Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, how are you today? Hasn't January just flown by? It is already the 22nd, and in two weeks I will be back in India in the sunshine, having escaped from the miserable cold weather we are experiencing recently. I've started packing stuff in boxes for my show and making the last few pieces I intend to take with me. I've decided to call it a day now, and pack a few things every day - to stay away from my jewellery altogether would give me the DTs.
And now I have a small favor to ask. (Don't worry, it doesn't involve lending me money.) All I'm asking is, if you have the opportunity, that you help me get the word out about the exhibition on any social media platform you happen to participate in. It can be something as simple as a tweet, or a mention on Facebook, or Tumblr, or Pinterest, or Instagram, or even Google+.
Anything to raise awareness would be great! Please tell your friends - and of course come yourself, I'd love to see you.
It even managed to snow this week, and although it didn't last long and melted away in a couple of days, it messed up my weekend as we had planned a little shopping trip on the very day it snowed and my credit card heaved a sigh of relief.
The Tuareg Oasis
This year, it feels like I've thraped the Tuareg theme to death - but I love the tribal motif and it gives me a great opportunity to play with colour and shapes - to me the word 'colour' instantly calls for polymer clay in some form. As the Tuareg amulets and pendants came strung simply on black braided thread or black glass beads, there was no limit to where my imagination could take me and no precedent to block my flights of fancy.
I totally agree with the Rajasthani tribal people - the desert they wander is so sparse, and well, sandy, that their clothes have to be colourful to light up their lives. If I had my way, I'd get the Tuareg people walking about bedecked in bright colours too.
The green of this pendant though pretty, is not one that I would generally pick - I like the brighter green of the parrot, or even the chili - this one is a gentle leaf green, which is soothing to the eye, but not really vibrant. Prehnite is a vaseline green colour, with inky black random smudges and goes well with the pendant to give it a soft, sophistication which isn't 'in your face', which is usually my wont. Just to vary the shapes, I added a tribalistic imitation spindle whorl bead made of polymer clay in a silvery black.
I played with clay at the weekend and made these Shibori Seashell earrings designed by Carol Blackburn - love the icecream colours, don't you? A bit fed up with the cold weather, I also made some snowdrop earrings. Where are you, spring??
I did a happy dance - I entered a giveaway on the blog written by Pearl Blay - 'The Beading Gem's Journal' and won! I won a free webinar on how to photograph jewellery. I spent Sunday rushing around the house finishing all my chores to free myself up for seven pm which was the time allocated. I have a Canon point and shoot as well as a dslr, and have been to a couple of lessons on how to use my camera - but not with jewellery specifically. She managed to talk to dslr users, point and shooters and camera phone users all at the same time and made sense to all of them.
I wasn't sure what exactly I hoped to gain, but I know that product photography is of the utmost importance and any help with this is welcome. I wanted to learn how to get a clear white background, and how to keep shiny objects looking shiny - in my opinion, silver and pearls are very difficult to photograph. Pearl gave us some really great tips on this and what sort of lighting to use. I took loads of notes and am having a lot of fun experimenting with my new-found knowledge. Before I knew it, two and a half hours had flashed by - time does fly when you're having fun!
On Golden Wings
I found a vendor who had Jewellery Beetle's wings that have a golden tinge to them. I simply could not resist them and just had to make them up for the show - they are not freely available in India (or if they are, I've never seen them) and I thought it would be nice to offer something exotic. I've made jewellery with Elytra before, so I tried to do something completely different with them on this occasion, using earring connectors to give them a unique look.
I couldn't resist showing my pictures to my teacher - 'Look miss', I cried. And she was suitably pleased with my homework and sent me to the top of the class, which is more than I've ever achieved at school!
"Can do better," my report cards always said, which I took as a compliment - at least they didn't say "DUNCE".
Indian schooling is very competitive and my entire childhood was spent looking crestfallen at being made to feel a bit of a duffer. When I got to the UK, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that children were not put through the mill with hundreds of exams each year. If I wasn't such a resilient character, I might have believed that I was stupid.
Happy Dance No 2
At the end of last week, HOLY S*1T ( I mean WOW!), I HAD MY FIRST SALE IN MY ETSY SHOP !!! Pardon me for shouting, but I was so excited, all of it could have been in capitals, and we all know how annoying that can be. Anyway, it turned out that my first Etsy buyer is an artist called Julie Dumbarton who won Visual Artist of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and is totally in love with colour. OMG, pressure, or what?? I chewed my nails until I couldn't wait any more and sent her mail asking if she'd received it. Eventually that day it reached her in Scotland and I had an email from her to say she loved the piece - Phew! I can breathe again.
That's me for this week, folks. Here's a picture of my boys having a snooze on my bed - aren't they sweet? Have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.