Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, and thanks for dropping by the Caprilicious Blog. I hope you have all had a good week - we have rising temperatures here in the UK, and this has naturally turned our thoughts to the summer that is so tantalisingly near, but yet,..............
But first, I took on a couple of challenges this week - I do so love a good challenge. To my mind, it sets the creative juices flowing, and focuses ones mind on a task, rather than thoughts aimlessly milling around like a swarm of ants.
I spotted the first challenge on Facebook - it was a 'finish this' challenge by Nicole Hanna - she published half a tutorial for a piece of wire-work jewellery, and the competition was open to anyone who cared to join - I saw the notice only two days before the competition ended, so I set to work almost immediately. I'm aiming for the completed tutorial that she is offering to all the participants, that's prize enough for me.
The Unfinished Symphony
We were given a recipe for the ingredients, and weren't allowed to make more than one substitution, or add any others. The results will be shown in an album on Flickr, and when I have the whole tutorial, I will make the pendant accordingly and am most interested to see how different it will be from mine.
I played with clay all last weekend, and made up a bunch of scarf jewellery for my friends from Look in the Bag. Once I had finished, my workspace looked like a bomb had gone off over it and I despaired of ever tidying it. I find it hard to work in a messy environment, and when I saw the next challenge, it inspired me to try and clear my table of all the stuff I had on it.
"Clean-up, Fix-up" your workspace BLOG HOP
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson of Sharyl's Jewelry and Reflections challenged us to clear up our workspace and blog about it. She has a long list of participants from all around the world - jewellery making, chronic untidiness and the internet, have brought us together. If you clink on the link above, you will find the list of the other participants in this challenge.
Well, I have two workspaces - one for the weekends, when I have time to play with clay, and another where I sit of an evening, in front of the telly with Mike, and the beads and wirework come out to play. There is a third, in the conservatory where I have my kiln and enamels, but as it isn't very active, there isn't much point talking about it for now, although I hope this will change fairly soon.
I had just finished making the multi strand necklace with beads, and wire and polymer clay pieces you will find below, and my stuff was all over the place. I keep a limited amount of beads and some findings right by my chair, in boxes on the floor, being too lazy to get up and walk to my storage area each time I need something. Unfortunately, I do not have a 'before' picture to show you, just the 'after' one - you can see the boxes balanced precariously on each other, but all the beads went back into their respective boxes without too much trouble, and the wire was coaxed into going back onto the shelf, so the area looks relatively tidy - and that's the best I could do! As you can see, the pliers refused to move and stayed sat on one of the last naughty spools of wire in a sulk - they should have gone onto the plier holders on the top shelf - I left the refuseniks be, as I didn't have any energy left after that monumental effort.
This is the room where I play with clay - it is only tiny, and I have a trestle table to work on, a trolley with paints and stuff on it, a computer table with the buffer, all jostling for space with a filing cabinet, a cupboard that holds our coats and outdoor wear, another cupboard meant for cleaning implements which I share with my cleaning lady ( and am sneakily encroaching on when she isn't looking, shelf by shelf ), a wall that is lined with books, and shelves that hold photography equipment - a lot to fit into that tiny space. I consider it nothing short of a miracle that I can see the white ceramic tile I use as my work surface.
I took all the clay off the table and put it back into boxes under the table, all my implements were wiped down with wet wipes, and stashed in their mugs and glasses - all the mugs that get chipped in our house find their way to my work space - they know I'll give them a good home in my efforts to stay organised. A set of library steps have been encroached on - I use any flat surface to hold something temporarily - and that quickly becomes a permanent fixture, but as these steps are my husband's pride and joy, I daren't do that for longer than a day or I will find all my stuff unceremoniously dumped on my table when he goes in to look for a book!
Anyway, this is as tidy as it gets - but very far from being all shipshape and Bristol fashion. I have to tell you that before I went all 'crafty' the room was a third bedroom, converted into a sort of library for all the books Mike and I own. I used to play with clay in the kitchen, but that meant I had to clear up my clutter every evening, and projects had to be finished or binned at the end of the day - we all know, that doesn't work one little teeny weeny bit!
I made this polymer clay veneer for another project, but then ended up using it to make a few small pendants instead. I used one of these pendants in a bohemian necklace in bright colours - just right for the summer ahead. The inspiration was beach jewellery from Thailand - usually made with macrame, but I decided to use the look, and recreate it in my own way.
There were a pair of earrings to match, and I think this necklace will look great with summer whites. I used polymer clay beads, wire, African trade beads, which my sister in law kindly found for me when she was on a safari holiday, and I had a ball putting this piece together.
That's it for this week folks, cleaning up after myself has exhausted me and I need to lie down with a cold compress on my head, catch you next week, same time, same place - have a lovely weekend