Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello lovely people, how are you today? It turned a year since the UK first went into lockdown on the 23rd of March - a time for introspection and for being grateful for all the hard work put in by my colleagues in the NHS. I lit a candle in my porch that night in gratitude, and in memory of those who didn't survive, notably a wonderful woman called Dawn Downes, who was a theatre practicioner when I first came to Nuneaton over 20 years ago - she was a load of fun, larger than life, and an all round good egg. We became friends over the patients we cared for and later on over Caprilicious when she helped out with displays at shows. I will miss her cheerful presence in the hospital.
Ebony and Ivory
Before any one gets on the 'OMG! ivory!!' bandwagon, there's neither ebony nor ivory in this piece, the name is just a play on monochrome. The hand cut chunks of black tourmaline have their crystals aligned in parallel, vertical lines which make a beautiful pattern on the outside of the beads. The most spectacular tourmaline crystals are formed by hydrothermal activity when hot waters and vapors carry the elements needed to form tourmaline into pockets and fractures, which offer space for crystal growth. The tourmaline crystals formed in these cavities range in size from tiny millimeter crystals to massive prisms weighing over 100 kilograms.
The baroque pearls come from Bali and are heavy, large, creamy and luscious. Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular non-spherical shape. They aren't all regular and round like grandma's pearls. Shapes can range from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinched, or lumpy shapes. Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque because freshwater pearls are mantle-tissue nucleated.
I started embroidering a new necklace this week - this one will be simple, but still hopefully gorgeous in all its simplicity. Here are some pictures from the first few steps.
And now for the strange dichotomy of the painful, yet enjoyable process of filling in the blank spaces between the beetle wings with tiny black beads. I want the necklace to highlight the beauty of the colours of the wings and the crystals, so a plain black background seemed the obvious answer.
I've had a few days off from work, trying to finish as much of my annual leave as possible before it expires on the 1st of April. However, I made the fatal mistake of bringing my work laptop home and have found myself joining meetings on Teams, writing proformas and checking my emails. However, it's nice not to have to actually go in and to be able to slob around in my PJs, bare faced and hair uncombed in a knot on top of my head. People at work probably wouldn't recognise me if they dropped in!
I saw these flowers when I went out to the conservatory to take my photographs - this one has sat at the back of my border for 15 years and comes back every winter - I rarely look at it because it is tucked away in the garden at the back of the house, and blooms only in winter - I almost never go out into the garden in the cold, being a tropical person. It is called Helleborus foetidus - not sure why as it isn't particularly stinky. I keep meaning to get some more, but haven't bothered - it is a boring green plant all year and flowers when it knows I'm not looking!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a good week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
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