Hello, readers, nice to see you here again. I've had a few days off from work, using up the annual leave owed me for 2014 - we didn't really have a lot planned apart from a bit of gardening, so I fell into a nice, easy routine, playing with clay after a lie-in each morning, finishing the pieces off in my own time and playing with wire and beads at night - a crafter's dream break.
Last week I made colourful beads with a petal cane on a fuchsia pink background and some Tibetan Mala beads. This week, I unearthed a tutorial by Lynda Moseley and made faux lapis and faux turquoise beads. I have had this tutorial for ages, but had to collect all the ingredients, of which there are many - by the time I collected all the paint,inks and chalk required, I lost the impetus to try it out until now, and I'm so glad I did - it is a fabulous tutorial and I got some pretty credible results.
The solar eclipse, which occurred on Sunday was a major planetary and astrological event.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, totally or partly obscuring the image of the sun for a viewer on earth.
Everyone was in a tizz - should we watch it, can we look at it, what's the best way to prevent UV burns to the retina, pinhole cameras, glasses - it turned into a frenzy - all for something that lasted a couple of minutes - and we don't even live in the Faroe islands or Svalbard.
Philistine, you say?? - too right - I slept through it and watched it on the telly like any self-respecting person on holiday should. And, I'm not afraid to admit it, so there!
I did spend some time researching it though - and read about the Penumbra, which is the region in which only a portion of the light source is obscured by the occluding body. An observer in the penumbra (where we are in the UK) experiences a partial eclipse.
The 2642 people who live in Svalbard and the eclipse tourists who flocked there would have witnessed the Umbra - the innermost and darkest part of the shadow, where the sun is completely blocked by the moon.
The Antumbra is the region from which the occluding body appears entirely contained within the disc of the light source. An observer in this region experiences an annular eclipse, in which a bright ring is visible around the eclipsing body - this is due to happen in September 2016 and will mainly be visible in Africa.
Made to commemorate the event which looked spiffing on the TV and is meant to have all sorts of astrological significance, I used a handmade lampworked bead and set it in a wire weave, hung on a leather thong - very Penumbra-ish.
Tara, in Hindu mythology, is a Tantric Goddess. As the story goes, the Gods and Demons decided to have a little game and churned the oceans of the earth, which produced a poison so strong, it would have killed off all mankind. In a blind panic, trying to save the world, Shiva drank the poison before they could dispense it to the people and fell unconscious. The Heavenly Hospital probably didn't possess a stomach pump in those days and everyone was running around like headless chickens.
Tara came along - the saviour Goddess - and squeezed his throat, preventing the poison from going any further, giving him a permanent bruise on his neck. She then suckled him and her breast milk counteracted the poison. I think the CQC (Care Quality Commission) might have something to say if we adopted these methods today.
Tara is meant to be 'blue' in colour - which is the post-colonial Indian way of saying that she was dark skinned and not worth much on the arranged marriage market - but that was the least of her problems, the most important being that she enjoyed the occasional drink of human blood - she would make do with animal blood at a pinch, but human blood was what she loved best for a light snack!
This necklace is made with a pendant from Afghanistan and faux lapis and other polymer clay beads.
Essaouira is a charming harbour town in Morocco - unspoilt, with a definite French look about it. When we last visited, very few people had discovered it and it seemed quaint and exotic. I've heard that hordes of tourists descend on it each year now and it is no longer unspoilt. Such is life!
These capsule shaped beads from Morocco, with a low silver content were teamed with lapis lazuli and onyx.
That's me done for this week folks. A few more days off and I will go back to my day job, refreshed and rejuvenated. In the meanwhile, I have all my new beads to use and ideas bouncing around in my head. Perhaps I should carry a little noteook around with me to write down my ideas- I forget so many well before they are executed.
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, welcome to this week's story from Caprilicious Jewellery. I've been playing with polymer clay, as we slowly recover from my poor hubby's bout of food poisoning - I use the word 'we' advisedly, as I suffered seriously and vicariously, along with him. However, all is well now, and I am back, and ready to play.
My 'Tribal Bling' line was entirely depleted during my recent exhibition - not one of the necklaces came back with me. The pendants are from Afghanistan and the ladies in India seemed to love them. The USP of these necklaces is that I make all the beads myself, so all of them are undoubtedly one of a kind with a fusion look that will go with both ethnic and bohemian western clothing.
I recently had a few more pendants delivered and set out to make beads to go with them. I deliberately made them bright and cheerful - a mood elevator around your neck. I want the wearer to get an instant lift as soon as these pieces come out of their wardrobes.
I also made faux Tibetan mala beads, making a veneer out of red and black clay and gold foil. I antiqued the beads with a needle tool and white pastel chalks and cured them. I then dipped them in liquid clay on a wooden skewer and attacked them with a heat gun to get a shiny but antique effect. I think they look pretty authentic, and loads of people messaged me on Facebook to ask how they were made. This collage is for them. If anyone wants further clarification, you know where I am.
Pale Moon Rising
An agate druzy cabochon, dyed in a delectable shade of peach is the focal piece for this necklace. I set it in wire lace and embellished it with onyx and freshwater pearls. The plan was to add a few more rows of beads beneath the pearls, but something made me stop - and I think the pendant is just perfect as it is. I strung it on a kyanite necklace - this gemstone always reminds me of silvery moonlight, and a few pale green hand carved jade butterflies flit around, making this a very pretty piece, indeed.
Dancing in the Dark
These two pendants are very similar and I used my polymer clay beads to make a couple of very jazzy pieces. They certainly bring a smile to my face and I'm sure they will be loved by their eventual owner - whoever she may be.
These can be worn just as well with a saree, as with a white shirt/tunic, jeans and wild hair! A very high visibility, bohemian look indeed and guaranteed to have you dancing in the dark.
That's all I have for you, readers - have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for joining me once again on the Caprilicious Blog. This week has been a bit of a washout as far as making jewellery goes, mainly because I have been nursing my poor husband through a bout of food poisoning. He probably got it from a dodgy egg that he cooked himself
and because we tend to eat almost separate meals - me with a bit of spice and Mike eating the blandest food in the house, I escaped the actual symptoms myself. I didn't escape them entirely, however because I lived through them vicariously, minute by minute. I wasn't spared a single second of them, and I have to say they certainly didn't improve with the telling. I learned one thing through this - I am absolutely not cut out to be a nurse!!
Just before the explosive effects of the egg took over my week, I spent some time sorting out the seeds I had collected from various seed pods in my garden last year. The soil will warm up once Easter is done and I want to sow these directly into my flower beds. One of these is Nigella, or as it more commonly known, Love in a Mist.
Love In A Mist
Just the thought of these pretty flowers prompted me to unearth all the blue gemstone beads I have in my stash and put some of them into a necklace, using one of the diamanté clasps I showed you last week. As blue is one of my favourite colours, I found plenty to choose from and picked blue agate and jade teardrops to use in this necklace which sits close to the base of the neck in asymmetric beauty.
The Takeover - Inch by Little Inch
This, readers, was what my conservatory once looked like - a sitting room with cane furniture which we used very occasionally - when it rained in the summertime perhaps, or where Mike puffed on a contemplative stogie while he used the telescope to do a bit of stargazing.
This was well before Caprilicious was part of my life. Once I got involved in writing my website and posting pictures of the jewellery I made, I realised that I had to take a good picture - shoddy, unfocused photographs simply wouldn't do. After all, I was asking people to fall in love with my jewellery without having to touch and feel it - my photographs would have to be the next best thing.
I already owned a little Canon point and shoot camera and to get the best from it I invested in a Modahaus tabletop stand on the back of a review in the Beading Gem's Journal and a collapsible PhotoBox for larger necklaces.
Mike's little keyboard, where he pounds out his five stride jazz when I am at work is slowly disappearing in the detritus of my photography, and the treadmill, which has always been parked in one corner, used only by my eighty-five-year-old mother when she came to visit (shame on us!) three years ago, is no longer visible, hidden behind a backdrop.
And the irony of it all, is that I still sit in my armchair in front of the telly, a tray in my lap with my beads and wire to make my jewellery, while the photography of the finished article has taken over an entire conservatory! I hope you will agree though, that it has all been worthwhile. I know there is always room for improvement, but my photography skills have come on in leaps and bounds.
That's it for this week, folks. I am working part of this weekend and hope to correct some of the sleep deprivation I have suffered this last week while I (sort of) nursed my poor husband back to health. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for joining me at Caprilicious today. This week the sun has been shining, but the air is cold and crisp with the odd flurry of snow, which melts even before it touches the ground. I've had the week off, in an attempt to mend my exhausted spirit after the shenanigans of the past three weeks, and I must say, it has worked a treat. I tend to save a lot of my annual holiday entitlement until the end of the year, just in case I need it for some reason, which usually means that I have a load of time off work in March.
The Flower Sermon
I found a beautiful Buddha face ox bone cabochon bought from Indounik last year and decided that it would be turned into my first piece of wire work this year. The original idea was to turn it into a Balinese dancer, but my muse had other ideas. I started off making a flower headdress for the dancer with Czech glass dagger-shaped beads - and it took me all evening to eventually give up - the design simply would not work - I had to keep cutting it up and reshaping it - in the end, I gave up in disgust and went to bed.
The next day, The Flower Sermon caught my eye. This is a story from Zen Buddhism -
The Buddha took his disciples to a pond for a wordless sermon. He reached out into the pond and pulled up a lotus flower. He silently handed the flower to his disciples who passed it around, one by one expounding their own theories about what the Buddha must have meant when he handed the flower to them.
All except Mahakashyapa who simply smiled and said nothing.
“What can be said I have said to you,” said the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.” - enigmatic, eh? But the Buddha talked in riddles like that and us unenlightened beings might have a bit of difficulty with understanding the meaning of his words.
The moral of this story - keep your mouth shut, and you might appear as if you have a few brain cells to rub together. Gabble, and you just look and sound stupid. We will never know if old wily boots Mahakashyapa actually knew what the wordless sermon was all about, but the odds are that he was just as clueless as the others.
Apparently, the Buddha meant to say that the beautiful lotus comes from the depths of the muck in the pond - but none of the muck seems to adhere to it because it is so pure - or something like that - no one really knows, it was a wordless sermon.
The pendant ended up being a Buddha face with a flower to one side, and I added some pretty silver foiled glass flowers to the necklace which I made with red dyed quartz beads and black and white Krobo beads from Kenya. Red, white and black always look striking when put together with silver accents, and I was quite pleased with the piece by the time my muse and I had finished with it.
This pendant has been sitting on my table for a while. I meant to team it with orange Czech glass beads and got all the supplies together when my muse spotted these star beads made from shell and dyed a beautiful turquoise blue. The pendant is blue grey on one side and orange/yellow on the other, reversible, and was made from polymer clay I had mixed up for another project - I loved the colours so much, I couldn't allow the remnants to join the scrap clay pile. A fluorite flower dangles from the tip of the pendant.
Pavo the Third
I had to, I simply had to make another Pavo necklace - so many people have asked for it, I'm exhausted apologising for not having one. Apologies to the ladies who have one already - there will only ever be a very limited number, and you will all belong to a very select group - it takes a special woman to wear Pavo.
The postman brought me these beauties - well, I only photographed two of them, but there are more in the stash. I need to figure out a necklace for them - these clasps are so pretty, they have to be visible, but I shall make the necklaces so they can be worn at the back as well - for someone who is wearing her hair up, or has a backless dress with short, cropped hair perhaps?? The possibilities are endless!
This week, my muse decided to show me that she was the boss - she wasn't going to allow me to enjoy my new found independence which allowed me to make a few bits and bobs while she was away. She changed every design I started and made sure her presence was felt, and how!
But, in the grand scheme of things, who cares, as long as the jewellery that gets on to these pages is interesting and looks good - Ms Muse, I salute you, and here's a warm welcome back to work!
That's all Ms Muse allowed me to make this week, so have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place