Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello everyone, how are you at the end of this very exhausting week? I hope you're all tucked away somewhere, being sensible and self isolating. I've just been watching Question Time, as I do when I'm writing this blog and have heard all about the protective equipment that has left the warehouses in their millions, assisted ably by the army, but has mysteriously vanished into thin air - it certainly hasn't reached the poor staff in various hospitals and care workers, according to Richard Horton of the Lancet. Everyone went out and clapped the NHS staff at 8pm (reportedly) around the UK, my husband went out into the doorway in our street and he was the only one there. However, my lovely neighbour Michelle did send me a bunch of flowers a couple of days ago.
The Corona virus has certainly brought out the feral gene in people - the stockpiling of food and toilet rolls, hand sanitisers and liquid soap, and the price gouging on ebay of these items has left me dumbfounded. I work in the NHS and my husband is in a vulnerable age group, with comorbidities, so I have chosen to go to the supermarket after work to forage for food. We are meant to buy food online, but apart from Fortnum and Mason, all the other supermarkets have either broken websites or have no delivery slots for over 3 weeks. I think ordering from F & M might probably be a bit of overkill for a loaf of bread and a pat of butter. There may yet be a silver lining - perhaps I'll lose some weight? (Hah! and pigs might fly!) It also seems a bit silly to be worried about one's weight at a time when we don't know if one will still be alive in a couple of weeks.
Here are some pics of the supermarket when I was there a couple of days ago - post Soviet Russia or even Cuba probably had more on their shelves!
I think you probably get the idea by now - apologies for so many photographs of nothing, but it was quite infuriating. However I found something that has recently become rarer than rocking horse poo - the very last bag of loo rolls on the shelf on that day, which I snatched up and eventually shared with a friend - yaay! now we can wipe our bottoms without anxiety that we might run out.
I've had a couple of days off and was encouraged to take them - 'to recharge batteries for what is to come'! We were meant to be in Tenerife, but of course that trip fell through, so I've had a lazy, wake-up-late-and-do-nothing few days.
I love prehnite-and raw nuggets are my go-to when I buy beads. The pale seafoam green with smudges of black, as if touched accidentally by a child's inky fingers are so pretty, I always have some in my stash. I had one last Chinese jade pendant to use up and it came out of the cupboard, proudly strutting its stuff.
Dzi (pronounced Zee) is a Tibetan word used to describe a patterned bead, usually agate, of mainly oblong, round, cylindrical or tabular shape pierced lengthwise and called Heaven's Bead in Chinese. The beads originate in the Tibetan cultural sphere and can command high prices. They are very difficult to come by and are found primarily in Tibet, but also in neighbouring Bhutan, Ladakh and Sikkim. Shepherds and farmers pick them up in the grasslands or while cultivating fields. Since knowledge of the bead is derived from oral traditions, few beads have provoked more controversy concerning their source, method of manufacture and even precise definition.
These beads are generally prized as protective amulets and are sometimes ground into a powder to be used in traditional Tibetan medicine. Beads subject to this process have small “dig marks” where a portion of the bead has been scraped or ground away to be included in the medicine. Some dzi exhibit grinding and polishing of one or both ends, again the result of reduction for use in traditional Tibetan medicine or, in some cases, due to the bead’s use as a burnishing tool in the application of gold leaf to thanka paintings or gilt bronze statuary.
The most highly prized dzi beads are those of ancient age, made of natural agate. The original source of these beads is a mystery. While the traditional, ancient-style beads are greatly preferred, new modern-made dzi are gaining popularity amongst Tibetans.
This makes them some of the most sought after and collectable beads on earth. The green agate beads in the necklace are of course, more recently manufactured in a factory in Tibet, but it's nice to think that there is a legend behind the name.
The artisans use agate as the base stone, and then embellish the beads with lines and shapes using ancient methods. Treatments may include darkening with plant sugars and heat, bleaching and white line etching with natron, and protecting other areas with grease, clay, wax or a similar substance.
That's me for this week, folks. I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place. In the meantime, stay home, wash those hands and make like Wilfred. And of course there's still 20% off everything Code - Boredathome on the website till the end of the month. I will be sending out orders as they come in in case the post office develops a problem, but your parcel may still take a while to get to you, apologies for that.