Hello all you Caprilicious women out there, I hope you are all relaxed and ready for the weekend, ready to go partying in your statement jewellery.
I have some exciting news this week - Caprilicious is due to have a second exhibition in January 2015. I am negotiating with the good people of Raintree, where I had my first exhibition, to find us a suitable weekend at the end of January when I am due to be in Bangalore visiting with my mother.
Lipstick on your Collar
That's right, I've made this necklace before - last time, I used the jasper I acquired from my friend BN with a coral pink howlite - I happened to have some pale, blush pink howlite lying around and a few black veined jasper beads left over from last time and they just seemed to cry out to be put together. I am by no stretch of imagination a 'pink' person, but I just love the combination of pink and grey/black - very cool and sophisticated. You wouldn't catch me in a pink outfit though - one has to draw the line somewhere! There are plenty of greys, blacks and whites in my wardrobe that could be accesorised beautifully by this necklace when I take it out for it's test run.
For the longest time, I thought seahorses were mythical creatures, like unicorns, phoenix', dragons, dinosaurs and pixies - only kidding, honest. I love the little critters, they are the cutest and I am always on the look out for them. I found an aventurine carved into a seahorse, so smooth and shiny - an instant love affair. With a little wire bail, and the addition of agates and glass beads as well as pearls, it was transformed into a cruisers necklace - or for someone going on a holiday to an island paradise. I used the colours in this photograph to make this necklace.
Do you know the story of Salome?? It is from the New Testament - Salome, who by all accounts was a raving beauty and a femme fatale, who is hailed as the embodiment of female seductiveness and an icon of sensuality , did the Dance of the Seven Veils at her step fathers birthday bash - he offered her anything her little heart desired, and Salome, being as thick as two short planks, looked to her mom for an answer.
Her mom had dumped her first husband, and married his brother - she was extremely put out that John The Baptist had denounced her marriage as unlawful; and he didn't just say it once - he raved and ranted and denounced her from the rooftops, unfortunately prophets just don't
seem to know when to stop - to silence him she decided to get her daughter to demand that John be beheaded.
Salome could have asked for anything - gold, diamonds, pearls - but being a bit sweet and unworldly, she said 'what shall I ask for mommy??' and chose to obey her mother. The king had no choice but to behead the hapless John and present her with his head on a plate.
But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
My necklace is named Salome - I'm sure it wouldn't have looked out of place during the Dance of the Seven Veils - men will lose their heads over the wearer - but hopefully in a nicer way than poor old John. I've tried to put nuances of sensuality and fiery desire into this magnificent necklace and the haematite gleams brightly in contrast to the hand carved black jade and the paisley howlite beads in the second strand of this piece.
Her face is hand carved of ox bone, she wears a sterling silver and marcasite helmet, her helmet straps are fastened and she looks calm, yet resigned, as if off to do battle for a cause she believes in, wearing her regalia. A beautiful faceted citrine teardrop dangles below her chin - she is The Warrior Princess.
I teamed her with citrine and carnelian freeform nuggets, pearls and blue goldstone beads to make this piece.
Now that I've decided that there will be an exhibition, a bit of anxiety has started to creep up on me - yes, I know I'm being silly, and that I have five months to go - but I'm just a ' have everything ready ahead of time' type . So, I made some earrings - they will go on the website, and eventually make their way to the exhibition, or not, as the case may be - but at least I will have them ready in time.
These are sweet, and helped me watch one of my favourite movies 'The English Patient' for the n'th time as my pliers moved rhythmically along with the soundtrack. And then, with mental calm restored, now that I have enough earrings, I went to bed and slept the sleep of the truly righteous. Now all I have to do is to remember to carry them along - one time I did a jewellery party at my friend Gerry's house, and I left all my earrings and other little bits behind in the cupboard at home.
That's all for this week, folks, I hope you have enjoyed looking at my bits and bobs - if you have, do leave me a message - I'm beginning to think I'm talking to myself.
One of my kittens, Wilfred has found a spool of wire and is chasing it around the room, whilst Charlie has bumped into a wall and got a huge bruise on his nose - £50 to the vet and a clutch of tablets later ( I'm so in the wrong profession), he looks like a rugby player after a particularly violent scrum. Thankfully he is a kitten and not a child, or they would have had me up for non accidental injuries!
Catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hi readers, hope you've all had a successful week, and are in the process of getting ready for a fun weekend. We have friends arriving to stay with us, and thankfully Mikes 'project' is almost finished. The garden is looking close to normal again - but only just. Turf may have to be relaid a bit later on as it looks like it has been trampled on by a herd of rampaging bull elephants, but at least there isn't one big churned up pit of mud in the middle of the lawn.
As the 'girly' one in the family, I always wore jewellery and makeup, loved lace and pink (shudder), perfume and stiletto heeled shoes - thankfully, I am no longer a pink person, and comfort has won over vanity. Jewellery however, remains a constant and my taste for it now veers towards the outrageous and wild. Even the simplest piece, in my hands will go slightly off kilter to produce a very different look from what one would expect normally - I see the puzzlement on some peoples faces - they either get it and are fans of my stuff - or they hate it for being odd and having dog legs where canine limbs are not meant to be!
I started out designing for myself - the rationale was that if nobody liked it, at least I would have jewellery I wanted to wear. I have indeed found a lovely bunch of like minded people, who share my enthusiasm for wild things and we are very happy with one another. This next piece is for one of them....or me!
Worn To Be Wild
I just love this necklace and can't wait to test drive it. It is all be-silked and beribboned with sari fabric ribbon as I thought the black and faux bone could do with being zhushed up.
I have the attention span of a gnat, and a low boredom threshold - I need to make different things to hold my interest. Each week I might start out as I did, with a tribal piece, then make a sweet and simple one, and then play with clay for a day or two, and then some wire. Just the one genre, churning out the same old, same old, would bore me to tears.
A couple of fibula brooches for Look in the Bag appeared mysteriously one morning - I must have made them while watching telly or it was the house elf! I have a malign elf in the house normally - all I have to do is put something down and look away - count to five - and it's gone - completely vanished, never to be seen again.
I had myself a load of fun playing with an extruder and making some brooches - I couldn't believe that the strings of clay wouldn't all stick to one another when they were forced out of the extruder - I spent a whole lot of time separating the strings and hanging them over my pasta machine, till in the end, once I realised that it wasn't necessary, I was putting them together like a pro! The brooches are for Look in the Bag, of course, and Neelam will unveil them properly once the time is right for her - this is just a sneak peek, just for you, my readers.
I realised that my little collection of silver had dwindled considerably since the exhibition, in fact, there were no earrings left at all. I picked up a solar quartz pendant set in sterling silver and teamed it with Peruvian opal nuggets and seed pearls - very evocative of the deep blue sea, which one assumes is teeming with mermaids. Solar quartz is a transverse section of a stalactite, and is usually cream coloured - this one is dyed blue, and is particularly vibrant. This is a sweet little necklace - a complete volte face from Worn to be Wild!
I have been hoarding these stylish ear wires for just such a moment - vibrant and pretty dyed jade beads dangle from sterling silver ear wires. I love the colours of these beads - just wish my ear lobes were strong enough to support earrings.....sigh!
South Western Sunset
This picture was taken a long time ago during my travels in the USA. The colours of the sunset are so pretty, although muted and I decided to put them together in a necklace. I admit, this is an unusual combination and I turned it over in my mind for a couple of days before deciding that I would go all out to make an eclectic piece that would be truly one of a kind.
Now that I had given myself the go-ahead, I made some faux amber and faux sea glass beads, and put together a necklace. A vintage Indian pendant was hung on a Tibetan bead, and dangled from a filigree wire woven circle that resembles a dream catcher - in keeping with the South Western theme. I have liberally mixed East and West, and I think they go well together - this necklace has extremely eclectic origins, and is most definitely one of a kind.
I like the way the necklace is showy, without being completely over the top - do you like it??
That's as much as I had time for folks, catch you next week, same time, same place. Have a great week
Last week was Thanksgiving in America, Obama pardoned a turkey - though loads of people languish in Guantanamo Bay, it was the turkey that got lucky, and I hope it was duly grateful.
But, did you know that the cranberry is probably what the early American settlers were - or should have been, most grateful for?? The Native Indians introduced the settlers to this berry, which was probably the first superfood - cranberries are meant to be high in antioxidants, and prevent heart disease, and were even then, being used as laxatives, blood purifiers, to treat fevers, stomach cramps and anaemia following childbirth. This berry kept more people in good health than a load of other cures such as the application of leeches and other fun interventions dreamed up by the medics of the time.
Cranberries are grown in the bogs in places like Wisconsin and Massachusetts and have now made their way onto the table at feasts - once it was discovered that the sour berry could be sweetened - remember the story of the spoonful of sugar, and the medicine??
The beautiful watermelon tourmalines used in this necklace give it it's name. The tiny haematite heishi beads were found in the bead fair in Newmarket a few weeks ago - I think they go perfectly together. I used sterling silver accent beads and clasp - I thought the delicacy of the necklace merited a special treatment. I do not make 'delicates' easily and struggled a bit with this piece, but in the end, I quite like it - I'm sure not everyone wants to make a 'Big Bang' of a statement - there is room for subtlety, especially during the daytime!
Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was skipping along, trying out this berry and that, singing softly to herself, when Hades, the God of the Underworld came crashing out of a cleft in the ground, raped her and took her off to live with him - her mother Demeter, was so distraught, she caused all the plants to wither and die and forbid the earth to produce. In alarm, Zeus set up a search party, and found her - her husband was persuaded to let her go - he was made an offer he couldn't refuse - but the wily old dog, Hades had fed the greedy woman with pomegranate seeds (she'd eat anything, obviously) - so she was condemned to return to him for four months of the year. This is meant to be a personification of the story of the seasons, and Persephone is also the Goddess of spring and fertility.
The maple leaf in this necklace was picked and skeletonised in high summer this year - I have only just found a use for it. I used my new camera and a new technique to take these pictures, and was mighty chuffed when I was complimented on one of them.
I spent the entire weekend playing with polymer clay and a tutorial by Alice Stroppel - trying to make a profile face cane - I had to learn to make tiny eyes, and lips and eyelid canes, and then put them together, stick a nose on it, and Voila! - sigh, if only it was that easy. Anyway, I made two sizes of cane - a big one and a little one, according to her instructions and they now sit proudly on my table. I have yet to decide what to do with them - Alice has some very witty and fun bracelets on her pages - I might draw some inspiration there. I have no time to play with clay during the week, so will have to wait till the next weekend for that. Here are some pictures of the process..........
This is one of my favourite genres of necklace - the torque - winding loads and loads of wire and beads around a single 2mm wire with it's integral clasp is very rewarding - this time I used snowflake obsidian fragments - this is lava that cooled very quickly, trapping white inclusions, like snowflakes - adding Czech glass, and a resin rose, a Murano glass leaf and some iridescent glass leaves as an asymmetric focal. The necklaces take a while to make - if you can imagine twisting each bead onto thin wire, and then the whole 'garland' onto the 2mm wire - but the results are amazing.
That's as much as I had time for this week folks. I have to make a load of Christmas presents, and most exciting of all, there are plans afoot to hold a little exhibition in India when I go on holiday to visit my family in January.
Have a great week, and I will catch you next weekend, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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