Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, it is nice to catch up with you again. The week just gone by has been filled with frustration - two steps forward and one step back in a bizarre dance. I blame the house gremlin who has been making mischief again! It has pinched my beautiful micro gouges that I used to carve metal clay with the last time I made a bronze clay clasp. Of course I only found that out after I had started on another piece and had it all ready to carve into. I spent hours looking for the gouges, and then gave up in disgust. The tools are expensive but I had no alternative but to go out and order another set.
Then, I decided to make a necklace with a set of blue agate hand carved leaves I brought back from a trip to India, only to find that I couldn't lay my hands on the very beads I wanted. I knew that I had put them carefully to one side only a few weeks ago. Hmm!
At least my craft supplies got tidied away and the house cleaned as I turned it upside down looking for these two items, and was eventually rewarded by the appearance of the leaves in a package of other blue beads - I still maintain that it wasn't me who put them there! The gouges remain lost.
An Attempt at Alchemy
And then, there was the failed attempt to make bismuth crystals. In my enthusiasm to make handmade with handmade, which is the Caprilicious motto as far as I can take it, I decided to try and make bismuth crystals myself so that I could wire wrap them. Everybody on You Tube seemed to be doing it, and it seemed like such an easy process. Having watched loads of videos on the technique, I found a source for 100 gms of the raw bismuth and was most excited when the lump arrived in the post. Of course the videos are not precise and do not tell one exactly how much to buy and I had no idea how heavy the metal was or how big a chunk I was likely to get. I pinched my husband's aluminium egg poacher, put my glasses on for safety and asked him to stay home while I played with molten metal - just in case of problems.
While I turned the house over obsessively looking for my agate beads and gouges, Diwali arrived, as did Halloween. I found a couple of ceramic ghouls, which the house gremlin had hidden from me for about an year and decided to use them in a pair of Spooktacular earrings before they were misappropriated again.
I also found little handmade glass chillies that I had intended to make into earrings for Diwali. The chilli peppers came from one of my intermittent internet trawls for unusual components. They reminded me of the strings of chillies and lemons that people hang in their doorways in India and I searched online for glass lemon beads which were eventually sourced on Etsy all the way from Riga, in Latvia.
It turns out that the lemon/chilli string is meant to keep away Ahalakshmi who is the sister of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of fortune and prosperity. This ugly sister unfortunately comes to the party bringing poverty and misery with her, unlike her nicer sibling, and she is most unwelcome. To keep her out of the house, before she can walk in and settle down on the couch, they serve up her favourite sour and hot food right at the door, so that she gets her fill and leaves without needing to come indoors - hmm, there's a thought!
Of course the little glass chillies also look like the strings of fire crackers we used to play with as children - I'm not sure how we survived to tell the tale as Health and Safety was not something that was at the forefront of our minds.
Mr Gremlin relents - Autumn Bliss
I found them - Oh, was I pleased! I had this necklace in my mind and when I couldn't find the leaves I simply couldn't think of anything else I wanted to make - a sort of creative constipation. My brain stubbornly clung to this one idea, even though I tried to coax it into thinking I shouldn't waste time searching for the leaves and I'd find them on another occasion, probably while I was looking for something else. I had already picked out the buttery yellow, waxy jasper needles and little frosted handmade glass beads to match and I think they look great together. Neither colour is bright, but together, they Zing! I saw some outfits that they would go perfectly with - what do you think?? I like my jewellery to contrast with, rather than match my clothes, but that's just me.
That's it for this week folks. I'm glad the weekend is here and I hope that the gremlin goes to sleep for a while. I can't be doing anymore with a hunt for stuff that I know I have put away safely and cannot lay my hands on when I need them.
Talking about hidden treasure, have you been one of those taking part in the Treasure Hunt? If not, do make your way to the 'Treasury of Statement Necklaces' and look for the code on one of the pages which will entitle you to a 15% discount. The Treasure Hunt is on till the 14th of November.
The code is on a copy of this picture, and all you have to do is go and find it.
Catch you next week, same time, same place,
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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