Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, how are you? The sun is shining and the garden is blooming, but yet it's hard to enjoy this bounty when it has to be done in seclusion. I had a friend visit with me today after so many weeks now that restrictions are lifted a bit, and we sat out in the garden and had a good long natter, drinking shandies and sitting in the shade - that was so good. The garden is benefitting from the attention we are lavishing on it - everything is standing upright and there isn't a weed or a slug that hasn't been got rid of, never to be heard from again.
I've also been practicing my photography skills and the flowers have lent themselves to this task in the absence of other inspiration. I used to like to go and sit in busy places - train stations, city centres, pubs, and parks were favourites; and photograph the people there, going about their business not knowing that my beady eye is upon them.
I've agreed to do a virtual show of earrings at The Earring Show on Facebook and will be displaying my wares online on the 12th of July. Although I have loads of stock, I felt I should make at least one more new piece and came up with this pair of stud earring danglers. Initial response was quite enthusiastic so I hope they will be well received at the show. The beads are all imported from the Czech Republic and Japan.
These are two little brass Vintaj lizards I bought from an outlet in the USA and they are beautiful - their only problem is that there is no way to anchor them to a piece of jewellery apart from using glue. I don't generally use glue for this purpose as once the glue deteriorates the attachments come loose. I decided very early on in the game that my jewellery has to stand the test of time and so double sew all my beads, and sew a bezel around every cabochon so that the crystals, beads and cabochons are extra secure. I've had the lizards for almost five years now as I didn't know how I would use them.
My recent foray into beading has meant that I've been using this hole making tool, so I decided to give it a go. I've no idea what it is called, and if anyone does, please tell me in the comments.
As you can see, the lizards are pretty tiny and I approached the task very gingerly. I held my breath - and all of a sudden I had two usable little critters.
A large labradorite slab lay unused for many years. This is a very deceptive stone which at first look appears dull and grey - walk it into the light and suddenly it flashes fire with an inner iridescence that can be shocking if you're not expecting it. I tend to put a lot of colour around a labradorite so that the piece is colourful and interesting even when it isn't giving away its secret. I planned that the slab would represent a woodland pool, with little creatures around it - I added an enamelled dragonfly and a crystal scarab beetle and set to work making the pendant. Little lily pads were made individually and added to the edge of the 'pond', and three lotus flowers sewn onto one edge.
This piece had very little planning involved in its making - but even after I had put in a lot of the beadwork, I wasn't happy - I wanted more. I changed tack and turned the pendant sideways, and attached it to a collar devised from Lacy's Stiff Stuff, and now it is a focal point in a statement necklace.
Now what? The clue is in the name - Woodland Fantasy. I've just discovered Japanese seed beading and have sent off for Margaret Lee's fabulous book on these techniques. Japan is the home of the Miyuki and Toho seed beads and the embroidery techniques look like tapestry. I can't wait until the book arrives and I start again on my necklace. Until then, I shall have to find something else with which to occupy my hands.
That's me for this week, folks.
Before I sign off, if anyone can tell me why Wilfred the cat absolutely refuses to sleep in his new and lovely fluffy bed, preferring to sleep in a wooden tray on the dining table, I would be very interested in the answer. I just don't get it. I've sprayed it with catnip, and put morsels of of cat treats into it, but try as I might I had no luck, I even considered trying to curl up in it myself to set him an example. I ended up selling it on Facebook Marketplace this morning.
Have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday,