Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello people, I hope all is well with you today and that you've had a good week. We had a Bank Holiday this Monday and of course, this means guaranteed poor weather in the UK - that's almost a given! Time off is not to be sneezed at however, and I took full advantage of it. Hubby and I vegged out in front of the telly watching movies back to back, me with a bead tray in my lap. True bliss, and just my kind of relaxation.
I started a Goddess pendant a few weeks ago, but put it aside as I got too busy for a while. I decided that I was going to finish it over the long weekend and started to channel all the Goddesses I know of into the piece.
It will soon be time for the major celebrations in the Indian calendar, marking the triumph of good over evil in one form or another. The first one is the Durga pooja, which marks the battle of goddess Durga with the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful demon disguised as a buffalo, Mahishasura, and her emerging victorious (well, of course - did you really think a demon who could only think of a buffalo disguise could be allowed to win, over a woman with eight arms, each one carrying a Lethal Weapon?).
The festival epitomises the victory of good over evil, but it also is in part a harvest festival that marks the goddess as the power behind all of life and creation. It lasts for ten days and is both a social and religious event. Soon after this comes Diwali, another popular festival, which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. This celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities where it is observed. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period.
Those of us who are non believer heathens still enjoy the over the top colour and craziness, and the fifteen days of the holiday period are a time when families bond over food and sweets, children set off firecrackers and a lot of fun is to be had - you can tell I'm looking at this through a retrospectoscope!
In reality, all government offices are closed so official business ceases and if you cannot get your work scheduled between the end of Diwali and Christmas, you are royally sc%&%ed and have to wait for the next year when everyone is back at their desks (also through the retrospectoscope!!).
My Goddess is non denominational, and has a beautiful crown of Czech dagger beads, and a halo of individually wrapped crystals. She is over embellished, as goddesses are with shiny crystals and fringes and is delightfully over the top. I call her Shakti, which means strength and have her on a simple necklace of yellow agate beads.
The Xian Kun Necklace
This week was a week of symbolism, runes and icons. I bought a medallion from a Tibetan trader - this is a man's waist amulet with Bagua symbols. Bagua symbols are used in Taoist cosmology to represent the fundamental principles of reality, seen as a range of eight interrelated concepts representing opposing forces or elements - Yin and Yang. The Bagua is an essential tool in the majority of Feng Shui schools.
The amulet was rather large, so to balance it I added three strands of chevron beads, yellow agate and turquoise to make a necklace that would stand out a mile - definitely one for when you want to be noticed.
The Siren's Song
I saw images of an Indian silver comb used as a pendant on various sites and I made it my goal to track one down when I was last in India. I researched it earlier, and apparently the combs are reproductions of Rajasthani hair or beard perfume combs.
"The top of the comb is hollow, and contains a well which may be filled with perfume or perfumed oil. This is closed off by a decorative finial, which acts as a stopper. It unscrews so that the chamber may be filled. The central chamber is pieced by small holes, set between the fine metal teeth. By this means the perfume is then dispersed in small amounts as the comb is drawn through the hair." Ruby Lane
Unfortunately this replica is not hollow and cannot hold perfume, however, it is just as pretty as the real thing. I held on to it for ages and then decided the time had come to set it free and strung it with bright red coral and silver beads in a very beautiful necklace.
Sirens were beautiful women, with long hair who sat on the rocks, combing their tresses and singing sweet songs, luring unwary listeners who passed by in their ships onto the rocks. This is a painting by John William Waterhouse who was an English painter in the early twentieth century. His artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend. I can imagine this siren combing her long tresses with the comb from the necklace, singing soulfully while she perfumes her hair.
I'm not sure what the sirens had against thee poor sailors, and why they didn't spend their time more gainfully, but they sure looked pretty in spite of being murderous at heart.
That's me for this week folks, I'm now off to pack for my pre winter holiday. Have a great week and I'll be back with you next weekend, although a bit later than usual,