Hello dear readers, how nice of you to stop by this week to take a peek into the goings on at Caprilicious. We've been hanging on to the lazy, crazy hazy days of summer by our fingernails as it is still warm enough to wear our summer clothes, and pretend that autumn is not just around the corner. We peer at the long term forecast worriedly, muttering to ourselves, and this year have been lucky to have fairly decent weather in September. I've even got the most beautiful double begonias flowering in a pot, providing a brilliant splash of colour in an otherwise dull corner of the garden.
However, I know this isn't going to last very much longer and our jumpers and cardigans will have to come out of the closet sooner or later.
This must have been deeply ingrained on my subconscious as all my jewellery had a floral theme this week. I am preparing a few simple, inexpensive necklaces to go into a couple of stalls I have agreed to set up at charitable events in October and November. They aren't on the website and will only go on should they remain unsold at the end of November.
Daisy, a necklace with four pretty jade flowers and black glazed terracotta beads, was born as I rummaged around in my stash. A pair of jade and onyx earrings with pyrite teardrops dangling from them add a fabulous finishing touch.
This is my last turquoise clasp - I've been hoarding it for three years and finally decided to let it go. The pearls are cultured in fresh water and once I started on the necklace, the tiny daisies jumped out of my findings basket onto my work surface and demanded to be used. So, here we have a very sophisticated pearl necklace, with a whimsical touch - I love it!!
So there we have it folks - my subconscious is obviously desperate to hold on to the last vestiges of summer, and has pushed Ms Muse in the direction of florals all week. That's me done for now, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, happy Friday to you all. As this blog post goes out, I will be at a Health and Safety lecture at the day job, and riveting it will be too! Oh well, I shall just have to make up for it later on and have a lovely relaxing weekend. I have had a satisfying week creating a few pieces of jewellery so I can't complain.
Most people go to the Lido on the Champs-Élysées or the Moulin Rouge when they hit Paris as a tourist. However, the Folies Bergère, established in 1869, is still in business, not far from the Moulin Rouge. It was at the height of its fame and popularity from the 1890s and the gaieté girls and their dance routines are legendary. I was lucky enough to go to all three institutions on various trips to Paris and was just blown away by the spectacle they put on. The women are barely clothed in the conventional sense, but their headgear and beads with feathers and sequins and the fabulousness of their routine ensures that it is not in the least bit pornographic, but just amazing.
I made a pendant using solar quartz and colourful soutache braids, with multi colour gemstone and glass seed beads to go with a strand of lapis lazuli slab nuggets that I bought in Jaipur. The stones were so beautiful, I felt compelled to work hard to make a pendant worthy of them and name the resultant necklace after the spectacular dancers at the Folies.
I've agreed to have a stall at a couple of events to support Sophia - the Pregnancy Loss Support Service at the George Eliot Hospital. They are having their fundraiser at The Labour Club, Stockingford on the 23rd of October and possibly another one in December just before Christmas. The ladies who run the group are very compassionate and give of their time and energy freely, and I've agreed to take Caprilicious to both events. I've been making little earrings and necklaces for the stalls.
Here's a sneak peek at a couple of the items destined for the events.
The events are also in support of Ariana's Hope, a non profit organisation that raises awareness of Edwards' syndrome or Trisomy 18, a condition incompatible with life. If you have a moment, do click on the links above and even better, if you can, come and say hello and support the events. People with healthy babies can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak that comes with problems like these, so do support the cause and check out their Facebook pages.
That's me for this week, folks. I've made a few pairs of earrings but have yet to antique them and take pictures - perhaps I'll show them off next week. I shall schedule the blog to be posted tomorrow at 10 am, UK time - at that point I will be listening to an extremely riveting lecture at the Statutory and Mandatory update at work - if we don't attend, we are not allowed any other study leave for the year and our appraisal paperwork is not signed off, so there's no escaping it. I just hope it rains tomorrow, I'd hate to spend a lovely sunny day bound to a chair in a darkened room, and anyway the garden could do with a good dousing.
Catch you next week folks, same time, same place,
Hello folks, it's great to see you here again, thanks for joining me today. The sun has finally come out to play - I'm almost afraid to say it in case the rain comes back. What am I saying - of course the rain will come back in this green and pleasant land, one can't have one without the other.
I've been out in the garden, putting in plants and weeding, getting rid of slugs and snails and various other predators. Between times, I've been playing with my beads and clay as is my wont.
This piece started with a string of nugget beads that are chunky, and funky, to my eyes. They are titanium electroplated agate nuggets that have been cut to form a gentle curve around the neck. The look of the beads is extremely masculine and I wanted to add a very feminine element in coordinating colours to soften it off.
I set out to make a pendant bead with five shades of grey and it looked so drab and dull, I added a vibrant blue to the mix. The bead is made of four separate harp shaped elements that are then sewn together, edged, backed and filled with felt to round it off into a pillow shape. My first attempt failed miserably and I couldn't think why, until I took half of the felt filling out. Hey Presto and Alakazam! that was the effect I was looking for! I added a dangle, because I can't seem to stop with the embellishments and then talked sternly to myself until I obeyed and simply left it be. As this was meant to be a bead, I passed the beading wire through the pendant and made up the necklace with cobalt blue dyed jade.
The necklace when all made up reminded me of the play Steel Magnolias, which was eventually made into a movie in the late eighties - the name suggests that women can be as soft and beautiful as the magnolia flower, yet possess a core that is tough as steel. The unexpected femininity of this necklace made with an ordinarily masculine looking string of beads brought this title to my mind.
Is it heavy? I hear you ask - yes, but not inordinately so, as I used only 60% of the beads that were on the string. The pendant of course, is as light as a feather.
I only get the time to play with clay during weekends - no matter how busy I am, a couple of hours kneading the clay and creating something, anything, however small, sets me up for the new week to come and is a major stress buster. This weekend it was about polymer clay embroidery. My friend BN gave me a couple of vintage wooden hoop earrings which I dismantled and 'embroidered' on with bright colours. Having read a tutorial by Shirley Rufener, I added some clay to a few pendants I had lying around and 'embroidered' on them, too.
And, before I sign off, and just for some fun, I thought I'd show you a video I found somewhere in the ether - it is a dance called The Frug (pronounced Froog) from the mid sixties, choreographed by Bob Fosse, who also choreographed all the numbers in the film Cabaret. This number, called The Rich Man's Frug is very stylised and great fun to watch - Bob Fosse is known for his creative use of unusual poses, gestures, and arm movements and a lot of his choreography has influenced dancers today. It is a strangely interesting and arresting number, and I'll bet that if you start to watch it, you will stay put for the whole five minutes of the clip.
Wasn't that fun? Anyway, that's me for this week folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place. Until then
How are you this fine day readers, thanks for joining me again this week.
I'm not a flowery person, most definitely not, I promise you. When I pick up a piece of jewellery to wear, my hand seems to automatically go to the tribal, larger, badass necklaces - perhaps they boost my confidence when I wear them. Isn't that the reason why one wears Caprilicious??
However, as spring breaks, and the weather turns warmer, my thoughts and hands turn to floral offerings without me consciously making that decision.
When we were last in Paris, we took a taxi to the Bois de Boulogne which is a wooded garden on the outskirts. At it's heart is a rose garden or Roseraie, that today has about 10,000 roses and thousands of varieties - the scent in the air in the summer sunshine was so heady, I could have gone to sleep and thought I was in an attar of roses fantasy by Omar Khayyam. Unfortunately our time there was cut short by a thunderstorm and I have but a few pictures, but the memory of that magical garden influenced this necklace.
The pendant is made from a slice of wood given to me by my friend who makes beautiful wooden bowls. It comes from Brazil and is called Purple Heart - when cut freshly it is a greyish brown, which matures on exposure to an aubergine purple. He cut and polished it for me a while ago, and I put it away in my stash until I found a use for it. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a mosaic to cover its surface, but that would have meant that I would have lost the beauty of the wood. I recently learned the technique of polymer clay 'embroidery' and decided to try and recreate a Roseraie in clay.
I couldn't leave it as it was, I just had to string it with some really bright beads and make a lovely necklace out of it - I think it is very effective, do you??
I thought I'd bring you some Bollywood and a 'wet scene' - nothing like one of these to lower the tone!! As wet scenes go however, this is one of the more tasteful ones I've seen in a while.
I love the titanium coated quartz needles and purple and green make such an explosion of colour. The little amber coloured glass acorn I thought was a treasure - I have a few more of these in my stash. The necklace has a lively dynamic of its own and it looks as if it is going to get up and dance away all by itself.
The most interesting gemstone in this necklace is hemimorphite - beautiful nuggets that resemble sugar cubes, some of them tinged a pale blue. I pulled out all the other blue beads in my stash and finally chose blue agate, and jade to go with the hemimorphite. This gemstone is thought to increase empathy, compassion and inner strength - and if you believe in that sort of thing, it is meant to help you communicate with 'angelic' beings. All I would say is, it is unusual, and it is very pretty.
I was only a child when this lovely song surfaced - Sugar Sugar by the Archies. When I handled the hemimorphite nuggets, this was the first title that came to mind.
I had a few pangs of withdrawal from my wire addiction, so I made a little pendant from a Vintaj brass rubbing I bought in the USA last year, adding a seahorse from a clip on earring that once belonged to my mother - she bought the delightful little enamel and Marcasite creature in Paris and it is older than me - so definitely a vintage piece! The other one in the pair went into a piece of jewellery ages ago and now lives in the USA. I added strands of seaweed, and a sea anemone - oh go on, cut me a bit of slack - if you squint at it in poor light, it looks exactly like a sea anemone! And even if you won't have it about the fruits la mer, you'll have to accept that the pendant is sparkly and shiny and pretty.
My tutorial for Anastasia, the tiara made with polymer clay roses finally came out in Bead and Jewellery magazine and I received a photograph from my friend with her little daughter wearing the prototype piece. I think the little three year old looks adorable in it, don't you?
That's me for this week folks, I will have a new and exciting development to report next week so do come back and join me. Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll 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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