Beautiful Handmade Statement Necklaces and other Fabulousness from Neena Shilvock - Inspirations and Designs From the Week Gone by
Hello all, hope you are having a better time of it than us in the UK - it is freezing outside with plenty of snow on the ground, ice underneath and more blizzard conditions predicted. The supermarket shelves were empty as Britain prepared to hunker down and stay warm in siege conditions - fortunately, I was off during the worst of the bad weather, and stayed home to play with my beads and wire and clay - what more could a girl ask for??
This is our little effort to keep the fauna outside fed .....
and this is Frosty the snowman's table - look at the undisturbed cake of snow on it - all in one morning!! - The pictures are grainy because the snow was still falling - it was cold enough for icicles to form on the edge of the car door.
I received a package in the post with some weather appropriate items - I had collected some leaves and had their skeletons electroplated and made into pendants - I found a fabulous company in Scotland who will electroplate anything - even a human being if they stand still long enough! They do a good line in plating babies' first bootees and suchlike items. They made these most amazing pendants for me, and I shall be making them up into jewellery in the coming weeks. The leaves were all picked up during walks in and around the grounds of Coombe Abbey in Coventry - I just love that ex Cistercian monastery (who said there's no money in religion??), and the hotel now attached to it. Each leaf is only tiny - about one or two inches long - I wasn't sure how it would look and this was a trial run - I think they did a fabulous job, don't you?? Next time, I shall get a mix of tiny and larger leaves so I can make earrings as well.
I shall call this series 'The Leafy Glade' - just so they can be found easily on the website, and on the Facebook page.
I made my first piece of the Leafy Glade series with a silver birch leaf and fluorite cubes in grades of colour - the deepest purple to a pale sea green, with lucite Miracle beads in between - these beads are coated on the inside with a special substance, and this seems to make them glow in artificial light - amazing stuff!
Various crystals and garnets were wired to the bail, to provide some movement to the piece.
Tiny, 0.5" long bead caps were fashioned out of wire - and turned three dimensional by bending the petals outwards - hung on extra long stainless steel kidney wires - these are an hypoallergenic alternative to silver, and Hey Presto! Snowdrops! They are pretty, though I say so myself - I would wear them, except my ear lobes cannot take even the slightest weight and tear ever so easily - how I long to wear the chandeliers I make - but instead, just have to look at other people in them and drool over the loveliness of it.
The snow meant that we were voluntarily housebound for four days - well, the weather was so awful, we just stayed in and kept warm. That meant I could hit the pasta machine and play - with clay. I made some 'potato chip' spacer beads - these look like what it says on the tin - potato chips - or for those in the UK - crisps, especially since I made them in a dull gold colour. Just to make it a bit more complicated, I imprinted a stamp on them (and practised what is known as 'Mica Shift' in the polymer clay world), and then figured out how to shine them to a glassy finish without using varnish - I love this medium - so many challenges. I was quite pleased with them when I finished, and put them into a necklace with some roughly faceted black tourmaline.
Apparently, ruffles are the way couture is going in spring ( and now I am a Fashionista?? - is there no end to my madness?? - no, don't answer that!!) and this necklace fits the bill - the polymer clay 'chips' look just like golden ruffles.
Kyanite is such a beautiful, ethereal blue, almost pearly - when put into silver tone jewellery, it has a cold, almost icy effect. I thought I'd try it out with the warmer tones of a copper maple leaf.
As I put the necklace together, I was transported back in time, walking in the grounds of the Abbey, picking and discarding leaves to bring back home to dip in chemicals to bring out their skeletons - and I remembered the bee that had been buzzing around on that sunny morning - almost the last bee of that year, so I decided to add it to the necklace - a wire bee, of course, with gauzy copper wings, that I eventually attached to the bail of the pendant, and threw in a few pressed glass flowers for good measure - a bit of whimsy - and of course I couldn't resist the pun - the necklace is called BEE HAPPY - sorry!
That's me for this week, catch you later, same time, same place