Hello readers, how nice of you to drop by - autumn will soon be here and the colours of my new statement jewellery collection are reflecting this. No, they are not brown and grey - they are bigger and brighter than ever, to zhush up the autumnal hues of rust, must and dust that most dress designers pick as being suitable for us during this season.
I will let you in on an open secret - I am a very shy person - and when I tell people this, they laugh at me disbelievingly. I am even intimidated by hairdressers because I cannot relate to them, and small talk with a stranger is a no go area for me - I usually come out looking like someone else's mop - they seem to have a pack instinct when they see me coming - there's no 'Hello moddom, would you like a coffee?' - it's all snip, snip, snip - and when they've finished, they make me look like the person they perceive - a raggedy Orphan Annie type on a bad hair day - and that's cos she's exactly who they see when I slink in, looking apologetic for breathing the same air!
At the age of - well, older than many of you - I am now qualified to tell you how I overcame this using my passion for jewellery, and perhaps you will find you can do it too.
1) Spark A Conversation - Effortlessly
This is where Caprilicious comes in - wear one of your pieces of statement jewellery and you will find people coming up to you and complimenting you on what you are wearing. It doesn't have to be a massive piece of jewellery and you don't have to be blinged up to the eyeballs.
Take Glamour Puss - one of the pieces I made this week - all it is is a piece of pink and black agate - but it is presented on a pink stainless steel torque, wire wrapped, with an extremely shiny Swarovski crystal square wrapped onto it - a definite conversational opening gambit if ever there was one.
Obviously, no one can guarantee that people are going to walk up to you - you may have to do the walking - find someone in a nice ensemble and tell them you like it - instant spark! they will compliment you back ( people love a compliment and usually reciprocate - I'm sure you've noticed that) and Bob's your uncle!
2) Have Something to Say Prepared
When someone compliments your jewellery, don't just mumble your thanks or go the 'this old thing??....' routine- smile widely, tell them a little story about it - perhaps even how clever you were to find it - if it's a piece by Caprilicious and you have read the blog, there's a backstory all ready for you to tell.
At Caprilicious, I attempt to make jewellery that is interesting and different - I have the occasional daytime, everyday piece - but even that is usually different from the norm - you have plenty to talk about.
These little lampwork beads were turned into daytime earrings, but they are so pretty, I'm sure you will be noticed when you wear them. I turned the leftover beads into bracelets with braided leather, so you can have a whole ensemble if you want one.
They are made to resemble the spinning top I had as a child - I was only allowed to play with it if I promised to be very, very careful (?), and eventually it was used by both my siblings, probably with the same proviso, and in turn, by their children. It still exists in my mother's cupboard - waiting for her great grandchildren, I guess! Unfortunately, their toys of choice are likely to be an internet enabled mobile phone, so mum has wasted her efforts to save what has now become an antique heirloom - perhaps it will be worth something one of these days.
3) Ms. Attention - To - Detail
Be Little Miss Attention-To-Detail - wear the right piece for your neckline, to coordinate with your outfit - and if you are in Caprilicious Woman mode, dare to wear jewellery in a completely contrasting colour to your outfit - after all, an orange necklace with the outfit in the picture would be drowned out by the colour of the vest - the blue necklace is definitely the better fit.
4) Get Up Close and Personal
Once you have complimented someone about their jewellery, and received one in return, you have chatted about your sources for said jewellery and smiled at each other, you are fast becoming friends - after all you have found something in common - your love for pretty jewellery!
Introduce her to someone you know, she reciprocates - and before you know it, you have a networking session going on right there, under your very shy nose - did you know that was going to happen?? I did! There are a few more tips on Reggie Darling's fabulous blog - Reggie's Advice For the Tongue-Tied Guest at Table Amongst Strangers, and I recommend this post to you. And of course, you must never get so carried away by your success by turning into a Conversation Hog! Click on the link to find out how not to do it.
5) Be Different - and Revel in It
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was to be like everyone else, to merge seamlessly into the background - I blame my mother for this (as I type I can hear her grumbling in the background 'you blame your mother for everything') - I was expected to be a Little Miss Muffet - but I was also expected to go out and fight my corner in the world of modern medicine when I grew up!
And then I ended up in Britain, and have found that a lot of the time I stick out like a sore thumb, and there is no Marks & Spencer camouflage that works. It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm over the worst. I'm happy to be me and revel in being different.
I wear Caprilicious all the time, and that helps me walk tall ( I'm only 5'2") and people come up to me and talk about my jewellery. I like to take the stuff I make on test runs, but sometimes they get sold before I get a chance - here's one of the pieces I made last week that lasted fifteen minutes on my pages...
It is most definitely evening wear, and I didn't have an occasion to wear it before someone from work snapped it up.
A statement jewelry piece by Caprilicious will give you confidence, help you stand out in the crowd of 'samey people', and allow you to start a natural conversation - the death knell to shyness. The end result is a helpful, natural connection. The best part? It’s a great excuse to start shopping!
That's it for this week folks. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello all you Caprilicious women out there, I hope you are all relaxed and ready for the weekend, ready to go partying in your statement jewellery.
I have some exciting news this week - Caprilicious is due to have a second exhibition in January 2015. I am negotiating with the good people of Raintree, where I had my first exhibition, to find us a suitable weekend at the end of January when I am due to be in Bangalore visiting with my mother.
Lipstick on your Collar
That's right, I've made this necklace before - last time, I used the jasper I acquired from my friend BN with a coral pink howlite - I happened to have some pale, blush pink howlite lying around and a few black veined jasper beads left over from last time and they just seemed to cry out to be put together. I am by no stretch of imagination a 'pink' person, but I just love the combination of pink and grey/black - very cool and sophisticated. You wouldn't catch me in a pink outfit though - one has to draw the line somewhere! There are plenty of greys, blacks and whites in my wardrobe that could be accesorised beautifully by this necklace when I take it out for it's test run.
For the longest time, I thought seahorses were mythical creatures, like unicorns, phoenix', dragons, dinosaurs and pixies - only kidding, honest. I love the little critters, they are the cutest and I am always on the look out for them. I found an aventurine carved into a seahorse, so smooth and shiny - an instant love affair. With a little wire bail, and the addition of agates and glass beads as well as pearls, it was transformed into a cruisers necklace - or for someone going on a holiday to an island paradise. I used the colours in this photograph to make this necklace.
Do you know the story of Salome?? It is from the New Testament - Salome, who by all accounts was a raving beauty and a femme fatale, who is hailed as the embodiment of female seductiveness and an icon of sensuality , did the Dance of the Seven Veils at her step fathers birthday bash - he offered her anything her little heart desired, and Salome, being as thick as two short planks, looked to her mom for an answer.
Her mom had dumped her first husband, and married his brother - she was extremely put out that John The Baptist had denounced her marriage as unlawful; and he didn't just say it once - he raved and ranted and denounced her from the rooftops, unfortunately prophets just don't
seem to know when to stop - to silence him she decided to get her daughter to demand that John be beheaded.
Salome could have asked for anything - gold, diamonds, pearls - but being a bit sweet and unworldly, she said 'what shall I ask for mommy??' and chose to obey her mother. The king had no choice but to behead the hapless John and present her with his head on a plate.
But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
My necklace is named Salome - I'm sure it wouldn't have looked out of place during the Dance of the Seven Veils - men will lose their heads over the wearer - but hopefully in a nicer way than poor old John. I've tried to put nuances of sensuality and fiery desire into this magnificent necklace and the haematite gleams brightly in contrast to the hand carved black jade and the paisley howlite beads in the second strand of this piece.
Her face is hand carved of ox bone, she wears a sterling silver and marcasite helmet, her helmet straps are fastened and she looks calm, yet resigned, as if off to do battle for a cause she believes in, wearing her regalia. A beautiful faceted citrine teardrop dangles below her chin - she is The Warrior Princess.
I teamed her with citrine and carnelian freeform nuggets, pearls and blue goldstone beads to make this piece.
Now that I've decided that there will be an exhibition, a bit of anxiety has started to creep up on me - yes, I know I'm being silly, and that I have five months to go - but I'm just a ' have everything ready ahead of time' type . So, I made some earrings - they will go on the website, and eventually make their way to the exhibition, or not, as the case may be - but at least I will have them ready in time.
These are sweet, and helped me watch one of my favourite movies 'The English Patient' for the n'th time as my pliers moved rhythmically along with the soundtrack. And then, with mental calm restored, now that I have enough earrings, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the truly righteous. Now all I have to do is to remember to carry them along - one time I did a jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house, and I left all my earrings and other little bits behind in the cupboard at home.
That's all for this week, folks, I hope you have enjoyed looking at my bits and bobs - if you have, do leave me a message - I'm beginning to think I'm talking to myself.
One of my kittens, Wilfred has found a spool of wire and is chasing it around the room, whilst Charlie has bumped into a wall and got a huge bruise on his nose - £50 to the vet and a clutch of tablets later ( I'm so in the wrong profession), he looks like a rugby player after a particularly violent scrum. Thankfully he is a kitten and not a child, or they would have had me up for non accidental injuries!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by 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 good people, here's your weekly dose of statement jewellery from Caprilicious. Once I have posted this, I am off to Hamburg, to visit with a friend and have a few days away by the Baltic in her lovely bungalow by the sea - not that I'm rushing or anything, just saying.....
My muse capriliciously tripped along from one style of jewellery to another, seemingly without a cohesive thought in her head, and I followed, led by the nose - I just do as I am bid and see what transpires (hubby often wonders why I won't follow him in quite the same way).............................
I blame my mother for my lacemania.
She was/is a true lacemaniac, and in my childhood dressed my sister and me in imports from around the globe - she turned up her nose at what was produced in India. Every outfit we had was edged with a hint of lace (imports were expensive, thankfully), and that has left it's mark on us - both of us drool over lace when we see it, but today I would combine it with other elements to detract from the 'girly' effect. Chunky jewellery, leather waistcoats, boho bracelets, trilby hats, slouchy boots, 50's sunnies (not all at the same time, admittedly - the gangsta rap look doesn't suit me either) - these are what I wear 'for badness', a word learned from Gabrielle, an old Irish friend!
I learned this style of wire work from an Indonesian friend - in her country these wire medallions are made into brooches to pin back their headscarves and it takes hours to painstakingly coil fine wire around a thicker wire, and then curve and coil the thicker wire into shape, embellishing it with beads as one goes along, without the use of any tools other than a pair of wire snips - but the final effect is so pretty, it is most definitely a labour of love.
Chantilly lace has been made since the 16th century - handmade in France and Belgium and worn by fashionable ladies in Europe and America - and much loved by brides even today.
If my mother could have laid her hands on Chantilly lace when we were growing up, who knows what damage she would have inflicted on our psyches - todays little hints of 'badness' would have become a deluge, to counteract the Little Miss Muffet-ness of my childhood - Phew!
Whilst I love the colour that polymer clay and beads have brought into my life, it is no secret that wire is my first love.
I make this pendant time and time again - inspired by the work of Nicole Hanna , and I love it. It's asymmetry draws me to this design. The markings on the matte blue agate complement the wire work.
And as I went about my business, pottering about the house and going back and forth to work, my muse caught sight of a polymer clay faux bone medallion I made earlier, meaning to eventually turn it into a tribal piece - she decided the medallion had waited long enough and clicked her fingers -lo and behold, Zanzibar came into being!
A silk, vaguely Chinese looking silk choker was unearthed, my stash raided for colourful wooden beads and Cowrie shells, and they were all put together using waxed linen.
I think the necklace is fun and can be easily worn in summer with T shirts and linens, as well as in winter over jumpers.
I have always wanted to go to Zanzibar which is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, once a Portuguese and then a British protectorate, a Spice Island that sounds warm and exotic - one day perhaps.
Just now, I shall have to make do with the necklace.
The Sarayu is a river that runs through the north of India and is a tributary of the Ganges. The turquoise beads in this necklace carrying the conch shell pendant, and the flow of the necklace, reminded me of a river - I used the 'stare hard at it and call it the first name that jumps into your head' technique. This technique works well when I like a piece of jewellery - Bang, a name jumps up and bites me on the nose - if, however, I don't feel any rapport with it, I could go cross eyed and anoxic from holding my breath and concentrating hard with no results. Needless to say, such pieces end up on the scrap heap.
The pendant is a black and gold disc from Indonesia - one I made earlier was red, black and gold and equally beautiful.
Earlier on in the year I made a pair of earrings I called The Bollywood Barbie Earrings - what I imagined Barbie would wear if she went to Bollywood. In the process of researching this for my blog, I came across Rachel Chitra's blog - she had written a post about the scarcity of dolls in India. We had quite a few virtual conversations, and I thought no more of it. Rachel is an Indian journalist and blogger and sent me this link today - she very kindly wrote a little blog post about Caprilicious Jewellery.
That's me done before my little mini break in Hohwacht. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place same time
P.S - I know more of you read me than you let on - go on, put your heads above the parapet and leave me a comment, show me some love darnit, I deserve it - wouldn't you agree?? - the app might ask for your email id, but don't be frightened - it is just to make sure you are human and not a robot selling snake oil from Outer Mongolia
This lovely piano solo by Kevin Kerr expresses the emotions I have tried to capture in this necklace. To me summertime is all about butterflies and dragonflies, mellow sunlight, tinkling music and flowers - I don't think about the slugs and snails and weeds and rain that are such a nuisance - I must be a romantic at heart, although I would deny it hotly, if someone said that about me.
Happy Friday, readers and thanks for joining me today. This week, I've written two posts - the last one about Statement Jewellery, posted on Wednesday will be a guest post on a friend's blog later on in the year - but you caught sight of it first, right here. I didn't want to add this weeks pieces of jewellery to the guest post and decided to write a separate one instead.
My muse see sawed wildly this week from the conventional and pretty, to the wild and crazy. I kick started the weekend by making wire and resin dragonflies. The problem with this was that each coating of resin took at least a couple of days to set - this gave my mischievous muse time to draw my attention to all sorts of other ideas - I was a bit overloaded on the ideas front and my mind was spinning out of control!
And while I waited for the resin to set, off Ms Muse trotted dragging me in her wake, this time in the direction of Cubism and Pablo Picasso. A few lessons ( quite a few, actually - because I cannot draw) off the internet in drawing a face from two different perspectives and I set about making this piece, which in the end was made into a brooch by the addition of a pin.
It was an awful, grey and rainy weekend, which might have sparked the need for bright colour.
I love it, but I do feel the need to offer apologies to Pablo.
In my defence, it is more difficult than one would think, especially for someone who cannot draw in one perspective, let alone two at the same time! - try it and see how you go - and then, once it has been drawn, to successfully convert it to a polymer clay piece - eeps! not sure I'll be doing this again any time soon.
This is a gift for a very wacky and fun friend of mine - we are to visit her in Hamburg soon, I hope she will love it as much as I do.
And the dragonflies showed no sign of being ready yet, so on we went, my muse and I, plodding on with another piece.
Images from the Subconscious - Mind Games!
While I was researching the making of the 'Picasso' pin, I looked at a whole load of stuff on the internet that set my mind a buzzing - among others, the art of Romero Britto, and the South American god of Fertility - the Kokopelli - colourful images that seemed to stay with me in my dreams. No wonder then, that my next piece was shaped by them.
This is Kokopelli, a Native American fertility deity. He is usually depicted as a hump backed and feathered flute player, and he takes care of both the harvest and fertility - which in the end mean one and the same!
I was looking for a colourful piece to replicate in Polymer clay, but passed him up in favour of the cubist face - another time perhaps, I thought.............
And the dragonflies were still wet........sigh! Oh well!
Conus snails are venomous though beautiful and are the species of snail whose shells are seen in most collections.The species most dangerous to humans are the larger ones which prey on small bottom-dwelling fish; the smaller species mostly hunt and eat marine worms. They have a venom gland and a hollow tooth like a harpoon or proboscis through which they inject and paralyse their prey before eating it.
This pendant came from Indonesia and is set with cross sections of conus shells in coloured resin, and I added faceted onyx, and pyrite nuggets which gleam in the light - they aren't called 'Fools Gold' for nothing!
'Zehr' is the Arabic word for poison - although Zehra means beautiful! Either way, I think the name fits this pendant - would you agree??
This peacock feather pendant came from Indonesia as well - I was quite taken with the way the edges of the feather had been beaded like a Rastafarian's dreads - hard work, and done so neatly - I have a great deal of admiration for the artist who made it. It can't be fun to play with feathers and glue and beads - just imagine the mess at the end of it.
Together with a string of freshwater pearls and a couple of enamelled Indian beads, bought during my last trip home, a simple, but elegant necklace was born.
Of course the word Mayuri really means a peahen and is a misnomer - the poor peahen hasn't been born with the elegance of the male bird - but hey, let's not quibble, eh!
At last, finally, the dragonflies were ready to be used - and about time too!!
The Dance of The Dragonfly
I think it was worth the wait, don't you?? As a bonus, I have a few leftover dragon flies, which will eventually work their way into other pieces, later on.
That's a wrap for this week folks, I'll catch you again next week, same time, same place. Have a lovely 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
Last week was Thanksgiving in America, Obama pardoned a turkey - though loads of people languish in Guantanamo Bay, it was the turkey that got lucky, and I hope it was duly grateful.
But, did you know that the cranberry is probably what the early American settlers were - or should have been, most grateful for?? The Native Indians introduced the settlers to this berry, which was probably the first superfood - cranberries are meant to be high in antioxidants, and prevent heart disease, and were even then, being used as laxatives, blood purifiers, to treat fevers, stomach cramps and anaemia following childbirth. This berry kept more people in good health than a load of other cures such as the application of leeches and other fun interventions dreamed up by the medics of the time.
Cranberries are grown in the bogs in places like Wisconsin and Massachusetts and have now made their way onto the table at feasts - once it was discovered that the sour berry could be sweetened - remember the story of the spoonful of sugar, and the medicine??
The beautiful watermelon tourmalines used in this necklace give it it's name. The tiny haematite heishi beads were found in the bead fair in Newmarket a few weeks ago - I think they go perfectly together. I used sterling silver accent beads and clasp - I thought the delicacy of the necklace merited a special treatment. I do not make 'delicates' easily and struggled a bit with this piece, but in the end, I quite like it - I'm sure not everyone wants to make a 'Big Bang' of a statement - there is room for subtlety, especially during the daytime!
Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was skipping along, trying out this berry and that, singing softly to herself, when Hades, the God of the Underworld came crashing out of a cleft in the ground, raped her and took her off to live with him - her mother Demeter, was so distraught, she caused all the plants to wither and die and forbid the earth to produce. In alarm, Zeus set up a search party, and found her - her husband was persuaded to let her go - he was made an offer he couldn't refuse - but the wily old dog, Hades had fed the greedy woman with pomegranate seeds (she'd eat anything, obviously) - so she was condemned to return to him for four months of the year. This is meant to be a personification of the story of the seasons, and Persephone is also the Goddess of spring and fertility.
The maple leaf in this necklace was picked and skeletonised in high summer this year - I have only just found a use for it. I used my new camera and a new technique to take these pictures, and was mighty chuffed when I was complimented on one of them.
I spent the entire weekend playing with polymer clay and a tutorial by Alice Stroppel - trying to make a profile face cane - I had to learn to make tiny eyes, and lips and eyelid canes, and then put them together, stick a nose on it, and Voila! - sigh, if only it was that easy. Anyway, I made two sizes of cane - a big one and a little one, according to her instructions and they now sit proudly on my table. I have yet to decide what to do with them - Alice has some very witty and fun bracelets on her pages - I might draw some inspiration there. I have no time to play with clay during the week, so will have to wait till the next weekend for that. Here are some pictures of the process..........
This is one of my favourite genres of necklace - the torque - winding loads and loads of wire and beads around a single 2mm wire with it's integral clasp is very rewarding - this time I used snowflake obsidian fragments - this is lava that cooled very quickly, trapping white inclusions, like snowflakes - adding Czech glass, and a resin rose, a Murano glass leaf and some iridescent glass leaves as an asymmetric focal. The necklaces take a while to make - if you can imagine twisting each bead onto thin wire, and then the whole 'garland' onto the 2mm wire - but the results are amazing.
That's as much as I had time for this week folks. I have to make a load of Christmas presents, and most exciting of all, there are plans afoot to hold a little exhibition in India when I go on holiday to visit my family in January.
Have a great week, and I will catch you next weekend, same time, same place
Last weekend was Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, a three day festival which is the start of a new year in India - a lamp is lit to guide the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi, into the house, some more are lit to show Ram, the exiled prince, the way back to his kingdom, and even more, to celebrate the death of a pesky demon - the myth of the triumph of good over evil - the stuff of good Hollywood/Bollywood movies!
My mother phoned me to make sure I had lit the lamp she gave me - so here's proof, mom!
And then in the UK we had Bonfire night, where we celebrate either the execution of Guy Fawkes, or honour his attempts to do away with the government, or exult over the safety of the king/monarchy with a bonfire and fireworks - depending on your take on it.
Whatever the excuse, it is a lovely time of year - the leaves are gold and brown and crunchy underfoot, the air is clean and crisp, and the fireworks scent the air with their own sharp aroma. Time to bring out the warm clothing, sweaters, UGG boots, gloves, scarves - and jewellery needs to be large and bright, and necklaces longer, to go over winter woolies.
To go with the theme of 'lights' i made a pair of wire filigree earrings that I called 'Candelabra' - they are curved gently into the shape of the face to give a three dimensional effect.
If you read my blog last week you will know I was blown away by the stuff I learned at Polydays - I just couldn't believe that I had actually made these complicated designs - so I decided to try them out again, just to convince myself that is was possible, and it was indeed me at Polydays.
These are the pieces I made - not bad for a day spent playing, huh? Pendants and earrings and even a bead rolled off my craft table - I was most excited!
While I was in the mood to play with clay, I made a sheet of coloured clay, graduating from a forest green, to a beautiful dull gold, and I made wafer beads from it. Together with a gold coloured pod shaped bead I made earlier, The Fruit of the Forest necklace materialised in my hands as if by magic.
The tiny seed beads between the wafers make the necklace very flexible and comfortable, ideal for wearing over a cardigan. The depth of the shades of green in the necklace is just splendiferous.
A Touch of Frost
In keeping with the weather, I came up with a winter white necklace of mother of pearl shell fragments, wired on to a torque - the centerpiece being a trio of clear AB coated crystal flowers and one single red rose.
Winter white is a creamy white, richer than the glaring whites of summer, and the mother of pearl casts a beautiful glow upwards onto the wearer's face.
These pictures were taken with my new all singing and dancing Nikon 5100 - isn't it a shame that I cannot sing and dance with it - but soon, real soon, I will get the hang of it and then, watch out, my photographs will sizzle!
The Peach Blossom Pendant
Last week I made this pretty necklace, but I had a few rough quartz needles left over. I used one of them in my next little pendant, which I wound with sterling silver wire. Antiqued and polished, it looks sweet on a silver snake chain. An easy piece to wear of a daytime, for someone who has a quiet statement to make.
Work has been pretty busy, so I haven't had time to do much else. It will soon be two years since I set Caprilicious Jewellery up and we have come a long way together since then, thanks to you all - I am very grateful.
Have a great week, and I will catch you soon, 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.
Follow me on Pinterest
I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
What's in the Store
Look for them by their names in the search box
Free Mini Tutorials