Friday 29 November 2013

Amber & Blue Daisy Bracelet

I love amber and I've added a couple of great beads recently to my collection.  I decided it was time to rejig my current amber bracelet but first I needed to dismantle it and add the new beads to the pile...

My amber bracelet is one of the few bracelets I have that remains permanently made up, so taking it apart always feels a little odd.  I absolutely adore amber and these are mostly uniques, apart from a couple of the Limited Edition World Tour Amber beads, as I have 3 Baltic Gold and 1 Runes; I've not collected any of the production ambers yet.

Out of habit I started to make another all amber combo, and then stopped.

I always do this (who doesn't love an all amber bracelet) but for once I gave myself a new challenge, to finally make "that" bracelet with amber and my Daisy bead; an idea I'd had way before I ever got my first amber or my Daisy bead.

To add some spice I threw myself a curveball; I'd also acquired a new glass unique, shown above, from the recent D4E big unique sale and I was keen to use this too.

Plan B was shaping up... an amber, blue and Daisy bracelet!  I set to work!!

I had to fiddle with the placement and choice of amber beads quite a lot - my beads are mostly all different but I did want some semblance of symmetry, well as much as you can have when the beads are all different shapes, shades and sizes.

It's taken a while to get used to this bracelet as it's not one of my normal colour combinations (and I've been wearing a lot of X and my black lambskin Story bracelet recently) but after a day or two on the wrist I'm beginning to appreciate it all the more.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

New beads: Old favourites

The consequence of writing a blog is you do tend to get a bit obsessed with new things; new beads, new collections, new bracelets...  I often wonder if I didn't write Curling Stones whether I would end up with *quite* as many new beads from the latest collections?  Oh who am I kidding; of course I would... 'cos they're new and shiny!

I was on my way to see the rest of the new Christmas Collection as 2 beads in another shop window caught my eye on the way, a lovely Chakra Colours and an amazing Azure Bubbles.  I popped them on the end of my bangle to get these shots and then popped them into my bag; after paying for them of course, not in a shoplifting kind of way!

When I got home I was able to take a few more leisurely shots...

Sometimes the beads that catch your eye are old favourites; I have both these beads in my bead box and I've always intended to get multiples, but like many before me I've been somewhat waylaid by all the shiny new collections - finally I bought some old beads!

Couldn't resist a quick bangle combo with some other old favourites!

Sunday 24 November 2013

Christmas Blizzards!

The new Trollbeads Christmas Collection has been out for a while now and I've been waiting patiently for my parcels to arrive.  The bead I'd most anticipated from the new release was the Blizzard glass bead... clear glass with a little snow storm inside... and the added bonus - they glow in the dark!

I was so sure I'd like this bead that I actually ordered 3 straight away without even seeing them in real life first.

I wasn't disappointed with my decision to buy 3, in fact I can see me adding more over the years!  My blizzards don't glow half as much as my Halloween Inner Glow beads from the 2012 collection but they are very pretty au naturel.

I set out to make a Christmas Bracelet and Fantasy Necklace.  To ensure this doesn't become too cluttered I haven't shown you the bracelets & necklaces I made before I got to the final two designs!

For the bracelet having only chosen 5 silvers (4 of which are the same) I figured I'd be able to just throw this one together... 2 hours later having had these beads in literally every combination they can go in I finally sussed it out!!  The Fantasy Necklace was a less painful and less frustrating process; having tried out a few alternative colours I quickly settled on all all white, silver and pearl combo.

Being a December baby Christmas in our house doesn't actually start until a few days before the 25th... however I thought I'd blog my finished designs early for a change as last year my red and green beads arrived so late so I actually made my Christmas bracelet in January - this year I would not be thwarted so easily, although I'll admit late-November is a tad early even for the dedicated Christmas fans!

I absolutely adore my Fantasy Necklace in particular and I can assure you it won't just be for Christmas!

Friday 15 November 2013

In a Trollbeads Galaxy far far away...

I was admiring Victoria's gorgeous Night Sky bracelet last weekend and thought it was perfect timing to show you my current bangle as it's along a similar theme; it's already been tweeted and featured on my facebook page so apologies if you've seen it before!

My engraved azure and fuchsia beads had arrived just scant hours before I left for holiday last month, but in enough time to be taken with me on a bangle.  It was a busy day, beads arrived, beads to pay for, work to be done and still I hadn't finished my packing! 

It was worth making sure all my bead bills were settled before I left though because look what was waiting for me when I returned home!  My second Navy Galaxy... 

Taking a break from blogging has given me more time to actually play with my beads (and I've been pimping my bead box a la Blue Peter style) so when I finally sat down to have a good session with my beads a few weeks ago I noticed just how well the colours matched on the galaxies and the engraved azure bead.  I've used artisan stoppers as small silvers and voila!

Monday 11 November 2013

Share a Christmas Card 2013

In the 2012 Share a Christmas Card event 15,968 cards were registered with the Trollbeads official website as being received by fellow trollbead fans around the world.

2012 was also the first year I took part.  I had my own Christmas Cards made but unfortunately as they didn't arrive with me until the 27th November I had to post them without taking any photos for the blog as I was going away the following day.  This is the photo I used for my Cards in 2012...

2012 Card Photo

I won't show you which of my trollbead photos I've used this year; just in case I get to send one to a reader of Curling Stones and spoil the surprise!  Last year 7 of my 10 cards were registered on the website and I received 8 in turn, my last but one card led to this blog post which was a great story to end 2012 on! Even with 15,968 cards sent there can still be amazing co-incidences!  Greetings from 2012 can be read here and 2012 prize winners and their prizes can be seen here

The 2013 event details can be found here for anyone who wants to join in, you can preregister now and there is no cut off date for registering; you can join in at any time!  5 postal addresses will be emailed out to you on the 18th November (next Monday) if you preregister and the earlier you join in and send your cards the more chances you have to be entered for the prize draws that take place throughout December 2013.

So how does it all work? Essentially you register your details to receive 5 names and addresses from all over the world, you then send those people a Christmas Card (or a postcard) with your message and your unique Troll ID which you receive when you register.  Your name and address will be sent to 5 others who will be able to send you a card too.

Update - Trollbeads have now updated the site so you can register again (by clicking the participate button on the page) to receive another 5 addresses - 10 in total.

When that person receives your card, they will (hopefully) register your card on the website and this in turn gives you a "lottery ticket" for the draws that take place every day from 1st - 31st December 2013. When you receive a card, you in turn register their Troll ID and you can write them a greeting in return. The returned greetings and winners are also posted on the website (article updated with links as the event is now live).

It's nice to be able to read the greetings people send each other when they receive their cards and it's fun to see who has won the draws and what bead/s they are going to receive.

For me - it's my Trollbead Community Advent Calendar that lasts the full month of December!

Sunday 10 November 2013

X by Trollbeads

On launch day, back on 18th September this year, courtesy of the lovely Steffans, I received my first rubber X link...

X by Trollbeads is the bracelet concept designed by Trollbeads, taking it's inspiration from the traditional anchor chain but with a twist, you buy each link individually and assemble the whole bracelet/necklace/chain yourself to your own style and design. 
X comes in single rubber links, single and double plain bronze links, single and double plain or decorated silver links, silver links with a concept and/or glass stones and to finish your bracelet off either a silver or a bronze plain lock (bracelets can be used without a lock too).   
When I first drafted this post... I actually forgot to include the single and double plain gold X links; should your budget be able to stretch this far!!
The soon to be released (in 4 days time on the 14th November) Christmas Collection features another big Silver link XOXO (which is text speak for hugs and kisses), another silver double decorative link and a new silver lock based on the heart within link.  If you need to find a retailer you can go here, although many of the online retailers will ship globally.
All links fit together by lining up the cut out X shape in each link, you push them together and voila!  To take them apart you simply line up the X shape and pull them apart, it's a very easy system to use and get used to. 
My first single rubber X from Steffans was shortly followed by another 15, then another 3 (due to misjudging the size) and my first silver single X link, Sound Wave.

To be honest I was disappointed with the size of Sound Wave, it's actually smaller in size than the rubber links and I feel looks a little lost by itself.  Don't get me wrong I love the design, I think it's one of the nicest designs of the single links, but if I'd been able to see the size in person I wouldn't have ordered it as my first silver link.  Having seen some stock photos I think these look great when used as a connecting link for two of the bronze links!

Now I had enough links all together for a simple bracelet!

You can use X links with the locks that have been made for the new system, at a push you can actually use trollbeads original locks if you line up the X with the locking mechanism (tricky but can be done, although it does look a little odd) or like me you can opt not to use a lock at all.  I just do mine up by connecting the end links, it's a bit more fiddly but I prefer the look of this when it's on my wrist.

Before my first Sound Wave arrived with me I'd actually ordered a second one so I ended up with two of them. Not to be deterred, I really enjoyed wearing my X bracelet teamed with my Story Starter Bracelet and a variety of bangles and it was one of the bracelets I took away with me on holiday. 

Back in the UK after my holiday, when the US Trunk Shows started, I decided to go for broke and use this as an opportunity to sort out my X bracelet properly and I put in a much bigger order for more rubber links, another 2 single silver links and 4 of the double silver links.

I had great fun choosing what to buy and opted for 2 of the My Star link, Lovers Bond, Order in Chaos, Lots of Love and DNA.  When they arrived I wasn't disappointed in my choices at all, great big chunks of links and given what I now know, had I had my time over I would have chosen My Star to be my first silver X link.

My Star

Lovers Bond

Order in Chaos

Lots of Love


I set out to play and what struck me was how easy it was to quickly make and break new combinations, unlike other systems you can swap out links without having to dismantle the whole bracelet - this was my first proper play now that I had more than 2 silver links to choose from.  Below are some of the quick snaps I took to show my friends.

What I finally settled on was making 2 single bracelets to wear together, using my 2nd My Star as a dangle.

I love X by Trollbeads!

Saturday 9 November 2013


Hello world! (or readers of Curling Stones at least)

I've rather enjoyed my lazy Saturdays and weekends (and evenings) spent not at the computer nor struggling with a macro setting on my phone camera cursing poor lighting... I'd love to tell you how incredibly productive I've been whilst I've been away and all the amazing things I've managed to achieve with the extra time... really I would, but in reality I seem to have been practising for my Christmas Chill Out time... achievement unlocked!

I've tried to be really good this last month and get back on track with my bead budget but I've been seriously foiled by all the new releases and the explosion of unannounced and unpredicted limited editions from the US... perhaps I should have extended my holiday to not reading about beads either ;)

Like many a canny Trollie before me I've been waiting until the US Trunk Shows so that I could really go to town on that wonderful concept of 4th bead free, consequently I've been camped by the letterbox ever since.

Package 1 appears to be having a wander around the postal system somewhere, Packages 2, 3 & 4 combined arrived along with Package 5, what a glorious mail day that was!  Package 6 also appears to be wandering, Packages 8 & 9 are waiting for stock and Package 10 is on it's way.

To those who fear for my ancient boilers, fear not; I've actually managed this without resorting to raiding the boiler fund, and to be fair package 3 was just rubber X links so it all sounds rather more dramatic than it actually is, although I am a bit concerned for Package 1 which was ordered a good week before the rest but still hasn't arrived.

So, with this is mind I plan to take you for a wander around some of my new arrivals, and maybe some old ones that I've not yet told you about... but first that late weekend breakfast beckons!