Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Troll Date with friends - "Was she pushed or did she jump off that Bead Wagon?"

Regular readers will already be aware that I was on a self-imposed bead embargo during May and saving hard for my Troll Date on the 31st, now this date was planned long before the news of the Summer Stones release had first surfaced on the Internet.  As soon as news of the release had broken... I was hooked!

I asked the lovely Manager at Beaverbrooks if there was any chance of getting a Summer Stones Kit in for the Friday so I could see them in person and indulge my stepping off the Bead Wagon in style with something a bit special.

Not only did Beaverbrooks pull out all the stops for us, but what they had arranged exceeded all our expectations.  THREE KITS!!!

Sweets! Wine! Beads!
I arrived at the store rather later than I'd intended, and even later than I thought was possible, after my confusion over bus routes led to me being deposited the wrong end of the city centre!  Thankfully the wrong end isn't that far away so at a brisk trot I finally arrived at the shop.

I love that after the introductions by Pauline (who knew everyone in our group) and the hugs, the next thing that happened is someone gave me a glass of wine!  So with glass in hand the first surprises were brought out, little trollbead bags containing trollbead sweets for all of us!

A large bead tray was brought out, several bags of unique beads were emptied into it and so the serious shopping began.  As this was arranged as a surprise for us, I hadn't actually budgeted for any uniques, oops, my initial reservations over my potential final bill were quickly put to one side when I spotted a budded python!  The staff are getting to know my tastes, and they commented that they KNEW my first bead - the budded python had Mars written all over it!

The pile of uniques started to reduce very quickly - Photo by Shane

We all set about the dedicated business of bead choosing and started to acquire little piles.  Then the staff brought out the 3 kits of Summer Stones...  This is where I really went to town, yelling "Geronimo" as I positively leapt off that final step on my Bead Wagon.  There was most definitely no pushing, we were actually all delightfully polite and considerate to each other, and perhaps a bit enabling, a'hem.

The Summer Stones kit was most definitely my thing, and my pile grew quickly...

            Top Row: Canadian Jades                                                  Right Hand Row: Zebra Jasper and Dalmatian Jasper
            Middle Row: Rhyolites
            Bottom Row: Uniques

There are 6 Summer Stones in this newly released kit: African Amethyst, Canadian Jade, Rhyolite, and 3 Jasper beads - Zebra Jasper, Dalmatian Jasper and Red Mud Jasper.  I poured over all 6 varieties and because of the unique nature of stones they were all different.

I originally expected to be bringing home a full kit of Summer Stones, and hoped there might be an opportunity for multiples of the African Amethyst, as amethysts are a favourite of mine.  Unfortunately for me, the amethysts the shop had been given weren't the best and I decided to wait until I can find the right ones.

Conversely the Canadian Jade and Rhyolite beads were stunning, and after much deliberation, and much checking with all the others in case I was bead snatching or hogging, I came home with ALL of them.  By now it was clear to everyone I had a bit of a green thing going on as all my uniques were looking remarkably well matched with my stone selection so far!

Turning my attention to the Jaspers I found my perfect Red Mud Jasper, but (sad face) I returned it after discovering a rather unseemly crack running through it.  As these are stones, this isn't that unusual (I have a rather "attractive" chip on one of my Rhyolites), but it has to look good and work with the stone, not against it.

I also picked out my Zebra Jasper and a nice Dalmatian Jasper and I was done... or so I thought!

The communal unique pile gets smaller

I think my "green goggles" had clouded my judgement as I spotted an unusual white based unique with red/orange and purple markings (3rd/4th bead from the right in the photo above) and I wasn't the only one who went back for another pass - and as Pauline has already mentioned in her post, there really wasn't a lot left when we'd finally did finish... even then there was still a bit of "Ooh, while I think of it have you got X bead in at the moment, can I have a look?"

And we were done... or so I thought as I started to mentally tot up what I'd spent.

During the day I'd been admiring everyone else's trollbeads, and decided to try someone's XS bangle on... it did look rather nice...

...and as luck would have it there was one XS bangle available to buy in the shop, in it goes!  I fear I was getting rather reckless at this point.  Thankfully for my diminishing Boiler Fund Beaverbrooks hadn't finished with the surprises - they had arranged a very special discount for all of us who were shopping as part of the event, so my total bill wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared... plus the shop needed to shut!

So are you ready to see the full haul?  Cast your eyes on my bangled beauties below.

L-R: Sitting on my bangle, 4 uniques, stopper, 3 Canadian Jades,
stopper, Zebra Jasper, Dalmatian Jasper, 3 Rhyolites

As well as a generous discount there were goodie bags for everyone with lovely Trollbeads paraphernalia for us, and added as an extra, a pair of jewellery gloves!  It was finally time to say goodbye (for now) and take the infamous wrist shot synonymous with Troll Dates and Crawls.

Over the next few days (or probably weeks) I will blog about my bangle and beads in more detail, but first we need to tell the rest of the story of our Troll Date with friends!

Just to remind you here is that photo of all the lovely bracelets, well not quite all as someone had to take the photo (and 1 of our group had left a bit earlier on) but there were still a lot of bracelets to show off!

Troll Date wrist shot - Photo by Shane

So what's up next? It was our Cocktail Troll date with friends later that evening!


  1. You are such a great story teller and this is no exception! Love it, and your beads x

    1. Thanks Pauline, this is a story that keeps on telling... I can't quite believe how much we all squeezed in to one weekend!

      I love the photo of my beads on the bangle, still can't get over how fabulous those Canadian Jades are!

    2. Absorbing, how exciting and not a wagon in sight by the time you had finished. The 'summer stones' are beautiful, but a must see before buying. Haven't had a chance yet. What a thrilling weekend with like-minded buddies. x

  2. Absolutely spot on Kay, the Wagons had circled and then left quietly seeing that all was lost...

    The Summer Stones kit is great, I'm wearing 2 of the Rhyolites today with a green unique on a bangle, very pretty! This is a definite see before you buy if you want specific examples, although I think I commented on Victoria's blog that I would have still bought blind if there was no other way, but thankfully quite a few online retailers are willing to take photos these days, especially for releases where there is such great variety.

    It was great to be able to talk Troll face to face all weekend, it's something I rarely get the opportunity to do so it was very special, plus they're a great bunch of people!

  3. Hi Mars,

    I really enjoy your blog, but this is the first time I have left a comment.

    Congratulations on managing to stay on the bead wagon for a whole month - I know how hard that is!

    I loved reading this article and Pauline's as well. It sounds like you all had a wonderful Troll date :-)

    Finally congratulations on your new additions, they all look beautiful. I bet it felt great falling off the wagon in such spectacular style :-)

    kind regards
    Debbie (a regular reader on the lovely Victoria's blog)

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Really glad you decided to comment today, thank you!

      We did have an amazing weekend, there's more to come if I ever finish pulling it all together... it was great to jump off that bead wagon and I didn't intend to do it in quite as much style as I did, but the uniques and the discount, and the stones and the lovely troll chat was just intoxicating!

      Hopefully we'll be able to finish the Troll Cocktail Date very soon!

      Thanks for reading
      Mars x


I love saying hi to people who've read my blog, or are just passing through via the A to Z, or anyone not a spam bot!

P.s. If you use an iPad/iPhone and are having trouble leaving a comment on Blogger, you might have better luck using a browser that's not the default iPad one... Then from the "Comment as" drop down menu choose Name/Url (you can leave URL field blank or add your web address) or Anonymous and (hopefully) away you go! Mars xx