Hello folks, how are you this week? I've been a busy little bee, flitting from flower to flower, making one thing and another and am so pleased that my efforts have been rewarded. I had a number of half finished projects in a box waiting patiently for the last touches that would make them truly beautiful (hopefully) in my eyes and I set out to finish them off. Our suitcases finally arrived, three days after we did, so while I waited there was no unpacking to do and acres of time to fill and I decided to use it productively.
I wove a torque necklace before I went on holiday and it was the first candidate I picked for a makeover. I had some copper flowers in my stash that I had rediscovered after a couple of years - Oh, that reminds me I haven't shown you the earrings I made with the flowers, either. Anyway, I used the rest of these flowers in the torque necklace, and tucked a few large crystal beads under them so that they flash with movement. I wasn't prepared for the love this necklace received when I put it on Facebook though, and that it sold within the week.
Here are the earrings I made with the other flowers - I soldered them to copper backings that had been fold formed or texturised, and then patinated them with verdigris and red oxide patinas, sealed the patinas and hung the earrings on contemporary silver earwires.
I've always found copper a rather masculine metal and have made attempts to feminise it by the addition of flowers, pearls and silver - I think it works well in a modernistic bohemian sort of way. Would you agree??
I had a conversation with one of my returning customers from the USA. She has a bubbly personality and likes her jewellery to reflect that. She said she'd love to have a piece of jewellery created just for her- she wanted me to use carnelian beads and I suggested a turquoise focal to go with it. She asked me to make her 'something using carnelian beads and a pendant that is fun, not staid and boring' and I spent about five days painstakingly stitching around a turquoise blue howlite bead until I was satisfied that it was sufficiently 'fun' enough to satisfy the lady. I then unearthed a strand of carnelian petal beads that I'd been hoarding and strung the pendant.
There's always a moment of anxiety before the reveal - will she like it, will she find it fun enough? I put it out on Facebook and people said how nice it was. However, it had been created especially for one person and if she hated it, I would have been gutted. I needn't have worried. I WhatsApped her a picture and her excitement was palpable. Here's what she said. "I saw it. OMG Thank YOU!!!! 😍Love the vibrancy of the colors. Definitely a smile-from-within piece!! Absolutely!! Not boring at all. Says - fun, vibrant, mischievous, bold, daring, sparkly and indomitable".
So she liked it then, that was reassuring!
This piece took so much time and effort that her words were music to my ears and I sank into a relaxed, happy stupor. I went back to the day job and as usual September is manically busy from all the Christmas conceived babies.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello good people, how are you this fine morning? I've had a lovely relaxed week, playing with sheet metal and hammers, soldering bits of sterling silver wire onto my fold formed copper components and playing with patinas. I decided to use all the copper sheet remnants that I would otherwise have thrown away and make as many little pieces as I could, practicing a bit of soldering along the way. I formed shapes and curlicues in silver wire and soldered them onto the copper. Filing, patinating and burnishing the shapes I created and then hanging the earrings took a lot of time but I was having fun and hardly noticed it.
I did shudder with horror though, when I looked at my hands - they are all pitted from cutting sheet metal, where sharp edges have poked holes into them - they have also been impregnated with copper dust from filing the edges smooth, and of course I forgot to wear gloves and picked the pieces out of the warm patina solution, turning the copper in the little cuts dark brown - now I've got a jewellers hands!! Unfortunately that doesn't go with the day job, so I spent ages soaking them and scrubbing out the brown bits - not so much fun, I can tell you!
I particularly love the leaf earrings I made that I called my Weebly leaves - I patinated them with verdigris and stitched tiny glass ladybirds onto them. Cool, don't you think?
Why Weebly leaves? - You'll have to read about my ongoing saga with Weebly to find out!
I finally finished the pendant that I was making last week. Strung on a simple necklace of baroque pearls it is sumptuous and fun at the same time. I saw a picture of a woman in a dance called the Fandango, and I searched for the picture for you. The artist has caught the flamboyance of the movement in the green skirts beautifully and I was attempting to recreate that energy in the necklace.
I've finally found a way to capture the movement of a dance without taking a step - I'd rather have done the real thing though, but am now at least thirty years too late.
That's me for this week, folks, I have to go in to work now, so I'll say goodbye now. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you as usual next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, as this post appears in your inboxes, I shall be setting up at The Handmade Fair in the grounds of Ragey Hall. I've had the week off work to get organised and have been racing around preparing for the show. The weather forecast has never been watched as anxiously as it has this week and of course the weathermen are predicting low pressure and thunderstorms. Aw shucks! But surely the intrepid British won't be put off by a little thing like rain? We shall wait and see.
Earlier on I had planned a couple of necklaces and decided to make them even though it was going to be a last minute attempt. It felt like being back at medical school and swotting for exams right until the very last moment - I even used to read my notes in the car while my mother drove me to the exams, convinced that if I didn't I was sure to fail.
I made flowers from copper clay and that kept me busy all weekend. Copper clay seems to be much more forgiving than bronze and is easier to manipulate. I spent a load of time sanding and polishing and refining until the flowers went into the kiln and I could do no more. Oh joy! two of them came out looking perfect with a beautiful ready made heat patina which I decided to keep, and simply covered over with wax polish for posterity. The third one predictably, was a nightmare - it split during the first firing, so I held it back and repaired the split, and in the process accidentally broke off the bail. I then had to replace that with a new bail, all the while holding the piece like a snowflake - and believe me, it is very difficult to file a snowflake or attach something to it.
In the end, it came out of the kiln looking as if nothing had ever gone wrong with it and butter wouldn't melt. I breathed again. The necklaces were kept deliberately simple as a contrast from my multi strand pieces, to be able to offer differing designs to my customers. I made the clasps from a design tutorial by Kristine Schroeder while waiting for the flowers to sinter in the kiln.
I had a few pairs of earrings planned, and this was as good a time as any to make tham up.
These dragonflies were sent over from the USA, but I bought the wrong ones - there was no hole to hang them from.
They languished in my stash until I decided enough was enough and that I should follow my own slogan - 'have wire, can do'....
I wired the dragonflies to colourful circlets and hung them on sterling silver earwires. A couple more pairs of earrings, and I was done. I announced that the tool kit was closed and embarked on the mammoth task of organising my jewellery into piles to take, and piles to leave behind. Unfortunately the minute I decided to leave a necklace behind, it threw such a tantrum that I was forced to give in and add it to the box that was going with me, until in the finish I had only a few pieces left in the drawer at home. This of course, would only make the task of deciding which ones to display harder on the day - I knew that but simply could not find it in me to leave my babies at home.
A Tiffin Carrier Trolley
For those of you who don't know what a tiffin carrier is, it is a lunchbox, usually stainless steel, in 3 - 4 tiers which carries a lunchtime hot meal. The boxes are packed in a cylindrical PVC case, and collected by a 'tiffin carrier wallah' who delivers it to the educational institution/ office in time for the midday break. He then collects it after lunch and takes it back to wherever it came from.
I saw a friend use a make up box that closely resembled a tiffin carrier and I sent away for one - so here's my jewellery case for the show. It packs away over 100 necklaces. My tiffin carrier trolley is now all filled up and ready to go.
We were allowed onto the site to set up on the day before the show - we took some of the heavy stuff like tables and chairs to the stall. The approach road to the marquee was about half a mile long through luscious greenery and we got to park up close to it and offload the contents of the boot.
The marquee was a hive of activity with people setting up all around us. I found the forlorn little space allocated to me and a little bubble of hysterical laughter welled up from deep inside. It was so tiny that just putting my handbag into it seemed to half fill it up. And I had paid an arm and a leg for this tiny space!! Now what?? My table refused to go into the space and had to be put in on the slant. I wish I had seen this earlier, I'd have got some little shelves to put on the walls. The brochures all show the larger stalls with shiny happy people, smiling all over their faces in what appeared to be acres of space. Now, a quick rethink of the set up was required, including the contents of my tiffin carrier case.
This lady was opposite me, she probably wasn't too happy to be placed so close to another jewellery stall. I, however was not bothered as my jewellery is completely different to hers and our client base will not be the same. The Caprilicious woman wouldn't wear her jewellery, and I daresay her customers wouldn't touch my jewellery with a bargepole. I went over to chat to her - her stall is bigger than mine, but only by a tiny bit and she had paid the equivalent of three limbs to my two, for it. She told me to go to Ikea and buy another smaller table, and that mine was sticking out into the aisle, 'so you will need to get permission from the organisers.' There's no way I was going to buy another piece of furniture that I won't have storage space for at home, and might never use again. My table, although on the skew, will not be in the aisle when I finally set it up.
There's even space for me to sit behind my display although getting in and out may be impossible - ah well, I'll work that one out when I need to. Perhaps I shall just sit there, imprisoned by my jewellery! Or, swing out over my display on a rope like Tarzan, which is how the vendors in the vegetable markets in India get in and out of their overstocked stalls. You can see the rope dangling from the ceiling in the foreground of this picture, that the vendor uses to swing in and out of his stall - the first time Mike saw this he was gobsmacked - he got the guy to go back and forth just to reassure himself that this was really the way it was done, and left him a hefty tip which caused my mother to go into meltdown at her profligate son in law!
Mike got busy putting up my banner and drilling in some screws to hold picture frames in which I plan to display some of my necklaces. And then, we were done. I didn't take any stock as a night sheet with padlocks to cover the stock for security would have been an extra outlay. I had already paid extra for Wifi, for a plug point to recharge my phone if required and run my PayPal card reader as well as a couple of spotlights, and stumped up for public liability insurance for up to £5 million. So, just an arm and a leg, and a few fingers off the other hand, then!
I came home and collected all my bits and bobs together in the middle of the living room floor and went slightly green about the gills - there was just so much to carry - display items, packaging, jewellery - and all to fit in such a tiny space!
We looked at each other and shrugged, we shall just have to grin and bear it. I have always tried to do the best I can in every endeavour and this will be no different, if it doesn't go well, it won't be for lack of trying.
I shall post pictures as I go along, so do take a look at the Caprilicious Facebook page or Instagram feed. I will catch you next week with a full update. Have a fabulous weekend, and look out for me next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, I'm glad to see you back again for another installment of the goings on at Caprilicious. I've had another quiet week, working away at the salt mines, getting into the swing of things and gently acclimatising myself to the change in time zone. I've been going to bed every night at 10pm like a little old lady, leaving Mike to watch telly on his own till silly o'clock as is our norm. I'm slowly getting back into the zone though, and by next week I will be keeping him company late into the night twiddling my wire and playing with my beads.
This weekend I am going to Bristol for a polymer clay meeting - loads of us are descending on this poor unsuspecting hotel and we are going to wallow and play with clay all weekend, guided by experts from the USA and UK. It always reminds me of the Roald Dahl story 'The Witches' - a bunch of women, muttering incantations and hovering over a modern cauldron - the oven, making magic out of lumps of clay. Of course, polymeristas are all lovely people and everyone is all smiles and bonhomie and not in the least witchlike.
Ths year I have decided to take the plunge and apply to take Caprilicious to some expensive and upmarket shows. Before I went to India, I read about Kirstie Allsop's Handmade Show at Ragley Hall in May 2017. She usually holds the show at Hampton Court in London each year, and this is the first time she is coming to Warwickshire. I saw that there was an application form to enter, as the show is quite closely curated, and was pleasantly surprised when I made the cut. I've only rented a tiny space as a test case, and have agreed with the organisers that I might want to go to Hampton Court in September if it goes well.
Ragley Hall in Alcester was originally built in 711 AD and changed hands with the fortunes of it's owners a number of times. It is now owned by the 9th Marquess of Hertford whose parents saved it from falling into disrepair and it is now run as a thriving business with events, weddings and tours as well as a farm. The event itself will be held under cover, which is important as May is likely to be rainy and sometimes chilly if we are unlucky.
I was asked if I wanted to provide promotional material for the goodie bags for Press and VIP's - well, I suppose in for a penny and all that, so I agreed. They asked me to provide a photograph of what I planned to send them and I sent a picture of the earrings I propose to make. They require 250 - 300 pairs so I can see that I will be making earrings each weekend for the forseeable future! Fortunately I picked a design that is simple to make, but quite effective, in my opinion - what do you think?? I have a tutorial on how to make these on the website, mainly as an aide memoire and I am so glad I did that, as it can be quite easy to forget the exact way of replicating a design after all the trouble taken to fathom the best way to do it.
Video of last years show at Hampton Court
I'm sorry this post is so short, but I'll have loads to tell you after Polymania next week. Have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, it is nice to catch up with you again. The week just gone by has been filled with frustration - two steps forward and one step back in a bizarre dance. I blame the house gremlin who has been making mischief again! It has pinched my beautiful micro gouges that I used to carve metal clay with the last time I made a bronze clay clasp. Of course I only found that out after I had started on another piece and had it all ready to carve into. I spent hours looking for the gouges, and then gave up in disgust. The tools are expensive but I had no alternative but to go out and order another set.
Then, I decided to make a necklace with a set of blue agate hand carved leaves I brought back from a trip to India, only to find that I couldn't lay my hands on the very beads I wanted. I knew that I had put them carefully to one side only a few weeks ago. Hmm!
At least my craft supplies got tidied away and the house cleaned as I turned it upside down looking for these two items, and was eventually rewarded by the appearance of the leaves in a package of other blue beads - I still maintain that it wasn't me who put them there! The gouges remain lost.
An Attempt at Alchemy
And then, there was the failed attempt to make bismuth crystals. In my enthusiasm to make handmade with handmade, which is the Caprilicious motto as far as I can take it, I decided to try and make bismuth crystals myself so that I could wire wrap them. Everybody on You Tube seemed to be doing it, and it seemed like such an easy process. Having watched loads of videos on the technique, I found a source for 100 gms of the raw bismuth and was most excited when the lump arrived in the post. Of course the videos are not precise and do not tell one exactly how much to buy and I had no idea how heavy the metal was or how big a chunk I was likely to get. I pinched my husband's aluminium egg poacher, put my glasses on for safety and asked him to stay home while I played with molten metal - just in case of problems.
While I turned the house over obsessively looking for my agate beads and gouges, Diwali arrived, as did Halloween. I found a couple of ceramic ghouls, which the house gremlin had hidden from me for about an year and decided to use them in a pair of Spooktacular earrings before they were misappropriated again.
I also found little handmade glass chillies that I had intended to make into earrings for Diwali. The chilli peppers came from one of my intermittent internet trawls for unusual components. They reminded me of the strings of chillies and lemons that people hang in their doorways in India and I searched online for glass lemon beads which were eventually sourced on Etsy all the way from Riga, in Latvia.
It turns out that the lemon/chilli string is meant to keep away Ahalakshmi who is the sister of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. This ugly sister unfortunately comes to the party bringing poverty and misery with her, unlike her nicer sibling, and she is most unwelcome. To keep her out of the house, before she can walk in and settle down on the couch, they serve up her favourite sour and hot food right at the door, so that she gets her fill and leaves without needing to come indoors - hmm, there's a thought!
Of course the little glass chillies also look like the strings of fire crackers we used to play with as children - I'm not sure how we survived to tell the tale as Health and Safety was not something that was at the forefront of our minds.
Mr Gremlin relents - Autumn Bliss
I found them - Oh, was I pleased! I had this necklace in my mind and when I couldn't find the leaves I simply couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make - a sort of creative constipation. My brain stubbornly clung to this one idea, even though I tried to coax it into thinking I shouldn't waste time searching for the leaves and I'd find them on another occasion, probably while I was looking for something else. I had already picked out the buttery yellow, waxy jasper needles and little frosted handmade glass beads to match and I think they look great together. Neither colour is bright, but together, they Zing! I saw some outfits that they would go perfectly with - what do you think?? I like my jewellery to contrast with, rather than match my clothes, but that's just me.
That's it for this week folks. I'm glad the weekend is here and I hope that the gremlin goes to sleep for a while. I can't be doing anymore with a hunt for stuff that I know I have put away safely and cannot lay my hands on when I need them.
Talking about hidden treasure, have you been one of those taking part in the Treasure Hunt? If not, do make your way to the 'Treasury of Statement Necklaces' and look for the code on one of the pages which will entitle you to a 15% discount. The Treasure Hunt is on till the 14th of November.
The code is on a copy of this picture, and all you have to do is go and find it.
Catch you next week, same time, same place,
Hiya folks, nice to catch up with you again. I thought it would be good to play some music right at the beginning, so you can have something to listen to as you read - most of my readers are women, and at the risk of sounding sexist, I think we are good at multitasking.
The inspiration for my piece this week was this picture - the pink smoke spreading through the grey in a careless whisper. For once I chose the colour scheme first and picked a peachy-pink druzy teardrop to embroider around, with braids of pale pink and grey and accents of peridot green. Hung on two strands of spectrolite, which is a dark labradorite with the same beautiful flashes of colour, and rose quartz.
In last weeks edition of the blog I showed you some polymer clay headpins I made - here they are made up into simple earrings. I applied paint and a coat of resin to get these pretty effects. I even threw some sequins onto the resin on one of them, just because it is the festive season. The earrings are all about 2.5 - 2.7" in length. The black and white drawing I have used to display them on is not life size and is only meant to give an idea of how the earrings would hang from the ear lobe, so don't be taken aback by the seeming 'hugeness' of the jewellery.
I took Caprilicious to the 'Family Fun Day' last Sunday. Mike drove me to the venue, on a cold autumn day, only to find that the place was being cleaned - there had been a fortieth birthday party the night before, and the revellers had decided to have a food fight - chicken legs and nuts and crisps were strewn all over the place as well as glitter and streamers and other party stuff and the cleaners had not turned up. The poor organisers were frantically sweeping up all the detritus and eventually made the place habitable. Caprilicious did fairly well and made a few quid for charity, which I put into one of the collection pails at the end of the day. There was the obligatory bouncy castle, line dancing to live music for the kids, face painting, tombola, cake stalls, and a few others that I did not visit. I met Emma, the bath bomb lady - she had a line in home made skin creams and bath products that were cheap and cheerful and were snapped up by people looking for Christmas stocking fillers. In spite of the cold and obligatory rain which always shows up at an outdoor event, loads of people turned out to support the charity. Here are some pictures from the event.
I was exhausted after a day of resisting cake, and spent the rest of the week in a slight daze.
Next week, I will be running the Caprilicious Treasure Hunt on the website - I shall post the picture below with a code - it will be found amongst the necklaces in one of the pages of the 'Treasury of Statement Necklaces'. All you have to do is find the picture and code to be entitled to 15% off your entire checkout cart. There will be a new Christmas related code every day, and it will be valid for a week.
So, do feel free to have a go, folks. Grab a few Christmas presents and Bling for that office party while you can. Only one code per person please - as the codes are valid for a week, you have plenty of time to pick the stuff you want.
That's me for this week folks, thanks for joining me. Catch you next week, same time, same place,
Hello folks, thanks for joining me this week. The nights are drawing in and I'm dreading the start of winter where it is dark when you get in the car to leave home, and dark when you get back to it at the end of a day's work. If it weren't for Christmas and all the associated festivity, it would be an intolerable time of the year.
In fact Christmas has come early to Nuneaton - at the Slimming World Class I attend the consultant threw a taster session and we all took in Slimming World compatible festive food, shared recipes, and dressed up for the occasion. The lady in the Christmas hat is Cathy Lee, the Slimming World consultant from Nuneaton who works hard and tirelessly with the ladies of Nuneaton to help us loose weight.
Here she is when she isn't dressed inappropriately - she's on a cruise, and wearing Caprilicious to boot! She has a lovely, bubbly, endearing personality and is very popular with her groups.
I've been getting ready for my stall at the Family Fun Day in 10 days time, and made loads and loads of earrings (could that be a frenzy/orgy of earrings?).
I have another stall in early November and then of course there's Christmas and gifts I will need to make so they will come in useful somewhere. Of course, at Caprilicious I don't do things by halves. I try to use hand made components, and I like to make said components myself.
I made the components with polymer clay, paint, resin and added semi precious beads, pearls, crystals and Czech glass flowers. The polymer clay shapes were made over a weekend, and then each subsequent step took a couple of days. I think they are rather pretty, though I say so myself.
The last two were made using Jewellery Beetle wings - they are perfect for Christmas parties - I have a couple of necklaces I made earlier that I will take to the stall at the Christmas fair in November, everyone loves a bit of Bling! at Christmas.
Announcing the Caprilicious Christmas Treasure Hunt
To join in the festivities, Caprilicious will be running a daily Treasure Hunt from the 31st of October to the 6th of November. I will place a coupon every day among the pieces of jewellery in the 'Treasury of Statement Necklaces' - each coupon will be valid for one day only and can be used to redeem 15% off any purchases made from Caprilicious on the day. So hurry up and get your gifts and stock up on Bling for that office party.
And finally, a reminder of the event next week, I'd love to see you if you are in the area.
Have a great weekend, and see you next Friday, same time, same place.
Happy Friday, dear readers, how nice to have your company again this week. I have been busy booking my next holiday - it will soon be January and time to visit my 89 year old mother in India again. I find that I get very depressed after a holiday ends, and the only antidote to that is to book another almost immediately. One does need something to look forward to, don't you think?
A visit to Bangalore means of course, that I will take Caprilicious Jewellery with me and have a little show, once more at Raintree. I've got used to the place and the way they work, and am comfortable with the footfall there.
This time, an old friend from university has a daughter who is to be married in Mysore (two and a half hours from Bangalore) and I am invited. I get to wear my silks and jewellery and it promises to be a grand affair. I love to wear my sarees and walk with a swishy/gliding movement, rather than striding and stomping along like a great galumphing heffalump in my regular trousers and skirts. The family is related to the Mysore royal family and it should be an interesting and lavish affair.
Indian weddings are crazy, raucous, and a load of fun, where everyone has a good time except perhaps the hapless bride and groom who wear heavily embroidered and embellished clothes that weigh a ton, and sit sweating by a fire in the heat of an Indian summer, their eyes smarting from the smoke, with the weight of their attire, headgear and make up hampering their every move. I've done my time a long time ago, and now it is somebody elses turn.
September is always a manic month in maternity units up and down the country and this year has been no different. Although I had very little time to spare, I played with my beads and braids and an amazonite cabochon caught my eye - I've had it in my stash for ages. Surrounded by hundreds of little tiny Japanese seed beads and strips of soutache braid, this stone sprang to life - I realise now why I let it sit in my stash for such a long time. Set in a conventional manner it's beauty would prove very muted and in my opinion, it's colours have been brought out by the South Western colour scheme of the pendant.
I hung it on a simple torque necklace and covered the back with ultrasuede to keep it clean and tidy.
I made a couple of pairs of earrings to match a couple of necklaces I made previously - I personally do not believe in wearing more than one piece of jewellery at a time as I tend to think it dilutes the effect of a statement, but a lot of people are used to this concept and ask for earrings to go with their necklaces. And who am I to argue? After all, the customer is always right!!
That's me for this week, dear readers. I am due to have yet another busy week and am not looking forward to it.
Caprilicious Jewellery will have a stall at a Family Fun day in Nuneaton on the 23rd of October in aid of a couple of charities with our maternity unit as a major beneficiary. If any of you are in the vicinity, do come by.
Thanks for joining me today. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello folks, thanks for taking time out with me today. As always it is lovely to chat with you awhile. The weekend sounds promising with the forecast of a heatwave but one never can tell with the climate in this part of the world and this is why we are always obsessed with the weather. Our small talk is peppered with 'Nice day, isn't it?'s and if we're feeling optimistic but it is bucketing it down, people go 'nice weather for ducks', as if that is some compensation for being half drowned. However, one cannot expect a green and pleasant land without a few (lot) drops of rain!
If any of you are following the blog and wondered if Charlie my cat ever came back - the answer is sadly no, he hasn't. I've registered with various websites for lost animals in the area and postered all the local shops and that's it, I'm afraid, I shall have to accept his loss as final.
Still, I have my beads and baubles to console me and I decided to force myself to play with them. A string of iridescent peach quartz needles was the focus of my attention and I picked out all the beads I had to go with them. I have always loved the combination of orange and peach with grey - to me it seems very sophisticated and subtle - very grown up.
I bought the string of iridescent grey glass beads in the USA last year and the silvery grey clasp is carved from Mother of Pearl, and exceedingly beautiful. I like the idea of an untidy and carefully planned disarray so I moved the strands around until satisfied that it appeared as if they looked like they had been artfully thrown together. Some of the elements are shiny and the others have a matte finish in contrast and they go well together in this lovely statement piece that hugs the base of the neck like a collar.
I made some earrings to go with this necklace - they are simple and made in the same colours. I don't really hold very much with wearing 'matching' pieces of jewellery - to me it seems like trying to diminish attention from the statement piece around your neck. I think that if you are wearing one piece of beautiful jewellery, the rest of your body should be unadorned - or if you wish to wear another piece, it should be as far away from the main action as possible, perhaps around your wrist? That's just my opinion, what do you think?? I'd love to know because people ask me if I have earrings to match, and I have to explain myself all the time.
Polymer clay roses I made in vibrant shades of yellow and orange went with lampwork glass and copper 'tornado' beads to make pretty bohemian earrings.
That's a wrap for this week folks. Have a lovely weekend and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place. Until then
Hello dear readers and lovers of statement jewellery, how are you all this fine Friday in January? I am in all of a tizz, picking out my best pieces and packing them carefully so that they arrive intact for the show - have I mentioned this show before?? I'm sure I have (once or twice - at least!), but just for good measure, I've included an invitation for people who might not have been paying attention, have had an outage of their internet facilities, been living in the Outer Hebrides, meditating on one foot in the Himalayas or simply not caught up with the blog these last few weeks.
I've talked to you before about my friend who makes the most exquisite bowls out of wood. Indeed, I have a couple of them for sale on this website, right here. He brought this beauty around to ask if I would be able to make a central insert using a polymer clay mosaic. He brought along a design for a yellow mosaic flower which I faithfully reproduced. It was sanded and buffed to within an inch of it's life and then handed over to be inserted into the bowl. When it was finally finished, he brought it to me to be photographed and here it is in all it's glory.
My contribution to this beautiful work of art is but paltry in contrast to all the woodwork, but Shekhar seemed to think it 'lifted' the piece - and who am I to argue with a free compliment?? He obviously liked the way it turned out as he has brought me another bowl, and this time, I am to have a free hand in the design of the central insert.
Bead and Jewellery Magazine Project
I woke up to this - I'd been waiting for ages for this announcement, and here it was - Bead and jewellery magazine No 68 will be on the stands on the 1st of February with my very first project published in it. On the basis of the job I did with writing this tutorial, the editor has agreed for me to contribute two more projects this year, one of which is already completed and sent in. I really enjoyed writing up the project and taking step by step photographs. I hope there is good feedback from the readers as I would love to do more of them.
These are the original beads I submitted and the necklace I made with them.
I played with beads and wire to make a few pairs of earrings - it didn't feel right to sit in front of the TV without a pair of pliers and a few beads in my hands, and herein lies the makings of an addiction.
I don't really need any more stuff to carry to the show, but I just can't seem to stop myself reaching for the wire and the beads.
These little bowls were made from a tutorial by Melanie West. I made them over a wet weekend in December, but they needed sanding and buffing to bring out the colours and shine on the outside. They are great fun to make, and just over 2.5" in diameter and about 2" in height. They will hold a couple of rings or a pair of earrings - I've actually got a sample piece which didn't quite turn out perfect, and I've been using it to hold tiny seed beads on a little tray in my lap.
The BLue Lotus
A pendant set of three chrysocolla stones has been sitting in my stash, reproaching me for not showing it any love for ages. I bought it waaay back, when I was commissioned to make a rainforest necklace by one of my customers - I bought three sets of multi stone pendants and used two of them in the necklaces above. It was great fun making dragonflies and ants and other little beetles which were supposed to look as if they were supping at a pool made of these stones in a clearing in the rainforest. Obviously there's only that many bugs one can make so the third set of stones got tucked away until their piteous wailing was heard even with the lid tightly shut. Out they came, but I was completely stumped for ideas. Not wanting to make yet another rainforest necklace, I was scratting around at the bottom of the barrel for ideas. When a piece of jewellery that is so evocative is conceived, it is difficult to move away from it and make something completely different. That probably explains why jewellery designers often make variations on the same theme over and over again in a series.
I decided I was going to try and make a peacock - much like an old favourite piece I made a couple of years ago, with the stones fanning out into the peacock's tail. By the time I finished, a couple of days later, I realised it would be impossible to balance the stones in such an awkward position, so after a hurried rebranding, we now have Blue Lotus! I enjoyed making this pendant - the original inspiration was a design by Lisa Barth, but I made the whole thing more difficult by weaving the frame for all three stones with the same length of wire - did I ever tell you that I love wire work? - I thought I might have let it slip once or twice!
The necklace arrived from a vendor in Tibet and I thought it was robust enough to carry and enhance the pendant.
I had been trying not to make any more jewellery before my trip to India, but unfortunately, I cannot sit still without a pair of pliers and a bit of wire in my hands, it seems almost criminal and a terrible waste of time - oh well, C'est la Vie! If something pretty comes from it, who am I to stop myself?
That's all I have for today folks, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place before I board the plane to India.