Hello again, readers, and thanks for joining me this weekend. I have a few fun pieces of jewellery for you this week - that's what I want my jewellery to be all about - to bring a smile to your lips and a song to your heart as you walk tall and feel great in your Caprilicious.
Lily The Pink
I used beads made from shells and dyed in a shocking pink - just looking at the beads brought a smile to my face and this song popped into my head and just wouldn't go away. With one of my vintage 'mini' pendants from Afghanistan and a few Czech glass and polymer clay beads, a very quirky and sweet piece of jewellery emerged.
This week, Ms Muse seems to have gone all African on me - perhaps she spotted my stash of Moroccan beads, and the beautiful orange beads I have been hoarding for over a year.
Heat and Dust
This necklace was made using polymer clay beads I made myself, using inspiration from a German polymerista who calls herself Margit B - I just love her colourful work and she is a pioneer in the usage of chalks on polymer clay. I mixed in some bright orange lucite beads and added a Berber bead and voila - Heat and Dust! The 'dust' part of the necklace comes from the colours of chalk on the beads which have smudged delightfully into each other.
While watching a movie late that night I played with a design for handmade wire bead caps by Iza Malczyk, and a couple of orange - yellow dyed jade teardrop beads that seemed to match Heat and Dust perfectly.
'Twas time to use some of the faux turquoise beads I made using Lynda Moseley's tutorial - Ms Muse had spotted the orange lucite chunks I was hiding from her - I'm not sure why I was hoarding them, it's just a magpie instinct to hoard bright and pretty beads. Anyway, out they came, and I think they are rather effective with the 'turquoise' and a couple of African lost wax beads.
Wasabi and Watercress
I love the acid green of Wasabi, the Japanese Horseradish. Apparently Wasabi is now being grown in Dorset, by the Watercress company - I think that's what being an entrepreneur is all about - no one who has ever eaten a watercress sandwich would ever imagine that the two of these plants could come from the same soil! Premo makes a Wasabi coloured clay and I teamed it with a blend I made up myself to match the colours in a focal bead I made a couple of years ago. This colour looks so much like watercress, that I decided to name my necklace after the entrepreneurs whose story I found so inspirational.
This one is a remake of a necklace I made earlier with almost similar beads. For the longest time, no one paid Berber Sunrise the First any attention apart from a desultory 'like' when I posted it on Facebook. I took it to my exhibition at Raintree - still no luck.
People picked it up and then put it back down again and moved on to pastures new. I was beginning to think I had lost the battle design-wise, with this necklace and then..... the very last two ladies at the exhibition almost had a pistols-at-dawn situation over it. It reminded me of my two kittens prowling around a mouse one of them had brought in, making growling, warning noises at each other - I thought fur was going to fly (or beads), when after a major standoff situation, one of them suddenly gave in and handed it to her opponent.
I loved the piece and had worn it to work a couple of times, and all I got were compliments, so I decided to make another. If lady No 2 is reading this and wants it, I'll be happy to put it by for you - thank you for being so gracious.
These sweet coiled wire earrings came from a couple of copper coils I happened to spot lying around in the middle of all my beads. A lot of wire coiling is involved in the making of these earrings and it takes many feet of wire wound around even more wire! I used non-tarnish wire for the first two coils and bare copper for the third, which I then dipped in a chemical bath to darken it and rubbed it with steel wool to get this pretty contrasting effect.
A friend from work gave me a broken rainbow fluorite wand - 'do something with it', she said - I held on to it for a while and then made a pendant for her with one of the pieces - I've yet to decide what to do with the other piece. She said she loves her little pendant. Fluorite is a very soft stone and prone to cracking and breaking, so I made sure it was caged in a wire surround so it wouldn't get knocked about again.
That's it for this week folks. I have some fabulous goodies just arrived from Turkey today and will probably have them out on the website next week, when I've made them up into pieces of jewellery. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
The show is over, my babies have been sent off to their new homes like blushing brides in their palanquins, tenderly wrapped in tissue paper to absorb any knocks they might sustain during their journeys.
Back at home, I feel at once bereft and elated - the weather outside isn't helping, and a streaming cold is making matters a million times worse. I have been lying in bed, nursing my cold, reminiscing about the Caprilicious exhibition.
Some Memorable Customers
It is a great feeling to have people look at one's creations, and like them enough to put their money where their mouth is - the downside is that one's creations have to go home with a new mistress. However, if they go to people who will wear them with pleasure, it's a win - win situation.
I had a gentleman come in to the exhibition with his wife and sisters who were visiting from out of town - he inspected some of my necklaces minutely, turning them this way and that - it then transpired that he liked the workmanship, and that he was actually a jeweller who dealt in gold and precious stones - now, that was a compliment, and he even assisted his sister in choosing a piece for herself.
About an hour later, a lady came into the room - I'd seen her walk into the grounds with a companion, but didn't think anything of it - she didn't look like she'd be interested in Caprilicious - a browser, I thought, as I smiled and said hello.
She asked me questions about everything, she didn't trust a word I said - she asked who had made the jewellery, and a sardonic 'I don't believe you' smile came to her face when I told her - she even cross checked with Mike when she went to the cash desk that I hadn't been telling her porkies!
When I told her that some of the beads in a pair of earrings were from Murano, she scoffed at me. 'I've been to Murano' she said. 'These aren't Murano beads'. I had to almost give her directions to the shop where I bought the beads - 'turn left from the factory where they take the tourists, go over the little bridge, and hang a left', before she believed - or appeared to believe me.
All the time she picked over the jewellery, she snapped out questions, hoping to catch me out in a falsehood - to her mind, I was a jumped up sales assistant with delusions of grandeur!
At the end, she had eight necklaces in her hot little hands, and she bargained me down to a discount in a loud, hoarse stage whisper, looking theatrically over her shoulder to see if anyone else had heard.
Off she went to the cash desk, and pulled out a huge overstuffed purse - people in India do tend to pay using cash, and when I went to pick up the necklaces to wrap them, she barked 'I want each one in a separate box, mind'! By this time, I was too exhausted to say anything, I just nodded, dumbstruck, fighting the tiny bubble of hysterical laughter that threatened to erupt out of me, and handed her the jewellery. Off she waddled, perspiring in the air conditioned room, bewhiskered and mustachioed, bellies and chins moving to their own beat, quite separate from her steps, and I could relax.
I do wonder how my babies are faring with her, though. She said she'd come back the next day with some beads for me to make up into a necklace, but she never showed.
The beads in this necklace are a gorgeous sunrise yellow/orange and come from Africa. Amber was treasured in Africa, being a rare commodity, and all sorts of imitation amber was produced, as the colour was thought to be extremely attractive. These beads are made of bakelite and are teamed with Moroccan enamelled silver to make a very colourful necklace, my first for this year.
Earrings to match with triangular polymer clay tiles I happened to have lying around, and a pair of enamelled Moroccan beads complete the ensemble.
I have been commissioned by Look In the Bag to make scarf jewellery to be sold exclusively on their pages. They design the most exquisite range of silk scarves, and I am honoured. These are just a couple of pieces I made this week, to go into their spring/ summer collection, due to be unveiled shortly. I did enjoy shaping and forging the wire - I have made pins before, but not quite so many - I shall be thinking up new ideas so that there are a variety of designs.
That's as much as I have had time for this week, folks. Thanks for stopping by, and I will catch you next week, same time, same place.
Happy Valentines Day
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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