Hello readers, and thanks for joining Caprilicious today. It has been a hard week, I worked all over the weekend, and one day seemed to run into the other seamlessly. I did have time to play with clay and a few beads though, and here are the pieces of jewellery I made.
The focal bead in this piece is a lucite bead which resembles a salted duck's egg yolk. One of the methods by which these eggs are made is called Pateros. The duck eggs are buried in clay taken from termite hills, mixed with salt and water, and slowly dehydrated in this mixture at room temperature for over two weeks. The salt enters the egg shells by osmosis, and at the end of the curing period, the eggs are dyed a pretty pink with food colouring to distinguish them from ordinary eggs, and then hard-boiled. The eggs have a salty smell, the whites are gelatinous and the firm yolks are a bright orange-yellow in colour. The yolks are used in Chinese Moon Cakes and as a condiment in bland rice-water gruel and are a delicacy.
I made the black and gold heishi beads as well as the faux amber beads from polymer clay, and put this necklace together.
I ran a little competition on the Caprilicious Facebook page - people had to guess why the piece was called Pateros to win a discount on anything they wanted on the Caprilicious website - and only five people made the connection - congratulations!
Ms. Muse was going crazy this week - I wanted to make necklaces for the last couple of tribal Afghani pendants I had - but she could see the pendants that had arrived from Istanbul last Friday and was itching to get to them. She stamped her little foot and tossed her ringlets - 'I'll thcweam and thcweam until I'm thick' she said, paraphrasing Violet Elizabeth Bott out of the Just William books. I paid no attention and went serenely on my way, collecting materials for and assembling my necklaces - and I must have done a halfway decent job despite her non-cooperation, because one of them was bought within minutes of me posting it on the website.
So have a look at my Tribal necklaces first, and then I'll show you what she helped me make.
The Funky Tribal
I love this pendant - it is just the right size and colour and I teamed it with purple and gold marbled beads.
Midnight in Moscow
And then, finally, it was time to let Ms. Muse loose on the Turkish beauties. The first was a beautiful 22K gold plated bead cap, studded with rhinestones and little Hamsa hands, with a tassel of teal blue crystals. Teamed with titanium plated quartz needles which remind me of the night sky in Red Square, and a large blue agate, this necklace is arguably the best piece Ms. Muse has come up with in a while.
The Topkapi palace in Istanbul is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. I was in awe at the huge uncut emeralds, some weighing a few kilograms that are in the treasury. It also houses one of the largest collections of Kaftans or robes from the middle East. This pendant is an enamelled kaftan with tassels - it was so unusual, I just had to buy it for Caprilicious. I hung it on a simple necklace of creamy white faceted shell pearls, and a few steel grey ones left over from a previous necklace as accent beads.
Sufism is a religion whose roots are in Islam. Jalaluddin Rumi is the best-known scholar, poet and founder of Sufism.
'Sufism espouses a well-founded and thoroughgoing interpretation of Islam, which focuses on love, tolerance, worship of God, community development, and personal development through self-discipline and responsibility. A Sufi’s way of life is to love and be of service to people, deserting the ego or false self and all illusion so that one can reach maturity and perfection'
Dervishes appear to whirl in a hypnotic trance to the untrained eye. However, it is actually a ritualistic dance where the Dervish performs a ritual or a 'Sema' in order to be one with his God.
The Dervish in this pendant is beautifully fashioned, with Arabic calligraphy across his robes. Hung on a necklace of black onyx, I think he looks sumptuous. A bronzite flower, given to me by my friend BN and the enamelled bead caps donated by another friend, Sheela have only enhanced the beauty of this necklace.
Gather Ye Rosebuds
This pendant was made in stages over a few weeks - it is meant to resemble a piece of ceramic pottery - I used alcohol inks to colour it and then coated it with resin to give it a beautiful sheen. The 'rosebuds' - agate beads - were added at the very end. It must be something about spring and the new shoots poking their heads above ground that make me go all floral with my designs. Whatever the reason, I like this little necklace and the earrings I made with the leftover clay to go with it.
That's it for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello again, readers, and thanks for joining me this weekend. I have a few fun pieces of jewellery for you this week - that's what I want my jewellery to be all about - to bring a smile to your lips and a song to your heart as you walk tall and feel great in your Caprilicious.
Lily The Pink
I used beads made from shells and dyed in a shocking pink - just looking at the beads brought a smile to my face and this song popped into my head and just wouldn't go away. With one of my vintage 'mini' pendants from Afghanistan and a few Czech glass and polymer clay beads, a very quirky and sweet piece of jewellery emerged.
This week, Ms Muse seems to have gone all African on me - perhaps she spotted my stash of Moroccan beads, and the beautiful orange beads I have been hoarding for over a year.
Heat and Dust
This necklace was made using polymer clay beads I made myself, using inspiration from a German polymerista who calls herself Margit B - I just love her colourful work and she is a pioneer in the usage of chalks on polymer clay. I mixed in some bright orange lucite beads and added a Berber bead and voila - Heat and Dust! The 'dust' part of the necklace comes from the colours of chalk on the beads which have smudged delightfully into each other.
While watching a movie late that night I played with a design for handmade wire bead caps by Iza Malczyk, and a couple of orange - yellow dyed jade teardrop beads that seemed to match Heat and Dust perfectly.
'Twas time to use some of the faux turquoise beads I made using Lynda Moseley's tutorial - Ms Muse had spotted the orange lucite chunks I was hiding from her - I'm not sure why I was hoarding them, it's just a magpie instinct to hoard bright and pretty beads. Anyway, out they came, and I think they are rather effective with the 'turquoise' and a couple of African lost wax beads.
Wasabi and Watercress
I love the acid green of Wasabi, the Japanese Horseradish. Apparently Wasabi is now being grown in Dorset, by the Watercress company - I think that's what being an entrepreneur is all about - no one who has ever eaten a watercress sandwich would ever imagine that the two of these plants could come from the same soil! Premo makes a Wasabi coloured clay and I teamed it with a blend I made up myself to match the colours in a focal bead I made a couple of years ago. This colour looks so much like watercress, that I decided to name my necklace after the entrepreneurs whose story I found so inspirational.
This one is a remake of a necklace I made earlier with almost similar beads. For the longest time, no one paid Berber Sunrise the First any attention apart from a desultory 'like' when I posted it on Facebook. I took it to my exhibition at Raintree - still no luck.
People picked it up and then put it back down again and moved on to pastures new. I was beginning to think I had lost the battle design-wise, with this necklace and then..... the very last two ladies at the exhibition almost had a pistols-at-dawn situation over it. It reminded me of my two kittens prowling around a mouse one of them had brought in, making growling, warning noises at each other - I thought fur was going to fly (or beads), when after a major standoff situation, one of them suddenly gave in and handed it to her opponent.
I loved the piece and had worn it to work a couple of times, and all I got were compliments, so I decided to make another. If lady No 2 is reading this and wants it, I'll be happy to put it by for you - thank you for being so gracious.
These sweet coiled wire earrings came from a couple of copper coils I happened to spot lying around in the middle of all my beads. A lot of wire coiling is involved in the making of these earrings and it takes many feet of wire wound around even more wire! I used non-tarnish wire for the first two coils and bare copper for the third, which I then dipped in a chemical bath to darken it and rubbed it with steel wool to get this pretty contrasting effect.
A friend from work gave me a broken rainbow fluorite wand - 'do something with it', she said - I held on to it for a while and then made a pendant for her with one of the pieces - I've yet to decide what to do with the other piece. She said she loves her little pendant. Fluorite is a very soft stone and prone to cracking and breaking, so I made sure it was caged in a wire surround so it wouldn't get knocked about again.
That's it for this week folks. I have some fabulous goodies just arrived from Turkey today and will probably have them out on the website next week, when I've made them up into pieces of jewellery. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for joining me this week. Caprilicious went tribal - bold and bright seemed to be the order of the day - every time I reached into my stash, my hands came out full of components for tribal jewellery.
Pendants from Afghanistan are the basis of this collection - they are vintage, and a bit battered and bruised, but looking all the better for it. I replaced some of the crystals that had fallen out and cleaned them up a bit, but no more - the patina of age is what makes them special. Combined with brand new polymer clay beads made at Caprilicious, they evolved into one of a kind pieces of jewellery.
Banjara was made using faux turquoise and lapis lazuli beads from Lynda Moseley's tutorial, and the faux ancient glass was made from a tutorial by Ginger Davis Allman. Both these techniques were great fun to use and produced credible results.
The Banjaras are Indian gypsies found all over India today, known for their colourful dress, ornaments and bangles. There is talk that they originated from Afghanistan, which explains why some Banjara jewellery is similar to that obtained from there.
Deeksha is the initiation into a monastic order, or preparation for a religious ceremony by the guru handing his disciple a mantra, and teaching him the art of meditation. I used faux Tibetan mala beads made at Caprilicious using polymer clay - the beads are strung into malas of 108 beads and used much like a rosary by Tibetan monks.
Rathi is the Hindu goddess of love, lust, passion and sexual pleasure. She was married to Kama, the Indian equivalent of Cupid. She is often portrayed holding a bow made of sugar cane - perhaps she was carrying it for hubby as she was his assistant - in those days, Indian women didn't mind doing the fetching and carrying for their partners, even if they were goddesses. Today's woman might have something to say about that! As befits a goddess of carnal love, she was very beautiful and sexy. Curiously, she is depicted in more than one drawing I have seen, riding a composite bird-like creature made of semi-naked women. Whether this has some sexual significance given Rathi's day job, I have not been able to ascertain - but I would imagine it does - perhaps she was holding onto them for hubby, along with the bow - who knows?
The necklace was made of tiny lapis lazuli and golden quartz nuggets, interspersed with coins that are embellished with glass.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
This is a fun necklace in two strands, made of African vinyl trade beads, carrying a pendant from Afghanistan. Folklore had it that vinyl beads were made from old records, but they are actually made from an early rubber product called Vulcanite. Vulcanite is a hard, moldable rubber that has been formed by “vulcanizing” natural rubber through a curing process that involves high heat and the addition of sulfur. The 'chili peppers' are little polymer clay beads made at Caprilicious over a year ago, waiting patiently for just this moment! The fastener is a box clasp given to me by my friend BN - she received a bunch of these from China with Mabe pearls all set awry - I dismantled them, threw away the Mabe pearls and filled the space with polymer clay, and I think this one is rather pretty, don't you?
By this time, I was all Triballed out and felt the need to make something from another genre - just to prove to myself that I could!
I had made this next piece a while ago but didn't really like it. I realised that what I disliked was a couple of large shell beads I had used in the centre of the necklace - I whipped them out, and Hey! Presto, I loved it.
The beautiful blue agate druzy set in sterling silver with blue topaz reminded me of the caldera in Santorini - a caldera is a crater-like depression in the land caused by its collapse following a volcanic eruption.
The centre of the stone has the typical druzy crystals that glitter like sugar in the light. I added blue topaz, pearls, pyrite and lilac crystals to the pendant - all the colours of spring.
That's me for this week folks, have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery, thanks for joining me this week. If this is your first read, welcome - if it isn't and you are a regular reader, may I request you to please support the blog by following it on Bloglovin or Networked Blogs - the link is in the sidebar. Do also take a moment to leave me a comment - it's nice to know I'm not talking into thin air and there's someone in the ether out there, actually looking at my work.
I put all the polymer clay beads I made over the last week, using various faux effects together, and I found that I had filled the lid of a shoebox - rather a lot of beads! I did so enjoy making them though - a week away from the day job just passed by in a gentle haze. And yet, I felt compelled to make even more, trying out techniques and tutorials I have been collecting on my Pinterest boards for ages and haven't had the time to try.
I once saw some glass drawbench drizzle beads on a website and loved the look of them so much, that I decided to try and replicate them in polymer clay. Researching how to do this drew a blank, so I decided to give it a go myself.
I photographed the process as I went along, and by the end, I had a mini tutorial for anyone who might want to follow in my footsteps and also as an aide-memoire - these beads are so pretty, I will most definitely make them again.
I know it is a very simple tutorial and describes a technique that most polymeristas can carry out with their eyes shut, but I would have given a lot to find something like it when I first started and is aimed at beginners.
The week went by in a truly Caprilicious manner. One minute I was making a sweet and serene necklace and the next time I looked in the mirror, there was a riot around my neck!
Coin pearls, and gemstone beads in shades of blue went into this necklace inspired by the bright blue of the sky. I made this necklace long but added a Mabe pearl clasp, so that it could be doubled up into two rows if necessary.
Holi is the Indian festival of colour, marking spring. People buy coloured pigments and a free-for-all carnival of colours ensues, where participants chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. There is music and laughter and everyone has a riot of a time. They end the day looking terribly bedraggled - well, everyone knows that if you mix more than three colours together, you get a muddy brown - but by then, nobody seems to care a jot.
This necklace is a riot of colour, with the bright red of the coral and the colourful cat's eye beads. The cat's eyes have a fibre-optic element embedded into them and they catch the light to provide that extra glint. The colours of the cat's eyes match the colours in the brightly enamelled Moroccan bead which is the focal point of this piece.
Shibori is a Japanese tie-dye technique. This next piece was inspired by a Shibori scarf I saw on Pinterest and an orange and grey gown I saw on someone's Facebook page. I remembered the beautiful carnelian slab nuggets I've had in my stash for ages - they are waxy and in a delicately shaded orange. They are a perfect match for a string of rutilated quartz beads. I would wear this necklace of an evening and feel very sophisticated in it, indeed!
Every time I walked past my shoebox lid full of beads, the faux drawbench beads called out to me. I couldn't resist them anymore and teamed them with a couple of nuggets of coral - red, black and silver is always irresistible, see for yourself. We were re-watching Some Like it Hot and Running Wild was the song that was being played as I put the necklace together.
The Peacock in Park
One of my favourites, the peacock is such a beautiful, irresistible bird. I sat down to make this wire torque, and it took me simply ages to decide how to finish it - and it took a week to make. This is probably one of the most labour intensive pieces I have made and I will almost certainly never be able to remake it.
A swirly wrap of both sterling silver and fine silver around a pleasingly hefty ombré chunk of amethyst with a little pewter dragonfly wired onto it was then hung on a lilac organza ribbon. Fine silver is tarnish proof because it is an alloy of silver and germanium, rather than silver and copper, which is sterling silver. It is the copper content of sterling silver or 0.925% silver that causes it to tarnish by being oxidised. Fine silver is also easy to manipulate and doesn't break - a pleasure to work with especially in the higher gauges of weaving wire.
The tracks made by the sterling silver over the amethyst describe the flight path of the little dragonfly wired onto the pendant.
And last, but not least.................. drumroll.........
I brought these little beauties back from my holiday in India - they are little carnelian and amethyst briolettes, and they took simply ages to string. I made the necklace one string a day until all the beads were used up - and then I didn't like what I had made so I restrung them three times until I was finally satisfied.
Well, readers, you can see that I have been having a lot of fun in my time off from the day job. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and so it came to pass that I had to go back to work on Wednesday. Oh well, it was great while it lasted and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to face any curveballs that come my way.
That's it for this week, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place