Hello folks, lovely to meet you again, and thanks for dropping by at the blog. I've had a fabulous week off from work and it has been pretty eventful. Most times when I stay home, I tend to veg out in front of the TV, waking up late and generally chilling out. This week, I was in London on the Monday at a meeting after which I met a friend I was at university with - she was on her way to Tunisia from San Francisco and I was so pleased to see her after all these years. I met another friend for a drink, went out to dinner with my colleagues and generally had a good time mixing pleasure with leisure, a very strange and rare occurrence for me.
I made a necklace for my friend, who without realising it started me off with Caprilicious. She sent me a box of gemstones and beads all those years ago and gave me carte blanche with the designs I made for her - my first collection! She still has some of the pieces and was even wearing the pair of earrings I made for her eight years ago - you can see them in the picture she sent me. The necklace in the photograph was probably my very first statement necklace, made with bloodstone, turquoise and cream wooden beads.
This time I made her a simple necklace with frosted matte amethyst and citrine beads separated by seed pearls with a single large baroque pearl from a string I picked up in Bangkok. The pearl is flanked by ceramic beads that are electroplated in 18K gold.
Birdie - the last one
This is the last and final 'Birdie Necklace' I plan to make - the other three live in Australia, Bangalore and Texas - who knows where this one will fetch up. The beads are handmade at Caprilicious and all the necklaces are similar and tied together by the birds, however, each one is different.
The Corsage Necklace
This one is going to be one of my most 'statementy' statement pieces! Inspired by a tutorial by Kinga Nichols and the work of Dori Csengeri I made loads of little soutache pieces which I attached to a piece of Laceys Stiff Stuff (the name always makes me want to giggle) covered with stretch velvet material in navy blue. More crystals and beads and shiny things followed, as well as a necklace of six strands of crystal teardrops. The embroidered piece was placed on one side like a corsage and it turned into one hell of a necklace that will be worn by someone discerning, who understands what a statement is all about. She will be a woman of distinction, who likes to be both seen and heard, and I envisage it with a black strapless dress. What do you think?? I'd love to hear what you think of this piece. Love it or hate it, this one will not be ignored.
I'm sure you will appreciate the amount of time and work that has gone into the making of this piece. Labour intensive, but most definitely a labour of love.
That's me for the week gone by folks, have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, nice to have you back. I've been playing tourist this week - I've lived and worked in and around Coventry since 1992, but have never been to see Coventry Cathedral, one of the most iconic ruins in this part of the country. The Cathedral is relatively new, having been rebuilt in 1962 after it was razed to the ground in the Second World War. The ruins of the original cathedral exist and one can even climb up into the tower (I didn't). There are loads of lovely old buildings around the cathedral and the whole area is so nice, one would be forgiven for forgetting that we were in Coventry.
The aid raid on Coventry on the night of 14 November 1940 was the single most concentrated attack on a British city in the Second World War. Following the raid, Nazi propagandists coined a new word in Germany - Coventrieren - to raze a city to the ground. Code named 'Moonlight Sonata', the raid lasted for 11 hours and involved nearly 500 Luftwaffe bombers, gathered from airfields all over occupied Europe. The aim was to knock out Coventry as a major centre for war production, and perhaps as revenge on an RAF attack on Munich. 14 November apparently was a brilliant moonlit night, so bright that the traffic could move around on the road without lights. The Luftwaffe dropped 500 tons of high explosive, 30,000 incendiaries and 50 landmines, and was also trying out a new weapon, the exploding incendiary.
It has been claimed in a number of books that the wartime prime minister Churchill knew that the city was to be targeted by the German Luftwaffe, but chose to do nothing because it would have alerted Adolf Hitler to the fact the Allies had recently cracked the Nazis' top-secret Enigma codes. Coventry and its people were sacrificed, the theory goes, "for the greater good".
Shortly after the destruction, the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble with the moving words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall.
So, why did I feel I should visit the cathedral after so many years? Well, there was an art installation making the rounds of the country, and it came to Coventry Cathedral having been in Hull and Liverpool. The 27ft Knife Angel sculpture is made from 100,000 blades handed into police across the country. It was unveiled in 2017 and artist Alfie Bradley, who created the sculpture at the British Ironworks Centre, said it was a "monument against violence and aggression".
The Knife Angel
I think you'll agree that the angel is a very moving and beautiful object, made from some pretty scary knives. The wings have the blades visible and overlapping one another, while the body has the blades covered over with the hilts of the knives more on sight. The installation is placed at the entrance of the cathedral, to one side of the bronze of the Archangel Michael slaying the devil. The face of the Archangel was modelled on the nephew of the architect of the new cathedral, Basil Spence - not terribly handsome, I thought. The devil had a more interesting face, but maybe that's where the phrase 'devilishly good looking' comes from!
The staggered nave walls are illuminated by ten narrow floor to ceiling windows filled with semi-abstract symbolic designs arranged in pairs of dominant colours (green, red, multi-coloured, purple/blue and gold) representing the souls journey to maturity, and revealed gradually as one approaches the altar.
The altar is dominated by a tapestry of Christ by Graham Sutherland and is thought to be the largest one piece tapestry in the world - I can't imagine how difficult that must have been to make.
My own little efforts pale into insignificance after this.
It was the pinks and the greens in this pair of earrings that gave it its name - spring is in the air, after all. The Shibori ribbon is a pale pink, shading into green and I added crystals and leaves liberally, it was so much fun to make. I first tried it with a gold tone oval stud finding, but changed it to a silver tone shell shaped stud, which to my mind suited it better.
I've found it difficult to take pictures of Shibori Jewellery - the undulation in the ribbon and the fact that the entire thing is not on the flat requires better photography skills than mine, but I'm sure I will get better as I go along. The earrings are very light even though they look large and heavy - they are only 14 gms each and are well supported by the stud findings in the ears.
And after I made these, I developed the worst cold I've ever known and stayed in bed for the rest of the week. I'm only just feeling better in time to post this.
Have a great week folks, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello good people, thanks for dropping by again today. I hope you've all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend ahead. I've been playing with the Shibori ribbon in my stash again, I can't seem to get enough of it. Yet another pair of earrings came off my beading tray this week - I posted a picture of the work in progress on Instagram and the earrings were snapped up straight away.
I love the graceful curves of the pleats when the ribbon is stitched to the backing. The earrings look large and heavy, but in actual fact they are very light and easy to wear.
I suspect you will see a few more of these over the next few weeks. When I came back from my holidays in India, I sat around thinking about the direction in which Caprilicious was leading me - I don't want to make the same old, same old, over and over again. Every year I want to go in a slightly different direction so that both I and my customers don't get bored. I simply couldn't think what I was going to do next to fulfil this requirement until I caught sight of the Shibori ribbon, and off I went.
These little birdies are embellished with tiny flowers and teamed with stripy polymer clay beads in a playful, summery combination of pink and yellow. This is the third birdie necklace I've made - the first one lives in Australia, and the second in India. I wonder where this one will fly away to.
I found out a short while ago that I have been accepted to exhibit at Warwickshire Open Studios at the end of June. They are a self-funded membership organisation run by a voluntary team who are all artists themselves or have an interest in art. They help artists and designer makers across the Warwickshire and Coventry area connect with art-lovers who enjoy, buy, commission and participate in their work.
Warwickshire Open Studios is Coventry and Warwickshires biggest free arts event. During the annual Open Studios Summer Event, there are over 300 artists who open their homes and studios to the public . This year they have four blocks of exhibits through June and I will be exhibiting at the Leamington Spa Museum as I have no studio to show people around - mind you, my husband would say that I have converted the entire house into a studio, with beads and wire and craft supplies everywhere. Nuneaton is too remote from the regular run which is Kenilworth, Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Rugby/ Dunchurch - mainly in South Warwickshire. I'm pleased that they accepted my application to exhibit at the Museum. Leamington isn't far from me and I can easily drive up there every day. I will be there from the 27th to the 30th of June, and this includes a Saturday and Sunday, which is probably the most productive time to exhibit. Admission to all the exhibits is free. I have an entry on their website, do go along and take a look. I have to admit that it does overawe me a bit, that someone would consider my efforts worthy of a county wide Art Exhibition, and in a Museum, no less, but hey! they are the experts, so they must know what they're on about. I admit to minor pangs of impostor syndrome here.
There was a call for photographs of wire jewellery from the Editor of Making Jewellery for the Inspiration page of the Wirework edition of the magazine, and I sent some in and forgot all about it. I received a magazine in the post this morning, in lieu of them publishing my photographs.
I always have a peacock torque lurking in my cupboard and the second one was made using slices of a polymer clay cane that I made and wove into the fabric of the torque necklace. It was made a while ago, and lives in India now.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello everyone, thanks for joining me today. It is as always great to have your company. The day job has kept me busy and I've offset the stress and tiredness with a bit of Caprilicious to keep me sane. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have Caprilicious and all of you for company.
This week I picked up a length of Shibori silk. I've talked about how they make Shibori silk in a previous post. The ribbon I chose from my little stash, about a foot long is dyed in shades of maroon. I thought of the sumptuous trousers the king of Siam wore in The King and I, and when I spread the ribbon out and ballooned it, I was reminded of them.
I cut out shapes for earrings from Lacy's Stiff Stuff and anchored the silk to it, spreading it out as artistically as I could to show off the difference in colour between the peaks and troughs in the pleated material. I patted myself on the back, ‘they most definitely resemble Yul Brynner's trousers,’ I thought. In fact the outfits he wears in the movie are quite contemporary. I wouldn't mind a jacket like the one he has on myself. There's actually another one he wore in the movie that I'd love to have as well. Aren't they beautiful?? To think this movie was made in 1956, fashion has certainly come full circle!
But, I digress.....
I embellished them lavishly with a brass passion flower, lilac dyed potato pearls, Czech glass leaves that shimmer in the light and tiny seed beads in silver lined orange and antique gold, backed them with ultrasuede and attached them to stud earrings, and Bingo, one of the most sumptuous pieces I've ever made came to life. For once, Instagram and Facebook worked in my favour and the earrings were picked up as soon as I posted them, they never got to hit the website.
The proud owner should have them on Saturday as I posted them out straight away. I work hard to mail jewellery out within 24 hrs of being paid as I reckon that once paid for, the goods belong to the new owner, who should have them asap. That's how I like to receive my purchases and it's one of the reasons Amazon Prime is so popular. I cannot manage a 24 hr turnaround, but the next best thing will have to suffice.
That's me for this week folks. Earrings take a while to make, as they are in essence two pieces. I had to run two threaded needles, and sew them in tandem so that they would look a mirror image of one another. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you today? It has been a fabulous week with the weather playing ball and the sun coming out to warm our bones - the warmest February since records began, no less! We made our first trip to the garden centre - the first of many this year, I'm sure. The jet lag has finally left me and I am back to full mental and physical capacity and it feels great. We've already booked our next holidays and although they are a way away, it gives us something to look forward to. I can now proceed to organise my life and activities for the year around my holidays and weekends on call.
I was sent this photograph by a lovely client and thought I'd use it in a different way - I love the quotation because it encapsulates exactly how I feel about Caprilicious. Each person who wears my work is a part of it and my work becomes a part of the life of the wearer. In this way we communicate without a word being said and become a part of each others life experiences, sharing a common thread that connects our reflections on life and developing a mutual understanding of who we are without even having to meet.
I've been meaning to use the beads in this necklace for a long time, I find them quite delightful. I love the naturalness of the material - they are made of slices of a stalactite with the most beautiful crystalline structure, also called solar quartz.
The words stalactite and stalagmite can be traced back to the Greek word "stalassein," which means "to drip." This is fitting because it describes how both are formed in nature. Stalactites and stalagmites grow because of water running over and through inorganic material. It can take a very long time for most stalactites to form - they usually grow anywhere between a quarter-inch and an inch every century. When water dripping from the end of a stalactite falls to the floor of a cave and deposits more calcite into a mound, a stalagmite eventually forms in a cone like shape. When water drips onto your body from a stalactite, it is called a 'cave kiss'!! And I'm led to understand that this is pretty rare as the water takes ages to collect the momentum to fall from the tip of the stalactite.
The slices of stalactite are naturally a creamy white in colour, and can be dyed in beautiful colours. Most of the slices I used in 'Cara' are in their natural state.
This is a necklace that sits close to the neck, but far enough away so that the edges of the beads are not uncomfortable for the wearer. The necklace is very spring like, very reminiscent of sunny summers days, floaty frocks, flowers, straw hats and weddings. The warmth of the weather this week has definitely affected me with this necklace. There's a thought - what would I have made with the same beads at the height of mid winter? I wonder!!
That's me for the week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you today. I'm posting this from Manchester, where I am at the moment, although I will be heading back home later today. Manchester is the city I arrived at when I first moved to the UK - we had a little one bedroom apartment in a Victorian building in Didsbury, across the road from Christie's Hospital. I was just married, and had only just passed my exams to qualify as a doctor. As I was not yet qualified to work in the UK, I was a happy little housewife, making a nest in my first home. I enjoyed taking the bus in to Arndale centre, staring open mouthed at the stuff in the windows, feeling like a little country mouse. Culture shock? I was almost paralysed by it!
Anyway, fast forward to just under 35 years and here I am, back in Manchester, training to become an examiner for the PLAB exam - the dreaded Professional and Linguistics Board Exam that all foreign medical graduates have to take to be able to work in the UK. I have now come full circle, having passed that exam myself in 1989.
I've taken a bit of a break from making jewellery, just coasting, keeping my hand in by revising and repairing pieces that seemed to need attention.
This is a necklace of black ceramic and brushed silver tone beads that I originally made in three strands, with a handsome black onyx clasp that looked really good around the neck. However, when it was worn, it was so heavy that people were bound to find it difficult to wear. I rationalised it with the thought that women hurt and deform their feet wearing impossible stiletto heels, and can be mildly masochistic in the interest of looking good. And there was no doubt that the necklace looked good!
However, painful shoes are generally de rigueur on an evening - nobody would want to add another element to their pain, especially if there was a difficult hairdo or even a hat thrown into the mix. Sticks and stones might not break bones, but a heavy necklace and stiletto heels will feel like they have.
I took the necklace to India with me, but put people off from buying it and modified it this week.
This is what the original piece looked like, and although it was sad to have to break it up, I think I was right to do so. At least now, although it will never be a lightweight piece, the necklace is wearable.
Here are a couple of other pieces I made using the ceramic beads - these are single strands and have pendants woven with tarnish resistant silver plated wire and are even lighter than the necklaces above.
I remade a necklace for one of my customers as she requested the citrine and amethyst in a necklace I had designed were swapped out with pearls. As she didn't really want the beads back, I made a simple piece with little seed pearls for an old friend who I had arranged to meet up with in Manchester - I first met her all those years ago, and she took me under her wing. She was very kind to me in those first bewildering days in a new country, so I thought I'd give her a little gift.
That's me for this week, folks. I've only just got over crippling jet lag and will probably be back at my workbench with a vengeance next week. Have a fantastic week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, it's lovely to catch up with you again after a few weeks off. As you might've read in my previous posts, I've been on a visit to India and a mini break to Bangkok. It was great to see my mother again, and I met up with a load of friends and relatives in India, but it was a quiet holiday there compared to the last time when we celebrated my mother's 90th birthday. I was very excited about the trip to Thailand, having never been before and being a big fan of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I. Yul Brynner played the role of the King on Broadway for years before the film was made - the musical was called Anna and the King of Siam. I found myself looking for Yul Brynner lookalikes constantly, but alas, there were none.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu on the main drag, the Sukhumvit Road - it was truly the road that never sleeps. The traffic built up on the road from before six am and didn't let up, till 3am. In spite of that we managed to cross to road to get to the fabulous massage parlour 'Lek' each night. Lek stayed open every night till 1am and we lay in a row having various parts of our anatomy pummelled and kneaded into shape, in preparation for the rigours of the next day.
The hotel was fabulous, in keeping with what one would expect from a Radisson Blu - it freaked me out that they had a pane of glass between the bedroom and the loo, until I located an electrically operated shutter, Phew! There was the obligatory rooftop infinity pool, a fabulous Chinese Dimsum restaurant where we stuffed ourselves silly on the last day and fabulous views of the skyscrapers of downtown Bangkok from the rooftop bar.
We drove out to the Floating Market - it took us an hour to get there, and when we did, it was the most awful tourist trap, with us in a motorboat zooming over dirty water, sucking in petrol fumes, sitting ducks for any vendor who caught our eye. It got so bad that we didn't dare look at anything lest the vendor pounce on us and try to get us to buy something. The prices for the tourist tat were pretty steep, and we found the same goods elsewhere with a pre bargaining asking price that was a quarter to a third of those in the floating market. Our driver was very helpful and took us there and back without mishap. Michael decided that he wanted to have a suit made and we ended up in a swanky shop called 'James Tailor' - 'James', whoever he was, had a major operation with two air conditioned shops on either side of the road, a fleet of cars, chauffeurs and loads of salespeople who obviously worked on commission. A bit of sharp bargaining, (which embarrassed my English husband who was asked to be quiet or forgo his suit) and we had ourselves a perfectly made mohair suit, sewn to Mikes measurements in a day. Everyone was happy, apart from 'James' who didn't expect any bargaining from us.
We had decided on seeing the emerald Buddha that was inside the royal palace and the reclining Buddha in a nearby building, but by the time we got there and parked miles away from the palace and then walked to the entrance, they had closed the shrine and we decided to go back there the next morning.
Built within the grounds of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew or 'The Temple of the Emerald Buddha' is the most important and most visited temple in Bangkok. One of the most significant features of Wat Phra Kaew is the Emerald Buddha, carved into a 66 cm tall block of Jade. However, they had covered the Buddha with gold cloth and all we could see from very far away was a tiny green face. The palace itself is very beautiful with intricate carvings and embellishments everywhere. I could imagine Yul Brynner in this setting, and looked for him in vain. There is a two km long gallery covered with incredibly detailed mural paintings depicting scenes from the epic story of the Ramayana. It is a huge complex and a proper exploration would have taken us a whole day. We spent a couple of hours there, and a bit disappointed by the emerald Buddha, we decided to go on to the Golden Buddha in a tuk- tuk - one can't go to Thailand and not use one of them. If the Emerald Buddha was too small for us, the golden one was huge, and had to be photographed in segments!
That was all the sightseeing done, now to hit the shops! My sister in law and I took off in a tuk-tuk, leaving the men by the pool. We went to the Palladium mall and looked around the bead shops and I picked up a few strings of baroque pearls and some nugget beads. I looked into a load of shops but didn't really want to carry back beads that I would be able to source for almost the same price online and have the added benefit of having them delivered to the house. I also thought that Jaipur was much better value for money, or perhaps I was just tired after all the wandering about. Whatever the reason was, I didn't do too much shopping. We found a shop with the most beautiful antique Afghani jewellery - the owner was a rotund Pashtun who had spread a mat down and was taking his post prandial siesta when we walked in. We asked him for prices of his jewellery, and retreated in shock at what he quoted, certainly way beyond my budget!
We went to see the Ladyboys in a show called Calypso - I must confess that I had expected a Carnival style extravaganza, but this show was a bit more restrained, set to jazz and swing music.
And that was it, our time in Bangkok was over. We made a trip into Patpong where the callers tried to lure us in to visit the girls half heartedly. They could see that we weren't interested, but tried anyway in a good natured desultory sort of way, waving their 'menus' at us, just in case. I bought a few souvenirs in the street market there and we got on the most Godawful, cramped, Air Asia flight back to Bangalore - as a budget airline it is probably one of the worst I've been on, never again!
So that's the story of my trip to Bangkok, folks. I hope you enjoyed the read. Bangalore was pretty tame and uneventful in comparison as we did the same things over again - off to the Bangalore club, visited relatives, met friends and generally relaxed before we had to come home and back to work.
That's me for this week, have a great week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you today? I have holidayitis as we are soon off to India to visit my mother and have a few adventures of our own, and I'm really looking forward to it. I was hoping to have a little show of my own while in India, but nothing has come together yet - however, I do have a few people lined up to come and see what I have carried with me. I never tire of taking out my pieces of jewellery to show people, and then put them away in the suitcase - it never seems like a chore. That my necklaces go to a good home, that's what I want, and I show them over and over again, quite tirelessly.
Octarine is the colour of magic - from Terry Pratchett's series of books, Discworld.
It's the eighth colour of the Discworld rainbow, sitting where we might expect ultra-violet, and it is only visible to wizards. The eyes of wizards apparently contain, besides the usual rods and cones, octagons that detect octarine. Less magically-sensitive humans can see where octarine would be, as the blackness around the edges of fire. As we can't actually see the colour, it appears as a dark hole in space.
I made a veneer using Copper acrylic paint, Kroma Krackle and alcohol inks and as the Krackle dried it separated into plaques coloured by the alcohol ink, displaying the copper paint beneath. The veneer took almost a week to dry out before I could colour it and then I made beads with it. I wanted to seal the Krackle and painted it with liquid clay and was terrified when the alcohol ink vanished, only to reappear when I cured it with a heat gun. I used every single piece of it, wrapping the last few strips around black beads.
Here then, is Octarine, the necklace I made using the beads with this veneer. The necklace has an enamelled toggle clasp - I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and had to have a few - a pretty clasp enhances a necklace so much and I couldn't resist it.
I've been making earring components for a while now, and decided it was time to put them together. Most of the components are misshapen on purpose in the fashion of the times. They are mostly stud earrings which are trickier to make than ones that dangle from hooks, but they have a more polished dimension to them. The asymmetric vibe which is so dear to my heart and very much in fashion is in evidence in most of them in one way or another.
They are comfortable, colourful, funky, easy to wear and most importantly, different. I will launch them on the website when I get back from India. This is a sneak peek for you, my lovely readers, and I hope you like them.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you soon - I'll do my best to check in each week, if not, I'll catch you when I get back home.
Hello folks, how are we today? I've been gearing up for my annual visit to India and working at all the things I need to set in motion at the day job to hold my place until I return in a few weeks. However, I still found time to play with baubles and beads. I will be carrying some of my choicest pieces back to Bangalore and have invited a few of my favourite people to come and see them.
The title refers to the butterflies which are a focal point of this necklace. It is a deceptively simple piece, with faceted onyx beads, a diamante clasp and the butterflies. I won't say any more about it, and leave you to make up your own mind. I think you'll agree with me that it is a beauty.
This necklace sprang from a visit to the Jangchub Ling Buddhist Centre in Stratford Upon Avon. It is a very peaceful place where they teach meditation to anyone who would like to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and living. I got talking to one of the teachers, who is also a monk and we talked about Caprilicious, among other things. I learned to knot pearls a long time ago, but found it a tedious activity. I felt sufficiently enthused to come back home and make a meditative mala necklace.
Malas are made of 108 beads (or derivatives thereof - 18, 27, 36 or 54 would be acceptable numbers). Knots placed between the beads make it easy to handle and keep count of the number of mantras chanted during a meditation. The mala is made up of gemstones or beads that are meant to be infused with the energy that’s channeled into them through a mantra repetition. The guru bead is the bead that the tassel will attach directly to. The guru bead symbolizes the student-guru relationship and three more marker beads are placed around the mala at regular intervals. I was instructed to say an affirmation at each knot and when I finished, I took it to Stratford and it was washed in distilled water to cleanse the amazonite beads, and my friend the monk said a prayer over it.
I used sand polished matte amazonite beads to increase the tactility of the necklace, and knotted them with contrasting orange linen. On reading about amazonite on Crystal Vault, my go-to bible for such matters, I found that apart from being pretty the stone is also meant to have soothing properties. I invite you to use the link above if you want to read about it.
I must tell you a bit about the Guru and marker beads - they are made of hand carved Bodhi seeds from Tibet. They are carved into the shape of lotuses which are symbols of peace. The Bodhi tree, a central symbol in Buddhism, is a sort of fig tree under which the Buddha found enlightenment. I'd never seen Bodhi seeds before (I've never seen a Bodhi tree either) and was quite excited to find them on a website I was visiting when I was researching my Mala.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place - well, I'll be middair as you read next week's edition, and I'll endeavour to keep going with little snippets each week until I'm back home.
See you next week, then
Hello lovely folks, Happy New Year to you all. This year I wish that you all get your heart's desire, and that some of what your heart desires is found at Caprilicious - that would suit us both!
My New Years Eve was quiet and peaceful, I was on call and I cooked a pot full of pilau rice and Mike helped me carry it to the midwives and doctors at work, who have to stay in the hospital perforce and had planned a midnight feast. I sat at home sewing crystals onto a piece I had half made and temporarily abandoned at its fugly stage. I was determined to have a fresh piece to show off on the website on the first day of the year.
I think I've finally realised the direction I'm taking with Caprilicious - I'm well on the way to becoming an Occasionwear maker. Of course it depends on the wearer, and what they think is an 'occasion' that demands a piece of Caprilicious. I know ladies who wear my pieces effortlessly all day, every day.
However, I think I enjoy making the showy, highly embellished pieces of jewellery the most, and may well concentrate on them this year. And I think this is what makes Caprilicious so precious to me - it allows me to create things that make me happy and satisfy my soul. If I made jewellery to suit other peoples requirements I would end up in a second job, not in the beautiful cloud of creativity that surrounds me and floats me through the day until I can get back home to my tools.
This one has Shibori silk, crystals, embroidery with beads, a soutache piece, and the icing on the cake - dyed marabou feathers. I came across Shibori silk ribbon on a website I happened to be looking at and was smitten. It is silk ribbon, cut on the bias, and wound around a pipe in a circular fashion as shown. It is gathered into folds by first wrapping a silk cord around the tube and fabric tightly, making sure it is continuous. The fabric is scrunched together into little pleats under the cord and then dampened and dye allowed to seep into the silk. It sounds like a simple process, but isn't and that is reflected in the cost of the ribbon which is sold in lengths of 10 - 20 cms. It can be stretched out or used as is, in its scrunched up form.
I learned how to make petals from a woman who calls herself Shibori Girl and made three out of the orange silk that arrived first, and a ginkgo leaf out of the green silk - and wham, I ran out of ideas! The piece sat on a tray, and I saw it sitting there every day trying to attract my attention. To keep it from being too vocal, I applied myself to making other fairly complex pieces. "I just have to make these, and I'll come back to you", I reassured the poor, forlorn, fugly thing. I couldn't bear to admit to it, let alone myself, that I didn't know what to do with it. Eventually, I decided to pull the piece together with other elements - the soutache piece is really three pieces sewn together, with the feathers placed under it and eventually Fantasia came into being.
A 'ginkgo leaf' in Shibori dyed silk crowns the top of this pendant, embroidered with seed beads and freshwater pearls. A blue beaded Swarovski rivoli and crystals adorn the lower edge of the 'leaf'. The three plump shibori silk petals are placed to the bottom left of the pendant. A soutache piece in two layers nestles between the petals, and two dyed marabou feathers are attached securely beneath the soutache and crystals. Teardrop shaped crystals encased in soutache braiding shoot out of the main crystal and soutache piece like comets.
And then I got taken out to dinner on New Year's Day so I wore it. I think it looks great, and it is definitely flamboyant.
It was certainly noticed at the restaurant we went to, and a couple of strangers came up to me and took a card off me - yes I carry business cards everywhere! One of the ladies even got in touch and has ordered a piece of jewellery from me, so that's a result.
A friend of mine came round for a cup of tea and a chat - she's a consultant at the hospital in the next town and was on call - unfortunately she lives too far away to work from home and needs to stay in the hospital when on call, so when there was a lull in the proceedings she dropped round to see me. I persuaded her to try some of my jewellery on and we spent a happy hour or two taking pictures.
That's me for now, folks. Enjoy the coming week and I'll catch you next weekend , same place, same time.
p.s. Last couple of days for the Payday discount in case you fancy it - I will be travelling next month so although I might post a discount code order delivery is likely to be delayed until I get back, just so you know