Hello folks, thanks for joining me today, it certainly is good to catch up with you and I'm very pleased you dropped in to take a look at the goings on at Caprilicious. As you read this, I shall be elbow deep in polymer clay, learning new techniques, meeting old frineds, making new ones and having a great time at Polymania in Bristol. I was there last year and had a whale of a time. My only anxiety about this year is that once again on Sunday, when I'm due to travel back home on the train we are expecting bad weather in the UK - oh well, time for the thermal underwear, and I shall keep everything crossed that the trains will run, and run on time.
Lugging pasta machines and other heavy articles on a train across the country is not my idea of fun, but the great time I shall have there will most definitely be worth it. We have no less than Donna Kato, Kathleen Dustin and Carol Blackburn teaching us this time. I've been so keen to learn from these ladies for ages and ages, and now my wish will come true!
This week has been a productive one for Caprilicious - I've been trying out Amazon Prime for a month and binge watching movies. Of course while I'm watching all these movies, my hands have been busy with wire and beads. The parlous state of the NHS has meant that elective operations were cancelled and I got to come home early and make beads with polymer clay, and then turned them into a necklace.
Art Nouveau Torque Necklace
I bought a tutorial for a wire bracelet on Etsy from Doras Accessory and decided to use it as a template for a necklace instead. It has been sitting in my document cloud for an year and I finally found the sticking point - it calls for a frame of really thick wire. I didn't want to use copper, as nobody wants a green ring around the neck. Finally, I found 12g stainless steel wire and then had to hunt for a pair of wire cutters that would work as it is a very hard wire to cut without ruining my usual snips. Eventually I used the cutters I have for memory wire, and this just about did the job. A turquoise cabochon was trapped in squiggles and curlicues of wire and embellished with yet more wire and rutilated quartz beads.
More Polymer clay beads and another Fiesta necklace
I had some beads left over from the last necklace I made, and they were just sitting there staring reproachfully up at me. 'Use us, please, oh puhleeease', they moaned. Oh well, I'm a sucker for a hard luck story, so I quickly threw a few more into the oven to make up the numbers and made yet another Fiesta necklace.
I made these two torque necklaces last week, and as they were less than perfect, decided to keep them for myself. I wore one singly to work, and then a couple of days later, wore them together over a roll neck top. I think the torque necklace is great and am happy to wear one any time.
One of my colleagues at work asked me to make her a sun catcher and I made her one with a copper wire dragonfly. She liked it so much, she immediately ordered a couple more. They are very difficult to photograph but the little beads in the wings are made of silver lined glass seed beads and they pick up the light like wet cobwebs.
I love the picture with the sun shining behind it, although it's not the best photograph I've ever taken.
That's all I had time for this week people, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Hello dear readers and lovers of statement jewellery, how are you all this fine Friday in January? I am in all of a tizz, picking out my best pieces and packing them carefully so that they arrive intact for the show - have I mentioned this show before?? I'm sure I have (once or twice - at least!), but just for good measure, I've included an invitation for people who might not have been paying attention, have had an outage of their internet facilities, been living in the Outer Hebrides, meditating on one foot in the Himalayas or simply not caught up with the blog these last few weeks.
I've talked to you before about my friend who makes the most exquisite bowls out of wood. Indeed, I have a couple of them for sale on this website, right here. He brought this beauty around to ask if I would be able to make a central insert using a polymer clay mosaic. He brought along a design for a yellow mosaic flower which I faithfully reproduced. It was sanded and buffed to within an inch of it's life and then handed over to be inserted into the bowl. When it was finally finished, he brought it to me to be photographed and here it is in all it's glory.
My contribution to this beautiful work of art is but paltry in contrast to all the woodwork, but Shekhar seemed to think it 'lifted' the piece - and who am I to argue with a free compliment?? He obviously liked the way it turned out as he has brought me another bowl, and this time, I am to have a free hand in the design of the central insert.
Bead and Jewellery Magazine Project
I woke up to this - I'd been waiting for ages for this announcement, and here it was - Bead and jewellery magazine No 68 will be on the stands on the 1st of February with my very first project published in it. On the basis of the job I did with writing this tutorial, the editor has agreed for me to contribute two more projects this year, one of which is already completed and sent in. I really enjoyed writing up the project and taking step by step photographs. I hope there is good feedback from the readers as I would love to do more of them.
These are the original beads I submitted and the necklace I made with them.
I played with beads and wire to make a few pairs of earrings - it didn't feel right to sit in front of the TV without a pair of pliers and a few beads in my hands, and herein lies the makings of an addiction.
I don't really need any more stuff to carry to the show, but I just can't seem to stop myself reaching for the wire and the beads.
These little bowls were made from a tutorial by Melanie West. I made them over a wet weekend in December, but they needed sanding and buffing to bring out the colours and shine on the outside. They are great fun to make, and just over 2.5" in diameter and about 2" in height. They will hold a couple of rings or a pair of earrings - I've actually got a sample piece which didn't quite turn out perfect, and I've been using it to hold tiny seed beads on a little tray in my lap.
The BLue Lotus
A pendant set of three chrysocolla stones has been sitting in my stash, reproaching me for not showing it any love for ages. I bought it waaay back, when I was commissioned to make a rainforest necklace by one of my customers - I bought three sets of multi stone pendants and used two of them in the necklaces above. It was great fun making dragonflies and ants and other little beetles which were supposed to look as if they were supping at a pool made of these stones in a clearing in the rainforest. Obviously there's only that many bugs one can make so the third set of stones got tucked away until their piteous wailing was heard even with the lid tightly shut. Out they came, but I was completely stumped for ideas. Not wanting to make yet another rainforest necklace, I was scratting around at the bottom of the barrel for ideas. When a piece of jewellery that is so evocative is conceived, it is difficult to move away from it and make something completely different. That probably explains why jewellery designers often make variations on the same theme over and over again in a series.
I decided I was going to try and make a peacock - much like an old favourite piece I made a couple of years ago, with the stones fanning out into the peacock's tail. By the time I finished, a couple of days later, I realised it would be impossible to balance the stones in such an awkward position, so after a hurried rebranding, we now have Blue Lotus! I enjoyed making this pendant - the original inspiration was a design by Lisa Barth, but I made the whole thing more difficult by weaving the frame for all three stones with the same length of wire - did I ever tell you that I love wire work? - I thought I might have let it slip once or twice!
The necklace arrived from a vendor in Tibet and I thought it was robust enough to carry and enhance the pendant.
I had been trying not to make any more jewellery before my trip to India, but unfortunately, I cannot sit still without a pair of pliers and a bit of wire in my hands, it seems almost criminal and a terrible waste of time - oh well, C'est la Vie! If something pretty comes from it, who am I to stop myself?
That's all I have for today folks, have a lovely week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place before I board the plane to India.
Hello readers, by the time this edition of the blog hits your screens we will be well into boring old January, with all the fun and anticipation of the festive season behind us and only the wonders of a wet weekend to look forward to. At this time of year I generally try to spend some time taking stock of myself and my development in the past years, and to look back at the giants in my chosen art form.
This year I am mesmerised by the work of Professor Mary Lee Hu from Seattle who translates fibre arts and basket weaving into her work with wire. Having started with brass and finding that this worked, she now uses 18 and 22K gold in her beautiful jewellery. It is said that she takes a good half an hour to weave an inch of the jewellery she makes and when you see it, you will wonder why it doesn't take longer.
Sheesh! Did I just say just a couple more wires, and just a bit longer?? - I must have been out of my tiny mind! Toc! Toc! Toc!
Here it is - I brought the wires together and split them up, twisting them as I did so and then back together again - There are sixteen wires in total in this piece, each one about two feet long, all bound together with fine wire - yes, Toc! Toc! Toc! indeed.
Oh, and by the way, I have to give my cat Charlie credit for part of the weave!
And Wilfred even very kindly agreed to model it for me when I needed to try it out.
In the spirit of welcoming the New Year, I decided to host a giveaway on the Caprilicious Facebook page. The giveaway runs till the 15th of January. All you have to do is to head over to Facebook - follow the link above, like the picture of the necklace and tell me how or where you would wear it.
I did it, I did it, I managed to finish off all those old canes - they came from a series by Marie Segal, made three years ago.
I ended up with a bunch of ring trays, a tutorial for ring bowls that I am yet to use and an empty box where I used to store all those canes.
I woke up one morning with a vision - I saw a brightly coloured door number for our front door in polymer clay in my dreams. I jumped out of bed and drew my vision ( yes, I am now a certifiable Toc! Toc!) on the first piece of paper I could lay my hands on. It has a large butterfly in profile and a flower on the top of the number which is going to be made of all the canes I am going to repopulate my recently emptied box with.
I spent a happy afternoon making the beginnings of a butterfly cane. This is the first time I have made something from my imagination armed with a load of images from the internet (not to mention my 'vision') so I have no idea what it will look like when it is reduced, but let's just wait and see - anyway, there's no waste with this fabulous medium. This insect is really a Franken butterfly as it is made from an amalgamation of at least 4 images, as if I have tried to improve on nature. As I only have time to work with clay at weekends, this is as far as I have got.
I shall make the other canes, one by one and then put them all together in my door furniture. Before this, I have to reduce this behemoth without distorting it.
I'm not sure whether it ought to be a standalone number or part of a tile - d'you have any thoughts??
I will be back in Bangalore in February and running my exhibition at Raintree on the 12th and 13th of February - you are all invited, of course. Do come by and talk to me - I would love that. There's a lovely little cafe/patisserie just around the corner and we can have a cuppa if it is quiet.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, 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
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by the Friday account of this weeks statement jewellery from Caprilicious. I attended a school reunion this week and ended up making little pieces of jewellery, as I was pushed for time.
I do not like to lay a piece of wire work down overnight - the wire seems to 'set' into shape and is difficult to manipulate again when it is next picked up. This is because of a phenomenon called work hardening. For those of you who are interested, this is how it happens.....
the lattice of crystals within the wire has a regular, nearly defect free pattern. As it is manipulated, dislocations occur in the crystalline structure and tiny micro-fractures appear from the stress, which in turn hold the wire in the shape into which it is bent - this property is utilised when making jewellery, but if over manipulated, the wire is in danger of snapping. When left overnight, the micro crystalline wire structure settles into it's new pattern and is stiff and hard to manipulate - there you are, a bit of science for you!
Inspired by the flowers in my garden and the yellow jade hand carved flowers I had been hoarding so carefully, this necklace is bright and pretty.
I had been wondering how to attach the flowers, and still show off their hand carved beauty to its best effect, and then I had an Eureka moment - of course! wire is the answer to any problem (well almost) - I should have known that! I wired the flowers onto the necklace of purple agate - and Voila!
I love these stars - they are dyed mother of pearl, and very light and pretty - but it is ever so hard to string them right. They have to be pieced together almost like a jigsaw puzzle if they are to lie flat - they had to be redone so many times, the air above them started to turn blue - but I would not be defeated - on I plodded, muttering and swearing under my breath, restringing them again and again, until I had the effect I wanted. I'll bet you cannot tell from looking at it how much work went into the dratted thing.
I made the clasp from a design by Nicole Hanna many moons ago, and had not yet found somewhere to use it - why not just use it in the bracelet where it was meant to go? - sure, but wouldn't that be too easy?? - this debate kept going around in my head, until I finally gave in and made the bracelet. Once I'd done that, I made another - the design is so pretty, I want to make loads of them in all different sizes and colours.
I found these lampwork beads at the Newmarket bead fair last year - they have been crying out to be used, and eventually got their turn to be transformed into earrings. They have these pretty spots on a white background, like little raindrops.
Indian Feathers Earrings
This is a design by Iza Malcyzk - I've had it for a long time, but hadn't tried it out - she gave it it's title and said it was an ethnic design - I think she means the North American Indian, I've never seen feathers like these in India! They didn't last too long on my shelf - they flew away to their new home in under ten minutes!
That's all for this week folks. Next week, I have decided to put together a necklace inspired by the 'shirt necklace' worn by Isabella Rossellini in the film Death Become Her. I've never seen anyone so beautiful and charismatic and the scene where she climbs out of the water, wearing only this necklace will stay with me a long time. I have been slowly collecting the beads and baubles required to make the Caprilicious version, and all I shall say now is that it will eventually go to one very special and lucky lady.
And now I'm off to a Statutory and Mandatory all day course at the hospital, where I shall learn some riveting facts about Manual Handling (my answer is to call a porter) and Health and Safety, Fire and other interesting stuff that I would never have known about if they hadn't made it mandatory for us to attend the lecture on an annual basis.
Have a lovely weekend, and I will be here next week, same time, same place
Welcome, readers, to the Friday Caprilicious Blog, where I diarise my romance with statement jewellery. To me, it is not enough to make jewellery - that would make me merely a technician - I want to design, make as many of the components as I can myself, weave a story around the finished piece, and produce a degree of romance, which engulfs the wearer of jewellery by Caprilicious. I know that some people conceptualise their jewellery and send their drawings away to artisans to have them made up - but oh no, that's not for me, I like to do all the making myself.
Romance is at the essence of every piece of my jewellery, be it from me falling in love with the stone or beads, and telling you a tale to make you love it enough to want it, or even each time you pick it up out of the box with a smile on your face and wear it to embellish your beautiful self.
Rose tinted spectacles?? Yes, my muse has them on this week - I have been reading By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart - I read a review on the dust jacket that said the book was like Madame Bovary on speed - I felt like I was walking through a thick fog, my feet mired in the swampy syrup of love - this is not me at my most pragmatic, normal self, and I am sure the effects will wear off by next week. Why was I reading the book?? I've no idea, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.
But, while I felt this way, my muse has been infected by the virus of romance and these are the results ..................
"Kashmiri Song" is a song by Amy Woodforde-Finden based on a poem by Laurence Hope.
Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar,
and it ends, all romantically morbid, and lovesick ( I assume this chap is still talking to the 'Pale Hands')..........................
I would have rather felt you round my throat,
This was a poem/song written in 1901, and you can just imagine the gentleman pining for his lover, who by all accounts seems to be a bit of a goer - leading men down 'Raptures roadway' before discarding them and moving on quickly to her next victim. This necklace, named after the Shalimar gardens, built in Kashmir by the Mughal emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, was made for such a mood - romantic and seductive, worn at night to bring a glow to the complexion.
The mother of pearl pendants and little amethyst nuggets complement each other and convey romantic wistfulness to the observer.
For some reason, my muse has decided to go festive this week - perhaps she senses the 'C' word - yes, there are only 103 days left........bring on party time!! Opalite beads glowing gently are teamed up with clear crystal, coated with an Aurora Borealis sheen to make another pretty and romantic necklace.
I recently picked up some beautiful agate cabochons - the depth of colour in these stones is amazing - they are a deep purple, with veins of orange and blue, and I fell in love with them instantly. I wrapped each one in miles of copper wire, two of them went on organza ribbons, and the other two into necklaces. Although all four of the stones are cut from the same rock, I gave each of them their own treatment, taking into consideration their shapes and the pattern on their faces. Handmade lampwork beads in a deep shade of crimson complemented the colour of the stones.
At this point, I decided that I had had an overdose of romance - so I put my foot down with a firm hand and gently led my muse away, before she made a complete fool of herself, the soppy thing!
My little kittens are very keen to help in my jewellery making - they especially love wire, and their teeth are so sharp, I could probably use them as wire snips if I ever ran out, provided I could train the cats to cut the wire where I needed them to. They also have a very short attention span and fall asleep on my bead tray while I am working, so it is a wonder that I have actually produced anything at all.
The Promise of Autumn
The lampwork beads in this pendant are handmade and came from a stall at the Newmarket Bead fair - I went there last year with my friend BN and found these really pretty handmade beads. The beads are in a pretty green, with a stripe of red/orange and yellow running through the centre. The design is by Nicole Hanna and meant for earrings, but I felt that the piece was too heavy for earrings so converted it into a pendant.
Heavy Earrings and how to Wear Them
This is for people who feel they cannot wear earrings because their earlobes are too fragile, or torn from many years of ear lobe abuse - yes, there are many of us around, missing out on the old danglers - well, now, here's help - there is a product called Lobe Repair - a tiny skin coloured adhesive patch you put on the back of the ear lobe and pierce with the stalk of your earrings or ear wires. I have tried it and it does work, provided you do not wear the earrings for too long - just enough to party for a few hours, perhaps. They aren't very expensive and are invisible, if anyone wants to give them a go. I have ordered some and if anyone wants a few to try, do let me know.
This is along the same principles as the Indian chains used to hold a heavy earring up into the hair or even around the ear. These perform a dual function in being ornamental as well as suspensory, but obviously cannot be used with contemporary styles or ear wires.
So, there you are, Cinderella shall go to the ball in her beautiful danglers!
That's all I have for you this week, catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, nice to meet you here again. Do you think I am being fanciful when I say that jewellery talks about you?? Well, if you think about it, why is it called 'statement' jewellery' ??- in fact I think all jewellery makes a statement - Caprilicious Women know that it is ok to make a different statement at different times.
For instance, you wouldn't go to a job interview wearing piercings and studs, would you, or for that matter, wearing diamond chandelier earrings? You'd probably keep your accessories discreet and minimalistic - get the job and only then unleash the majestic power of your personality. What do you think these pieces of jewellery says about the wearer.....
This necklace was made to boost a confident moment - notice that I did not say confident woman - that is because I believe your apparel and your accessories can say the things about you that you want them to - you might not be feeling confident, but if you aren't, dress as if cool nonchalance is your middle name - before long you will feel the way you look.
If you know a bit about Neuro Linguistic Programming, you'd know that it's all about how to manage your emotional state, and choose how you feel despite any situation you find yourself in.
If you slink around with a hangdog look on your face, you might as well hang a 'kick me' sign around your neck - and believe you me, people will soon oblige. The moral of this story is - when you feel down and under confident - that's the time to wear your boldest jewellery, brightest lippie, and highest heels and Sing Sing Sing ( With a Swing) - those blues will soon be a thing of the past.
Khartoum is named after the capital city of Sudan, evoking the feeling of warmth, esoteric, interesting and exotic sights, smells and sounds. It would be at home worn with a boho outfit, a simple T shirt, or a LBD - versatile, it most definitely is. It has Nepalese beads, Kenyan Krobo beads, howlite spikes and though it appears vaguely tribal, it doesn't come from any one genre or place on the globe, it is as unique as its wearer.
Galadriel is a character from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. She was an elven queen, and co ruler of Middle Earth - 'the mightiest and fairest of all the elves'. The headdress worn by Cate Blanchett in The Lord of The Rings was the inspiration for this necklace - to my mind it is an evening necklace, definitely worn with a simple outfit. It says 'sophisticated and softly sensual' when worn in the candlelight on an evening out with an interesting person - would you agree?? The blue cat's eye bead sits in the decolletage and catches the light, I think this necklace is especially suited to candlelight and roses, floaty scarves, soft music and a cold glass or two of wine - very romantic indeed.
What is his Jewellery trying to say??
No, these are not from Caprilicious' new line - this is Adrian Edmondson in his youth from 'The Young Ones', a crazy British cult series from the eighties. I hope he didn't go to meet a prospective employer, or worse still a mother in law to be (not) looking like this. I do like the leather on his wrists though, and have a couple of spiky bracelets in my personal collection - his waistcoat is quite nice too - but perhaps not both together - just a hint of badness does me fine.
Fire on the Rocks
This necklace is made of cool vaseline beads, suggesting ice, with a hint of fire, provided by the coral and turquoise in the gold tone Nepalese beads. This necklace, worn to a meeting would suggest that you are in complete control, you know what you are doing, and that you have unexpected and interesting depths that need to be looked into - fire and ice are always interesting if unlikely bedfellows.
Divya, who has a handmade jewellery business and website out of Chennai invited me to write a guest post on her blog Jewels of Sayuri. I wrote a post entitled ' Why you Should Buy Handmade Jewellery' and you can read it by clicking on the link.
That's a wrap for this week folks, have a great week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello readers, how nice of you to drop by - autumn will soon be here and the colours of my new statement jewellery collection are reflecting this. No, they are not brown and grey - they are bigger and brighter than ever, to zhush up the autumnal hues of rust, must and dust that most dress designers pick as being suitable for us during this season.
I will let you in on an open secret - I am a very shy person - and when I tell people this, they laugh at me disbelievingly. I am even intimidated by hairdressers because I cannot relate to them, and small talk with a stranger is a no go area for me - I usually come out looking like someone else's mop - they seem to have a pack instinct when they see me coming - there's no 'Hello moddom, would you like a coffee?' - it's all snip, snip, snip - and when they've finished, they make me look like the person they perceive - a raggedy Orphan Annie type on a bad hair day - and that's cos she's exactly who they see when I slink in, looking apologetic for breathing the same air!
At the age of - well, older than many of you - I am now qualified to tell you how I overcame this using my passion for jewellery, and perhaps you will find you can do it too.
1) Spark A Conversation - Effortlessly
This is where Caprilicious comes in - wear one of your pieces of statement jewellery and you will find people coming up to you and complimenting you on what you are wearing. It doesn't have to be a massive piece of jewellery and you don't have to be blinged up to the eyeballs.
Take Glamour Puss - one of the pieces I made this week - all it is is a piece of pink and black agate - but it is presented on a pink stainless steel torque, wire wrapped, with an extremely shiny Swarovski crystal square wrapped onto it - a definite conversational opening gambit if ever there was one.
Obviously, no one can guarantee that people are going to walk up to you - you may have to do the walking - find someone in a nice ensemble and tell them you like it - instant spark! they will compliment you back ( people love a compliment and usually reciprocate - I'm sure you've noticed that) and Bob's your uncle!
2) Have Something to Say Prepared
When someone compliments your jewellery, don't just mumble your thanks or go the 'this old thing??....' routine- smile widely, tell them a little story about it - perhaps even how clever you were to find it - if it's a piece by Caprilicious and you have read the blog, there's a backstory all ready for you to tell.
At Caprilicious, I attempt to make jewellery that is interesting and different - I have the occasional daytime, everyday piece - but even that is usually different from the norm - you have plenty to talk about.
These little lampwork beads were turned into daytime earrings, but they are so pretty, I'm sure you will be noticed when you wear them. I turned the leftover beads into bracelets with braided leather, so you can have a whole ensemble if you want one.
They are made to resemble the spinning top I had as a child - I was only allowed to play with it if I promised to be very, very careful (?), and eventually it was used by both my siblings, probably with the same proviso, and in turn, by their children. It still exists in my mother's cupboard - waiting for her great grandchildren, I guess! Unfortunately, their toys of choice are likely to be an internet enabled mobile phone, so mum has wasted her efforts to save what has now become an antique heirloom - perhaps it will be worth something one of these days.
3) Ms. Attention - To - Detail
Be Little Miss Attention-To-Detail - wear the right piece for your neckline, to coordinate with your outfit - and if you are in Caprilicious Woman mode, dare to wear jewellery in a completely contrasting colour to your outfit - after all, an orange necklace with the outfit in the picture would be drowned out by the colour of the vest - the blue necklace is definitely the better fit.
4) Get Up Close and Personal
Once you have complimented someone about their jewellery, and received one in return, you have chatted about your sources for said jewellery and smiled at each other, you are fast becoming friends - after all you have found something in common - your love for pretty jewellery!
Introduce her to someone you know, she reciprocates - and before you know it, you have a networking session going on right there, under your very shy nose - did you know that was going to happen?? I did! There are a few more tips on Reggie Darling's fabulous blog - Reggie's Advice For the Tongue-Tied Guest at Table Amongst Strangers, and I recommend this post to you. And of course, you must never get so carried away by your success by turning into a Conversation Hog! Click on the link to find out how not to do it.
5) Be Different - and Revel in It
When I was younger, all I wanted to do was to be like everyone else, to merge seamlessly into the background - I blame my mother for this (as I type I can hear her grumbling in the background 'you blame your mother for everything') - I was expected to be a Little Miss Muffet - but I was also expected to go out and fight my corner in the world of modern medicine when I grew up!
And then I ended up in Britain, and have found that a lot of the time I stick out like a sore thumb, and there is no Marks & Spencer camouflage that works. It took a bit of getting used to, but I'm over the worst. I'm happy to be me and revel in being different.
I wear Caprilicious all the time, and that helps me walk tall ( I'm only 5'2") and people come up to me and talk about my jewellery. I like to take the stuff I make on test runs, but sometimes they get sold before I get a chance - here's one of the pieces I made last week that lasted fifteen minutes on my pages...
It is most definitely evening wear, and I didn't have an occasion to wear it before someone from work snapped it up.
A statement jewelry piece by Caprilicious will give you confidence, help you stand out in the crowd of 'samey people', and allow you to start a natural conversation - the death knell to shyness. The end result is a helpful, natural connection. The best part? It’s a great excuse to start shopping!
That's it for this week folks. Have a good weekend and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello readers, thanks for stopping by to read about the statement jewellery made at Caprilicious this week. It was my privilege to provide a piece of jewellery to the Children's Unit at the hospital as a raffle prize - the manager who requested it of me was very complimentary about the piece I handed in - I was quietly pleased with it myself, and the reaction on the Facebook page was heartening when I posted some pictures there. The carved jade flower had been lying around in my stash, just waiting to be used and this is a very worthy cause, very close to my heart.
If you're wondering what the mention of statement jewellery in the opening line was all about - I've been reading blogging guides - and the theory is that a googlebot, which in my imagination looks like the picture above, worms it's way into a website and if the raison d'être of the blog is mentioned in the first few sentences, the botworm gets the message - and when people look for 'Handmade Statement Jewellery', the Caprilicious Jewellery website comes up in a Google search - having done this for a few weeks, I was quite gratified to find that I haven't been misguided by the bloggers guide.
However, I don't know any woman who goes to Google when she wants to look for handmade statement jewellery! I certainly wouldn't do a Google search to look for jewellery, would you?? What beats me is that knowing this fact doesn't make me chase the botworm any less frantically - just shows how competitive I really am, I suppose, and also that I like to test a theory before I accept it as common wisdom.
Anatevka was a fictional shtetl in Imperial Russia where the musical Fiddler on the Roof was set. We went to the Eutin Festival in Germany, where they had this musical on, inspiring me to create this necklace.
I acquired a necklace of hand knotted shell pearls in beautiful colours of bronze/ cream, peach and shades of grey - the pearls are large and very beautiful, and though I normally would have cut up the necklace to restring the pearls, this one was so well made, I couldn't bring myself to wantonly destroy someones painstaking work - in fact, I had to agree that I couldn't have done it better ( a rare admission for me ).
I decided to make a pendant for it, and string it onto the necklace directly. An agate druzy cabochon, surrounded by wire lace, with pearls and crystals thrown in just grew and grew until two days later, my muse declared it finished. Although wire lace looks pretty, it is hard work on the finger tips which resembled Shreddies by the time I was done - but hey! I love the way it looks, so won't complain. The pendant is very baroque in appearance, and suits the necklace - and the name!
If you want to know what shell pearls are, here's a link to a very well written article I found during my research - I couldn't have put it better myself.
And with this, I decided to put my Lacemania aside for a while - and my fingertips heaved a huge sigh of relief!!
I've had two new helpers this week - Charlie and Wilfred have moved in with us - they must have been techies in a previous life, they are fascinated by the moving cursor on my laptop screen, and keep trying to help me type this blog and won't take no for an answer.
They are also interior decorators of sorts, and are helping me to remodel my house and change the decor, by systematically destroying anything they dislike - Mike's 40 year old German oil lamp (he's had it 40 years, but it was an antique when he first bought it) is something they have taken a dislike to - only he refuses to part with it - the boys are most annoyed that it is now out of reach!
With my fingertips sore and out of commission, I decided to give them a rest. I have these peacock feather pendants in from Indonesia - the ends have been fringed, much like a Rastafarians dreadlocks, with beads, and I love the effect. I used shards of electroplated quartz needles in the necklace, strung with spacers of crackle quartz in a deep peacock blue and a couple of enamelled beads from India. The quartz needles remind me of the silver rain that sheets down during a monsoon - the rain in the UK though persistent, is usually gentler.
Durga is a wrathful form of Parvati, otherwise known as Mrs Shiva, and the mother of Ganesh the elephant God. Kali is an even more angry form - women of all ages, at different times of their cycles have fleeting resemblances to one or another avatar of this multipurpose Goddess.
According to legend, Parvathi was peed off at something- or someone (possibly, but not necessarily hubby), and she knitted her brows together in a frown - a third eye originated there ( watch out - the gaze from that third eye when provoked into opening can burn you into a frazzle). When someone else peed the already irritated Durga off, she went wild, hair unbound, arms akimbo - and she didn't stop until she killed the annoyance, hung his head around her neck and drank his blood.
She laughed and laughed, and did a dance that a whirling dervish would have envied, until suddenly to her horror, she found that she was trampling on her poor husband Shiva - Oops! she said and stuck her tongue out - and an ancient photographer took her picture (or maybe the wind changed and her facial expression stuck), so she is doomed to being immortalised as the crazy one with her tongue stuck out, hair wild, with strings of demon's heads hung about her person.
This story, I am sure will resonate with my female readers - we've all been there, pootling along, minding our own, when along comes this nuisance - whether we turn into Durga or Kali depends on the irritant!
Anyway, I digress - this necklace is made of a pendant from the Banjara tribe in India, with two paisa coins from 1962. I put them on a rope, which can be tied so that the pendant sits where you would like it to and can be worn with all sorts of necklines. It looks like something Durga might like to wear - well, she's most definitely a Caprilicious woman....................
That's it for this week folks. Charlie has destroyed a bunch of silk flowers I had prettifying a dull corner of the house, and the two brothers are now flicking the flowers around the house like crazed confetti - I'd better go and rescue what's left of those poor flowers. Have a fab weekend, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place
Hello good people, here's your weekly dose of statement jewellery from Caprilicious. Once I have posted this, I am off to Hamburg, to visit with a friend and have a few days away by the Baltic in her lovely bungalow by the sea - not that I'm rushing or anything, just saying.....
My muse capriliciously tripped along from one style of jewellery to another, seemingly without a cohesive thought in her head, and I followed, led by the nose - I just do as I am bid and see what transpires (hubby often wonders why I won't follow him in quite the same way).............................
I blame my mother for my lacemania.
She was/is a true lacemaniac, and in my childhood dressed my sister and me in imports from around the globe - she turned up her nose at what was produced in India. Every outfit we had was edged with a hint of lace (imports were expensive, thankfully), and that has left it's mark on us - both of us drool over lace when we see it, but today I would combine it with other elements to detract from the 'girly' effect. Chunky jewellery, leather waistcoats, boho bracelets, trilby hats, slouchy boots, 50's sunnies (not all at the same time, admittedly - the gangsta rap look doesn't suit me either) - these are what I wear 'for badness', a word learned from Gabrielle, an old Irish friend!
I learned this style of wire work from an Indonesian friend - in her country these wire medallions are made into brooches to pin back their headscarves and it takes hours to painstakingly coil fine wire around a thicker wire, and then curve and coil the thicker wire into shape, embellishing it with beads as one goes along, without the use of any tools other than a pair of wire snips - but the final effect is so pretty, it is most definitely a labour of love.
Chantilly lace has been made since the 16th century - handmade in France and Belgium and worn by fashionable ladies in Europe and America - and much loved by brides even today.
If my mother could have laid her hands on Chantilly lace when we were growing up, who knows what damage she would have inflicted on our psyches - todays little hints of 'badness' would have become a deluge, to counteract the Little Miss Muffet-ness of my childhood - Phew!
Whilst I love the colour that polymer clay and beads have brought into my life, it is no secret that wire is my first love.
I make this pendant time and time again - inspired by the work of Nicole Hanna , and I love it. It's asymmetry draws me to this design. The markings on the matte blue agate complement the wire work.
And as I went about my business, pottering about the house and going back and forth to work, my muse caught sight of a polymer clay faux bone medallion I made earlier, meaning to eventually turn it into a tribal piece - she decided the medallion had waited long enough and clicked her fingers -lo and behold, Zanzibar came into being!
A silk, vaguely Chinese looking silk choker was unearthed, my stash raided for colourful wooden beads and Cowrie shells, and they were all put together using waxed linen.
I think the necklace is fun and can be easily worn in summer with T shirts and linens, as well as in winter over jumpers.
I have always wanted to go to Zanzibar which is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, once a Portuguese and then a British protectorate, a Spice Island that sounds warm and exotic - one day perhaps.
Just now, I shall have to make do with the necklace.
The Sarayu is a river that runs through the north of India and is a tributary of the Ganges. The turquoise beads in this necklace carrying the conch shell pendant, and the flow of the necklace, reminded me of a river - I used the 'stare hard at it and call it the first name that jumps into your head' technique. This technique works well when I like a piece of jewellery - Bang, a name jumps up and bites me on the nose - if, however, I don't feel any rapport with it, I could go cross eyed and anoxic from holding my breath and concentrating hard with no results. Needless to say, such pieces end up on the scrap heap.
The pendant is a black and gold disc from Indonesia - one I made earlier was red, black and gold and equally beautiful.
Earlier on in the year I made a pair of earrings I called The Bollywood Barbie Earrings - what I imagined Barbie would wear if she went to Bollywood. In the process of researching this for my blog, I came across Rachel Chitra's blog - she had written a post about the scarcity of dolls in India. We had quite a few virtual conversations, and I thought no more of it. Rachel is an Indian journalist and blogger and sent me this link today - she very kindly wrote a little blog post about Caprilicious Jewellery.
That's me done before my little mini break in Hohwacht. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same place same time
P.S - I know more of you read me than you let on - go on, put your heads above the parapet and leave me a comment, show me some love darnit, I deserve it - wouldn't you agree?? - the app might ask for your email id, but don't be frightened - it is just to make sure you are human and not a robot selling snake oil from Outer Mongolia