost needed my sun glasses to look into it directly.
I have put these stones away, deep in my stash, and will bring them out periodically to look at, and stroke, until one of them speaks up and demands to be used. The large slab will remain with me, until I can be certain it will go to a good home, it is so beautiful, it deserves preferential treatment.
Beads Unlimited are a bead company in Brighton. I occasionally submit designs to their website, for their readers gallery, and Jo Porter went along to the Caprilicious website to take a look at my other designs - she loved them so much, she offered to feature me on her Bead Barmy Blog - and here's a screen capture of what she wrote.
To read it for yourself, here's the link - http://www.beadbarmy.com/2013/06/hobby-to-business-caprilicious-jewellery/
Thank you Jo, and Beads Unlimited, for your kind words and your little gift of beads and wire.
Flutterby from last week was a hit, and sold even before the blog was released on Friday. I had one more cloisonne butterfly and I decided that it too, should be allowed free - and so Flutterby (2) was born. I used amethyst, fluorite and emerald nuggets, so that the two of them wouldn't be identical.
With my foot still poorly, I gave it a fighting chance by resting it as much as possible - this meant that I could not work with polymer clay, as this meant treks back and forth from the oven to my work room. So I played with my kiln and fired some silver clay, and for the first time, bronze clay as well. Silver is now so expensive, I had to make sure I got it right- here are the pieces I made.....
Metal clay is made from powdered metal mixed with water and a substance called "methyl cellulose" to create a clay-like dough.
Metal clay handles similar to traditional modeling clays, and when dried is transformed into a solid, metallic object through a firing process. During firing, the methyl cellulose binder is burned away and the metal particles "sinter" into a solid form.
The montage below shows some of the story. I managed to make quite a few pieces, and only one of them broke in the heat of the kiln, probably because the imprint of the design was a bit too deep - Oh well, I can live with that.
The whole thing was fired for an hour in an oxygen depleted environment, buried in carbon particles in a lidded stainless steel container and left to cool in the kiln overnight. And then, I held my breath as I opened up the container and scrabbled around in the charcoal for the pieces of bronze that I had buried the day before - would they be OK, or would they be rubbish????
It's amazing what a bit of soapy water in the tumbler can do - the stainless steel shot works its way into every crevice and shines and hardens the metal - I love my little tumbler, it makes the metal so pretty - I forgot to put a couple of pieces in the tumbler, and you can see the difference straight away. I couldn't wait to add some pretty gemstones and turn them into danglers.
Daffodils Daffodils lining the road to Coombe Abbey
............Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
One cannot imagine an English Country Garden without daffodils - I found this beautiful set of brass stampings on a site in the USA and bought a few of them - this is the second one I have used, with a woven copper frame and loads of Czech glass. I meant to put a beaded necklace on it, but in the end decided to give it a more modern look with a leather thong. A blue chalcedony tear drop finished the piece off with elegance.
That's it for this week, thank you for stopping by. Must go and pack the car now and see how many things I can forget! Catch you next week, same time, same place with the story
p.s. for those of you who read the Caprilicious blog each week, to the side of the title is a logo that reads 'Follow my blog with Bloglovin' - this will ensure that it lands in your inbox without fail, so you don't need to be connected to Facebook to get it. Alternatively, below this is the Network Blogs link - this will do the same - you can take you pick
see you soon
Hello everyone - and what a nice week we have had - the sun has been out most days, and at last, I have put away those winter boots and brought out sandals and colourful shoes to match the uplift in mood a bit of sunshine brings.
I set to thinking of colour combinations and I remembered the times I went saree shopping with my mother as a teenager. Shopping in the Western world was a major culture shock when I first arrived in the UK over twenty years ago, but equally, now, buying anything in India seems like a crazy endeavour.
We used to go into a shop we favoured, and tell the shop assistant the colours we had in mind, and a price range. There was the consideration of what colour the body of the saree should be, and then the weighty matter of the border - should it contrast, or not, etc.
We could say to the salesman - we want a blue saree, shot with green, with a maroon border, and gold checks, in a particular price range - and miraculously a dozen or so of them in different shades and combinations of the colours specified would appear for our delectation. We'd then settle down with a cold drink, while he and his assistant opened them up like carpet salesmen in Istanbul, and spread them out on the counter before us.
We'd put aside about three or four in a shortlist, and then pick a couple to buy. My mum was a busy doctor, so we just went into the one shop, and I knew I had to make up my mind pretty quickly or she might be called away, and I would end up with nothing. I know people who went into shop after shop and repeated this mind blowing exercise - and then probably went back and bought the first one they liked! Mike gets the benefit of this early training, as my shopping is all done really quickly, and he doesn't have to hang around for ages while I make up my mind.
As each saree is five and half metres long, folded into a rectangle about 12" x 18" for storage, and has to be opened up completely to display it properly, it must take ages to clear up after a customer ( and I now feel guilty for messing up the sweater display in Debenhams!!).
The collage of pictures shows the organised chaos that is a saree shopping expedition - Mike feels quite weak and exhausted when he goes shopping in India - he wants to buy everything, because he feels so sorry for the sales people, who see one coming a mile away, and sniff the scent of an easy sale.
I made a couple of necklaces, to be ready for the jewellery party my friend is throwing for Caprilicious - I used the smaller leaf skeletons in my collection, and the smallest beads I could find in my stash. I tried to keep the design simple, but, because my design ethic is asymmetrical colour, something makes me add a surprise element, spoiling the original quest for 'sweet and simple' - but that's Caprilicious for you, and I cannot apologise for that.
I took these pictures in Norway - the contrast in the textures, and the bright oranges/ yellows against the steely greys and blues of the background struck me as particularly vivid - labradorite! I thought, in a rare light bulb moment. I love labradorite for its seemingly dull exterior, until it catches the light - and flash! comes the shot of Schiller or rainbow effect - it is such a deceptive gem stone.
I live in a house that tends to eat my stuff - and then it miraculously reappears. This butterfly reappeared in my stash, and I could see why I bought it - the colours are so lovely and soothing. Teamed with the blues and greens of aquamarine, emerald and aventurine, the butterfly seemed to be skimming over a garden.
Turquoise blue South Sea shell pearls, freshwater pearls, interspersed with carnelian beads, and a little maple leaf skeleton went into this necklace. A couple of crackle quartz beads and a Czech Picasso bead formed the contrast, giving it that carnival feel you get from listening to the style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago during the early to mid 20th century. Calypso evolved into a way of spreading news around Trinidad. Politicians, journalists and public figures often debated the content of each song, and many islanders considered these songs the most reliable news source. "Rum and Coca-Cola" by the Andrews Sisters, a cover version of a Lord Invader song, became an American hit despite the song being a very critical commentary on the explosion of prostitution, inflation and other negative influences accompanying the American military bases in Trinidad at the time. Calypso articulated itself as a form of protest against the authoritarian colonial culture which existed at the time.
And at this point - wham! I fell over at work and tore something in my left foot. A deadly combination of new shoes, and a shiny floor had me go a**e over tip and I spent time in A&E getting an X-Ray, and was sent home on crutches. Not being able to walk for a couple of days meant that I was unable to get from bead stash to workroom, to oven - so, I gave up, and lay around feeling and being useless. On the bright side was the fact that there was nothing broken, so I can now hobble around and have a few little items more for the jewellery party next weekend.
I made some Chinese knots - each one is made with 14" of a single length of wire, and then embellished with fine wire and beads. Two pendants and a pair of earrings emerged from the enforced sitting around - the black and silver is a pretty combination.
This strand of Kyanite languished in my stash - I needed some inspiration to brighten it - the steely blue - grey can be a bit depressing. The clasp arrived in the mail, and hey! Presto - with the addition of plump blue quartz, I arrived at this necklace that can be worn in so many different ways, just by moving the clasp around.
That's this week wrapped up folks, thanks for stopping by. Catch you next week, same time, same place
Jewellery making has taught me a few things about myself - I always thought I was a pragmatic, sensible person with a sober, practical bent. Who knew that deep within me, lurking somewhere, was a love of pretty, romantic images - roses, fairytales, pearls, sea foam, snow blossom....
If someone had asked what sort of jewellery I would have chosen to create a few years ago, I would have picked modern abstract pieces - squares within circles - you know what I mean - clean unfussy lines, gentle curves slashed by straight soaring gashes of colour, red and orange against black.... These are images that appeal to me, and I am drawn to them in art galleries and glossy brochures of modern art - and yet... when I think about putting my own creative forces into action, the objects that spring forth from my mind and hands are very different.
It would seem that deep within me, there is a very feminine side that longs for lace and flowers - I buy my gemstones and beads to conform to that side of me, and unsurprisingly, the resulting jewellery is as it is - I will leave you to be the judge of that.
I had some exciting news this week - my designs were featured in Bead Magazine - a whole page spread - boy, was I chuffed! I have a photograph of the page - the best I could get from my little camera, but it was nice to see that other jewellery makers rate my designs.
No sooner had I just about got used to this, a friend of mine informed me that a design I had posted idly on the online gallery of yet another jewellery makers magazine - this time Beads and Beyond - had won a £10 voucher! This was almost too much to take - all in one week!
I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, etc. etc ..... but, what I did was to cook dinner, go to bed, and go to work the next day - Oh well, such is life!
I made a pendant with a pale green agate geode, very gently faceted to accentuate the markings of the crystalline structure within - the stone is rough cut at the edges, and I allowed that to be just visible - I didn't want a neat and tidy bezel hiding the edges. A wire rose appeared, almost by magic, some leaves, a vine - I love that particular effect clambering all over my jewellery - 'rose hips' of delicious yellow agate, malachite and a chrysocolla tear - drop. I added a pretty three dimensional butterfly to the edge of the necklace for a touch of whimsy - it looks like it is just taking flight, having had it's fill of nectar. When I explain my jewellery to my mother, she smiles at me as if to say ' what have I brought up here??' and I can almost see her tapping the side of her head - 'Toc Toc' and rolling her eyes! But there are people who get it - so this is for you kindred spirits - prosaic on the outside with a soft centre within...
I wanted some straight lines to contrast with the curves of the rose and the curlicues around the geode, and I think this works well, and will sit neatly within the collar or neck of a dress. And, I just love the way the butterfly almost seems to flutter on the edge of the piece.
The next piece came about because I had promised myself that I would make a bracelet this week, and also that I would add to the Caprilicious Silver collection with at least one piece a week - so, I combined the two. I have had this intriguing gemstone in my collection forever - it is a piece of Chiastolite - found in the Almeria district of Andalusia and so, also called Andalusite. It has needles of carbonaceous material included deep within, and when viewed in cross section it looks like a crucifix. Chiastolite is also called the 'lapis crucifer' or 'cross stone' in ancient texts. It is a dull brown stone, and I thought it needed pretty and shiny elements by it, to brighten it - unless the jewellery was for a monk! So here is the Andalusian Prayer Bracelet.
The citrine nuggets, aventurine cylinders and labradorite rondelles with their sheen when they catch the light, offset the dullness of the Chiastolite, and along with the shine from the silver, this is a handsome piece.
Six strands of tiny 3mm rose quartz beads interspersed with Swarovski pearls, with a knot holding a dyed Howlite donut - some of the strands are strung on red beading wire, bringing out the pink in the rose quartz, and the others on plain wire, giving it a paler whisper pink colour. The effect is that of the Snow Blossom, which is the flower from the cherry or the plum trees, which when in full bloom looks just like snow.
Finding ways to display jewellery online can be quite challenging - my other half is useless at photography and refuses to learn, so I have to do it all myself. I had to buy a dummy to display my necklaces as the pictures Mike took were shockingly poor, and now that I am going to make a few more bracelets, and do not have the requisite 'pale hands beside the Shalimar' I bought this dummy - it comes in two pieces, with a join exactly where the bracelet rests - I spent a lot of time editing the pictures to make the join unobtrusive after photographing the Andalusian Prayer - and then I was asked politely to put the arm away - he says he hates it - any more chuntering from Mike, and I might just put it where the sun dont shine!!!
Thats all for this week folks, have a good weekend, I am at the day job all weekend, hope it doesn't get too busy and I will have something to show you next week.
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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