Hello readers. British Summer Time is here, the clocks have sprung forward an hour, so it must be spring. However nobody told the weather, so although it is daylight for longer which is always nice, it remains cool and a bit rainy.
I've been making multi strand statement necklaces all week. For some reason these colourful necklaces have caught my imagination and I have been unable to settle for simple pieces. It must be the juxtaposition of contrasting but harmoniously coordinating colours that has tickled the fancy of my subconscious mind.
Deep purple titanium coated quartz spikes and green dyed coral harmonise in this necklace and a little citrine glass acorn pendant adds a touch of whimsy. Although the purple spikes are dramatic enough, I piled on the colour, layer after layer until I was satisfied that it would hold no more.
The Majorelle gardens in Marrakesh are twelve acres of bursts of colour, huge cacti, pools and streams that tinkle merrily, Art Deco buildings painted a deep blue - 'majorelle blue', and yellow. Exotic and peaceful, these gardens contains the Islamic Museum of Marrakesh and are owned by the Yves St Laurent foundation. People sit there in the shade and read or picnic, relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When this beautiful pendant arrived, I knew I would take as inspiration my photographs of these gardens from a long ago trip. This trip down memory lane makes me want to go right back.
Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Coptic Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion.
"Lalibela is history and mystery frozen in stone, its soul alive with the rites and awe of Christianity at its most ancient and unbending. No matter what you’ve heard about Lalibela, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of its breathtaking rock-hewn churches, nothing can prepare you for the reality of seeing it for yourself. It’s not only a World Heritage site, but truly a world wonder. Spending a night vigil here during one of the big religious festivals, when white-robed pilgrims in their hundreds crowd the courtyards of the churches, is to witness Christianity in its most raw and powerful form." Lonely Planet
The cross in this necklace is inlaid with ebony and decorated with ancient carved symbols. I used coral - red cylinders, and white teardrops, as well as lapis, haematite, seed beads and tiny African trade beads to show it off.
All the necklaces on this page have little baroque crystals dangling from the back of handmade extender chains as I can't see any reason why the back view shouldn't be as pretty as the front. These necklaces appeal to the bohemian side of my soul and I think they will bring a lot of pleasure to the ladies who eventually own them.
While you read this, I shall be in Chester, a medieval Roman city about two hours from us in northwest England. It was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D. and is known for its extensive Roman walls made of local red sandstone and Tudor style half timber buildings, a photographers dream. I have a couple of days off and we thought we'd try somewhere different - we normally end up in London, but given recent events we thought we'd keep well away from big cities. I'll have loads of pictures for you next week, but I'll say goodbye for now. Have a great week, and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Good morning readers, as you open the Caprilicious Blog this morning, I am frantically getting stuff together for the Artisan Market tomorrow. This is the first time I have taken Caprilicious to a fair in the UK and I most definitely have butterflies in my tummy. One of my friends is kindly coming up from Cambridge to help me on the Saturday and hopefully all will be well. Do spare a thought for me tomorrow, and if you can come up and see me. As I said last week, introduce yourselves as readers of this blog, and I will give you a 15% discount - a kick start to your Christmas shopping!
Aida is an opera by Giuseppe Verdi. Set in Egypt, it was first performed at Cairo's Opera House in 1871 and continues to be a staple of the standard operatic repertoire.
As the story goes, the Egyptians capture and enslave Aida, an Ethiopian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. To complicate the story further, the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings. And on goes the triangle that is the basis of many a love story.
Coptic crosses are influenced by the Ankh, the symbol of eternal life - the Coptic Christian religion follows the Gospel of Mark and broke away from mainstream Christianity due to theological differences.
Modern coptic crosses incorporate the ankh, circles representing divinity and the resurrection, and the lotus flower, another important symbol in pagan Egypt, relating to creation and resurrection because of the way the lotus appears to emerge from water in the morning and descend in the evening.
The cross I have in this colourful necklace comes from Ethiopia and I teamed it with hand carved jade beads, chunks of waxy orange carnelian and colourful African seed beads in a necklace of many strands, all carelessly tousled into an attractive and messy necklace - I was trying for the inarticulately articulate look, and I hope I have achieved it.
Forever in Blue Jeans
An old favourite, Neil Diamond with Forever in Blue jeans on Jools Holland's show - he has aged well and thankfully is performing in his blue jeans rather than the awful spray on tight trousers he used to wear until not so long ago.
I was flicking through some of the wirework books I have in my little library, and I found a piece by Lisa Barth that I liked. Having made it before, I decided to up the level of difficulty by putting the stone at the end of a torque necklace and instead of attaching it at the end, I started with the pendant which meant that I had what seemed like miles of wire flailing about all over the place until I put my ring clamp to good use, helping me to hold the wires together.
I love the torque style that curves around the neck and can instantly be made bigger or smaller by moving the ends.
Wish me well and spare me a thought over the weekend. I hope it won't be too cold, and the weather will play nicely, unfortunately these are all variables that can make or break a weekend market in the UK. Have a great week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello people, I hope you are all enjoying your summer. We are in the middle of a heat wave in the UK and roasting gently - it doesn't last very long so it is important to wring every possible moment of enjoyment out of every day. Summer in the UK is fabulous when the weather is good. Because of all the rain we get, the greenery is lush and intense. Most everyone has a garden and those that don't, grow stuff in pots. The owners of the local garden centres are laughing all the way to the bank as the queues at the till grow longer and longer, but we don't begrudge them a penny - do we?!?
We went to the Upton on Severn jazz festival last weekend and I wore an Indian gypsy necklace I found in a shop on Ebay - it was from a vendor in the USA and I had it sent to my friend's address and carried it back home with me. By the time it arrived, the glass in the central motif had shattered and I replaced it with polymer clay and embellished it with a couple of bindis I had in my collection - they were bought when I was about fourteen, and they came with a glue with which they were meant to be attached to the forehead. The glue perished a long time ago, but the bindis remained with me only because I am loath to throw away pretty things, and I think I put them to good use. I tried the necklace on - one look at my friend's face and I knew she was thinking "what th........?", but was too polite to say it out loud - well, this picture is for her - yes, it can be worn - well it was worn, and I loved it.
Here's a little clip from the morning parade - Mike and I were in the crowd and the dancing was impromptu (although the girls appeared to have a routine practiced and set up) and free for all - down at the end you will find the delightful chap in the red waistcoat - he was a hoot!
Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD. The largest and oldest Christian group is an Oriental Orthodox church that was part of the Coptic Church. Ethiopian Coptic Crosses are worn by Christians in Ethiopia, and all around the world. They are cast using the "lost wax method", and bring together a variety of historical influences including Egyptian and Celtic design styles.
The Ethiopian Empire also known as Abyssinia, spanned a geographical area covered by present-day Eritrea and the northern half of Ethiopia. It existed from approximately 1137 until 1975 when the monarchy was overthrown in a coup d'état.
This necklace was made with a vintage coptic cross - being a heretic/infidel type who would once have been burned at the stake for her beliefs has not made me shy away from beautiful objects, even if they have religious symbolism written into their DNA - and I truly believe that these crosses are the most beautiful I have seen in a long time. I wanted to make a necklace worthy of this pendant and I put together glass, shell, polymer clay, ceramic, haematite, rose quartz and jasper beads in four strands with a beautiful mother of pearl clasp - most definitely a statement necklace worthy of any Caprilicious woman.
Birds do it, Bees Do It......
I have a number of these beautifully crafted, handmade heart shaped lampwork beads which I plan to turn into pendants. I started with a design in the style of Nicole Hanna, and the design has become embellished and ornamented more and more with each time I have remade it. This time I used bare copper wire to bind tarnish-free enamelled copper, so that when I antiqued the pendant in a chemical bath, the bare copper wire turned black and showed the weave up to it's best effect. I also added a wire coil in tarnish -free silver plate, which I wound around with bare copper - this too turned dark in the chemicals and when polished with steel wool, the whole thing had a contrasting effect that pleased me greatly.
Clarice - another bracelet
Last weekend, I sliced the remaining pieces of the leaf cane I had made, cured the leaves and varnished them to a high shine. I had about 14 'leaves' by the time I was done making holes in them with my Dremel, so I decided to make a little bracelet with a few of them in a free form wire style.
I made wire leaves for the back as the polymer clay leaves might be too fragile to withstand repeated injury and the effect is delicate and pretty.
I received a substantial slice of labradorite in the post, all the way from Rajasthan. It is at least 3.5" x 2.5" and at first look, I was so disappointed with it. It was only when I took it into the sunlight and moved it about and the labradorescence shined through that I was happy - no wonder the Inuits thought that the Northern Lights were imprisoned in this stone. It reminds me of the silks in India when two different colours are used in the warp and the weft and one can only see the colours with movement.
That's all I had time for this week for folks. The sunshine, the garden, the day job and the cats have kept me so busy (although not necessarily in that order) that I have had very little time to play. We have been going out at night picking off slugs and snails with a torch, guarding my Hostas zealously and I have been rewarded by pristine, un-nibbled edges on the lovely leaves.
What are you doing this summer, do tell - whatever it is, I wish you all a great time. Catch you next Friday, 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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