Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, thanks for coming back to the Caprilicious blog today. I have made absolutely nothing this week as I have had to reacclimatise to the day job and the weather. I spent most evenings snoozing in front of the TV and going to bed early, the jet lag compounded by a head cold I brought home from India and generously shared with my husband.
Last week I promised to show you my booty from Jaipur, and I took some pictures even though it was snowing in Nuneaton and my body was going 'Eek!'. I found the origin of the word 'Bootylicious' amusing - it is attributed to a group called Destiny's Child - do you know them?? I thought not, but you might have heard of their most famous member, Beyonce Knowles. No?? Then you have truly been living in a cave all this time, and it is my pleasure to introduce them to you.
I'm not quite sure what these lyrics mean -
"I don't think you ready for this jelly
I don't think you ready for this
'Cause my body too bootylicious for you babe"
And now that I've woken you up with the music, let me show you my booty from Jaipur which exciting though it is, cannot compete with Destiny's Children and their derrieres.
I am a clasp junkie - I just love to complete a statement necklace with a pretty clasp, so I decided that a treasure hunt for clasps would be at the heart of my search. While I looked for clasps, I allowed other beautiful things to distract me and ended up spending a day and a half in the wholesale silver market.
I hunted high and low until I found these beauties - and now I love them so much, I may never use them. I couldn't possibly share them with anybody, I want them all for myself!
I pounded the streets of the drab Chameliwala market working the shops one by one to see what I could find. Each one of them was tiny with space for only a couple of customers, the shopkeeper and his assistant. The bustling, colourful ambiance I had grown to expect in Jaipur was completely missing here - it was all about the grim business of commerce. The word 'Chameli' means Jasmine and if ever there was a misnomer, it was in the naming of this dreary place.
I'd open the door and peer inside - if there were too many people, I'd stick my head back out of the door like a turtle and move on to the next shop. If it seemed relatively empty, I'd slip my shoes off and go in - a lot of them have mattresses on the floor and expect you to sit on them to look at your beads and silver and make your choices. The shopkeepers seemed quite surly and unhelpful until they realised I wasn't a time waster and then out came the goods. By the end of the visit, they were quite animated, calling out for tiny plastic beakers of tea that held about 50 mls of disgustingly sweet milky brown liquid and shouting to their assistant to bring out stuff from the back of the shop. I thought 'what back??' until I saw a little boy on all fours appear clutching a packet of beads out of a hole in the wall that had hitherto been covered by a wall hanging.
The streets were narrow and cars couldn't get onto them, thankfully. There were even narrower side streets that led to little guest houses - I was amazed that anyone would consider walking down those dangerous little streets, festooned with naked wires where people had probably hijacked electricity from someone nearby. There was even a Western Union on one of these streets and the reason for this soon became apparent - there were a load of Dutch, American and French people in the surrounding streets buying gemstones and beads, living in cheap accommodation and generally having a grand old time. I got talking to a couple who were walking around the market. Dirty, unwashed, in baggy Indian trousers with filthy fingernails, and festooned with beads and silver bracelets, they were actually serious buyers and had the respect of the traders in the market for driving a hard bargain.
These are just a few of the bits and bobs I bought, and by no means an exhaustive catalog. I wanted to pick my own labradorite and moonstone so that I could find the stones with the best 'flash', and found the bumble bee jasper in black and yellow irresistible. Solar quartz cabochons in ice cream colours, faceted lapis lazuli and hollow silver beads filled with wax were some of my other finds.
The shopkeepers and tuk tuk drivers seemed to have learned their facial expressions from the ubiquitous camel - while bargaining with them, if I mentioned a price that they thought was derisory, they looked down their noses at me and snorted 'Harrumph!' - and we took it from there, with regular snorting, punctuated by head shakes, eye rolls and then, finally the smiles, out came the beakers of vile tea; and the transaction was sealed. I know they probably got the better of me on a few occasions, but by the end of the day, I was going like a goodun!
A few pendants found their way into my stash, along with some strings of carnelian, tiger eye and amazonite and I was done. I took a tuk-tuk to Johari bazaar and walked around for a while, but my little legs were exhausted and I couldn't get into the spirit of bargaining with the traders, which I knew was fatal, as they would soon sense this and close in on me like a pack of wolves.
I decided to call it a day and go back to the hotel to rest my weary legs and rifle through all the stuff I had bought. Fighting my way back to the hotel was a mild form of kamikaze warfare where I had to bargain with the tuk tuk drivers who deigned to stop, while I dodged the other vehicles on the road that were doing their best to annihilate me. I know I was overcharged in the end, but didn't care, all I wanted by then was a nice hot shower, so I got in and that was the end of my shopping expedition.
So readers, that's the story of my amazing adventures in Jaipur. I did have a day dedicated to sightseeing and found a couple of non jewellery items to buy. Mike got a lovely Pashmina scarf and I got some colourful reversible waistcoats and then it was time for the flight back. I hope you enjoyed my little travelogue and I'll be back 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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I would love to hear from you - please leave a comment on the blog or send an email to jewellerybycaprilicious(at)gmail.com
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