Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello all, hope you had a lovely week.
When Mike, my husband, read the first half of title for this blog ( as I typed it in), he said 'D'you really want to advertise that fact'?? But you and I know what I mean .... you do, don't you??? then read on and all will be revealed in due course....
I went to a Paul Simon concert at the weekend, the weather was fab, and he was in good voice - of course the boys from Ladysmith Black Mambazo were fantastic too, but aren't they always???? My friend and I managed to combine the concert with a day of shopping - and boy, did our feet ache by the end of the day - and this from someone who swore never to go into a shop again for a long time - well, I suppose my mothers genes are well entrenched in me, and they come out for an airing once in a while....
Last week, I made a couple of Chinese scroll earrings with the cannibalised hand carved ox bone bracelet - a very fiddly pair of earrings to make, with all that wire and chain, so I cast about for something else to make so I could put those tiles to better use. I happened to be looking at a recipe book for a summer pudding - my friends from school are coming to visit and I want a special dessert for them - and I came across this picture - a Cherry Vanilla Cream cake - my mouth watered, and my mind raced!
All that embellishment, with the cream and cherries reminded me of some very pretty beads tucked away deep in the recesses of my bead box - after one big rummage through, I found them and that was where the seeds were sown for the Cherry Vanilla Cream Necklace. I made a little red and cream copper wire pendant inspired by the Wire Master Class by Abby Hook, and used the pendant as a focal for the necklace - I love the necklace, as it is very light and easy to wear - perfect for a summer evening. I have made this pendant a few times - it is just complicated enough to satisfy my craving for complicated wire work - I don't seem to be able to value my work if it isn't just ever so slightly complex - wonder if any of my ancestors were masochists, must remember to ask mum if there any vintage hair shirts lying around in the cupboards at home!
The 'cherries' are dyed red howlite beads and I used cream coloured wooden beads, bone beads and of course, the tiles. A couple of lucite flowers dangle from the end of the pendant to add some movement to it.
I spent most of Saturday, which was a dismal, rainy day, playing with polymer clay, whilst looking balefully up at the sky, muttering and cursing and shaking my fist at it - it must have listened to my threats, I'm sure that's why the weather was halfway decent for the concert on Sunday!
The school emblem
I have a bunch of ladies from my year at school coming over for what has become an annual reunion. Considering we left school in 1975, and scattered in many directions, I think it is an achievement that we have found each other in the UK, thousands of miles from where we first met, and that we make the effort to meet up - we have such different lives, but don't seem to have any of the envy thing that goes on at School Reunions - and we have a really good weekend. To commemorate this year's meet, I made brooches/pins in a heart shape for each of us - we are from Sacred Heart's Girls High School, and used to wear a little silver coloured tie pin in the shape of a heart, which was the school emblem. I lost mine a long time ago, and I am sure the others have as well, so I made replacement pins for us girls in the UK, from the Class of '75. My pins aren't true to the emblem's shape - which is like an artists impression of an anatomical heart - with an aorta sticking up out of it! - anatomical hearts are not really pretty, so I went for the populist Valentine's day image that most people would come up with when asked to draw a heart.
I used the same impression mould and four different techniques for four very different pins - I shall let them pick the one they like - and if they like more than one, I shall just have to make some more - after all, what good is a friend who makes jewellery if she can't rustle up an extra bit for you to order, eh?
The last one will probably be mine - unless someone likes it and asks for it - one needs a bit of a strange sense of humour to like it - I adapted it from a design by Christi Friesen, whose book 'Steampunkery' is an especial favourite of mine.
The gemstones for the centre of the Rainforest Symphony (Mark 2) necklace finally arrived - when I bought the original set, it had four pieces. It took me so long to decide what to do with it, I quite forgot where I got it from. I hunted high and low for another set, but wouldn't you know it - when you look for four pieces, you find sets of three or five, or even seven, or you find four, but in absolutely the wrong colour. In despair, I bought a set of seven, and another set of three, just in case I didn't like the ones that I picked first. In the event, the seven piece set seemed quite nice, and I turned it into quite a nifty little number, even though I say so myself. I just hope the lady who ordered them thinks so too - OK let me be a bit more positive - I am sure she will like - no, love it (difficult, this 'being positive' lark - self effacement is a way of life in the UK!).
That's this week in a nutshell - I hope the weather is better for all of us soon, or summer will soon be over. See you next week,
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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