Hello good people, I'm a bit late posting as I've been busy in Bangalore with my mothers birthday party and a short trip to Pune to visit my sister and her family. I also visited friends and relatives who waited till the last week to stuff me full of food, making it impossible to fly back to the UK in the same clothes I went to India in. Fortunately, I know that this happens, and always carry at least one outfit that is a size larger than my usual, so that I didn't have to fly back looking and feeling like a stuffed pillow. Now that I'm home, I've developed a stinking cold, but have had to go to work - after such a long leave of absence, it would be unfair to my colleagues and patients to extend my time away. Anyway, enough with the excuses!!
So in the end, my mother had not one but two celebrations. After all the fuss and make believe embarrassment, she 'allowed' us to throw her a birthday party and invited a hundred people to lunch the previous day herself!! A prayer was said at a temple of her choice after which we all trooped back home to lunch where a marquee had been set up, caterers brought in food and she seemed to enjoy herself thoroughly.
Every surface that could possibly be festooned with marigold garlands was decorated, including a couple of tree trunks. Mum inspected the food and agreed that it looked palatable before she let her guests loose on it. In a complete departure from the norm, she served beer and biriyani as well as the regular vegetarian fare that is usual after a visit to the temple - at 90 she is pretty untraditional!
I had cousins come all the way from Canada and from far flung places in India, and all in all it was a fun party. As soon as the last guest left, we went into 'we must rest, we must rest up or we will be exhausted tomorrow' mode. A masseuse was brought in to give all the ladies a good rub down, to prepare us for the next day and we chilled out so that we could be sure to have fun at the party the next evening.
My sister in law and I were throwing the party for mum the next day - we wanted so much to have it by the poolside, but it rained ferociously at about 6pm. We were anxious that a repeat performance would destroy all our plans, and moved the party indoors. We decorated the room with banners and bunting, and then it was time to have some serious fun. Sonali, a very talented artist had painted a portrait of mum from some photographs I had sent her, and we set that up on an easel at the entrance to the room. We had a saxophonist play soft music for us and with the cocktail bar open, we were ready to rock.
Two of the ladies even wore Caprilicious!!
Mum was pleased with her party and said she enjoyed the speeches. After this, we had the masseuse come in again - her pay packet was stupendous, but I'll bet her arms ached that week. The rest of the holiday was an anti climax, and all I wanted to do was rest, although I did fly out to Pune for a couple of days to visit with my sister and her family, and got invited out to dinner most nights, so much so I put on a load of weight eating out every day.
On the 18th of April, the whole of India celebrated a festival where all the women buy a piece of jewellery to ensure prosperity throughout the year - I'm sure this festival was invented by jewellers and though I'm a heathen non believer, I thought it was a good enough excuse to go out and buy myself a couple of pieces of siver jewellery from my favourite jeweller on Commercial Street in Bangalore. After all, when in Rome, etc. etc.
It took me a couple of weeks before I could post here, and I truly missed my routine. However, I could see that I was quickly becoming a nuisance, asking to borrow the office laptop at night and having to wake up early to return it before anyone needed it.
I'm back home now, over the jet lag and back at the day job, so will be posting more regularly.
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
OYEZ,OYEZ,OYEZ, announcing the arrival of the Formal Party Wear collection by Caprilicious!! I wanted the town crier who announced the arrival of Charlotte Elizabeth Diana to shout the news out for me, but unfortunately he was otherwise engaged. Oh well, I'll just have to do it myself.
Hello folks, and thanks for joining me again today. I've had the week from hell where all I've done is go in early to work and come back home exhausted and unable to do anything other than go to bed. Wasn't it a good thing that I had worked hard to get the Bling page up to date with a photoshoot on the Saturday and the editing all done last Sunday? If it weren't for that, today's blog would have been a bit bare.
I asked Lorna, a lovely lady I work with if she would kindly wear my jewellery and pose for me and after a bit of persuasion she agreed. Lorna doesn't believe that she is beautiful and I had to push to get her to come along - her daughter was an unexpected ally and she finally decided that it would be OK to model the necklace collection for me. She spent Saturday morning at my place changing in and out of clothes and jewellery, and in the end thoroughly enjoyed herself, although she was surprised that her photographs were so good. I'm sure you will all agree with me that she is a lovely lady and the necklaces look like they've been made with her in mind. Do write in and I will show her any comments that come in.
After she left I realised that I hadn't taken pictures of two of the necklaces that had got into the wrong box in error, so I had to fetch the selfie stick and take pictures of myself the next day once I'd got the old war paint on.
So there you are, my little collection of Bling! that I am confident that you would be happy to wear to a very posh do with your boss or your mother in law - if you would like to wear one of them in the nude with just yourself for company, be my guest, enjoy.
However, I suggest that you crack open a bottle of champagne, to up the hedonist quotient! A box of chocolates, and a lovely long bath with loads of bubbles, with a glass of champers wearing nothing but your Caprilicious necklace, soft jazz playing in the distance, clean sheets (?crisp cotton or even satin?) to get into once you're done and all's well with the world. You know what, I might just go off and try that recipe for a lovely evening myself!!
A favour to ask of you all, please tell your friends about this collection of pretties, perhaps even send them a link to the website, I would be ever so grateful.
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for joining me once again. I do so enjoy this weekly chat I have with you, my invisible friends. It would be nice if you posted back at me occasionally - are you sure I can't persuade you to leave me a comment?? I read them all and respond, I promise. We are soon to go on a short break to the Cote d'Azure, so I'll be telling you all about that next time. It will be nice to get some R & R for a short while and we are looking forward to it - except WIlfred the cat, who will have to go to prison for the duration.
I was only sixteen when this song was all the rage, in the Indian equivalent of a sixth form, or pre university college. The songs of Abba always make me shudder slightly as they bring back memories of the late seventies when I was young, diffident, and in a co-ed environment for the first time.
The boys at the college were extremely gauche and unsure of their reception should they make a move on the girls. I know the same is true of teenage boys everywhere, but especially and markedly so at this place, where the boys were in a co - ed environment for the first time themselves, in a fairly repressive society where the segregation of the sexes is the norm.
I was in a group of three girls, and there was this lad who followed us around carrying a portable cassette player in bright red plastic playing 'Nina, Pretty Ballerina' on a loop. We didn't know his name and he was known to us as 'Red Cassette'.
Mind you, at the time, in common with most teenage girls, I was conscious of my weight and felt more like a galumphing elephant than a ballerina.
This lad got on the bus with us every evening and walked 5 paces behind me all the way from the bus stop like a good Indian wife, till I reached my mother's house and went in past the huge iron gates - there was never a word between us in two years and this went on for the whole time that I attended the college. Today, it makes me laugh, but then, at the age of sixteen, it was a bit scary, as I had no idea how this saga would end - as it happened it was a damp squib, but at the time it seemed a lot like harassment. In hindsight, I should have turned around and asked him what the hell he wanted and he'd have probably slunk off, but he could have just as easily got his friends to follow me around making my life hell for the duration, so I was probably wise to leave him alone to his madness.
I have a confession, this was originally two necklaces - one with a single strand of feathers and the second, with three strands of nugget beads and Nepalese spacers. I just felt they went together and Ummmed and Aaahed all evening - I went to bed and woke up ready to remake the necklace - I cut them up before I could change my mind. I find that it is often difficult to make the decision to undo my work at the end of an evening when I am tired. I spend time telling myself that it is fine, and that it will be OK - but 'OK' is not what I'm aiming for and I always end up redoing the piece. I ought to know better and not bother wasting time trying to talk myself out of it. I hope that when it finds it's forever home, the woman who wears it feels like a Dancing Queen.
I've been playing with folding metal, fire, soldering, and patinas with some degree of success. I forgot to neutralise the piece I had left in an acid bath and absent mindedly wiped it on a skirt I was wearing only to find later on in the day that the acid had burned a big hole in my skirt - a bit more respect for the acid pickle is warranted, I think.
And no, I didn't make the flowers, they were bought pre made and I practiced sweat soldering them onto the copper circles that I cut with another of my new tools - I love new tools!!
I received a copy of Bead and Jewellery magazine, vol 80 in the post with a tutorial I wrote in it. The beads I submitted will be back soon and I will have to make something interesting with them.
That's me for this week folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for dropping by. This week, with a few days off from the day job, I had time to try everything my heart desired - I whacked copper into kingdom come with hammers, soldered wires onto the hammered jewellery, embellished a pendant with wire work and then hung it on a beaded necklace. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - it gives me so much pleasure to make my own components, much more than using shop bought.
The Copper Beech or Sylvatica Purpurea
Last week I played with hammers and fire, and boy, was that addictive. I had a few days off work and caught up with all the chores I had set aside for this week, all the time champing at the bit to get back to the conservatory and play with fire again. I cannot trust myself to use a torch in my craft room - for one thing I share it with Michael and our sizeable collection of books and waving a torch about in it would not be the sensible thing to do.
I made this leaf following a YouTube tutorial by Nicole Hanna, who apart from being a whiz with wire is one of the most generous people I know. She gives of her knowledge so freely and is extremely helpful to newbies in the wire world.
I set an aventurine onto the leaf in a fine silver bezel wire - I only melted one bezel, so that was pretty good going as this is only the first time I've attempted soldering a cabochon since I went to a class with Anna Mazon over a year ago.
The hardest task so far was cutting the copper sheet with the shears without injuring my fingers with the cut edges of the sheet of copper, and filing the edges of the leaf once I'd finished forming it. My hands looked as rough as a bear's backside by the time I had finished, but at least I hadn't cut or burned myself, or the house down.
The next step was to decide whether I'd done enough and use the leaf as a simple pendant, or to carry on embellishing it - and of course there was no contest. Given the chance I embellish anything that is stationary long enough for me to attack it with frills and furbelows.
I once again took a leaf out of Nicole's book and embellished one edge with copper wire work, and then antiqued the piece with Liver of Sulfur and shone it till it gleamed, with steel wool. When I was done, the piece resembled a leaf from the copper beech tree in my neighbourhood. The simplest thing to do would be to hang it from a jump ring as in the picture, but I decided to try and put it on a horizontal slant.
A string of green turquoise slab nuggets were pressed into action and Sylvatica, named after the copper beech appeared.
And I was hooked!
I made a pair of earrings - the copper sheet was fold formed into little half hoops, and I then soldered a sterling silver wire to one end and a jump ring to the other to make a flamboyant, but very light pair of earrings that resembled Fulani earrings from Mali, on a smaller scale, of course.
I made a couple of other little bits but they have yet to be refined and made up - as I said the worst part of this is filing the really sharp edges that appear when the metal is bashed repeatedly with a hammer.
My website is still playing the Scarlet Pimpernel, now you see it, now you don't - the good folks at Weebly are supposedly looking into it, but nothing has changed so far and I am fed up talking to them. I get a new person each time and have to begin the story all over - they don't seem to have any notes, or previous history they can look up - oh, for some continuity of care! I now know how patients must feel and yet I appreciate why I cannot deal with the same person each time. However, at least I have notes that I can refer to beforehand when I see my patients.
That's me for this week folks, have a lovely week and I'll catch you 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. British Summer Time is here, the clocks have sprung forward an hour, so it must be spring. However nobody told the weather, so although it is daylight for longer which is always nice, it remains cool and a bit rainy.
I've been making multi strand statement necklaces all week. For some reason these colourful necklaces have caught my imagination and I have been unable to settle for simple pieces. It must be the juxtaposition of contrasting but harmoniously coordinating colours that has tickled the fancy of my subconscious mind.
Deep purple titanium coated quartz spikes and green dyed coral harmonise in this necklace and a little citrine glass acorn pendant adds a touch of whimsy. Although the purple spikes are dramatic enough, I piled on the colour, layer after layer until I was satisfied that it would hold no more.
The Majorelle gardens in Marrakesh are twelve acres of bursts of colour, huge cacti, pools and streams that tinkle merrily, Art Deco buildings painted a deep blue - 'majorelle blue', and yellow. Exotic and peaceful, these gardens contains the Islamic Museum of Marrakesh and are owned by the Yves St Laurent foundation. People sit there in the shade and read or picnic, relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
When this beautiful pendant arrived, I knew I would take as inspiration my photographs of these gardens from a long ago trip. This trip down memory lane makes me want to go right back.
Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Coptic Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion.
"Lalibela is history and mystery frozen in stone, its soul alive with the rites and awe of Christianity at its most ancient and unbending. No matter what you’ve heard about Lalibela, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of its breathtaking rock-hewn churches, nothing can prepare you for the reality of seeing it for yourself. It’s not only a World Heritage site, but truly a world wonder. Spending a night vigil here during one of the big religious festivals, when white-robed pilgrims in their hundreds crowd the courtyards of the churches, is to witness Christianity in its most raw and powerful form." Lonely Planet
The cross in this necklace is inlaid with ebony and decorated with ancient carved symbols. I used coral - red cylinders, and white teardrops, as well as lapis, haematite, seed beads and tiny African trade beads to show it off.
All the necklaces on this page have little baroque crystals dangling from the back of handmade extender chains as I can't see any reason why the back view shouldn't be as pretty as the front. These necklaces appeal to the bohemian side of my soul and I think they will bring a lot of pleasure to the ladies who eventually own them.
While you read this, I shall be in Chester, a medieval Roman city about two hours from us in northwest England. It was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D. and is known for its extensive Roman walls made of local red sandstone and Tudor style half timber buildings, a photographers dream. I have a couple of days off and we thought we'd try somewhere different - we normally end up in London, but given recent events we thought we'd keep well away from big cities. I'll have loads of pictures for you next week, but I'll say goodbye for now. Have a great week, and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Good day readers, I trust you are well today. I have some exciting news to tell you this week. Over the last year I've been trying to get Caprilicious into a bricks and mortar venue in the UK, rather than being exclusively available online. This has proved to be a lot more difficult than it sounds. For one thing, I do not live in London where I imagine all the action is, and secondly, I have a full time day job which precludes me from spending large amounts of time contacting people and visiting prospective outlets. Despite this, I have tried my best, phoning people nearby and emailing boutiques and galleries within easy driving distance of Warwickshire without much luck.
And then one day, Mike was out and about as is his wont, and met a lady who was the manager of an art gallery in Warwick. He got talking to her and told her all about my jewellery. Although they don't usually stock jewellery at the gallery, she gave him her card (either he impressed her with his impassioned plea on behalf of Caprilicious, or she was trying to get rid of him before a casual chat turned into The Rime of the Ancient Mariner). I didn't really think anything would come of it, but left it till after Christmas to shoot her an email with a photo of one of my pieces.
OMG, you could have knocked me down with a feather, she mailed back saying she loved my work! After a couple of phone calls, we drove down to Warwick with a selection of my nicest necklaces. Toni Ballard, the manager of the Mitchell Gallery is a painter herself and has had a number of successful exhibitions. She and her partner Tom Mitchell, also an artist, run the gallery with a great deal of enthusiasm. Being creatives themselves rather than simply business orientated, they understand the need to create beautiful things and the pride I take in what I produce.
We arrived dragging a suitcase behind us, like a pair of gypsies selling pegs from door to door and Toni must have wondered if we were planning to move in. I had all the necklaces boxed up and that necessitated the suitcase, although I did feel a bit awkward, turning up with it in tow.
She got me to open the case up in the front room of the gallery and settled herself on the floor on a kilim, rooting through the contents. Tom hovered over us, obviously uncomfortable that his front room had turned into a souk, but she was unrepentant, picking one, and then putting it back and picking another, with a great deal of excitement and pleasure.
She was gratifyingly enthusiastic about the jewellery and picked ten of the best necklaces. I'm sure we will do well together, her enthusiasm has to rub off on people and I know she will do her best by Caprilicious, because she loves the jewellery I make.
I had these luscious fluorite teardrops in my stash for about four years, as well as the hand carved pumpkin shaped beads. I had no idea what I was going to do with either strand until it came to me one night to combine the two with a lacy Moroccan bead. When the necklace came together, it looked like a bunch of ripening grapes and I called it Grappa after the sweet liqueur served as a dessert wine in italy.
This one never made it to the website, I took it in to the gallery and Toni pounced on it almost immediately.
As I was putting this edition of the blog together, I had an email from Toni. She has already put the necklaces out and sent me photographs of the display. I love her enthusiasm!
That's me for this week, folks. I have a couple of days left before I fly out to India. I will of course catch up with the blog while I am there, but it might be a couple of days late.
Have a lovely week and I'll catch you sometime next weekend
Good morning readers, thanks for stopping by the Caprilicious Jewellery blog today. This week has been very busy in preparation for a show I am planning at a medical school reunion in Edinburgh on Saturday.
I spent a few days picking out the jewellery I intended to take with me - we have booked tickets to fly with a no - frills airline which restricts the amount of baggage I can carry. It is so difficult to choose which ones to take and which to leave behind - in my eyes, they are all interesting and deserve to be showcased. My problem is that I do not know my target audience - all I know about them is that they are from a medical school in Bangalore. Oh well, I'll give it my best shot and see how things go. I shall have something to report next week.
Solar Quartz is a natural agatised quartz that is sliced from stalactites. It is usually clear white or gray, with central mossy inclusions. As with all quartz it is thought to be an energy enhancer, connecting to spirit and harmony and is said to bring emotional strength with great power and energy.
A stalactite is a formation that hangs from the ceiling of caves, hot springs, or man made structures such as bridges and mines. Any material which is soluble, and can be deposited as a colloid in suspension may form a stalactite. Stalagmites grow up from the ground and can sometimes meet up with stalactites and form pillars supporting the walls of caves.
It seems such a romantic notion to me that something as beautiful as this, can be sliced up and worn as a piece of jewellery. The slices of solar quartz are dyed in many colours and I have quite a few of them from my trip to Jaipur. The pale cream slices I went with for my next piece were stunning enough for me to try and outdo myself, and I am so glad I did.
Surrounded by jet black soutache braiding and grey/black dyed baroque freshwater pearls the piece is startlingly sombre, but yet beautiful at the same time. At that very moment, a parcel dropped into my letterbox - a string of black agate slab beads which would go perfectly with the pendant and so it was that Raven's Moon appeared in my hands.
For some reason recently, spiky beads are attracting my eye more and more, and they seem to be calling to me to make jewellery with them of late. They are different, they are interesting and they elevate the piece of jewellery to a greater height - but that's just my opinion - what do you think??
Dark and beautiful, with a row of diamanté sewed around the solar quartz, embellished with soutache braiding, dark beads and pearls, the sheen of this necklace reminded me of a raven's wings.
That's all I had time for this week. There is a room in my house piled high with all the stuff I'm carrying to Edinburgh. My friend BN is an alumna of the medical school whose reunion I am attending, and will be there to help me, fortunately- she's very good at readjusting displays and helping people try on jewellery and I am very grateful for her assistance. Mike will come with me and hang up the banner and drag tables together - all the tasks that need a bit of muscle and then sit back and watch the performance. I will get him to take some pictures for the blog next week.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place,
Dear readers, Happy New Year to you all. 2016 is going to be a fabulous year, I can feel it in my waters! Statement necklaces are going to become bigger, more tribal and multi layered and more 'Capriliciousy', and you and I are going to have a great time together.
Apparently, tattoos are competing with jewellery to make a statement, but I would only have a tattoo if I could change my skin to suit my mood - imagine what fun that would be! One could always come out in zebra stripes if not entirely sure of themselves, zebras are cute too. In the absence of that possibility, I'm afraid I shall stick with jewellery. Besides, tattoos involve a bit (a lot) of pain and I couldn't be doing with that.
Earrings are set to be larger, longer shoulder dusters, and asymmetrical earrings are very, very in, with long, single earrings even more fashionable, perhaps with a little stud in the other ear.
Tassels, fringes, and geometric shapes are all in this year- Oh, there's more than enough to keep me busy and happy.
The choker necklace is still in - what a non surprise! I've loved torque choker necklaces and have been winding and weaving wire into these shapes all of this year, so we are well before the rest of the crowd at Caprilicious.
Jewellery with writing on it - names, slogans, and poetry is set to become popular - probably for the same people who have 'mum' written into heart shaped tattoos, or LOVE and HATE on their knuckles in ink.
Slogan jewellery will also appeal to those who constantly post other people's wisdom and memes on their Facebook pages, possibly because they firmly believe that if there's no such thing as an original thought, why bother to use their brain cell?
Buddha/Einstein/Groucho Marx - they've said it already, so why not just repeat it? Oh and look, they've even put a pretty drawing with it! How clever! And tons of people press the 'like' button, fingers rushing to follow each other with an unerring herd instinct.
For Hands That do Dishes
However, there is still a need to wash the occasional dish (damn and blast!) and for those moments, I made these little ring trays so that delicate rings can be taken off while you do them and then cream your hands - yes, creaming your hands is important, readers - even though they have been trying to hoax women into believing it since the 60's, no amount of Fairy liquid will keep your hands soft. For those of you who are lucky enough to have a human dishwasher - perhaps a well trained child or husband, the ring trays will come in handy while you cream your hands. Just be nice, and supply your human dishwasher with some cream too.
It was great fun making them - I set myself a challenge to finish as many as possible of the old polymer clay canes in my stash, so that I could eventually make new ones to replace them, I'm sick of the same ones popping up all the time.
I took pictures of the process, more to remind me of how to do it should I wish to repeat the exercise some day.
When I finished for the day, my table resembled the site of a minor explosion. It was so hard to resist the temptation to clean up, but resist I did - the task I set myself was to devise a way not to waste a single scrap - after all, those canes were a result of a lot of hard work.
Unfortunately two of the trays I made fell apart and I threw them away after a long repair job that just wouldn't go right ( oh well, some waste is inevitable). I ended up with seven trays, as well as buying a new tutorial from Melanie West for ring bowls which I will use on another occasion.
I put another thicker layer of clay over the previously made backs and embellished them with slices of cane to my heart's content. One more session in the oven and I added bun feet, using a spirit level to make sure the trays stood completely flat and put them back in for a third session in the oven. Left over scraps of cane were collected up to make swirly feet for some of the trays. I think they came out real pretty, don't you?
My sweet friend Bernadette collects bits and pieces for me to use with polymer clay on her travels. The last time she came up she brought me a bag of box clasps set with misshapen Mabe pearls, which I extracted and then inlaid with polymer clay canes.
This time it was a set of six wooden napkin rings and I decided that the remnants of a loaf of rainbow cane would be just right to prettify them.
I used a guillotine called the Lucy Slicer to cut the slices of veneer really thin so that it would go further. In the end, I had used every scrap of cane and even had to put in a flower from another cane to make up the shortfall - you can see that in the picture on the left, above.
As described by Ginger Davis Allman of the Blue Bottle Tree, I used three acrylic blocks behind the slab of cane so that every scrap could be cut really thin. Of course, if only I had read her article properly (or used my common sense), I'd have been saved the grazing of the knuckles and the slicing of the finger which ensured that my ring bowls were liberally anointed with blood - it does wash out, though. What's a bit of blood spilled in the pursuit of one's art form, eh?
This necklace was made on Christmas day, once the meal had been eaten and we had taken a walk in the park to help the meal go down a bit. Charlie and Wilfred loved the beef I had roasted, under instruction from Delia Smith and they collapsed in a heap. I pulled out a spool of wire and wove me a torque necklace.
Embellished with Swarovski squares and daisy beads, curls, swirls and weaves it is a very exotic piece of jewellery. Wouldn't it look fabulous with a low cut floaty outfit?
It remains for me to wish all of you a very very happy New Year. I hope 2016 will bring us all peace, prosperity and happiness. Catch you next week, same time, same place. Until then, enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink!!