Sunday, 27 January 2013

Photos and bracelets that didn't make the blog (first time around)

Now I've shown you my favourite five, I thought I'd share some things I've played around with that didn't quite make it, sometimes it's good just to try things to see how they look, if they work bonus!

The first one is a bracelet that didn't work, but I really love the photo, in fact this is one I use as wallpaper on my phone, I really love the large focal bead and I do have an idea (finally) of what to do with it, I'm just waiting on a few beads to arrive before I can try it to see if it works.

The next one is a bracelet I made shortly after I bought my brown leather bracelet, it got worn but I later needed to use the dragons in my last combination, I love how the details of Azure Bubbles have been picked up by the camera.  I still use my mobile to take photos for the blog, sometimes I think I should switch to my proper camera but I like the fact I can take blog photos anywhere whilst I'm on the move to use later.

The blue leather combination below I tried out, but I didn't really rate it, it does show how different the two World Tour Lithuania beads are, and how well they go with Rainbow and Green Rainbow, but they all worked much better on my Spring Bracelet.

This was my first attempt at what eventually became my Spring Bracelet, this is one that didn't survive 24 hours...

The next two photos are shots of a bracelet that was made using a lot of OOAKs, both troll and artisan.

I love this photo, as a running theme I often take photos of my current bracelet with whatever I'm drinking, you first saw this with my coffee in "Do you believe in Fate?" blog post but I don't always post them.  On this occasion I was about to open a bottle of Stella Artois Cidre, I thought the glitter in my red beads really matched the drink!

What better way to end the post, with a night cap!  Nos da my lovelies as they say in Wales

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Fifth bracelet - Dragons and agates!

So with Wisdom and Stars completed that makes 4 bracelets that I haven't broken up yet, eek, only 1 left to play with...

I decided to go with an old favourite combination using Lucky Dragon, my very first trollbead, with my remaining silvers and I had just enough left to finish this bracelet.  It wasn't until I looked at the photos that I realised I have a badly cracked agate bead near the lock.  Luckily I had a few spare I could swap it over with, I never tire of mixing the striped blue agates and plain blue agates interspersed with silver beads.

It was a good time to put them all the bracelets together and take a photo?  Why you might ask?  Because this is the FIRST time ever that I've made up all my bracelets into combinations that have the potential to become permanent combinations.

So that leaves me with a bit of a dilemma given how much I like to swap and change my bracelets... I still have glass beads left to play with, so, do I unmake and start again, buy a 6th silver bracelet... or just use my 2 leather bracelets for bead play?

Looking at this photo reminds me I still need to get another couple of safety chains and some more stoppers - it never ends!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Silver Wisdom (and a peek at Gold!)

"Five precious stones that together symbolise wisdom.  An opal for loyalty; an amethyst for peace of mind; a garnet for devotion and grace; a turquoise for courage and success, and a lapis lazuli for competence."

Wisdom photographed by Pauline
That is the official description for this next bead, Silver Wisdom.  I've been really lucky to be able to secure this bead for my collection, and at a really great price, this was down to luck, timing, a lovely seller and a helping hand from Grandma in the form of Birthday and Christmas present money to help me out!

I'm really glad that it was my Grandma that helped me buy this bead, I enjoy having beads that remind me of experiences, friends, families and stories.  It was my Grandma who taught me to read before I went to school which started my lifelong love of reading, she did the same with her children before they started school, and with all her grandchildren and she's now making a start with her great grandchildren!  So for me, Wisdom, is a very apt bead to have come from my Grandma!

Here are the different sides of my wisdom bead, showing all the stones.

As soon as I got it I started playing around with combinations to see what it would look like with different beads, as it has several colours and some very different stones there is quite a lot you can do with it, here are some snapshots of what I tried...


However whilst I had fun playing with mostly glass beads, what I really intended was to make something with my zodiac birthstone stars.  

Here is my Wisdom & Stars bracelet, I opted to include a lot of colour in this one and I think it will remain a keeper for quite some time, unlike my usual make, wear and unmake approach to finished bracelets.

Wisdom as worn by my Trollbead friends!

Wisdom is such a versatile bead that I asked a few friends if they would allow me to show you some of their bracelets and necklaces using Wisdom.  They kindly photographed their creations for your viewing pleasure! 

(Warning - you may experience some pleasurable bead envy looking at these photos as they have some fabulous beads in their collections, I just love looking at these and including them has been my pleasure!)

Bracelet featuring Gold Wisdom, photo and bracelet by a Trollbead friend

Wisdom Bracelet "Perfect Purples" and photo by Anne

Bracelet featuring Silver and Gold Daisy and Wisdom, bracelet and photo by a Trollbead friend

Wisdom, photo and bracelet by Jules

Wisdom Bracelet and photo by Pauline

Wisdom Bracelet and photo by Jules

Wisdom Bracelet "Ferns" and photo by Anne

Wisdom bracelet and photo by a Trollbead friend

Wisdom necklace and photo by Jenny

Gold Wisdom bracelet and photo by a Trollbead friend

Wisdom bracelet "Teals" and photo by Anne

I love all of these combinations; the bracelet immediately above also contains beads from one of my favourite artisan bead makers, Christa Keizer at Luccicare, Christa makes some lovely beads so it's not a surprise to see other trollies making such good use of them!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bead Addiction, Bargain Beads and Blogging!

I could actually just leave you with the title; as the first and second have been consuming me leading to a lack of the third...  So if you've been wondering where I've gone, the answer is in the title!

Writing my New Year's Bead Resolutions down in my blog really did help focus my mind, however I've accidentally concentrated so hard on these that I've inadvertently been racing through the list making good progress with most, apart from the "curb my spending" part of Resolution No.4...

Now that I've noticed this (and my totally awesome skills at really going for my goals), I think I might just slow down and try to enjoy the journey.  My inner bank manager whispers "don't forget your boiler" as one is currently playing up (hot water) and just to illustrate my point; it's gone out again!

So what's a gal to do? Apart from find a cheap plumber? What to blog whilst I attempt to get back on the bead wagon.  Remember last September Well my bead buying has most certainly got ahead of my blogging... I might just be able to catch up with myself before I fall off the wagon again... now who's taking bets to see how long I'll last?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

New Year's Bead Resolutions

So over the last few weeks I've been pondering what 2013 will hold for my trollbead collecting and I decided to note a few ideas down at the start of the year and see where that takes me.

Here is a great example of
how to start a first bracelet!
Photo and bracelet by Trish
When I started my only idea was to finish my first bracelet, and when I did I wasn't 100% happy with the final combination, unlike my friend Trish, who has been much more focused and is already proving she has a great eye for beads.  Shown to the left are her first beads on her bracelet and I believe she is halfway to an already stunning bracelet.

Don't misunderstand me,  I like my eclectic approach to buying beads, as I end up with beads and bracelets I wouldn't have planned or ever got to have made without some special Mars chaos, or the "ooh shiny / pretty / bumpy / wow / sparkly" method as I have coined it previously.  I admire folk who are more focused and see their ideas through from start to finish, and I've seen some great permanent combinations.  Although I've yet to finish blogging them all, I currently have bracelets that I'd quite like to keep together for the time being (which poses it's own problems as I'll need another silver bracelet if I'm going to do that) but it will be interesting (well to me anyway) to see how long this lasts before I go "oh bugger it" and dismantle them to start again.  I like change, and new ideas, no matter how fab the current combinations are.  I'm also learning that I like to have at least 1 spare silver bracelet to play with at any time!

So here are my thoughts so far:

My New Year's Bead Resolutions
  1. To start collecting Amber beads
  2. To pick up some more zodiac birthstone stars as multiples before they disappear completely
  3. To continue to back fill my wish lists with BBB (Bargain Basement Beads)
  4. To curb my spending by being more selective with what I buy, I do want more OOAKs, particularly budded pythons and some of the newer style beads I've seen coming through but basically those OOAKs that make me go "Oh WOW" rather than "That's nice"
  5. Not to buy a bead just because I've visited a trollbead dealer / sale / bead  party
  6. To explore more Artisan Bead Makers and selected brands other than Trollbeads
I've started already with Nos. 1 and 3 but I'm really not sure how No. 4 will work out given my track record for 2012!  I've also achieved No. 5 at least once, as I left a dealer yesterday, who was having a 25% sale, without  a bead.  To be fair and tell the truth there were only a couple of beads off my wish lists, and not the best examples, but not a bad start to the year.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Retired Pink Prism Bracelet (Is it Spring yet?)

I had yet to use both my retired pink prisms on a bracelet after securing my 2nd one at an amazing price.  I added some other new beads, the Silver Trace, Green - Turquoise glass bead and the beautiful teal bubble bead from my last blog post and off I went!


This was the result of some bead play... and it has been dubbed my Spring Bracelet after a friend remarked on this when I showed her the photos.  Ironically this mix of colours is something I wouldn't naturally put together, it was made using beads not on my main current bracelets so my choices were rather limited.  I find this is really good as a creative process, as although it sometimes makes me frustrated, I end up making combinations I would *never* make otherwise, usually after many attempts!

I did wonder if I would wear this bracelet as it is; as the colourway is really not my normal colour scheme, however after a test run wearing the bracelet at work yesterday, I've converted myself and *love* the mix of colours now!

I think it helps that most of the beads have a great translucent quality, and I had some really lovely silver beads left over to use with this.

My green armadillo bead is so huge that it's hard to use it as anything but a focal bead, but I think this is the only the second bracelet that I've used it on that I'm really happy with, if you missed it the first time around here is the first bracelet I made just after buying it from my slightly surreal "on the way home from a festival" journey.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Another fab parcel from Goldmine (Red and Green Bracelet)

I had been trying to make a red and green bracelet in the run up to Christmas but I wasn't having a lot of luck, I don't have many red beads and of those, some are not that red, the combinations I was trying just weren't working out for me.

So when Goldmine Boutique held a bead party on facebook in early December I saw my chance to rectify my lack of red beads.  I was lucky enough to get the chance to buy 2 gorgeous red beads and a lovely purple one, and when enquiring about payment methods (I'd bought from their website before but not chosen beads via their photos on facebook) the lovely people at Goldmine were keen to point out that I could choose a 4th bead free, in their buy 3 uniques get the 4th free promotion.  So I chose another red bead, with glitter dots!  (Glitter is getting to be quite a habit recently in my bead buying.)

I love getting parcels from Goldmine, they are always lovely.  This one had a padded cushion in a box and even better had a FIFTH FREE BEAD, even more special was the fact it was a teal coloured bubble bead which is EXACTLY what I'd been looking at the week before but I had decided to be good(ish) and leave it for another day.  It came as a surprise because even though they said they were putting in "presents" over the holiday period I had completely forgotten about this and I wasn't expecting another bead!

Lovely ooaks (uniques) all lined up... and I finally got to make a red and green bracelet I was happy with.

I've used lighthouse as the focal point as we used to live by Roath Park Lake in Cardiff, Wales (UK)
which has a lighthouse on the boating lake.

My Penguin bead has found a new home too, next to red stripe!

I love this bracelet and have been thinking of it as my "Christmas Bracelet" as that was the original intention, however driving home from work tonight it also struck me that the Welsh Flag has red and green in it's colours so until next December this may well get known as my "Welsh Bracelet"... 

Should you wish to visit Goldmine here is a link to their shop
don't forget to check out their promotions for some good bargains!