Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello everyone, how are you this weekend? I hope you've all had a restful week - and if not, are likely to have a good weekend. I've had the junior doctors strike to deal with - the rota changed as many times as I looked at it, as we moved people around to provide the safest service possible, and eventually we came out the other side.
It took me two days to embroider this tiny rectangle of leather - what I was trying to do was to make a little bail for a pendant in my stash. The needles you can buy that would go through leather like a hot knife through butter are unfortunately too big to go through the tiny beads I was using, so I had to make do with my tiny Size 10 embroidery needle.
I pushed the tip of the needle into the leather and a used pair of pliers to pull it through. This felt so clumsy, with all the picking up and putting down of the pliers, and the handles getting entangled with the thread. I cursed myself for even thinking up the idea of an embroidered leather bail. One of my not-so-good ideas, then!
But, I had started, so I was determined to finish! Of course, the design was freehand and made up as I went along, and I embroidered both sides of the bail. Two broken and misshapen needles and many tiny perforations in my fingers later, this bail emerged.
I'm a big fan of the carved pendants that come out of China and I have made a number of pieces of jewellery from them in the past. Let me show you some of the pieces that came before.
The pendants are usually hefty and palm sized, beautifully carved with fanciful dragons and lions, and with a bit of embellishment (or not) they are good to go. They dont come with any means of hanging them, though. Each one poses it's own peculiar problem, depending on where the perforations in the carving lie so that a necklace can be attached to it.
This week's pendant is delicate, with a lacy, floral pattern, much smaller than the others and it didn't seem to have any Oomph! to it. It sat on my table and didn't get thrown into the 'I can't use it' pile, because it is rather pretty and someone had taken so much trouble to carve such a thin piece of stone without cracking it in half.
Once the bail was ready I had to figure out how to attach it to the pendant, and even then it wasn't enough for me. Embellish or perish, I say - so I found some pretty coral rosebuds and a packet of turquoise beads and made some dangles - all at once, the pendant was no more Chinese, but had a distinct Mexican air about it! The beads I had originally picked for the necklace were no longer applicable and yet another rummage in my stash produced fresh results. Bamboo coral, pyrite, yak bone beads, lapis lazuli and turquoise were what I decided to put into this changeling which seemed to be dictating terms to me as it went along. And when it was finished, all I could say was....... "¡Ay, caramba!".
I can tell you that I am extremely surprised at how this piece turned out - I never envisaged a piece of Mexicana when I started out, but I'm pleased with the end result. A truly international effort, colourful as damnit and fun to wear. Who could ask for anything more?
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful weekend - the sun is shining and its warmth feels good. Soon the garden will need attention and I have a new border planned which will take some work. Bare brown earth is so depressing and I want loads of colour in my garden. I can't wait to get started. Fortunately hubby loves colour as much as I do - just take a look at his socks! I took this picture while we were sitting in front of the telly, watching a movie and having supper.
I'll catch up with you soon,