Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, it's lovely to connect with you again. The sun is shining, the garden is blossoming and the birds - well the birds have procreated and are doing unspeakable things all over our cars and making a nuisance of themselves, especially the pigeons.
The world is settling into an uneasy new equilibrium and no one knows what comes next. There are fierce pitched battles between the two opposing factions - those who think it's just another flu and we should get back to work, and those who run around flapping their hands hysterically, swallowing large quantities of Vitamin C and zinc, chloroquine and azithromycin. I think it's best to keep a weather eye on developments, but plod on, trying to keep it together while taking as much care as I can.
I entered 'Hope Springs Eternal' into the Creative Hope Jewelry Project and decided that I would donate the proceeds from the necklace to the NHS. It is now on the website and I will put it up for auction at a dinner dance planned in October and hand the money over.
This week, I planned a Hamsa pendant - I've written about the Hamsa in a previous blog post and I'll tell you a bit more as I go along. I researched designs thoroughly for a couple of days before deciding that the project was a goer. The plan is to make a Hamsa pendant and then find a way to hang it - I could just hang it on a beaded necklace, or could make a choker to carry it. Will it eventually be a single pendant, or part of a totem? The possibilities are endless and I had to take the plunge and get on with it - this was my original sketch and you can tell that drawing is not my forte. Oh well, we're all friends here, so I don't feel embarrassed to display my lack of talent.
I had a piece of orange 'stiff stuff' left over from the last necklace I made and didn't want to waste it. I had to cover it with blue velvet as I didn't want the orange to peek out between the beads. The palm and fingers were outlined with diamante cup chain and I was ready to embellish it to my hearts content.
An eye was embroidered onto the palm - It would appear that there are two types of Hamsas - one with an eye and the other without, the former is a symbol that wards away evil and the latter a mere good luck charm.
The Hamsa with the eye symbolises protection. It is believed that the eye will watch over you and scare away evil.
I thought, 'in for a penny...Let's go the whole hog, belt and braces,' and proceeded to put in the eye.
The evil eye is a curse or legend believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. Talismans or amulets are created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called "evil eyes" and if you've been a tourist in some parts of Europe or the middle east you will have one of them somewhere in your souvenir collection - you can't get away from them in the markets and bazaars.
As a child, growing up in India I came across the 'evil eye' phenomenon - Just about anything that went wrong was blamed on the power of the evil eye. My grandmother worried when we got sick, or 'lost' our homework once too often and attracted a scolding from school (miss, the dog ate it) - if we were bad, she worried that someone's evil eye had got us and if we were good and were praised excessively, which was rare, she worried even more that some jealous,malevolent spirit would cast it's evil eye on us out of spite and cause problems for us. Poor grandma, she was one worried lady. To get over herself, she would sit us children down in a row, grab some sticks out of a broom made from a palm frond, light the end with a match and mutter incantations over it while making circles with the fire over us. She'd then put the sticks behind a door and spit three times in its general direction - and the fire - oh! It crackled and spat, and we knew that each crackle, the louder the better, was a spell she had got rid of single handedly! Our hero!
One summer holiday, we'd been particularly naughty, and after a spate of bollockings my cousin and I decided to get rid of the evil eye we were sure had cast a spell on us - we found a palm frond, but instead of pulling off a handful of sticks, we lit the whole thing, saying the spell out loud and dancing around it in the knowledge that we were about to go with impunity once the evil eye had been dispelled. Fortunately the gardener was around as was the hose, or the bonfire we made would have caused major problems. Needless to say the evil eye stayed with us the whole summer as the number of bollockings we got seemed to multiply.
That's me for this week folks. Who knows why I decided to embark on a Hamsa project at this time - maybe in my subconscious, I'm a believer and I'm out to fight the Corona virus with my protective amulet. I suppose it can't do any harm, much like sucking on a lemon or eating loads of avocados, which are some of the remedies being bandied about by people I've spoken to. I am, I hasten to add, not a believer, but it is a pretty symbol and will be a lot of fun to make - I have been meaning to make one for a while now. Onwards and upwards I go!
Have a great week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.