Oh, well, I suppose if I don't do it now, there won't be much point in decking those halls at all! Hello readers, and thanks for joining me. I'll bet you've got it all taped up with presents wrapped and halls decked. We feel a bit Bleah! this year so much so I haven't even bought a single card yet. Soon, I tell myself, but with the postal strike threatened in the UK next week, there mightn't be much point. I have been wrapping presents, though. I've had a flurry of orders from mainland Europe all of a sudden and have been busy wrapping them up and mailing them out.
Last week I spent a day in London at a meeting for work, and once we were done, I thought it would be rude not to go and see the Christmas lights.
My friend wanted to stop off at Fortnum and Mason's and I have to tell you, the fabulous cakes and the heavenly Christmassy smells in the patisserie section were to die for. Just sniffing the air put a few pounds on me ( or that's what I told the Slimming World consultant).
See what i mean?? I didn't eat anything, not a thing, I promise - there was just so much on offer it just blew my tiny little mind!
I came back home, and to keep my tummy from growling at me, I took up an ammonite and started to bead around it as if my life depended on it. As i picked the colours and beads and put the piece together, I decided I'd make a cuff bracelet. I have a little stash of aluminium blanks and some sheets of leather and I used them to make a pretty little cuff bracelet. It is bright and colourful and a statement piece for the arm - arm candy, I think they call it - there you are, I'm back in the food hall again!
The necklace takes it's name from the Ashanti lost wax cast Baule Sun bead that I've been meaning to use for ages but haven't got to. The waxy black agate slab nuggets act as a perfect foil for the bronze sun, and a second string of freshwater pearls adds a contrast. There are loads of little contrasting bright coloured beads to add a splash of colour.
This is the invitation for next years exhibition, folks. Neelam, my friend told me how to do it, but I struggled with converting it from a pdf to a photograph so that I could post it here, however, I got a bit of help from Google and here I am! What do you think?? You like?? I'm hoping the monetary situation improves by the end of January as I'm unable to hire a card reader for love nor money. I've tried so hard but as my business doesn't have an address in India I cannot get one, so will need to deal in paper money , which as you know is in short supply just now in India.
That's me for this week folks, I'd best bestir myself, halls to deck and all that. Presents won't wrap themselves nor will cards get mysteriously written, I'm afraid - no elves in our house! I'm on call this weekend and hopefully it won't be too busy.
Have a great week folks, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello readers, I hope you are getting ready for a fabulous weekend with lots of fun and games planned.
As you read this, we will be frantically throwing things together in a suitcase in a last minute packing frenzy for our holiday in Firenze, Italy. I am really looking forward to it and a bit of sunshine, after a fairly mediocre British summer - a few rays are exactly what the doctor ordered.
In the meantime, I had a message from Empress Dianne Regisford asking if the piece I called Nomad Spirit, after one of her poems was still available. She was delighted to find it was and commissioned a pair of earrings and a bracelet to go with it as a birthday present to herself. As I had this holiday looming on the horizon, I decided to put all other projects on hold and finish off her parure first so that she could have it for her birthday. After all, who can resist the call of an Empress?
This is a photograph of the original necklace. It has an ammonite fossil surrounded by bead work and soutache braiding, carrying a blue jade Chinese pendant. The earrings needed to be long and showy, but not too heavy, and I decided to make a flexible cuff bracelet, as having never met the Empress, I do not have measurements for her. I had a 3" wide aluminium blank cuff in my store and I sent off for a strip of leather to cover it with.
The earrings were made with two ammonite fossils, and I put in all the elements that I used for the necklace, omitting the jade, of course. I found some sea urchin spines and used them as dangles at the end of a beaded fringe. They tinkle gently when they hit each other in movement and I thought they suited the ammonites perfectly. The earrings are over 3.8" long. and very showy.
The cuff was hard work, but fun - I made the centrepiece with a large ammonite surrounded by soutache and bead work, and then sewed it onto a piece of shiny metallic leather that I cut to the size of the blank. I glued the centrepiece down for extra safety and then glued on a layer of ultrasuede to the inside of the cuff. I spent a whole evening sewing on little beads to the edge of the bracelet, effectively sewing the leather and ultrasuede to one another, and trapping the aluminium blank in between them. It is certainly a statement piece and of the three, it is my favourite. By the time I finished, my arm hurt from the workout it got, pushing the needle through the leather and the Size 10 needles themselves were bent like corkscrews, from being worked so hard.
So, what do you think, which one of the three do you like best?? Do tell!!
Well, that's me for the week. I am looking forward to nodding off on the plane as I never rest well before I fly. I fall asleep instantly to the rhythm of the engines much to my husband's annoyance as he would like someone to talk to. Oh well, he'll just have to wait till we get to Florence. As we have a whole week there, we will have plenty of time to visit the countryside around us and Siena, San Gimignano and the Cinqe Terre are on our list.
I shall of course, be back with a post about my travels next week, albeit a couple of days late. Have a fabulous week and see you soon
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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