I have recently begun to scour blogs with tips about photography in the time when I am not working or making jewellery, and found a blog post called " Thirteen Things Your Camera Wishes You Knew" and found out that apparently, I have let my inner chimp roam free - I will have to talk sternly to myself from now on!
I have spent a lot of time wishing I knew more about my camera, sometimes getting a bit annoyed with it because it seems so complicated - I never thought how I might be offending it by my ineptitude.
"Photographers call it “chimping” when someone looks at every shot on the LCD after it is taken. The name comes from people looking at the camera and repeatedly saying “oooh” like a chimpanzee."
This photograph is from Zambio.
This is a limited edition archival print by Kalyani Ganapathy, an extremely talented painter from my home town, Bangalore. Her paintings are filled with whimsy, and they speak to my funny bone - she says, sometimes my work reminds her of her own - obviously a kindred spirit thang going on here! I am the proud possessor of one of her original paintings.
I thought about what happens when gossip becomes vicious, and how rumours are born - and my next piece was conceived right there. I made some triangular flat bangles from polymer clay and added bits of coloured spots in different shapes and sizes on one side, spilling over and through the centre, turning into a completely different coloured spots on the other side - this is how Chinese Whispers work - they are converted into quite something else by the time they spread far and wide - the dark side of a good gossip.
I like the idea of quirky jewellery which is contemporary at the same time - something that makes you smile while making you look good, don't you??
We went to the German Christmas Market in Birmingham over the weekend - unfortunately, there wasn't a single thing that was German in it! Even the sausages were Lincolnshire and Cumberland - the burgers were made from kangaroo, ostrich, reindeer and Aberdeen Angus meat - not really known for hailing from Germany - the whole thing defied the Trade Descriptions Act! But I took some pictures - and here are some for you to look through.....
Meet Coral, the Goth - she is actually a pharmacist who has a degree in Infectious diseases and comes from Mauritius - I saw her in an otherwise empty Jazz club, and was blown away by her pizzazz - I overcame my natural reticence and went in to chat to her - she most obligingly posed for me - and once again, with her friend when they came out of the club. Isn't she fabulous?? - she says she doesn't feel the cold!!
This flower blooms obligingly in the dead of winter, through the snow and frost, and comes back faithfully every year - it grows in shade, so I grow it under my evergreen trees in the shade of my garden fence and I can see it from my bedroom - it is probably the only colour in the garden in winter.
The Saga of the Caprilicious Rose Giveaway
I pulled out some polymer clay and made a bunch of pretty roses in the orange, yellow and red combination on the Caprilicious logo - and then I thought, wouldn't it be nice to give them away as a birthday gift from Caprilicious - so that's what I did - a bit ( a lot) of confusion ensued from this one single light bulb moment - I didn't realise how hard it was to give things away.
I did say at the start that people would have to pay for the postage - just the jewellery was free. One of the ladies took exception to having to pay for postage - and then it ensued that she thought I was asking for payment for the pendant - too late, I had offered it to someone else by then.
Paypal began to play me up and charged people double the amount, so I had to cancel and resend the invoices, one person asked for earrings after they had all gone - but as she is a bit of a favourite, I will make more for her.
I posted news of the giveaway on the jewellery forum I belong to on Facebook, thinking to give something back to the ladies who offer constructive criticism, and stroke and soothe the old ego (stroking is always welcome) when I post my pictures on the forum, but the administrators deleted the post - no giveaways allowed! - PHEW! - it began to look like the proverbial badly organised p**s up in a brewery!
Anyway, all but one lot have been posted out now - I worried that they might be too fragile to go in the post, so had to put in a load of wadding - which in turn made the postage costs go up - remind me please, not to do this again - or to do it with more robust, easily posted items - I ought to think things through rather than acting on a light bulb moment!!
Made of the Mist
Silvery quartz points were interspersed with Czech glass teardrops that seem to glow in the light. One of the points was wrapped with enamelled copper wire and Japanese rectangular glass beads and used as a pendant - I think the silver of the quartz resembles the gray mist - there's something mystical and magical about them - it was as if sorceress had imprisoned the mist and hung it around my neck. The necklace is both delicate and substantial at the same time and deserves a good home...... any takers??
That's all I had time for this week folks. Have a good one, and I will catch you next week, same time, same place
Caprilicious is all of two years old, today -thanks to all of you for your interest and making this such an enjoyable journey. I hope you like reading the blog, looking at my images and going along with my thought processes, scatty as they are, and that Year 3 will be bigger and better for Caprilicious, - with both you and I having fun along the way, I don't see why not.
Mike and I went to the Newmarket bead fair - we spent some time mooching around Cambridge, took a little 'chauffeured punt' on the river Cam, and spent an enjoyable weekend with our friend BN who lives in Cambridge. I have enough gemstone bead stock to last me a long, long time, but I couldn't resist a few beautiful lamp worked glass beads - I know how difficult they are to make, and some of the beads were simply beautiful - it seemed a shame to leave them behind. I don't know what I shall do with them - they don't fit anywhere in my jewellery box - but they were calling out to me, and sad person that I am, I can never resist a call from a pretty thing.
Wire hair combs caught my eye at the bead fair, so the first thing I made when I got back was an embellished hair ornament - I think it will look very pretty of an evening, with an upswept hair do - an anti Rapunzel moment.
Before we set off to Cambridge, my fingers were twitching so hard, I gave them some wire to keep them quiet - sometimes it's almost as if they have a mind/persona of their own, and need to keep busy - Oh well, I suppose that's a harmless enough addiction. These pendants with wire, druzy and semi precious gemstones appeared overnight - simple designs to keep the old fingers happy................
The copper wire used here was coated with a non tarnish 'enamel' and the yellow fire agate bead suits the coppery browns of the wire - a simple, but effective pendant on a co ordinating organza necklace.
Bluish - grey and orange are a great colour combination, and the pendant is very striking. I wired the focal piece with the wire embellished druzy to one side of the frame, leaving a bit of negative space as a counterbalance - this also made the focal stand out from the frame, giving it a three dimensional effect.
The Birthday Necklace
I plan to make a necklace every year to celebrate Caprilicious' birthday - something a bit different - perhaps with an expensive focal - something to set it apart from the rest. Last year I made a necklace with a Ghau box and coral beads - it now lives in India, and by all accounts, it's new owner loves it.
This year, I picked a pendant with ammonite fossils, a Shiva eye and abalone, set in sterling silver as the focal piece. Loads of pearls and an abalone clasp later, it turned into a statement piece, well worthy of being in the category of a birthday necklace.
Pearls are the symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love - pearls were tears of joy that she shed when she was born from sea froth and they translate easily into the symbolism of love and beauty. Aphrodite's followers call her Pearl, or Pearl-of-the-Sea, and she is also known as Venus - who is depicted as being born out of a shell, not as a baby, but a fully grown adult, very naked woman - the epitome of beauty.
And this is the necklace by which I chose to wish Caprilicious a happy birthday in 2013!
When I look back over the last two years, it makes my heart glad - making one-of-a-kind jewellery has led me to all you one- of- a- kind people; and when you reach back out to me, it gives me a warm glow inside - a heady feeling - and it spurs me to want to make more stuff so I can reach more of you.
I have met some fabulous people along the way through Caprilicious - some in person - Maria, Bernadette, Ben amongst others; and some in the virtual world - Lucy, Eilidh, Sravasti, Reshma, Shruthi and Mortira, Linda, Pearl - I would never have 'met' you if not for Caprilicious; people from the polymer clay world - Allison, the Carlton cottage gang - so many of you have made an impact on my life and way of thinking.
The number of people I can reach out to depends on me, and what I make - a friend suggested I should buy in more of my components, or get someone else to make my designs up for me ' if not, it will only ever be a small business/hobby ' he advised - but, no, I think the greatest pleasure is from knowing that most of my pieces come out of my hands - be it from polymer clay, wire or from my kiln - I pick my own beads, and make my own jewellery the way I want - and those of you who like my creations and are kind enough to want to wear them will be friends for life.
So, Happy Birthday Caprilicious, and catch you sweet readers, next week, same time, same place
Hello all, thanks for stopping by the Caprilicious Blog. The temperature is dropping like a stone outside and soon it will be winter. My poor garden is going to suffer, all frozen and laid bare - but we still have a few flowers in the garden - for a few days more, until the frost kills them off. I have tried my best to prolong the season by making a necklace inspired by the last flower left standing in the garden.
The flowers were made with amethyst and green quartz fragments and the necklace lasted all of ten minutes on my pages - I was so pleased it found a home!
The lady who bought it sent me this message - I am so glad she liked it, hope she sends me that picture.
The Pearl Princess
A face set in sterling silver from my stash was combined with luxurious peacock coloured Biwa pearls in this piece. The pendant was sold to me as 'Smithsonite' - I thought it was so pretty and different, I bought it and then went on an expedition to research the stone - sometimes I wish I hadn't - it turns an object of beauty into something so prosaic - Smithsonite is Zinc carbonate - ZnCo3 apparently! - nothing to get excited or to write home about - but yet - so different, and so pretty. It was discovered by and named after Smithson in the early 19th century and occurs as a secondary mineral in the weathering or oxidation zone of zinc-bearing ore deposits. I suppose this is as unromantic as a pearl being an object that came from a grain of sand surrounded by oyster spit! Yet, from such humble beginnings, inexplicably comes this beauty.
This one lasted on my shelves for about twenty four hours!
Smoke on the Water
Spectrolite is black labradorite - According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rocks along the coast of labrador, and then a wandering Eskimo warrior found them and freed most of the lights with a mighty blow of his spear. Some of the lights were still trapped within the stone however making labradorite - one of my favourite stones. The black ones in this necklace are faceted and graduated, with beautiful flashes of blue grey in their depths, the colour of smoke when light shines through it. I teamed them with an electroplated maple leaf and hung a wire cage containing a red jade teardrop on the pendant bail - and here we have Smoke on the Water.................
After being so restrained with my colour choices, I felt the need to splash out a bit. I picked an artisan created pendant from Tibet in my favourite colours of turquoise and coral and matched it with citrine flat beads, coral pillars, and turquoise - a bit more colourful than the last three.
Jewel from the East
A few years ago, we spent time in Copenhagen, at the jazz festival in the Tivoli Gardens. The gardens are lit up at night, and this illumination was the inspiration for what are now known as Tivoli Lights - Mr Ben George from Tustin Ca, had the idea to use up a supply of automotive miniature incandescent lamps he had been selling. He put them inside plastic tubes to create decorative light strings, and The Tivoli Light was born. Tivoli tubes now contain LED lights and have been incorporated into building facades, aisles and steps and one finds them everywhere.
My necklace was inspired by the illuminations at the Tivoli Gardens - the Czech glass dagger beads glow with a blue iridescence, reflecting the colours in the picture above.
And that's a wrap for the week - hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures - do post me a comment, I'd love to hear from you. Take care now, and have a good week, catch you next week, same time, same place
Last weekend was Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, a three day festival which is the start of a new year in India - a lamp is lit to guide the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi, into the house, some more are lit to show Ram, the exiled prince, the way back to his kingdom, and even more, to celebrate the death of a pesky demon - the myth of the triumph of good over evil - the stuff of good Hollywood/Bollywood movies!
My mother phoned me to make sure I had lit the lamp she gave me - so here's proof, mom!
And then in the UK we had Bonfire night, where we celebrate either the execution of Guy Fawkes, or honour his attempts to do away with the government, or exult over the safety of the king/monarchy with a bonfire and fireworks - depending on your take on it.
Whatever the excuse, it is a lovely time of year - the leaves are gold and brown and crunchy underfoot, the air is clean and crisp, and the fireworks scent the air with their own sharp aroma. Time to bring out the warm clothing, sweaters, UGG boots, gloves, scarves - and jewellery needs to be large and bright, and necklaces longer, to go over winter woolies.
To go with the theme of 'lights' i made a pair of wire filigree earrings that I called 'Candelabra' - they are curved gently into the shape of the face to give a three dimensional effect.
If you read my blog last week you will know I was blown away by the stuff I learned at Polydays - I just couldn't believe that I had actually made these complicated designs - so I decided to try them out again, just to convince myself that is was possible, and it was indeed me at Polydays.
These are the pieces I made - not bad for a day spent playing, huh? Pendants and earrings and even a bead rolled off my craft table - I was most excited!
While I was in the mood to play with clay, I made a sheet of coloured clay, graduating from a forest green, to a beautiful dull gold, and I made wafer beads from it. Together with a gold coloured pod shaped bead I made earlier, The Fruit of the Forest necklace materialised in my hands as if by magic.
The tiny seed beads between the wafers make the necklace very flexible and comfortable, ideal for wearing over a cardigan. The depth of the shades of green in the necklace is just splendiferous.
A Touch of Frost
In keeping with the weather, I came up with a winter white necklace of mother of pearl shell fragments, wired on to a torque - the centerpiece being a trio of clear AB coated crystal flowers and one single red rose.
Winter white is a creamy white, richer than the glaring whites of summer, and the mother of pearl casts a beautiful glow upwards onto the wearer's face.
These pictures were taken with my new all singing and dancing Nikon 5100 - isn't it a shame that I cannot sing and dance with it - but soon, real soon, I will get the hang of it and then, watch out, my photographs will sizzle!
The Peach Blossom Pendant
Last week I made this pretty necklace, but I had a few rough quartz needles left over. I used one of them in my next little pendant, which I wound with sterling silver wire. Antiqued and polished, it looks sweet on a silver snake chain. An easy piece to wear of a daytime, for someone who has a quiet statement to make.
Work has been pretty busy, so I haven't had time to do much else. It will soon be two years since I set Caprilicious Jewellery up and we have come a long way together since then, thanks to you all - I am very grateful.
Have a great week, and I will catch you soon, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
Follow me on Pinterest
I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
What's in the Store
Look for them by their names in the search box
Free Mini Tutorials