Thursday, 30 August 2012

The People's Bead 2012 Spiritual Collection

The people's bead is a competition for anyone to design a bead, and the winner, or in the case of 2012, winners, get to have their bead made by Trollbeads and released for sale.  Trollbeads UK posted a blog piece about the individual past winners which sets the background to the concept.  To read about the 2012 People's Bead results then I'd point you to Trollbeads Universe who have presented a great feature of  2012 winners showcasing both the designers and their designs.  For this year the winners beads, as voted by fellow fans, form an entire collection based around Spirituality.

So, what to get? My first choice of bead was always going to be the Chakra Colours, I loved it as soon as I saw the photos on release day.  I had been making good use of the Lithuania Bead from the World Tour Collection and Chakra Colours reminded me of this.  When it arrived, literally minutes before we were about to go on holiday (and 2 hours after we should have left), it looked like an 80's UV paint explosion all contained in a single bead!  The photos below show just how much colour is contained in this one bead.

My second bead choice was Happy Dragon, this is a double headed bead, he's the same both way round so if he spins on the bracelet he still has a face on the other side.  I have always had a particular fondness for dragons so if there is a dragon in a new collection there's a good chance that this will be one of the beads I desire.  As we were literally heading out the door just as soon as I'd ripped the packaging apart, and I'd already packed for our journey, I carefully wrapped these two beads up and secured them safely in my purse so that I could take them on holiday with me. Ironically it wasn't until we got back from holiday that I had the chance to make these into a new bracelet, what with being sidetracked by my unexpected discoveries in the Beaverbrook's Cribbs Causeway Store!

Incidentally the Chakra Colours in the shop were "neater" than the example I have; I think this is one bead I'm always going to be checking out as I think there will be a lot of variation between the beads. It's certainly one I'll be considering buying multiple beads of.

So, how to make best use of my first bracelet using these two beads?  I'd only just made up my purple/blue, green and silver combo and I wasn't ready to break that one up yet; I really need to consider getting another silver bracelet as I've now got too many (scrub that sentence, there can't be too many) just enough beads to warrant splashing out on another chain, however remembering that I'm supposed to be waiting until my next salary payment in September I'd better push that thought to one side for now!!

So if I wasn't ready to break up my new combo - then it had to be a leather combination.  One of the nice things about my leather bracelet is that with natural wear the leather stretches out (so it's worth ensuring you buy the smallest size that fits) so I can now get more beads comfortably on there, when I started I could fit 3-4 at a push, now I can happily wear 7.  So which 5 beads to put with these 2?  I looked in my whole collection for some bright colours to combine them with, and the result is below... along with some of the beads that didn't make the bracelet this time around.

Making up this leather bracelet really made me wish I had 2 locks so I could wear both of my bracelets together, (*stamps on willpower and tells it to get a backbone* must remember to resist until September!) and although it is an explosion of trollbeads I think I would definitely rock this look!

Okay, maybe it is a bit much, such fabulous colours though.  I love the rich tones in my current silver bracelet combo and think the leather and the beads on this one compliment the choices magnificently.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Guest Spot: Pauline

I discovered Pauline and her treasure trove of beads on the My Trollbead's facebook page.

I was immediately drawn to both her lovely beads and the stunning way that she displays them; it was the photo below of some of her amber beads that made me pluck up the courage to ask her if she'd consider writing and photographing the second Guest Spot of the blog.  Much to my delight she agreed, and here she is!

"My name is Pauline and I first started collecting trollbeads around September 2009.  My husband was looking to buy me some jewellery for my birthday and my local Beaverbrooks had just started stocking them.  Well from the moment I saw them I was hooked.  That day I came away with a bracelet, dichroic flower lock, the now retired brown kit, chocolate parrot, silver Buddha, Indian elephant and koala!  Quite a haul, but my lovely husband decided that I was not allowed to have them all, he was going to put some away for Christmas.

I then begain to search on the web for anything I could find out about troll and stumbled on upon the website which allowed me to follow them on facebook.  At this point I was buying a couple of beads per month, and my collection was growing quite nicely.  From finding that site, it led me to the facebook page "My Trollbeads" and indeed facebook pages all over the world, i.e. trollbeads the official page and trollbeads Australia.  Just seeing other peoples collection inspired me so much.  I didn't really contribute much to these pages at first; it was just enough for me to browse and wonder at so many great beads.

In December of 2011, I noticed that another trollbeads site, had a project going to get people all over the world to send Christmas cards to each other; I was just too late to enter as you had to subscribe by the end of October.  Basically you emailed your address, got up to 10 other peoples addresses and sent them a Christmas card, when you received a card you emailed the site and yours and the senders name was placed in a draw and everyday from the 1st to the 31st December a name was picked out to win a bead.  Some won just production beads, some won gold beads!  Wow, it was then I realised what a community troll collectors really are, the warmth displayed in those Christmas cards was amazing.

 I also entered the peoples bead competition, but sadly did not make it through to the top 100, but I will have a go again next year!  I started to submit more photos on the facebook pages and began to receive lovely comments on my designs!  When Troll released the world tour beads, I was desperate to get my hands on some of the beads that were not available in the UK, so because of the people I met on the facebook pages, I just posted a status on the US and Australia sites asking for a "troll fairy" to purchase these beads and I would get them a UK bead in return.  It paid off, and I have 2 fabulous facebook friends, one in Hawaii and one in Australia.  We have continued to be friends since the swap.  At the time it didn't occur to me to think they would be untrustworthy and not send a bead to me after I had bought and paid for one for them.  That is the nature of Troll addicts... we really are a little community.

In February 2012 I found the most amazing site, and this is where I found some amazing people, with some outstanding collections, AND they could take some truly amazing photos.  My little point and shoot camera really wouldn't cut the mustard, so after much pleading, and a little blackmail, haha, I finally persuaded my husband that he really needed a decent camera.  Hence my new hobby... photography, BUT only of trollbeads.  Now I feel I can capture the beauty of my beads perfectly.  After all, they are all individual works of art.

Since joining the forum I have met so many fabulous and warmhearted people, people who will bend over backwards to help you get the bead you really need but can't find.  Be it a specific unique, or a retired bead, or simply beads that are generally harder to find in the UK.  My latest beads have come from a special lady from the USA who knowing I was looking for specific ambers, was going to a "trunk show" as they call them in the States, and spent time and effort looking for specific coloured ones and ones that had some beautiful inclusions, and didn't want paying until she had secured the exact beads she thought I would like.

As my collection grows I find I have bracelets that reflect moods or seasons, I have family bracelets representing my family, in particular my two new lovely grandsons, bracelets I wear in summer, or Christmas and even a Halloween themed bracelet.  One of my favourites is the all white and silver bracelet pictured above; perfect for winter or even a wedding.

Well this is MY story... hope I have inspired you to start yours!!


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Do you believe in Fate? (It's a small world)

Today I've been enjoying another day off whilst recovering from our time away in Wales and Devon; I like to blog with a coffee and this was the inspiration for showcasing my finished bracelet and my new beads... featuring my funky flower cup which is made of fine bone china and just the perfect way to start a blog post.


I enjoy reading about trollbeads and particularly what other people do with them; last month I enjoyed a blog post (below) from the official Trollbeads site about a group of Beaverbrooks staff who visited Trollbeads HQ and what they did there.

A few weeks later this led me to another new blogger, Michael Nand, who was one of the staff who took part in the visit, I found his blog through twitter and an old tweet from @mytrollbeads leading me to  I've enjoyed following Mike's blog so far and in particular loved this favourite post where I had to comment and tell him how much I appreciated the piece.

At the time I thought nothing more of it, I bookmarked the site so I could go back to it later and carried on blogging and getting ready for our trip away.

Our trip consisted of lots of travelling about, catching up with friends all over Wales, saying Bon Voyage to mates who are moving to Canada, long walks, city breaks, lunch on rooftop terraced restaurants, chilled out countryside calm and feisty festival frolics (in the mud and sunshine)... so on our return trip back to Yorkshire it was fair to say I had a case of "festival brain".  Which basically means I wasn't thinking straight or yet capable of joining up the dots.

My live-in geek wanted to shop for something called an "insert relative geek name in here" thingymajig to do musically related stuff on his iPad, and enquired if I fancied a stop at Cribbs Causeway, which always makes me think it should be a wooden sea structure in Ireland (I think this even when I don't have festival brain).  I had no idea where or what it was but agreed thinking I could catch a snooze whilst he went and looked at tech.  It was a very hot day and I didn't really want to stay in the car but we were loaded up with kit post festival so we didn't fancy leaving it unattended.

Whilst I melted in the car outside the shopping centre, (apparently it's not a wooden sea structure in Ireland), he went to the Apple shop.  Some time later he came out and just as I'd started up the engine he mentioned there was a Beaverbrooks inside with a trollbead section... I was very hot and longed for the air conditioning to be on again, however I just couldn't resist having a peek!

I started looking at beads and was asked by a lovely lady (whose name escapes me because I had festival brain) if I needed any help, we chatted for a while as I was browsing and I was impressed by her knowledge of beads on my current bracelet.  It's always nice to talk to staff who are into Trollbeads and who have good knowledge of the product, and she tactfully left me to browse in peace as I was looking through their lovely selection of glass beads, a few of which caught my eye.

Another member of staff, called Adam, came to chat a little later.  It was whilst talking to Adam (again festival brain but his name was on my subsequent till receipt), he told me how much he loved trollbeads but forgot to wear his bracelet that morning and that he'd recently been to Trollbeads HQ... as the festival brain fog started to clear slightly, I said "Really? I've just read about that!" whilst he went on to explain that 6 staff  had gone from this particular branch... neurons fired all over the place and I (half) realised where I was.  At this point I got a bit excited about where I was and looked at the store again, further into the conversation as he was saying who exactly had gone to Trollbeads HQ, a whole shower of pennies started to drop when I realised that the blog I'd enjoyed reading, was written by another member of staff from the store, and that the post I'd commented on was based on some of the staff I was seeing there.

I'm not sure I made much sense after this as excited Mars + festival brain + trollbeads = babble!

I did however muster myself together enough to buy 3 new beads.   A big fat juicy green armadillo was the first bead to catch my eye, it was very plump and a lovely green colour.  Perfect for the dress I had worn on Sunday at the festival!

Normally I'm not a big fan of the flower beads, (although I have two already) but the flowers on indigo was just perfect and I couldn't stop looking at it; being drawn to a particular bead I find is a good way to make a decision on whether or not to take it home.

Finally my third choice was a purple wave, I've not bought any of the wave beads yet, and it was on my wish list as I was looking for more purple beads to add to my collection.  Selection made, I left behind a lovely Golden Cave that had some very pink tones in it and a fair few others I would have been equally as happy with.

Today with my coffee in my funky flower cup, I made a lovely purple/blue, green and silver bracelet to wear for the day.  Whilst I was writing this piece and cross referencing my sources I also realised that I'd +1'd Michael's post on Google choosing the very image that Michael had taken of one of his creations that made use of the Green Armadillo above... now how's that for fate!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Autumn Collection 2012 & Wish Lists

Today Trollbeads released their Autumn Collection; I confess I'd already had a sneaky peak via so I knew what to expect, but it was still exciting to see the collection go live!

Unfortunately for me my recent cash splurges mean I need to abstain from any purchases this month despite getting paid today, (yeah right we'll see how long this lasts), as I'd already given in to temptation when the People's Bead Spiritual Collection came out earlier this month (to be blogged), and again whilst we were on holiday (tomorrow's blog post).

This self imposed delay has however prompted me to organise a Wish List especially for this collection.

I've marked those I'd like most, and surprisingly it comes to a nice round 10 beads, just 1 silver this time and 9 of the glass beads.  I don't think I've wanted so many beads from just one collection before... oh wait yes I have, after purchasing 4 beads from the World Tour Collection I still have 10 I wish to collect, mostly silvers this time.

I think I need a pay rise.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Festival Beads

So last weekend saw me in a (muddy) field enjoying the delights of Beautiful Days, a festival by The Levellers, set in the surrounds of Escot Park.  For me this has been an annual treat for the last 7 years and this was my 8th festival in this little patch of Devon.  2012 was also the 10th Anniversary of the festival.

Although I wouldn't wear my trollbeads normally under such circumstances (too scared of losing or damaging them and never being able to recover them again in sloppy mud!) I did choose the bracelet I would have worn, from the comfort of my B&B bedroom and away from the fray of the field...

I did look for trollbeads whilst I was there as I had the idea of showcasing a collection of festival bracelets worn by others, but if there were any fellow fans we probably all shared the same caution... in hindsight (a wonderful thing) I should have taken shots of the wonderful beads and bracelets that were on show for a rare non Trollbead related blog post.  Maybe next year?

Friday's beads ~ Friday was the day after it had rained incessantly all through Thursday night (we went to the pub rather than on site) and we awoke to more rain; it was a very damp day!  So I chose a very bright and cheerful pink, red and green dress.  My lovely green ooak made an appearance on all 3 days, mostly because it matched beautifully with my wellies!  The sun made a late appearance and we all were a bit red after Day 1, with some folk managing to match the colour of their wrist bands.

Saturday's beads ~ I realised that I don't have any pinks in my collection of trollbeads which is a shame as Saturday's outfit of pinks and purples really could have done with some... so instead I chose to complement the bit of blue in my outfit with turquoise and some more green (to match my wellies). Luckily on Saturday, although there was still a lot of mud underfoot we were blessed with more sunshine!

Sunday's beads ~ Must have been loving my wellies on Sunday as I decided to go with a pale green dress to match!  I reused some of yesterday's beads and added a few bubbles into the mix along with Silver Mountain.  The mud was really drying out today but still sticky in places and we did have a few showers.

My bead choices are often limited as I can't get some of my beads onto my leather bracelet as the metal ends are too fat (or my beads are too skinny in the middle)... one of the 2 smaller ends is also bigger than the other just to confuse things.  I had a few unsettling moments trying to get one of the bubbles off this bracelet when I changed it again to try on some new beads found in Bristol on the way back from the festival (but that's a whole new blog post).

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Holiday Bracelet Challenge

This time last week, during our holiday, we decided to go for a walk whilst the sun was shining and there might still be a chance of seeing pretty scenery before the weather changed for the rest of the week.

Our walk took us up through country lanes, leafy woods, conserved canals, chapels, churches, under and over bridges spanning both water and rail and past sleepy houses in the summer sun.

My bracelet choice and challenge for the day was to incorporate my dragon/phoenix bead as I was staying in my childhood home and lucky dragon as I was about to visit my friend Emz, along with the as yet unworn beads that were part of the bead haul from my bargain hunt.

Normally all photos relate to the beads that I've been blogging about but last week I thought it would be nice to include some shots from my camera phone along our walk... there would have been a lovely photo of a heron but it took off too fast to capture a shot!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Guest Spot: Emz Cariad

I asked the lovely Emz if she would tell us the story of her bracelet, in her own words and her own photos.

As the friend who got me started (Where it all began!) it seemed appropriate to grant her the first, of what I hope will be many more Guest Spots!

"Well, my Trollbead journey began when my friend Karin mentioned them to me. I had told her that an ex pupil at the school where I used to work, had arranged a collection for me when she found out I had cancer, and asked me what they should buy.

Karin immediately suggested a Trollbead bracelet! I mentioned it to Molly and her mum, my friend Sascha, and the kids bought the bracelet and a basic clasp, and Sascha and Molly bought me a bead to go on it too! The thing about Trollbead bracelets is that the bracelet itself is gorgeous, even without any beads!

As I have told Molly, she started something special when she organised that collection for me. Actually, just DOING that collection was so very special!

The bracelet and the trollbead mean such a lot to me. I have told everyone the story of how the fact that a bunch of teenagers, who always get a bad press, donated money to save up for a gift for me, and I KNEW they were all brilliant, in spite of the grumps and the glares, and because more than that, I remember the smiles and the laughs and the whispers and the fun we had in the classroom, and that bead reminds me of a bunch of bloody lovely kids each time I look at it.

So, what was the bead? A Turquoise Ribbon, of which £3 goes to Cancer Research. Gorgeous swirls, and little did I know that nearly a year later, we'd be raising money for the same charity in the Race for Life!

And so more of my friends started buying me beads, and my family too, and each one is therefore is special, because each one has a connection, and a story of its own, and they all gave me strength to keep fighting, because it made me realise that I was loved, and people wanted me to stay around!

And I think it helped people, because they couldn't always help me, physically or mentally, because some live miles away, some live abroad, or some maybe couldn't communicate or express what they wanted to say, but they had a way of showing me they were around, and were thinking of me.

Of course, friends who live closer to me helped out in many ways, babysitting or cooking or just hugging, and my bonkers but gorgeous family did so much for me too. But the Trollbeads appeal to so many it seems, and because people knew I loved them, it gave them a way of showing support and having some fun too!  I also started a journal of my cancer journey, which really helped, getting it all out of my system, and having something to look back on, because we don't always remember everything... and I have mentioned them in there sometimes too!

As a result of my journal/blog, I soon had a 2nd bead - Fantasy Elf, from Tiina in Luxembourg.  Wow!  Officially, he's supposed to sit on a Trollbead necklace, but until I've saved for one of those, he's helping look after my bracelet ;) 3rd - Cells (also mean "infinite possibilities") as a surprise gift from Karin when all we were supposed to be doing was having a coffee and window shopping for shiny things! Appropriate, as I had 'bad cells' as I had described it to my youngest (7 yrs), AND, I focused on my options being infinite, and positive!

4th bead, an Xmas pressie to myself - Rainbow - another positive good omen I felt.  For Xmas (5th and 6th), my mother and stepfather gave me the gorgeous Silver Trace, Green - Turquoise, very pretty, and later that day I had the Belly Chakra from my father and stepmum.  I felt very spoilt!  Then a Lucky Knot (7) from Louisa! I am hoping to collect all the silver knots, so this was a great start!! By then, I had to replace the clasp: basic ones cannot hold the weight of many beads, and I was intending to eventually fill up the bracelet so I just *had* to treat myself to a new clasp... I chose the Troll Tree :) 

Next was #8 ... Purple Flower from Michelle, who wanted to give me a gift to say sorry for living too far away basically! Bless! Number 9 & 10 arrived again from Luxembourg!!  Capricorn goat (something about being stubborn eh? haha!) and a beautiful amber, Maple Syrup.

Then Jo held a 'pre-transplant' knees-up for me, and the mums from Cwmdu school gave me a Throat Chakra, (11) which was lovely, and Jo gave me Three Siblings (12), another I had on my 'wish list', and obviously appropriate as I have 3 daughters, about whom I was really worried before I went in for the stem cell procedure... as an early Mother's Day pressie, prior to admission (I would be in for Mother's Day), my eldest gave me my 13th (lucky for some!!) Hugging Heart ... so very touching and a special bead for me.

Then I had my birthday party/festival (another story for another time!) and it seems my friends, prompted by Mars, had conspired to buy me 3 beads!!  The very cute Crab (I am Cancerian), Three in One (another knot!) and Organic Hearts - Mars says they chose that because I am surrounded  by love *gulp*.  And on the same birthday, Mike and Trish bought me Iron Wolf, another stunner! 17 beads in a much faster time than I had expected.  Feeling very spoiled indeed, and then Mars sends me links for a stockist with a huge sale on, and 2 more of my wish list are in it!  Thankfully I had just been paid haha!  So I *had* to get them both... Pumpkin because it's a stunning colour... reminds me of sunsets and Autumn which I love, and Green Eye which is the Eye of Protection... I think this is relevant in this stage of remission! 

Here's to continuing the Trollbead adventure, and keeping cancer's arse well and truly kicked!"

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Buying beads for other people

After several months of indulging myself in a most sumptuous manner it was time to turn my attention to an important friend in my life.

Emz had a birthday coming up and I *really* wanted to buy her a Trollbead (or two) for her birthday, I had lots of ideas and probably not enough budget to provide the glass and silver shower I'd give her if money was no object!

Emz is the friend who introduced me to the world of Trollbeads and if you've read The Beginning and My First Purchase you'll have an inkling of why it meant so much for me to do this; I really wanted to spoil her for her birthday as she'd just had the most fabulous news in her battle with cancer.

Therein a plan formed, we started a Trollbead kitty and although I had to ask her for her Wish List, the rest would remain a surprise.

Trollbeads UK have organised their site very well and if you register you can start to create your own Wish List which you can send to people who'd like to buy you a Trollbead, or to keep a list of beads that you wish for.  You can email people a link and it updates with "live" info every time you make a change.

Info on this can be found here How to start your wish list - armed with this your present buying days are just limited to your budget and what you want to say.  When I started collecting beads, I think some of my family breathed a sigh of relief that they will always have something they can buy me now! (If I don't buy them all myself first!)

Example of a Wish List 1               Example of a Wish List 2      

So the plan worked really well, the hardest and most pleasurable part was choosing the beads, I also liaised with those who were buying "off list" to make sure we didn't double up and probably surprised a friend by getting so uber excited that she'd managed to buy a World Troll Bead by chance... on the first day they were available!

So what did we get?  Well I won't spoil the surprise as Emz is preparing the very first Guest Spot on my blog to not only tell you all about it but to also tell you the story of her first bracelet.

COMING SOON: Guest Spot ~ Emz Cariad

Friday, 10 August 2012

Purple Flower Mosaic

"Every single bead has its own character.  Each one a separate piece of an exquisite Persian flower mosiac cast in purple with a shiny shadow of diachronic glass" is how this bead is described officially.

It's certainly an unusual bead; it has what almost looks like 3 gaps in the pattern which shimmer in different colours, mine has pinky/purple, gold and yellow/green in each of the 3 sparkly bits - you can see 2 of these 3 in the following photos.

When it arrived I was a little unsure, I was still contemplating it some time later when I started trying it out with other beads... that's when it all made sense.  It plays nicely with my green ooak and compliments my purple prism just right.

Fresh with the arrival of my bargain beads (see previous post) I decided to break up my current bracelet and try a more colourful combination.  I'm rather pleased with the results and I've been able to use some of my favourite silvers with a greater splash of colour today.

Clockwise from Lock: silver stopper, golden cave, ooak, baltic gold, bead of fortune, purple armadillo,
purple prism, purple flower mosaic, lucky dragon, ooak, lilac edge, lake eye, virgo, red symmetry,
lithuania bead, pumpkin, silver stopper, lace lock.

Bead of Fortune in more detail

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Hunting for bargains

One of things I get excited about is the opportunity to add to my collection at a bargain price and thereby increase my options on finished bracelets; previously I told you all about my excitement when Agate Bead Sets were officially reduced by 40% - still my greatest bargain to date!

I also always make use of loyalty points, online discounts (usually 5-10%) and anything else that helps me grow my collection.

Recently I've been having a bit of a run with the bargains and have added another 8 beads... with discounts between 25 - 30% off and I've bagged myself a few retired/limited stock beads in the process.  Happy Mars!

First came an online bargain, 4 beads with 30% off

Top left: Lilac Edge, Top right: Pumpkin, Bottom Left: Virgo, Bottom Right: Red Symmetry

I love how some beads are different to how you expect.  I'd originally chosen Red Symmetry because I wanted to add to my red beads, whereas in reality it's a lovely but more orangy/red bead, Pumpkin I chose because of it's lovely orangy brown tones yet in reality it has some beautiful deep reds too.  With Lilac Edge I wanted a bead that would span both purple and red, whereas it has an almost oil painting like quality with added orange in the palette.

Virgo I'd had my eye on for a while, as well as a beautiful silver bead with a bead mounted on it, my Dad is a Virgo and I wanted a Dad bead to go with my "Father-in-Law" bead.

Again in the online bargains came a long time favourite from my wish list, 25% off this time, Clear Blue Bubbles!

The final 3 beads (for now... their sale goes on throughout August) were purchased today.  Whilst on a rare visit to town for a festival at the weekend, I was walking through one of the little arcades and spotted a handwritten small sign saying Trollbeads - 25% off!  I didn't even know the shop was there!!  It took me less than 3 days to visit to check it out... it would have been sooner but I've been working away from home for 2 days and they don't open on a Sunday ;)

L-R: Brown Desert, Purple Stripes, Blue Goldstone 

I've told my friends about my bargains and 2 beads have been purchased by others, and I've just received a Wish List from a friend with priorities and a budget so I'm off back to shop on her behalf as she doesn't live up this end of the country.

Hmmm now if only someone would pay me to become a personal bead shopper!

Friday, 3 August 2012

World Tour Global Launch (and prisms and armadillos)

1 short day, (unfortunately not one long month filled with another pay packet) after ordering my June treat, Trollbeads launched their World Tour Global Launch...

Previously World Tour beads (a set of 4 beads that are a collection representing a particular country) were only available in the country of origin.  For a limited period from 15th June 2012 Trollbeads were allowing you to buy these beads in the UK.

I *had* to have my top favourites at all costs (apparently at all costs in our house means using some of your saved up for holiday funds) before the beads disappeared.

I chose my top 4, 3 came from the Lithuania collection and 1 from the Hong Kong collection.  There are others that I want but I still wanted to go on holiday later in the year!

I put these together in a finished bracelet that has been one of my favourite combinations to date, and shows off some of my lovely ooaks along with my July treat which was my foray into purples, prisms and armadillos with purple prism and purple armadillo.

World Tour beads are highlighted.  Anti-clockwise from lock: silver stopper, turquoise striped agate, ooak,
turquoise striped agate, lucky knot, whitecap, cells, lake eye, Lithuania's Bead (a lovely glass bead
representingthe national flag), Baltic Gold (my very first Amber from the Lithuania World Tour Collection),
Dragon and Phoenix (my Hong Kong bead, which is a silver carved phoenix and dragon,
bought because I grew up in Phoenix Cottage in Wales), purple armadillo, purple prism, ooak,
 Mushrooms Family (from the Lithuania World Tour Collection),
milky way, endless, turquoise agate, ooak, turquoise agate, silver stopper, lace lock.

Better detailing on the silver mushroom bead in this photo.
Purple armadillo and purple prism are nestled inbetween, along with 1 of 3 ooaks in this bracelet.

June's treat! (or so I thought)

In order to try and get my collecting under some kind of financial control I decided to try and limit myself to one order per month.  June saw me ordering 2 more silvers off my wish list.  Little did I know that Trollbeads were about to announce something BIG that was going to see this resolution broken almost immediately...

Silver Endless
The Midgard Serpent

Silver Endless is a darker matt silver (I'm not sure of the technical term) and one of the first of these kinds of silver beads I have; I'd really like to add some of the others to my collection in the future.

2 part beads

One of the beads I'd checked out in person during the great hunt for a leather bracelet was Bead of Fortune and this is the first of my 2 part beads.  I love this bead, it's so well designed the way each element fits with each element on it's other half and I really love the skull!

Now that I have enough silvers to do a glass/silver alternating bracelet this was my first combination once I'd broken up my agate/silver one I wore on my wedding anniversary.

Finished bracelet showing my Bead of Fortune silver bead