Hello folks, thanks for joining me again. I've had so much to do this last week putting the final touches to the Lagenlook line of jewellery, photographing them and editing the pictures ready for the website. Jackie, who is a midwife at the hospital, came round after a morning at work, with her Lagenlook outfits and a tube of red lipstick, and I posed her in my garden. The sun came out obligingly to light up the proceedings and we had a fun afternoon. I took more pictures of the necklaces when she left and ended up with over a hundred pictures to crop and edit. So, here they are in glorious technicolour.
I wanted to show the jewellery off on a live model and Jackie certainly looks stunning - I don't think she realised how nice the pictures would be, she thought I was flattering her in order to gain her services as my model.
I hope you like the collection - I've used a load of jewellery making techniques in these pieces. I've had a little boutique in London show interest in some of these pieces and we are discussing terms as I type. I like the more outlandish pieces - Worn to be WIld, and the Chinese Coin are my favourites in this collection and I'm sure they will be enjoyed by some discerning woman when they find their forever home.
I made a pair of earrings using little ceramic ghouls from Peru - crowned with flowers a la Kahlo, these ghouls ended up looking cuter than any self respecting spectre would like, but I think they're fabulous. They have little baleful eyes, glazed in a shiny yellow - or perhaps they only look unfriendly because they are annoyed by the crown of flowers that spoil the mean look they like best! They look absolutely pi***d off and totally cute.
That's as much as I have time for folks. I have already started to put together a Christmas line, just now it's mostly in my head but will soon be a reality. I am going to a Christmas market at the beginning of December at The Custard Factory in Birmingham - this one is run by a collective of people who have shops on Etsy, living in and around Birmingham. We have a photoshoot for the market next weekend and I will meet the others then, very exciting!
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, nice to see you again today. I am in sunny Bristol as you read this, at a NHS conference surrounded by midwives and obstetricians. It has been three days and I will soon be back home with hubby and the cat who are waiting patiently for me.
On Sunday, I shall reveal the new collection for Autumn - showy necklaces that can be worn over winter clothes and sweaters - the Caprilicious Line of Lagenlook jewellery.
I've been hard at work putting this small collection together and as I've made most of the elements myself, I've really enjoyed assembling them. I decided to ask one of the midwives who works in the unit to model them for me and she was happy to oblige. She came by on Tuesday after work, with a bag of her linen dresses and patiently changed outfits and jewellery while I clicked away. She looks fabulous, don't you think??
So, 'what's different about this range?', I hear you ask. Well, for one thing, the pieces are meant to wear with winter gear, although they can of course be worn all year round - in the throes of winter, I usually bundle up in warm sweaters and loads of layers. These can be quite heavy and the last thing I would want is a weighty necklace to make matters worse. Winters are drab and depressing, what with the rain and snow, mist and fog, dry skin, runny noses and frozen extremities. To make matters worse, the clothes are usually dark and monochrome, so the injection of a bit of colour into the proceedings never goes amiss. I always like to wear a vibrant piece of jewellery to brighten up my day and give my outfit a bit of ZING!
So here's a sneak peek at a couple of necklaces I made for the Lagenlook line - the rest will be on show on the website and Facebook page on Sunday the 24th.
In the meantime, I shall leave you with the only necklace I made that does not belong in the Lagenlook Collection. The beautiful agate slab nuggets were sent to me by a friend in a bead swap and I couldn't resist putting them in a necklace. I guess it will have to be worn when warm swaddling isn't a necessity.
The pendant is a work of art with a mosaic of abalone, black lip oyster mother of pearl, and a Siva Eye at the centre. There are some very lustrous beads, pearls, blue agate, blue silvered glass beads, and loads of seed beads along with the beautiful black and translucent agate slab nuggets. I love interesting shaped beads and these are a delight to look at and to touch.
Do come and visit the website on Sunday when the Lagenlook line will be up and running on it's own page.
Have a great week and I'll catch you mext Friday, same time, same place,
Hello folks, how are you today? The air is getting distinctly nippy and although fortunately it isn't hurricane season in the UK, we've had our first named storm this week - Aileen has brought winds of 75mph to the UK. The leaves are still green on the trees around us, but not for long. The garden is looking a bit bedraggled and loads of flowers need deadheading, but I haven't had the time.
As the nights get longer and the days decidedly cooler, necklines creep upwards towards the chin and sleeves grow longer. It isn't cold enough for swaddling oneself in coats and scarves but necklaces close to the neck aren't as effective any more. I've been working on a new line of jewellery for a little boutique in Birmingham and while I made these, I made a few for Caprilicious.
Lagenlook - What is it?
The necklaces, we have established, need to be designed so that they can be worn with high necklines and sweaters. I love Lagenlook clothes, and spring and autumn are when they really come into their own. I've always dressed this way, in loose and flowing garments, with waistcoats, and asymmetrical hemlines and was amazed to discover that this style actually has a name! Lagenlook - or the layered look. It refers to a fashion movement that started in Japan and Europe around 3 decades ago. It has developed a strong niche in Europe and the UK but is only slowly starting to infiltrate Australia and the USA.
Of course, working as a NHS consultant in an ultra conservative country, my daytime look has to be toned down somewhat, but, given the chance, I love my harem pants from Indonesia, loose, long shirts, waistcoats, and colourful shoes that I buy in India - they are called 'Joothis' and are made of embroidered leather and originate in Rajasthan.
Having spent half my life attempting to conform with my peers, it was a lightbulb moment when I realised that I would never truly blend in; neither in the East, nor in the West and that I should be my own person. That one flash of insight has injected so much colour and fun into my life. My imagination has truly taken flight and I don't feel the need to squeeze my feet into prissy little kitten heels and my body into Chanel suits - I feel so much better for that!
So then, these new pieces of jewellery are designed for quirky people, bohemian souls and people who celebrate the word 'different'. Ladies who like 'normal' may not like these, but there are plenty of other pieces on the website that would appeal to them. I've asked one of our senior midwives to come over to model these pieces for the website - Jackie is also a lover of Lagenlook, and is a very striking woman. I asked her if she would like to model for Caprilicious, and she said yes straight away. I have a day off on the Tuesday next week and she's coming in after work to wear the pieces for me. I shall have my nose to the grindstone all weekend, putting the finishing touches to the necklaces.
Ok, I know what you're thinking - 'where's this jewellery then, what's this hype all about? It's not like her, she's usually showing us pictures of her jewellery from every conceivable angle'. I have to say, I haven't any pictures, mainly because most of the pieces are half finished, some of them need to go back in the oven, others need embellishing, and still others are in my head and will be made over the weekend. However, here's one picture I took of a half finished necklace - I took it to show a friend who wanted to know what I was working on.
Why do these necklaces take so long to make? - the bottom piece has an insert of fold formed copper embedded into it - after it was fold formed and annealed it was textured with dimpling pliers, and a couple of sterling silver balls soldered to it. A patina and shine with steel wool completed the preparation of the copper which was embedded in black clay. Another piece was crafted resembling a shard of wood, and a third resembling bone. The necklet was made to look like faux bone, all of them were patinated and buffed, and a way to connect the four pieces devised. I then used waxed linen thread in macrame knots to provide the fringe. Oh, I forgot the pieces of copper wire that I cut up and balled the ends in a flame. This piece is the most outrageous piece in the collection, in comparison the others are very tame, including the ones still in my head. And the fun of it all is that I have used every jewellery making skill I have learned over the years, except metal clay.
And I'm afraid that's it, that's all I have for you this week. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you this week? I've been a busy little bee, flitting from flower to flower, making one thing and another and am so pleased that my efforts have been rewarded. I had a number of half finished projects in a box waiting patiently for the last touches that would make them truly beautiful (hopefully) in my eyes and I set out to finish them off. Our suitcases finally arrived, three days after we did, so while I waited there was no unpacking to do and acres of time to fill and I decided to use it productively.
I wove a torque necklace before I went on holiday and it was the first candidate I picked for a makeover. I had some copper flowers in my stash that I had rediscovered after a couple of years - Oh, that reminds me I haven't shown you the earrings I made with the flowers, either. Anyway, I used the rest of these flowers in the torque necklace, and tucked a few large crystal beads under them so that they flash with movement. I wasn't prepared for the love this necklace received when I put it on Facebook though, and that it sold within the week.
Here are the earrings I made with the other flowers - I soldered them to copper backings that had been fold formed or texturised, and then patinated them with verdigris and red oxide patinas, sealed the patinas and hung the earrings on contemporary silver earwires.
I've always found copper a rather masculine metal and have made attempts to feminise it by the addition of flowers, pearls and silver - I think it works well in a modernistic bohemian sort of way. Would you agree??
I had a conversation with one of my returning customers from the USA. She has a bubbly personality and likes her jewellery to reflect that. She said she'd love to have a piece of jewellery created just for her- she wanted me to use carnelian beads and I suggested a turquoise focal to go with it. She asked me to make her 'something using carnelian beads and a pendant that is fun, not staid and boring' and I spent about five days painstakingly stitching around a turquoise blue howlite bead until I was satisfied that it was sufficiently 'fun' enough to satisfy the lady. I then unearthed a strand of carnelian petal beads that I'd been hoarding and strung the pendant.
There's always a moment of anxiety before the reveal - will she like it, will she find it fun enough? I put it out on Facebook and people said how nice it was. However, it had been created especially for one person and if she hated it, I would have been gutted. I needn't have worried. I WhatsApped her a picture and her excitement was palpable. Here's what she said. "I saw it. OMG Thank YOU!!!! 😍Love the vibrancy of the colors. Definitely a smile-from-within piece!! Absolutely!! Not boring at all. Says - fun, vibrant, mischievous, bold, daring, sparkly and indomitable".
So she liked it then, that was reassuring!
This piece took so much time and effort that her words were music to my ears and I sank into a relaxed, happy stupor. I went back to the day job and as usual September is manically busy from all the Christmas conceived babies.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, how are you? I am writing to you from sunny Nice, the sun is shining here and all is well in this part of the world. We were here a couple of years ago, and I wrote about it then - you will find that post here, if you fancy a quick recap.
My lovely nephew just qualified as a dentist and this trip is a little treat from his aunt and uncle for having kept his nose to the grindstone for so many years. We are at Le Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais and have had a really fun time for the last few days. It will soon be time to return home, we go back to the UK in a couple of days, and he goes back to India with his mother, in time to start his first post as an intern.
We took a trip to Monte Carlo, and went to the Casino - fortunately, we got there at around midday, and were allowed to take photographs as the gambling only starts at 2pm after which photography is not allowed. I am not a gambler at heart, and that was fine by me, although I think the other members of the party would have been happy to chuck a few pennies at the tables - after all, the House always wins! I enjoyed the ambience, and took loads of photographs. One needs photo id and to pay 17Euros to be allowed in and once I'd paid up, I wandered around, clicking away happily.
We did all the usual things, walking into the old town, wandering the antique market, a drive to Eze, the little village outside Nice perched on a hillside, and walked miles and miles around the Côte d'Azur. I know I shall need another holiday to recover from this one and have taken the precaution of booking a couple of extra days off work when I get home.
I took some of my unisex jewellery out to Nice and got my nephew to model the pieces for me - I always think a live model is best, but unfortunately cannot always find one to wear my jewellery when I require it. I even tried it out in black and white - which ones do you prefer?
Have a lovely week, folks, I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.