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Saturday, 6 October 2012

My jewellery scared them

My DIY pendant. Or could you tell...?

Short story: I tied a plastic preying mantis onto a Liz Claiborne 2011 Christmas ornament backdrop, which I painted black, and added a sweet ivory ribbon. I call this The Man-eater. O likes it but would like it more if I could mechanize the antennae and front legs.

As it was, both a barista and a cashier jumped in horror at the huge bug walking towards my neck. Scaring people was not my intent - honestly! I had planned to debut this at a fashion show (as a guest) on Tuesday night but was preempted by unexpected work, so I enjoyed wearing it on Wednesday for coffee. 

My inspiration came from the fabulous Sacramento of Mis Papelicos who made a bug necklace here, and then gorgeous Lydia of and this is peak who also made a few, here and here. The original bug necklace was made by designer/artist Schiaparelli in the '30s. A bunch of insects came in the combi-pack so you can expect more such adornments in the months to come.

Below are a couple of snaps that Sandra and I took on our Freak-Rocker-Women Freak-out Photo Day. We're scrabbling all over public edifices, which is not very ladylike at all - but that's the point. 

Yes, my ballerina dress, this time with me standing in it.

Sandra stood in her socks while she let me wear her sparkly skull boots for my photo. She wore them special today because she knew they'd look great with the ballerina dress. Talk about sacrifice for art!

"Where's Wanda?"

Sandra has just launched her own blog, LENS IS MORE. She takes great photos, has a deliciously wicked sense of humour, is a talented vocalizer, gorgeous, and makes cools clothes and accessories. Have a look.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Do your clothes or jewellery ever scare people? Um, what do you do about that? I think my hair would scare people if I didn't push it down in the mornings. 


  1. I'm off to a jumble sale today so I'll be on the lookout for plastic insects to make into necklace! Yours looks great I love the red and acid green together with the delicate ribbon. I like shocking people, though it doesn't happen often. Your ballerina dress with skull boots is so very cool! I'll be following Sandra as I'm already a fan of her musical work!

  2. Scaring the general public is a fine achievement, I say! Or at least making them look twice and raise an eyebrow. I seem to do that now and again, and consider it a Thoroughly Good Thing, although I don't think what I wear is remotely outrageous. Some people scare easy, I guess!
    I love O's suggestion for a praying mantis with moving bits, wouldn't that be something, and cause even MORE side-eye?!
    You look so stunning in your black lace/tulle combination, I love it. And the shot behind the tree is genius.
    Off to say hi to Sandra now. Have a fantastic weekend! xxxx

  3. I am so proud of having inspored that wonderful necklace to an artist like you, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    I love, love the shot with your ballerina skirt and wonderful tights.

  4. Oh you have scary morning-hair too?????? So do I!!! I'm thinking of actually going with it and creating a Bride of Frankenstein hairdo - why fight it? Damn your necklace is freaking gorgeous! I love it so much and you and Sacramento have inspired me to buy a bag of revolting insects next time I see some at the op shop - I see earrings in my future. I love scaring people and do so on a regular basis. In fact, I think I'm safe in taking credit for a peak in earnings at the local dry cleaner's due to others' spontaneous coffee spluttering and slopped food on precious and (hopefully) v. expensive ugly clothing.

  5. Besides being a superstar, Sandra is a true friend. My scary-factor still needs an awful lot of work, apparently - I will try, try again! The tutu-and-the-tree is outstanding, as is all of the putting your bodies on public surfaces. Well done!

  6. Ooh there's the ballerina frock again - gourd, I love it. It is spectacular with the skull boots (and I am also inspired to make myself some insect jewellery and I can only hope to terrify a few people. It's good to have goals.

    Sarah xxx

  7. Fantastic! I did a kids workshop one Halloween and made jewellery from plastic bugs. They had a great time, and I still have the spider brooch I made as a demo. I have a few scary pieces, the big eyeball ring being a favourite of mine. People are unnerved and I get quite a bit of 'Oh that's horrible' when I where certain things. I don't do anything about it except carry on wearing. It's their problem, not mine!

  8. Brilliant necklace! Now I have several ideas for scary jewellery! I love the skull boots with the tulle skirt! It's like Cinderella goes Goth...

  9. You scared me for a quick moment too : > I thought you might get nibble. Great art. You know I adore the tulle skirt, and the boots only elevate the love.

  10. Your tutu is the best things ever.

  11. After your and Sacramento's creations I'm hankering after bug jewellery!
    I love the bad ass ballerina outfit with the skull boots and the hiding behind photo is a stunner.
    I don't know what people think of me, I'm too busy being loud and annoying to take any notice! xxx

  12. As I rubbed my eyes to wake up this morning, for a split second I really thought I had a different Melanie pulled up; the first picture initially looked so very elegant and the format was atypical for a first picture on your blog. Then I rubbed my eyes again and saw the wonderful BUG!!!! Yes, I thought, it IS her!!!

    The rocker outfits are a delight and if you guys ever want to sell a print of the tutu behind the tree, I'll buy it. I know exactly where it belongs in my house. I love it.

  13. Love the tulle skirt. Are you sure it was the bug that frighten them, or was it your amazing awesomeness? Sandra looks fab, too.

  14. Well sometimes I do scare peeps by accident, but I am getting the hang of this style thing, I swear!

    Such a sweet combo, a praying mantis and a ballet skirt together. You know you were risking getting swatted in the name of someone trying to be helpful right? :)

    You remind me of a former co-worker who got tired of her overly nosy boss going through her desk drawers, even the one with emergency feminine items. She brought in a bag of very realistic-looking plastic cockroaches, and scattered them all over her drawers. It is my understanding after the first time he opened a roach-infested drawer, he gave her desk rather a wide berth.

  15. Oh my gosh, I want a big tutu so bad! You look awesome, Melanie, so fearless!

  16. Cool. I had just collected a bunch of neon plastic dinosaurs to make into a necklace - but I guess that won't be very scary...maybe 8 year old boys would be interested.

    Your photos are tutu delish. And I'm looking forward to checking out Sandra's new blog.

  17. Your necklace is very...original. Great idea but I think if I wore a necklace like Mis Papelicos made I would feel really creepy with all those legs on my skin. I do not like bugs.

  18. I don't know if my jewelry ever scares anyone (two of my favorite necklaces involve a junebug in lucite and a very brown and worn looking canine molar) but I do get looks sometimes. One of my favorite jewelry motifs is the insect so of course I adore your necklace! You look fab in the tutu as well!

  19. Love your preying mantis necklace!! Super cool and just a touch frightening, which is good. I saw Sacramento's bug brooch as well and was really "taken" with it. I do like jewellery that is in the shape of a creature, although bugs ain't my thing. I'd wear them as jewellery though.

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from

  20. Excellent bug necklace - a DIY success for sure! Apparently, some people find those of us who dress however we like and don't give a rats ass about what other people think to be "scary" and "intimidating" I've been told. I think that if I haven't caused at least one person to raise their eyebrow during the day, I'm not doing my job.

    The tutu goes marvelously with the skull boots. Wasn't Giselle about the spirits of dead women who were jilted?

  21. I love Mis Papelicos's insect necklace and this brooch you made is beyond reproachable it's a brilliant! I love the colors and how real it looks, I might even try to flick it off if I had the pleasure of bumping into you. The skull boots should be in my closet wherever did she find those? Pairing them with your fluffy skirt makes me love them more.

  22. Sometimes my tongue scares people!
    I went to college with a girl who had a pet lizard that needed to be kept at a warm temperature. She wore it under her clothes and you could see the little lump of it roving about her body. We art students were all used to it but it gave some other people a bit of a fright.

  23. Haha, that story about the pendant is amazing. The other day I managed to scare a shop assistant at TK Maxx but I didn't require any props, I just crept up behing him LOLOLOL

    I love the tutu dress, it's an absolute dream! If you ever get tired of it let me know and I will gladly do a swap!!!

  24. The frothy skirt with the skull socks is just too cool.

  25. Love that skirt, impossible to know that you're hiding behind the tree jaja


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