Hello readers, thanks for stopping by - it is a great pleasure to meet up with you again, albeit virtually.
It gives me a great thrill to announce today that I have a new collection - a 'Luxe' collection for you, made using silver pendants I have sourced on my travels, and semi precious gemstone beads. I did a lot of shopping for Caprilicious from the earnings of my first ever exhibition in January, and it has taken me a couple of months to work away at them patiently, so that I would have a coherent body of work to display on the website.
I strive to keep my jewellery interesting, one of a kind, and affordable - the 'Luxe' range will perforce have to be at the higher end of 'affordable' - but I promise to always do my best by you, my Caprilicious ladies.
It is my birthday this weekend, and I decided that this date would be the deadline ( I like working to a deadline - although I'm usually late! ) to place before you...... (drumroll) the Silver Seduction page on the Caprilicious website.
I play this piece of music for you for no reason - other than because I love Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli - they are fabulous together and this swing interpretation of J'attendrai is something else - enjoy it while you read on.
J'attendrai translated means I will wait - as do I, with bated breath to see how my Luxe collection will be received by you, my readers. I love to hear from you, so do drop me a line in the comments section and tell me what you think.
This is a sneak peek at some of the stuff I will have up on the website tomorrow...............................
There will be lots of pictures on the Caprilicious Facebook page and of course, on the website page, Silver Seduction. Mike is taking me on a short mystery theatre break to London for my birthday (I just happen to have seen the tickets as I know all his hiding places - but we wont tell him) so I will be posting these on the website a day earlier than I originally announced - on the 29th of March, before we take the train down.
That's it for today - have a great week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hi readers, hope you've all had a successful week, and are in the process of getting ready for a fun weekend. We have friends arriving to stay with us, and thankfully Mikes 'project' is almost finished. The garden is looking close to normal again - but only just. Turf may have to be relaid a bit later on as it looks like it has been trampled on by a herd of rampaging bull elephants, but at least there isn't one big churned up pit of mud in the middle of the lawn.
As the 'girly' one in the family, I always wore jewellery and makeup, loved lace and pink (shudder), perfume and stiletto heeled shoes - thankfully, I am no longer a pink person, and comfort has won over vanity. Jewellery however, remains a constant and my taste for it now veers towards the outrageous and wild. Even the simplest piece, in my hands will go slightly off kilter to produce a very different look from what one would expect normally - I see the puzzlement on some peoples faces - they either get it and are fans of my stuff - or they hate it for being odd and having dog legs where canine limbs are not meant to be!
I started out designing for myself - the rationale was that if nobody liked it, at least I would have jewellery I wanted to wear. I have indeed found a lovely bunch of like minded people, who share my enthusiasm for wild things and we are very happy with one another. This next piece is for one of them....or me!
Worn To Be Wild
I just love this necklace and can't wait to test drive it. It is all be-silked and beribboned with sari fabric ribbon as I thought the black and faux bone could do with being zhushed up.
I have the attention span of a gnat, and a low boredom threshold - I need to make different things to hold my interest. Each week I might start out as I did, with a tribal piece, then make a sweet and simple one, and then play with clay for a day or two, and then some wire. Just the one genre, churning out the same old, same old, would bore me to tears.
A couple of fibula brooches for Look in the Bag appeared mysteriously one morning - I must have made them while watching telly or it was the house elf! I have a malign elf in the house normally - all I have to do is put something down and look away - count to five - and it's gone - completely vanished, never to be seen again.
I had myself a load of fun playing with an extruder and making some brooches - I couldn't believe that the strings of clay wouldn't all stick to one another when they were forced out of the extruder - I spent a whole lot of time separating the strings and hanging them over my pasta machine, till in the end, once I realised that it wasn't necessary, I was putting them together like a pro! The brooches are for Look in the Bag, of course, and Neelam will unveil them properly once the time is right for her - this is just a sneak peek, just for you, my readers.
I realised that my little collection of silver had dwindled considerably since the exhibition, in fact, there were no earrings left at all. I picked up a solar quartz pendant set in sterling silver and teamed it with Peruvian opal nuggets and seed pearls - very evocative of the deep blue sea, which one assumes is teeming with mermaids. Solar quartz is a transverse section of a stalactite, and is usually cream coloured - this one is dyed blue, and is particularly vibrant. This is a sweet little necklace - a complete volte face from Worn to be Wild!
I have been hoarding these stylish ear wires for just such a moment - vibrant and pretty dyed jade beads dangle from sterling silver ear wires. I love the colours of these beads - just wish my ear lobes were strong enough to support earrings.....sigh!
South Western Sunset
This picture was taken a long time ago during my travels in the USA. The colours of the sunset are so pretty, although muted and I decided to put them together in a necklace. I admit, this is an unusual combination and I turned it over in my mind for a couple of days before deciding that I would go all out to make an eclectic piece that would be truly one of a kind.
Now that I had given myself the go-ahead, I made some faux amber and faux sea glass beads, and put together a necklace. A vintage Indian pendant was hung on a Tibetan bead, and dangled from a filigree wire woven circle that resembles a dream catcher - in keeping with the South Western theme. I have liberally mixed East and West, and I think they go well together - this necklace has extremely eclectic origins, and is most definitely one of a kind.
I like the way the necklace is showy, without being completely over the top - do you like it??
That's as much as I had time for folks, catch you next week, same time, same place. Have a great week
Hello readers, how's tricks?? I have had a very relaxed week with two days off from work, and loads of time to play with jewellery. A little shopping trip to reorganise stuff in my craft room - I was inspired by the ladies on the 'Clean up, Fix up' blog hop, and suddenly just putting stuff away in Quality Street tins, begged from the nurses ( after they had scoffed the contents donated by grateful patients) at Christmas didn't cut it any more. I wanted proper storage - so off to Ikea I went, to buy storage boxes for all the texture plates, moulds, and sundries that are causing so much clutter - any excuse for a shopping trip, said my long suffering husband!
Meanwhile, the call of the beads got louder and louder, so I picked up my pliers and off I went to calm the ones that were shouting the loudest.
I have a couple of artisan made Nepalese pendants left from my last virtual shopping expedition, and I made Sharona with one of them - called that simply because I used to love the song by the Knack as a teenager, and it was playing on the radio while I drove home from work just before I made the necklace - I was humming it in my head as I worked.
It was a week for nostalgia - a brass stamping, imported from the USA inspired the creation of a pendant I called My Lady d'Arbanville, after the song by Cat Stevens from the seventies. The art nouveau brass stamping is very much in the Alphonse Mucha vein, with a woman wistfully sniffing the perfume from the centre of a flower, all unbound hair and flowing robes. I added a rambling rose climber with 'roses' made of wire and ruby quartz, in keeping with the mood of the pendant. As the story goes, Patti d'Arbanville, Cat's girlfriend went to the USA for professional reasons, and he wrote a morbid, but nevertheless beautiful song about his loneliness without her, as if she were dead - she is very much alive, and only 63 years of age today!
My Lady d'Arbanville
I made another scarf pin using wire and seed beads, as well as some more with polymer clay, that were commissioned by Neelam for Look in the Bag to go with her new collection.
It was at this point, I decided to make another Balinese dancer's bracelet - the last one was made with a turquoise cabochon. This time, a rose quartz and copper bracelet seemed to be the way to go. Making this bracelet is an act of masochism, the likes of which I have never subjected myself to. My fingers were bleeding and knuckles grazed by the time I was finished, three evenings later. But the finished piece is so pretty, I am sure, a few months down the line, I will make another. The only problem is that just now, I gag when I look at another piece of wire - Oh well, hopefully that won't last long.
The Balinese Dancer's Bracelet
The bracelet is made so that the heavy cabochon does not slip onto the back of the wrist, which can be very annoying when you have a pretty focal you would like to show off on the front.
I played with polymer clay on and off during the weekend - a couple of hollow cylindrical beads were embellished to resemble carved ebony, and carved bone. I love making those hollow beads - the idea of forming a bead around air, without a form inside intrigues me - so much fun!
These pieces went into my oven to cure - I'm not sure how many of them will go into the necklace I plan with them - the two little faces on the top right are meant to be for earrings - the engineering conundrum it poses interests me greatly - how one piece will be connected to the other, and then to the necklace. I have left it to the end to pierce the components - I will use my Dremel, which I have become extremely comfortable with (amazing, cos I was once petrified of it), once I decide how to hang the piece. It may take a couple of weeks to figure this one out.
While waiting for stuff to come out of my oven, I played with an image transfer technique, which I then coloured with inks and turned into a little brooch. It has already found a new home, where it is well loved!
I have set myself a challenge - this was an experiment with a mosaic cane that didn't go quite to plan - I didn't want to relegate it to the scrap pile, so I kept playing with it till it turned into the kaleidoscope cane on the left. I'm going to try and make as many little pieces as I possibly can from this 4" long lump of clay, that should rightly have gone into the scrap pile. Thus far, some earrings have come out of this challenge, and next week, I will reveal all the pieces I can come up with in one post.
That's it for this week folks - it has been quite satisfying - some clay, some wire, and some beads - what more can a girl ask for??
Have a fabulous week, and I will catch you next Friday, same time, same place
The 'Unfinished Symphony' saga
Hello readers, how are you this fine morning?? I thought it was time we had some music - it's been ages since I played some on the blog. You will see why I chose this song in a minute - apart from the fact that this is one of the few I can play on the piano - I have to tell you that it was not my ambition to be a pianist, and that reflected itself in my playing, which was truly terrible - I needed earplugs when I played, but I somehow got to Grade 5, which has more to do with persistence than enthusiasm - I got out of it as soon as possible, which annoyed my mother no end - she envisaged this super daughter, who would be at concert pianist level, probably a brain surgeon, and a nuclear physicist/ mathematician in her spare time - no pressure then!!
Spring is in the air - and how do I know this for certain?? Not because of the beautiful primroses that have obligingly come back, or the skies growing lighter, or the temperatures rising - Oh, no, I know this for sure because my husband has his annual project on the go. My lawn, tended lovingly by a chap called Mr GreenThumb has been dug up and is, as I write a churned up, horrible mess.
Being a retired builder, Mike seems to need the annual fix of concrete and mud to keep him satisfied - this year he says the lawn isn't good enough, and requires a pad of some kind for the garden furniture. I hope that when I retire, I don't suddenly develop a penchant for my earlier career - stop me, won't you, if I start eyeing up uteri, and please, call the men in white suits if I attempt to extract body parts with my bare hands.
Anyway, he needs his annual fix, and I let it happen - this allows me to put my foot down with a firm hand the rest of the year, and still feel virtuous about it! - only one project per calendar year is allowed here.
Nicole Hanna, most generous weaver of wire and writer of tutorials, threw us a challenge - to finish one of her tutorials in any way we saw fit, with a tight control on the ingredients used. She has published an album of all the pieces entered in the competition, including mine, which you can see here, should you be so inclined.
It is certainly amazing how the design has been interpreted in so many different ways. The contestants were all sent the finished tutorial, and a chance to vote for a design to win. Here's a picture of my piece, and the piece as Nicole Hanna envisages it - just proves there's more than one way to skin a cat; or weave a pendant, even. Mine looks so complicated and tangled - perhaps reflecting my state of mind when I made it - who knows??
I swapped some beads my mother gave me for a bagful of gemstone beads, so I spent some time making a couple of pendants with rhodochrosite beads- they were meant to be earrings, but midway through the process, I realised they would be too heavy for the ears, so they have now been converted into pendants. This, of course meant that I didn't have to make them exactly alike - so though I started off making them together, and duplicating each flourish and swirl, I let go of this painful process once I decided they were in fact destined to be pendants.
I spent the rest of the week making scarf jewellery for my friend from Look in the Bag - some to go with scarves she has designed, and others made to be sold exclusively through their outlet.
This is one of the wire designs I came up with, and no doubt there will be more. In the meanwhile, I have played with the Bargello cane, taught at a class by Jana Benzon Roberts - I just love it so much, and I feared that I might forget how to make it if I left it too long, my memory is like a sieve these days.
While playing with designs for scarf jewellery, I came up with various prototypes to pick from. One of the rejects was this cane, which I then reduced further and turned into a kaleidoscope cane. I have been talking about these bits of scarf jewellery for a while now - you must think they are a figment of my imagination, as nothing has appeared on these pages. Not so, friends - I am waiting for the scarves to be made up - and all will be revealed by Neelam, on her website/blog - after all, she commissioned them, and so they are hers to reveal, when she sees fit.
And here's my very first kaleidoscope cane! Now I have something completely different to work with, once I am finished with the scarf jewellery in a couple of weeks. This is one of the things I love about polymer clay - there's absolutely no wastage at all - it gladdens the heart of a woman who chases after every dropped bead, giving it a stern telling off for daring to run away from home.
Here are some earrings I made with the first two pieces I cut from the cane - I think they are sweet.
More Biker Pearls
Pearls have come into their own - they are no longer the preserve of the cologne scented, blue rinse, toffee nosed brigade, and I have been looking for funky and different ways to wear them. I have made this necklace before, but couldn't resist making some more - this time, I got some large black and grey pearls, as well as the regular creamy ones, and black, blue and white leather.
Won't these look fabulous with your denims and leathers and perhaps a biker or jeans jacket - boho biker pearls for casual wear!
I must go now and make sure that Mike's enthusiasm isn't running away with him - I now know why builders often give you a quote that doesn't resemble what you end up spending - it's because of all the last minute 'lightbulb moments' that happen along the way - however, to be fair to him, he does do a great job, and I have enjoyed the fruits of all his previous labours.
Have a great week, and I'll catch up with you next week, same time, same place