Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs. We had a little break in France this week, the winter was so long and cold, we felt we deserved a short holiday. Just before I went, I managed to loose my car keys, a parcel I sent off to Abu Dhabi went astray, and I was really frazzled. Happily, the holiday went without any major mishap, apart from my suitcase going missing on the way back - fortunately it came in the next day, so that situation was saved by the skin of its teeth!
Mike and I have both spent time in Paris, many years ago, but it was our first time there together. We planned some alternative stuff - Giverny, the Monet's at the Musee de l'Orangerie, Versailles, the Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, a visit to The Georges V - I intend to stay there when we win the lottery one day, some jazz - stuff that we hadn't done in Paris the first time around.
The parcel to Abu Dhabi pained me most of all - it contained ten of my most beautiful pieces, and I found it difficult to accept that it was lost forever - eventually, I tracked it to a sorting office in Dubai, seventeen days after it had been posted, and felt much better for it. Until that happened, I just didn't feel like making anything to replace my beauties - it hurt to even look at the pictures - so this week, I sat still and held my breath, waiting for some news of it. And, as for the car keys - I have no idea where they could have got to - but they can't be far - I keep scrabbling around everywhere I go in the house, hoping they will be sitting quietly and waiting for me in the unlikeliest place, but no luck just yet.
I have some pictures from Paris, so I thought I'd share them with you this week, as I have been so unproductive jewellery wise.
I wore my necklace, and I think it looked fabulous - I felt very happy and summery, although there was still a bit of a nip in the air.
I loved those gardens, and we spent a whole day there, dodging the crowds and picnicking among the flowers. The water lily garden across the road from the house had no lilies yet, but it was so beautiful, one could see why he painted them is so many ways. There were frogs in the pond, as big as ducklings, making such a racket - we actually thought they were birds crowing/ cawing! We then went to the museum in Paris, the next day, to see the actual paintings and were wowed by the size of the canvases - and the simplicity of the brush strokes that gave off such luminosity.
Versailles was somewhere I had been before, but we wanted to walk through the Hall of Mirrors again - I can just imagine the courtiers dancing in that magnificent ball room - the gardens are a bit over manicured and grand for me - I am more of a cottage garden person.
We couldn't leave without a small wander around the regular sights of Paris, but didn't really want to overdo the touristy bits. I certainly didn't want to cover old ground - and besides, the shops beckoned!
Le Grand Magasins - or The Grand Shops are the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps on Avenue Hausmann - and that is where we went. The shops looked almost normal on the outside, belying what was hidden within. The beautiful Byzantine cupolas and wedding cake architecture simply took my breath away, I forgot to go shopping! We sat in a coffee shop in the G. Lafayette and ate macaroons and drank pots of weak tea - at 25 Euros a throw, that was the least damage we could inflict on our wallets. Mike was volubly berated for daring to speak English to the Maitre'd - and I sat, quiet as a mouse, not daring to say a word in my school girl French, while my poor husband was lambasted for being English - which he took in good part, actually - apparently, it is par for the course - the French and the English being old adversaries. I wanted to call the manager, but unfortunately, the one doing the berating was the manager! Mike, however, thought it was hugely funny, and at the end of their little interchange, one would have thought they were long lost friends.
Japanese tourists were being tethered by silken ropes into orderly queues, before they emptied the Chanel outlet of its contents - fortunately (for whom?), I couldn't get a look in - I refuse to stand in a queue to spend hard earned cash!
This is the courtyard at the Four Seasons Georges V - I just loved those orchids with their aerial roots, I gave up all pretense at being blasé and nonchalant and took a photograph like the tourist I was. I have wanted to go in there for the longest time, and we decided to do it on our last day - all dressed up, we got out of a taxi, and dodged a bunch of paparazzi who seemed to be hanging around waiting for celebrities - I saw one of them ask a mate if we ought to be recognised - sadly, (or fortunately) the answer was a shake of the head and a Gallic grimace - non! A pot of tea and a milkshake set us back forty Euros, but it was a lovely place to sit and watch the bourgeoisie strut their stuff in their designer gear. The ladies who lunch were lunching away, frazzled after the travails of queuing up to get into the Chanel shop - the footmen brought in little leather footstools for our handbags, our jackets were whisked away, and returned as if by magic, and the loos were perfumed as if no mortal being ever got on with their bodily functions in them.
We went to a fabulous open air jazz concert outside the Opera House - we danced and partied till 3am - it was a public holiday, celebrating the liberation of France in the Second World War.
I spotted this in a restaurant window in Montmartre - we went in for a meal - I wonder how much happiness we brought them - and which way we were headed when they were happiest - in or out of their establishment. They made the best crepes ever - I just loved the ones with a Nutella and banana filling - yummy. My sweet tooth was well satisfied!
My friend BN suggested that I should consider a section for the leaf skeletons as pendants, without any further embellishment, on leather thongs or organza ribbon. I received a consignment of them this week from the electroplating shop, and I set up a new page on the website for them - I intend to keep dipping into the stock, as and when I make my Leafy Glade pieces, but as I can make up the leaves pretty rapidly, with a turnaround time of 3 weeks, I decided to put them on the site for those who like their jewellery simple.
Royal Mail have been ever so helpful, and have helped me track my parcel all the way to Dubai - hopefully, it will now reach its destination. It is a very anxiety making time - between posting off the piece I have made so lovingly, and getting a response from the person who bought it - I almost hold my breath till they get to where they need to go, and the person says - 'I love it' - until then, the thought is never far from my mind - I hadn't realised before that I was such a worry wart, but I suppose it is the same for those of you who have had babies - you worry about them all the time, or so I am told (by my mother!).
Anyway, I can now go off and look for the final piece of the triumvirate of problems that have beset me - my car keys - and then, I have an idea for a necklace with carnelian and lapis lazuli nuggets and a copper maple leaf - but, first things first ............................fingers crossed for me eh, folks
Catch you later
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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