Hello readers, and lovers of unusual handmade statement jewellery, it is nice to see you again here at the Caprilicious blog this week.
I hope my readers in the USA had a fabulous Thanksgiving celebration - and now have a chance to do some shopping at crazy prices on Black Friday. Although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK, Black Friday has crept into the lexicon of marketing speak - so we have quite a few sales on here too. I thought Caprilicious ought to join in as well, so for this weekend only, ending midnight GMT on Sunday the 30th, I offer a 20% reduction with the promo code - 13579 - do take me up on it, and of course, tell your friends - an opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping without moving from your armchair - let your fingers do the walking.
This week, I found time to play with wire to the extent that my fingertips hurt - by the time I had finished, they were screaming for me to stop. But you know what it's like when you find a beautiful object - you need to play with it - it cannot be allowed to languish in a cupboard.
I acquired three beautiful, whimsical lamp worked beads with bees and butterflies romping around in a beautiful make believe meadow of flowers. The fact that they came out of someone's imagination, are one of a kind and handmade, makes them so much more interesting to me now - at one time, I'd have just thought 'how pretty', but now, I am in awe of the person who conceived and created these beautiful beads.
I used a design by Nicole Hanna to wrap on two of the beads - I just flipped the design upside down on one of them so that it looks different, until you look at it carefully - or I let you in on the secret! Bare copper wire was used, and then antiqued with chemicals and polished up with steel wool to give the finish you see here in the pictures. I used threadwork necklaces from Nepal to carry these little pendants - they are colourful and pretty and seem to go with their whimsical mood.
A Night on the Sands
The third bead from this artisan had a violet coloured night sky, with what appeared to be a sandy beach, complete with a wave and a shell, in the light of a crescent moon. This one was hung on a leather cord.
I had a bit of time to play with polymer clay over the weekend and made some more pixie people - I made ten beads and hope to assemble necklaces using them in the near future. These beads have been sanded smooth through 3 grits of sandpaper and 3 grits of Micro Mesh, but have yet to be buffed up to a high shine - I ran out of time.
Singin' in the Rain
Circlets made of shell with an onyx bead at their centre resembling raindrops, were used to carry a conus shell pendant. The pendant is inlaid with abalone and a Shiva eye in its centre, and I added a few more Shiva Eye shells to the necklace to echo the pattern in the pendant, along with a Nepalese accent bead.
The onset of autumn must be affecting my psyche - both my necklaces this week are to do with storm clouds and rain. Black Clouds and Silver Linings is a piece instilled with hope for a better future - the sun will come out, and this too, shall pass. This is a picture of the leaves on the paving outside our house - my poor husband has to go out in the cold and sweep them up - I do feel sorry for him, but not to the extent that I want to go out and help - no sirree! I was brought up to be a Little Miss Muffet and sweeping leaves is not my idea of a fun thing to do on a cold and windy morning - if it was left to me, I would just leave them for the wind to blow away, eventually.
Black Clouds and Silver Linings
I used Tektite - I love the tactility of it - in this necklace with three dimensional silver tone chrysanthemums and a beautiful, showy clasp.
Being busy at the day job meant that I didn't have the time or the energy to create any more jewellery - in fact most of these pieces were created over the weekend and I had little or no time to take photographs to display them on my virtual shelves. I like being busy though, time seems to fly by - it will soon be time for my trip to Bangalore, the exhibition and other interesting happenings.
After my post last week, people were kind enough to write in with their choice of invitation for my exhibition and the front runner by far was the wirework peacock - so this one is going to be the official invitation.
The red and black picture received so many votes, however, that I am tempted to use it as a poster or banner at the venue. If you haven't already, be sure to save the day and come and see us in Bangalore.
That's all I had time for this week folks, have a fabulous weekend and I will catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by - it is a great pleasure to meet up with you again, albeit virtually.
It gives me a great thrill to announce today that I have a new collection - a 'Luxe' collection for you, made using silver pendants I have sourced on my travels, and semi precious gemstone beads. I did a lot of shopping for Caprilicious from the earnings of my first ever exhibition in January, and it has taken me a couple of months to work away at them patiently, so that I would have a coherent body of work to display on the website.
I strive to keep my jewellery interesting, one of a kind, and affordable - the 'Luxe' range will perforce have to be at the higher end of 'affordable' - but I promise to always do my best by you, my Caprilicious ladies.
It is my birthday this weekend, and I decided that this date would be the deadline ( I like working to a deadline - although I'm usually late! ) to place before you...... (drumroll) the Silver Seduction page on the Caprilicious website.
I play this piece of music for you for no reason - other than because I love Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grapelli - they are fabulous together and this swing interpretation of J'attendrai is something else - enjoy it while you read on.
J'attendrai translated means I will wait - as do I, with bated breath to see how my Luxe collection will be received by you, my readers. I love to hear from you, so do drop me a line in the comments section and tell me what you think.
This is a sneak peek at some of the stuff I will have up on the website tomorrow...............................
There will be lots of pictures on the Caprilicious Facebook page and of course, on the website page, Silver Seduction. Mike is taking me on a short mystery theatre break to London for my birthday (I just happen to have seen the tickets as I know all his hiding places - but we wont tell him) so I will be posting these on the website a day earlier than I originally announced - on the 29th of March, before we take the train down.
That's it for today - have a great week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Christmas is here folks - by the time I write next week, the goose will be well digested and we will be looking forward to the New Year! Here's wishing all of you a Joyous and very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
Melusine, the lady dragon
Melusine was a fresh water sprite in sacred springs and waters around Luxembourg. This tale, from medieval times, told by ladies when they sat spinning at their looms claims her as an ancestress of the rulers of Luxembourg, who
magically made the castle of Bock appear the morning after her wedding. On her terms of marriage, she required one day of absolute privacy each week (only one???). Unfortunately, her husband could not resist temptation, and spied on her in her bath - she was discovered to be a mermaid! When he let out a surprised shout, her bath immediately sank into the solid rock, carrying her with it.
Melusine surfaces briefly every seven years as a beautiful woman or as a dragon, holding a small golden key in her mouth and legend would have it that whoever takes the key from her will set her free and may claim her as his bride!
I used her as inspiration for the necklace that bears her name, of beautifully marked, glamorous, tactile dragons vein agate rondelles. The addition of sparkly crystals as spacers made the sheen of the gemstones even more prominent - I love this necklace.
This one is yet another 'wear three ways' offering from Caprilicious - the abalone clasps I have in my stash have green, purple and a golden yellow colour to them, and I have already made necklaces in green and purple - this is the golden yellow one - the colour resembles fine cognac, when poured into a crystal brandy balloon - all warmed up and ready to slip down your throat like honey.
More Arabian Nights Dreams
I hate the thought of being a one trick pony - stringing beads onto a pretty clasp is a lovely way to get instant results, but I'd get a bit bored if I did that all week - so, I alternate making up necklaces, wire work, claying (clay - polymer and precious metal) and now enamel. I don't mind admitting, I am not enjoying the enamelling quite so much, especially after my last debacle! Mike laughs at me - he says I think I should have been born with a perfect skill set - I don't enjoy the learning curve - maybe he is right. Next year, I shall set aside one weekend every month to play with enamels - till I get it right. Just now, it's a bit of a sore point.
So, I went on to play with wire - a couple of weeks ago, I set out to make a pendant in the shape of a lotus - it took me a while, and some very sore fingertips, but I cracked it. The pendant ended up extremely colourful, with the addition of loads of coloured alexandrite, apatite, jade beads, and onyx danglers, and instead of just leaving the pendant as a stand alone piece, I hung it on a necklace made of tektite - meteoric glass, from Australia, and freshwater pearls. I particularly like the tactility of the tektite - and of course the rough, sparkly centre of the druzy cabochon.
It's All Coming up Roses
I have a fairly sizeable collection of rose quartz in various shapes and shades of pink, and decided to use some of it - pale pink is a very subtle shade and difficult to design with unless the wearer is a Barbie doll. It is extremely easy to design a piece for myself, but as I am not a Barbie, I needed to think outside the box to come up with these two designs. Now that they are made up, I think the chunkier one would be what I would instinctively pick in a shop, if I had to buy pink - the addition of the bright colours in the spacers would appeal to me. I made the spacers in both necklaces myself out of wire and some fire polished beads. I do like Rosy Posy as well - it will be interesting to see which one gets picked up first, and by whom - watch this space....................
I spend as much time looking for fancy clasps, as I do beads and gemstones, as I think that often a clasp elevates a piece of jewellery from the ordinary to something special. The other side of that coin is that I design my jewellery with the clasp as an additional focal point - and I think you would agree that the butterfly in this necklace deserves to be seen, sitting sweetly on the shoulder of the wearer.
Last Tango in Paris
In a complete departure from the 'pinkness' of the last two pieces, I made use of some cinnabar beads I happened to have lying around - I meant to make one necklace with red and black elements, but in the end, two of them emerged - can't think how that happened. The combination of red and black is so aggressively sensual, that it brought to mind a Tango - The Last Tango in Paris, Bertolucci's beautiful film with the fabulous Marlon Brando. Cinnabar beads are made of a soft wood that takes a heat impression, so the beads have some very detailed design work imprinted on them. I added lava rocks and a couple of large bean shaped crystal beads, to add interest.
Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone are Tango dancers par excellence and we were lucky enough to watch them live in a show down in London last year - I have a little clip for you here that illustrates the power of red and black when put together - sizzzzzle.......
Every day this week, a bit at a time, I wrapped a pyrite chunky fan shaped nugget with antique brown wire, added gemstone beads, dangles and embellishments till it begged me to stop - no more, please, it cried - I was surprised, as I had planned many more additions and curlicues and beads, and..... and..... and....
But, I heard the piteous cries of the pendant, and let it go - last seen, it was on a simple memory wire choker, legging it in the direction of my storage box - I wouldn't admit this to anyone but you - in the end, it seemed like it was right to stop me from over egging the pudding.
I thought I would take a short break over the next couple of weeks, and chill out over Christmas - at least that was the plan, but I found that my fingers developed a mind of their own - pliers and snips seemed to attach themselves mysteriously to me! No matter how much I try, I can't seem to get away from them - I tell you, it is an addiction!! So, I gave in and decided to make up some earrings, to replace the ones I sold at Caprilicious' birthday bash - I shall take my time photographing them and uploading them onto the page - perhaps as one lot in January.
By request from some of my favourite customers, I have put on a Boxing Day Sale for a week - please have a browse and message me with the name of any piece you like and I will invoice you with the discounted price.
Have a fabulous Christmas, catch you next week, same time, same place
We had the most wonderful time in Rome, eating gelato twice a day, tramping around till my feet and knees hurt and begged for mercy. What a fabulous city, with history at every turn.
Unfortunately, I came home with the beginnings of a streaming cold, and am still suffering with it - no rest for the wicked, I have had to go in to the day job - I just hope I haven't spread the germs far and wide.
I took a load of my jewellery with me, and wore some every day - it was fabulous to have the right accessories for each outfit, although I wouldn't admit as much to anyone but you - I like to pretend that it was all effortlessly thrown together!!
Starry Starry Night
Mike bought me an anvil from a junk shop - and proudly brought it home. He put it on the dining table for me to find as a surprise when I got in from work - I'm afraid my gratitude was tempered by the sight of the rust stains on my clean white tablecloth - I had to restrain myself from having the screaming abdabs by stuffing my knuckles into my mouth!!
I have a little steel block to bash away at wire, and now, I have a little cobblers anvil, which has to be cleaned and oiled until it is fit to bring back into the house.
My cold has meant that I haven't been able to play with my beads for a couple of days, but I felt well enough after a couple of days to make a little necklace I called Lumiere.
It has ten strands of rainbow effect glass beads, and glass pearls, carrying a Lava rock pendant set with pink, blue and clear Swarovski crystals. The crystals have been hand set into the lava rock and catch the light with movement, and the colours are echoed by the beads in the necklace.
The necklace was made back to front, with the longest strands carrying the pendant at the front of the necklace - and it can be worn as it is or twisted into a roll - both ways are pretty - what do you think??
Tektite - Classique
The Chinese called it the "Inkstone of the Thundergod", while the Australian aborigines called it Maban or magic and associated it with good luck. Indians consider Tektite as the sacred gem of Lord Krishna or the fire pearl. Tibetan monks worship this stone as the "Stone of Shambala". It’s also been worn as a fertility amulet since centuries.
Tektites are natural glass objects primarily composed of silica. Tektites found on Earth are formed by large asteroidal impact with the Earth. Energy from the impact melts terrestrial rock and ejects it into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. A few minutes later tektites rain down. The final shape is dependent on terrestrial weathering. Libyan glass is a pale yellow tektite, and Moldavite is a beautiful emerald green.Tektites are found in geographically 'strewn fields' related to the source crater. The most recent and largest strewn field is in Australasia with tektites being found in the Indochinese peninsula (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and southern parts of China), the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
I bought mine from a dealer in Australia - the beads are a rugged black, but smooth and cool to touch, with no evidence of jagged edges. Not being overly concerned with its healing powers, I bought the string of beads for their beauty, and combined them with silver crystal and black onyx. As bright focals, I added a large silver tone toggle clasp and some 'wiggly' wire spheres. I thought the round beads would be better at the back, for comfort, but in the end, this piece turned out to be just as comfortable with the clasp at the back as when worn to one side, the way it was designed.
While rummaging around for the tektite beads, I found some large,faceted lapis beads which I had been hoarding for a special purpose - this seemed to be the ideal time to use at least one, having developed acute wire withdrawal symptoms. While we watched J Edgar Hoover on DVD, I pulled out some wire and made 'Sceptre'.
This was designed by Donna Spadfore of Gaillavira, and I have had the tutorial in my folder for ages - I love the way the piece has evolved, having changed a few minor details to suit the way I wanted to make it.
I find I have now passed my cold on to Michael (amongst others, most likely), who of course, has it much worse than me (and blames me for giving it him) - probably the worst cold since the beginning of time, and is convinced he requires constant nursing care ( no sympathy from me, sorry! - d'you think this is why a nurses uniform turns men on? - they haven't heard of compassion fatigue???), and added to this, my old cat has decided he needs feeding one tablespoon at a time - if I put any more than that in his bowl, he walks off and demands a new/ fresh meal after some time - in a fresh bowl each time! - no use me trying to force him to eat the old stuff - he just sits there and stares at me, or stalks off in disgust - anyone with a solution to this, please let me know.
Till next week then, if I am still sane,