Turtles were the most common critter when I started collecting, but "common" is a misnomer, as they were more rare at that time and therefore harder to get hold of and often accompanied by a hefty price tag on the preloved market. Roll forward by 18 months and now I could reasonably (via the Internet) pick myself up a Trollbead turtle straight from a shop and as a result they are now seen for much fairer prices on the preloved market. Currently there are turtles, fish, ladybirds/ladybugs, bees and butterflies that are becoming more readily available in a much bigger variety of colours and types.
Personally I prefer the Luccicare turtle beads, one of which featured in my first critter bracelet and was my first critter bead.
|Luccicare Turtle Bead|
Christa at Luccicare is also responsible for my second critter bead, a fish that arrived last month and went straight onto my bangle!
|Luccicare fish bead on my bangle|
The fish is a beautiful two tone orange with yellow and the background is a sparkly glitter purple and green that includes a gorgeous galaxy swirl that you can see above between 2 of the fish.
The one Trollbead critter that I have been looking for is a ladybug (or ladybird as we call them in the UK, but I've started to call them ladybugs in relation to the beads). I knew what I wanted, a red ladybug on a green background, preferably with a glitter line down the middle to denote the separate wings. I was quite happy to wait as I knew I'd eventually find the one I wanted...
|Trollbead ladybug, red glitter on green from Trollbeads Studio|
My ladybug arrived almost a month ago, and it was exactly what I wanted, so pleased with finding this one, but I had yet to use it on a bracelet! This is mostly due to it arriving on the same day as my second delivery of Summer Stones (review coming soon I promise) that have barely been off my bangles in the last few weeks.
So I now had a turtle, a fish and finally a Trollbeads critter, my ladybug.
I didn't intend to add to these anytime soon.
Famous last words.
I blame my holiday.
I'd booked a week off work, a mix of days out, new things to try, nights away and some boring domestic tasks... unbeknownst to me when I booked that particular week - it also happened to be the week of special Trollbead events, 24hr flash sales and a major retailer liquidating their entire Trollbead stock. By not having a holiday and trying to save some money by staying at home, it sincerely would have been cheaper to have booked that holiday!! Admittedly I now wouldn't have such awesome jewellery but I might have come back with a tan.
So, er, back to the story.
Goldmine Boutique held a "Critter Crawl" on their website so I thought I'd pop in for a look, it was late, I got a bit carried away... I saw a lovely yellow bee on a yellow background, bees being the other Trollbead critter that I wanted acquire. Trollbeads Bees come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes and to some extent colours, I'd not seen any artisan ones and like the ladybug I was waiting for the right one.
Goldmine's website doesn't "hold" your bead when you put it in the cart so they'd helpfully suggested buying the beads one by one to ensure you got the one you wanted. I bought Bee No.1. Then I saw another bee on a yellow background. I bought Bee No.2. By now I was wondering what I was going to do with 2 yellow beads, as I have no yellow beads at all in my collection... I know... I need more yellow beads... (it was late, I was tired, it made sense at the time). Bead No.3 was a red ladybug on yellow and Bead No.4 was it's twin. Bead No. 5 almost went into the mix too (it was the twin of my original ladybug on green) but by now I'd got a bit panicky over the cost so took it back out of my cart.
|Trollbead bees and glitter ladybugs on yellow|
When they arrived I was so pleased the yellows matched, because once each one had been "bought" and having been removed from the website it couldn't be viewed again, so each subsequent bead was bought without being able to reference the colour and I'd spent the week worrying I'd have lots of different yellow beads that just looked mismatched...
To show my friends and as a sneak preview on Twitter I put them on a bangle with my original ladybug in the middle.
|Trollbead critter bangle|
By now I had an idea of what I was going to do with them, inspired by my friend Trish who had made a magical garden bracelet with troll babies and all sorts, I wanted to make a garden bracelet with critters.
I've been fiddling with this bracelet for the last week, but have finally settled on the arrangement of beads...
|My critter garden bracelet|