Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello everyone, how are you today? We've just come back off a lovely break in Paris and I have gone back to work feeling refreshed and relaxed. I guess I really needed the time away from the day job. It was really warm and humid in Paris, and all we did was to go from cafe to cafe, drinking Aperol Spritz's, listening to the buskers, and relaxing in the sunshine. There was, I'm told a haze of fine dust from the Sahara high in the atmosphere, giving rise to some beautiful sunsets over the Parisian skyline.
It was unseasonably warm and humid so we ducked into the Galeries Lafayette to take another look at their beautiful ceiling and went from floor to floor breathing in expensively perfumed cool air. Hubby checks out watches and tries on hats like most women try on shoes, so we spent a good hour or two not buying anything and then went onto the rooftop for a light lunch and to take in the views of the Paris skyline.
There was the obligatory visit to the Notre Dame which looked so sad without it's beautiful spires although there was evidence of loads of work being done with scaffolding and tall cranes all around it. They had brought the statue of the Virgin Mary outside as the church itself is closed and there were a number of women kneeling around it rolling their rosary beads around in their fingers and muttering their Hail Mary's in various languages. The spire ought to be back on by the time the Olympic Games come to Paris in 2024 and I hope it will be just as beautiful as the original again.
Hubby hadn't been to see either of the famous Parisian spectacular shows at the Lido or the Moulin Rouge. Unfortunately, the Lido closed it's doors in September 2022 so we ended up at the Moulin Rouge to take in the can-can dancers. I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it too much, having been once before, many, many years ago. They made us queue for about 30 minutes, the food was indifferent, the chairs tiny and uncomfortably hard and cramped and the show, tired - but that's just my opinion. Mike enjoyed it, so, mission accomplished.
There was a lazy afternoon spent at the Pompidou centre which houses the museum of modern art and a huge library. I wanted to go back to the most interesting building I've ever seen, with its structural system, mechanical systems, and circulation exposed on the exterior of the building. Initially, all of the functional structural elements of the building were colour-coded: green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are for climate control, electrical wires are encased in yellow, and circulation elements and devices for safety (e.g., fire extinguishers) are red.
I saw it when it first opened in the early eighties and fell in love with the idea of an 'inside out' building and the interesting Tinguely fountain outside. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the fountain was drained for restoration, and the works of art in the fountain looked deserted and forlorn. I'm a great fan of the art by Niki de Saint Phalle and the fountain was such fun, with the water spraying from whimsical sculptures to the sound of music by Stravinsky. Alas, there was none of that on this occasion, but the street performers and cafes were enough to make it an interesting afternoon.
This is what it should have looked like - but hey, one can't have everything!
Pic courtesy of Pinterest
There were the obligatory walks in the Marais district, around Montmartre and of course, the Eiffel Tower.
Now I'm back to work, I feel so refreshed and ready to go. One underestimates the power of a good break - the two years of Covid got us out of the regular routine of taking time off between fraught situations to release all the tension that builds up inside. I even found some time to make a piece of jewellery and photograph it for these pages.
The pendant is a little slice of ametrine, topped with a faceted aquamarine. When held against the light the ametrine is pale and almost transparent, but when worn against another colour, or even the colour of skin, it seems to spring to life. I hadn't realised this, so I looked for beads in my stash to give it an injection of colour. The quartz needles pick up on the blue aquamarine and contrast well with the ametrine. As I photographed it, I realised that wearing it gives the ametrine a new life of it's own and I had worried needlessly that it was too pale. The little clasp is set with a blue topaz.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous weekend and I'll catch you soon.