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
I don't know how you are faring, but we have had a fantastic week here in the Midlands, warm and sunny, culminating today in thunderstorms. For a while it didn't feel like this was the UK at all - could have been in the Southern Mediterranean - fantastic! - you could almost feel the country holding its collective breath - terrified that this was it - and our summer was going to be a flash in the pan.
It is no wonder my thoughts turned to warmer climes and I made some faux ivory using polymer clay - I made quite a few beads and pendants and mindful of the promise I made to myself to use at least one of my moulds each week, I made a little butterfly, which will eventually end up as a focal piece for a necklace. These were all from a tutorial by Tina Holden (http://beadcomber.blogspot.co.uk/ )- she makes some fantastic stuff, and her tutorials are very explicit - and the best thing about them is --- they work! There's nothing worse than shelling out hard earned cash for tutorials and then wasting time, energy and material on turning out a duff object - it really hacks me off. Tina's shop however, has the real deal and I have bought a few tutorials from her.
I played with some alcohol inks to colour the butterfly, forgetting to put my gloves on - and what an unholy mess I made - my hands looked like I had gone to bed with fake tan on - shan't be doing that again in a hurry!
I was on quite the ecology kick this week - I made a necklace to resemble coral using little opaque red seed beads and a pendant I sourced from my favourite Nepalese shop in Kathmandu. Coral reefs are home to fish, molluscs, crustaceans and other sealife, and are endangered from climate change, overuse of reef resources, pollution of the sea causing overgrowth of harmful algae, over fishing and the use of cyanide and blast fishing.
My husband took one look at it and remarked how ethnic it looked - the reds and golds, and of course the pendant which is unmistakeably Eastern, of course. However, as the week went by, I seemed to make one ethnic looking piece after the other - a bit of Asian, a pinch of African, and in the latter part of the week, a dollop of Peruvian - who knows what was going on in my head??? Next, my muse decided I was going to be elephant / ivory friendly - so the faux ivory beads I had made went into two necklaces, celebrating the African elephant at dawn, in bold yellows and reds, and at dusk, in the blues of the watering hole.
Serengeti Dreams - Sunrise and Sunset
I really enjoyed making the bunches of grapes for my Bacchanalia necklace - I thought people who didn't like statement pieces may, however, enjoy little bunches of grapes to wear as pendant and earring sets. Of course I went overboard when I was ordering the beads - they were soooooo pretty and almost irresistible - so I bought more than one colour and made them up into my first ever 'range' - Ooh, Caprilicious is growing up - ' A range', no less! I thought to myself!
Of course, if one of you wants a Bacchanalia necklace - I can be persuaded to make one for you - it wont be the same of course, but very similar to the one in this picture. It has glass bunches of grapes, and polymer clay leaves and twigs, with blue dragons vein agate grapes on the other side. The design is in the customers photograph gallery of a large jewellery wholesaler in the USA - Fire Mountain Gems - I sent it in and after about a week was delighted to receive an acceptance email - and I must tell you, they don't accept stuff easily. It is a very busy necklace, but very pretty, even though I say so myself.
I buy a few things from this chap who travels to Peru regularly and brings back little bits and bobs - something different - I get bored if I use the same stuff over and over - and I like the challenge of putting together items that wouldn't normally be seen in the same room, let alone the same piece of jewellery - so when he showed me this pendant, I had to have it. It was so delicate and sweet, I made it up with dyed peacock blue baroque pearls and Czech crystal beads into an Art Nouveau inspired piece - with two strands of linked chain - it was fun making the links of the chain - almost hypnotic - indeed, so hypnotic, that I dozed off, and when I woke, there was more than I needed, and I had to cut some off! The whole piece is set off by a vintage crystal clasp - this is so pretty and shiny, it appeals to the magpie in me. Anyway, here is the Peruvian Princess - I think she is very sweet and youthful - what say you??
This has been a fun and busy week - my mother arrives next week and will be with me for a month - I will endeavour to keep going with my creations. I have booked into an enamelling course for a couple of days at In The Studio in Kegworth, but will spend the rest of the four weeks pampering her - she is 84 - and she deserves a bit of pampering after the year she's had!
I hope to have a few things to show you next week, see you then,