Hello folks, how are you on this cold and frosty morning? It snowed for twenty four hours here in the UK, and the country came to a standstill. Roads were closed, airports and train tracks were backlogged with travel chaos and schools shut down leaving parents in the lurch, looking for emergency childcare. At the hospital, half the staff and patients didn't manage to make their way in. The snow fell over the weekend, but the temperatures have been so low that we still have snow drifts five days on, although a lot of it has melted. I am more anxious about the ice that forms on the roads and pavements when the thawing snow freezes over at night - you can imagine that it is hazardous to drive, and walk.
However, it looks pretty when the snow is pristine, and I busied myself over the weekend taking loads of pictures.
We knew that snow was on it's way, so I quickly put my Christmas tree up and decorated it - the tree is usually set up in the porch, which can get pretty cold when the temperature falls severely as it relies on the light of the sun to keep it warm. As you can imagine, it is pretty warm in the porch most of the year as our geraniums do well overwintering there, as do the ferns - all that green stuff you see in the picture is real. I love the silver baubles I got from the Christmas shop, which predictably is open all year around to serve the tourist trade in Prague, when we went there about ten years ago. I wrap each one in tissue paper and put it away almost reverently when we are done with the season and this strategy has served me well as they have lasted out over ten Christmases.
Four days down the line, our street is still covered with snow and ice and I'm being driven into work as my little car is totally unsuitable for this weather. It still looks pretty, doesn't it, in spite of the tyre treads that have messed the road up. They should make it illegal for people to muss up the snow and make it less picturesque.
It looked like a complete white out in front of our house, and the back garden was no better. So there wasn't much else to do but stay warm, and play with beads and post on Instagram, where I've been testing out hashtags and trying to improve my visibility.
I bought a bunch of tiny crystal beads a while ago, at the same time as the floral micro pave clasp. One of my customers liked the look of the crystals so much, she asked me to make a necklace up for her using the floral clasp. The beads are tiny, no more than 3mm in diameter and they resemble little sugar crystals that have been artificially coloured. I made an ombre necklace which she loved and I posted it out to her well before the last day for Christmas post approached - the last day for the post, in case you don't remember it is the 20th of December after which you'll have to go out in the cold and do your own shopping. I didn't get a chance to take a picture on a model, all I have are a quick couple of photographs shot using my phone, so many apologies for picture quality. Perhaps the lady will send us pictures wearing the necklace, and I can share them with you later on.
That's all I made this week folks, these beads were so tiny that I almost went blind trying to string them. They were pretty badly behaved as well and kept jumping out of my hands and scattering all over the floor making the cat leap out of his skin everytime he heard the skittering of a bead across the parquet floor. As they were pretty expensive, I made sure I picked the beads up and put them into the necklace - not a single one escaped its fate!
That's me for this week, folks. I am going to be wrapping presents and writing cards out this weekend. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you? We've had a very cold week here and even a bit of snow, although not a lot. The thermal underwear was out in earnest and the Michelin woman look was de rigeur - someone even called me Nanouk of the North, they way I'd bundled up to walk a few yards from one building to the next at work, and it hasn't even got cold in earnest yet!
As you know, last week the IDEAS team held their Christmas show and I was there on Friday with Caprilicious. The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham, has what they euphemistically call a 'Market Hall' - a large, underheated (read cold), draughty hall where the show was held. There was plenty of space to set up when my freezing fingers and chattering teeth allowed me to - Mike had to drop me off at the rear entrance and leave, as there was absolutely nowhere to park and the traffic wardens in that area pinch you as soon as look at you. I was on my own and set up in a sort of frozen trance.
I asked one of the ladies who had finished setting her stall up to help me hang my banner, and I was ready. The organisers had brought in a huge tea urn and I must have visited it at least ten times during the day in an effort to keep warm which didn't really work, but it kept me moving. This of course meant going to the loo a number of times, but although there was no heating at all in the toilets, there was running hot water and a fabulous, warm hand drier! Is there a saying about warm hands and cold bottoms?? I can't remember, but if there is, this would be a perfect time to use it.
I don't think Caprilicious was the right fit for that show unfortunately, as people were mainly looking for little Christmas presents, and stalls with hand written cards, framed inspirational quotes, bunting, little pieces of jewellery and small ceramic items seemed to do better than the others. The publicity for the show wasn't that wonderful, and some of the vendors complained that there didn't seem to be too many signs outside, pointing people in our direction. However, to my surprise, a couple of people who had taken my card contacted me and even bought a few pieces a couple of days later. I took some pictures of the stalls that were colourful and attracted my eye.
This sculpture of the Green Man by Toin Adams stands in a cramped space in the Custard Factory in Birmingham. The site was once the home to Alfred Bird & Sons Ltd, manufacturers of the famed Bird’s Custard Powder, and is now an office/retail location. This post-industrial area of the city is an unlikely spot for a personification of nature and the life force. The phrase itself was coined in the 1930s to refer to heads or masks sprouting and disgorging vegetation which can be found in so many English churches. The living statue features fossils, a waterfall and live flames and will change its shape over the seasons as organic materials rot and the plants that cover it grow.
I hunted down these crystals for a friend - they came in a bag of five colours and I made simple necklaces with them - they shine most amazingly!
The Keeper of The Secret
Pendants in sterling silver arrived from Indonesia, and one of them was a mystical face carved in a piece of turquoise, set in a silver head dress with iolite earrings. The turquoise comes from the Sleeping Beauty mines in Arizona, and the face is serene and mysterious. I'd recently bought the moonstone nuggets, which are just as fascinating, with their inner fire and flashes of light emanating from deep within a pale, cool exterior. I thought they were fabulous, together with a scattering of turquoise, iolite, pearls and Bali silver beads.
I made suncatchers as presents for people at the hospital - I have about 15 - 18 presents to find for junior doctors, secretaries and others, and I thought these pretty crystals would look beautiful - one of the midwives bought four of them and started a roll, and I am now down to about half the original number left. They are very pretty though, and I can see why they would be attractive as presents.
Every year I offer to pack and post your gifts out if you wish to avail of this free service, and this applies to 2017 as well. I will even throw in a Christmas Card from you.
That's me for this week, folks. I am going to have a very relaxed weekend, doing very little after all the hard work I've put in over the last few weeks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you. Brrr, it's freezing cold outside and as you find this blog in your inboxes, I will be driving up to Birmingham, to the Etsy fair at the Custard Factory where I will be all day till 8pm. If you live nearby, do come and visit the stall. There are plenty of handmade offerings for Christmas and I will probably be doing a lot of my Christmas shopping there myself.
I'm told it will not be warm in the market hall - especially for us traders, so I've got my thermals and UGG boots on - as the sun sets and the temperature drops, I will probably bring out hats and scarves and mittens, until you might not even be able to tell it's me under all those layers. I hope the Michelin woman look won't put people off, but I'm afraid I shall have to value comfort more. Mike is going to drop me off, and then pick me up when I'm done, and we might even be able to sample some of the street food that will be available in and around the Custard Factory as it is the First Friday of the month. I shall have loads of pictures for you next week.
I make jewellery because I like to, becauses it relaxes me and is a stress buster and so much fun, not as preparation for a fair or show - so I always have stock in plenty and can probably do a show anytime I'm asked, without too much panic or anxiety. I haven't made many new items for the show, but I made this necklace with some of the beads that came with a large consignment containing the shiny crystals from last weeks post and a pendant I made earlier. The pendant is made from dark green, almost black jade, carved into a pair of fish. I put a wirework fish under the pendant and surrounded it with a frame - I originally strung it on leather, but re-thought the design and made a necklace with green turquoise pumpkin beads and coral - very Christmassy, but it will be great all year round too.
I love the turquoise pumpkins - they are so pretty. The second necklace I am going to show you, I've had for a while. I talked about the making of the clasp on this blog, I'm sure I did, and then I made the necklace and forgot to show it to anybody. The poor thing was sitting all forlorn and unloved in a corner of my jewellery case - and that would never do! So here we are, here's Blue Hibiscus!!
The blue hibiscus is not blue, it is a dark purple, and it isn't a hibiscus - it is a mallow. Nevertheless, it is pretty and well worth a second look. I have some in my garden and took some photographs earlier on in the year when it was in full bloom.
I made the clasp in bronze from a design by Barbara Becker Simon who is a top instructor in anything metal clay.
I do love the hibiscus flower - it seems so exotic to me now that I live in Britain. When I lived in India, we had bushes that grew in profusion in our backyard and flowered all year round, yielding offerings for my grand mother's prayers - she would place the hibiscus flowers reverentially at the feet of the idols of her favourite gods - the lesser ones got a couple of jasmine, and least favoured of them all probably got a leaf if she could spare one. As you probably know, Indians have a whole lot of Gods, one for every purpose, much like the ancient Greeks and each household has its deity - grandmas household deity got the largest share of the flowers and prayers, and all the others had to catch as catch can, and be happy with their lot. It's a wonder that there were any flowers left on any of the plants in the garden - perhaps this is why they grew so tall (not because of the sun and the climate, of course) to escape my grandma's pilfering. If she couldn't get at them, though, she would use the crook of grandpa's walking stick and do her best to pull them down - she didn't care about the plants missing their offspring, her Gods had to be propitiated, or else!
Enough reminiscing, I'd better get my a** into gear as this won't get the baby washed - I need to be in that car in about ten minutes time if I want to get into Birmingham and set up before the hordes ( Oh please, let there be hordes!) arrive.
I'll catch you next Friday, have a fabulous week in the meantime.
Hello everyone, how are you today. I've had a relaxed, quiet week without too many ups or downs, and am grateful for it. One of my customers sent me a package full of beads, broken necklaces and other bits and bobs, asking me to make whatever I could of them and throw the rest away. I love this sort of challenge and sat down one evening with a pair of snips, and put the beads together in piles of varying sizes before I could decide what to do with them.
There was a pile of small beads, and another of very large ones and I wracked my brain cells to come up with a solution. Of course, the challenge is to not waste a single bead so for the first necklace, I collected together all the tiny beads, crystals, amethyst chips and brightly coloured elements I could find and put them in a wirework necklace. The proceeds from this necklace will go to the neonatal unit at the hospital.
I think the necklace is particularly pretty - a riot of colour, with every single bead coming from the stash donated by the lovely D - thank you very much. My contribution is the non tarnish silver plated enamelled wire and the skin off my fingertips! All the little beads in the bead soup were used up in this necklace, and I am pleased with the result.
In the second pile of large beads, I found some silvery turban beads and turquoise nuggets. Put together with a faux amber donut pendant I made a few months ago and some red agate beads and there appeared a pretty necklace that I was proud to wear to work on a test drive.
Spindle whorls are African trade beads made predominantly in Mali. They were used worldwide for thousands of years, originally as tools in the cotton spinning industry to increase or maintain the speed of spin. In more recent years they have become much sought after as interesting beads and incorporated into the very fashionable genre of 'Tribal' jewellery.
The whorls were made from clay, amber, antler, bone, coral, glass, metal and wood. Local materials such as chalk, limestone, mudstone, and soapstone, have been used in those found in Mali and Guinea.
Used as weights for traditional cotton spinning, the whorls are fitted at the bottom of the spindle shafts, which are used as supported spindles to spin very fine threads. The bottom tip of the shaft rests in a small bowl placed in the weavers lap or on a table to one side.
I made facsimiles of the spindle whorls using polymer clay - a tutorial was featured in Bead and Jewellery Magazine earlier on in the year entitled 'Doodle Beads', referring to the doodles drawn on the polymer clay once it had been daubed generously with pastel chalk. I had some white ceramic beads that I bought on a trip to India and a couple of coral chunks which I put into a necklace. An Afghani coin decorates the handmade extension chain at the back. The coral appears aged and the necklace appears like an ancient artefact.I took it for a test run, and I got loads of compliments so I took a selfie at lunchtime while I was standing by the microwave waiting for my food to be heated.
This weekend, I shall start to pack my jewellery into a case ready to take to the IDEAS Etsy Craft Market at The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham on Friday the 1st of December. If any of you are around, do drop by.
The Custard Factory is where Bird's Custard Powder was first made - all the way till 1964 when production moved to Banbury.
The Custard Factory is the most powerful collection of creative and digital businesses, independent retailers and event venues outside London. Along with its sister project, Fazeley Studios, it forms the heart of Birmingham’s creative and digital district. Just over five minutes walk from the Bullring, it is home to over 500 businesses and hosts a regular calendar of fairs, festivals and gigs, as well as corporate and private events and weddings.
Digbeth comes alive on the first Friday of each month with exhibitions, late-night openings, special events, culture in unexpected spaces, live music, street food and more.
With different things to see and do each month anything could happen on a First Friday night out which runs from 6pm ‘til late. Maps are available online a few days before the event and at participating venues on the day. The Custard Factory venue will be open till 8pm on the Friday so it is bound to be a long, but hopefully a fun day meeting real people who like my jewellery, rather than the virtual reality of a www address.
That's me for this week folks, have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello readers, nice to be able to chat to you again today. In a marked contrast to the last couple of weeks, I've had a couple of days off which made all the difference and gave me a bit of a respite from the usual grind.
When I can, I like to go down to London - it is only an hour and ten minutes away from me on a train and the tickets are relatively inexpensive these days if booked in advance.
I had to go down anyway for a meeting to do with work, and rounded off the day by meeting Nimmy Victor of Sanskara Designs. Nimmy mainly makes beaded necklaces with gemstones and silver elements in a beautiful ethnic Indian style and I have often admired her designs from afar. We've never had the occasion to meet, and I thought it was time to remedy this. We arranged to meet at Camden Town tube station and spent the afternoon together checking out the shops, eating street food, and finishing off with a drink at the bar in Gilgamesh. It was great to meet someone like minded and bounce ideas off each other. I took her a polymer clay pendant I made, and she brought me some gemstones. She also gave me a carnelian cabochon and a Pietersite tumblestone saying, 'I'd like you to make something for me with these two, please.' That was it - no instructions, no colour choices- no pressure then! Here are some pictures from our visit to Camden town.
As you can see Camden Market is quirky and colourful. It was a bit quiet, but that was because it was a Monday afternoon, I'm sure it gets really busy around the weekend. It was freezing too, and we downed loads of hot tea to keep ourselves warm. We felt really sorry for the poor traders - they were in unheated premises, and weren't allowed electric fires due to the risk of fire. I caught the 9pm train back from Euston tired, but happy.
I decided that I was going to set the carnelian cabochon in a bead and soutache pendant. The tumblestone of course, would have to be wire wrapped. It's a long time since I've been back to the basic wire wrap that I learned six years ago, using square and half round silver wire, but I was determined that I would succeed in wrapping an awkward shaped slippery stone, which was also rather pretty, so I'd need to allow most of it to stay on display, rather than cover up it's beauty with wire squiggles and curlicues.
I glued the carnelian to a piece of backing and beaded around it until it was firmly held in place by a bezel of beads. Many soutache pattern books attach braid directly around the glued down cabochon, but I've never trusted glue as a permanent attachment and feel that if I'm going to take the trouble to make an elaborate piece of jewellery, I'd like it to last a little longer than the unknown lifespan of the glue I've used.
Once that was done, I encircled the stone with soutache braids and made some pretty curlicues at the ends, filled with corals and pearls. More beads and even more braid followed until I decided that I ought to stop before the pendant became too unwieldy. There was more to do, I had to embellish the edges with a picot and cover the back with ultrasuede. I also had to devise a method to hang the pendant. Decisions, decisions!!
And then a minor mishap occurred, and I ran out of beading thread! I hadn't kept up with my supplies, or lack thereof, and had run out of thread in the middle of a project! There's nothing worse than having to stop when you've just had an idea how to do something that seems incredibly important and ephemeral. I went online and bought another reel immediately, and was surprised and pleasantly astonished when it arrived in the post the next morning.
Ta Dah!! The Reveal
And it was done - I put a bail on it using beads, backed it with ultrasuede and that was it - or was it? I kept looking at it, and the bail seemed so plain, there wasn't any oomph! to it. So I picked it up again and added two more beads and all of a sudden, I was satisfied. Phew! There wasn't any more space to add a single bead - although momentarily I considered adding more to the picot edge, or even another edging behind the picot. But no, I put my foot down with a firm hand and that was definitely that. Besides, I still had the Pietersite tumblestone to deal with, so I got busy looking for my stash of silver square wire and clearing the decks of beads and other detritus from the soutache pendant.
This one had to be really, really simple, in stark contrast with the previous piece - after all, this is Caprilicious Jewellery, and I cater to every mood and caprice including my own. I went back to basics and made a spartan setting for this stone. It is a lot harder to do than it looks, but very rewarding. The stone was too fat and odd shaped to do much else with it unless I used my new found skills to solder together a frame. This way is just as nice, in my opinion - what do you think? Will she like it?? The pietersite itself has a chatoyancy that only just shows up at the bottom right of the stone in the photographs and is very pretty.
Caprilicious will be at The Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham on Friday, the 1st of December - if you are in the area, do drop in - we are there till 8pm.
That's me for this week folks, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for coming back to join me at the Caprilicious Blog, I am very pleased that you are here. This week has been all about making jewellery for the Mitchell Gallery in Warwick. I was requested to replenish stocks there and I decided to make new pieces for them as well as hand over a couple of pieces from my collection.
I made two of these necklaces for the gallery and one more for Caprilicious as I felt that I would be doing the website an injustice if I didn't have one for you, my online people. I love the exuberant colour in these necklaces and they have an extravagant feel when the crystals I have used liberally catch the light. I only have pictures from the piece on the website as I didn't have time to photograph the others before they had to be delivered.
My fingertips were shot by the end of the third piece, and I took a couple of days off. The day job has been ever so busy with one of my colleagues still off sick and consequently there was very little time to play with beads and wire.
Eventually, towards the end of the week I made a little necklace with some amethyst beads that had been sitting in my stash. I buy beads precisely because they are cut differently, or have lovely markings on them, and then I can't seem to decide what to do with them. I tend to leave them at the top of a pile of beads and suddenly one day, wham! out of nowhere comes an idea and a necklace is born.
The weather is definitely on the turn, here in the UK and it was raining one awful, damp, cold morning. I decided that I would wear something bright rather than go into dark, drab mourning garb, so I wore a lime green dress to work. I was late, as usual and I grabbed the first piece of jewellery I could lay my hands on, which happened to be the necklace above. During my lunch break - or what passes for a lunch break, I took a little selfie to demonstrate that purple and green did, indeed go together and to demonstrate that sometimes contrasting colours can look well together. A lot of ladies like to wear 'matching' jewellery while I am a fan of contrasting my accessories with my clothes, and that was what I set out to demonstrate. To my surprise, I got a load of negative comments and people even messaged me to say how I hadn't done a good job with styling the necklace.
'I am not a fan of this necklace .. Maybe it would stand out more with grey..black. or even white. It's very subtle,' said one lady. However, she went to the album with the same necklace in it the next day and remarked 'Very nice..'!!
Another lady echoed her sentiments and went on to ask what material I had used to string the beads together as she was always worried about necklaces falling apart. And I had a couple of messages telling me how badly I had styled the necklace. Oh well, you can't please everyone all of the time. I bet you want to see what all the fuss was about now, so I have put the picture on below - well, if you have any comments to make that aren't particularly nice, feel free, I'm used to it by now!
Anyway, the necklace was snapped up by a lovely lady that very day, so I didn't feel quite so bad, in the end.
I made a couple of copies of 'Bewitched' in different colours. These colours are definitely influenced by my Indian heritage - but I believe that East and West meet, if nowhere else, in Caprilicious. I was brought up buying sarees in these colours and the colours which though bright, will look beautiful when worn with a simple black dress.
I thought I'd leave you with a video of colourful sarees on display in a shop in India. This is probably a more modern shop, where the sarees are out on display. When I was young, the sarees were all folded up behind glass, to keep them from getting shop soiled. Each customer had three people to wait on them - one salesman would take the sarees out of the cupboards and fling them open with a flourish to demonstrate the colour and what they looked like with movement, another would pleat and drape the saree over himself to show how it would look when worn and a third apprentice quickly refolded the sarees that weren't picked and stacked them ready to return to the cupboard. Someone would bring the customers cold drinks, and sit us down comfortably, switching on fans like a modern day punkawallah. We would make a long list, then a short list and finally make our purchase. Most people who go into a saree shop actually buy, you'd have to be very hard hearted indeed, to walk away after all that effort. Window shopping is an alien concept in a country like India - or was, until recently.
I hope you enjoyed that short clip, readers. It brought me a lot of nostalgia - it's been ages since I've bought a saree as I haven't that many places to wear them to, and already have too many in my cupboard. Oh well, that's life!
Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday as usual, same time, same place.
OYEZ,OYEZ,OYEZ, announcing the arrival of the Formal Party Wear collection by Caprilicious!! I wanted the town crier who announced the arrival of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana to shout the news out for me, but unfortunately he was otherwise engaged. Oh well, I'll just have to do it myself.
Hello folks, and thanks for joining me again today. I've had the week from hell where all I've done is go in early to work and come back home exhausted and unable to do anything other than go to bed. Wasn't it a good thing that I had worked hard to get the Bling page up to date with a photoshoot on the Saturday and the editing all done last Sunday? If it weren't for that, today's blog would have been a bit bare.
I asked Lorna, a lovely lady I work with if she would kindly wear my jewellery and pose for me and after a bit of persuasion she agreed. Lorna doesn't believe that she is beautiful and I had to push to get her to come along - her daughter was an unexpected ally and she finally decided that it would be OK to model the necklace collection for me. She spent Saturday morning at my place changing in and out of clothes and jewellery, and in the end thoroughly enjoyed herself, although she was surprised that her photographs were so good. I'm sure you will all agree with me that she is a lovely lady and the necklaces look like they've been made with her in mind. Do write in and I will show her any comments that come in.
After she left I realised that I hadn't taken pictures of two of the necklaces that had got into the wrong box in error, so I had to fetch the selfie stick and take pictures of myself the next day once I'd got the old war paint on.
So there you are, my little collection of Bling! that I am confident that you would be happy to wear to a very posh do with your boss or your mother in law - if you would like to wear one of them in the nude with just yourself for company, be my guest, enjoy.
However, I suggest that you crack open a bottle of champagne, to up the hedonist quotient! A box of chocolates, and a lovely long bath with loads of bubbles, with a glass of champers wearing nothing but your Caprilicious necklace, soft jazz playing in the distance, clean sheets (?crisp cotton or even satin?) to get into once you're done and all's well with the world. You know what, I might just go off and try that recipe for a lovely evening myself!!
A favour to ask of you all, please tell your friends about this collection of pretties, perhaps even send them a link to the website, I would be ever so grateful.
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for coming back to take a squiz at Caprilicious today. Last week was Diwali and I'd quite forgotten about it and had to make do with lighting a lamp my mother gave me many years ago, which hangs in my porch. We usually have a few friends round to dinner and let off some firecrackers, but this year it was too late to organise anything. A belated Happy Diwali to those of you who celebrated it.
I've been getting ready for my photoshoot with Lorna on Saturday - salting necklaces away, one by one. I was meant to be free this weekend, but due to one of my colleagues sustaining an ankle injury I've had to volunteer to be on call - I just hope it is quiet so that after my initial morning visit to the hospital, I can spend a couple of hours on the the photoshoot. The picture is a little sneak peek into the collection - shiny, shiny, shiny!
I connected with a girl who was at school with me on Facebook - Anita lives in the USA and asked if I would write an article for an annual charity brochure issued by the India Catholic Association of Austin, Texas. I ensured that she was aware that I had no religious affiliations, but she said it didn't matter that I was a self confessed heathen. Anita's dad owned a stationer's shop by our school - the entire population of the school bought their textbooks and note books from St Joseph's bookstore. The nuns insisted that we cover all our books with brown paper and that a label be applied to the front with our names and class on it. My poor mother would sit down with reams of brown paper and all our books - she was a doctor, a busy anaesthetist who worked all hours, and the last thing she needed was this chore for her three kids - she soon taught us how to do it ourselves, I can tell you and it was turned into a competition to ensure that they were all wrapped quickly, and to her standards. The books all looked crisp and tidy when we started out, but by the end of the year, brown paper cover or not, they looked like they had been in a dog fight. Anyway, I digress. To cut a long story short, they wanted an article about the Jewellery of India and it was such a vast subject that I had to do an extremely potted history lesson. Anita sent me a copy of the brochure and a certificate of appreciation.
The Colourburst Necklace
Colourful aurora borealis coated crystals arrived and my magpie heart was instantly in love. I added some baroque pearls and this beautiful necklace was conjured up as if by magic.
The carved oyster lip clasp provides a beautiful foil for the colourful necklace.
I suffered from a bit of wire withdrawal and whipped up a penannular brooch using copper wire and smoky glass teardrop beads from a design by Abby Hook.
Caprilicious will be at an Etsy Made Local Event in Birmingham at The Custard Factory, Digbeth, on the 1st of December and the brooch can go along.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for joining me once again. I've been ever so busy this week at a training course about Human Factors that affect safety in hospitals. I am on a course to learn to become an instructor, and a very intensive but interesting course it has been too. I have had little time for jewellery this week, but have been putting time into my winter collection during every spare moment I found. I hope to have the pieces all photographed and revealed by the end of this month. I have to say that I really love the necklaces and pearls feature heavily in the collection. There is nothing more elegant than a string of pearls, and there are so many new ways to string a pearl necklace - no more grandma's strand of pearls for us!
Bead and Jewellery (Vol 81) magazine came out with one of my tutorials in it - the Gold Rush Necklace.
The actual piece is on the website on the Lagenlook jewellery page of the website, but you can send for the magazine if you fancy learning to make it yourself.
I've made this necklace before - and it has been consistently loved and people have requested it over and over again, so when I found some of the spacers lying in my stash, I quickly ran up another. I love the song too and Lady Gaga, although not my favourite artiste, has made such a good job of this album with the wonderful Tony Bennett, I couldn't resist playing it for you, enjoy!!
These polymer clay disc beads were made a while earlier and I put the necklace together - I love the resin accent bead, which I brought back from a trip to India a couple of years ago. The necklace is light and easy to wear, and very flexible - being almost monochrome, it will go with anything.
That's all I've had time for this week folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello folks, thanks for joining me today. I hope you've had a chilled out week. WIth autumn nipping at our heels and only 73 days to Christmas, I've been busy making party wear for Caprilicious. I've acquired a load of micro pave diamante studded beads, clasps and findings and am enjoying putting them together. This time, I've taken pictures as I've gone along. I've also managed to persuade Lorna, a very pretty lady who works with me, to model them for me and will have a reveal date soon.
Last week I made Feria and I decided to wear it - a trial run if you like. The necklace certainly attracted a lot of attention and I was pleased with it.
I decided to make a second one with accents of pink and purple.
So now there are two of them - which one do you like?? The one with the blue accents or the one with the pinks and purple?
One of my customers asked if I would make her a necklace with baroque pearls interspersed with little gemstones that resembled sea glass. She had once borrowed a necklace such as this from a friend and was keen to own one herself. While she looked for a picture of the original piece, I sent her pictures of the beads I had in my stash that looked even vaguely like sea glass, knowing all the while that she obviously had something specific in her mind and nothing else would fit the bill. And as I brought out string after string of gemstones, I designed this necklace in my mind - I put the baroque pearls with tiny apatite and peridot beads as I felt that anything larger would detract from the beauty of the pearls which are about 13-14 mm in size and colour enhanced to a pale silvery grey. I named it Danieli - after the lovely Danielle, as she was more or less responsible for this piece, and the most beautiful hotel in Venice - I saw it in a movie and knew that I had to stay there, it is a baroque palazzo converted into a fabulous hotel. I have to say it was every bit as wonderful as the film made it out to be, and I loved every minute of my stay there.
I'm pleased to report that the necklace has been snapped up!
The next three pieces have used up pendants that been sitting in my stash - well, I'm ashamed to say I've been hoarding them ever since I brought them back from Jaipur a couple of years ago. I take them out at regular intervals and stroke them, enjoying the way they shine and then put them right back in their box. I decided that I would string them and share them with the world. So here we are....
This necklace is so pretty - I love iolite and in combination with yellow topaz and silver, it is irresistible.
Not that I'm wishing for snow or anything, but this snowflake pendant, set with garnets seems apt for this time of year. Garnets are so sumptuous, I decided to pair them with a pale, icy blue quartz - these beads are to die for. Faceted to reflect every bit of light that comes their way, they are uber gorgeous and I kept the rest simple, with little seed pearls separating them. And the clasp - oh, it is so pretty that it gave me so many pangs to actually use it, I just love looking at it so. It will, however, be equally good to share it with someone when it gets its forever owner.
The beads in this necklace are made from slices of stalactites that have been colour enhanced and are called solar quartz.
Solar quartz is a natural agatized quartz that is sliced from stalactites in clear, white or gray, with mossy inclusions. It is thought to be an energy enhancer, connecting to spirit and harmony, and is said to bring emotional strength to the wearer. Solar quartz is often dyed vivid colors as natural stalactites do not have any coloring.
The edges of the beads are irregular and because I thought they would be rough on the neck, i used shiny glass beads at the back of the necklace. The Fleur De Lys pendant also came from Jaipur - and this is the last one in my stash! I'll just have to go and get some more, won't I?
And that's a wrap for this week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.