Hello folks, I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are getting over the effects of all the overindulgences of the season. I'm terrified to get on the scales as I've done my share of overeating, and will wait till a couple of weeks have gone by before I check the damage that the ingestion of more calories than I do for the rest of the year has caused. I'm just praying my body went into shock and refused to accept any of those rogue calories, but sadly, we all know it doesn't work like that.
It will soon be 2018 - where did 2017 vanish??? - it seemed to fly by in a flash. Caprilicious quietly turned 5 in November, I usually mark the event with a giveaway but didn't have the time this year, so will be organising something in early January. I will announce it on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for it.
This was our house on Christmas day - we had a guest to lunch and once we had eaten, I went off to the nearby church as promised, to help with their Christmas lunch for the homeless of the borough. I quite enjoyed it, there was a tremendous camaraderie and lots of laughter. There are various reasons why people become homeless and it was sad to see so many in the UK, which is allegedly the 5th richest nation in the world. When I got back, both my men were fast asleep and I joined them for a post prandial nap before sitting down to the rubbish that the TV programmers seem to think we'd be keen to watch on the box at Christmas.
I had loads of time to relax over the holidays, and on one of those days, decided to make some polymer clay buttons for a friend. She has made herself a black tunic and wanted seven fairly large black buttons to sew onto it. I made reversible buttons - one side has a mica shift self pattern, and the other was covered with a veneer of crackled silver foil on a black background. I figured that as the instructions were so vague, I'd give her the choice of two ways to use them.
I made the first side, sanded and polished it, before I put crackled silver veneer on the back, and it was so hypnotic, sanding away in a circular movement with a bowl of soapy water in my lap - I was in danger of falling asleep.
Santa brought me a lovely Butler and Wilson brooch - I love shiny stuff, and it suited the dress I was wearing, so it went on immediately.
Some faux amber beads I'd made earlier had been calling for attention for ages - I couldn't bear their piteous cries for help any more and decided to set them free. I made a simple but effective necklace - I have no name for it yet, but I'm sure one will occur to me fairly soon. I wore it to work the next day.
The weather has taken a turn for the worse and I'm working all weekend. I just hope it stays quiet for me.
That's all I had time for this week folks. Have a good week and I'll catch you in the New Year, same time, same place.
Until then, Happy New Year to all of you
This week, there were some very difficult decisions to be made - I had to submit a single button to the Button Project picking for my theme 'Silk' , 'Metamorphosis' , or 'Heritage' - I could eventually add another three to a set of four to be sold off by the organisers when the project ended.
I decided to go with 'Metamorphosis' as my theme, loosely interpreted by me as the change or transformation that occurs as night follows day. I thought that there would most probably be too many butterfly/ larva buttons as the other theme was Silk- and anyway, who wants to make or wear a dead caterpillar? - not me, that's who!
I made the four buttons in polymer clay, and took my pictures, I was quietly pleased with the way they turned out. I planned to give each one a gradation from a dark blue to a pink/yellow/orange, and I added a leaf motif in the background, so the button would eventually resemble a fossil. The method I used was pioneered by Sophy Dumoulin of CraftArt Edu. However, with this technique, there is no way of telling what the piece will look like till it is cured, sanded and buffed - sanding reveals the true design, hidden inside, almost like a metamorphosis in itself - I held my breath till, lo, and behold, the buttons appeared - not entirely the way I envisaged, but near enough.
I was now faced with the choice of button - I had to decide which one was the best and was destined to be the original exhibit, with the others sitting in a box, waiting to hear if someone loved them enough to give them a home. How bad would they feel, if they had to come back home to Nuneaton in a padded envelope - how could I put my sweet button babies through this?
And once I decided which one I liked best, should I send the required photograph on a dark background, or on white?
Having agonised over this for a long while, I gave up and decided to listen to some music instead, till the Aspirin cleared my head.
The one at the top left is the one I chose eventually, with the dark background. Now, all that is left is to wait and see whether the organisers will accept my entry.
Through Caprilicious, I met a lovely lady I shall call BN - she makes jewellery too and is like me, a doctor. She loves Caprilicious and took the trouble to come all the way to Nuneaton to see me - I was ever so pleased to meet her and we talked jewellery for hours - it was nice to find someone to chat with on a topic that is so dear to my heart, without fear of their eyes glazing over with boredom - I'm sure I do that a lot at work, and have to restrain myself, quite often, when my radar picks up the glazed expression I used to get when my mother lectured me on my many misdemeanors as a teenager. I only hope I am quicker to spot 'the look' than my mother was!
BN gifted me some beads - she said it was like a goody bag on Ready Steady Cook - I had to make pieces of jewellery using the ingredients from her bag, the only difference being there was no stipulated time limit. In return, she had some of my polymer clay faux amber and a few other bits and bobs. After she left, I made Bedouin Oasis, with some of her beads, one of my handmade polymer clay pendants, with two pairs of earrings to match.
I teamed Tiger Ebony wood bicone beads and shell segments in an asymmetric necklace and the colours so reminded me of an oasis - calm and serene - the pendant seemed to work well with that theme, its center looks like a rippling body of water to me - I wore the necklace to work, and got a load of compliments - I was very pleased with the response.
This necklace stemmed from BN's question - 'could you create small?' - I wasn't too sure that I could rise up to the challenge - Caprilicious seems to have become all about the large, flamboyant piece - but I am sure there are plenty of capricious women who want their delicious pieces small and dainty. So, I went off with my thinking cap and sat in a corner for a while ( should that be a dunce's cap you sit in a corner with??) and came up with Indigo Evenings. The iolite I picked is a beautiful deep blue, the colour of twilight in the tropics, and I looked in my gemstone stash in vain to find a green to complement it - I finally found the perfect green in my box of crystals, and added some tiny pearls to make a piece that is so dainty, it looks almost fragile in my hands - so, BN, if you are reading this, have I fulfilled your challenge?
Ariel is a fictional character and the lead protagonist of Walt Disney Pictures' film The Little Mermaid (1989). Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all animated appearances and merchandise.
In the mid nineties, I used to borrow this little girl from my friends, and she and I would stay up all night, watching cartoons, eating ice cream and Jelly and crisps in bed - she loved to come and stay with me, and her parents had the weekend to themselves - The Little Mermaid was one of the movies we watched, over and over, without ever tiring of it.
I made this cuff in memory of those days, using the pen and ink technique learned from Alice Stroppel. It took simply ages to get her hair just so, fortunately, I now have a table where I can leave all the makings without feeling guilty about the mess. The place looked like a bombsite for days and days, while I struggled to juggle the demands of the bracelet, and the rigours of the day job.
Lipstick on Your Collar
BN gave me some slate grey veined jasper - the stones look like little pebbles from a river bed - initially I thought I would put them with coral ( and I might, yet) but while doing a rummage in my bead stash, I found these lipstick coloured pink dyed howlite, and they seemed to be clamoring to be let out of the box - I think they go really well together. As I have said before, I am not a particularly 'pink' person - but this necklace found its way from the light box where I photographed it, straight around my neck, and hence, to work. The grey jasper lends the piece a bit of sophistication, and raises its game. One look at it, and I don't have to say another word about how it got it's name.
The gentleman whose photograph I used as inspiration for Glacial Fantasy
( http://www.flickr.com/photos/manisholiday/ or http://kingdom-of-sky.blogspot.co.uk/ for more pictures) liked the necklace so much, he ordered another for his girlfriend! Kudos, indeed - such kind gestures make it all worthwhile!
That's all this week sweet people, thanks for stopping by - catch you next week, same time, same place,