Hello readers, how nice of you to drop by - autumn will soon be here and the colours of my new statement jewellery collection are reflecting this. No, they are not brown and grey - they are bigger and brighter than ever, to zhush up the autumnal hues of rust, must and dust that most dress designers pick as being suitable for us during this season.
I will let you in on an open secret - I am a very shy person - and when I tell people this, they laugh at me disbelievingly. I am even intimidated by hairdressers because I cannot relate to them, and small talk with a stranger is a no go area for me - I usually come out looking like someone else's mop - they seem to have a pack instinct when they see me coming - there's no 'Hello moddom, would you like a coffee?' - it's all snip, snip, snip - and when they've finished, they make me look like the person they perceive - a raggedy Orphan Annie type on a bad hair day - and that's cos she's exactly who they see when I slink in, looking apologetic for breathing the same air!
At the age of - well, older than many of you - I am now qualified to tell you how I overcame this using my passion for jewellery, and perhaps you will find you can do it too.
1) Spark A Conversation - Effortlessly
This is where Caprilicious comes in - wear one of your pieces of statement jewellery and you will find people coming up to you and complimenting you on what you are wearing. It doesn't have to be a massive piece of jewellery and you don't have to be blinged up to the eyeballs.
Take Glamour Puss - one of the pieces I made this week - all it is is a piece of pink and black agate - but it is presented on a pink stainless steel torque, wire wrapped, with an extremely shiny Swarovski crystal square wrapped onto it - a definite conversational opening gambit if ever there was one.
Obviously, no one can guarantee that people are going to walk up to you - you may have to do the walking - find someone in a nice ensemble and tell them you like it - instant spark! they will compliment you back ( people love a compliment and usually reciprocate - I'm sure you've noticed that) and Bob's your uncle!
2) Have Something to Say Prepared
When someone compliments your jewellery, don't just mumble your thanks or go the 'this old thing??....' routine- smile widely, tell them a little story about it - perhaps even how clever you were to find it - if it's a piece by Caprilicious and you have read the blog, there's a backstory all ready for you to tell.
At Caprilicious, I attempt to make jewellery that is interesting and different - I have the occasional daytime, everyday piece - but even that is usually different from the norm - you have plenty to talk about.
These little lampwork beads were turned into daytime earrings, but they are so pretty, I'm sure you will be noticed when you wear them. I turned the leftover beads into bracelets with braided leather, so you can have a whole ensemble if you want one.
They are made to resemble the spinning top I had as a child - I was only allowed to play with it if I promised to be very, very careful (?), and eventually it was used by both my siblings, probably with the same proviso, and in turn, by their children. It still exists in my mother's cupboard - waiting for her great grandchildren, I guess! Unfortunately, their toys of choice are likely to be an internet enabled mobile phone, so mum has wasted her efforts to save what has now become an antique heirloom - perhaps it will be worth something one of these days.
3) Ms. Attention - To - Detail
Be Little Miss Attention-To-Detail - wear the right piece for your neckline, to coordinate with your outfit - and if you are in Caprilicious Woman mode, dare to wear jewellery in a completely contrasting colour to your outfit - after all, an orange necklace with the outfit in the picture would be drowned out by the colour of the vest - the blue necklace is definitely the better fit.
4) Get Up Close and Personal
Once you have complimented someone about their jewellery, and received one in return, you have chatted about your sources for said jewellery and smiled at each other, you are fast becoming friends - after all you have found something in common - your love for pretty jewellery!
Introduce her to someone you know, she reciprocates - and before you know it, you have a networking session going on right there, under your very shy nose - did you know that was going to happen?? I did! There are a few more tips on Reggie Darling's fabulous blog - Reggie's Advice For the Tongue-Tied Guest at Table Amongst Strangers, and I recommend this post to you. And of course, you must never get so carried away by your success by turning into a Conversation Hog! Click on the link to find out how not to do it.
5) Be Different - and Revel in It
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was to be like everyone else, to merge seamlessly into the background - I blame my mother for this (as I type I can hear her grumbling in the background 'you blame your mother for everything') - I was expected to be a Little Miss Muffet - but I was also expected to go out and fight my corner in the world of modern medicine when I grew up!
And then I ended up in Britain, and have found that a lot of the time I stick out like a sore thumb, and there is no Marks & Spencer camouflage that works. It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm over the worst. I'm happy to be me and revel in being different.
I wear Caprilicious all the time, and that helps me walk tall ( I'm only 5'2") and people come up to me and talk about my jewellery. I like to take the stuff I make on test runs, but sometimes they get sold before I get a chance - here's one of the pieces I made last week that lasted fifteen minutes on my pages...
It is most definitely evening wear, and I didn't have an occasion to wear it before someone from work snapped it up.
A statement jewelry piece by Caprilicious will give you confidence, help you stand out in the crowd of 'samey people', and allow you to start a natural conversation - the death knell to shyness. The end result is a helpful, natural connection. The best part? It’s a great excuse to start shopping!
That's it for this week folks. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello all you Caprilicious women out there, I hope you are all relaxed and ready for the weekend, ready to go partying in your statement jewellery.
I have some exciting news this week - Caprilicious is due to have a second exhibition in January 2015. I am negotiating with the good people of Raintree, where I had my first exhibition, to find us a suitable weekend at the end of January when I am due to be in Bangalore visiting with my mother.
Lipstick on your Collar
That's right, I've made this necklace before - last time, I used the jasper I acquired from my friend BN with a coral pink howlite - I happened to have some pale, blush pink howlite lying around and a few black veined jasper beads left over from last time and they just seemed to cry out to be put together. I am by no stretch of imagination a 'pink' person, but I just love the combination of pink and grey/black - very cool and sophisticated. You wouldn't catch me in a pink outfit though - one has to draw the line somewhere! There are plenty of greys, blacks and whites in my wardrobe that could be accesorised beautifully by this necklace when I take it out for it's test run.
For the longest time, I thought seahorses were mythical creatures, like unicorns, phoenix', dragons, dinosaurs and pixies - only kidding, honest. I love the little critters, they are the cutest and I am always on the look out for them. I found an aventurine carved into a seahorse, so smooth and shiny - an instant love affair. With a little wire bail, and the addition of agates and glass beads as well as pearls, it was transformed into a cruisers necklace - or for someone going on a holiday to an island paradise. I used the colours in this photograph to make this necklace.
Do you know the story of Salome?? It is from the New Testament - Salome, who by all accounts was a raving beauty and a femme fatale, who is hailed as the embodiment of female seductiveness and an icon of sensuality , did the Dance of the Seven Veils at her step fathers birthday bash - he offered her anything her little heart desired, and Salome, being as thick as two short planks, looked to her mom for an answer.
Her mom had dumped her first husband, and married his brother - she was extremely put out that John The Baptist had denounced her marriage as unlawful; and he didn't just say it once - he raved and ranted and denounced her from the rooftops, unfortunately prophets just don't
seem to know when to stop - to silence him she decided to get her daughter to demand that John be beheaded.
Salome could have asked for anything - gold, diamonds, pearls - but being a bit sweet and unworldly, she said 'what shall I ask for mommy??' and chose to obey her mother. The king had no choice but to behead the hapless John and present her with his head on a plate.
But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
My necklace is named Salome - I'm sure it wouldn't have looked out of place during the Dance of the Seven Veils - men will lose their heads over the wearer - but hopefully in a nicer way than poor old John. I've tried to put nuances of sensuality and fiery desire into this magnificent necklace and the haematite gleams brightly in contrast to the hand carved black jade and the paisley howlite beads in the second strand of this piece.
Her face is hand carved of ox bone, she wears a sterling silver and marcasite helmet, her helmet straps are fastened and she looks calm, yet resigned, as if off to do battle for a cause she believes in, wearing her regalia. A beautiful faceted citrine teardrop dangles below her chin - she is The Warrior Princess.
I teamed her with citrine and carnelian freeform nuggets, pearls and blue goldstone beads to make this piece.
Now that I've decided that there will be an exhibition, a bit of anxiety has started to creep up on me - yes, I know I'm being silly, and that I have five months to go - but I'm just a ' have everything ready ahead of time' type . So, I made some earrings - they will go on the website, and eventually make their way to the exhibition, or not, as the case may be - but at least I will have them ready in time.
These are sweet, and helped me watch one of my favourite movies 'The English Patient' for the n'th time as my pliers moved rhythmically along with the soundtrack. And then, with mental calm restored, now that I have enough earrings, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the truly righteous. Now all I have to do is to remember to carry them along - one time I did a jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house, and I left all my earrings and other little bits behind in the cupboard at home.
That's all for this week, folks, I hope you have enjoyed looking at my bits and bobs - if you have, do leave me a message - I'm beginning to think I'm talking to myself.
One of my kittens, Wilfred has found a spool of wire and is chasing it around the room, whilst Charlie has bumped into a wall and got a huge bruise on his nose - £50 to the vet and a clutch of tablets later ( I'm so in the wrong profession), he looks like a rugby player after a particularly violent scrum. Thankfully he is a kitten and not a child, or they would have had me up for non accidental injuries!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by - it is a great pleasure to meet up with you again, albeit virtually.
It gives me a great thrill to announce today that I have a new collection - a 'Luxe' collection for you, made using silver pendants I have sourced on my travels, and semi precious gemstone beads. I did a lot of shopping for Caprilicious from the earnings of my first ever exhibition in January, and it has taken me a couple of months to work away at them patiently, so that I would have a coherent body of work to display on the website.
I strive to keep my jewellery interesting, one of a kind, and affordable - the 'Luxe' range will perforce have to be at the higher end of 'affordable' - but I promise to always do my best by you, my Caprilicious ladies.
It is my birthday this weekend, and I decided that this date would be the deadline ( I like working to a deadline - although I'm usually late! ) to place before you...... (drumroll) the Silver Seduction page on the Caprilicious website.
I play this piece of music for you for no reason - other than because I love Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli - they are fabulous together and this swing interpretation of J'attendrai is something else - enjoy it while you read on.
J'attendrai translated means I will wait - as do I, with bated breath to see how my Luxe collection will be received by you, my readers. I love to hear from you, so do drop me a line in the comments section and tell me what you think.
This is a sneak peek at some of the stuff I will have up on the website tomorrow...............................
There will be lots of pictures on the Caprilicious Facebook page and of course, on the website page, Silver Seduction. Mike is taking me on a short mystery theatre break to London for my birthday (I just happen to have seen the tickets as I know all his hiding places - but we wont tell him) so I will be posting these on the website a day earlier than I originally announced - on the 29th of March, before we take the train down.
That's it for today - have a great week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Sara is a lady who draws, paints and crochets - she also runs a Flickr group to support 'quality art and handmade'. She selects five designs as her favourites of the week and allows people to vote for them on her blog. My JuJu Woman necklace was selected this week - if you have a moment to spare, do visit her site and cast me a vote in the next seven days, please. http://sara-artstudio.blogspot.co.uk/
The pictures above are, from left to right, jaggery, citrine nuggets, and brown sugar. Jaggery and brown sugar are cane sugar with a higher content of molasses than white sugar - this makes the partially refined sugar moister. Jaggery is sold in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean, and I have seen it piled high in the Asian shops in the UK just before Asian festivals, and sold in 5 kilo doorstop sized lumps wrapped in jute sacks.
My mother always had some in her pantry, and as children, we would sneak in and steal a few chunks, stuffing them into our mouths with a handful of raisins and cashew nuts and run into the garden, before we were caught and given a good hiding for our trouble. It is no wonder then, that I love citrine nuggets - they remind me of my childhood.
I have come to the sad conclusion that I am a bit of a glutton - I often describe beautifully marked gemstones as 'almost edible', though why anyone would choose to eat a stone is beyond me. It may be because I fall in love with the gemstone on the basis that more than one sense is excited - it not only looks good, but it looks like it might taste good! I do, however, stop short of actually putting them in my mouth - even though they have no calories.
When I made this necklace with citrine nuggets, all I could think of was brown sugar, no other name seemed to fit -so, that's what I called it.
I have had the carnelian leaf pendant in my collection for ages, as well as the opalite leaf in the next piece I am going to show you. The waxy translucence of the carnelian seemed to go perfectly with the crystalline structure of the citrine.
The opalite leaf in the next piece glows as if it has been touched by the light of the moon. I teamed it with faceted blue chalcedony and banded blue agate - I made the entire piece up, and then felt that the leaf, on its own, was too small for the size of the stones in the necklace, so I unpicked the whole piece, and make a wire frame for the pendant.
I had a new weave I wanted to try out, taught by a wire artisan called Mary Tucker. Her weaves have a flat appearance, almost like a woven fabric - I tried out a short segment, and when I separated the wires, I liked the result so much, I incorporated it into the frame for the pendant. Once I had enlarged the pendant, it fitted well amidst the large stones in the necklace. I originally bought the blue chalcedony because the blue reminded me of the baroque palace of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg and I remained true to that idea with the name for the necklace. Until St Petersburg, I had never seen such a brilliantly coloured palace - and it is indeed magical - I was there so many years ago, but have never forgotten its beauty.
Some beads are too pretty to languish in a dark corner, and these Nepalese wooden beads, as well as the coral, fall into that category. The coral has been dyed black - it is illegal to make jewellery out of real black coral, as it is a protected species by international law. These tear drops are made of sponge coral, which is from a sustainable source, and dyed black. Nevertheless, the tear drops are very pretty, and I have tried to use them to their best effect in this necklace. The origin of the name is Arabic where it means 'dark as the night, and mysterious', but when I dug a bit further, it would appear that the Urban Dictionary has claimed it as a noun - the definition of 'a laila' is interesting, to say the least.
I love agate beads that have markings on them - they are so delicate, it is almost impossible to believe that this artistry is wrought by nature. With these waxy translucent whisper pink Dragon's vein agate beads, I found it easy to design a piece adding just a soupçon of bling - a couple of magenta agate beads and a carved amethyst dragon bead, a few spacers - and there it was - the colours remind me of a fuchsia.
Fuchsias have always brought to mind a lady in a ball gown being twirled around in a fast quickstep that imbues her antebellum gown with a life of its own, ballooning around her, so her ankles and delicate dancing slippers are visible .
Thanks for stopping by my blog folks, I hope you have enjoyed this weeks efforts. 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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