Hello, my lovely internet friends, thanks for coming back to join me today. I've only just managed to shake off a cold and am over the worst of the jet lag - I feel like it gets worse as I get older.
While I was in India I met a young lady who came to take a look at my jewellery and ended up buying a couple of pieces. We had made contact via the website earlier on and she wanted me to wrap a piece of turquoise she owned in copper wire. When Ms A came to the house she brought with her a little bag of bits and bobs which she wanted to have made up, among which were a pair of silver earrings, one of which had a broken catch, a few turquoise beads bought on a visit to Bhutan, lapis lazuli beads and a few pearls which came from one of the earrings. She'd made a start at stringing the beads with one of the earrings as a pendant, but had given up mid way, either bored, too busy, or unsure of the direction it was taking.
Ms A is an educator by profession, feisty, sensible, well spoken with a left wing attitude which chimed with mine, and I felt that although I had only just met her, we achieved an instant rapport.
I love bags that contain treasure - well, who doesn't? The possibilities are endless especially if one is given a free hand and I could see hours of fun in that little bag, a cornucopia of fun.
With the two earrings being virtually identical, I wanted to make necklaces that were as different from one another as possible. There was also an anxiety that the remaining catches on the earrings might break so I drilled holes into the tops of the earrings, cut off the remaining catches and filed down the ends to make them comfortable to wear. I added garnets, labradorite and carnelian chips to the mix as there weren't quite enough beads, and knowing that the lady does not like her jewellery too bright or big, picked muted colours that are more her bag. Anyone who knows me will understand that this was a design challenge for me as I tend to design big, bold and bright!
I had a single turquoise bead left over when I finished the garnet necklace and I put it in the second necklace at first, in place of the large lapis bead that now rests above the earring/pendant.
Ms A said she wasn't keen to have turquoise in both the necklaces when I sent her a picture taken with my phone. After a bit of toing and froing, with me sending her pictures of all the suitable replacements, we decided to swap it with the lapis bead, so I remade that particular strand for her. After all, the customer is always right and should have what she wants, as far as possible! This has always been the Caprilicious credo and I do my best to keep it going.
And then, of course it was the turn of the pendant bead which was destined to be wrapped in miles of tarnish resistant copper wire. The bead itself is pretty tiny, just over a centimetre long so I had to come up with a design that exposed as much of it as possible. I also had to make sure that the holes were covered up so that it appeared more like a cabochon than a bead. Tarnish resistant wire is coated with nylon and has to be manipulated by hand rather than with pliers as the nylon tears if held too tightly and the wire looks unsightly. It is a bit more difficult to use, however, Ms A wanted it and as I said before whatever Ms A wants, Ms A gets (sung to the tune of Whatever Lola wants.....).
There they are, then, Ms A's bag of beads, transformed into wearable pieces. I hope she is happy with them when she receives them, and wish her hours of enjoyment in them.
I had to make these pieces up as soon as possible because one of my friends is travelling to India and has agreed to carry them back with her. I wouldn't be able to trust them to the vagaries of the Indian postal system. I certainly wouldn't want them stolen and for Mrs Indian Postman to be wearing them on her next outing to the cinema!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Good morning, fabulous people, and thanks for dropping by today. I've spent the week making plans for my annual trip to India - I'm normally there around this time of year, but have delayed my holiday on this occasion to be present at my mother's 90th birthday. The original plan was to have a very fancy party and my mother was coyly accepting of it. 'Why do you need to waste money on an old woman' she simpered, until she realised she quite enjoyed a party and wouldn't have to do anything but turn up and look as good as her 90 years would allow. My only surviving sibling however, decided conveniently to take her at her word, and isn't prepared to join in and play ball, so that plan bit the dust, with mum retreating into a 'what's so special about 90, it's just another number' routine, to save face (I think).
We plan a scaled down celebration and hopefully if all goes well, the weather will be kind to me. I will be flying from chilly and cold, to swelteringly hot, and hopping from one air conditioned space to the next, turning into a massive sweatball between the two. It will certainly unclog the old pores and my hair will go frizzy in the humidity - oh well, it sure doesn't sound like I'm looking forward to it - and I'm not, weather wise. However, the rest of the trip should be fun.
This is a very simple necklace, but each of the elements in it are so beautiful that the piece in its entirety is alluring. Rainbow pearls and a large box clasp of a blister pearl when put together are blindingly beautiful and unsurprisingly, this necklace is already spoken for. Blister pearls are bumpy growths formed on the inside surface of a mollusc shell. They are hemispherical or irregular in shape and are cut out with the shell. They are grown intentionally by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one; and by implanting it against the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue. The pearl then develops in a hemispheric form, with a flat back.
The necklace can be worn in three ways, with the clasp at the bottom, to one side, or at the back.
The Ottoman Necklace
This necklace looks like something straight out of a seraglio - this is the second one I've had on my website, and I just love the greens, the bling and the heft of the tassel. It is a faux lariat and drips luxury into the decollete' - a blissfully opulent evening necklace.
A Fabergé egg is a jeweled egg created by the House of Fabergé. They were manufactured under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé between 1885 and 1917. The most famous are those made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. Known as the Hens Egg, the very first Fabergé egg was crafted from a foundation of gold. Its opaque white enameled "shell" opened to reveal a matte yellow-gold yolk. This in turn opened to reveal a multicolored gold hen that contained a minute diamond replica of the imperial crown from which a small ruby pendant was suspended, but these last two elements were misplaced or lost..
I found a diamante egg shaped pendant on a website from the USA and was immediately reminded of the Faberge' creations. It hangs from the necklace of blue jade and baroque pearls by a removable bail which has a cunning clasp mechanism that enables you to take it off the necklace - although I cannot imagine why anyone would do that, and a tassel of blue jade beads dripping from it.
The Purple Cross Necklace
The purple cross is reserved for nobility, royalty and courageous animals - and now, one gorgeous and discerning Caprilicious woman. This one is made of titanium vapour coated druzy, set in sterling silver and accented with peridot. I hung it on a gothic necklace of dark blood red garnets and I can imagine it with a dark evening dress and maroon lipstick, and equally in the neckline of a simple shirt and leather jacket. The necklace is meant to sit close to the neck, almost like a choker. The green beads are Murano glass to match the peridot in the pendant.
I've been playing with soutache - the intention is to turn the piece into a butterfly flitting over some very exotic flowers - perhaps from a jungle in the Amazon. I am halfway through it and may have something to show you next week. Just now, it is unfinished and looks rather strange, and like a mother with an ugly infant I love it because it's my creation, but am not sure how it will look in its final avataar. Hopefully it will make more sense as time goes by and it gets over the 'awkward phase'.
That's all I have for you this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello readers and lovers of statement jewellery everywhere, it is nice of you to drop by the Caprilicious blog. This week I've had time to put together a few multistrand necklaces - getting ready for Bling season in the main - there are only 89 days to Christmas and it will soon be the time of year for pretty things and gifts. I hope that some of you will be sufficiently enthused by what you are looking at to pick up your gifts from Caprilicious. I am happy to gift wrap and send the parcel to an address of your choice with a little card from you, all you have to do is ask.
The Shaman's Necklace
'Shaman are spiritual guides and practitioners, not of the divine, but of the very elements. Unlike some other mystics, shaman commune with forces that are not strictly benevolent. The elements are chaotic, and left to their own devices, they rage against one another in unending primal fury. It is the call of the shaman to bring balance to this chaos.'
Labradorite is a Feldspar with a rich play of colours called Labradorescence, first discovered in Labrador, Canada. The North American Indians call it the Stone of Shamans - it is meant to aid clarity of thought, protect against negativity and from misfortune, thus bringing balance to chaos.
I love it because it shines so beautifully when moved in the light -at one angle it is a boring grey stone, but move it a bit and Wow! it flashes with such brilliant colour one is simply carried away by its beauty. Combined with rare and beautiful grossular green garnets and a copper wire surround, the labradorite is superb.
Inspired by Isabella Rossellini's shirt necklace in Death Becomes Her, this is my first 'Bling' necklace of the year. Ms Rossellini would look beautiful in a sack, but when she rose out of the water and glided over to her robe purring like a little panther, I just knew that one day I would make a necklace like hers. With plenty of crystals and hammered gold tone links, it shines beautifully, and although I haven't gone overboard, it is still pretty opulent.
Coral, freshwater pearls and an ornate clasp - my muse was in seventh heaven. A pair of earrings complete the parure which is going to be worn with a black and cream lace dress and a little black net fascinator at a wedding.
Daytime Bling - Monet
This painting of water lilies by Monet has so many beautiful colours, and I have been collecting pictures of them to use as inspiration for a piece of jewellery for the longest time - here is the picture, and the necklace - You like?? I love...
This necklace was made for a moonlit walk along the edge of the sea, the breeze blowing in your hair, scarf and skirt billowing - dancing in the moonlight. The pearls and blue jade are ethereal, lending themselves to romance on a moonlit night. If I knew the lady in the picture, I would offer her this necklace.
These two pairs of earrings are so organic, they almost made themselves - I just took the wire where it seemed to want to go and after a while, the earrings appeared as if by magic - they both started with the same material in the same quantities, but ended up being so different. The difficulty with organic designs is to know when to stop with the curls and squiggles and say "The End" !
That's it for this week folks. I have to report that my kittens are pretty useless at being helpers - they sleep most of the day and when awake fight with one another or eat me out of home and hearth - I sound like my mother complaining about her 'helpers' !! I go to my third Polydays in the Cotswolds this week and am sure to bring back some fabulous ideas to Caprilicious. See you next week, same time, same place
G'day readers, I hope you have had a fabulous week and are getting ready for yet another cool weekend.
I myself am 'doing a geographical' - I am escaping from my problems by going away - but unfortunately as the man said, 'Wherever you go, There you are'! It will be two years since my brother died unexpectedly and I am yet to come to terms with his loss - I wander around in complete denial, but I know it will hit me eventually, when I go back to India to visit my mother and he isn't there. Just now, however, I need to get away - from being a member of a 'caring' profession, from well meaning callers, from having to be strong and comfort my family, and from having to confront the fact that I will never see him again.
The Arowana fish, also known as the “golden dragon”, because of its close similarity to an actual dragon, is said to be the most expensive aquarium fish in the world. It is meant to bring good luck and prosperity and is used by Feng Shui masters to increase personal development and money-making opportunities.
This fish apparently is so highly attuned to negative forces, that when it senses a disaster, it whacks itself against the side of the aquarium to warn it's owner. If the owner doesn't take heed and do something to repair his karma, it will leap out of the water and commit suicide, sacrificing its own life to repress negative energy for its owner. (I put this down to the concussion it suffered when it was beating itself about the head during the attention seeking phase).
Liuli crystal is made in China - a multicolour crystal, which has a very complicated casting technique - it is expensive, because 40% of the castings fail and have to be discarded. The molds cannot be reused and the firing temperatures are very high - each piece is one of a kind and multicoloured. This necklace has two strands of square Czech glass beads in a beautiful emerald green.
The success of this form of currency can largely be attributed to the high intrinsic value African people put upon decorative items, and social status was easily determined by the quality, quantity and style of jewellery worn.
The very first bead made in Africa was the ostrich eggshell bead. The ostrich eggshell was first used as a container for water after the contents were eaten, and when this broke, the remains were converted into beads. I made some polymer clay beads that resembled them. I ran out of rock salt to roll the clay in, to make the surface appear uneven and worn, so I used lentils from the store cupboard instead.
The kitchen is the tool shed of a polymer clay person - pasta machines, extruders modified from icing guns, even a potato peeler to shave thin slices of clay, blenders, cookie cutters, ovens, baking sheets, kitchen foil, parchment paper, spoons, soda cans, rock salt - and lentils - all of these have been pressed into use, with the proviso that they cannot be reused in the preparation of food - all except the oven, of course!
I really love the idea of making a lot of the components that go into my jewellery myself - and mixing media excites me - the sky's the limit with this type of jewellery. And just as I finished making the beads and wondered what I was going to do with them - these pendants arrived in the post - it doesn't take a genius to spot that they go together - and the necklaces have a name already - Dancing in the Dark - probably because of their high visibility! Somebody who likes the bold, the bright and the different will love them - if you are that person and are reading this - read on............
Hermes is a Greek God, the son of Zeus and Maia - Zeus seems to have spread himself around - I suppose that is permissible if you are the father of all the Gods!
Hermes moved freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, and is protector and patron of travelers, orators, poets, and sports. Winged sandals are one of his symbols, but his main symbol is the herald's staff, a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. The silver pendant in this necklace reminded me of this symbol - it is very similar to the staff of Asclepius, which is the medical symbol - this, though has only one snake and no wings.
A silver 'window druzy' stone, flanked by wings and garnets was enhanced by the addition of two strands of little garnet beads, and silver plated glass tear drops. The necklace turned out dainty and delicate, and I was quite pleased with the effect.
Dancing in the Dark
Anyone who has been to Prague will have heard of their famous Black Light Theatre - the stage, set, and theatre are all painted black, and with the use of fluorescent costumes and UV lights, the performers are able to produce spectacular contemporary illusionary dance forms.
I named the next few pieces of jewellery after this beautiful spectacle - they are so highly decorative and visible, that they will probably be at their best against the backdrop of a little black dress, although I'm sure some improvisation around that theme will be just as stunning. The pendants came from the Silk route area, and are rather heavy, so rather than give the wearer a pain in the neck, I teamed them with light weight beads. I made some of the beads myself, as you will no doubt have read earlier.
I couldn't make just the one, I had to put them all together - they are definitely statement pieces, and I just love the colours and the 'in your face-ness' of them - not for the timid then, eh?? I am sure the person(s) who get them will love them.
That's all I had time for folks, catch you next week, same time, same place