Saturday 27 April 2013

Prototype Rocky Beach Kit Leather Bracelet!

Ever since I wrote a blog post for the John Greed Blogger Challenge, I've been thinking about the bracelet I wanted to make to represent a UK Winter Beach and that walk on Flamborough Head.  It's become almost a mini obsession that I keep returning to, I've wanted a Rocky Beach Kit since they were announced as part of the Spring Collection 2013, but I also wanted quite specific examples of the beads.

Then, yes, you've guessed it, a kit came along with just what I was looking for at a great price.  Even better I had the choice out of 2 examples of each bead.  Someone else had first choice of the Fossils and Pebbles beads but amazingly they chose the 2 I wouldn't have picked so I got my original choices after all - I was feeling that the fate of writing that blog post was coming to fruition.

Rocky Beach Kit L-R: Sandstone, Fossils, Stone Flower, Pebbles, Cliffs, Sand Beach.

However, don't forget about my boilers!  I was feeling rather conscious of the fact, that as much as I have a long standing running joke about these in Curling Stones, that perhaps I should cut back on my jewellery spending so I can save up a bit more towards replacing my dear old wrecks.  Obviously the bracelet I have planned from the original post does involve buying a lot more new beads in addition to another bracelet and lock, but along came fate again with one of the new 2 toned leather bracelets from the same collection, barely preloved, in a sage green and blue, perfect for a "prototype interim new boiler friendly" Winter Beach Bracelet until I could afford all my new beads, bracelet and lock!

I chose some Organic Bubbles and an Azure Bubbles to go with the Rocky Beach Kit and of course Lighthouse, which I had totally forgotten I had!  This really is just a mock up bracelet as I have 2 very greeny Organic Bubbles to go with this combination but they haven't arrived yet; the blue Azure Bubbles really is too blue for a UK Winter Sea!!

Ta-daaaa! Quick prototype of my interim Winter Beach Bracelet!

Here is a reminder of the photos that have inspired this bracelet combination... just in case you haven't read the original post.  You can click on this link to see the original post in full.

I really love this bracelet and I intend to continue working on it as my finances allow; however I couldn't resist showing you this, even in it's "work in progress" stage.

Friday 26 April 2013

Pretty in Pink IV - Silver with Garnets, 3 Raspberry OOAKs, Thor's Hammer & a new bracelet design

I love Twitter, you can find me as The Trollbead Troll @TrollbeadBlog if you're so inclined...

Why the sudden declaration for Twitter?  Well it led me onto my next 2 beads... courtesy of Paul Gentile Jewellers in South Wales tweeting about their store in Cwmbran and alerting me to their sale!  I received fabulous customer service when I popped in, and I will certainly be returning next time I'm in the area as the staff were so lovely; it's great to visit a store where the staff have such a passion for Trollbeads...

Top - Thor's Hammer
Bottom - Silver with Garnets

When I returned  home from my trip a few days later, there were 3 more beads waiting for me courtesy of another favourite retailer of mine, Goldmine...  If you like a bargain you really should check out their Trunk Show which starts today and runs until the 29th April.  4 beads for the price of 3, $40 off the Aurora Bangle Limited Edition Set, the usual free bracelet with a decorative lock and a free travel case with orders over $125!

So, Silver Bead with Garnets and Thor's Hammer, combined with 3 new OOAKs from Goldmine and all of those Retired Red Pink Prisms and a new bracelet was conceived.

L-R from Lock: stopper, Retired Red Pink Prism (RRPP), Thor's Hammer, RRPP,
Raspberry and Glitter Heart OOAK, Scorpio and Aries Birthstone Star, RRPP, Raspberry Glitter Python,
Silver with Garnets, Raspberry Glitter Fern, RRPP, Scorpio and Aries Birthstone Star, Raspberry OOAK,
RRPP, Viking, Raspberry Armadillo, stopper, Freya Knot Lock.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend coming up, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for good weather for a wedding tomorrow - have a lovely day girls!  There are all the People's Bead finalists to vote for and I shall also be writing some more blog posts for the last weekend triple of April whilst trying not to spend a fortune with all these lovely tempting offers!  Have a great one folks!!

Sunday 21 April 2013

Small and Beautiful - Cream Galaxy/Cream Mercury

This bead arrived right in the middle of a blogging session one Saturday, the timing was so funny that I just had to take a photo of the lovely packaging whilst blogging...

This package had come a very long way and by way of a lovely trollfairy, who using her vast network of trollbead connections had found a Cream Galaxy/Cream Mercury bead of the small and beautiful variety in Italy.  This bead had made it's way from Italy, overland to the Netherlands, where it had been checked, photographed and wrapped up ready for it's journey to the UK.

As there were a few UK trollbead fans benefiting from this trollfairy we arranged for them to go to one destination and then out to us to help save costs on shipping, so the bead then travelled via Bristol before arriving with me at the start of my blogging session back in March!

This bead was my second most wanted after Navy Galaxy so I feel pretty lucky to have it, obviously I didn't waste much time in making a bracelet with it and a few other small and beautifuls!

L-R from lock: stopper, Turquoise Prism, Silver Mountain, Silver Trace Green - Turquoise, Waves, Teal Colourful Joy,
White, Mint and Lilac OOAK, Green Shadow, 2009 LE Chinese Silvers - Dragon, Purple OOAK,
Purple Armadillo, Purple Fusion,  World Tour Hong Kong - Dragon and Phoenix,
small and beautiful (S&B) Stepping Stones, S&B Green Ridges, S&B Koi Pond, Sparkling Star, Lake Eye,
S&B Cream Galaxy/Mercury, Green Python OOAK, stopper, Mexican Lock.

This is another bracelet I've been double stacking and this photo was taken after a lovely mini troll meet at my Local Dealers!  Tea and (chocolate covered) flapjacks anyone?

Like the last double stacked bracelet photo, this also had it's official debut on Twitter first, you can find me on Twitter @TrollbeadBlog - I tend to tweet extra photos and general rambles whilst checking out #trollbeads related news!

Saturday 20 April 2013

(My) Trollbeads White Jewellery Box

If you've read my piece on Everything But The Beads you may have noticed my shiny white jewellery box, I did promise to show you just how much it holds.  For comparison, and just because I have the photos handy, here are the before (empty box), during (full of beads with some bracelets made up) and after (many bracelets made up and a few beads left in the box) photographs.

So just to remind you, here it is lovely and empty...  The box is much smaller than a vinyl album sleeve, or for those of you under 30, it measures 8.5 inches square and 3 inches high, it also comes in a protective box which is very handy as the plastic cushioning holds beads quite nicely for bead play... or when you need to dismantle 9 bracelets to take photos of an empty Jewellery Box!

When you open the box up you have a removable tray with 3 sections, the larger one at the back will definitely hold 6 x 17cm made up bracelets snugly, the middle sections holds 3 in the same way, and the raised section holds 1.  I have to admit I have no idea why this is raised or what it's original purpose is but maybe someone will be able to tell me?

Underneath there are 10 rods to thread beads on, I find I can fit between 10-12 depending on the thickness of the beads, you also have 8 boxed compartments which are ideal for accessories or more beads!

As soon as I got the box I wasted no time at all in filling it full of beads and the bracelets I had made up at the time, I was desperate for this to arrive as my two travel cases were stuffed to the gills with beads and they kept pinging out every time I opened them, plus I had no more room for made up bracelets and I had the embarrassing issue of never being exactly sure of what beads I had to hand.  (The problem amazing result from having had such a manic collecting period over the previous few months).

So my box within an hour of it arriving...

Those of you who've been reading Curling Stones for a while know that I love to make and break up my bracelets on a regular basis and that it's quite rare for me to use all my bracelets and have them made up in semi-permanent combinations.     

However, being able to see my beads in this way really helped me to make new bracelets that I'm keeping together for longer, whether this is because I have somewhere to store them properly now without compromising bead space, or whether this is because I'm making bracelets that have a longer shelf life, or indeed, whether it's because I have more of both beads and bracelets so I can still get variety whilst I have them made up... who knows?

I showed my friends some before and after photos of my bead box and this is what it looked like last month...

If you're wondering why the photos don't match up so nicely as comparison shots it's because I don't always  plan out blog articles, my blog often tells the stories that I've already told my friends, the photos I take on my phone as and when I do this, individual moments in time but unless I've already had the idea for the blog I don't always remember to take photos in the "best way" for the article.

The sharp eyed amongst you will realise that this was before I'd cracked my Blue Galaxy Bracelet which was still a work in progress at this stage and it was also before Easter and my Easter Swap Bracelet was made!

As I'm looking at the box now, the worrying thing is how quickly it can fill up even with all the bracelets made up... oops!

Friday 19 April 2013

There be Dragons!

I've always admired the set of silvers referred to as the 2009 LE Chinese Silvers, Charms Addict did a lovely piece here as indeed did Endangered Trolls, which can be found here.  I never thought I'd ever come across any of them though at an affordable price, or indeed in time to buy one as they get snapped up very quickly as they are highly regarded across the general Trollbeads Community as a superior set of silvers.

I think if I had been collecting at the stage I'm at now, and they released this bracelet I would have been highly tempted to splurge out on all of them!

Fast forward however to 2013 and I was browsing some private listings and saw Dragon available, I kept going back to look at the bead as I was trying to cut down on my buying at the time, but after leaving it for a day and it still being available I couldn't resist any longer.  Having now seen it in real life; I can say for certain that if I see any more from this set at a reasonable price I shall be buying them whatever condition my ageing boilers happen to be in at the time.

LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon

LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon

I've put together all my dragon beads for comparison, although technically Lucky Dragon is more of a Wyvern as he only has 2 legs but as my first ever trollbead he's one of my favourites however he's named.

L-R: LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon, World Tour Hong Kong - Dragon and Phoenix
Happy Dragon, Lucky Dragon (my first ever trollbead)

L-R: Lucky Dragon, Happy Dragon, Dragon and Phoenix, LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon.

L-R: Lucky Dragon, Happy Dragon, Dragon and Phoenix, LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon.

L-R: Lucky Dragon, Happy Dragon, Dragon and Phoenix, LE 2009 Chinese Silvers - Dragon.

I'd really like the rest of the Dragon beads from the Troll Collection, and after seeing Naughty Dragon on a friend's necklace I want him even more... and he's most definitely a him!

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Pretty in Pink III - Retired Red Pink Prism, the sequel!

So I had 2 retired red pink prisms but they were very different...

So when I saw another preloved with great definition and a great price I thought it was time for 2 to become 3!

Okay I might have a touch of multiples disease now... this is the first time I've had 3 beads the same, only that's the point they're not quite the same, one would think that 3 is a good place to stop, I've always liked 3 as a number...

Only I, er, didn't, 5 is such a good number don't you think?

This is a good photo as it shows the variety and the depth of the pink in this particular prism, the only remaining question is will I stop at 5... 7 is such a good number don't you think?

Sunday 14 April 2013

Small and Beautiful - Blue Galaxy Bracelet

So, I was on a roll making new bracelets and today was the day to use another small and beautiful bead, Blue Galaxy.  Now in comparison with Navy Galaxy, Blue Galaxy was much easier to find at retail price, but much harder to match into a bracelet, but the nicest kind of problem to have in case you think I'm complaining!

L-R: Clear Blue Bubbles, LE World Tour Hong Kong - Skyline, Blue Galaxy, Milky Way, Azure Bubbles, Cool Dusk

I tried matching the bead up with other production blues, but found that it's slightly off colour to anything I currently own and nothing was quite working... cue another sale and an opportunity to pick up Denim Prism, shown below with all my other prisms, 3rd from the left.

L-R: Turquoise Prism, Light Turquoise Prism, Denim Prism, Red Prism, Bright Red Prism,
Retired Red Pink Prism x 3, Purple Prism, Retired Pink Prism x 2,
Lavender Prism, (Current Production) Pink Prism

So after a few false starts I finally got there by starting off with that timely Denim Prism, and alternating silvers, blues and purples.  I find a glass/silver alternating pattern works well to both highlight individual beads in addition to getting around that not quite matching with anything issue!

L-R from lock: stopper, Denim Prism, Happy Fish, S&B Blue Galaxy, Penguin & Baby, Purple Wave, Endless,
Light Turquoise Prism, Porcupine, Milky Way, Hare and the Tortoise, Turquoise Stripe, Snowball,
Whirling Adventure, Midgard Serpent, LE Hong Kong Skyline, Happy Dragon, Striped Turquoise Agate,
Angles Tip, S&B Light Blue Stripes, stopper, Swan Lock.

Bracelet has been worn on it's own, but I also tweeted a photo when I wore this double stacked with Wisdom and got some great feedback via Twitter.

If you want to follow me on Twitter you can find me at @TrollbeadBlog.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Ruby Rock

Ruby Rock was a bead released as part of the Mother's Day Collection of 3 beads on 1st March in the UK.

By coincidence I happened to pop into my Local Dealers (LD) on the day, and was disappointed to find that they were only carrying the 2 silver beads in the release and not Ruby Rock, which is the bead I was so excited about coming out.

Since writing my New Year's Bead Resolutions down for all to see, I've been focusing on what I want to achieve for myself, so regular readers will have noticed I've concentrated far less on the new releases, (as there are some great reviewing bloggers out there who are covering all of this so amazingly), and much more on my personal collecting habits.

Ruby Rock is a bead with multiple variations, I love stone type rocks and probably should have added my unspoken resolution to the official list, that I wanted to also start collecting the stones this year.  So far I've only bought Labradorite in the sales but Ruby Rock was most certainly next on my list - had my LD had any in that day there's a fair chance I would have come out with more than 1 as they are all quite different.

I, unlike many of my fellow collectors who are looking for very pinky stones, was looking for a mottled grey with hints of pink and purple to start with... as I had an idea of what I wanted to do with my first one.

I approached a retailer who I knew was happy to photograph individual stones and after describing what I was looking for they sent me front and back shots of 5 stones.  I quickly narrowed this down to 2 and after about an hour of deliberating chose 1.

I also picked up a lovely purple OOAK with swirly spots that I'd had on hold with them for a couple of weeks, I love Goldmine as they are so accommodating to their customers!  Be prepared for lots of photos whilst I show you the different aspects of it.

I made two bracelets with Ruby Rock as it came 2 days after my Chess Lock had arrived.  The first leather bracelet, the way of wearing the lock at the front was shamelessly copied from Mike Nand after seeing his Peacock Bracelet when he got his Chess Lock... yes we are so into our trollbeads we show each other photos as and when we get new goodies!  Now Mike has blogged his Peacock Bead I feel comfortable in showing you my copied front Chess Lock look!

However what I really wanted to do with Ruby Rock was add it to another bracelet I've already shown you and pair it with my other stone!

I've been good in one aspect that I've only bought 1 so far... but I'd watch this space!

Friday 12 April 2013

One more little star... and ta-daaaaa!

No. 2 from my New Year's Bead Resolutions was to pick up multiples of the birthstone zodiac stars whilst there were still some available to find.  I have to say that this has been one of my best ideas yet; I've used so many of these stars as multiples on bracelets that I really do wonder how I managed without them!

I had one more star left to find to make up my second set, it was Leo, and I didn't actually find it, my dear troll friend who send me the lovely liquorice and Scottish tea-time recipe book found this one.  So my last star was sent to me by a friend, a lovely way to complete my second set of stars.  Fitting that it was the orange one as that is her favourite colour too!

So that is the second set complete, I really do love this set of silver beads... twice over!