Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
It has been a bitter sweet year - in the effort to take my mind off the loss of my brother, I ended up creating a monster that has taken me over - what has now become my passion - the reason I wake up every morning - I now dream, sleep and think jewellery when I am not at my day job, and have to tear myself away from my jewellery making to go to bed at night. It is official - Caprilicious is my obsession!
I have learned to bead, make wire jewellery, use a kiln, enamel, and overcome my fear of power tools to now become comfortable with my Dremel, and even a bench buffer! Who would've thunk it!
It is very difficult at a certain stage of competence in one field (not to mention a certain age), to try and learn an entirely new skill and become a beginner - all fingers and thumbs, being told off by the teacher for making a basic mistake, and feel like a complete fool. I now have a lot of sympathy for my juniors at work - indeed, I have become a much more patient teacher, as a result of revisiting my learning skills!
I am used to learning in a class and by following a teacher on a one to one basis, so I chose this route - and I think I benefited from it - although expensive this way, I cut to the chase and learn the little tips and tricks that click into place when I fly solo - especially with quality control!
I had no idea I could be creative - but the ideas seem to come - and people seem to like what I make - I even surprised my mother - getting a compliment from her is like extracting hen's teeth ( and you have to catch the dratted hen first!) - and she has volunteered her approval - WOW!!
Michael, my long suffering husband, has been very supportive throughout, but I tend not to take his compliments too seriously - he gives them to me easily, and I can't help thinking that his vision is a bit rose tinted where my endeavors are concerned - sweet man, but I don't want to make the mistake of believing my own hype!
I have been on a crazy-mad spending spree at my Nepalese artisan's shop, and bought a few bits and bobs. Having used up the last of the previous stash in the weeks before, I felt I could justify buying more. I have some truly beautiful pendants, and have promised myself that I will make a necklace using the Ghau box as the focal for Caprilicious' birthday this week, and have bought loads of little turquoise beads to this end. As this ghau box is a bit more expensive than the other pieces, I have spent a lot of time designing the necklace in my mind - it will have to be as spectacular as the box deserves.
While mulling this over, I made a necklace with coral, free form lapis lazuli nuggets and a turquoise and coral pendant - very colourful and bright.
A real winterberry on a bush
Winter months can be so dark and dreary, rain and snow, mist and fog - enough to drive the most hardy soul demented - my necklaces are designed to raise the spirits and drive all vestiges of Seasonal Affective Disorder out of the wearers consciousness - that is my raison d'etre.
I picked some colourful crackle agate beads - they have such beautiful markings, and are gently faceted - smooth and cool to the touch, and ever so pretty. These were teamed with crystals in many colours and shapes, and silver tone spacer beads in a seemingly random manner - the whole time, the gemstones reminded me of berries and it was all I could do to restrain myself from trying to eat them - they look so very edible! This, then, is ..............................
I love beads that aren't round - if they happen to be round, I like them to be faceted, or marked beautifully - in other words, I just like them a bit different to the general idea of a bead being round, with a hole running through it. Imagine my surprise and pleasure, when I started making jewellery, when I discovered that anything with a hole running through it is classified as a bead - it doesn't have to be round to qualify - Hooray!!!
I bought these graduated pale pink sponge coral rondelles - now, I am not a pale pink person, but the texture and the shape of the beads appealed to me. I thought long and hard about how I was going to brighten the necklace - and then - in an 'Eureka!' moment, I teamed it with a clasp inlaid with lapis lazuli and coral from my favourite Nepalese artisan - I set the clasp so that it was to one side of the graduated beads and added stardust gold tone beads and a few lapis beads to tie in with the clasp - I think it looks Very Elegant
For the last two or three months, I have been slowly accumulating a stash of bling - both vintage and new items, to assemble into a Tom Binns inspired necklace - after all it is party time, and in my youth (!) I would have given anything to own one of these. I made two last year, and thought I would do the same again. Michelle Obama is a dedicated follower of Tom Binns, among others.
Of course, Tom makes his necklaces from scratch, although he was known as the 'King of Junk Jewellery' and why ever not?? - his necklaces start from about £500. Caprilicious brings you a toned down version with vintage diamanté (always more plentifully available at Christmas time) - a sort of Tom Binns meets Desperately Seeking Susan, they fall in love and run off together - a happily ever after kinda story.
A couple of weeks ago, I offered to take the pain out of Christmas gift giving - a gift wrapping and delivery service - this was accepted with alacrity by one poor chap, who confessed to being all fingers and thumbs when it came to tying his own shoelaces, let alone a package for his special lady. He bought a pretty piece of Bling! and I wrapped it for him in boxes I have in for this purpose - it is now under his bed - or wherever he hides his presents, waiting for the big day.
'All earrings in the Caprilicious shop reduced by 10% - have a browse and send me a message with the name of the piece you want so I can invoice you correctly and take it out of the shop.'
I have a birthday week offer running in my Facebook store, with 10% off all the earrings in store, and am happy to extend it to the website as well - if any of you reading this fancy a pair of earrings as a treat, or to buy for friends as a gift, send me a message via the contact page with the name of the earrings you like and your email id, and I will sort it out for you.
I know I am a bit early with this weeks blog, but I wanted to post on Caprilicious' first birthday. I have some ideas about what I will make today with the Ghau box, and I will post them later on, at the week end, as usual.
Once again, thanks for all your support, and the wishes I have had on the Facebook page today - couldn't have done it without you, catch you soon, wonderful people,