Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, how are you? I don't know how and when this is all going to end, but it's doing my head in. It's no fun going in to work any more and the whole mask wearing, social distancing, non friend seeing, non travelling to different places kinda life is beginning to annoy the hell out of me! There, rant over, and I'm sure you're all feeling the same, so who am I to complain? It's not like it's only me affected by all the craziness going on in the world. At least I'm able to go out and about, there are people who can't/don't and I'm sure it is much harder for them than it is for the likes of me.
Here's a song that has invaded my head since I heard it on the radio - just sharing my ear worm, I'm that kind of a person. Share and share alike, I say.
The garden has been my solace and my plants are returning the love and attention they have received by flowering for me most obligingly. When I moved into my first house, it was a new build, with no garden at all apart from what I put in it. I had no clue, and soon grew plants that refused to flower because they had too little sunlight, or fried to a crisp from too much sun. In despair I went on a RHS course and finally understood what I was doing wrong and put in a load of plants in places where they would flower - just as it was looking nice, we moved!
As this one was an older property, I was hoping that the owners would have put some plants in but no, what they had was brick paving all around the house so that all their children could park their cars - it looked like the front of Crossroads Motel! We dug out some of the paving, filled the area in with compost and planted away to our heart's content - but that wasn't enough, so we brought in the pots - we ended up with over 150 pots all around the house and the garden now is mainly in containers.
In summer, my jewellery becomes more and more floral and that's obviously the influence of my surroundings. This week, I put together some earrings with dried rose buds dipped in resin that preserves them for posterity. I call them my Potpourri earrings.
What you cannot tell from these photographs is the beautiful sheen the resin adds to the dried roses. The gold tone studs are my favourites, as they sit close to the ear and are large - just over the size of a 50p piece and extremely stylish.
S&M and FOMO
Nicole Hanna posts a 'Finish It' Challenge on her Blog twice a year. She posts the first few steps of a tutorial for a piece of wire woven jewellery and gets the people who attempt the challenge to finish the piece with the specified materials - no variations allowed. The finished articles are all in an album on Pinterest for viewers to vote - I never bother with the voting as everyone's a winner in my opinion, as she sends all the entrants the finished tutorial, and that's what I want. Some extremely talented masochists attempt the challenge and the designs are fantastical, sometimes even Nicole is stunned. If you want to look at the entries click here.
The contest ended at midnight last night, and I only began to weave my piece the night before - this one was hard, folks - I must've been mad to keep going. She started out with six wires, and that was fine, and then suddenly, wham! the sadistic woman hit us with four more. Weaving with ten base wires is not my idea of fun, but I'd started, so I'd continue, besides, I couldn't miss out on that tutorial now, could I?? The picture shows where she ended her instructions - and that is where I should have called it as a bad job. After all, I don't want to weave anything ever again with ten base wires - do I? Humph!!
'Now what?' I asked out loud, as I scratched my head with the half finished wire thing I had just created. 'I dunno,' said the muse, 'geroff, go to bed, and don't bother me anymore.'
So the next evening, I picked it up again, with that heartsink feeling (but I wanted the tutorial!) and kept on going until I had something that resembled a finished piece, ending with a pain deep in my right hand from holding those wires steady, that still hasn't gone away. No wonder my piece is terrible! It came out looking like a bug - my garden has certainly invaded my head. I quickly took a picture with my phone and sent it in just in time, and will be rewarded (punished) for my efforts shortly with the tutorial which will be an instrument of torture for many years to come.
There are some very pretty designs on that page, although there are a couple of critters - a spider and an octopus as well as my bug. I'm sure those people had the same idea as me! All they wanted was the tutorial. There is a frog and a peacock, and there is a beautiful bulls head with horns and all - I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to turn this tutorial into that piece, but it sure took her longer than the two evenings I gave myself through procrastination.
I spent all Sunday on Facebook, showcasing earrings on The Earrings Show and sold quite a few pieces. The earrings went down a storm and I got some fabulous feedback. I posted out on Monday and a bunch of them got to Massachusetts in two days time - the couriers aren't busy, obviously. I love great feedback, it strokes the ego and stokes the Caprilicious fires - I feel like making more jewellery. The pandemic has been depressing as there has been a distinct lack of love - but who has the money? and if they did, where is there to wear new jewellery? It is now that there is a hope of the lockdown ending, and people are fed up of moping around the house in T shirts and jogger bottoms that they need some prettiness in their lives. Here's a shot of the feedback I received - heart warming stuff!
Anyways, that's me for this week, folks. My annual barbeque for my junior doctors stands cancelled this time round, as does the mini school reunion we have at this time every year. Ah, well, I'm sure we will do it next year, should we all survive.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.