Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, how's it going with you? It is madness and mayhem everywhere, and now I can no longer remember times pre Covid - I find myself getting indignant when people in sitcoms on the telly hug each other or go to parties without masks on. I have to remind myself that 1) it is just a sitcom or a movie, and 2) there was a time when we all did such things.
Ah well, maybe one day we'll go back to being relaxed again. All I can say is thank goodness for Caprilicious - I've stayed sane through this craziness because of it - and all the lovely Caprilicious ladies who send me pictures of themselves wearing stuff I have made for them. I cannot explain the feeling of satisfaction I get when I see pieces I made (and forgot) a few years ago - every bead, every stitch exists because I put it there. Cue :- a warm feeling in the pit of my tummy - a quadruple G & T feeling!
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row." John McCrae, 1915.
In the poem, In Flanders Fields, the Lieutenant Colonel describes the poppies growing between the crosses marking the graves of fallen soldiers.
Anna Guerin, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion helped to set up a charity to support British veterans and their families, making the poppy a symbol of the war and selling paper poppies to support veterans. Anna's idea was for all World War 1 Allied countries to use artificial poppies as an emblem for remembering those who gave their lives during the World War 1, creating a method of raising funds to support the families of the fallen and the survivors. Now, the Remembrance Poppy encompasses all conflicts that have occurred since.
The red poppy according to the Royal British Legion “is a symbol of peace inclusive of all regardless of race, belief, origin, or sexual/gender identity… and is above partisan and political interpretation.”
However, an alternative view is that with the poppy’s specific ties to the military, it can be seen as a symbol that glamorises war rather than commemorating the dead.
There has been growing controversy over the Poppy Appeal in recent years, with some, including British Army veterans; arguing that the Appeal has become excessive, and is being used to drum up support for British military activities, while people who do not wear them are accused of having an absence of concern for the war dead – an unpatriotic act of treachery. There are also people who suggest that politicians have exploited the poppy to justify further wars, sending more young troops into unnecessary combat while they proudly display their bright red flowers. The Peace Pledge Union hands out white poppies. Black and Afro Caribbean lives lost in the war are commemorated by black poppies and Animal Aid distributed purple poppies in remembrance of the animal lives lost in war. So it would appear that everyone wants in on the act, even animals - and now, Caprilicious, although mine are more to do with the beauty of the flower than the First World War and Armistice Day.
I grew Oriental poppies in my garden, but unfortunately lost all my plants this year due to a sharp frost - as you can see from the colour I err on the side of the pacifist! I love the frilly crinoline flowers and the smudgy black centres. They come up every year in June, but once the season is gone, all that is left are a bunch of drab straggly leaves, unfortunately.
I found an extremely creative glassmaker from Russia who makes beautiful crimson poppies and I couldn't resist them. It just so happens that I got round to making the necklace at the beginning of the Poppy Season in the UK. Now that I've written about them, I guess it's only right to offer a portion of the proceeds to the Royal British Legion.
Tens of man hours and hundreds of little beads have gone into this necklace and I've detailed every step of its making in my blog post from a previous week.
I love the vibrance of this necklace and would happily wear it myself. It has now gone into a cupboard to join the rest of what I call my 'Lockdown Loot' - all the embroidered pieces I have made since the 23rd of March 2020. One day they will find new homes and loving owners. In the meantime, due to strict infection control, I have taken on a new persona - Tinky Winky the Telly Tubby! I don't think a necklace would be of any use to embellish this outfit.
That's me for now, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place. Until then