Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, great to talk to you this week. It has felt a bit Bleagh! on the weather front out here. Storm Arwen has been wreaking havoc in the UK, but fortunately, where we live in the Midlands, we have had a couple of days with a bit of snow, but no more. My heart goes out to the poor folks in Wales, some of whom have had a power outage for over 6 days now - and of course the poor guys who have to climb up the electricity poles in the face of high winds and driving rain to repair the cables that have broken due to trees crashing into them. I lived in Wales a long time ago, and I remember after one such storm in 1989, the garage roof blew off and ended up in a heap at the end of the street with the door crashing and banging into the car. We lived without electricity for about five days - that is the coldest I've ever been in my life and I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone.
While snow looks pretty in pictures, it isn't nice unless you are wrapped up and warm, and of course there's always the danger of the icy patches lurking underneath, especially when the temperature drops at night.
I've been telling you about this necklace that sits unfinished on my worksurface for over 3 weeks now - and unfortunately I still haven't got a clasp for it - the original one got lost in the post. When I wrote to the vendor, I was told that it was the last one in their shop, so I then had to pick another and it is on it's way. With the lack of HGV drivers, Brexit and the snow, who knows when it will arrive?
I made yet another pair of beaded peacock feather earrings - they are so pretty, I couldn't resist it. This time I used a grey crystal bead for the centre of the feather, and then decided to put a little beaded bezel around the central bead anyway as it forms the 'eye'. I posted pictures on a beading forum and the folks there fell in love with it. I'm not expecting it to last on my books for very long, but I do have the supplies to make more if required to. This pair is hung on gold tone ear wires, with the tiniest micropave diamante inlaid into the front.
Red Vinyl Necklace
This necklace was made for my Ethnic Collection, for the Eastern Promise page and I remodelled it - I was never happy with the original design and it would appear, neither was anyone else.
It now has three vintage pendants from Afghanistan, set with little glass gems - a central box pendant set with cobalt and red glass in a paisley design and the other two are mismatched squares set with colourful glass, edged with loads of little bells. They are strung on two strands of vintage African vinyl beads in red and have little crystals and seed beads to break up the boredom and add movement and colour. Mismatched necklaces are worn by tribal women in India all the time - they just pick up the pendants as they go along and string them together with little seed beads and chains made of alloy, interspersed with little coins. These are old pendants, and show signs of loving wear and tear.
Vinyl beads from Nigeria are made from vinyl recycled from old records. In countries all across Africa vinyl beads are used to create beautiful necklace, bracelets and striking waist chains. Vinyl bead strand jewelry is sometimes worn to indicate the wearers state of mind. Each individual color of vinyl bead strands has a different meaning. Blue vinyl beads stand for love, harmony, togetherness and peace. Black vinyl beads are said to represent spiritual energy and emotional maturity. Maroon tones stand for healing and mother earth. Purple vinyl beads are said to represent everything feminine and royalty. Pink vinyl beads are said to indicate mildness and feminine qualities. Red vinyl bead strands stand for spirituality and passion.
Unfortunately (unless you travel to Africa) it is almost impossible to source these beads in loads of colours and sizes in the UK. They have to be purchased through outlets in the USA and then brought back. I picked up a few strands of them when I went there a few years ago and am still playing with them.
I used some of the soutache braiding I have in my stash to make these earrings - the central bead is a 'cat's eye' bead, which incorporates strands of fiberglass at it's core, giving it a shimmer when it is moved in the light - unfortunately a still photograph doesn't do it justice - it just looks like a brown bead. I have tried taking photographs in the light in preference to using my photobox, but I'm not sure if that's enough to capture the pretty movement of light within the bead. It is on an ear stud and has a Nepalese resin bead dangling from it.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.