How are you this fine day readers, thanks for joining me again this week.
I'm not a flowery person, most definitely not, I promise you. When I pick up a piece of jewellery to wear, my hand seems to automatically go to the tribal, larger, badass necklaces - perhaps they boost my confidence when I wear them. Isn't that the reason why one wears Caprilicious??
However, as spring breaks, and the weather turns warmer, my thoughts and hands turn to floral offerings without me consciously making that decision.
When we were last in Paris, we took a taxi to the Bois de Boulogne which is a wooded garden on the outskirts. At it's heart is a rose garden or Roseraie, that today has about 10,000 roses and thousands of varieties - the scent in the air in the summer sunshine was so heady, I could have gone to sleep and thought I was in an attar of roses fantasy by Omar Khayyam. Unfortunately our time there was cut short by a thunderstorm and I have but a few pictures, but the memory of that magical garden influenced this necklace.
The pendant is made from a slice of wood given to me by my friend who makes beautiful wooden bowls. It comes from Brazil and is called Purple Heart - when cut freshly it is a greyish brown, which matures on exposure to an aubergine purple. He cut and polished it for me a while ago, and I put it away in my stash until I found a use for it. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a mosaic to cover its surface, but that would have meant that I would have lost the beauty of the wood. I recently learned the technique of polymer clay 'embroidery' and decided to try and recreate a Roseraie in clay.
I couldn't leave it as it was, I just had to string it with some really bright beads and make a lovely necklace out of it - I think it is very effective, do you??
I thought I'd bring you some Bollywood and a 'wet scene' - nothing like one of these to lower the tone!! As wet scenes go however, this is one of the more tasteful ones I've seen in a while.
I love the titanium coated quartz needles and purple and green make such an explosion of colour. The little amber coloured glass acorn I thought was a treasure - I have a few more of these in my stash. The necklace has a lively dynamic of its own and it looks as if it is going to get up and dance away all by itself.
The most interesting gemstone in this necklace is hemimorphite - beautiful nuggets that resemble sugar cubes, some of them tinged a pale blue. I pulled out all the other blue beads in my stash and finally chose blue agate, and jade to go with the hemimorphite. This gemstone is thought to increase empathy, compassion and inner strength - and if you believe in that sort of thing, it is meant to help you communicate with 'angelic' beings. All I would say is, it is unusual, and it is very pretty.
I was only a child when this lovely song surfaced - Sugar Sugar by the Archies. When I handled the hemimorphite nuggets, this was the first title that came to mind.
I had a few pangs of withdrawal from my wire addiction, so I made a little pendant from a Vintaj brass rubbing I bought in the USA last year, adding a seahorse from a clip on earring that once belonged to my mother - she bought the delightful little enamel and Marcasite creature in Paris and it is older than me - so definitely a vintage piece! The other one in the pair went into a piece of jewellery ages ago and now lives in the USA. I added strands of seaweed, and a sea anemone - oh go on, cut me a bit of slack - if you squint at it in poor light, it looks exactly like a sea anemone! And even if you won't have it about the fruits la mer, you'll have to accept that the pendant is sparkly and shiny and pretty.
My tutorial for Anastasia, the tiara made with polymer clay roses finally came out in Bead and Jewellery magazine and I received a photograph from my friend with her little daughter wearing the prototype piece. I think the little three year old looks adorable in it, don't you?
That's me for this week folks, I will have a new and exciting development to report next week so do come back and join me. Have a fabulous weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Dear readers, I crumbled - I was meant to be taking a break from Caprilicious, but that intention bit the dust within a couple of weeks. I had some fabulous news - an interview with me was published in the Times of India. Apparently the editor was very interested in the jewellery I made using bismuth as he was a chemical engineer in another avatar, but for some reason they decided to put a picture of a wirework piece in the actual interview.
This necklace was made with the last two flowers made for the tutorial in Bead and Jewellery Magazine. I ran off a bunch of faux turquoise beads from a tutorial by Lynda Moseley of Diva Designs, added a few orange beads from an earlier bead making spree and this is what emerged.
With Moonflower, I finally used up all the beads I made for the project in three similar, but very different necklaces. Which one do you like best?? The original one with the Afghani pendant is on sale at Mithila, in Bangalore, India now.
My friend BN came to stay over the weekend, and we spent the entire time nattering about jewellery and playing with wire. Mike was left to sort the garden out and get it summer ready, and to take us to the pub for lunch on Sunday and for a post prandial wander around an old church in Monk's Kirby. BN often brings me little donations to the Caprilicious cause, and this visit was no exception. I had a box of goodies - a couple of pendants, a few beads and when she left, I got to work with them.
Oshun is the Yorùbá Orisha (Deity) of the sweet or fresh waters and is widely loved. She is known for healing the sick and bringing fertility and prosperity, and for watching over the poor. As Orisha of love, Oshun is often represented as a beautiful, charming and coquettish young woman, and in some tales she is said to be a mermaid.
BN gave me a similar pendant a few years ago, and here is a picture of the first Oshun necklace.
The necklace I made this week is similar - but different.
This leaf pendant was in the stash brought in by BN and the pendant itself was pretty enough, but not Capriliciousy - if you know what I mean. I had taken a recent tutorial from Filigrina in polymer clay 'embroidery' and I decided that this was the project to use it in. With my penchant for embellishment i was unable to stop, and added hotfix crystals with gay abandon and then crystal beads using wire.
As a child my mother taught me lazy daisy stitch, and how to smock - and that was the extent of my embroidery skills. Perhaps she hadn't the time to teach me any more - I used to personalise my clothes with a bit of embroidery as a teenager and remember struggling with satin stitch and French knot roses.
The Bird of Paradise Necklace
The Bird of Paradise flower comes from Africa and is grown in the tropics - named for the exotic colours that resemble the bird of paradise. I received a string of dyed bamboo coral teardrop beads in the post and I couldn't wait to team it with orange ceramic beads and a Moroccan bead that resembles a gaily striped tent, in colours that match the bird of paradise flower.
I love the coral teardrop beads and have used them before, but this is the first time I found the blue dyed ones - I love the combination of blue and orange.
So that's me, comprehensively back at the crafting table, having fun again. I hope you've enjoyed the read and to see you again next week.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you again next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, all 2.4 of you have probably noticed by now that the usual torrent of jewellery that comes from Caprilicious Jewellery each week has slowed right down to a trickle. Iv'e been keeping it low key for a while, getting back into the rhythm of the day job after my holiday, fussing the cats and getting the garden ready for spring. In my head however, are a huge number of designs and techniques all competing to get out and I'm sifting through them for the moment and getting them to form an orderly queue.
However, it's been a bit like sitting on an ill fitting lid on a barrel of monkeys - one gets out every so often!
Say You Will
The blue flowers are tulips I made for the project in Bead and Jewellery Magazine in Delft colours. The colours in this necklace remind me of the large blue heart in the Old Market Square in Delft. I made the cobalt blue beads from polymer clay and I like the way the blues in the necklace seem to fit together seamlessly.
If you're wondering about the name, it follows on from the fact that the floral beads were called Love Affair. All love affairs don't necessarily end in proposals of marriage (and neither should they in a lot of cases), but I'm clearly a romantic at heart although you wouldn't be able to tell that from a distance!
I'm not sure if my other friends who are crafting and beading have experienced this, but there seems to be a virus in the air - I keep getting Facebook feeds and emails from people who want to help me advance my business skills. There is a veritable rash of people blogging/advertising their abilities to coach me into making a load of money, for which I would need to give them an exorbitant amount of cash just to learn things that anyone with the tiniest bit of common sense would know in the first place.
They are like modern day monetary Jehovah's Witnesses, and play on the insecurities of people who are working away with their beads and baubles, and promise a doubling/trebling/quadrupling (depending on which one you read) of income if we would only pay them the paltry sum of a few hundred dollars/pounds a year. There's always the offer of a free lesson, which quickly segues into their marketing ploy and a slew of emails once you've been stupid enough to give them your email id.
Lately I've been craving a bit of a change. I'm looking for an expansion, a growth, a radical change for the better. It’s something all of us need from time to time if we’re to seek to reach our fullest potential.
As wonderful as my life is, one thing I'm ever mindful of is that to have modicum of success, I can’t just rest on my laurels and do the same thing year after year, hoping for better results. After four years of wire and beads, it may be time to play with additional techniques and I've been quietly laying my plans. I shan't say anything more at this stage, but all will be revealed fairly soon. Suffice to say it will involve an explosion of colour and my statements are set to become even more statementy!
Have a lovely weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Dear readers, thanks for stopping by today and thank you all for your birthday wishes last week. It is nice to know that there are people out there reading my scribblings and that so many of you took the time to wish me well.
I was treated to a night at the Shard in London by Mike - the foyer of the hotel is on the 35th floor and our room was on the 46th. We had fabulous views of London, and even went for a swim in what must be the highest infinity pool in Europe on the 52nd floor. Mike forgot his swim gear and we went all the way into Covent Garden across the river to buy him some, as we felt we simply had to experience this. Consequently, we had a late swim and ended up in the pool watching the sun set over London.
We spent a load of time people watching on the Jubilee Walkway by the Thames, and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of interesting looking people with my zoom lens.
Here are some pictures I took -
And some more from The Shard :-
No visit to London is ever complete without a visit to Chinatown, Dim Sum and crispy duck.
And then it was time to come back home, but not before we had lunch with friends at Gino d'Acampos new restaurant in Euston.
I played with polymer clay when I got back home. Bead and Jewellery Magazine have commissioned a tutorial from me that is due in mid April. With the junior doctor's strike looming, as well as other day job distractions, I thought I'd make the piece and send the tutorial in to the editor early.
I've made this one before and the original piece lives in Bangalore now with my friend Sheela. She kindly gave me permission to make another, and to write the tutorial about how it can be made by others. The tutorial will be in issue No 72, but I have a photograph of the finished piece for you here.
The necklace will be sent to the magazine to photograph and I will put it on the website when it gets back to me.
In the meantime Anastasia, the pink rose hair band tutorial I made for the magazine is in next week's issue on the 9th of April and I will have some pictures for you from the magazine.
That's me for this week folks. Thanks once again for all your birthday wishes. Catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello readers, how are you today. I make a point of saying hello each time I start this blog as I only write it weekly - you wouldn't start a conversation with someone without saying hello if you hadn't seen them for a week, would you? I often try to start off without the preface, just for a change and then find that it reads back so awkwardly that I have to go back and edit in the hello paragraph.
Being Easter week, I thought I'd wish those of you who observe it a Happy and Joyous Easter - can't beat Leonard Cohen and Hallelujah to put us in the mood.
This weekend, I finished the number I was making for the front of the house at last. I know I've been talking about it a while now, but it is now done and I am thinking up a way to hang it. We still haven't found the best place for it - I don't want it exposed to strong sunlight which might fade the colours - too much work has gone into making it.
And now, what shall I do with the rest of the butterfly cane?? I predict a lot of butterflies on these pages! Maybe I ought to set myself a challenge - how many different things can I make out of this one butterfly cane without ever making the same article twice - hmmm!
I think I am going to put this one in a frame and hang it inside my porch - the tinted glass will ensure that it doesn't fade, and it will still be visible to people who come to the door.
Ariel was named after the beautiful mystical, serene, angelic face in this pendant. The Archangel Ariel, predominantly in Hebrew writings, is thought to be the angel of nature - she guards nature and trees and punishes humans who harm them. Mystic quartz, chromium diopside and moonstone are the other elements in this pendant, and they are set off beautifully in a multi strand necklace of titanium and gold coated quartz, green fire agate, dyed shell, fluorite and Czech glass.
The quartz needle points in the necklace have been heat treated and coated with titanium and gold vapour, and teamed with green crackle quartz.
A hand made chain gives it versatility with the neckline and a little baroque crystal drips from the end.
That's me for this week folks, I have a birthday this week and Mike is treating me to trip to London and we will stay at the Shangri-la Hotel in the Shard, which is officially the tallest building in Europe. I'll catch you next week with tales of the goings on in London - remember, same time, same place