Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Three new beads have arrived...

I'd been resisting these 3 beads for many weeks after first seeing them offered by another collector; I already have 2 agate kits, so I couldn't really justify another agate but it's such a beautiful specimen.

Turquoise ribbon has been on my very first wish list for a while and they both went so well with the armadillo, that I couldn't bear to break the set up ;)

Monday, 29 October 2012

New additions to the Troll Collection

No I haven't secretly been given access to the new Christmas Collection a week early before anyone gets too excited by the title... but just to get into the festive spirit here are my new additions to my troll collection on a bit of tinsel, no expense spared here! (Well no expense at all actually spent or spared... as another collector sent me some beads on the tinsel so just recycling as usual)

I was driving home the other day and I randomly decided to drive past a trollbead shop with my often exercised "trust to fate" approach; if there's a car parking space nearby I'll stop and have a look.  I normally avoid doing this as I can easily predict what is likely to happen in this scenario.

There was, I did, I bought, I came home.

This was just a browsing mission just to see the new Halloween beads in person* (or so I kept telling myself, as the compulsion came upon me).  I have about 5 working wish lists at any given time, plus ideas that have been nurtured whilst I write my blog, inspiration from reading about or looking at other people's collections and/or their bracelet ideas and not forgetting the good old fashioned "ooh shiny/pretty/bumpy/wow/sparkly**" method of picking up beads.

The latter method introduced me to Grey Wolf, whilst I've toyed with some of the animal inspired glass beads I've only actually bought Black Squirrel before and readers to the blog will already know the trouble I've sometimes had in using this bead on my bracelets (having narrated previously that I mostly buy beads I like without a bracelet/theme plan in my head, this can often leave me with beads that are that bit harder to incorporate into any given combination... we shall see what happens with this one!).  Nevertheless this big fascinating fella was yelling up at me from the display case, there was another regular one or two in the shop, but this noisy one was clearly the alpha male by comparison.

My 2nd purchase on this browsing trip was Turquoise Prism; I'd been mulling over buying some more as they are such useful additions to bracelets and I agreed with this post in Tartooful when C commented that they are very good for finishing off bracelets nicely as it gives a tapered line to the lock, or words to that effect.  What I love about turquoise prism, which I think has to be my favourite prism so far, is that it's dual toned and with two of my favourite jewel shades! I was sporting this bracelet below at the time and the colours compliment beautifully the purple and green beads shown below.

The bead I bought from the ideas that have been nurtured whilst I've been writing the blog came with buying a bead I already have, World Tour Lithuania's Bead which is a firm favourite of mine and is now the first of my multiple beads bought from another collector who was having the same issues with this one as I have had with Black Squirrel.  (Even broke into my Holiday Fund for the first one, which is far more sacred than my new boiler fund which gets broken into quite regularly; I have a very healthy interest in trying to nurse my old boiler along for a few more years yet).  Ironically the two versions are so different I'm not sure I'll be using them as a mirrored bead in a combo, but I will be able to use them "twice" on different bracelets.

Finally another prism, Pink Prism this time, came into my field of view from another collector, and bingo the postie knocked twice (well she was new and didn't realise, unlike my regular postie, that I camp beside the letterbox when expecting a bead delivery), so that's 4 very useful prisms now in my collection and an expansion to the Pinks!

Artisan Beads

Finally I bought some artisan beads, i.e. non-Troll, and although I don't know who made these as I didn't buy them direct, I'm already in love with them.  They have slightly larger cores but that's not so obvious when they are on a chain and I adore the colours.  I also have my eye on several bead makers that do sell direct and when the time is right I think I'm going on a spending spree, but I'll save that for another blog post.

3 Artisan beads - top view

3 Artisan beads - side view
One more package expected for the moment but I couldn't wait for that one to tell you about my new beads, the postman didn't even knock today, just pushed through a pension newsletter which DOES NOT make me go "Ooh shiny" in any way shape or form.

* the observant amongst you will note I also still haven't bought any Halloween beads yet... in case you were wondering they did have stock in the shop; I just got sidetracked by the other beads but I can confirm that Inner Glow does indeed glow in the dark!
**delete according to taste.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Playing with leftover beads

When I make a new bracelet from scratch I always use my leftover beads until I run out of silver bracelets... (I really need to get another 2 stoppers and another 2 chains so I can finish them properly)

The first combination using "leftover" beads is a glass/silver arrangement featuring lucky dragon and some bubble beads.  I really like this combination and I seem to be getting good "use" from my newly acquired pink beads.

The second offering from my leftovers featured my RAFBF bead.  I'm using the past tense because whilst I'd already worn this bracelet a few times, I wasn't 100% happy with it.  Partly, I think it's because I've repeated some of these combinations a bit too often in recent bracelets but also because I really wasn't sure about the placement of the purple armadillo.  I know, it's only 1 bead, but it was bugging me... how daft is that?

Not to worry, I still had even more beads left in my bead box, so...

...time for a fourth silver bracelet?

Not quite... time to fix that 3rd bracelet!

Recently I saw another collector make a lovely rainbow bracelet, inspired by that I decided to redo the last bracelet, still using leftover beads, but "blocking out" more colours and incorporating more contrast.

Hmm, still not 100% happy after living with this one for 24hrs, it wasn't quite the effect I was after...  So 3rd go on the 3rd bracelet... yes I can get a bit obsessive!

I love this one, it took 3 attempts but I finally got there in the end!  It's a very full bracelet and I couldn't get the stopper on the smaller end, and was too eager to take photos before I moved the stopper to the proper end... if you're only going to have 1 then it needs to be on the end the beads come off!

I collect beads because I like that individual bead, rather than collecting by a theme or a colour or with a permanent bracelet in mind.  However I can see that collectors who do collect by these methods probably don't have the same issues when trying to make up bracelets using "leftovers".  

My 2nd bracelet usually happens quite easily, but as you can see the 3rd can take a few attempts, as I normally think oh x bead would go really well here but I don't have multiples of beads (other than the agates) so if I've already used it - it's not available.  Lol, I guess that's why other collectors find multiples so useful!

So now it's time to put the blog away whilst I watch an episode of Walking Dead with my live-in geek; sigh yet another decision to make... doughnut or wine to go with that?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Another Girl, Another Planet

Ever since I bought small planet from another collector, I've had an earworm.

Always happy to share my thoughts, and just for you dear readers, my earworm - Another Girl, Another Planet.

Funnily enough, whilst working out how to embed (the right) video on Blogger I think I've exercised my earworm quite well, it appears to have left me.  They saying writing can be quite cathartic; apparently it works for earworms too!

So it was time to break my current bracelets up to make a new combination using planet.  I wanted a different variation of colours for this bracelet, as I find I've been favouring the same colour mixtures for a while now.

Clockwise from Swan lock: purple prism, Scorpio & Aries zodiac birthstone star, purple stripe,
small silver planet, pumpkin, Lithuania's bead, Taurus zodiac birthstone star, silver mountain,
dragon and phoenix, brown desert, Cancer & Pisces zodiac birthstone star, lake eye, Baltic gold,
angle triangles, LE jasper, Virgo zodiac birthstone star, striped pink agate, the hare and the tortoise.

I wanted to include silver mountain and the pearl zodiac birthstone star as I've not used these for a while, it's quite hard to pick up the detail of silver mountain on a camera phone but if you'll "excuse fingers" I did try to get a closer shot of the details!

L-R: Baltic Gold, lake eye, Cancer & Pisces star, brown desert, dragon and phoenix,
silver mountain, Taurus star, Lithuania's bead, pumpkin, planet.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Trollbeads on holiday

I had been pondering over what to take away with me when I went on holiday, this was my first trip abroad since collecting trollbeads and whilst I've carted my beads all over the UK, I was a bit more reticent to haul my collection on holiday with me.

I'd read some good tips from other trollies and bloggers who offered that they took a few ready made combinations for convenience, rather than make up bracelets whilst away, which made a lot of sense to me.

I had a number of worries about taking several bracelets away with me, mostly about the value of them, and whether or not I had somewhere safe to keep them when they weren't being worn.  I never wear jewellery during the day on holiday so I needed somewhere secure to store them, and in basic accommodation you're never 100% sure you'll have access to a room safety deposit box no matter what the holiday brochure says.

I also worried about simple loss or damage (insect repellent spray, being less careful when out and about) particularly regarding non-production beads or limited edition/retired beads.  Maybe, I'm just too anxious about my beads!

I decided to make up 1 bracelet which I would wear whist I was travelling, that would go with all the clothes I was taking, and to just hope that we had access to a safety deposit box at the apartment!

Easier said than done; as I hadn't actually decided on what outfits I was taking...

I decided to finish a bracelet that I'd already started, I added my 2 new silvers to the combination to make a purple, green and blue combination - and throw caution to the wind with non-production beads and limited editions (given it had several OOAKs and Baby's breath included).

Clockwise from Flower Lock: stopper, purple wave, cool dusk, OOAK budded python, whitecap,
purple armadillo, the hare and the tortoise, midnight flowers, baby's breath, flowers on indigo, happy fish,
forest flowers, forget-me-not, purple stripe, lake eye, OOAK, OOAK, purple prism

It felt like a holiday combo as it has fish, flowers, animals, whitecap and cool dusk to name a few.  Although I wouldn't want to meet a budded python ;)  I really like this one for the colours and I'm still getting over using my 3 flower glass beads as I keep saying I'm not as keen on them but I think they work really well in this combination.

Then I remembered my comments from my last holiday beads discussion that it was a shame I didn't have any pinks as I have a few pink items in my wardrobe that could have done with a pop of pink on my bracelet... given that I'd just received some pink beads I decided to see what could be done.

I choose the 4 I thought would work best, and then it was just a case of deciding where they went... I have to say that 21 beads on a 17cm bracelet is a very FULL bracelet.  I only had room to squeeze one stopper on and sometimes doing it up was a challenge, but it worked with 4 pinks and I especially wasn't going to go without a stopper or safety chain on holiday!

The combination worked really well with all my outfits, the only time I had to change it (to remove the pinks) was when I wore a skirt I'd picked up in the sales in Monsoon at the airport branch... the pinks were just too much for the dark grey with orange embroidery!

For those wondering, thankfully we did have a safety deposit box in the room!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Hare and the Tortoise - an unwrapping feature


In Triple Celebration, my third celebration hadn't yet got a bead to match - more I was pondering what bead I was going to buy to celebrate.

By this time I was also acutely conscious of just how much money I'd spent out of my bead fund, the issue being it was less "bead fund" now and more "new boiler fund" that I was spending.  So I was particularly careful with this purchase to shop around for a fab price... and that meant my first purchase from Denmark and the trollies favourite; Perlen.  When someone is after a super bargain it is often referred to as "Perlen price or below".

This was exciting enough, but equally fun was the lovely packaging...

I took out pink tissue paper, which I slowly unwrapped to find a black silky pouch... with sweets!


Yes, sweets! What a lovely touch.  They were mini slices of two different sticks of rock, beautiful detail.

Then there was more tissue paper, trollbead tissue paper no less, this was finally unfurled to reveal my  new bead...

The Hare and the Tortoise is my non-food treat and reward for achieving a weight loss of 2 stones (and a little pound) to hit a BMI target I'd been working towards for a year, my weight loss has been the result of changing to a healthier diet, with better portion control (I adore food) and a little bit of exercise thrown in for good measure.  This bead is a good representation of that journey as I was very determined to win the race with a slow and steady approach.

I also had in mind to finish the 3rd bracelet in this blog post using my Forget-me-not bead and I needed another weighty chunk of silver to balance the Forget-me-not bead.  The Hare and the Tortoise achieves this quite nicely, and at Perlen prices one can have the bead and the new boiler.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

No pinks - PINKS!

I hope you all had a lovely week or two whilst I was away sunning myself on a tiny Greek Island!

I particularly hope you had fun with the Halloween release during this time.  I confess I did pop into the Trafford Centre Beaverbrooks on the way back from the airport... but sadly they didn't have their Halloween stock in yet, so no glowing beads for me right now - although I feel honour bound to say we'd actually stopped for some food to avoid rush hour traffic... not especially to hunt for halloween beads.

For now though I want to tell you about my recent PINKS!

My first foray into pink beads started with a retired pink bud, an impulse purchase based on a good price that was just too good to resist.

So it was no surprise when my next SIX pink beads arrived in much the same fashion...

I love the agate beads and when 5 striped pink agate beads were suddenly offered at such a low price for all 5, I couldn't resist, then to make the deal even sweeter the lovely seller offered to throw in a 6th for free.  She hadn't put it up for sale because it had a tiny chip near the core, which is quite hard to see even when you're looking for it.  That's just one of the things I love about all the people I've bought from so far; the care and attention to detail they take over their beads and making sure you're happy with buying them.

So I now have 7 pink beads in total... I didn't fancy going pink all the way on my next combo, besides I was still too excited about my stars.  I combined my love of the agates and the zodiac stars and topped it all off with a nice plump 'dillo!

(This bracelet reminds me of children's sweets as it has a sugary candy like appearance)