Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Now that the 'Falalalalala' season is over, my muse asked for a break - I suppose she deserves it. After all she has served me faithfully for the last three years, toiling away beside me without so much as a day off, helping Caprilicious become the entity that stands before us today. So, 'off you pop' I said. I even helped her pack a case, and agreed to drop her off at the bus stop. She's meant to come back in six week's time, soon after I get back from my own holiday - but who knows whether she will keep her word. Ms Muse knows that if she doesn't come back of her own accord, I will find her and bring her back, even if I have to send the local troglodyte to drag her home by her hair. Oh, she'll sulk and be unhelpful at first, but I'm sure I can wheedle her into behaving herself soon enough.
I spent a lot of time packing earrings this week - what a painful procedure. They had to be catalogued and priced, attached to earring cards and then put into a shoebox that would allow them to be carried safely in my luggage - of course, I had to buy some shoes (only three pairs) first, just so I would have enough shoeboxes!
The problem with earrings are earwires! The irritating little so and so's won't stay in one place, slipping off the card just when you think everything is fine and the job is all done - I spent ages and ages looking for one of a pair of earrings, only to find once I'd made up the pair, that yet another one had gone missing, and so on, ad nauseum!
Kidney shaped ear wires and leverbacks are the worst - they will not lie down quietly, are too big to lie flat in a box, and generally wriggle out of their fastenings within minutes of fixing them onto a card. Was I fed up by the end of it all! Unfortunately they are too pretty to leave behind, or that's what I'd have done with the ornery critters.
Mike and I spent a night on his birthday last week at Coombe Abbey in Coventry - it was a Cistercian Abbey in the 12th century and is now owned by Coventry City Council and the 'No Ordinary Hotel' group. We had a lovely meal and got to spend a night in the Lady Craven Room using a saved up gift voucher - talk about ostentatious splendour! - it was dripping with baroque features, rococo accents, gilding, mirrors, antique furniture, wall panelling, chinoiserie, plaster roses, a four poster bed on a raised plinth with silk curtains and swags, and a light at the apex of the drapes - I needed a step ladder to get into it, twenty foot high sash windows, a deep bath that we had to use to get us warm in the draughty room - I felt like I was in the story of the Princess with the Pea, with one twist - there was no pea, but I spent the night looking for it, because I was so sure there had to be one.
They served us a fabulous breakfast and we came back to our very down to earth, very warm home with the greatest pleasure, after a walk around the grounds which are very lovely indeed. It was lovely to be pampered and waited on, wined and dined, but there's no place like home.
I wondered what Cistercian monks would want with a room like that - they're meant to be spartan characters, right?? I did a bit of research when I got back and it turns out that the monastery was closed down by Henry VIII, when he attempted to convert the country from Catholicism to the Church of England, which he established just so he could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. Coombe Abbey was a hostage to lurrrve, ( or even good old fashioned lust) then. It was then handed to the Earl of Dudley as a gift and eventually made it's way into the hands of Coventry City Council - how have the mighty fallen!
Ms Muse asked me for some holiday spending money - well, I made her work for it - fair's fair, eh??
This necklace was named so because all the elements happened to be on my table at the same time - I didn't have to search through my stash at all - Ms Muse had an easy time of it as it seemed to fall together through happy happenstance. Clay beads, green howlite, Picasso glass and pewter - they seemed to be made for each other.
Forget Me Not
This was a pendant I made earlier, from a polymer clay cane inspired by the beautiful little forget me not flower. Ms Muse quickly whipped out a Kumihimo braid I had made earlier and put the two of them together. I thought the two of them went quite well together, especially with the wire bail I devised, and the wire end caps for the Kumihimo Braid to match.
Well, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say this was all too easy - how hard can it be to pick out a bunch of stuff that is already made or lying around, waiting to be put together. I felt I wasn't getting my pound of flesh, so Ms Muse had to come up with the earrings below - now, that's singing for your supper - or your holiday spending money!
Czech glass neon teardrop beads were teamed with pewter spacers to make these bright and pretty earrings. They will go to my exhibition - it might not exactly be the right time to put them up on the website just now in the pale UK weather - however, people do go in search of winter sun, and these would be perfect for sunseekers.
And with this, I waved her goodbye, with a little sniff and a tear - I just hope she comes back willingly and on time - I hate it when people don't keep their promises.
I will however, keep the blog going and you can read all about the madness and mayhem that is sure to ensue with the preparations for the exhibition, and it's aftermath. Perhaps I will even make a few items of jewellery without Ms Muse by my elbow, who knows?
Have a great week, and catch you next week, same time, same place
I'm Neena Shilvock, and I'm crazily addicted to jewellery. I've been designing and making quirky and interesting statement necklaces for the last five years and my passion hasn't cooled off one little bit - in fact it has got worse, such that I'm even dreaming jewellery.
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