Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, how are you. Brrr, it's freezing cold outside and as you find this blog in your inboxes, I will be driving up to Birmingham, to the Etsy fair at the Custard Factory where I will be all day till 8pm. If you live nearby, do come and visit the stall. There are plenty of handmade offerings for Christmas and I will probably be doing a lot of my Christmas shopping there myself.
I'm told it will not be warm in the market hall - especially for us traders, so I've got my thermals and UGG boots on - as the sun sets and the temperature drops, I will probably bring out hats and scarves and mittens, until you might not even be able to tell it's me under all those layers. I hope the Michelin woman look won't put people off, but I'm afraid I shall have to value comfort more. Mike is going to drop me off, and then pick me up when I'm done, and we might even be able to sample some of the street food that will be available in and around the Custard Factory as it is the First Friday of the month. I shall have loads of pictures for you next week.
I make jewellery because I like to, becauses it relaxes me and is a stress buster and so much fun, not as preparation for a fair or show - so I always have stock in plenty and can probably do a show anytime I'm asked, without too much panic or anxiety. I haven't made many new items for the show, but I made this necklace with some of the beads that came with a large consignment containing the shiny crystals from last weeks post and a pendant I made earlier. The pendant is made from dark green, almost black jade, carved into a pair of fish. I put a wirework fish under the pendant and surrounded it with a frame - I originally strung it on leather, but re-thought the design and made a necklace with green turquoise pumpkin beads and coral - very Christmassy, but it will be great all year round too.
I love the turquoise pumpkins - they are so pretty. The second necklace I am going to show you, I've had for a while. I talked about the making of the clasp on this blog, I'm sure I did, and then I made the necklace and forgot to show it to anybody. The poor thing was sitting all forlorn and unloved in a corner of my jewellery case - and that would never do! So here we are, here's Blue Hibiscus!!
The blue hibiscus is not blue, it is a dark purple, and it isn't a hibiscus - it is a mallow. Nevertheless, it is pretty and well worth a second look. I have some in my garden and took some photographs earlier on in the year when it was in full bloom.
I made the clasp in bronze from a design by Barbara Becker Simon who is a top instructor in anything metal clay.
I do love the hibiscus flower - it seems so exotic to me now that I live in Britain. When I lived in India, we had bushes that grew in profusion in our backyard and flowered all year round, yielding offerings for my grand mother's prayers - she would place the hibiscus flowers reverentially at the feet of the idols of her favourite gods - the lesser ones got a couple of jasmine, and least favoured of them all probably got a leaf if she could spare one. As you probably know, Indians have a whole lot of Gods, one for every purpose, much like the ancient Greeks and each household has its deity - grandmas household deity got the largest share of the flowers and prayers, and all the others had to catch as catch can, and be happy with their lot. It's a wonder that there were any flowers left on any of the plants in the garden - perhaps this is why they grew so tall (not because of the sun and the climate, of course) to escape my grandma's pilfering. If she couldn't get at them, though, she would use the crook of grandpa's walking stick and do her best to pull them down - she didn't care about the plants missing their offspring, her Gods had to be propitiated, or else!
Enough reminiscing, I'd better get my a** into gear as this won't get the baby washed - I need to be in that car in about ten minutes time if I want to get into Birmingham and set up before the hordes ( Oh please, let there be hordes!) arrive.
I'll catch you next Friday, have a fabulous week in the meantime.