Hello folks, I hope you're all having a lovely day - we certainly are, out here in the UK - it has been bright and sunny these last couple of weeks and it seems almost a shame to come away indoors when it is such fabulous weather outdoors.
I grew up in India where, as children we were called indoors by our families when the sun was beating down on us - Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and all that. Now, I've joined the ranks of the mad dogs and am out there gardening at midday, drinking shandies to keep myself cool and hydrated. Of course, it helps that the sun isn't half as vicious as it is in India and of course we get so little of it, it seems terrible to let it go to waste.
This has meant of course, that a lot of gardening was done this week with very little time for anything else.
I had an email from The London School of Jewellery naming me as their Student of the Month for June - they want me to send in a few pieces of jewellery for a locked display cabinet, and have sent me interview questions for their blog and Instagram account - I'm quite thrilled to be picked!
I sold a piece of jewellery through my shop on Etsy and the lady who lives in London, took the time and trouble to write me a handwritten note with a photograph of how she planned to style it - isn't that amazing?
No one seems to write thank you notes these days. I always include a handwritten note with my parcels of course, but no one actually puts pen to paper and a postage stamp on a card that they themselves have made. Amazing!
I was so thrilled to receive it, it was like I'd received the Nobel prize for Jewellery!
Jolene was named for the beautiful emerald green chromium diopside nugget beads in the necklace that remind me of the song by Dolly Parton, sung in this clip by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
"Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene"
The beads come from Russia where they are marketed as the alternative to emeralds, however, they are more of a olive colour and are part translucent and part transparent. This green gemstone is also thought to be able to improve intellect and encourages the desire of one to learn. According to metaphysical beliefs, chromium diopside is used to help alleviate aggression or stubbornness while in turn enhancing love and commitment.
I find these colours extremely attractive when put together, and was inspired to make this piece late one summer evening when I looked up at the indigo colored sky and saw the leaves from our Gleditsia tree (which are the exact same green) silhouetted against the blue in the garden lighting. The combination seemed too beautiful to forget and I felt that I simply had to immortalise it in a necklace. The pendant comes from Indonesia and the clasp is set with lapis lazuli and comes from my Jaipur trip, as do the faceted lapis in the body of the necklace.
That's as much as I've had time for this week folks, have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello lovely readers, how are you today?? I hope you are fighting fit this winter and keeping snug as bugs in rugs this winter.
I suddenly find that my trip to India is fast approaching and I have nothing sorted out, with loads of loose ends to tie up at the day job. However, I've still found time to pursue my passion - playing with beads and baubles.
This week has all been about rivers and flat beads, but the two pieces that were born are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. Both focal beads have been in my stash for a couple of years. I tend to do that - pick them up when they catch my eye and leave them lying in the drawer until I suddenly get a flash of inspiration or they call out to me with a game plan.
The huge orange yellow focal bead has sat in my stash for almost three years and I had no clue what I was going to do with it. Inspiration struck over the weekend. I rolled out some polymer clay and cut out loads of flat beads from a sheet of clay. Cured, and strung with a couple of faux spindle whorls that I made earlier, and a few agate beads at the back of the necklace, the necklace is what Mike called 'a brave piece'. He almost didn't believe that anyone could wear it until I wore it to work on Monday morning! I think it looks just fine and it is so light for such an impactful piece that it is a pleasure to wear. Test Drive successful!!
The 'brave piece' needed an equally brave name and with it's African and tribal overtones, I called it Zambezi after the mightiest river in the world. And just so people weren't anxious about how to wear this piece, I threw in some styling suggestions when I posted it on this website. As you can see, I wore it with a simple black dress.
The Karnali is Nepals longest river, originating on the Tibetan Plateau near Lake Mansarovar. It joins the Sharada in India and they form the Ghaghra River, a major left bank tributary of the Ganges.
I bought the two focal beads for an arm and a leg (well, they were relatively expensive for two small beads) from a lady who sells artisan made Nepalese beads. They are so pretty I almost didn't begrudge her the price. Sat in the drawer for a couple of years, they saw a string of turquoise heishi beads that arrived in the post and jumped up and down to get my attention. 'Me,me,me', they cried. 'Oh, ok', said I, and put them in a necklace with a few exorbitantly expensive lapis lazuli heishis that arrived in the post on the same day.
I must start to get my clothes sorted and set out for the marathon packing session I have to go through next week. Have a great week and I'll 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
Yes, I know, that's a strange title for a jewellery blog - but have a look at the picture below and tell me if they don't look like rainbow coloured slugs and snails!
One of the ladies from Jane's Armchair Raiders (a jewellery maker's forum I belong to on Facebook) liked my squiggle bead necklace so much, she had me make her some beads - a compliment, indeed! So, it would appear that someone is soon to be the proud owner of another Rainbow squiggle bead necklace/parure - can't wait to see what she makes with them. She has a very neat and tidy approach to her jewellery, and a finish that is second to none. I will definitely be looking out for this necklace on her page 'MadeByAleks' on Facebook. Her jewellery style is very different to mine, and it will be interesting to see what two people make with the exact same beads.
This necklace is named for the Lapis Lazuli nuggets, as the word 'Nila' honours the Nile river in Egypt, and also means blue. The necklace has faceted nuggets of carnelian and lapis, and carries an electroplated maple leaf in an iridescent copper finish. I hung a swirl of wire in front of the leaf, with an onyx and a blue jade teardrop, to add colour and movement. The waxy carnelians are set off by the lapis to perfection - I like the colour combination very much - what do you think??
This lovely black jade pendant has two little boys on it - one of them is holding a ball and they look like the are having a fine old time. As the pendant is a rather dark shade of green, I brightened it by adding chunky pyrite nuggets, and pale green prehnite nuggets. I recently discovered prehnite, a beautiful pale green stone, which comes from India, China and Australia amongst other places where it is deposited in hemispherical masses and finger like projections. It is tinged with black, as if touched by a sooty finger, and is ever so pretty. A pyrite chunk dangling from the end of the pendant provides both movement and interest, and serves to further lighten the somber colour of the black jade.
I bought a couple of strings of howlite slab nuggets in a lovely bright spring fresh green. I broke the strings up, and over a year, have made a few very different pieces of jewellery with them. I made a pendant, and a cuff to match for my friend Sheela, and then a collar - Tinker Bell. With the left over nuggets, I made Atlantis - named for the lost island with the same name.
Atlantis (in Greek, Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος, "island of Atlas") is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues, written about 360 BC. According to Plato, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa in approximately 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune". Atlantis inspires today's literature, from science fiction to comic books to films. Its name has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.
The slab nuggets resemble nothing more than this fabled island which has inspired hopes for a Utopia. The addition of a polymer clay focal bead and some faux bone pipe beads broke up the line of the slab nuggets - I like asymmetry - but I'm sure you have noticed that by now!
I dug out some of the pictures I have of the other pieces I made out of these slab nuggets - some of them were taken before I learned how to use my little point and shoot camera, which makes me wince now to look at them! It just shows how far I have come, I suppose.
I think of all of them, I like Atlantis best - but then, I would say that, wouldn't I!
I plan to play with my kiln this weekend, and try to put the stuff I learned from Jules into action. A bit of enamelling, I think, is in order.
That ends this week's blog folks, catch you next week, same time, same place,
Happy New Year to all of you, my readers. Now that we have survived the end of the world, we'd better make a good fist of it - so, onward and upwards we go!
One of my presents from Santa was a book about Salvador Dali - I love the wackiness of the man - he even created some pieces of jewellery - he treated them as mini sculptures, which of course is what they are - and I thought I'd share a few pictures of my latest inspiration with you.
Mine of course, was made out of wire, an aventurine bead for the green iris and a couple of crystals. It is called JEALOUSY- the green eye lending itself readily to the title - and of course, the crystal tear drop -there are plenty of tears associated with that particular emotion!
It is to be worn as a pendant, although it can easily be converted into a pin. I didn't think anyone would want to wear it on an eye patch, that might just be going a little, teeny weeny bit too far! The pendant is made out of two long pieces of wire, bound by another extra long, slender wire. Fun to make, although extremely fiddly, all those wires wanting to go every which way but where you want them to!
I picked up a two foot length of copper enamelled non tarnish wire and made a Chinese PIPA knot which I embellished with beads - it was so pretty, I made another and paired them into earrings. I love Chinese knots, but they are very difficult to put together - sometimes the instructions sound like they are in double Dutch. I would love to find someone who could teach me on a one to one basis, but in the meantime, these are what I can do ..............
I read up on the history of knot making in China, essentially a folk art. When I was there, every gift, every wine bottle, came with a tag made of knotted cord. Wire of course is another entity altogether - it stays put when bent into a shape - but if bent into the wrong shape - OMG!- near impossible to tidy up invisibly, so..... practice, practice, practice is the key.
..........endless and repetitive pattern evokes one of the fundamental truths of Buddhism and the cyclical nature of all existence. In essence, knot work serves to create an atmosphere of well-being, good luck and health, longevity and harmony. As gifts, they are emotional, sentimental, and are often keepsakes between lovers and friends.
Waresa, or to give her her full name - Mbaba Mwana Waresa is the Zulu goddess of rain, rainbows, and is credited with the invention of the fermentation process and therefore, beer!! (probably a cooking experiment gone wrong or a long forgotten drink taken out of the cupboard and served to her menfolk inadvertently) - my kinda Goddess!!
This pendant, also a wire knot, was affixed to a copper frame which was embellished with tangled fine black wire and silver lined seed beads to resemble raindrops. A beautiful lapis lazuli faceted oval sits in the middle of all of this. I hung it on a leather thong, embellished with copper wire curls at each end. This is a large but light piece, and can easily be worn with jeans and a jacket during the day, or on bare skin, at night. For some reason, I seem to have gone all tribal on me - but I just go where my beautiful muse takes me - I'm easily led!
After the holidays, I received a little parcel with a little rectangular piece of labradorite in it - the colour of the piece captivated me, and it went straight into this pendant. The stone is surrounded by ruby quartz beads, and copper wire lace, both the pendant and the lace resemble the sea foam - Aphrodite, of course was the Greek goddess of love, who was born out of the sea foam -and she was known to be a beauty by all that looked on her.
This was meant to be a 'take a break, have a Kit Kat' period - but I am absolutely bonkersly obsessed - wire, beads and tools attach themselves to my ankles as I walk by, begging to be joined together in holy matrimony - hence all the little bits of jewellery that are on these last few blogs - only to keep the whine of the beads quiet. Now, I am left with a little pile of pendants and earrings that have been photographed and set aside, and will have to find a place to put them away before they get stomped on by a galumphing husband or eaten by a hungry cat! These are a few earrings I made - as you can see, I made simple dangles on frames I bought earlier, and then the wire wanted in on the act, so I had to wrap some more crystals around the edges - pretty, though.....
So, this is what I made in my 'rest' period - I have been itching to get my hands on some of the beautiful gemstone beads I bought, and Nepalese pendants - I have at least six of those, and learn a new modern style of wire work from a lady called Lilian Chen and... and.... and... - there will not be enough hours in the day for all that I want to do, and all I have to do at the day job - it certainly promises to be a lot of fun. Do stay with me through the year, wont you, and I will do my best to entertain you.
See you same time, same place, next week
We had the most wonderful time in Rome, eating gelato twice a day, tramping around till my feet and knees hurt and begged for mercy. What a fabulous city, with history at every turn.
Unfortunately, I came home with the beginnings of a streaming cold, and am still suffering with it - no rest for the wicked, I have had to go in to the day job - I just hope I haven't spread the germs far and wide.
I took a load of my jewellery with me, and wore some every day - it was fabulous to have the right accessories for each outfit, although I wouldn't admit as much to anyone but you - I like to pretend that it was all effortlessly thrown together!!
Starry Starry Night
Mike bought me an anvil from a junk shop - and proudly brought it home. He put it on the dining table for me to find as a surprise when I got in from work - I'm afraid my gratitude was tempered by the sight of the rust stains on my clean white tablecloth - I had to restrain myself from having the screaming abdabs by stuffing my knuckles into my mouth!!
I have a little steel block to bash away at wire, and now, I have a little cobblers anvil, which has to be cleaned and oiled until it is fit to bring back into the house.
My cold has meant that I haven't been able to play with my beads for a couple of days, but I felt well enough after a couple of days to make a little necklace I called Lumiere.
It has ten strands of rainbow effect glass beads, and glass pearls, carrying a Lava rock pendant set with pink, blue and clear Swarovski crystals. The crystals have been hand set into the lava rock and catch the light with movement, and the colours are echoed by the beads in the necklace.
The necklace was made back to front, with the longest strands carrying the pendant at the front of the necklace - and it can be worn as it is or twisted into a roll - both ways are pretty - what do you think??
Tektite - Classique
The Chinese called it the "Inkstone of the Thundergod", while the Australian aborigines called it Maban or magic and associated it with good luck. Indians consider Tektite as the sacred gem of Lord Krishna or the fire pearl. Tibetan monks worship this stone as the "Stone of Shambala". It’s also been worn as a fertility amulet since centuries.
Tektites are natural glass objects primarily composed of silica. Tektites found on Earth are formed by large asteroidal impact with the Earth. Energy from the impact melts terrestrial rock and ejects it into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. A few minutes later tektites rain down. The final shape is dependent on terrestrial weathering. Libyan glass is a pale yellow tektite, and Moldavite is a beautiful emerald green.Tektites are found in geographically 'strewn fields' related to the source crater. The most recent and largest strewn field is in Australasia with tektites being found in the Indochinese peninsula (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and southern parts of China), the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
I bought mine from a dealer in Australia - the beads are a rugged black, but smooth and cool to touch, with no evidence of jagged edges. Not being overly concerned with its healing powers, I bought the string of beads for their beauty, and combined them with silver crystal and black onyx. As bright focals, I added a large silver tone toggle clasp and some 'wiggly' wire spheres. I thought the round beads would be better at the back, for comfort, but in the end, this piece turned out to be just as comfortable with the clasp at the back as when worn to one side, the way it was designed.
While rummaging around for the tektite beads, I found some large,faceted lapis beads which I had been hoarding for a special purpose - this seemed to be the ideal time to use at least one, having developed acute wire withdrawal symptoms. While we watched J Edgar Hoover on DVD, I pulled out some wire and made 'Sceptre'.
This was designed by Donna Spadfore of Gaillavira, and I have had the tutorial in my folder for ages - I love the way the piece has evolved, having changed a few minor details to suit the way I wanted to make it.
I find I have now passed my cold on to Michael (amongst others, most likely), who of course, has it much worse than me (and blames me for giving it him) - probably the worst cold since the beginning of time, and is convinced he requires constant nursing care ( no sympathy from me, sorry! - d'you think this is why a nurses uniform turns men on? - they haven't heard of compassion fatigue???), and added to this, my old cat has decided he needs feeding one tablespoon at a time - if I put any more than that in his bowl, he walks off and demands a new/ fresh meal after some time - in a fresh bowl each time! - no use me trying to force him to eat the old stuff - he just sits there and stares at me, or stalks off in disgust - anyone with a solution to this, please let me know.
Till next week then, if I am still sane,
This is one of my all time favourites and I named a necklace after it - I sold two in a royal blue, and decided to make another to use up the left over spacers. This one was in a pretty peacock blue with an Aurora Borealis finish - I called it Beguiled!
( didn't think it would be quite right to call it Bothered or Bewildered )
This is probably one of the few pieces I can remake easily - I know the bead sizes, the sizes of the spacers, where to source them from, and the exact numbers of the beads required to make it all written down - so, I shall make it from time to time in different colours - my threshold for boredom is very low! so it will have to be different in some way.
The Aurora Borealis (AB) finish is where a crystal has been coated on the outside, covering about half the crystal face. When the crystal is turned, you can see the colour of the crystal on one side and the AB finish on the other. The more facets the crystal has, the better the effect, and a rainbow effect appears when the bead is turned.
I just love this finish, and buy most of my crystal with it - they are usually a little more expensive than normal crystal, but the shine is worth it. Unfortunately my photography skills have not kept up with my magpie skills - so I get a bit frustrated - but I really cannot find the time to read the entire manual of my little camera (which is larger than the camera), anyway, it all reads like Double Dutch to my simple mind.
So, my plan is to lie in wait till some unsuspecting person walks through the door who can teach me a thing or two about the camera, arm wrestle them to the ground, and make them divulge .....or else!
The lady who bought Bewitched took one look at Beguiled - and was a bit fed up - she thought that it was better than the original - maybe she will have the second one as well, who knows??
This one was made of black and silver crystal in three strings - the AB finish on black gives the bead an oil slick, shiny finish that no longer looks totally black. I added a couple of Lava rock beads - they have a channel cut through the middle and little rhinestones have been applied by hand in the Swarovski factory. Due in part to the painstaking work involved, the beads are expensive - but, Christmas comes but once a year, and every one likes to look their best - a few pennies extra towards this may well be in order. The lava beads, due to their weight, cause the necklace to drape beautifully around the neck.
I played with polymer clay all weekend - curing and sanding- and buffing! I made some earrings to donate to my favourite charity, and once these were all packaged up, I felt I could go back to my bead stash, which has been sitting forlornly in the corner, while I play with crystals.
In the colours of the midnight sun in summer in the northern - most part of the world - this was taken in Norway last year.
I used some Kyanite slices, resembling the blue of the sky, and I added some coral and black agate geode beads to make this necklace. The geode beads are pretty - they are cut and rounded off to reveal the crystalline structure of the minerals inside the gemstone, and they sparkle in the light. The sponge coral chunks are earthy, and a beautiful deep red.
Eastern Promise - Royal Blue
It was that time again, time to dip into my stash of Nepalese artisan made pieces - they are so pretty, albeit rather expensive - but in my opinion, if one considers the work that goes into a handmade piece of wearable art, it is well worth the price. I knew I wanted to put this pendant on a lapis lazuli necklace, and had been collecting enough to make this piece. As it is rather a large pendant, it needs a robust necklace to balance it, so I put a four stranded necklace together with lapis, coral and stardust beads.
This one is named for Princess Tiana - from the story of the Frog Prince - you know the one, where you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince ( and then if you're totally unlucky he turns into a pig )- the original story came from Russia - Disney set it in New Orleans, and there are some incredible jazz sounds in that movie. The pale green Czech pressed beads, the tiny silvery crystals, and the lava rock in a multi strand necklace looks very sophisticated and simple - Bling for the daytime!
La Belle Epoque
There is a lot of nostalgia for 'The Beautiful Era', just before the onset of the First World War, when all was golden and glowing - the 'retrospectoscope' has been liberally applied to this memory, complete with rose tinted glass. Beloved by the French, La Belle Epoque is thought to be a time when relative peace and prosperity in the land allowed art to flourish, parties to be gay and wild, and women to be louche, and men to have a rakish Rhett Butler smile and not give a damn - what more can you ask for?? Louche women and wild parties demand - yes, you guessed it - BLING!
This necklace will take you to any party - three strands of black and silver with an AB finish, a Blinged up Lava rock bead focal, and peacock coloured crystal on one side.
Next week we take a short break in Rome, and I will have very little time to make anything. I shall of course spy on what the European women are wearing - at this time of year, it is usually all about scarves, and earrings, necklaces don't get a look in.
Have a good week, and I will catch you when I get back,
I love unusual elements - I was sorting out my bead stash, and trying to get tangled strings of beads back into little labelled pouches, with prices for each of the different types of gemstones, when it struck me - I dont have too many round beads in my stash - in fact, the only round beads I have are left overs from jewellery I have conceived around a focal piece, and then had to buy in with that particular piece in mind. A quick rummage revealed oval beads, and square beads, pumpkin shaped beads, rugged rough nuggets, freeform tooth shaped beads, smooth nuggets, floral shapes, coins, rondelles - a few round glass beads I got when I first started out still languish at the back of the stash, and I could hear them pleading with me to be used - 'me, me, me', they cried!
I also have a stash of pendant beads and cabochons - mainly druzy - I love that rugged, excavated, sugar crystal look. I have started to collect little tiny gemstone beads, to put in the Caprilicious silver collection, and I now have a box full of those, and will soon have to get a bigger container.
This week, I was exhausted from making 'The Mermaids Song' and the other pieces I put together last week, so I slacked off for a couple of days, until I felt the urge to pick up a pair of pliers and play with some wire. Sometimes, I make a few wire elements and then put them together, and at others, I find a focal, and plan the execution of a piece of jewellery, knowing that I will change my mind halfway, and add something unexpected into the mix.
I started out with this pendant bead ( a bead is anything with a hole in it, and does not need a separate piece of metal to surround it- it doesn't necessarily have to be round). I, however, treat most pendant beads like cabochons, that have no hole, and frame them with my own bezel. This one is one of the Intarsia beads I had sent out to me from Italy. It is made of marble, inlaid with jasper, so beautifully, one would be forgiven for thinking it was all one piece of stone, the clue is in the white frame around the inlay work. I love the intricacy of Intarsia work, and have a few pieces in my collection. They are difficult to use, as, strung alone, the piece looks a bit bare, and a frame to show it off is required - in my opinion, anyway.
The first one I made way back in February, reminded me of cherry blossom, and I gave it a floral polymer clay frame. It was called Spring Fever. This time, I pulled out a piece of marble inlaid with yellow jasper - it looked like an explosion of fireworks in a night sky to me. The romantic in me remembered the fireworks that go off every time one falls in love, and I designed a heart shaped double frame around the Intarsia, to be carried by needles of yellow jasper. However, by the time I finished the frame, shiny silver lined seed beads had jumped onto it and twined themselves around it, and I was forced to continue the theme with the same beads in the necklace. The yellow jasper needles were put away, to be used another day - I did apologise to them first for raising their hopes!
I think I did that magnificent piece of Intarsia art justice with my frame. I wish I could find the artisan and ask him/her what they thought of it.
A True Blue Affair
My first love when I first got into the jewellery making lark was druzy - and that hasn't changed one bit. I love the way these stones are cut, displaying imperfections, rather than cutting or polishing them out. None of us are perfect, and we all employ a bit of camouflage here, a bit of subterfuge there - and titanium druzy is just that - a bit of camouflage to cover up what would essentially be a dull stone - among other druzy, that is. A lot of geodes/ druzy have natural striations and facets, which are so pretty, no further efffort is needed to prettify them. But what of the poor piece of stone, that has nothing to edify it, apart from nature's embellishment with a surface crystalline texture - camouflage with a thin vapour of gold, or platinum, or titanium, of course! Titanium, in particular gives the stone a blue green oil slick sheen, and is very pretty. I had a pendant, bought in the USA, with such a stone set in Sterling Silver, just a bit bigger than a 50 pence piece. Teamed with lapis lazuli beads and loads of silver-tone spacers, I made a Lariat style necklace, with the pendant incorporated into the toggle clasp - this can be worn long, or shorter, wound twice around the neck. I personally prefer it short.
The final piece for the week before I took off on holiday was a necklace made of really unusual banded green agate. The beads are cylindrical, and faceted in such a way that some of the facets are smooth and shiny and the others are gritty, with the appearance of ground glass. I saw them in a picture, and had to have them. The gerrn and red bands that make up this gemstone can be a bit dull though, so I livened it up with a central silver tone flower pendant- I looked at it from all different angles, and decided I didn't like the effect - a tad too symmetrical for me, and the flower seemed too small to balance the size of the beads. So, copper wire to the rescue - I whipped up a three dimensional orchid, and studded it with turquoise beads - and this brightened the piece up considerably - so, here is the Blue Orchid Corsage Necklace.....
We flew out to Santorini last week for a few days in the sun after our abysmally dull summer. I post this from the hotel in Santorini - it was written before I left home, but is a few days late - have been too busy climbing the volcano, swimming in the blue Aegean sea, and sunning myself like a lizard on a rock. Catch you when I get back,
This is the question that has been driving me crazy - people seem to use it interchangeably - sometimes I just turn an idea or thought over and over in my head, instead of consulting the Oracle - so today, I went into Roget's Thesaurus and the answer is ......either / either! I have the entry from the Thesaurus here:-
Main Entry: mould
Part of Speech:noun
Synonyms: conformation, copy, duplicate, embodiment, facsimile, figure, form, mold , plaster, replica, sculpture, shape
Phew! - now that I have that sorted, let me tell you what I have been up to this week.
I had a resin pendant, in Victorian filigree, coloured to resemble amber with the exoskeleton of a scorpion embedded into it. I seem to have acquired all this stuff, until my stash is so large, I shouldn't really need to buy anything else - but it doesn't work that way ever, does it - like being too rich or too thin or having too many shoes! - you can never have too many things in your beading stash.
Anyway, I digress - so, I put this pendant which is as faux as faux can be, with some real branch bamboo coral which was dyed gold and black - two rows of those with two more faux amber beads and I had myself a handsome piece of jewellery - it looks quite regal in fact - well I think so, have a look at it for me...
I called it Isis - the Egyptian Goddess, who was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife ( just like me - wife, I mean) and was the patron goddess of nature and magic, mother of Horus, the hawk headed God of war. She had seven ( a lucky number in Egypt) scorpions to protect her from harm - three in front of her, two under her palanquin and two at the rear - this babe sure didn't take any chances!
My little exoskeleton pendant is unlikely to do much in the way of protection, but what I like about it is that such an ugly/scary object has been so convincingly prettified - that's why I bought it, I guess. I like the contrast of pretty and scary in the same object!
At the weekend, I pulled out all the moulds I have - in my mold stash (!) and decided that from now on, I shall use every one of them - one or two each week and until I use them all shall buy no more - I do want the AMACO sun mould set, but fortunately, it is out of stock in the UK and I refuse to pay a whole load to have it shipped out to me from the States. So I pulled out the 'Hydrangea' mould and a sunflower mould and made some Copper Precious Metal clay bits with them- my problem is that I tend to make jewellery with what I have - it just evolves as I go along from a little germ of an idea - when I conceive a whole design, it never works out for me. This is actually important when making pieces of copper, as I need to know how many holes I want in the piece - too few and I will kick myself, and too many just looks silly - you get my drift?? Anyway, I imagined a necklace with polymer clay and copper pieces, all from the same mould and designed a necklace - and the long and the short of it is, it never happened and I ended up with a polymer clay necklace, as well as a sweet pair of copper earrings and pendant to match, which nods cursorily in the direction of Steampunk.
Hydraulic Hydrangea - pendant and earrings
I made these from Precious metal clay, and decided to patinate them with the Vintaj range of Patinas which are new in the UK - they seem to have them a lot more in the USA - where copper is a favourite metal - very rustic and Boho - I took a look on various other UK websites, and it is slowly creeping into UK consciousness, so I guess, I shall be at the forefront of the Copper Revolution. I coloured my flowers Tiffany blue and moss green, and then, since I had changed my mind about how I was going to use them, set myself a challenge to make them up as they were - I had 4 holes in each as they were meant to be links in a necklace - this is how they ended up. I used some watch gears and cogs as I think they are so sweet - you have to look closely at the individual piece to find the gears, but they are there. It has been a challenge to take photographs to portray them properly, but I have enjoyed it. I still have two little flowers left, and they will no doubt surface some day as earrings.
Mood Indigo - named by Michael Shilvock
This was made from a Ghau Box, once again from my stash of bits and bobs. This is a rather large box, with inlays of turquoise, lapis and coral, all swirly patterned - I matched the colours with gemstones - and having made a frame for the Ghau box, filled it in with as many gemstones as would fit to give it a lavish look. My husband took one look at it and said 'call it Mood Indigo' - probably because of the prominent colour of the Lapis Lazuli - so here it is.
Play the song too, why don't you - I am a great believer in some foot tapping while I work - and there's nothing better for that than the great Nina Simone - I booked tickets to see her sing in Manchester ( can you see someone singing?? - but you know what I mean) and they cancelled because she was too ill to go on - she died in Paris not long after.
Everyone I know makes Tree of Life pendants - and they are very pretty. It is a motif that recurs in religious symbols, philosophy and mythology and refers to the idea that all beings are connected to one another.
I had been toying with the idea of making one - but I had to figure out an angle - a common or garden Tree (!) simply wouldn't do. I have always been fascinated by the story of the Book of Genesis - and the misogynistic idea that everything is the woman's fault - well, maybe it is, but I'm not about to admit it (actually, neither did Eve - she blamed the serpent!). I think it is also because I went to a Convent school as a child ( but probably just cos I like the idea of mischief). I made a pendant very early on in my practising days for my willing guniea pig and friend Sheela, also with this motif. In todays pendant, there is a serpent looking up at the apples in the moonlight, hatching the plot that will bring mankind to its knees (actually womankind) and him onto his belly for ever and ever - and so it goes for mischief makers!
I had a hammered copper star shaped pendant for many moons, not knowing quite what to do with it, and I used it to make this visual pageant of the day the Book of Genesis was born - and I had to call it just that.
Before I end, I have a joke for you - One day God told Noah to build an ark and put in two of each animal. Noah built the ark, there was the Great Flood and the animals were saved. After the waters receded, Noah released the animals, two by two, back into the wild. He said to the dogs "Go forth and multiply". He said to the deer, " Go forth and multiply".
He then said to the snakes, "Go forth and multiply." They looked at each other, flummoxed. "What is the matter?" asked Noah.
"We can't," the snakes replied "we're adders!"
Have a fab week and I will catch up with you next Friday