I deserve my halo this week, I really do - the sand from the Sahara has blown over to the UK and it feels like every grain has ( at least he thinks so) firmly settled on my poor husband's chest; making him wheeze and groan and thump his chest, in an effort to expel it.
I watched him, unmoved - and unmoving; until he began to cough like a dog - a dog with diphtheria! I had to sit up and take notice then, and thought it was time to minister to him - but now, even my halo aches with fatigue!
Mike is no different to any other man who gets 'man-flu', and he loves to exaggerate - so usually I just allow him to malinger on. This time however, the half human/ half Baskervillian-hound cough scared me (and I don't scare easily), so I bestirred myself with inhalers and steam, antibiotics and rice pudding (??!!) - he's still moaning and groaning , so I've sent him off to bed for a bit, while I write this.
Betwixt and between playing an angel, I took time out to play with wire - the easiest medium to work with, as I can put it down when summoned to fetch a cold compress to soothe a fevered brow. Having pulled out a couple of glass donuts, I made a couple of pendants and connected them together to make one piece - this was inspired by a conversation between two ladies on a wire-work forum on Facebook about the difficulties people who are left handed face when they try to follow instructions written for right handed people. I thought I'd try to make two mirror image pendants and link them together - it is good practice anyway and comes in handy when making earrings. The second donut is a bit smaller than the first, and the central bead is a little faceted agate.
My friend's daughter Meg, took me out to lunch on my birthday, and she was wearing some earrings that I had made a while ago.
In this picture she is wearing them on holiday in St Lucia - the design is quintessentially Indian - called a jhumka - a sort of an umbrella or bell shaped earring worn on a hook or attached to a flower shaped post earring. I decided I'd make yet another pair using only wire and a couple of shell beads I had bought from a friend recently. The shell beads are a beautiful silvery blue, and have black squiggles on them - they are fairly rare, and very pretty. Once the earrings were made, I put together the rest of the shell beads in a necklace, along with cylindrical beads made of wire.
The hyacinths are out in the garden - this is the first time I planted some, so I am very pleased to see them pop up for me. We have some bluebells and primroses as well, and of course, the daffs are out. It will soon be warm enough to go out and do stuff in the garden - not yet, and certainly not this week, I would only be followed by a plaintive call for a cuppa and a paracetomol and a hacking cough that was feeling very sorry for itself indeed!
My house elf has been at work again - I bought some beautiful earring components shaped like little orchids - and they have been spirited away, never to be seen again. I wonder if there is a little dead letter office-like space in my house where this elf is secreting all my lovely stuff - if so, I am in for a fabulous surprise one of these days. I only hope my stuff hasn't gone into one of our 'circular filing cabinets' and thence to the tip!
That's all I've had time for this week folks. I'd better go and fill the hot water bottle, twitch the blankets, plump up some cushions, and generally soothe the fevered brow - honestly, this angel lark isn't a barrel load of fun.
Have a good week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
I was at work in the day job all last weekend - and this time the Gods weren't smiling on me - it was literally the weekend from hell! I was in and out of the hospital, picking up pieces that had been dropped by others, soothing ruffled feathers - and whatever could go wrong..... did.
So I came home each day and pulled out my beads and clay and soothed myself calm - it was so nice to be able to do that - and I think the people around me benifited from that! A three day weekend can be so tedious, when everything is unravelling around you.
Shiny pretty things - to appeal to the magpie in every woman
I took delivery of a bunch of crystals from someone who was closing down a bead shop - so while I sat watching the telly with Mike, I put together some pretty chandelier earrings - I felt the need to dive straight into the crystals - I usually hoard pretty things for some crazy reason, but it would be madness to hoard half a kilogram of mixed crystals. I poured them through my fingers, sorting them into little piles and picking the ones I wanted to use - like a wide eyed AliBaba in the cave of treasures - and these are the chandeliers I made with this multicolour medley of crystal beads.
Love's Sweet Scent
This piece evolved out of my disastrous weekend - I mixed myself some pretty buttery yellow clay to make flowers from - had just about had enough of various shades of pink - someone recently said that yellow is a difficult colour to create with, and apparently, some people wont wear yellow as it causes their skin to look sallow. I thought, maybe it could be used as an accent - to brighten up a piece of jewellery - a little bit of it can't hurt - and it is so pretty after all. A floral theme seemed to evolve - I made peony type flowers - which will go into a brooches, I think, and a bunch of jasmine flowers and buds - these are the little plump jasmine that have the most delicious scent - ladies in India might wear just the one in their hair and you can smell it from a mile off, if you have a halfway decent sense of smell. They are usually a creamy white, but I claimed artistic licence and made them in the yellow of the winter flowering jasmine found in more temperate climes - they are still pretty recognisable though..... I think!
My mother has a bush in her garden which yields loads of flowers - enough to use as offerings during her prayers, and for the ladies of the house to wear in their hair should the mood take them. I remember my dad bringing home little packets of jasmine garlands, all ready for pinning into mum's hair - and she always shared them with her daughters - I wonder if it was a secret message between them!
Anyway, mindful of the edict that too much yellow would not be appreciated, I wove my jasmine into a little corsage, and teamed it with turquoise coins, pearly beads and dark blue sunstone in a statement collar - I love making those. I am sure, come winter, when the only flowers we can find easily are in the supermarket, they will gladden the heart.
These jasmine are evocative of my childhood, and the bush growing outside my bedroom window, and I called it Love's Sweet Scent. The jasmine has been set low enough so it won't jab the wearer in the neck - I just love this necklace.
I also made some silver components in my kiln - more flowers!- I need to decide just what to do with them, so will just post a little sneak peek into what is to come. The polymer clay peony has very thin petals, to try and resemble the flower as closely as possible - it may be too fragile on a piece of jewellery that may be knocked about during regular wear, and will have to go into a brooch, though I originally inteded to use it on the wrist in a wide bracelet - like a prom corsage.
Jhumkas - Indian style in Wire and Crystal
I made some beadcaps using wire and crystal - when my friend Suj saw one of them, she said - Oh you can make Jhumkas out of them - Jhumkas are bell shaped danglers, and almost every Indian woman has a pair of these. They used to be simple, in gold and pearls, but have now become so fanciful, they are almost unrecognisable. I made mine in copper wire with some of my crystal bead stash in a colour combination of green and gold - very dressy. As these are all lightweight beads, the resultant piece is pretty and ornamental, yet light and easy to wear.
My little piece of Caprilicious silver this week is a tiny fine silver bud, about an inch long, made in the kiln, antiqued and polished, with a tiny red Cubic Zirconium emdedded into it. It comes with it's own chain, and is perfect for someone who likes her jewellery a bit smaller - as you all know, a lot of my stuff is 'in your face' and cannot be overlooked when worn - maybe because I was once innately shy, (although I have grown out of it now) but there was another side to me that was a bit 'song and dance', and didn't know quite how to reflect that, so preferred my apparel to do it for me. I could not buy chain store stuff if someone paid me.
Most of my designs are made with me in mind - if you don't want it, I should be happy to wear it myself - so, the corollary to this is, if you like the stuff I make, we must be kindred souls - Soul Sisters, even!
That's all for my week this time around - see you same time, same place 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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