Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, I hope you're all fit and well, staying home and isolating yourselves. The lockdown seems set to continue indefinitely and we have to all buckle down and follow the rules. I think the worst thing is the uncertainty - one knows how or when it will end and indeed, if we should accept that it is over when we're told it is - this is a bit like a nightmare that never seems to end, the gift that keeps on giving! In the meantime, people who work with me keep their spirits up by making cakes and little gifts for one another and basically plodding on.
At least now we all have our PPE - I was 'fit tested' for a snazzy face mask that fits with a rubber seal around my nose and mouth. It is incredibly hot behind it - like a mini nasal/ oral sauna, but if it's going to keep me virus free, I'll take it. Besides it does have a silver lining: because it doesn't lie flat across my face, it spares my lipstick, so when I take it off, the lower half of my face looks as if it's been well cooked - but my lipstick is intact! What price vanity?? One of the midwives took these before and after photographs in my office - I provided her with a bit of humour for the day.
I've been coming home every day, showering and getting rid of the tensions of the day and then sitting down in front of the TV with my beads. I really don't know how I'd have managed without Caprilicious and Netflix/ Amazon Prime.
The garden is just waking up and there is still a nip in the air. I have really felt the need for flowers and have kept my vases full. I also decided to sew an enchanted garden full of tropical flowers for the woman in my pendant. If you've read my blog last week, you'll know that I've been making a joyful pendant of an Afro Caribbean woman I named Calypso, using a technique called 'painting with beads'. I decided to give Calypso a garden of her own to dance in with exotic flowers of carnelian and jade, in a riot of colour, crystals and beads. And of course she has snaky locks of hair, a fabulous turban of Shibori silk and a full, swaying skirt - depicted in the beautiful colourful tassels, tipped by Czech dagger beads. In my imagination, she comes out of her home in the early morning, and dances barefoot through this beautiful tropical garden to the beach, where the man she loves is waiting for her.
The fun part of making these pieces is in the designing of it, and the sewing on of the beads. Once that is done, the hard part begins - or the boring bit, where the embroidery has to be padded out with felt, backed with ultrasuede and then edged with another layer of beads. However, at the end, it is always gratifying to see how much a little picot edge finishes the piece off elegantly and then, of course, I like the back of the piece to be as neat and tidy as the front. I'm hoping that these statement pieces will stand the test of time and who knows, someone will bring them out on an Antiques Roadshow many years from now, well after my time. Wouldn't it be fabulous if the 'expert' turns it over and the back looks as nice as the front?
That's me for this week, folks. Take care of yourselves - and you know the drill now - stay home and stay safe. Also, wash those hands, especially after you've handled those packages that are no doubt making their way to your door via mail and courier etc - you don't know where they've been, or who's been handling them.
Have a good week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.