Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello readers, I hope you are getting ready for a fabulous weekend with lots of fun and games planned.
As you read this, we will be frantically throwing things together in a suitcase in a last minute packing frenzy for our holiday in Firenze, Italy. I am really looking forward to it and a bit of sunshine, after a fairly mediocre British summer - a few rays are exactly what the doctor ordered.
In the meantime, I had a message from Empress Dianne Regisford asking if the piece I called Nomad Spirit, after one of her poems was still available. She was delighted to find it was and commissioned a pair of earrings and a bracelet to go with it as a birthday present to herself. As I had this holiday looming on the horizon, I decided to put all other projects on hold and finish off her parure first so that she could have it for her birthday. After all, who can resist the call of an Empress?
This is a photograph of the original necklace. It has an ammonite fossil surrounded by bead work and soutache braiding, carrying a blue jade Chinese pendant. The earrings needed to be long and showy, but not too heavy, and I decided to make a flexible cuff bracelet, as having never met the Empress, I do not have measurements for her. I had a 3" wide aluminium blank cuff in my store and I sent off for a strip of leather to cover it with.
The earrings were made with two ammonite fossils, and I put in all the elements that I used for the necklace, omitting the jade, of course. I found some sea urchin spines and used them as dangles at the end of a beaded fringe. They tinkle gently when they hit each other in movement and I thought they suited the ammonites perfectly. The earrings are over 3.8" long. and very showy.
The cuff was hard work, but fun - I made the centrepiece with a large ammonite surrounded by soutache and bead work, and then sewed it onto a piece of shiny metallic leather that I cut to the size of the blank. I glued the centrepiece down for extra safety and then glued on a layer of ultrasuede to the inside of the cuff. I spent a whole evening sewing on little beads to the edge of the bracelet, effectively sewing the leather and ultrasuede to one another, and trapping the aluminium blank in between them. It is certainly a statement piece and of the three, it is my favourite. By the time I finished, my arm hurt from the workout it got, pushing the needle through the leather and the Size 10 needles themselves were bent like corkscrews, from being worked so hard.
So, what do you think, which one of the three do you like best?? Do tell!!
Well, that's me for the week. I am looking forward to nodding off on the plane as I never rest well before I fly. I fall asleep instantly to the rhythm of the engines much to my husband's annoyance as he would like someone to talk to. Oh well, he'll just have to wait till we get to Florence. As we have a whole week there, we will have plenty of time to visit the countryside around us and Siena, San Gimignano and the Cinqe Terre are on our list.
I shall of course, be back with a post about my travels next week, albeit a couple of days late. Have a fabulous week and see you soon