Hello folks, thanks for joining me again. Last week, Mike and I went to the ballet - he got us tickets to The Sleeping Beauty in Birmingham. To avoid the nuisance of having to find a parking space and driving around the one way systems which are totally clogged up due to repairs and urban regeneration projects, we took the train in to Birmingham and made a day of it. I love all dance forms, and this ballet, with the evocative music of Tchaikovsky is close to my heart. Mike has the music on vinyl which he sometimes plays when we are in the garden and it is quite magical.
Before the matinee they had a short programme about how the show was made and set out costumes and ballet slippers for kids to try on and have their pictures taken. While I waited for Mike to deposit our coats in the cloakroom I saw this young family with their two daughters delighting in the costumes and took some of my own pictures with their permission. These kids were a delight to watch - just look at the expressions on their faces, they were quite the divas!
This pendant has been a long time in the making. I made it bit by bit, gently feeling my way through the mist of a lack of formal design - I started with a butterfly and then added a flower, and then snaky vines and a waterfall of a tassel and created a mini scene from a rainforest, with the butterfly flitting over an exotic flower. I added three rows of crystals and a beautiful abalone clasp and suddenly it was done! As with many other Caprilicious pieces it is a showstopper, for extroverts only!
And if you think my made up flower is a bit strange, check out this flower that grows in the rainforest - when I first saw this picture I thought it was 'fake news' but no, it is called the Hot Lips Flower (Psychotria poeppigiana). It grows on a small shrub that lives under the rainforest canopy. The bright red color attracts birds to pollinate it.
Well, that's all I had time for this week folks. I hope you enjoyed your little read of my ramblings. Have a great week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, thanks for joining me again today. We are in mid August now and there are but 18 weeks, or 129 days to Christmas. That means that autumn is just around the corner but I refuse to think about that, all I want to do is to enjoy the last few days of summer left to us.
I spent my days as a child in tropical warmth where we were required to stay out of the sun and we spent our days cowering indoors till the sun was low on the horizon. As kids we couldn't understand the idyllic life the kids in Enid Blyton books seemed to live - long summer holidays basking in the sun, scoffing lemonade and tinned peaches. Now that I live in more temperate climes, I want to go out and sit in the sun lest I blink and miss it altogether - I have to confess that tinned peaches are overrated, in my opinion.
This week, I made a necklace with coral beads I received in a bead swap from a friend who lives in Scotland. She makes exquisite, dainty pieces of jewellery at AleksandraDesigns and didn't want the coral, so we rummaged around in our collections and came to a very satisfactory mutual arrangement. The coral heishi beads are irregular and very brightly coloured. I teamed them with wood jasper rectangles, slab nuggets of chalcedony and some chunks of bloodstone that a friend sent me from the USA when I first started out in 2011. Artisan made Nepalese beads, inlaid with turquoise and coral, and bone beads from Tibet, hand carved and coloured red and blue were added for even more colour and interest - just in case the coral wasn't showy enough!
It paid me to have that clear out as I found so many pretty beads that I'd forgotten about in my collection and I can't wait to use them as I go along.
I made these earrings to go with the necklace I designed for my customer in Bangalore. As the necklace is very flamboyant, I kept the earrings small and simple. They are about the size of a fifty pence piece - and for those whom that analogy means nothing, the earrings are about one and a half inches long.
My sister in law went to a party wearing this necklace - I made it a couple of years ago and it isn't one of my more flamboyant pieces.
Someone at the party fell in love with the necklace and had me make one for her, having obtained permission from my sister in law - I will be sending a whole bunch of pieces to India at the end of the month so thought it was about time I got it made and ready for delivery.
That's me for this week, folks. I'm working at the day job this weekend and hope to salvage a bit of time to play with an idea I've been incubating for a while. Come back next week and see if it worked. Have a lovely week in the meantime and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hiya folks, how's tricks? We've just had our summer, I think - a whole scorching week of it, and now it's gone, all gone! Ah well, at least we've got a holiday in the South of France to look forward to later on in the year. It was almost a tropical heatwave and fabulous while it lasted.
While we sizzled and roasted, I made floral jewellery - I seem to make flowers when I am cold, and also when it is warm - I have yet to get used to the fact that I like making flowers. This is very strange to me, because I like to wear chunky jewellery and tribal artefacts myself. When I am inspired to make jewellery however, out come the flowers and I just can't understand it
I made two of these necklaces, and one of them went to the Mitchell art gallery in Warwick. Wire, semi precious gemstones, lucite leaves, crystals and little Czech glass flowers were all used in these necklaces and they do look very summery and pretty.
This is Poppy, with the petal shaped bamboo coral beads that I really love and buy regularly in many colours. The beads satisfy my requirement for irregular shapes, lots of colour and interesting jewellery. Combined with blue black oil - slick rainbow peacock pearls, they make a striking necklace and the floral shell clasp complements it.
A Posy of Sweetpeas
A client who returns to Caprilicious time and time again asked for some sweetpea earrings, 'in as many colours as they come', she said. We settled on six colours and I set about making them up for her. As I was making a job lot, I threw in a few pendants as well.
I think it’s important to step away from my bead addiction from time to time and dabble in another creative endeavour. This weekend, I have decided to take on a project in the garden - I plan to renovate the cast aluminium set of garden furniture.
Just now our 10 year old furniture is a faded drab green, covered with algae from being outdoors all winter, and has bits of flaky paint coming away from it. I plan to sand down and repaint the six chaire and table with a bright signal yellow - when Mike heard my plans he sighed, 'they will be visible in the dark from outer space' he said.
I've had my way of course, and have gathered together all the supplies - this weekend, I shall hopefully make inroads into my new pet project. I hope this exercise will expand my aesthetic and artistic muscles and that will overflow into other areas. Although painting furniture is not a particularly artistic endeavour, the colour I have chosen I believe, will elevate the project from the mundane. Only time will tell, and I will have some pictures for you next week.
Have a fabulous weekend and I will catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, happy Friday to you all. As this blog post goes out, I will be at a Health and Safety lecture at the day job, and riveting it will be too! Oh well, I shall just have to make up for it later on and have a lovely relaxing weekend. I have had a satisfying week creating a few pieces of jewellery so I can't complain.
Most people go to the Lido on the Champs-Élysées or the Moulin Rouge when they hit Paris as a tourist. However, the Folies Bergère, established in 1869, is still in business, not far from the Moulin Rouge. It was at the height of its fame and popularity from the 1890s and the gaieté girls and their dance routines are legendary. I was lucky enough to go to all three institutions on various trips to Paris and was just blown away by the spectacle they put on. The women are barely clothed in the conventional sense, but their headgear and beads with feathers and sequins and the fabulousness of their routine ensures that it is not in the least bit pornographic, but just amazing.
I made a pendant using solar quartz and colourful soutache braids, with multi colour gemstone and glass seed beads to go with a strand of lapis lazuli slab nuggets that I bought in Jaipur. The stones were so beautiful, I felt compelled to work hard to make a pendant worthy of them and name the resultant necklace after the spectacular dancers at the Folies.
I've agreed to have a stall at a couple of events to support Sophia - the Pregnancy Loss Support Service at the George Eliot Hospital. They are having their fundraiser at The Labour Club, Stockingford on the 23rd of October and possibly another one in December just before Christmas. The ladies who run the group are very compassionate and give of their time and energy freely, and I've agreed to take Caprilicious to both events. I've been making little earrings and necklaces for the stalls.
Here's a sneak peek at a couple of the items destined for the events.
The events are also in support of Ariana's Hope, a non profit organisation that raises awareness of Edwards' syndrome or Trisomy 18, a condition incompatible with life. If you have a moment, do click on the links above and even better, if you can, come and say hello and support the events. People with healthy babies can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak that comes with problems like these, so do support the cause and check out their Facebook pages.
That's me for this week, folks. I've made a few pairs of earrings but have yet to antique them and take pictures - perhaps I'll show them off next week. I shall schedule the blog to be posted tomorrow at 10 am, UK time - at that point I will be listening to an extremely riveting lecture at the Statutory and Mandatory update at work - if we don't attend, we are not allowed any other study leave for the year and our appraisal paperwork is not signed off, so there's no escaping it. I just hope it rains tomorrow, I'd hate to spend a lovely sunny day bound to a chair in a darkened room, and anyway the garden could do with a good dousing.
Catch you next week folks, same time, same place,
Hello folks, and how are you today?? I am so glad you stopped by to take a look at the goings on at Caprilicious. This week I've been busy with an old friend who visited me from India with her daughters. Most of the week was taken up with entertaining them and I didn't have too much time to spend with my beads.
Before they arrived, Mike and I went to a jazz evening at Kilworth House, a stately home converted into a hotel not far from us in Leicestershire, and as usual I took the opportunity to wear Caprilicious. Pearl Hibiscus, one of my favourite pieces went down a treat, I think. I love wearing my own jewellery - it is one of the perks of the job!
I thought I'd try to make a piece of jewellery with a colourful dyed howlite donut - the plan was to incorporate wire into the design, but halfway through, my design consultant (Mike) said he didn't like it so I ripped the wire out and started again. Ideally I wanted the central hole in the donut to be visible and edged with wire lace, but eventually ended up filling it with a blister pearl once I agreed with Mike that the wire work wasn't working. My friend suggested I used crystals in the final necklace and this is the collaborative effort I eventually came up with.
I think the piece came good and looks vibrant and interesting. The name Caribbean Queen came flying out of the ether and attached itself firmly to the necklace.
We went for a walk around Warwick castle. In their peacock garden, we found.....peacocks! surprise, surprise! They were in full mating mode and all of them fanning their tails and doing their mating dance to try and attract the couple of drab peahens that didn't seem to care, paying the tourists more attention than their prospective boyfriends. If only it worked that way in the human world! I've never been so up close and personal to a peacock - they are ever so beautiful.
The peacock is my favourite bird and those who know Caprilicious know that I have made loads of peacock related pieces of jewellery - that plumage is to die for and it seems unfair that so much beauty should be concentrated in one creature.
That's a wrap for this week, folks. I'm working at the day job all weekend and hope that it will be quiet enough to play with my beads and clay. If the weather heats up of course, the garden beckons and there's plenty to do in it before summer hits us. Have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers, it's nice to catch up with you again. At the end of November, Caprilicious will be four and as always, every year Mike gets me to think about where I am, and where I am going. This year is no exception and I shall share some of my thoughts with you.
When I started out on this fun journey, I learned as many techniques as I could - resin, polymer clay, wire, precious metal clay, enamelling, and beading. I steered clear of fiddly techniques that involved tiny beads and needles - although I would have loved to make soutache jewellery, the fine needles used in this technique discouraged me. Wire crochet, knitting with wire, Kumihimo, Viking Knit - I tried them too, but they didn't float my boat.
I broke so many jewellery saw blades, that I gave it up as a bad job. However, I will return to it one of these days, but not just yet, I fear - there's too much else going on just now.
I realise now that there was method to my madness - I have ended up creating jewellery where I make at least one of the components - when I look back at the pieces I have made, these are the ones I am most proud of. I'm sure it takes a discerning eye to put various colours and shapes together to make a great looking piece - but I want to be part of the essence of the jewellery I make, not merely a 'put togetherer and prettifier' of someone else's components. I embraced polymer clay enthusiastically for this reason - the possibilities with colour, shape and techniques are endless; so much fun to be had!
My design ethic is asymmetrical, quirky and hopefully joyous, fun and interesting. Caprilicious attracts similar people - the kind who are not afraid to try new things, and to stand up and be counted - shrinking violets need not apply. People who like the jewellery I make have something in common with me - a love for the bright and the beautiful, the bold and the unconventional. When my jewellery is worn, it establishes a link between me and the wearer, and we share a common ground.
Wearing the same look as everyone else is not for a Caprilicious woman, and neither is being in the same mood all day, every day.
The decorative function of jewelry has historically been to provide visual accents, colour, contrast and texture, and one cannot underestimate the power of jewellery to enhance self-image and to alter social perceptions.
I come from a culture where the word 'jewellery' is inextricably linked with precious metals and my mother mentally turns her nose up at a lot of my jewellery. Women in India sometimes wear their entire bank balance, especially at weddings.
However, in other cultures, stone, wood, glass beads, leather, animal horn, coal, feathers, beetle wings, clay, cloth, straw, lacquer, shell and human hair have all been used as adornment at one time or another. Who am I to ignore the world history of jewellery? I am not ashamed to admit that I have put all of the above except perhaps straw, and human hair to good use, and have added polymer clay and resin to the list.
Personally, I am not fussed about what the materials I use are - my intentions are to provide a rich visual experience which is fun and stimulating. Caprilicious appeals to discerning, contemporary women who are not hidebound by tradition. I would like to play to a wide audience, not just women who are lucky enough to be able to afford heirloom jewellery. So although I do have some pieces that I make in sterling and 99% silver, most of my pieces are fun and affordable, with a global feel.
I have also been thinking about what being part of the Caprilicious story has meant to me personally and I will share my thoughts with you next week. Let's take a look at this week's output from Caprilicious in the meantime.
Mini Tribal Necklaces
No, these are not for the vertically challenged of the pygmy tribe - they are smaller necklaces with a tribal feel - the tiny little pendants come from Afghanistan, and I strung them with tiny gemstone nuggets, coins, glass petals, crystals and vinyl trade beads in pretty but unconventional necklaces.
Ms Muse was in a pensive and wistful mood - a set of shiny silvery lucite flowers set her thinking about the country and Western song Wildwood Flowers - she got me to wire each one individually and then thread the loops onto beading wire. A couple of strings of shiny Aurora Borealis coated square crystals and some yellow fire agate beads and that was us done.
As this necklace is not over blingy, it can easily be worn during the daytime as my styling suggestions show - both the dresses I picked out are simple but stylish shift dresses - the checkered one is wool and the white one, leather. How would you wear it??
I know I've called this one Mayuri (2) or Peahen (2) which is a misnomer if ever there was one, but it is the 5th and last peacock feather pendant I have in my stash. The edges are fringed with gold seed beads and I've touched the tips with superglue to ensure the beads do not come off, which was a problem we found with an earlier piece, which fortunately was salvageable. Here are the other four pieces:-
And here is the latest addition to the peacock feather necklace collection.
I have recently been putting a few styling suggestions on my pages at the request of some of you. Of course, there are as many ways to wear a necklace as there are to skin a cat, and I'm sure you have loads of ideas. Do send me pictures of how you have worn Caprilicious, I would love to see them.
Have a fabulous week and I will catch you next week, same time, same place
What do you think of the new styling suggestions feature - do you have any of your own?? Do leave me a comment below, I love to hear from you.
Dear readers, how nice of you to drop by, I love meeting you here like this. I despair of Ms Muse, I really do - she refuses to come out of holiday mode. She's been galvanising me into using the most colourful beads in my hoard and this week's pieces have all come out bright and beautiful as a consequence.
I thought I'd play you some music as well, it has been a while, so here we are.
The lovely red crystal beads I had leftover from making 'Mandarin' were turned into a necklace of two strands using diamante set connectors. They do look like holly berries, don't they?
Kind of Blue
The pendant and the silver beads in this necklace are from Jaipur and are made with 925 silver. The capsular pendant has little dangling bells and is on a necklace of the most beautiful lapis lazuli teardrops contrasting with bright green dyed jade beads. I named the necklace after a record by my favourite Jazz and Blues musician, Miles Davis. Ms Muse remembered a statue of him made by Niki Saint Phalle outside Le Negresco in Nice. My necklace I think, is no less colourful. A pair of earrings with the lapis teardrops and a tiny peridot bead echoing the green of the jade accompanies the necklace.
I've had all the elements for this necklace in my stash forever - they just sat there quietly until one day the carnelian leaf shaped pendant jumped out of it's box and demanded, yes, demanded to be used. I rummaged around in my bead drawers and the red jasper needles and citrine nuggets came out to join the party. The citrine nuggets are so pretty, and remind me of the crystalline unrefined sugar my grandma used to hand out to us kids when we'd been especially good. Mum used to go mad, claiming that she had spoiled our appetites for dinner, but my grandma knew that if she bribed us with brown sugar, we were sure to return to keep her company in the hope of more coming our way.
By the Grace of the Griot
The word “Tcherot” means “message” or “paper on which something is written” in the language of the nomadic Tuareg tribe. The Tcherot is often a metal or leather lozenge shaped box which holds magic letters, numbers, names of days, stars and planets, or signs representing the eye, revealing the esoteric practices well known by the Griots or holy men. At other times a Tcherot may contain desert sand, small 'lucky' objects, or simply the “whiff” of the Griot, at the request of the person who needs protection from the evil eye, curses and diseases or to receive favors or luck.
I bought a Tcherot from a trader in the UK - and one look at the price and I wondered if would be subsidising her next airfare to Niger. However when I rechecked the prices on other websites and realised that I was getting a fair price I simply had to buy it. It is made of camel's leather and studded with bronze.
I decided to make some dull gold beads using polymer clay and gold foil - thankfully I had written an aide memoire for silver foiled beads which was easy to follow.
That's it for this week, folks. I am publishing the blog a day earlier this week as I am going to a precious metal clay class in the south of England which I am combining with a medical meeting and visiting friends in Bournemouth.
Anna Mazon is coming in from Poland to teach her herbarium pendants and I have long wanted to learn a bit more about using precious metal clay - and there's nothing like learning from a professional. I have only made fairly simple and straightforward pieces of jewellery in my kiln, and am really looking forward to learning some new techniques from her. I shall tell you all about it next week.
Have a lovely week, folks, thanks again for joining me. I shall catch you next Friday, usual time, same place
Hello readers, nice to see you all here again. I am back at the day job after my fabulous holiday in the South of France, and it has felt very surreal, almost as if I am in two time zones and alternative realities. The Cote d'Azure certainly is a lala land, which doesn't seem to have any connection with reality - Ferraris and Lamborghinis jostling with Bentleys and impossibly svelte women and well oiled men with rippling biceps posing and posturing on the promenade by their yachts.
I allowed the colours from the holiday to creep into my designs this week, I simply couldn't help it. The weather outside my window at home is not terrible, but the predominant colours here are green and gray, with a bit of blue. However, my muse this week was having none of that, she was still basking in the sunshine of the Promenade du Paillon. The spray fountain for the kids was amazing, but when we enthused over it, one of the locals observed sourly that it wasn't so much fun when the children ended up in A&E with broken bones from skidding on the film of water that remained on the floor - Ah well, you can't please everyone, but it did make for some lovely, colourful photographs.
These two pendants were made using a couple of slices of solar quartz, which are cross sections of a stalactite, coloured in bright yellows, greens and blues. I used sterling silver wire to surround them in a very simple setting as I wanted the beauty of the stones to be the focus of the pendants. I did put in a few swoopy swirls and curlicues, though - I couldn't help myself!
This pendant comes from China - it is marketed as blue jade, but methinks they missed out the word 'dyed' - nevertheless, it is very pretty and serves my purpose well. Unfortunately, a lot of the stuff that comes from China has to be taken with a large pinch of salt, and I have to decide whether the piece is pretty enough for me to permit the vendor to attempt to pull wool over my eyes. As I do not pass on the deception to my customers, a beautifully carved dyed pendant is a 'must have', in my opinion.
Once again, the brights in my stash seemed to want to come out and play and the pendant ended up teamed with three strands of red opaque crystal beads, Ghanaian lost wax cast bronze beads in a dull gold, and blue turquoise hexagonal beads.
Aren't these colours fabulous together? I like necklaces that can be worn day or night and this one certainly fits the bill.
I was commissioned by a friend to make her a crystal necklace - party time will soon be here and I made this one for her.
That's a wrap for this week folks. Truth be told, I've had difficulty getting back into the swing of things after such a fabulous week on such a brilliant holiday. The month of September promises to be busy with a lot going on at work, including all those New Year's Eve party babies, conceived as a result of a lot of alcohol and very little thought or time for contraception - yes, September is always a busy month in maternity units up and down the UK.
Have a lovely weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, 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. All of last week I was blinging up my shelves in preparation for the party season and this week I decided to make the last one for a while - overdosing on bling isn't good for the eyes!
Tyrian was a purple dye used to colour the robes of kings in Phoenician times - it was extremely expensive as rather than fading with time and weathering, it got brighter and deeper. The dye came from the secretions of a sea snail and was extracted by milking the snail (how does one milk a snail?? - the mind boggles!) only tiny amounts were collected by this method, which was probably another reason why Tyrian was so expensive.
By the time I put this necklace together, I began to feel as if my eyes were dropping out of my head - I had overdosed on bling.
My reels of wire were getting really annoyed at the inattention they were subjected to - and I was getting withdrawal symptoms due to the prolonged break from wire.
I was looking through the website, and I saw a picture of a blood stone cabochon I had photographed for the magical components page about three years ago. When I bought it, I thought it had a masculine vibe and wrote that I planned to put it together with copper and possibly coral. I forgot all about it until I found it by accident the other day when looking for something else on the website and had an 'Aha!' moment.
Mellow Yellow is a colour very close to the colour of the citrine beads I used in this necklace (there is also an 'unmellow yellow - don't believe me?? - then go on and google it ) and the title of a song by Donovan in the 60's. According to legend, Mellow Yellow was about the feeling one gets when one smokes dried banana skins - I am not sure whether that is the case or not - and am not about to test that theory.
Colourful oriental components went into this necklace - porcelain beads , cinnabar, coral and black agate - I just love the vibrancy of it.
Old cinnabar beads had hundreds of layers of lacquer which contained a sulfate of mercury applied to them, which were then carved into beautiful shapes.
Today, the toxic mercury/cinnabar is replaced by combining layers and layers of colored polymer lacquer, which are then hand-carved (or in some cases, machine carved) into intricate patterns.
Caprilicious is doing a globe trotting act this week - we haven't been on a holiday for a while and I am doing it through my jewellery - a bit like leafing through travel brochures or Trip Advisor! I've been saving these beads (Ok, hoarding, really - I just love shiny, pretty things) and I thought this was as good a time as any to use them. Faceted smoky quartz - faceted beads are my favourite, the extra shine appeals to the magpie in me - and a beautiful Moroccan bead went into this simple and sophisticated necklace.
I bought three of these beads a while ago - the first couple were made up into a bright and exciting necklace called Berber Sunrise, and this one is smoky and sophisticated in a completely different style - which one do you like? Or will you be a Caprilicious Woman and match each of them to a different mood?
Jazz in The Park
These buttons were made a while ago and I sanded and buffed them as and when I had the time. Buttons are the simplest and least expensive way to embellish a garment, and these are vibrant enough to brighten up a dull outfit. They were cut from a polymer clay cane I made using a technique pioneered by Alice Stroppel. I used my fabulous cane slicer to cut even slices of the cane, and was well pleased with the result.
The Boho Babe - back to Morocco
Another Moroccan bead - this time a large one, teamed with green and black agate nuggets. I wanted the piece to be long and the bauble sized bead to sit low on the chest to avoid looking like a cow bell. I strung the beads on cream coloured genuine leather, with knots between each bead and macrame knots all the way to the clasp. I am not a fan of large nuggets and beads sitting high in the neckline - perhaps you feel differently - do tell...
The beads in this necklace came to me in the post only the other day and I had to find some way of using them immediately, they were too beautiful to put away in a drawer. Golden Obsidian is formed from cooled lava - the silica inclusions deep within the rock and patterns formed by gas bubbles lined up within the molten lava give it a golden sheen. The same post brought me a book by Lisa Barth, and in it I found a design, which when modified to suit the shape of a black and white agate pendant stone, would make a perfect focal point. I hung it on the obsidian necklace with Chinese black quartz embossed with dragons in gold, as accents - a beauty straight from the Stygian depths of the earth.
The Ancient and the Modern
A prayer box, Gau (also spelled Ghau or Gao), is a Tibetan Buddhist amulet container made of metal and worn as jewellery. They incorporate a small container used to hold and carry powerful amuletic objects such as chunks of coral, turquoise and a written prayer, or sacred mantras such as the Kalachakra. I love the secret compartment and have made a few necklaces using Ghau boxes over the years. I have made them with simple necklaces, and sometimes with outrageous wirework that none but the boldest woman would wear. The two that I have here are both inlaid with turquoise and coral - the one has been put into a simple necklace with turquoise and the second, into a necklace made of multi coloured shell beads.
You can see I have been busy all this week - but now, I have to call it a day - that's as much as I had time for - 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.
Today, it is three years since Caprilicious was born.
To thank my supporters, I had a giveaway of six pairs of snowdrop earrings - And the winners of the Caprilicious Jewellery Birthday giveaway are - drumroll.......................
Eilidh Webster, Lorraine Szymanski, Lucy Sampson, Isobel Neilan, Luisa Heaton and Gillie Mayer - congratulations and thanks for entering the giveaway.
I hope all those who entered found something to treat yourself with, using the Promo code - everyone's a winner at the Caprilicious Birthday party!
I would appreciate it if you ladies would follow the Caprilicious blog using either of the links in the sidebar, and I will send you some pretty pictures on the blog each week.
Staying with the party theme, I celebrated by making some Blingcandescent necklaces - I was on a roll this week! I bought some beautifully shiny trapezoid shaped crystals - you saw some of them used last week- and spent a considerable amount of time separating the loose crystals and putting them in colour coded boxes so that I could get to them easily, and picking out gemstone beads to go with them.
I drew my inspiration from the pictures above, mixing colours with gay abandon - a pinch of this, and a drop of that, a bit of Bling, and loads of colour.
Of course one man's Gaudi, is another man's gaudy, not everyone is happy to wear so much colour - I wait to see how these pieces are received with interest. From what I have seen, colourful pieces are eye catching, but then some people seem to mentally shake their heads, drop the piece and move away from it quickly, as if it is going to rear up on it's hind legs and bite them. I am keen to start a colour revolution - Up With Colour, I say!
Colour blocking is a trend that creeps in and out of fashion and is very 'in' at the moment. It is the technique of using blocks of several different solid colors together in one outfit or accessory in a simple, yet extremely interesting look. Of late I have been using this technique a lot, in my effort to make my jewellery colourful. Colour blocking never looks dated as it seems to come back in fashion just as you think it is going out!
Colori is the Italian word for colours, and that seemed like a good place to start.
The pale gold of the crystals seemed to be begging for an injection of colour, so I gave in enthusiastically - agate, quartz, and cats eye glass were all mixed in to give this necklace a multicolour appeal.
The name for this necklace was lifted from a song from one of my favourite shows - Chicago. Here's a little clip from the movie...
Sodalite and dyed green howlite beads were combined with deep blue crystals and Czech glass for maximum Blingcandescence.
Silk Road - Tribal Bling
The Silk Road is a trade and cultural transmission route through regions of the Asian continent, serving traders, pilgrims, monks, soldiers, and nomads. It stretches from China and India to the Mediterranean Sea. Besides a trade in silk, paper and other goods from 206 BC, the Silk Road which stretches over 4000 miles, carried another commodity - it was the vehicle which spread Buddhism through Central Asia.
I recently took delivery of a package containing pewter Buddha beads and just had to use some of them. The rest of the necklace was strung using polymer clay beads that I made myself in an attempt to keep the necklace light, rather than use gemstones which would give the wearer a pain in the neck through sheer weight. The faux lapis nuggets contrast well with the yellow and black 'trade beads', and tassels of sari silk were added to the pendant.
A migraine inducing overdose of Blingcandescence meant that the crystals had to be put away for a while and I made a necklace using what the traders call 'Rain Flower Stone' - which on further research is actually dyed white jade with pretty splotches of colour. Sometimes the beauty of the bead outweighs it's perceived value - I don't care what they are called, as long as they are not being passed off as genuine precious stones.
I contrasted the yellows and greens of the rain flower stone with mint green chrysocolla lentil shaped beads - it reminded me of the cool colours and taste of mint chocolate. This is a necklace that is cool and screams sophistication for the 'ladies who lunch' - I see it worn in the neckline of a white shirt at a venue with tinkling fountains and perfumed interiors, cool as the mint in mint chocolate.
The spicy warmth of wooden beads that resemble cinnamon sticks, with muted crystals that gleam gently against the skin - another one for the lunchers, easily taking them to an evening do from their luncheon party. I can almost taste the spicy mulled wine one would drink when wearing this piece - very evocative of Christmas mornings and the unwrapping of presents.
Over The Rainbow
I restrung opaque crystals in four colours with contrasting agate teardrops and added a hand carved aventurine clasp - you couldn't ask for more colour blocking than this! This necklace is named after the famous Judy Garland song in The Wizard of Oz, although the colours are bright, it is a very sophisticated piece of jewellery.
Smoke on the Water
Smoke on the water was inspired by an image for free wallpaper I found online - the blues and greys in the picture are echoed in the crystals.
Fire in the Sky
Anyone who knows their heavy metal will recognise the names of the last two necklaces as lyrics from a song by Deep Purple. We listened to a lot of Purple in my misspent youth - a touch of nostalgia here. The colours for Fire in the Sky came from a picture of an afterglow at sunset.
That's as much as I had time for this week - my muse was obsessed with Bling, and neglected the spools of wire that were waiting sadly on the sidelines. I love those trapezoid shaped crystals and have a few more to make up next week. In the meantime, have a great weekend and catch you next week, same time, same place.