Hello folks, it's hot outside - and I love it. Statement jewellery has had to be put aside for a short while to extract every ounce of pleasure from the sun while we can get it. We spent a long weekend in Germany, by the Baltic Sea - and anyone would have thought it was the Caribbean, it was so warm.
My friend Margrit loved the little cubist inspired brooch I made for her, as I hoped she would, and found an outfit to wear it with almost immediately. She has a lovely, airy, Scandinavian-style country cottage, and the most beautiful garden, full of the most fabulous and lush flowers, bigger and better than anything I have seen in England.
Equally, the slugs and snails (Schnecke - pronounced shnake as if spoken by Sean Connery) in her garden are bigger and eat more than any English slug I have met - she goes out every night with a torch to catch them in flagrante and drown them in a bucket of soap suds, and the deer (she calls them Bambi - aah! ) come in after she retires indoors for the night and chomp their way through anything the slugs haven't had yet - so it's a running battle to keep the garden going. Margrit needs to be vigilant indeed to keep her garden looking as lush as it does - I love my garden very much, but cannot imagine working quite so hard to keep it.
And the pièce de résistance.................drumroll................
I said to Margrit, I don't need a tan, I'm brown already - and, in an aside, thinking I was being humorous I added 'and, I have no white bits', to which she replied, quick as a flash, 'neither have I' - sure enough, I looked around and there were loads of people in various states of undress, sunning themselves into a 'no white bits' situation.
All except Amelie, Margrit's young granddaughter, who stayed determinedly pale as a little starfish, and was even more overdressed than I was, which is saying something!
So that's all I did all week long, folks, roast myself gently on the sands along the Baltic coast. I had no time to make anything, and I've shown you the reason why.
I trust you are all enjoying the summer too, and I will have something for you next week - I've had a few ideas whilst on my travels.
Catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello good people, here's your weekly dose of statement jewellery from Caprilicious. Once I have posted this, I am off to Hamburg, to visit with a friend and have a few days away by the Baltic in her lovely bungalow by the sea - not that I'm rushing or anything, just saying.....
My muse capriliciously tripped along from one style of jewellery to another, seemingly without a cohesive thought in her head, and I followed, led by the nose - I just do as I am bid and see what transpires (hubby often wonders why I won't follow him in quite the same way).............................
I blame my mother for my lacemania.
She was/is a true lacemaniac, and in my childhood dressed my sister and me in imports from around the globe - she turned up her nose at what was produced in India. Every outfit we had was edged with a hint of lace (imports were expensive, thankfully), and that has left it's mark on us - both of us drool over lace when we see it, but today I would combine it with other elements to detract from the 'girly' effect. Chunky jewellery, leather waistcoats, boho bracelets, trilby hats, slouchy boots, 50's sunnies (not all at the same time, admittedly - the gangsta rap look doesn't suit me either) - these are what I wear 'for badness', a word learned from Gabrielle, an old Irish friend!
I learned this style of wire work from an Indonesian friend - in her country these wire medallions are made into brooches to pin back their headscarves and it takes hours to painstakingly coil fine wire around a thicker wire, and then curve and coil the thicker wire into shape, embellishing it with beads as one goes along, without the use of any tools other than a pair of wire snips - but the final effect is so pretty, it is most definitely a labour of love.
Chantilly lace has been made since the 16th century - handmade in France and Belgium and worn by fashionable ladies in Europe and America - and much loved by brides even today.
If my mother could have laid her hands on Chantilly lace when we were growing up, who knows what damage she would have inflicted on our psyches - todays little hints of 'badness' would have become a deluge, to counteract the Little Miss Muffet-ness of my childhood - Phew!
Whilst I love the colour that polymer clay and beads have brought into my life, it is no secret that wire is my first love.
I make this pendant time and time again - inspired by the work of Nicole Hanna , and I love it. It's asymmetry draws me to this design. The markings on the matte blue agate complement the wire work.
And as I went about my business, pottering about the house and going back and forth to work, my muse caught sight of a polymer clay faux bone medallion I made earlier, meaning to eventually turn it into a tribal piece - she decided the medallion had waited long enough and clicked her fingers -lo and behold, Zanzibar came into being!
A silk, vaguely Chinese looking silk choker was unearthed, my stash raided for colourful wooden beads and Cowrie shells, and they were all put together using waxed linen.
I think the necklace is fun and can be easily worn in summer with T shirts and linens, as well as in winter over jumpers.
I have always wanted to go to Zanzibar which is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, once a Portuguese and then a British protectorate, a Spice Island that sounds warm and exotic - one day perhaps.
Just now, I shall have to make do with the necklace.
The Sarayu is a river that runs through the north of India and is a tributary of the Ganges. The turquoise beads in this necklace carrying the conch shell pendant, and the flow of the necklace, reminded me of a river - I used the 'stare hard at it and call it the first name that jumps into your head' technique. This technique works well when I like a piece of jewellery - Bang, a name jumps up and bites me on the nose - if, however, I don't feel any rapport with it, I could go cross eyed and anoxic from holding my breath and concentrating hard with no results. Needless to say, such pieces end up on the scrap heap.
The pendant is a black and gold disc from Indonesia - one I made earlier was red, black and gold and equally beautiful.
Earlier on in the year I made a pair of earrings I called The Bollywood Barbie Earrings - what I imagined Barbie would wear if she went to Bollywood. In the process of researching this for my blog, I came across Rachel Chitra's blog - she had written a post about the scarcity of dolls in India. We had quite a few virtual conversations, and I thought no more of it. Rachel is an Indian journalist and blogger and sent me this link today - she very kindly wrote a little blog post about Caprilicious Jewellery.
That's me done before my little mini break in Hohwacht. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place same time
P.S - I know more of you read me than you let on - go on, put your heads above the parapet and leave me a comment, show me some love darnit, I deserve it - wouldn't you agree?? - the app might ask for your email id, but don't be frightened - it is just to make sure you are human and not a robot selling snake oil from Outer Mongolia
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
Hello readers - how nice of you to stop by the Caprilicious Blog. We have talked about ways to wear statement jewellery before, and I will not repeat myself here today. This is the third and last in my series of articles about statement jewellery - if you haven't read them, you can find the other two here, and here.
Before we go any further - we know exactly why we want to wear statement jewellery - it's a great time saving device!!
A piece of jewellery, a dash of lippie and a splash of perfume - you will look as if you've taken hours to put your ensemble together rather than the fifteen minutes it will actually take you once you've read this article. And, as an added bonus you will look well groomed and in absolute alignment with your mood.
Tell me this, do you pick out your clothes when you wake up, and then accessorise them with your jewellery - or, like me, do you pick out your jewellery first and then find clothes that go with your choice of accessories??
Is it a Bird?, is it a Christmas Tree? - no, it's Indian Superbride!!!
Simple clothes with unfussy designs and patterns go well with bold, bright and busy jewellery, and it doesn't look over the top.
At night one would use the same mantra, with the proviso that if the clothes are over embellished (coming from the Indian subcontinent, I know about over embellishment, honest) earrings or bracelets are the way to go.
Too much bling, all concentrated in one area - the Christmas tree look - is only permissible if you are attempting to be the Indian super bride on the left - any other occasion, and you will be sorely over dressed and definitely over embellished.
Statement jewellery allows your wardrobe to be simple - if your accessories are spectacular, a wardrobe with a few classic pieces will take you anywhere, looking your best and giving the impression that you have taken a great deal of trouble over your appearance.
So, if you did it the Caprilicious way you would wake up, follow your routine for the morning and then while showering to go out, decide the mood for the day...
Prim and proper - pearls, flowers, lace, and other pretty items would be great to go with this mood.
Bohemian - a leather necklace, or perhaps a pair of chandelier earrings, but not together. If you want to wear more than one of your pieces of jewellery, add a ring or bangles - but once again, not both.
Create a gap between two pieces of jewellery so that the eyes of the onlooker can get some rest - it makes for a better impact.
Wild and in a wicked, fun mood - a tribal necklace with a white tee shirt and baggy trousers or harem pants. This is a look I love, and wear whenever I can. It is a mood elevator, for sure! Unfortunately, my day job precludes my love for the wild and wacky, but I can wear what I like when I go out, and hope that my patients don't care, should they happen to meet me.
The Boss - in monochrome, with simple brightly coloured accents looks businesslike - I can imagine this woman giving me orders - can't you??
Feel like wearing one of those big, brightly coloured cuffs you bought??
All you have to do is find a simple dress, and the cuff can be your statement for the day - what do you think it would say about you??
Want to wear your chandeliers? - keep the neckline simple and they will be shown off to their best advantage. A set of bracelets would be fine with this look - with a very unobtrusive necklace - or even - !Gasp! a bare neckline!
Less is More
The word "simple" has recurred a few times in this blog post - because that's the key to wearing statement jewellery without looking like Ms Indian Superbride/ Christmas tree.
Overdoing the number of statement pieces, or forgetting the look you were originally trying to achieve will cause a jangling of nerves in the poor folks who have to look at you.
If their eyes are constantly moving from your face to your chandelier earrings, and your necklace to your arms as you move them around in gay abandon, all jangling bracelets and big smile - the poor saps are going to be dizzy with all that eye movement, and it is highly unlikely that you will make a good impression.
Add Just the one Crazy Touch - for Badness
This is my leather spike bracelet - I found it in a little shop somewhere on my travels - I very often add this to my ensemble. I especially like to wear it with the prim and proper look - to shift the mood from girly, to slightly wicked - and it often gets mentioned more than anything else I wear, mainly because it appeals to the naughty side of the women who notice it. Have a look at some more ideas on How to Wear Statement Necklaces on Pinterest.
So here we have it - the Caprilicious way to wear statement jewellery - accessorise your accessories with your clothes rather than the other way around - don't do the way every one else does - be different - try it out and you will see that it makes sense.
Dress to take on the world, not just to get by - look like you've tried -people do notice - and you will feel, and look fabulous for the tiniest bit of effort.
Tip for the Day
Keep your jewellery visible and stored so you don't have to spend hours untangling chains, finding the lost one of a pair of earrings - a little bit of effort honing your organisational skills will allow you to pick the right accessory when you want it in the time frame that you have - we have but fifteen minutes to put the most fabulously coordinated look together, right??
Thanks, readers for stopping by - this is an extra post and it will appear on a friends' blog as a guest post a bit later on in the year. I will catch you on Friday as usual with the pieces I made this week.
Have a nice day - it is lovely and sunny outside, I hope the sun is shining on all of you too