Good day, good people and thanks for joining me today. I hope the summer weather is treating you all well, wherever you are. We've had a few nasty rain storms here in the UK and that has meant that I have spent more time indoors than I would like.
I played with cold enamels and coloured a few dragonfly forms that I had - I made one of these necklaces earlier and having given it away to a friend I was requested to make another. I enamelled a whole bunch of dragonflies, sprinkled them liberally with tiny crystals and made three more torque necklaces, each one slightly different from the last. The first one sold almost immediately.
I created a couple of mosaic centrepieces for a friend who makes wooden bowls using segmented turning. Segmented bowls and vessels are made up of dozens or hundreds of small wooden blocks. Woodturners glue these often very tiny pieces into rings which become part of a stack. The process is exacting and critical, but it must be fabulous when the final bowl emerges. I have a couple of Shekhar's simpler bowls on the website and I have talked about them before. Let me show you how this particular bowl evolved.
This was the bowl when he first brought it round to mine.
These were the two mosaic polymer clay inserts I made for the bowl - I just loved the process so much, I couldn't stop with one. Anyway, the man needs a choice, I thought, and he can use the second one in another piece. They were made before I went on holiday to India in February, and I forgot all about them for a while.
He brought it home the other day with the mosaic set in place - however, I thought it required a beading to connect the mosaic with the side walls of the bowl. I offered to make a piece of beading from polymer clay for it, and deliver it to him to attach, but he trusted me enough to leave his baby with me - Boy, was I anxious that that I should meet his expectations that I would do a good job!!
A snake of clay from my trusty extruder was segmented to resemble the 'rays' of the sunburst and to hide the join, cured in a gentle curve, and set into place around the mosaic. I thought it finished the bowl off perfectly, Shekhar was pleased with the final result when I sent him a picture, and I could finally stop holding my breath! He needs to remove the chuck that attaches it to the lathe before he can finish it off completely and I can't wait to see the bowl when it is done.
All week, I've laboured over this little piece of soutache, and little by little it seems to be coming together. It's amazing how it looks terrible when I first start out, and I have to steel myself to continue - sometimes I even need to put it away and come back to it at another time with fresh eyes. And then suddenly, something clicks, like a switch in the dark and I can see just where I am going with it. This one is half finished and will be completed at the weekend, unless of course the sun comes out to play!
I've spent some time reevaluating Caprilicious and the direction in which I am going. When I started out my only thought was to make interesting, colourful pieces of jewellery. Vibrant and bold, when I wore a piece by Caprilicious, I wanted it to grab attention. Not for me were the little, tiny delicate pieces that a lot of others make - I do not denigrate them, but they don't really interest me and I'm happy to leave it to others to make, and wear them.
As my skills continued to evolve over the years, I have attempted to recreate the ZING!! factor from the kind of statement pieces that one usually sees in boutiques at exorbitant prices, usually from the USA where people seem not to shy away from the bold and bright - and I've tried to keep it affordable.
I also enjoy the fact that I make a lot of the components myself, be it from wire, polymer clay, metal clay and now soutache. Caprilicious is not assemblage jewellery, and never has been, and this gives me great pleasure.
This train of thought came about from reading an article that said that designers should develop a style that made them easily recognisable. That is an anathema to me, as it means churning out multiples of the same idea. The only elements that link my design ethic together are my love for colour and asymmetry, and I think there's room in everyone's closet for different types of jewellery for different occasions.
I think I prefer this thought from WhoWhatWear -
'In my opinion, we’re in such a fun time for fashion, one in which personal style reigns supreme. There is no reason you can’t be a glamazon one night and channel a member of a ’90s boy band the next. We are living in an age of self-expression, and there’s no better way to flex your creativity and individuality than with what you choose to wear. So, is it time to ditch the antiquated notion of style types?'
What do you think? Do leave me a comment.
That's me for this week folks, introspection and all. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place, same time. Until then
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice to see you again here at the Caprilicious blog this week. The week at the day job has been a bit quieter than the last and I had some spare time to play with beads and wire.
Success at Last - Coralie
A couple of weeks ago I cut up two wirework surrounds to a fossil coral cabochon - I decided a long time ago that if I wasn't happy with a design, into the dustbin it would go. I was so fed up with the whole thing after two evenings of failure, I put it away for a while - this week I tried a third design and Eureka! success at last.
A coral fossil is formed when the organic matter in a coral dissolves, gets washed away and is slowly replaced by calcium carbonate. Some of the patterns formed when the fossil is sliced open and polished are extremely beautiful. This cabochon is a pale salmon pink, and I visualised it with grey spectrolite - a form of labradorite which has the same glints of labradorescence deep within - pink and grey are a very sophisticated colour combination and go well together.
I added a couple of quirky lampwork glass beads and Shiva eye shell beads to add more colour and interest, and was eventually satisfied with the necklace.
Coralie(a French name meaning coral), took a lot of energy and angst out of me and I thought I'd make some simpler necklaces, just to ease the pain!
Alicorn - from the horn of a unicorn - was named thus because the beads are made of horn - as I didn't know what creature sacrificed it's horns to this necklace, I picked the unicorn - and why not??
The twisted blue beads are lucite, and turquoise and coral beads add to the asymmetrical beauty of this interesting mixed media piece.
Here's another simple yet sweet necklace called Columbine - I didn't think anyone would mind if I reused the name - I made a similar necklace with purple agate beads exactly two years ago - and I had these waiting in my stash for just such a moment.
The colours in this necklace come from a painting by David Miller, a well known marine artist. I love the blues and greens in this painting, and when I looked deep into the solar quartz cabochon, I could see the enchanted pool .
The green fire agate beads are vibrant and set off beautifully by the twisted rectangular lapis lazuli beads.
Rummaging in my stash idly one evening, I found some prehnite beads - prehnite is a waxy, almost translucent vaseline green stone, with black smudges on it as if touched by an untidy child - I am so reminded of my very first pen which regurgitated ink all over my pristine pages and school uniform, earning me a good telling off - it wasn't my fault, obviously that I came home covered in ink blots, but my mom didn't wait to find out. A Moroccan bead from my stash went into 'Tangier'.
Just as I began to feel ready for a challenge, a piece of carved black jade appeared in the morning's post - I have so many cabochons and beads in my stash that haven't seen the light of day, but yet, I have this urge to acquire more - an affliction I call magpieism. I spent two evenings making the frame and embellishing it with a fish to go with the carving - a simple leather thong seemed to be just the thing to add that extra bit of je ne sais quoi - I didn't want to over-egg the pudding.
Inch by tiny inch, I have very slowly taken over the conservatory - I now have a kiln, enamelling paraphernalia, a light box and tripod, as well as other photography props stashed in it. Mike's electric pianola, which used to take pride of place is now squeezed into a corner and looks extremely uneasy, completely sidelined by all my stuff. My most recent acquisition is a photography background and collapsible rail to give my photographs a more professional look.
I had an afternoon to play with polymer clay and I had a bit of fun constructing a flower cane. I cut the end bits off to take a look at it, and it was quite pretty - I will definitely find a use for it one of these days.
My friend BN gave me some clasps - they originally had some extremely ugly blister pearls set into them - I dug these out and refilled the clasps with polymer clay - most certainly an improvement, don't you think??
And somewhere, in between all these other pieces, I found a spare evening to make a copper bracelet out of a design from Lisa Barth's book.
That's me for this week - you can see that I've had plenty of fun! Well a girl has to enjoy herself whenever she can - who knows, if next week is busy, I might not have time to make anything at all. Have a great week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. I've been getting ready for my second exhibition at Raintree in Bangalore, India - the invitation cards were designed by my friend Neelam Madden of Look- in- the-Bag - consummate artist that she is, she designed three of them for me and they are all so nice that I cannot make up my mind which one I want to use - perhaps you, my very kind readers will point me in the right direction. These are the three invitations - do drop me a line and tell me which one you like best - I will use the one with the most votes between the blog and the Caprilicious Facebook page.
If any of you are in Bangalore at the time, do be sure to save the date and I hope to see you there.
This week, I went back to my old routine of playing with wire and polymer clay. Rummaging around in my little hoard of cabochons, I found four pieces that I was inspired to turn into pendants with a wire surround.
A piece of carved black jade was set into a wire and seed bead surround and hung on a necklace made of citrine nuggets. Mystical good luck symbols and phoenixes (yes, that is the correct plural form for phoenix - it must be correct, Google says so) are carved into the stone and I called the piece Shangri-La, after that famous utopian land in James Hilton's book Lost Horizon. The people from this land live in a state of permanent happiness and are immortal - I'm not sure if being permanently happy is a good thing - you wouldn't even know how lucky you are to be so happy if you haven't known the other, and that is most unfortunate. La La land might not be so much fun after all!
Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert originating in the area of Venice in the Sixties. The stripes in this coffee agate pendant bead reminded me of the stripes in this dessert. The pendant was surrounded by wire and seed beads electroplated with copper.
The red quartz beads in the necklace are very pretty and glow gently in the light - I hope my photographs have been able to capture their beauty.
Sylvanus was the ancient Roman God of the Woods - protector of forests, plant life and fields. The pendant in this piece is made from a piece of petrified wood and this name seemed apt. The petrified wood fossil is set in a wood jasper surround in a composite or Intarsia stone. I wound yards of wire around it to make a pendant loosely inspired by Nicole Hanna, which I hung on a necklace of blue howlite beads.
Petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Then, ground water rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or other inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures.
This sumptuously enamelled pendant came from Jaipur in India - it is heavily gold leafed and enamelled, and studded with CZ's in Meenakari work- this form of enamelling came originally from Iran to India probably via the Mughals, and was originally meant to decorate the back of heavy gold jewellery, which was studded with uncut diamonds.
I let the beauty of the pendant do the talking and put together a multi strand necklace of shiny seed beads and gold crystals - the number of strands was determined by how many I could get past the pendant bail. Stringing seed beads is not my favourite occupation, I can tell you - and by the time I had finished, there were more on the floor than in my necklace. The kittens were having a fine old time. They jumped to attention each time one clattered to the wooden floor and tried to help me pick it up. This meant I had to stop work and find the bead before they did - they were only trying to be helpful, of course they were!
These beads are made from inspiration and help from a number of people - Layl McDill's face cane, extruder canes from Marie Segal's blog, and Barbara McGuires face beads among others. I used my cane slicer and have to say it really does work, although it's engineering is a little bit clumsy.
The pendants are meant to be Christmas presents for my juniors, and as they don't read this blog, and I know you won't tell, I can share the making of these with you. There are ten lentil beads to go with them to finish off the necklaces that will go out to the ten young ladies who work so hard, they deserve a little treat come Christmas time.
Here are the beads in the process of being made, starting with the face cane, going clockwise. I will show you the necklaces when they are finally finished later on in the month.
Unfortunately the fourth pendant I was attempting to make was an abject failure. It is a fossil coral, in a very pretty salmon pink and grey, and I meant to team it with spectrolite beads - I can see the necklace in my minds eye even now, but alas it is not to be.
I spent a whole evening weaving a cage for the stone, and then I hated it - I cut it up before I could justify it's existence to myself - 'it took ages to make, it's not so bad, actually it's quite pretty'- you know the kind of thing. I went to bed, quite disgusted, and tried again the next day - that wasn't any good either, and went the same way as the first - straight into the bin. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
At this stage, a bit dispirited, I decided to call it a day for the week. Thank you so very much for stopping by and do leave me your thoughts about the invitation for the exhibition - have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery everywhere, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog. This week I've had time to put together a few multistrand necklaces - getting ready for Bling season in the main - there are only 89 days to Christmas and it will soon be the time of year for pretty things and gifts. I hope that some of you will be sufficiently enthused by what you are looking at to pick up your gifts from Caprilicious. I am happy to gift wrap and send the parcel to an address of your choice with a little card from you, all you have to do is ask.
The Shaman's Necklace
'Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos.'
Labradorite is a Feldspar with a rich play of colours called Labradorescence, first discovered in Labrador, Canada. The North American Indians call it the Stone of Shamans - it is meant to aid clarity of thought, protect against negativity and from misfortune, thus bringing balance to chaos.
I love it because it shines so beautifully when moved in the light -at one angle it is a boring grey stone, but move it a bit and Wow! it flashes with such brilliant colour one is simply carried away by its beauty. Combined with rare and beautiful grossular green garnets and a copper wire surround, the labradorite is superb.
Inspired by Isabella Rossellini's shirt necklace in Death Becomes Her, this is my first 'Bling' necklace of the year. Ms Rossellini would look beautiful in a sack, but when she rose out of the water and glided over to her robe purring like a little panther, I just knew that one day I would make a necklace like hers. With plenty of crystals and hammered gold tone links, it shines beautifully, and although I haven't gone overboard, it is still pretty opulent.
Coral, freshwater pearls and an ornate clasp - my muse was in seventh heaven. A pair of earrings complete the parure which is going to be worn with a black and cream lace dress and a little black net fascinator at a wedding.
Daytime Bling - Monet
This painting of water lilies by Monet has so many beautiful colours, and I have been collecting pictures of them to use as inspiration for a piece of jewellery for the longest time - here is the picture, and the necklace - You like?? I love...
This necklace was made for a moonlit walk along the edge of the sea, the breeze blowing in your hair, scarf and skirt billowing - dancing in the moonlight. The pearls and blue jade are ethereal, lending themselves to romance on a moonlit night. If I knew the lady in the picture, I would offer her this necklace.
These two pairs of earrings are so organic, they almost made themselves - I just took the wire where it seemed to want to go and after a while, the earrings appeared as if by magic - they both started with the same material in the same quantities, but ended up being so different. The difficulty with organic designs is to know when to stop with the curls and squiggles and say "The End" !
That's it for this week folks. I have to report that my kittens are pretty useless at being helpers - they sleep most of the day and when awake fight with one another or eat me out of home and hearth - I sound like my mother complaining about her 'helpers' !! I go to my third Polydays in the Cotswolds this week and am sure to bring back some fabulous ideas to Caprilicious. See you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by the Friday account of this weeks statement jewellery from Caprilicious. I attended a school reunion this week and ended up making little pieces of jewellery, as I was pushed for time.
I do not like to lay a piece of wire work down overnight - the wire seems to 'set' into shape and is difficult to manipulate again when it is next picked up. This is because of a phenomenon called work hardening. For those of you who are interested, this is how it happens.....
the lattice of crystals within the wire has a regular, nearly defect free pattern. As it is manipulated, dislocations occur in the crystalline structure and tiny micro-fractures appear from the stress, which in turn hold the wire in the shape into which it is bent - this property is utilised when making jewellery, but if over manipulated, the wire is in danger of snapping. When left overnight, the micro crystalline wire structure settles into it's new pattern and is stiff and hard to manipulate - there you are, a bit of science for you!
Inspired by the flowers in my garden and the yellow jade hand carved flowers I had been hoarding so carefully, this necklace is bright and pretty.
I had been wondering how to attach the flowers, and still show off their hand carved beauty to its best effect, and then I had an Eureka moment - of course! wire is the answer to any problem (well almost) - I should have known that! I wired the flowers onto the necklace of purple agate - and Voila!
I love these stars - they are dyed mother of pearl, and very light and pretty - but it is ever so hard to string them right. They have to be pieced together almost like a jigsaw puzzle if they are to lie flat - they had to be redone so many times, the air above them started to turn blue - but I would not be defeated - on I plodded, muttering and swearing under my breath, restringing them again and again, until I had the effect I wanted. I'll bet you cannot tell from looking at it how much work went into the dratted thing.
I made the clasp from a design by Nicole Hanna many moons ago, and had not yet found somewhere to use it - why not just use it in the bracelet where it was meant to go? - sure, but wouldn't that be too easy?? - this debate kept going around in my head, until I finally gave in and made the bracelet. Once I'd done that, I made another - the design is so pretty, I want to make loads of them in all different sizes and colours.
I found these lampwork beads at the Newmarket bead fair last year - they have been crying out to be used, and eventually got their turn to be transformed into earrings. They have these pretty spots on a white background, like little raindrops.
Indian Feathers Earrings
This is a design by Iza Malcyzk - I've had it for a long time, but hadn't tried it out - she gave it it's title and said it was an ethnic design - I think she means the North American Indian, I've never seen feathers like these in India! They didn't last too long on my shelf - they flew away to their new home in under ten minutes!
That's all for this week folks. Next week, I have decided to put together a necklace inspired by the 'shirt necklace' worn by Isabella Rossellini in the film Death Become Her. I've never seen anyone so beautiful and charismatic and the scene where she climbs out of the water, wearing only this necklace will stay with me a long time. I have been slowly collecting the beads and baubles required to make the Caprilicious version, and all I shall say now is that it will eventually go to one very special and lucky lady.
And now I'm off to a Statutory and Mandatory all day course at the hospital, where I shall learn some riveting facts about Manual Handling (my answer is to call a porter) and Health and Safety, Fire and other interesting stuff that I would never have known about if they hadn't made it mandatory for us to attend the lecture on an annual basis.
Have a lovely weekend, and I will be here next week, same time, same place
Welcome, readers, to the Friday Caprilicious Blog, where I diarise my romance with statement jewellery. To me, it is not enough to make jewellery - that would make me merely a technician - I want to design, make as many of the components as I can myself, weave a story around the finished piece, and produce a degree of romance, which engulfs the wearer of jewellery by Caprilicious. I know that some people conceptualise their jewellery and send their drawings away to artisans to have them made up - but oh no, that's not for me, I like to do all the making myself.
Romance is at the essence of every piece of my jewellery, be it from me falling in love with the stone or beads, and telling you a tale to make you love it enough to want it, or even each time you pick it up out of the box with a smile on your face and wear it to embellish your beautiful self.
Rose tinted spectacles?? Yes, my muse has them on this week - I have been reading By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart - I read a review on the dust jacket that said the book was like Madame Bovary on speed - I felt like I was walking through a thick fog, my feet mired in the swampy syrup of love - this is not me at my most pragmatic, normal self, and I am sure the effects will wear off by next week. Why was I reading the book?? I've no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
But, while I felt this way, my muse has been infected by the virus of romance and these are the results ..................
"Kashmiri Song" is a song by Amy Woodforde-Finden based on a poem by Laurence Hope.
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
and it ends, all romantically morbid, and lovesick ( I assume this chap is still talking to the 'Pale Hands')..........................
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
This was a poem/song written in 1901, and you can just imagine the gentleman pining for his lover, who by all accounts seems to be a bit of a goer - leading men down 'Raptures roadway' before discarding them and moving on quickly to her next victim. This necklace, named after the Shalimar gardens, built in Kashmir by the Mughal emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, was made for such a mood - romantic and seductive, worn at night to bring a glow to the complexion.
The mother of pearl pendants and little amethyst nuggets complement each other and convey romantic wistfulness to the observer.
For some reason, my muse has decided to go festive this week - perhaps she senses the 'C' word - yes, there are only 103 days left........bring on party time!! Opalite beads glowing gently are teamed up with clear crystal, coated with an Aurora Borealis sheen to make another pretty and romantic necklace.
I recently picked up some beautiful agate cabochons - the depth of colour in these stones is amazing - they are a deep purple, with veins of orange and blue, and I fell in love with them instantly. I wrapped each one in miles of copper wire, two of them went on organza ribbons, and the other two into necklaces. Although all four of the stones are cut from the same rock, I gave each of them their own treatment, taking into consideration their shapes and the pattern on their faces. Handmade lampwork beads in a deep shade of crimson complemented the colour of the stones.
At this point, I decided that I had had an overdose of romance - so I put my foot down with a firm hand and gently led my muse away, before she made a complete fool of herself, the soppy thing!
My little kittens are very keen to help in my jewellery making - they especially love wire, and their teeth are so sharp, I could probably use them as wire snips if I ever ran out, provided I could train the cats to cut the wire where I needed them to. They also have a very short attention span and fall asleep on my bead tray while I am working, so it is a wonder that I have actually produced anything at all.
The Promise of Autumn
The lampwork beads in this pendant are handmade and came from a stall at the Newmarket Bead fair - I went there last year with my friend BN and found these really pretty handmade beads. The beads are in a pretty green, with a stripe of red/orange and yellow running through the centre. The design is by Nicole Hanna and meant for earrings, but I felt that the piece was too heavy for earrings so converted it into a pendant.
Heavy Earrings and how to Wear Them
This is for people who feel they cannot wear earrings because their earlobes are too fragile, or torn from many years of ear lobe abuse - yes, there are many of us around, missing out on the old danglers - well, now, here's help - there is a product called Lobe Repair - a tiny skin coloured adhesive patch you put on the back of the ear lobe and pierce with the stalk of your earrings or ear wires. I have tried it and it does work, provided you do not wear the earrings for too long - just enough to party for a few hours, perhaps. They aren't very expensive and are invisible, if anyone wants to give them a go. I have ordered some and if anyone wants a few to try, do let me know.
This is along the same principles as the Indian chains used to hold a heavy earring up into the hair or even around the ear. These perform a dual function in being ornamental as well as suspensory, but obviously cannot be used with contemporary styles or ear wires.
So, there you are, Cinderella shall go to the ball in her beautiful danglers!
That's all I have for you this week, catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, nice to meet you here again. Do you think I am being fanciful when I say that jewellery talks about you?? Well, if you think about it, why is it called 'statement' jewellery' ??- in fact I think all jewellery makes a statement - Caprilicious Women know that it is ok to make a different statement at different times.
For instance, you wouldn't go to a job interview wearing piercings and studs, would you, or for that matter, wearing diamond chandelier earrings? You'd probably keep your accessories discreet and minimalistic - get the job and only then unleash the majestic power of your personality. What do you think these pieces of jewellery says about the wearer.....
This necklace was made to boost a confident moment - notice that I did not say confident woman - that is because I believe your apparel and your accessories can say the things about you that you want them to - you might not be feeling confident, but if you aren't, dress as if cool nonchalance is your middle name - before long you will feel the way you look.
If you know a bit about Neuro Linguistic Programming, you'd know that it's all about how to manage your emotional state, and choose how you feel despite any situation you find yourself in.
If you slink around with a hangdog look on your face, you might as well hang a 'kick me' sign around your neck - and believe you me, people will soon oblige. The moral of this story is - when you feel down and under confident - that's the time to wear your boldest jewellery, brightest lippie, and highest heels and Sing Sing Sing ( With a Swing) - those blues will soon be a thing of the past.
Khartoum is named after the capital city of Sudan, evoking the feeling of warmth, esoteric, interesting and exotic sights, smells and sounds. It would be at home worn with a boho outfit, a simple T shirt, or a LBD - versatile, it most definitely is. It has Nepalese beads, Kenyan Krobo beads, howlite spikes and though it appears vaguely tribal, it doesn't come from any one genre or place on the globe, it is as unique as its wearer.
Galadriel is a character from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. She was an elven queen, and co ruler of Middle Earth - 'the mightiest and fairest of all the elves'. The headdress worn by Cate Blanchett in The Lord of The Rings was the inspiration for this necklace - to my mind it is an evening necklace, definitely worn with a simple outfit. It says 'sophisticated and softly sensual' when worn in the candlelight on an evening out with an interesting person - would you agree?? The blue cat's eye bead sits in the decolletage and catches the light, I think this necklace is especially suited to candlelight and roses, floaty scarves, soft music and a cold glass or two of wine - very romantic indeed.
What is his Jewellery trying to say??
No, these are not from Caprilicious' new line - this is Adrian Edmondson in his youth from 'The Young Ones', a crazy British cult series from the eighties. I hope he didn't go to meet a prospective employer, or worse still a mother in law to be (not) looking like this. I do like the leather on his wrists though, and have a couple of spiky bracelets in my personal collection - his waistcoat is quite nice too - but perhaps not both together - just a hint of badness does me fine.
Fire on the Rocks
This necklace is made of cool vaseline beads, suggesting ice, with a hint of fire, provided by the coral and turquoise in the gold tone Nepalese beads. This necklace, worn to a meeting would suggest that you are in complete control, you know what you are doing, and that you have unexpected and interesting depths that need to be looked into - fire and ice are always interesting if unlikely bedfellows.
Divya, who has a handmade jewellery business and website out of Chennai invited me to write a guest post on her blog Jewels of Sayuri. I wrote a post entitled ' Why you Should Buy Handmade Jewellery' and you can read it by clicking on the link.
That's a wrap for this week folks, have a great week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello, fancy meeting you here - yes you, in your statement jewellery by Caprilicious, trying to blend in with the furniture and failing miserably in the attempt. Let me ask you a question - why did you wear Caprilicious if you didn't want to be noticed?? You should have known you'd turn heads - what you're wearing is making you sit up, walk tall and look happy - and that's what people notice about you when you wear your Caprilicious Jewellery.
I love this song - the word 'Happy' is repeated so many times, it's almost an affirmation - all you have to do is sing along.
Affirmations work by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and in turn, negative actions and by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. Try it sometime - acknowledge your own self-worth; and your confidence will soar. Look good, walk tall, feel great - you are a powerhouse; you are indestructible.
This week, I set about remodelling my website - I now have a new page called 'She Sells Sea Shells' - I love shells and abalone, and have a number of pieces that seemed to group themselves together and demand a page of their own, and I gave in.
Two abalone pendants, set in silver were the basis for a couple of necklaces - teamed with Biwa pearls - unusually shaped cultured pearls from freshwater mussels.
First produced in the 1930s in Lake Biwa in Japan, their quality rivals that of cultured saltwater pearls, and they are just as beautiful. I love Biwa pearls because they are so different from the usual image one has of pearls.
Naiads were water nymphs who lived in the most beautiful streams and rivers, and spent their days gently washing the freckles from the faces of the girls who bathed in the water and generally being sweet and gentle - until of course an unwary young man came by - and then they all rushed up and threw themselves at him, until the poor sap was overwhelmed and gave up his life to join them in the underwater world.
One of these is a bit more unconventional than the other - but it's that unconventional asymmetry that makes it a piece by Caprilicious. The colourful crackle agate lozenges go with the lilac Biwa pearls and the abalone - lilac was a colour much beloved by my grandmother - every year my mom bought her a saree in either 'lilac or ash colour', as requested by her on her birthday. Much as I loved her, I wouldn't really want the jewellery I make to be grandmotherly in any way, Heaven forbid!!
Kohima is the capital of Nagaland, a north eastern border state in India, sharing boundaries with Myanmar. When I was little my cousins, with whom I spent a lot of time, moved to Nagaland with their father who was posted there by the Indian Army - they came back with the most beautiful artefacts and shawls - I think some of the artefacts still exist in their house after all of 45 years - I would have loved to go and visit them there, but it never happened, perhaps I was too young to make the journey.
I got the little brass medallions and spacer beads from a vendor in Nagaland and strung a two stranded necklace, with a simple button clasp.
This picture was my inspiration for my next piece - it is made from stock photo manipulation, an art form I recently discovered, by LeeAnne Cortus. In this art form, bits of stock photographs are Photoshopped together to form a coherent picture and you can see more by clicking on the link above.
I went to an all day party on Sunday - Nicole Hanna was celebrating 5000 'likes' on Facebook and handing out wirework designs to party guests all day, one or two every hour. It was a fabulous day, with hundreds of virtual guests held fast in front of their computers. She handed out about sixteen of them - I got all but one, and that was because my cousin phoned me from Toronto and we had a long natter,forgetting all about the giveaway.
I stayed up till 5am on Monday morning - she released one every ten minutes in the last hour, and then fell into a deep and grateful slumber. I made up one of the designs, putting a Caprilicious spin on it and this is what appeared......
I had the design from an earlier giveaway and these were the first pair I made - they went in a diplomatic pouch to live with a nice lady in Bangladesh!
As I've been writing , we've had a minor panic - Wilfred just tried to go up the chimney - all I could do was watch with my mouth open as his brother Charlie chased him up the flue till all I could see was the white tip of his tail. I yelled for Mike (which probably frightened Wilf into going further up into the space) and we had to coax him down with some food - I had visions of having to call the fire brigade and a bunch of men in hob nailed boots tramping all over my floor - and no, that is not one of my fantasies! We've now stuffed the flue with newspaper - Phew!
That's it for this week folks, have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, how are you- I hope you've been enjoying the sunshine - we certainly have in the UK. Wirework and beads have been my friends this week - it has been difficult to tear myself away from the sunshine and go in to work, and I have spent whatever time I could spare sitting in the garden and playing with them.
I saw some aerial pictures on Pinterest and I was inspired to recreate them in polymer clay, on the one rainy day we had at the weekend. Elysian Fields is a series of pendants inspired by these photographs which I then made up into necklaces.
The Elysian Fields are beautiful meadows in Greek mythology where the favored of Zeus enjoy perfect happiness and where they compose poetry, sing, dance, and tend to their chariots according to Homer - that's the best the ancients could think of when they imagined perfect happiness?!?
The Parisians named the Avenue des Champs-Élysées after this mythical place ( more like Elysium, in my opinion and you can get more there than singing and mending chariots) - and anyone who has visited it will agree that it is truly one of the most beautiful avenues in the world - but you will need loads of money to find happiness there.
The turquoise blue of the scarab was offset by the grey and yellow of the wooden beads I found in India and the coral and turquoise beads I sourced from Nepal.
Incredibly, twice a year on the spring and autumn equinoxes, a shadow falls on the pyramid in the shape of a serpent. As the sun sets, this shadowy snake descends the steps to eventually join a stone serpent head at the base of the great staircase up the pyramid’s side.
The stepped structure of a bismuth crystal is the result of a higher growth rate around the outside edges which generates an electrical charge activating crystal growth to a higher degree than on the inside edges.
It is the only element that has been successfully converted into gold by Nobel laureate Niels Seaborg of Berkeley University in California.
It is diamagnetic - it repels both the North and South pole equally, and can levitate a magnet. It is the only metal that contracts on heating!
But more, much more than this, it is beautiful and lends itself to wire wrapping. There aren't too many artisans making this type of jewellery - some attach a bail using glue, this is the only other way it can be suspended - it shatters like glass on drilling it.
Sourcing some for Caprilicious became something of a quest/ treasure hunt - I got my crystals from a UK source for ease of delivery, and so I wouldn't have to pay exorbitant postage / customs duty, and couldn't wait to make them up into pendants.
Swarovski Rivoli Pendants
Swarovski makes these beautiful crystals, with a faceted top and a pointy back - they are fairly flat and are usually set in bezels that can be purchased in bead shops or handmade beaded girdles. Nicole Hanna decided to set a challenge to wire wrap these Rivolis - she issued half a tutorial and left us to finish the piece without too much addition or subtraction, even the tools were specified - all the contestants received the finished tutorial as a gift for participating. I had never set a Rivoli before, but am not averse to a challenge, so I gave it a go.
The main engineering difficulty was to secure the crystal securely to the wire bezel without the use of glue, prongs or any such elements, while keeping the design interesting, of course. I made a few of these, and the last one with the tutorial, as envisaged by our host, Ms Hanna.
And that's all I had time for, folks - I hope you enjoyed your visit with Caprilicious and come back next week, same time, same place. Have a great week in the meantime
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
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