Hello folks, thanks for joining me today, it certainly is good to catch up with you and I'm very pleased you dropped in to take a look at the goings on at Caprilicious. As you read this, I shall be elbow deep in polymer clay, learning new techniques, meeting old frineds, making new ones and having a great time at Polymania in Bristol. I was there last year and had a whale of a time. My only anxiety about this year is that once again on Sunday, when I'm due to travel back home on the train we are expecting bad weather in the UK - oh well, time for the thermal underwear, and I shall keep everything crossed that the trains will run, and run on time.
Lugging pasta machines and other heavy articles on a train across the country is not my idea of fun, but the great time I shall have there will most definitely be worth it. We have no less than Donna Kato, Kathleen Dustin and Carol Blackburn teaching us this time. I've been so keen to learn from these ladies for ages and ages, and now my wish will come true!
This week has been a productive one for Caprilicious - I've been trying out Amazon Prime for a month and binge watching movies. Of course while I'm watching all these movies, my hands have been busy with wire and beads. The parlous state of the NHS has meant that elective operations were cancelled and I got to come home early and make beads with polymer clay, and then turned them into a necklace.
Art Nouveau Torque Necklace
I bought a tutorial for a wire bracelet on Etsy from Doras Accessory and decided to use it as a template for a necklace instead. It has been sitting in my document cloud for an year and I finally found the sticking point - it calls for a frame of really thick wire. I didn't want to use copper, as nobody wants a green ring around the neck. Finally, I found 12g stainless steel wire and then had to hunt for a pair of wire cutters that would work as it is a very hard wire to cut without ruining my usual snips. Eventually I used the cutters I have for memory wire, and this just about did the job. A turquoise cabochon was trapped in squiggles and curlicues of wire and embellished with yet more wire and rutilated quartz beads.
More Polymer clay beads and another Fiesta necklace
I had some beads left over from the last necklace I made, and they were just sitting there staring reproachfully up at me. 'Use us, please, oh puhleeease', they moaned. Oh well, I'm a sucker for a hard luck story, so I quickly threw a few more into the oven to make up the numbers and made yet another Fiesta necklace.
I made these two torque necklaces last week, and as they were less than perfect, decided to keep them for myself. I wore one singly to work, and then a couple of days later, wore them together over a roll neck top. I think the torque necklace is great and am happy to wear one any time.
One of my colleagues at work asked me to make her a sun catcher and I made her one with a copper wire dragonfly. She liked it so much, she immediately ordered a couple more. They are very difficult to photograph but the little beads in the wings are made of silver lined glass seed beads and they pick up the light like wet cobwebs.
I love the picture with the sun shining behind it, although it's not the best photograph I've ever taken.
That's all I had time for this week people, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for coming back to join me at the Caprilicious Blog, I am very pleased that you are here. This week has been all about making jewellery for the Mitchell Gallery in Warwick. I was requested to replenish stocks there and I decided to make new pieces for them as well as hand over a couple of pieces from my collection.
I made two of these necklaces for the gallery and one more for Caprilicious as I felt that I would be doing the website an injustice if I didn't have one for you, my online people. I love the exuberant colour in these necklaces and they have an extravagant feel when the crystals I have used liberally catch the light. I only have pictures from the piece on the website as I didn't have time to photograph the others before they had to be delivered.
My fingertips were shot by the end of the third piece, and I took a couple of days off. The day job has been ever so busy with one of my colleagues still off sick and consequently there was very little time to play with beads and wire.
Eventually, towards the end of the week I made a little necklace with some amethyst beads that had been sitting in my stash. I buy beads precisely because they are cut differently, or have lovely markings on them, and then I can't seem to decide what to do with them. I tend to leave them at the top of a pile of beads and suddenly one day, wham! out of nowhere comes an idea and a necklace is born.
The weather is definitely on the turn, here in the UK and it was raining one awful, damp, cold morning. I decided that I would wear something bright rather than go into dark, drab mourning garb, so I wore a lime green dress to work. I was late, as usual and I grabbed the first piece of jewellery I could lay my hands on, which happened to be the necklace above. During my lunch break - or what passes for a lunch break, I took a little selfie to demonstrate that purple and green did, indeed go together and to demonstrate that sometimes contrasting colours can look well together. A lot of ladies like to wear 'matching' jewellery while I am a fan of contrasting my accessories with my clothes, and that was what I set out to demonstrate. To my surprise, I got a load of negative comments and people even messaged me to say how I hadn't done a good job with styling the necklace.
'I am not a fan of this necklace .. Maybe it would stand out more with grey..black. or even white. It's very subtle,' said one lady. However, she went to the album with the same necklace in it the next day and remarked 'Very nice..'!!
Another lady echoed her sentiments and went on to ask what material I had used to string the beads together as she was always worried about necklaces falling apart. And I had a couple of messages telling me how badly I had styled the necklace. Oh well, you can't please everyone all of the time. I bet you want to see what all the fuss was about now, so I have put the picture on below - well, if you have any comments to make that aren't particularly nice, feel free, I'm used to it by now!
Anyway, the necklace was snapped up by a lovely lady that very day, so I didn't feel quite so bad, in the end.
I made a couple of copies of 'Bewitched' in different colours. These colours are definitely influenced by my Indian heritage - but I believe that East and West meet, if nowhere else, in Caprilicious. I was brought up buying sarees in these colours and the colours which though bright, will look beautiful when worn with a simple black dress.
I thought I'd leave you with a video of colourful sarees on display in a shop in India. This is probably a more modern shop, where the sarees are out on display. When I was young, the sarees were all folded up behind glass, to keep them from getting shop soiled. Each customer had three people to wait on them - one salesman would take the sarees out of the cupboards and fling them open with a flourish to demonstrate the colour and what they looked like with movement, another would pleat and drape the saree over himself to show how it would look when worn and a third apprentice quickly refolded the sarees that weren't picked and stacked them ready to return to the cupboard. Someone would bring the customers cold drinks, and sit us down comfortably, switching on fans like a modern day punkawallah. We would make a long list, then a short list and finally make our purchase. Most people who go into a saree shop actually buy, you'd have to be very hard hearted indeed, to walk away after all that effort. Window shopping is an alien concept in a country like India - or was, until recently.
I hope you enjoyed that short clip, readers. It brought me a lot of nostalgia - it's been ages since I've bought a saree as I haven't that many places to wear them to, and already have too many in my cupboard. Oh well, that's life!
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday as usual, same time, same place.
Hello readers, thanks for joining me again today. Of the saddest words, 'If only' are probably the worst. This week, I'm feeling nostalgic for my youth - if only I was younger - and I won't tell you by how much, as some things are best left to the imagination, I would have learned to dance. There was a dance class after school hours that I yearned to attend, but I wasn't allowed to join it.
Instead, I was sent to a piano class at lunchtime notwithstanding the fact that my fingers were like bunches of bananas, I was useless at it and the beatings from the nuns every day only emphasised that. A piano was duly bought for me to practice on at home, with the notion that 'if you practice hard enough, and long enough, you can be good at anything', completely disregarding a singular lack of talent - I felt like an orangutan sitting at the instrument, banging out all the wrong notes and hated the piano for broadcasting to everyone loud and clear how useless I was, with every bum note I struck.
All I ever wanted to do was go to the dance class and I think it would have helped with deportment, weight control and a paralysing self - consciousness and diffidence when it came to public performance. Unfortunately it was never to be, so I just have to feed my love for that art form by watching others and looking a pictures and paintings.
The drawings of Edgar Degas are some of my favourite ballet pictures, and I once spent a whole day at an exhibition, lost in their magic, forgetting where I was and not noticing anyone around me. When I get this feeling of nostalgic yearning, I've decided that I shall assuage it with a piece of jewellery using a dance form as inspiration.
The mint green dragon's vein agate beads came from Jaipur, as did the pendant. Of course at the time, I just picked up what caught my eye and they lay in a box together until I looked at a few Degas images and Bingo! the necklace was born. I added tiny pearls, and silver foil beads, also from Jaipur and I was done. Smoky topaz is one of my favourite stones and the plump gems in the pendant, cushion cut into these faceted beauties caused me to fall in love at first sight.
Misty Copeland was the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. Now, with the help of the NYC Dance Project, she’s recreated some of the famous ballet paintings of Edgar Degas.
To see more pictures of the NYC Dance Project have a look at this article.
I made my first version of Feria a few months ago and placed it at the Mitchell Art Gallery where to my surprise and pleasure it was snapped up almost immediately. In the meantime I had so many enquiries about it that eventually I decided to make another one, and here it is. This version is a bit more colourful than the original necklace and I hope it will be received with the same degree of enthusiasm as the first.
I've been working on a little collection of formal Bling jewellery to wear to parties - perhaps parties with your boss or your future mother in law - something where letting your hair down and tequila shots are not part of the deal. The necklaces will be ready in the second or third week of October, and I look forward to unveiling them.
Well, that's all I have for you folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hiya folks, how's tricks? We've just had our summer, I think - a whole scorching week of it, and now it's gone, all gone! Ah well, at least we've got a holiday in the South of France to look forward to later on in the year. It was almost a tropical heatwave and fabulous while it lasted.
While we sizzled and roasted, I made floral jewellery - I seem to make flowers when I am cold, and also when it is warm - I have yet to get used to the fact that I like making flowers. This is very strange to me, because I like to wear chunky jewellery and tribal artefacts myself. When I am inspired to make jewellery however, out come the flowers and I just can't understand it
I made two of these necklaces, and one of them went to the Mitchell art gallery in Warwick. Wire, semi precious gemstones, lucite leaves, crystals and little Czech glass flowers were all used in these necklaces and they do look very summery and pretty.
This is Poppy, with the petal shaped bamboo coral beads that I really love and buy regularly in many colours. The beads satisfy my requirement for irregular shapes, lots of colour and interesting jewellery. Combined with blue black oil - slick rainbow peacock pearls, they make a striking necklace and the floral shell clasp complements it.
A Posy of Sweetpeas
A client who returns to Caprilicious time and time again asked for some sweetpea earrings, 'in as many colours as they come', she said. We settled on six colours and I set about making them up for her. As I was making a job lot, I threw in a few pendants as well.
I think it’s important to step away from my bead addiction from time to time and dabble in another creative endeavour. This weekend, I have decided to take on a project in the garden - I plan to renovate the cast aluminium set of garden furniture.
Just now our 10 year old furniture is a faded drab green, covered with algae from being outdoors all winter, and has bits of flaky paint coming away from it. I plan to sand down and repaint the six chaire and table with a bright signal yellow - when Mike heard my plans he sighed, 'they will be visible in the dark from outer space' he said.
I've had my way of course, and have gathered together all the supplies - this weekend, I shall hopefully make inroads into my new pet project. I hope this exercise will expand my aesthetic and artistic muscles and that will overflow into other areas. Although painting furniture is not a particularly artistic endeavour, the colour I have chosen I believe, will elevate the project from the mundane. Only time will tell, and I will have some pictures for you next week.
Have a fabulous weekend and I will catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, nice to touch base with you again. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and Santa was kind to you. We had a quiet one with a couple of friends and we consumed more calories than we normally do in a month. And soon it will be 2017 - hasn't this year just flown by? It seems to me that it was only a short time ago that I was in India and now I will be packing my cases all over again.
I'm only playing this for you because I love the song, it is so catchy - in an act of genius Apple are using it in their latest ad for the MacBook Pro. Enjoy!
With my belly full of food, snoozing like a replete python seemed to be the order of the day. I did play with clay for a while, but my heart wasn't truly in it. I tried to remake the hibiscus I broke last week, but fo some reason I couldn't bring myself to finish the flower, eventually running out of bronze clay and doing a bit of shopping online to replenish my stocks.
I made a little flower pendant and because the petals were shorter than the hibiscus it was infinitely easier to put together. I fired it in the stainless steel pan adding carbon on top once the first firing was done, instead of firing it first on a steel mesh and then moving it to the pan. I didn't want it to meet the same fate as my hibiscus.
Colour Me Beautiful
Because I am addicted to colour, Caprilicious Jewellery is as a consequence colourful and highly visible. I take any opportunity to add a bit of vibrancy to my jewellery and soutache and seed beads have been a fabulous way of achieving this. Seed beads and braids are easily portable and I've been able to sit in front of the telly, sewing away all evening.
I thought I'd make a couple of pendants strung on torque necklaces this week - little projects that weren't terribly time consuming and seemed ideal for a week of festivity.
With the two I made this week, I now have three of these little pendants on non tarnish enamelled copper wire torque necklaces. I really like making the necklaces - they are very strong, thick wire, moulded and hammered into shape. The pendants can be slipped off and the torques used on their own, or with other danglers.
That's me for this week, and this year, folks. See you again in 2017, same time, same place.
Happy New Year to you all, take care and stay safe
Hello readers, and a very Mery Christmas to you all. I hope Santa has put a lot of thought into the presents he is bringing you, especially those of you who are getting pieces of Caprilicious Jewellery.
Life at the day job has been very hectic recently and I'm quite looking forward to the long break over Christmas. I shall lie in, have long bubble baths in candlelight, light a fire and cook roast beef for Christmas lunch with a few friends, eat chocolate and drink champagne (no, that's one step too far!). When my friends have gone, there will be loads of time to play with clay and beads - plus ça change, plus ça même chose!
An Epic Fail - I've Been Humptied!
Last week, I was inspired by previous successes to make clay flowers. I love the pale gold of bronze, and the beautiful play of colours when the pieces come out of a hot kiln after being fired in a closed, carbon filled container at 800 degrees C for two hours. I opened a fresh package of bronze clay which looks just like a mud pie when it comes out of it's plastic wrap, and got started.
I made three flowers - a poppy, a violet/pansy and a hibiscus. Working out the making of the pieces was so much fun and I got carried away with the hibiscus. I fired the two smaller pendants while I lovingly gazed at the hibiscus, stroking the petals sensuously like one would the thigh of a lover, sanding it to remove any irregularities and prettifying it with little shiny cubic zirconia.
Perhaps I knew I was in over my head and that the hibiscus was doomed to fail? Anyway, I prevaricated, telling myself I had to get it perfect before firing it - until eventually I could do no more with it. I came home early from work one afternoon, and my heart quickened - finally, it was time to fire my beauty.
So onto the steel mesh she went, lovingly snuggled up in a fibre blanket, with supports for the petals and pistil that might just go floppy in the kiln.
Just ten minutes in the kiln at 500 degrees to burn off the binder and I brought her out to cool while I raised the temperature in the kiln to 800 degrees C.
When cool enough to touch, I picked her up and put her on a bed of carbon, gently nestling her into it so she wouldn't flop at high temperatures. And suddenly, it happened - crunch! came a little sound, and one of the petals had broken in three. OMG! Oh well, I could take it indoors and fix it, I reckoned. So I sat down with clay paste, trying to fix the hibiscus - unfortunately it was a bit like trying to fix Humpty Dumpty and eventually, the whole thing disintegrated in my hands.
Oh yes, I learned some lessons, and yes, there will be another hibiscus - and I shall persevere till it works. I have kept a photo diary of what I did, and will take pictures again so that when I do get it right, I will know what works, for future reference.
At least I had the two other flower pendants to play with! To stave off the depression that threatened to descend on me after the loss of my beauty, I made two necklaces with them. I sat down with wire and made a couple of clasps to go onto the ends of the necklaces and picked out a few strings of gemstone beads, spacer beads, accents, generally busying myself with putting the elements together for a couple of necklaces. Every now and then a self pitying thought surfaced for having Humptied such a beautiful pendant, but I refused to allow it to overwhelm me and forged on. Here are the necklaces I made.
The little flower could just as easily be a violet as a pansy and the purple agate was interspersed with loads of tiny little colourful gemstone beads, and a little bronze leaf I made earlier dangling from the clasp.
The centre of this flower was purposefully made rough and darkened with alcohol ink. A couple of lost wax cast Kenyan beads pick up the colour of the flower and provide and accent. Along with the blue dyed jade, the necklace looks rather pretty, even though I say so myself. What do you think??
While I spent daylight hours making and refining the flowers including the hibiscus that got Humptied, I sat in front of the telly in the evenings sewing tiny beads and braids around a druzy cabochon and came up with this little pendant hung on a non tarnish copper torque necklace. It looks a lot like a sun, and is rather bright and so named after a Beatle's song, Here Comes the Sun.
That's me for this week, folks. All that's left is for me to wish you a very happy Christmas, and I shall catch up with you next week, same time, same place.
Hello readers, how are you this weekend? Thanks for stopping by, it is always lovely to have your company. We've had a great upset - one of our cats went missing last Friday and we have hunted high and low, leafleting all the surrounding houses and putting up posters in all the local shops, unfortunately to no avail. We feel terrible about it and even writing these words hurts, so I shall say no more about it.
With all this going on we did not enjoy a moment of the most beautiful weekend we are likely to have this year and it took me ages to finish the piece of jewellery I had started a week ago. I did force myself to play with clay and beads, just to lift the sadness that engulfed me all week.
The Kimono Collection
These are pendants made from polymer clay, made to resemble crackle glazed Raku pottery with a Japanese theme running through them. They are all coloured using alcohol ink and I think they are quite fun.
Sizzle in Pink
Wallowing in clay, especially when it has to be pounded with a mallet to condition it, is a very satisfying way to dispel tension. I have a few blocks of slightly old clay and the plasticiser required to be re-dispersed through it to make it pliable again. I bashed away at it using a mallet and the pasta machine and all this took some of the edge off my frustration and anxiety. In the meantime, I had started a pendant with a beautiful solar quartz cabochon dyed to resemble watermelon tourmaline. Matching the braids and beads to the colours of the cabochon, I created Sizzle in Pink. It took ages to finish - what would normally take a week took me two, because of my preoccupation with Charlie. When I finally finished it, it certainly sizzled! I hung it simply on a shepherd's crook torque necklace.
A couple of weeks ago I sold some polymer clay roses to a lady who commissioned them to make a hairband for a little bridesmaid to wear to her mother's wedding. Elaine sent me a picture of the finished article and I thought I'd show it to you here. She wrapped a load of crystals all the way down the band and it looks really pretty.
That's all I had time for this week folks - we are exhausted, mentally and physically and I have decided to wean myself away from talking or even thinking about Charlie lest I make myself ill. We hope very much that he will come back, but who knows what the future holds?
Thanks for joining me, once again. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place. Until then,
Dear readers, thanks for stopping by this week, it is always a pleasure to have your company. As I mentioned last week, I've had a few days away in Edinburgh, both sight seeing and attending a reunion to which I was invited. Of course, I took the opportunity to showcase Caprilicious Jewellery - I take any opportunity to showcase my jewellery! and I was gratified that so many people came and took a look and picked up some pieces.
I never know how much or what to carry and consequently end up taking too much - however, after a few of these events, I am now an expert at packing and unpacking and can do it all without help in the space of twenty minutes.
The display of course, never satisfies my aesthetic sensibilities, but as I usually show far away from home and am unable to carry too many display items, I have to make the best of what is available.
As you can see from the pictures above, Edinburgh is a fairly masculine, sombre city built in sandstone, not without the occasional pop of colour and a whimsical sense of humour. The reunion was at a school, where the men played cricket and the ladies chatted, drank tea and shopped at Caprilicious. There was a raucous party that night at a club overlooking the estuary with the Firth of Forth in the distance, and we all had a great time dancing to the sounds made by the Madivala Cockroaches! These stalwart gentlemen all come from St John's Medical College in Bangalore and practice in the UK. I have to say their musical skills were impressive and extremely professional, for all that they are busy doctors scattered around the UK and have very little time to play together.
Last week, I made a dark and brooding black and white necklace, but Ms Muse got going this week with an explosion of colour. I made some hollow beads earlier as a prototype for a tutorial I am writing for Bead and Jewellery magazine later on in the year. The beads are gaily coloured with oil pastels and doodled on, giving a carved effect. They are about 2 inches in diameter, but very light as they are hollow. I showed them to a friend and he looked dismayed. 'Who on earth would wear beads this size?' he asked, with a shocked expression. I didn't know what I could make with them either, until something went 'Whirrrrrr.......click' in my head and I suddenly knew exactly how to string them.
The Doodlebead Necklace
Knotted together with ultrasuede, showing off the carving on the beads to great effect and a length of Kumihimo braid at the back, this is a cheerfully colourful necklace.
It would seem that Ms Muse hadn't finished with colour yet. I picked out a beautiful flashy blue labradorite cabochon and beaded around it. Soutache embroidery comprises of a few different elements that are repeated over and over - the difference between one artisan and another are in the colours and beads used and the layout of the various elements.
I don't often plan the design before I start or the colours I want to use, and tend to rummage in my box of braid and beads, picking out those that catch my eye in a random manner. What emerges is as much of a surprise to me as it is to anyone who watches the piece evolve. I sometimes post pictures on the Caprilicious Instagram account of work in progress when I finish up for the night, and I have no idea what is going to happen to the piece when I next pick it up. This one ended up colourful, with blues and greens, yellow and orange. I wanted it to be a smaller piece that could be worn both day or night and hope I have succeeded. I hung it on a copper torque necklace that has been coated with a non tarnish finish.
There is something extremely Middle Eastern about this pendant and the flashy azure blue of the labradorite inspired the name. The colour Persian blue comes from the blue of Persian pottery and the tiles used in mosques and palaces in the Middle East.
That's me for this week folks. We have been re bonding with our cats who were put into the cattery when we were in Edinburgh - they weren't too pleased about it, and let us know in no uncertain terms. They are being spoiled and pampered to attempt to make up for it.
Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Hello readers, thanks for popping by, it is lovely to see you again this week.
It has been a fabulous week at Caprilicious- all my beads and braids arrived and I spent ages sorting them into containers and getting ready for a marathon with the beading needles.
To my (pleasant) surprise the needles aren't giving me as much trouble as I expected and I haven't ended up with fingers like salt cellars, leaking blood all over my work - maybe that's whom the phrase blood sweat and tears originated from - an embroiderer.
The cotton and silks I used as a teenager used to tie themselves in knots as if by magic and the needles could have been called Beater and Biter, the amount of damage they did to my fingers. Given that I was a teenager then and my mother probably thought I was a goblin changeling, it may have been just about par for the course!
Zardosi - the Eastern version of Soutache Embroidery
Zardosi embroidery came to India from Persia. It was once used to embellish the attire of the Kings and the royals in India. It was also used to adorn walls of the royal tents, scabbards, wall hangings and the paraphernalia of regal elephants and horses. It involves making elaborate designs using gold and silver threads, studded pearls and precious stones, pure silver wire and gold leaf embellished with beads and sequins - the phrase 'over egging the pudding' does not begin to describe some of the embroidery work found on bridal garments. The design is traced on the fabric, which is then stretched over a wooden frame. A fine crochet hook is used to feed the thread through the fabric from underneath - I have a little video for you that demonstrates a simple chain stitch.
Now that I have picked up a needle again after a gap of so many years, I have a renewed respect for these artisans, who start their training usually at a very young age, while helping their parents earn a living. I was determined that the thread I used was going to be robust - there would be no bead shedding where my jewellery was concerned, thank you very much!
I decided to research the best thread available and track it down, and finally picked Fireline, which is the strongest fibre per diameter ever created. It has an unbelievably high tensile strength and has been recommended in numerous how-to articles on beadworking. Although a bit more expensive that it's alternatives, I prefer to stump up the cash than die of embarrassment when the work falls apart.
FireLine is made of gel-spun braided polyethylene thread, and perfect for when the project includes sharp-edged beads, such as crystals, semi-precious stones or bugle beads. It is highly durable when compared to regular thread that can fray and tear. It was originally used as fishing line and comes in many strengths - 4lb, 6lb and 10 lb ( I assume that is the weight of the fish that can be caught on this line - but how does the fish know this??) and goes through the eye of a very fine beading needle. I first bought crystal clear Fireline - and found I couldn't see it well enough to load it onto the needle and then discovered black which suits me just fine for now.
Messenger of Love
"it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
In other words, it's all a matter of relativity and perspective!
Bumble Bee jasper is essentially a sedimentary rock matrix of volcanic ash–deep earth mud with sulfur layers. It is largely composed of layered gypsum, sulfur and hematite. This stone comes from the Solfataras surrounding Mount Papandayan in Indonesia. The natives there call it batu badar blerang, which can be roughly translated as ‘coal becoming sulfur.’ I found these fine specimens in a shop in Jaipur and the yellow and black attracted me so much, I knew I had to buy some, even though it was fairly expensive.
Metaphysically sulfur, in particular “assists one in the removal of negative willfulness and in the elimination of distracting intellectual thoughts and emotions that could affect the emotional and intellectual bodies.” Anyway, these are throwaway comments, as I mainly bought them for their beauty.
I set about embroidering a frame around the cabochon with tiny beads and soutache, creamy yellow pearls and jade, adding more and more layers till I was happy with it. It fascinates me, the way a soutache design evolves - I feel like it is happening to someone else and I am merely an onlooker, and that I cannot go to bed until I find out how it ends. Consequently, I had a few late nights making this one, and when it was done and backed with ultrasuede, I took this picture using my phone. My cat, Charlie wandered in carrying a mouse, wanting to know why I was up at 3 am and photo bombed this picture. I strung it with three rows of black onyx and tiny creamy seed pearls, finished off with a shell flower for a clasp, and then it was done!
I bought a few dragonflies from a mail order catalogue, and as it often happens, I got the size wrong. I thought I was getting tiny, light creatures that I could add to earrings. Instead, what I received was the elephantine equivalent of the dragonfly world. I've had them sitting around for a while, until one day in an Eureka! moment, I decided to play with cold enamels that I had stashed away.
I spent a relaxed evening with little bottles of coloured resin, dripping them gently into the cells in each dragonfly - I even embellished one of them with tiny crystals and left the cold enamel to set. A few days later I went back to the craft room and the enamels had set gratifyingly hard and the little insects were looking quite sweet and colourful. I haven't yet decided how I will use the little branches, they too, were a bit larger than I anticipated. I wound the dragonflies onto a torque necklace - you know I love a good torque necklace and I think they look pretty summery, don't you??
I hope you've enjoyed your read and will come back next Friday for an update. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello my lovely readers, thanks for coming back for your weekly look into the goings on at Caprilicious. It is a cold, wet January - but not as bad as it could have been. My thoughts are all in sunnier climes - in a few weeks I am off to see my family in India and although I am trying hard to keep a lid on it, little gurgles of excitement escape me at unexpected moments, reminding me that although I have lived and worked in the UK for ages and ages, a piece of my heart is firmly rooted in India.
The colours, sounds and smells of India beckon me - and I always respond with a quickening of the pulse. Sometimes the reality doesn't live up to my expectations and I get a bit grumpy - no one likes change or disappointment, but hey, you can't have it all!
It is that time of year again, to display my art and wait to see how it will be received. I hope to meet a lot of you and your friends there - do come and talk to me.
This week has been all about supporting the junior doctors in their strike action and making sure the hospital was staffed safely for the patients. Mike went to the supermarket and took the juniors a load of carbohydrates to keep their inner fires stoked as it was a bitterly cold and rainy day out there on the picket line outside the hospital.
The Evolution of the FrankenButterfly
Last week I talked about my polymer clay "Frankenbutterfly" cane. Here are some pictures of how it evolved. I put all the components together, let it rest for a while, reduced it in size, and gasped as it began to look like nothing on earth! I held my nerve and my breath and cut it in half and.....exhale! There it was, my Frankenbutterfly.
The clip above is from The Young Frankenstein - it is a classic film made in 1974 by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, and if you haven't seen it, it is one you should not miss, do look out for it, I guarantee you loads of laughs.
Lhasa, or The Place of the Gods is the administrative capital of what is now the "Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China". It is the second most populous city on the Tibetan Plateau and, at an altitude of nearly 12,000 ft, Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world. The inlaid brass beads in this necklace come from Tibetan vendors. Turquoise and red coral are much sought after in Tibet. They are at the opposite spectrums of colour and this is believed to enhance lives and bring good luck to the wearer. Tibetan turquoise is sought after by Nepalese and Tibetan people for its spiritual powers as well as its beauty.
The New Year Giveaway
I decided to run a New Year giveaway on the Caprilicious Facebook page and I put Pavo up as the prize. People had to like the necklace and say how or where they would wear it. The giveaway attracted around thirty five people - I assigned each one of them a number and put the numbers into a random number generator, and drew three numbers. The first number drawn was 16, which was assigned to Maggie Leitch Craig.
If this lady does not get in touch I will contact the second lady on the random number list and then the third. I will also give all the ladies who cared to enter the giveaway a code, which they can apply to any purchase they make from Caprilicious for a couple of months. They are obviously sophisticated ladies who appreciate a nice piece of handmade jewellery and I am so pleased that they took the time to engage with the competition.
Thats a wrap for this week folks. I will catch you next week, same time, same place. Have a great week,