Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello folks, I hope you've had a great week and thanks for coming back to take a look at Caprilicious. It's a horrible rainy, windy day out there and it seems like it's time to snuggle under the duvet and stay put all day. It's a good thing I have Caprilicious to get out of bed for this morning or I probably wouldn't have bothered as it is my day off.
It's a sad day today, as we have to cut down our tree on the front of the house. When we bought the house, the previous owner had it looking like a car park, with nothing but hard standing on the front so that his family could all get their cars off the road. We put in all the greenery you see in the photograph, but unfortunately, the tree to the left of the picture, now ten years old has invasive surface roots which are now encroaching on the house. It has to be chopped down, the roots dug up with a small digger as this particular tree can grow back from any roots left behind, and the paving that has gone all higgledy piggledy because of the surface roots has to be replaced.
If we'd known this earlier - like when we asked the guy at the garden centre before we bought it as a sapling - we'd never have bought our Gleditsia - Oh well, we've enjoyed it for ten years!
Getting in the mood for autumn this week, I picked up a hank of cloud agate. The notion of a cloud being captured in a stone always enchants me and I love this beautiful grey agate. I added bright turquoise blue magnesite and made a necklace called Cloudy Skies. It's almost as if I reached out of an aeroplane and condensed a handful of cloud into this necklace.
I was playing with clay, trying to finish off all the old clay I brought back home from a three day extravaganza called Polymania earlier on in the year and ended up with the flowers in this necklace. They reminded me of the Japanese anemones that come up in my garden in late August - they are very pretty, but the plant is so invasive, it sends out deep sucker roots that take over any flower bed. I spend most of summer pulling up the plant, and yet get a beautiful display of the anemones come August. They are so pretty, I cannot bring myself to dig up the flower bed to start again, sans anemone.
I had two malas of Rudraksh beads, acquired during a trip to India, and I thought this would be an ideal time to use some of the beads, this being autumn and a time for seeds and nuts. The rudraksh is meant to be a sacred seed that has many mythical metaphysical qualities. The seed can have up to fourteen segments, called 'faces', and each number of faces have their own significance and worn for a different metaphysical cure. I know none of these things, of course, just that the beads are interesting and different. If you wish to read a bit more about the tree, I have a link to an informative blog right here for you. Sadhus cover themselves in garlands of these beads, to dress like their boss, Lord Shiva, who was the greatest mendicant/sadhu of all time. Apparently, when Shiva once woke up from a period of meditation, he shed a tear, and this (when it fell to the ground, thankfully) grew into a rudraksh tree. Sadhus hope that if they wear the rudraksh beads, they will curry favour with the boss man. Legend has it that Indira Gandhi wore a rudraksh with one face, which is extremely rare and expensive and wore it at all times. We all know how much luck that brought her - or perhaps she'd slipped it off her neck on that fateful day!
Apart from the malas, I've seen jewellery made with these seeds in India, heavily encrusted with gold and occasionally silver, but I'm proud to have found a very contemporary and one off way of wearing these beads that is different from anything I've ever seen. The beads I brought back are smaller than usual, and I added lashings of crystals to bring a bit of brightness to the brown of the necklace which of course, was not colourful enough for Caprilicious without the extra oomph! A few red resin roses, and some teardrop orange coral beads left over from another necklace contributed to the colour factor in this piece.
The Pursuit of Happiness
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
This is part of the American Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. This necklace makes me happy! The green aventurine raw nugget beads, the beautiful Mandala pendant from Nepal, the whole thing came together effortlessly.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.