Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello my lovely friends - less than 20 days to the big day and I have nothing done - packing gifts and putting up my little tree - that's what I shall have to do over the weekend. The days are zipping by in a blur as they go past, I might need to sit down and take a deep breath just to calm down!
I've had this necklace in my minds eye for ages and had put the materials to one side until I was ready to make it. It was meant to be a simple braided seed bead necklace with a central pendant stitched into it. However, as is usual, the organic nature of my design ethic came to the fore - I spotted a bezeled rose quartz leaf that I had lying around, I was originally thinking of using it in another piece and stitched it into the centre of the pendant, and the pendant asymmetrically onto the bib and voila! Sara was born. Why Sara? I haven't a clue - when I thought to myself 'Now, what shall I name this piece?' the word 'Sara' came floating out of the ether at me.
The colours in this necklace are so vibrant and it is a very different piece and one of a kind, I'm quietly proud of it!
The pearls in this necklace come from my trip to Bangkok Here's a little information about how pearls are harvested today - they are called nucleated pearls inasmuch as the pearl farmers insert a little nucleus into each oyster. A pearl nucleus is a bead or other object implanted into the the gonad of a marine mollusk, or into an existing pearl sac in the gonad or mantle of a freshwater mussel. Nacre deposition occurs around this. The shape of the pearl mimics closely the shape of the bead or tissue that is inserted into the oyster.
Saltwater mollusks will only produce 1-2 pearls per nucleation, the nucleus used in all saltwater pearl farming today is most often a mother-of-pearl bead. This bead is composed of mussel shell that has been cut, rounded, and polished. Akoya molluscs can be nucleated with up to 5 beads. The Akoya dies at harvest.
South Sea and Tahitian mollusks accept only one nucleus at a time, but as they do not die at harvest, they may be nucleated several times. If a particular mollusk has been successfully nucleated several times and consistently produces fine pearls, the mollusk is often returned to the wild to strengthen the genes of future generations - they've literally worked their way to freedom - time off for good behaviour!
Freshwater pearls must also be nucleated, but in lieu of the mother-of-pearl bead, freshwater pearl farmers nucleate their mussels with small pieces of mantle tissue. They are not placed in the reproductive organ of the mussel, but in the fleshy mantle tissue. Because the mantle tissue is large and located on either side of the shell, each mussel can withstand many insertions. Most mussels receive 12 to 16 insertions on either side of the valve for a total of 24 to 32. The large number of freshwater pearls produced per mussel accounts for the reason why freshwater pearls are more easily accessible and less expensive than the saltwater ones. But, because the mantle tissue gets dissolved into the pearl-sac, freshwater pearls are solid nacre.
The turquoise goes well with the pearls and two strands of this delightful combination make this a beautiful statement necklace.
I spent an evening putting together a few pairs of earrings - I think they're rather pretty and I used studs in the ears, which although a bit more expensive, are easier to wear.
Colourful and fun with gemstones - the roses in the first pair are hand carved amethysts, as are the little beads, the pearls are pretty and the posts are surgical steel and hypoallergenic.
Here are the last posting dates for Christmas 2019
UK 2nd Class and 2nd Class Signed For: Wednesday 18th December
UK Special Delivery Guaranteed: Monday 23rd December
UK 1st Class and 1st Class Signed For: Friday 20th December
UK Royal Mail Tracked 24 (available online only): Saturday 21st December.
I have a few days left then, to get my gifts and together, Phew!
That's me for now, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.