Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
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