Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, thanks for joining me today. My friend Neelam from Look in the Bag and I were meant to be at a craft fair tomorrow, but we had news early this week that the events organiser had gone out of business on the 1st of July - so, that's that, I'm afraid. Oh well, we tried. It just means that all the energy that had been concentrated into putting a collection together for the fair was wasted, and I am now left with a load of bits and pieces that I will have to catalogue and find a venue for.
Over The Rainbow
This week I was totally inspired by pink! I came upon a picture in a magazine of a dress made in magenta and orange - wow, what an explosion of colour! I immediately wanted to make a piece of jewellery with it.
And so was born a vibrant crystal and dyed jade necklace, all the colours of the rainbow seemed to be in it. One of the strands was made with orange crystals, to which I added jade teardrops, dyed in a deep magenta. As the crystal beads are opaque and do not glitter, the necklace can be worn during the daytime and I even test drove it at work, toned down even further with a white shirt. The clasp is a carved aventurine which I imported from Malaysia and the necklace can be worn with it at the back, or to one side. A very versatile mood elevator for a modern lover of statement jewellery, and most definitely an explosion of colour!
Colour is an old Friend
It is my view that one should never shy away from colour. I have taken a critical look at my wardrobe and it would appear that most of it is quite conservative - monochrome seem to dominate the palette. My jewellery therefore, is a welcome addition to my outfit and immediately takes it to another level. See, I always knew there was method to my madness!
And this makes a lot of sense as you get more bang for your buck out of simple clothes, just by swapping your accessories around. I love white, probably influenced by my mother who had the largest collection of starched white cotton sarees. The injection of a shot of colour is always welcome and an otherwise sombre garment can become a fabulous outfit in an instant.
In The Pink
Still influenced by the photograph in the magazine I referred to earlier, I sat down and made a couple of large beads from a tutorial by Donna Kato, one of my heroes from the polymer clay world. I made the bead itself using a material called Ultra Lite - which is rather like working with marshmallow. The beads though large, are so light that they float; which was perfect, as I then added them to a necklace of silver foiled glass beads I brought back from a trip to India a couple of years ago, and have been hoarding for just this moment. A few magenta jade beads between the glass beads jazzed the necklace up even further.
My friend who makes these wonderful pens on his wood turning lathe - you know the one, I've talked about him in a previous blog post, made some pens from gemstones. He brought them round for me to have a look at and asked if I would take some pictures of them for him. I was quite flattered to be asked, as I have really started to enjoy using my camera. It's always nice when other people recognise that you are making a fairly decent fist of what is actually a spin off of the original hobby - jewellery making. These pens are not for sale - but they are so drool worthy, I have sneaked pictures of them onto this post. You can find a couple of items from his lathe on my website, but sadly not these. If you like them, I could always ask him to make some for you.
Be Careful What You Ask For,You Might Get It!
I was looking on Pinterest for a way to display my earrings - if you are one of the very few who don't know what Pinterest is, it is a virtual scrapbook, a place to put pictures, ideas, recipes - anything you find on the internet that you might wish to go back to at a later date, and share with friends. I have a little corner of it and I don't mind admitting that it is very addictive - there are loads of ideas on it and I live in fear that a wicked witch might find out how important it is to so many people, and with a cackle of glee, turn it off with a 'poof' of her wand.
Anyway, what I found was a rustic wooden frame with chicken wire stretched across it. I asked Mike if he could make me one, pretty please - 'nothing is too much trouble, darling', says Mike and off we go, me happy that I'm going to have this lovely display item, and him to find his odd job man (sneaky!).
Now, the odd job man was originally a carpenter by trade before he retired, so I accepted that he might be the one to ask. I wanted it all rustic looking and distressed, but with a leg on the back on a hinge, so that it could be freestanding like an easel, or placed on top of a chair. I wanted inexpensive material, about ten quids worth, to go into it. I even said, perhaps it should just be four pieces of wood nailed together without the need for the mitred joints seen in the frame above, to make it even more rustic looking - how much simpler could the remit be? Well, have a look at what appeared in my house a few days later.
The saga of the earring display board reminds me of my childhood when we used to take material to a tailor with a pattern, only to find weeks later that the finished article looked nothing like the drawing, and all our anticipation and hopes were dashed! Life is so much simpler now that ready made clothing is available in India. I wish it had been that easy in my childhood. Some of those encounters with the tailor have left my psyche scarred for life!
That's it for this week, folks. The Killing Fields continue in our garden and bodies are strewn all over the place. The cats prowl the flower beds, hoping to ambush an unwary mouse or bird, and we are afraid to go out in the garden in our bare feet for fear of what we might tread on. Have a fab weekend, and I'll 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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