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 good people, I hope the sun is shining on you wherever you are.
The countdown to the Handmade Fair begins and I am busy sorting out my display and props so that I can make a creditable attempt to reproduce a boutique look in my tiny space of 1.5 x 2 metres. I have been looking at ideas and picking the best jewellery to make the highest impact.
I have had to resist the impulse to put everything out on the table and create a jumble sale effect, or wear everything I've got like the sunglasses salesman in the photograph which I took at a tourist spot in Mysore, India.
The tiny shops in India are crammed with goods, with everything from fly - swats to flowers, and follow the rule - 'stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap'.
I, on the other hand need to strive for a degree of sophistication, and the mantra 'less is more' plays on in my mind over and over.
We drove up to Ragley Hall on Sunday just to make sure we find it easily on the day and are not struggling with Sat - Nav's on top of everything else. The pile certainly is imposing - sitting on top of a small hill, with gently rolling greenery surrounding it and a drive through some very pretty, very ancient English villages.
I've got a few days off over the weekend and next week and plan to put the final touches to the pieces I have selected and tag them with prices and pack them up ready to transport. In the meantime, I busied myself with wire and produced a couple of little pendants. It brought back to me how much I love wire and have missed it. Both pendants are inspired by the designs of the most generous Nicole Hanna, with a twist in the design introduced by me.
I embroidered and soutached (is that a word??) around carnelian flowers and stitched them onto a leather strip to make a cuff bracelet held up by an aluminium core.
A couple of necklaces and I was done for the week.
And now I have to go and lie down, having caused myself to become so anxious I'm practically hyperventilating!! The thought of the Fair being so close I can almost smell it is a bit scary. I was so calm earlier on, I don't quite know what's happened to me, all this hand wringing angst is not really my style.
I shall speak to you next weekend, same time, same place - until then, have a fabulous week, see you soon
Hello good folk, thanks for coming back for a quick sqiz at the goings on at Caprilicious. As always, I am glad to see you. It is very cold outside but as warm as a piece of pie indoors at chez Shilvock, as the heating is turned on full blast.
Instead of finding something to do indoors, Ms Muse is hankering after designs that use soldering and fire power, which is really irritating as all those bits and bobs are out in the freezing cold conservatory. (I keep them outside as I am a bit anxious about burning down the house) Damn the woman, contrary as she is, she has had a few good ideas recently and although I have resisted them this far I know that I will be out there in the cold pretty soon.
I ran Caprilicious' annual birthday giveaway on Facebook and Instagram and Collette Debra Knight was the winner when I picked a number from the random number generator. Congratulations Collette, and I hope you love the pendant.
With my fingers needing a bit of exercise, I wove a copper bracelet with an ammonite and a couple of turquoise beads as accents. I love copper with a non tarnish finish. The wire is coated with a thin nylon film to prevent contact with air, is fabulous to weave with, and as a bonus, doesn't turn the wearers arm green. However, the weave doesn't show up as well as with bare copper oxidised with Suphur and one cannot use pliers or other tools - the nylon film is easily marred and looks raggedy. Six of one and half a dozen of the other - that's life!
Anyone who has been on holiday in the Seychelles will recognise both the imagery and the reason for the name of this necklace. A symphony in blues and greens, the slab nuggets of agate are reminiscent of the waters around the beautiful island paradise. I saw some beautiful butterflies while I was there and so added a slice of butterfly cane, dangling from the back of the necklace. Each slab nugget has unique and interesting markings - they have a waxy, smooth feel and a luxurious look.
Well, thanks for spending some time with me and taking a look at what I've been cooking up here at Caprilicious. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, it is nice to catch up with you again. The week just gone by has been filled with frustration - two steps forward and one step back in a bizarre dance. I blame the house gremlin who has been making mischief again! It has pinched my beautiful micro gouges that I used to carve metal clay with the last time I made a bronze clay clasp. Of course I only found that out after I had started on another piece and had it all ready to carve into. I spent hours looking for the gouges, and then gave up in disgust. The tools are expensive but I had no alternative but to go out and order another set.
Then, I decided to make a necklace with a set of blue agate hand carved leaves I brought back from a trip to India, only to find that I couldn't lay my hands on the very beads I wanted. I knew that I had put them carefully to one side only a few weeks ago. Hmm!
At least my craft supplies got tidied away and the house cleaned as I turned it upside down looking for these two items, and was eventually rewarded by the appearance of the leaves in a package of other blue beads - I still maintain that it wasn't me who put them there! The gouges remain lost.
An Attempt at Alchemy
And then, there was the failed attempt to make bismuth crystals. In my enthusiasm to make handmade with handmade, which is the Caprilicious motto as far as I can take it, I decided to try and make bismuth crystals myself so that I could wire wrap them. Everybody on You Tube seemed to be doing it, and it seemed like such an easy process. Having watched loads of videos on the technique, I found a source for 100 gms of the raw bismuth and was most excited when the lump arrived in the post. Of course the videos are not precise and do not tell one exactly how much to buy and I had no idea how heavy the metal was or how big a chunk I was likely to get. I pinched my husband's aluminium egg poacher, put my glasses on for safety and asked him to stay home while I played with molten metal - just in case of problems.
While I turned the house over obsessively looking for my agate beads and gouges, Diwali arrived, as did Halloween. I found a couple of ceramic ghouls, which the house gremlin had hidden from me for about an year and decided to use them in a pair of Spooktacular earrings before they were misappropriated again.
I also found little handmade glass chillies that I had intended to make into earrings for Diwali. The chilli peppers came from one of my intermittent internet trawls for unusual components. They reminded me of the strings of chillies and lemons that people hang in their doorways in India and I searched online for glass lemon beads which were eventually sourced on Etsy all the way from Riga, in Latvia.
It turns out that the lemon/chilli string is meant to keep away Ahalakshmi who is the sister of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. This ugly sister unfortunately comes to the party bringing poverty and misery with her, unlike her nicer sibling, and she is most unwelcome. To keep her out of the house, before she can walk in and settle down on the couch, they serve up her favourite sour and hot food right at the door, so that she gets her fill and leaves without needing to come indoors - hmm, there's a thought!
Of course the little glass chillies also look like the strings of fire crackers we used to play with as children - I'm not sure how we survived to tell the tale as Health and Safety was not something that was at the forefront of our minds.
Mr Gremlin relents - Autumn Bliss
I found them - Oh, was I pleased! I had this necklace in my mind and when I couldn't find the leaves I simply couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make - a sort of creative constipation. My brain stubbornly clung to this one idea, even though I tried to coax it into thinking I shouldn't waste time searching for the leaves and I'd find them on another occasion, probably while I was looking for something else. I had already picked out the buttery yellow, waxy jasper needles and little frosted handmade glass beads to match and I think they look great together. Neither colour is bright, but together, they Zing! I saw some outfits that they would go perfectly with - what do you think?? I like my jewellery to contrast with, rather than match my clothes, but that's just me.
That's it for this week folks. I'm glad the weekend is here and I hope that the gremlin goes to sleep for a while. I can't be doing anymore with a hunt for stuff that I know I have put away safely and cannot lay my hands on when I need them.
Talking about hidden treasure, have you been one of those taking part in the Treasure Hunt? If not, do make your way to the 'Treasury of Statement Necklaces' and look for the code on one of the pages which will entitle you to a 15% discount. The Treasure Hunt is on till the 14th of November.
The code is on a copy of this picture, and all you have to do is go and find it.
Catch you next week, same time, same place,
Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog this week. I've been getting ready for my second exhibition at Raintree in Bangalore, India - the invitation cards were designed by my friend Neelam Madden of Look- in- the-Bag - consummate artist that she is, she designed three of them for me and they are all so nice that I cannot make up my mind which one I want to use - perhaps you, my very kind readers will point me in the right direction. These are the three invitations - do drop me a line and tell me which one you like best - I will use the one with the most votes between the blog and the Caprilicious Facebook page.
If any of you are in Bangalore at the time, do be sure to save the date and I hope to see you there.
This week, I went back to my old routine of playing with wire and polymer clay. Rummaging around in my little hoard of cabochons, I found four pieces that I was inspired to turn into pendants with a wire surround.
A piece of carved black jade was set into a wire and seed bead surround and hung on a necklace made of citrine nuggets. Mystical good luck symbols and phoenixes (yes, that is the correct plural form for phoenix - it must be correct, Google says so) are carved into the stone and I called the piece Shangri-La, after that famous utopian land in James Hilton's book Lost Horizon. The people from this land live in a state of permanent happiness and are immortal - I'm not sure if being permanently happy is a good thing - you wouldn't even know how lucky you are to be so happy if you haven't known the other, and that is most unfortunate. La La land might not be so much fun after all!
Tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert originating in the area of Venice in the Sixties. The stripes in this coffee agate pendant bead reminded me of the stripes in this dessert. The pendant was surrounded by wire and seed beads electroplated with copper.
The red quartz beads in the necklace are very pretty and glow gently in the light - I hope my photographs have been able to capture their beauty.
Sylvanus was the ancient Roman God of the Woods - protector of forests, plant life and fields. The pendant in this piece is made from a piece of petrified wood and this name seemed apt. The petrified wood fossil is set in a wood jasper surround in a composite or Intarsia stone. I wound yards of wire around it to make a pendant loosely inspired by Nicole Hanna, which I hung on a necklace of blue howlite beads.
Petrified wood is a fossil. It forms when plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay by oxygen and organisms. Then, ground water rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or other inorganic material such as opal. The result is a fossil of the original woody material that often exhibits preserved details of the bark, wood and cellular structures.
This sumptuously enamelled pendant came from Jaipur in India - it is heavily gold leafed and enamelled, and studded with CZ's in Meenakari work- this form of enamelling came originally from Iran to India probably via the Mughals, and was originally meant to decorate the back of heavy gold jewellery, which was studded with uncut diamonds.
I let the beauty of the pendant do the talking and put together a multi strand necklace of shiny seed beads and gold crystals - the number of strands was determined by how many I could get past the pendant bail. Stringing seed beads is not my favourite occupation, I can tell you - and by the time I had finished, there were more on the floor than in my necklace. The kittens were having a fine old time. They jumped to attention each time one clattered to the wooden floor and tried to help me pick it up. This meant I had to stop work and find the bead before they did - they were only trying to be helpful, of course they were!
These beads are made from inspiration and help from a number of people - Layl McDill's face cane, extruder canes from Marie Segal's blog, and Barbara McGuires face beads among others. I used my cane slicer and have to say it really does work, although it's engineering is a little bit clumsy.
The pendants are meant to be Christmas presents for my juniors, and as they don't read this blog, and I know you won't tell, I can share the making of these with you. There are ten lentil beads to go with them to finish off the necklaces that will go out to the ten young ladies who work so hard, they deserve a little treat come Christmas time.
Here are the beads in the process of being made, starting with the face cane, going clockwise. I will show you the necklaces when they are finally finished later on in the month.
Unfortunately the fourth pendant I was attempting to make was an abject failure. It is a fossil coral, in a very pretty salmon pink and grey, and I meant to team it with spectrolite beads - I can see the necklace in my minds eye even now, but alas it is not to be.
I spent a whole evening weaving a cage for the stone, and then I hated it - I cut it up before I could justify it's existence to myself - 'it took ages to make, it's not so bad, actually it's quite pretty'- you know the kind of thing. I went to bed, quite disgusted, and tried again the next day - that wasn't any good either, and went the same way as the first - straight into the bin. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
At this stage, a bit dispirited, I decided to call it a day for the week. Thank you so very much for stopping by and do leave me your thoughts about the invitation for the exhibition - have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by the Friday account of this weeks statement jewellery from Caprilicious. I attended a school reunion this week and ended up making little pieces of jewellery, as I was pushed for time.
I do not like to lay a piece of wire work down overnight - the wire seems to 'set' into shape and is difficult to manipulate again when it is next picked up. This is because of a phenomenon called work hardening. For those of you who are interested, this is how it happens.....
the lattice of crystals within the wire has a regular, nearly defect free pattern. As it is manipulated, dislocations occur in the crystalline structure and tiny micro-fractures appear from the stress, which in turn hold the wire in the shape into which it is bent - this property is utilised when making jewellery, but if over manipulated, the wire is in danger of snapping. When left overnight, the micro crystalline wire structure settles into it's new pattern and is stiff and hard to manipulate - there you are, a bit of science for you!
Inspired by the flowers in my garden and the yellow jade hand carved flowers I had been hoarding so carefully, this necklace is bright and pretty.
I had been wondering how to attach the flowers, and still show off their hand carved beauty to its best effect, and then I had an Eureka moment - of course! wire is the answer to any problem (well almost) - I should have known that! I wired the flowers onto the necklace of purple agate - and Voila!
I love these stars - they are dyed mother of pearl, and very light and pretty - but it is ever so hard to string them right. They have to be pieced together almost like a jigsaw puzzle if they are to lie flat - they had to be redone so many times, the air above them started to turn blue - but I would not be defeated - on I plodded, muttering and swearing under my breath, restringing them again and again, until I had the effect I wanted. I'll bet you cannot tell from looking at it how much work went into the dratted thing.
I made the clasp from a design by Nicole Hanna many moons ago, and had not yet found somewhere to use it - why not just use it in the bracelet where it was meant to go? - sure, but wouldn't that be too easy?? - this debate kept going around in my head, until I finally gave in and made the bracelet. Once I'd done that, I made another - the design is so pretty, I want to make loads of them in all different sizes and colours.
I found these lampwork beads at the Newmarket bead fair last year - they have been crying out to be used, and eventually got their turn to be transformed into earrings. They have these pretty spots on a white background, like little raindrops.
Indian Feathers Earrings
This is a design by Iza Malcyzk - I've had it for a long time, but hadn't tried it out - she gave it it's title and said it was an ethnic design - I think she means the North American Indian, I've never seen feathers like these in India! They didn't last too long on my shelf - they flew away to their new home in under ten minutes!
That's all for this week folks. Next week, I have decided to put together a necklace inspired by the 'shirt necklace' worn by Isabella Rossellini in the film Death Become Her. I've never seen anyone so beautiful and charismatic and the scene where she climbs out of the water, wearing only this necklace will stay with me a long time. I have been slowly collecting the beads and baubles required to make the Caprilicious version, and all I shall say now is that it will eventually go to one very special and lucky lady.
And now I'm off to a Statutory and Mandatory all day course at the hospital, where I shall learn some riveting facts about Manual Handling (my answer is to call a porter) and Health and Safety, Fire and other interesting stuff that I would never have known about if they hadn't made it mandatory for us to attend the lecture on an annual basis.
Have a lovely weekend, and I will be here next week, same time, same place
Welcome, readers, to the Friday Caprilicious Blog, where I diarise my romance with statement jewellery. To me, it is not enough to make jewellery - that would make me merely a technician - I want to design, make as many of the components as I can myself, weave a story around the finished piece, and produce a degree of romance, which engulfs the wearer of jewellery by Caprilicious. I know that some people conceptualise their jewellery and send their drawings away to artisans to have them made up - but oh no, that's not for me, I like to do all the making myself.
Romance is at the essence of every piece of my jewellery, be it from me falling in love with the stone or beads, and telling you a tale to make you love it enough to want it, or even each time you pick it up out of the box with a smile on your face and wear it to embellish your beautiful self.
Rose tinted spectacles?? Yes, my muse has them on this week - I have been reading By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart - I read a review on the dust jacket that said the book was like Madame Bovary on speed - I felt like I was walking through a thick fog, my feet mired in the swampy syrup of love - this is not me at my most pragmatic, normal self, and I am sure the effects will wear off by next week. Why was I reading the book?? I've no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
But, while I felt this way, my muse has been infected by the virus of romance and these are the results ..................
"Kashmiri Song" is a song by Amy Woodforde-Finden based on a poem by Laurence Hope.
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
and it ends, all romantically morbid, and lovesick ( I assume this chap is still talking to the 'Pale Hands')..........................
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
This was a poem/song written in 1901, and you can just imagine the gentleman pining for his lover, who by all accounts seems to be a bit of a goer - leading men down 'Raptures roadway' before discarding them and moving on quickly to her next victim. This necklace, named after the Shalimar gardens, built in Kashmir by the Mughal emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, was made for such a mood - romantic and seductive, worn at night to bring a glow to the complexion.
The mother of pearl pendants and little amethyst nuggets complement each other and convey romantic wistfulness to the observer.
For some reason, my muse has decided to go festive this week - perhaps she senses the 'C' word - yes, there are only 103 days left........bring on party time!! Opalite beads glowing gently are teamed up with clear crystal, coated with an Aurora Borealis sheen to make another pretty and romantic necklace.
I recently picked up some beautiful agate cabochons - the depth of colour in these stones is amazing - they are a deep purple, with veins of orange and blue, and I fell in love with them instantly. I wrapped each one in miles of copper wire, two of them went on organza ribbons, and the other two into necklaces. Although all four of the stones are cut from the same rock, I gave each of them their own treatment, taking into consideration their shapes and the pattern on their faces. Handmade lampwork beads in a deep shade of crimson complemented the colour of the stones.
At this point, I decided that I had had an overdose of romance - so I put my foot down with a firm hand and gently led my muse away, before she made a complete fool of herself, the soppy thing!
My little kittens are very keen to help in my jewellery making - they especially love wire, and their teeth are so sharp, I could probably use them as wire snips if I ever ran out, provided I could train the cats to cut the wire where I needed them to. They also have a very short attention span and fall asleep on my bead tray while I am working, so it is a wonder that I have actually produced anything at all.
The Promise of Autumn
The lampwork beads in this pendant are handmade and came from a stall at the Newmarket Bead fair - I went there last year with my friend BN and found these really pretty handmade beads. The beads are in a pretty green, with a stripe of red/orange and yellow running through the centre. The design is by Nicole Hanna and meant for earrings, but I felt that the piece was too heavy for earrings so converted it into a pendant.
Heavy Earrings and how to Wear Them
This is for people who feel they cannot wear earrings because their earlobes are too fragile, or torn from many years of ear lobe abuse - yes, there are many of us around, missing out on the old danglers - well, now, here's help - there is a product called Lobe Repair - a tiny skin coloured adhesive patch you put on the back of the ear lobe and pierce with the stalk of your earrings or ear wires. I have tried it and it does work, provided you do not wear the earrings for too long - just enough to party for a few hours, perhaps. They aren't very expensive and are invisible, if anyone wants to give them a go. I have ordered some and if anyone wants a few to try, do let me know.
This is along the same principles as the Indian chains used to hold a heavy earring up into the hair or even around the ear. These perform a dual function in being ornamental as well as suspensory, but obviously cannot be used with contemporary styles or ear wires.
So, there you are, Cinderella shall go to the ball in her beautiful danglers!
That's all I have for you this week, catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, how nice of you to drop by - autumn will soon be here and the colours of my new statement jewellery collection are reflecting this. No, they are not brown and grey - they are bigger and brighter than ever, to zhush up the autumnal hues of rust, must and dust that most dress designers pick as being suitable for us during this season.
I will let you in on an open secret - I am a very shy person - and when I tell people this, they laugh at me disbelievingly. I am even intimidated by hairdressers because I cannot relate to them, and small talk with a stranger is a no go area for me - I usually come out looking like someone else's mop - they seem to have a pack instinct when they see me coming - there's no 'Hello moddom, would you like a coffee?' - it's all snip, snip, snip - and when they've finished, they make me look like the person they perceive - a raggedy Orphan Annie type on a bad hair day - and that's cos she's exactly who they see when I slink in, looking apologetic for breathing the same air!
At the age of - well, older than many of you - I am now qualified to tell you how I overcame this using my passion for jewellery, and perhaps you will find you can do it too.
1) Spark A Conversation - Effortlessly
This is where Caprilicious comes in - wear one of your pieces of statement jewellery and you will find people coming up to you and complimenting you on what you are wearing. It doesn't have to be a massive piece of jewellery and you don't have to be blinged up to the eyeballs.
Take Glamour Puss - one of the pieces I made this week - all it is is a piece of pink and black agate - but it is presented on a pink stainless steel torque, wire wrapped, with an extremely shiny Swarovski crystal square wrapped onto it - a definite conversational opening gambit if ever there was one.
Obviously, no one can guarantee that people are going to walk up to you - you may have to do the walking - find someone in a nice ensemble and tell them you like it - instant spark! they will compliment you back ( people love a compliment and usually reciprocate - I'm sure you've noticed that) and Bob's your uncle!
2) Have Something to Say Prepared
When someone compliments your jewellery, don't just mumble your thanks or go the 'this old thing??....' routine- smile widely, tell them a little story about it - perhaps even how clever you were to find it - if it's a piece by Caprilicious and you have read the blog, there's a backstory all ready for you to tell.
At Caprilicious, I attempt to make jewellery that is interesting and different - I have the occasional daytime, everyday piece - but even that is usually different from the norm - you have plenty to talk about.
These little lampwork beads were turned into daytime earrings, but they are so pretty, I'm sure you will be noticed when you wear them. I turned the leftover beads into bracelets with braided leather, so you can have a whole ensemble if you want one.
They are made to resemble the spinning top I had as a child - I was only allowed to play with it if I promised to be very, very careful (?), and eventually it was used by both my siblings, probably with the same proviso, and in turn, by their children. It still exists in my mother's cupboard - waiting for her great grandchildren, I guess! Unfortunately, their toys of choice are likely to be an internet enabled mobile phone, so mum has wasted her efforts to save what has now become an antique heirloom - perhaps it will be worth something one of these days.
3) Ms. Attention - To - Detail
Be Little Miss Attention-To-Detail - wear the right piece for your neckline, to coordinate with your outfit - and if you are in Caprilicious Woman mode, dare to wear jewellery in a completely contrasting colour to your outfit - after all, an orange necklace with the outfit in the picture would be drowned out by the colour of the vest - the blue necklace is definitely the better fit.
4) Get Up Close and Personal
Once you have complimented someone about their jewellery, and received one in return, you have chatted about your sources for said jewellery and smiled at each other, you are fast becoming friends - after all you have found something in common - your love for pretty jewellery!
Introduce her to someone you know, she reciprocates - and before you know it, you have a networking session going on right there, under your very shy nose - did you know that was going to happen?? I did! There are a few more tips on Reggie Darling's fabulous blog - Reggie's Advice For the Tongue-Tied Guest at Table Amongst Strangers, and I recommend this post to you. And of course, you must never get so carried away by your success by turning into a Conversation Hog! Click on the link to find out how not to do it.
5) Be Different - and Revel in It
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was to be like everyone else, to merge seamlessly into the background - I blame my mother for this (as I type I can hear her grumbling in the background 'you blame your mother for everything') - I was expected to be a Little Miss Muffet - but I was also expected to go out and fight my corner in the world of modern medicine when I grew up!
And then I ended up in Britain, and have found that a lot of the time I stick out like a sore thumb, and there is no Marks & Spencer camouflage that works. It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm over the worst. I'm happy to be me and revel in being different.
I wear Caprilicious all the time, and that helps me walk tall ( I'm only 5'2") and people come up to me and talk about my jewellery. I like to take the stuff I make on test runs, but sometimes they get sold before I get a chance - here's one of the pieces I made last week that lasted fifteen minutes on my pages...
It is most definitely evening wear, and I didn't have an occasion to wear it before someone from work snapped it up.
A statement jewelry piece by Caprilicious will give you confidence, help you stand out in the crowd of 'samey people', and allow you to start a natural conversation - the death knell to shyness. The end result is a helpful, natural connection. The best part? It’s a great excuse to start shopping!
That's it for this week folks. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello all you Caprilicious women out there, I hope you are all relaxed and ready for the weekend, ready to go partying in your statement jewellery.
I have some exciting news this week - Caprilicious is due to have a second exhibition in January 2015. I am negotiating with the good people of Raintree, where I had my first exhibition, to find us a suitable weekend at the end of January when I am due to be in Bangalore visiting with my mother.
Lipstick on your Collar
That's right, I've made this necklace before - last time, I used the jasper I acquired from my friend BN with a coral pink howlite - I happened to have some pale, blush pink howlite lying around and a few black veined jasper beads left over from last time and they just seemed to cry out to be put together. I am by no stretch of imagination a 'pink' person, but I just love the combination of pink and grey/black - very cool and sophisticated. You wouldn't catch me in a pink outfit though - one has to draw the line somewhere! There are plenty of greys, blacks and whites in my wardrobe that could be accesorised beautifully by this necklace when I take it out for it's test run.
For the longest time, I thought seahorses were mythical creatures, like unicorns, phoenix', dragons, dinosaurs and pixies - only kidding, honest. I love the little critters, they are the cutest and I am always on the look out for them. I found an aventurine carved into a seahorse, so smooth and shiny - an instant love affair. With a little wire bail, and the addition of agates and glass beads as well as pearls, it was transformed into a cruisers necklace - or for someone going on a holiday to an island paradise. I used the colours in this photograph to make this necklace.
Do you know the story of Salome?? It is from the New Testament - Salome, who by all accounts was a raving beauty and a femme fatale, who is hailed as the embodiment of female seductiveness and an icon of sensuality , did the Dance of the Seven Veils at her step fathers birthday bash - he offered her anything her little heart desired, and Salome, being as thick as two short planks, looked to her mom for an answer.
Her mom had dumped her first husband, and married his brother - she was extremely put out that John The Baptist had denounced her marriage as unlawful; and he didn't just say it once - he raved and ranted and denounced her from the rooftops, unfortunately prophets just don't
seem to know when to stop - to silence him she decided to get her daughter to demand that John be beheaded.
Salome could have asked for anything - gold, diamonds, pearls - but being a bit sweet and unworldly, she said 'what shall I ask for mommy??' and chose to obey her mother. The king had no choice but to behead the hapless John and present her with his head on a plate.
But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
My necklace is named Salome - I'm sure it wouldn't have looked out of place during the Dance of the Seven Veils - men will lose their heads over the wearer - but hopefully in a nicer way than poor old John. I've tried to put nuances of sensuality and fiery desire into this magnificent necklace and the haematite gleams brightly in contrast to the hand carved black jade and the paisley howlite beads in the second strand of this piece.
Her face is hand carved of ox bone, she wears a sterling silver and marcasite helmet, her helmet straps are fastened and she looks calm, yet resigned, as if off to do battle for a cause she believes in, wearing her regalia. A beautiful faceted citrine teardrop dangles below her chin - she is The Warrior Princess.
I teamed her with citrine and carnelian freeform nuggets, pearls and blue goldstone beads to make this piece.
Now that I've decided that there will be an exhibition, a bit of anxiety has started to creep up on me - yes, I know I'm being silly, and that I have five months to go - but I'm just a ' have everything ready ahead of time' type . So, I made some earrings - they will go on the website, and eventually make their way to the exhibition, or not, as the case may be - but at least I will have them ready in time.
These are sweet, and helped me watch one of my favourite movies 'The English Patient' for the n'th time as my pliers moved rhythmically along with the soundtrack. And then, with mental calm restored, now that I have enough earrings, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the truly righteous. Now all I have to do is to remember to carry them along - one time I did a jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house, and I left all my earrings and other little bits behind in the cupboard at home.
That's all for this week, folks, I hope you have enjoyed looking at my bits and bobs - if you have, do leave me a message - I'm beginning to think I'm talking to myself.
One of my kittens, Wilfred has found a spool of wire and is chasing it around the room, whilst Charlie has bumped into a wall and got a huge bruise on his nose - £50 to the vet and a clutch of tablets later ( I'm so in the wrong profession), he looks like a rugby player after a particularly violent scrum. Thankfully he is a kitten and not a child, or they would have had me up for non accidental injuries!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello, fancy meeting you here - yes you, in your statement jewellery by Caprilicious, trying to blend in with the furniture and failing miserably in the attempt. Let me ask you a question - why did you wear Caprilicious if you didn't want to be noticed?? You should have known you'd turn heads - what you're wearing is making you sit up, walk tall and look happy - and that's what people notice about you when you wear your Caprilicious Jewellery.
I love this song - the word 'Happy' is repeated so many times, it's almost an affirmation - all you have to do is sing along.
Affirmations work by breaking patterns of negative thoughts, negative speech, and in turn, negative actions and by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. Try it sometime - acknowledge your own self-worth; and your confidence will soar. Look good, walk tall, feel great - you are a powerhouse; you are indestructible.
This week, I set about remodelling my website - I now have a new page called 'She Sells Sea Shells' - I love shells and abalone, and have a number of pieces that seemed to group themselves together and demand a page of their own, and I gave in.
Two abalone pendants, set in silver were the basis for a couple of necklaces - teamed with Biwa pearls - unusually shaped cultured pearls from freshwater mussels.
First produced in the 1930s in Lake Biwa in Japan, their quality rivals that of cultured saltwater pearls, and they are just as beautiful. I love Biwa pearls because they are so different from the usual image one has of pearls.
Naiads were water nymphs who lived in the most beautiful streams and rivers, and spent their days gently washing the freckles from the faces of the girls who bathed in the water and generally being sweet and gentle - until of course an unwary young man came by - and then they all rushed up and threw themselves at him, until the poor sap was overwhelmed and gave up his life to join them in the underwater world.
One of these is a bit more unconventional than the other - but it's that unconventional asymmetry that makes it a piece by Caprilicious. The colourful crackle agate lozenges go with the lilac Biwa pearls and the abalone - lilac was a colour much beloved by my grandmother - every year my mom bought her a saree in either 'lilac or ash colour', as requested by her on her birthday. Much as I loved her, I wouldn't really want the jewellery I make to be grandmotherly in any way, Heaven forbid!!
Kohima is the capital of Nagaland, a north eastern border state in India, sharing boundaries with Myanmar. When I was little my cousins, with whom I spent a lot of time, moved to Nagaland with their father who was posted there by the Indian Army - they came back with the most beautiful artefacts and shawls - I think some of the artefacts still exist in their house after all of 45 years - I would have loved to go and visit them there, but it never happened, perhaps I was too young to make the journey.
I got the little brass medallions and spacer beads from a vendor in Nagaland and strung a two stranded necklace, with a simple button clasp.
This picture was my inspiration for my next piece - it is made from stock photo manipulation, an art form I recently discovered, by LeeAnne Cortus. In this art form, bits of stock photographs are Photoshopped together to form a coherent picture and you can see more by clicking on the link above.
I went to an all day party on Sunday - Nicole Hanna was celebrating 5000 'likes' on Facebook and handing out wirework designs to party guests all day, one or two every hour. It was a fabulous day, with hundreds of virtual guests held fast in front of their computers. She handed out about sixteen of them - I got all but one, and that was because my cousin phoned me from Toronto and we had a long natter,forgetting all about the giveaway.
I stayed up till 5am on Monday morning - she released one every ten minutes in the last hour, and then fell into a deep and grateful slumber. I made up one of the designs, putting a Caprilicious spin on it and this is what appeared......
I had the design from an earlier giveaway and these were the first pair I made - they went in a diplomatic pouch to live with a nice lady in Bangladesh!
As I've been writing , we've had a minor panic - Wilfred just tried to go up the chimney - all I could do was watch with my mouth open as his brother Charlie chased him up the flue till all I could see was the white tip of his tail. I yelled for Mike (which probably frightened Wilf into going further up into the space) and we had to coax him down with some food - I had visions of having to call the fire brigade and a bunch of men in hob nailed boots tramping all over my floor - and no, that is not one of my fantasies! We've now stuffed the flue with newspaper - Phew!
That's it for this week folks, have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, 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.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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