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
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by to read about the statement jewellery made at Caprilicious this week. It was my privilege to provide a piece of jewellery to the Children's Unit at the hospital as a raffle prize - the manager who requested it of me was very complimentary about the piece I handed in - I was quietly pleased with it myself, and the reaction on the Facebook page was heartening when I posted some pictures there. The carved jade flower had been lying around in my stash, just waiting to be used and this is a very worthy cause, very close to my heart.
If you're wondering what the mention of statement jewellery in the opening line was all about - I've been reading blogging guides - and the theory is that a googlebot, which in my imagination looks like the picture above, worms it's way into a website and if the raison d'être of the blog is mentioned in the first few sentences, the botworm gets the message - and when people look for 'Handmade Statement Jewellery', the Caprilicious Jewellery website comes up in a Google search - having done this for a few weeks, I was quite gratified to find that I haven't been misguided by the bloggers guide.
However, I don't know any woman who goes to Google when she wants to look for handmade statement jewellery! I certainly wouldn't do a Google search to look for jewellery, would you?? What beats me is that knowing this fact doesn't make me chase the botworm any less frantically - just shows how competitive I really am, I suppose, and also that I like to test a theory before I accept it as common wisdom.
Anatevka was a fictional shtetl in Imperial Russia where the musical Fiddler on the Roof was set. We went to the Eutin Festival in Germany, where they had this musical on, inspiring me to create this necklace.
I acquired a necklace of hand knotted shell pearls in beautiful colours of bronze/ cream, peach and shades of grey - the pearls are large and very beautiful, and though I normally would have cut up the necklace to restring the pearls, this one was so well made, I couldn't bring myself to wantonly destroy someones painstaking work - in fact, I had to agree that I couldn't have done it better ( a rare admission for me ).
I decided to make a pendant for it, and string it onto the necklace directly. An agate druzy cabochon, surrounded by wire lace, with pearls and crystals thrown in just grew and grew until two days later, my muse declared it finished. Although wire lace looks pretty, it is hard work on the finger tips which resembled Shreddies by the time I was done - but hey! I love the way it looks, so won't complain. The pendant is very baroque in appearance, and suits the necklace - and the name!
If you want to know what shell pearls are, here's a link to a very well written article I found during my research - I couldn't have put it better myself.
And with this, I decided to put my Lacemania aside for a while - and my fingertips heaved a huge sigh of relief!!
I've had two new helpers this week - Charlie and Wilfred have moved in with us - they must have been techies in a previous life, they are fascinated by the moving cursor on my laptop screen, and keep trying to help me type this blog and won't take no for an answer.
They are also interior decorators of sorts, and are helping me to remodel my house and change the decor, by systematically destroying anything they dislike - Mike's 40 year old German oil lamp (he's had it 40 years, but it was an antique when he first bought it) is something they have taken a dislike to - only he refuses to part with it - the boys are most annoyed that it is now out of reach!
With my fingertips sore and out of commission, I decided to give them a rest. I have these peacock feather pendants in from Indonesia - the ends have been fringed, much like a Rastafarians dreadlocks, with beads, and I love the effect. I used shards of electroplated quartz needles in the necklace, strung with spacers of crackle quartz in a deep peacock blue and a couple of enamelled beads from India. The quartz needles remind me of the silver rain that sheets down during a monsoon - the rain in the UK though persistent, is usually gentler.
Durga is a wrathful form of Parvati, otherwise known as Mrs Shiva, and the mother of Ganesh the elephant God. Kali is an even more angry form - women of all ages, at different times of their cycles have fleeting resemblances to one or another avatar of this multipurpose Goddess.
According to legend, Parvathi was peed off at something- or someone (possibly, but not necessarily hubby), and she knitted her brows together in a frown - a third eye originated there ( watch out - the gaze from that third eye when provoked into opening can burn you into a frazzle). When someone else peed the already irritated Durga off, she went wild, hair unbound, arms akimbo - and she didn't stop until she killed the annoyance, hung his head around her neck and drank his blood.
She laughed and laughed, and did a dance that a whirling dervish would have envied, until suddenly to her horror, she found that she was trampling on her poor husband Shiva - Oops! she said and stuck her tongue out - and an ancient photographer took her picture (or maybe the wind changed and her facial expression stuck), so she is doomed to being immortalised as the crazy one with her tongue stuck out, hair wild, with strings of demon's heads hung about her person.
This story, I am sure will resonate with my female readers - we've all been there, pootling along, minding our own, when along comes this nuisance - whether we turn into Durga or Kali depends on the irritant!
Anyway, I digress - this necklace is made of a pendant from the Banjara tribe in India, with two paisa coins from 1962. I put them on a rope, which can be tied so that the pendant sits where you would like it to and can be worn with all sorts of necklines. It looks like something Durga might like to wear - well, she's most definitely a Caprilicious woman....................
That's it for this week folks. Charlie has destroyed a bunch of silk flowers I had prettifying a dull corner of the house, and the two brothers are now flicking the flowers around the house like crazed confetti - I'd better go and rescue what's left of those poor flowers. Have a fab weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello, and thanks for stopping by. Let's start with some music while you read on ................
This is Kevin, my latest model.
I bought her on ebay - she is a polystyrene dress form on a pedestal. In this picture, she has just been given a decoupaging (is there such a word?? - Francophiles are wincing at my poor usage of the language).
Why Kevin?? Well, it may sound silly to have an obviously female model with a male name - but I recently read an article about gender and sex (in my other avatar as gynaecologist) - and suddenly it felt necessary to give my model a gender inappropriate name. In the famous words of Simone de Beauvoir, “Women are not born, they are made.” At the end of the day, the making of a man or a woman is a never-ending process that begins well before birth. And the ritual announcement at birth that it is in fact one or the other instantly transforms an “it” into a “he” or a “she” assigning it to a lifetime as a male or as a female.
This attribution is made public and lasting through the event of naming. Mike said, why not Mabel, or Lucy - but Kevin she was named and Kevin she shall remain!
This is what Kevin was like when she first arrived and I decided to make her a bit more interesting to look at.
Decoupage was what I decided on - it has been a long time since I played with paper, glue and scissors, and a long weekend at the Bank Holiday seemed to be the best time for it. I researched it thoroughly on the internet - there is a lot of information out there, but it seemed that a lot of it was incomplete - so, I took photographs as I went along - perhaps decoupage virgins like me might be pleased with the info in my little mini tutorial.
Amit was made from a little Balinese hand carved bone Ganesh. Last week, I made Mushika and his Master, and the Ganesh in that pendant was in profile - when I was looking at images of these, I couldn't choose between the two, so bought both. In Sanskrit Amit means 'Boundless, Limitless or Infinite'. It is one of the 108 names of Hindu God Ganesh - although how one manages to have 108 names (and why one needs that many??) without a severe crisis of identity simply beats me.
These beautiful pendants from Afghanistan came to me in the post - I loved them so much, I set about making new beads to go with them straight away. It would be easy enough to just string them with beads from my hoard, but I just love the thought of hand made rustic looking beads that bring a sort of magic to a piece of jewellery.
The weekend was spent pottering away at my craft table, conjuring up some pretty beads, polishing them and getting them prepared for stringing. Here they are in the oven, curing. My poor oven hasn't seem too much food in it since I started making stuff with polymer clay. It is used on a weekly basis, almost exclusively for crafting purposes, unless Mike bungs a cottage pie in it on the odd occasion. Since we are always on a diet and our house is an almost carbohydrate free zone except for high days and holidays, polymer clay is king in our oven!
And here they are - pendants and handmade beads put together into new, one of a kind necklaces..................
The word "Arya" itself is a Sanskrit and Avestan/Old Persian word that means "noble". I strung this one with seed beads wound with wire, adding old coins studded with red glass.
The word Karishma means a 'miracle' or someone saved from an inevitable doom. This necklace has my own colourful polymer clay beads - I added little bead caps of red and blue to go with the pendant.
I seem to want to make flowers all the time - perhaps it is that time of year! These beads are flower shaped discs stacked one on top of the other, with some faux ostrich beads to provide contrast. I used every piece of leftover clay on my table, so there is a multi colour feel to this necklace, and the beads seem to be happy to be together, in spite of their disparate origins. Kareena is a name that can mean 'Flower', or 'Innocence' and I thought it would go well with this necklace. Readers who are into Bollywood will know that Karishma and Kareena are sisters from a famous Bollywood dynasty - India does seem to go with the dynastic concept and the cult of personality, right from politics, down to Bollywood.
I do love the peacock - you cannot ask for better colours that nature put into that beautiful bird, and I always have one or two pieces of 'peacock' jewellery on my books. I started this pendant a few weeks ago, and added to it bit by bit until I was ready for a reveal. I added a handmade necklace so that it would hang just the way I wanted - given my penchant for asymmetry.
The little teardrop shaped blue agate druzy glints in the light, but unfortunately, I am unable to capture that in a photograph.
That's it for this week folks, catch you next week. I have plans to use my kiln this weekend as I am on call and it promises to be dull and pi**ing down with rain. Hopefully it is better for you, wherever you are.
See you next Friday, same time, same place
When I first started to make jewellery, I was given a piece of advice which has stayed with me - a pretty clasp lifts a simple necklace to greater heights, like nothing else can. Since then, I have been a clasp junkie, spending prodigious amounts of money on store bought clasps. When I had the exhibition over in India, I watched ladies walking around the room, and to a (wo) man they all noticed the clasps. In fact, one woman chased me around the room asking me where I had got them from, and would I please sell her some, forgetting that this was an exhibition of jewellery, not jewellery findings, and that I was highly unlikely to be carrying extra clasps in my suitcases!
My love affair with the clasp has continued to the extent that I am now making clasps for myself, in an effort to make them one of a kind and different from the ones that other jewellery makers use. Tutorials from the likes of Nicole Hanna and inspiration from Sharon Solly have helped, as well as a book by Denise Peck in my latest endeavour. I sent a sample to my friend BN, and she used the clasp in ten different ways and sent me photographs to show me what she had done with it - she still hasn't told me which one of the ways was her final choice for the necklace she made!
Ten Ways to Use a Clasp, by BN
I also made some faux lamp work glass toggle clasps out of polymer clay and wire using a tutorial written by Amber of Caterpillar Arts and inspiration from work by Sharon Solly - these are colourful and playful and I will need to find the right beads for them.
Another toggle clasp inspired by Nicole Hanna was used in a necklace made of wood grain jasper and gold coloured crystals - I tried to break up the browny - golds of the necklace with blue crystal beads and dichroic glass.
Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology, each one looking after a particular tree in the woods, punishing thoughtless mortals who injure their trees.
This necklace was named after the beautiful mystical, serene, angelic face in this pendant. The Archangel Ariel, predominantly in Hebrew writings, is thought to be the angel of nature - had she been Greek, she would probably have been closely related to a Dryad, as she too guards nature and trees and punishes humans who harm them.
The quartz needle points in the necklace have been heat treated and coated with titanium and gold vapour, and teamed with green crackle quartz.
I made the wire accent beads myself out of yards and yards of fine wire wrapped over a frame.
It was a beautiful weekend, the sun was shining, the peonies were out and we went to the pub for Sunday lunch. These hollow faux ebony and ivory focal beads in my hoard were just right to wear with white linen summer clothes - I strung them on waxed linen cord, with bone beads and cowrie shells - summer necklaces for the boho chick!
Spirals are a compelling shape and have universal appeal - I'm not sure why this is, perhaps because they are the most natural shape seen by our eyes and enter the subconscious right from the very beginning. The spiral shows up often in nature - in the pattern of seeds in a seedhead, in the growing tips of ferns, in the pattern that leaves grow on a stem, in the shape of a nautilus shell, and imprints itself deep into the subconscious mind, so that when seen again the shape is familiar and pleasing to the eye.
I too love spiral patterns, and made these faux bone hollow beads with spirals of bright coloured 'zippers' wound around them. Teamed with faux ostrich egg beads and a large chunk of sponge coral, they make a light but chunky necklace - another one to go with the summer linen outfits.
I found these two shell pendants in a most unlikely place in the house - I think my house elf got fed up of hiding them from me and tossed them out for me to find - I quickly turned them into pieces of jewellery, before he pinched them again. I asked my Facebook fans to help name the one and Minerva's Prize was the name bestowed on it. I called the second one the Whirly Shell Pendant. With both, I have echoed the pattern and shapes in the shells with the wire.
I hope you've enjoyed looking at this weeks 'makes' - 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 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
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, I hope you've all had a great week. We have had a lovely, sunny and warm Bank Holiday long weekend in the UK, and I have had schoolmates to stay for our annual reunion - more on that later. This inevitably got me thinking of childhood dreams, and taking stock of the reality of adulthood. As a child, I was a very girly girl - I loved jewellery, make up and dressing up and would have liked nothing better than to be a cross between Curly Locks from the nursery rhyme by Mother Goose, and Umrao Jaan - a famous courtesan and poet, whose life story has been immortalised in a couple of Bollywood movies. Of course, thankfully, neither was I beautiful enough to be Umrao Jaan, nor did I write poetry, and as for being Curly Locks...............
Oh well, Que Sara Sara!
I was too young to understand what Umrao Jaan had to do for a living apart from singing her poetry soulfully and wearing beautiful jewellery.
Today, I have a day job that is both prosaic and exciting (how did those two words jump into the same sentence??) and have had a few Umrao Jaan's pass my way as patients - such is life!
Besides which, I don't really like strawberries and my sewing skills leave a lot to be desired - I was the bane of the needlework teachers life!
I do not wash dishes or feed swine either - that's a no-no in my book, so not all is lost.
And of course, we mustn't forget my mother, who would have chased me around Bangalore with a big stick before abandoning me to either the Umrao Jaan or Curly-locks course of action!
Aren't these colours exciting?? These are the colours predicted by Pantone, the world authority on colour, to be prominent in design and fashion this autumn. The colours are so bright and vivid - brighter than last years colours, which were just a couple of shades paler, but what a difference that makes!
All the clothes in the shops will follow this trend as designers, who are swamped by this imagery will find themselves making stuff in these colours, almost subconsciously picking them for their products.
The East Coast Desi
Desi [d̪eːsi] is a term for the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and their diaspora. India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal are some of the countries included In this term.
The largest Desi diaspora populations are found in the USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, the Middle East, Australia and South East Asia .
Last week, the East Coast Desi, Sruthi Singh featured Caprilicious Jewellery on her blog
Sruthi has a lovely home and takes some beautiful photographs of it on her blog, apart from other things that fill her with enthusiasm - I am grateful that Caprilicious Jewellery is one of them - she is just the kind of woman for whom I design - contemporary, fun and feisty, the quintessential Caprilicious Woman! Sruthi says.....
'I'm Sruthi - a mother, wife, artist, and a huge decor enthusiast. I've been a part of the corporate world and worked for the Big Four in accounting. But my heart was always inclined towards the creative field. My son has taught me to stop and smell the roses and devour the smaller moments in life. Decorating his room has led me to opening my online children's art boutique on Etsy called "The Yellow Bamboo". You can check it out right here http://www.etsy.com/shop/theyellowbamboo
Thank you very much, Sruthi, that was a great write up for Caprilicious.
I discovered Facebook late in life - to look around and see if I could find out what had happened to mates from school, and I must say I was richly rewarded - there are five of us in the UK from my school year - and we have made contact with each other now and meet up at least once a year. This year we met over four days, with people coming and going at their convenience, so I had little time to make jewellery. What was nice was that my friends like my jewellery and took some home with them - I'm a sucker for anyone who likes my jewellery!
We ate and drank, swam, sang and danced to our hearts content, and it was worth the effort Mike and I put in to have such a fun time. We will most definitely do it again in August next year, and anyone from our class who wants to come along is welcome.
The Emerald Isle Cuff
This bracelet was made using wire, a green agate slab nugget and pale green crystals. The green agate is particularly pretty, with markings running through it bringing to mind an atoll in the Indian Ocean. It took two days to weave the fine netting of wire, and I added tiny green crystals at the front of the cuff to add a bit of colour.
That's all I had time for this week folks. I am at work on the day job all this weekend and if I have the time, I intend to play with my kiln again - am keeping my fingers crossed that I will have something to show for it at the end of all my hard work.
Have a fab week and I will catch you later, same time, same place
Hello readers, I trust you have all had a good week. The flowers are a-blooming and everything looks so pretty when we walk into our garden or drive around town. The warmth of the unaccustomed summer sun in the UK has brought out the romantic in me and this mood has touched all that I have made this week.
I had a bunch of coloured baroque pearls and I strung them onto mono filament invisible nylon, using jeweller's glue to get them to stay in place. Of course, the nylon had a mind of it's own, so did the pearls, and as for the glue - let's not even go there - a few newly invented swear words later, this necklace appeared - my husband wondered whether I was developing Tourette's syndrome and I had to take time out to reassure him that it was all for real and the air around me wasn't blue due to a psychiatric disorder. I had to prise my fingers apart after soaking them in warm water to take some pictures of my latest creation.
Anyway, it was all worth it in the end, and I can present Summer Holiday...............
This is an ideal piece to carry away on holiday, light and pretty, and with so many colours, it will go with anything - Summer Holiday seemed apt.
The next piece was almost to claw back the now distant memory of our holiday in the spring, and Peter Cincotti's rendition of I Love Paris says it all. Romance was firmly back on the agenda.
Shiny heart shaped Czech glass beads, little crystals and rose quartz wired onto a torque sit around the neck in this piece like a garland of flowers. I didn't put any crystals at the back of the necklace - the stiffness of the torque would cause the wired flowers and leaves to dig the wearer in the neck - who wants that in the heat of a warm summer evening, when this piece should really float elegantly around the neck? Not me, that's who!
Peacock from the Ocean
Abalone or Paua is a snail, found in temperate waters around the world from the genus Haliotis ( no, not Halitosis - pay attention now!), meaning 'sea - ear'. It has a flattish shell, which is dull on the outside, and beautifully coloured on the inside, with a mother of pearl nacre. The snail has a strong foot, and clings to a rock surface on the ocean bed, and has to be prised off - this can be extremely difficult, and I was surprised to read that divers have perished in the attempt.
"Abalone grip so hard that unless you catch one by surprise, you are unable to pry it off the basin. Divers used to drown while collecting abalone . . . a diver would pry an abalone loose, stick his fingers under the shell to lift it and then in surprise and pain when the ab clamps down would drop his ab bar. At that point, there would be no way to get his hand loose and he would drown. (Tank diving is illegal when gathering abalone.)"
This is called the 'Abalone's Revenge'.
One question - how does one catch an abalone by surprise?? - there is no mention of this anywhere - maybe you have to leap out at it from behind a rock, all guns blazing?? Clint Eastwood, eat your heart out!
Red Abalone are harvested mainly for the Sushi restaurant trade - males and females are put into large tanks on moonlit nights ( they prefer to mate on full moon nights), with soft violin music, candlelight, and a bottle of wine (yes, joke!).
An Abalone Farm - a far cry from 'bring on the violins'!
They produce baby abalones, which are collected and given a diet of kelp smoothies and snail spaghetti, which is a slurry of bran, seaweed and other nutrients made into a dough, extruded through a pasta machine and baked, to help them grow till they are large enough to be eaten. The shells are used for jewellery, but have to be ground and polished by experts as the dust is very toxic, and causes lung diseases.
No wonder then, the shells are expensive - however, the colours are so beautiful, I am sure you will agree it is worth all that trouble. I made a polymer clay ruffle bead in abalone colours, and put a necklace together. The colours are gorgeous and I could only hope that my ruffle bead would be up to the task of complementing the abalone shell beads - what do you think??
This necklace, made with crystals and diamante encrusted spacers, has been one of Caprilicious' more successful designs. It has been reproduced in quite a few colours, and at the jewellery party at my friends place, the hostess picked it up almost immediately - when she showed it off to her friends, they fell in love with it, and I had orders for the same piece, having asked her permission first, of course. I sent off for strings of crystals and spacers and clasps, and I made the first of the necklaces on order this week. Fortunately, I have the design and the suppliers written down, and this is one of the few that can actually be remade.
That's about all I have had time for this week folks, it looks like another scorcher here in the UK over the weekend. Have fun, and I will catch up with you next week, same time, same place
Hello folks, it's nice to chat to you again. If you have been following the Caprilicious blog, you know that I had all but put my life on hold, preparing for my very first jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house in the north of England.
Well, it's done and dusted, and in my opinion, went off very well.
Gerry had invited about twenty five of her friends, about half of whom turned up, as is always the way. She put out a veritable feast - with savoury snacks and cakes, and had let me have the run of her dining room to display my jewellery. I spent an hour setting it all out, and then ... we were off and away with the first ring of the doorbell.
I had some wonderful feedback, everyone was wowed by the colourful stuff in the room, and they all left clutching their Caprilicious boxes with a couple of pieces of jewellery at least, in each box.
I earwigged one conversation where a lady was likening the necklace she was holding to something her friend had bought by Bulgari! Bulgari, of course, have been making and selling jewellery out of Italy since 1844 and would have been quite offended by the comparison, but I certainly wasn't!
When I got back home, I hung a sold sign on the pieces that had gone at the party, and took them off the website. This was the response I got to the 'faux Bulgari' piece from a passer by on Facebook - and what a nice, kind, generous person she must be! Oh well, you can't please everybody - but, I just had to respond in kind - and then barred the person from my page - the last thing I need is a dialogue, bandying insults with a person of this mean a spirit.
One lady came along 'just to have a look' because she didn't wear necklaces - only bracelets and earrings - but then got completely carried away, trying on everything, and left with four necklaces! So I even had a convert to 'necklacism'. I wore 'Wake up, Titania' so people could see that it wasn't impossible to wear and carry off a fairly substantial necklace. All in all, it was a very interesting experience, made easier with the help of my friend BN, who came along to help me set things out, make sandwiches, hold mirrors up for people, straighten up the display, and generally be extremely helpful - thank you BN.
It took me a few days to recover, and I left my jewellery making materials be for a while. Unpacking and setting up for the working week, and cajoling the cat into talking to us again took all my concentration. When I had fully recovered, I sat down with five feet of copper wire, and a few beads, and got down to some serious wire weaving - in all, this pendant took about twenty feet of wire in two thicknesses. I saw this picture on http://www.superbwallpapers.com/ while I was idly browsing, and it really caught my imagination - this pendant is called Colliding Planets, after the picture.
The Queen of Hearts Pendant
I've had these Swarovski 'Cosmic' squares in my collection for a while now - the magpie in me wanted (needed!) to hoard them for a while. I used a few, and then was content to look at the rest, and get them to sparkle in the light when moved. They are 'cosmic' squares inasmuch the edges are rounded - like a square that's been slightly squished in a child's drawing.
The shine of these crystals is magnificent, and I just knew that I would need to find the perfect project for them. They are swamped by the usual Caprilicious statement piece, so I decided that a small piece would have to be the showcase for these beautiful 'Bermuda Blue Cosmic Squares'. The pendant was made from a Nicole Hanna tutorial.
One of my customers asked me to send her friend a birthday gift, and include a note saying it was from her. I had thought about this at Christmas and used this idea to good effect - how many times have you had a florist send someone flowers over the phone, or the internet - you never know whether the bouquet you sent was like the picture on the website, or if ordered over the phone to a price, whether it was any good at all - perhaps it was made up of buttercups and dandelions and your friend was too embarrassed to tell you!
I sent a little birthday card with the gift, and a message that the gift was 'from ......,
via Caprilicious Jewellery.' If only I had copperplate handwriting - alas, years of writing as a doctor, and now typing at the computer have taken their toll on my writing - it has gone all wild and woolly, a bit like the person holding the pen.
This squiggle pendant started its life as one of a pair, from a tutorial for earrings, but I ran out of wire and ended the weave any which way I could - this meant I couldn't make one to match, as I couldn't replicate the mistakes I had made! It sat in my stash until I could figure out a way to use it. BN liked it so much, I gave it to her, and she sent me this picture - she hung it on a wire bail and added impression jasper to make a necklace. Isn't it amazing how the same focal can excite such different responses from two people. I only wish I had taken a picture of the piece as it was for the blog - I was going to turn it into a focal for a bracelet, but this is delicate and pretty, and somehow the delicacy of the jasper, suits the piece to perfection.
This was what I was trying to make! I sat down last night with a reel of wire and made this all the way through the movie Water for Elephants. It was a very sweet love story, and easy to follow, so I was able to multi task my way through it. We get films from LoveFilms each week and most of my jewellery making is done with a DVD playing in the background - the more complex the story line, the less weaving I do, but this movie was just right for this highly complex design - you cannot imagine how difficult it is to make a matching pair of free form woven earrings until you try - a lot of cursing under the breath occurs.
That's all I have for you this week folks, thanks for dropping by. Don't forget to hit the 'follow this blog' button, and have a good weekend. I am working this weekend, and hope it will be quiet enough to play with the kiln, or some polymer clay, even.
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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