Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bracelet makeovers - Blue Agate Bracelet 2014

This blog post was inspired by a question asked in a Trollbead Group last month:

"Do you have any bracelets with the same style bead
in different colours used repeatedly?"

I dug out a photo of my Blue Agate Bracelet, as whilst not strictly different colours, (as they are either turquoise or striped turquoise), no two are exactly alike so I shared my photo with the group.

The photo below is of one of the first bracelets I made when I started collecting Trollbeads (back in February 2012) and it got me thinking that it might be fun to remake this but with the choice of beads I have in my bead box today, I, a'hem, didn't have so many back then!

Being a make and break kind of girl my bracelets don't hang around for long, so a makeover for an old design results in a new bracelet.  Well it does until I get bored and dismantle it again to use one of the beads somewhere else!

Blue Agate Bracelet in April 2012

Actually, hang on a minute, in looking through my old photos I've realised I already did this once before... that's the problem with make and break, you forget these things as bracelets can be quite fleeting - good job I keep a blog and a record of (most) bracelets I make.  A'hem, here is the one from last year.

Blue Agate Bracelet in January 2013

What I do remember now, looking at this photo, is that it was only after I'd taken the photo, did I notice that one of my agates had developed a nasty crack along it, one of the problems that can occur with natural stones.

I really should have returned the agate to the original shop but I was feeling lazy at the time and I confess I didn't actually get around to doing it - it's still in my bead box!  I picked up another agate preloved to replace that one in case you're wondering where it is in today's photo and how come I still have 12...

So March 2014; what design to pick for this year's version?

I returned to some old favourite beads, even though I have brand new shiny new ones waiting to be used - I realised that I haven't used Wisdom in ages (shame on me) so out that came, along with some Zodiac Stars and I chose 2 different types of knotted silver beads (2 of each one) and the Freya knot lock to complement them.  One of the benefits I discovered in remaking this bracelet with different beads (especially using multiples of silver beads) is that I can better match up the design to show off the agates by matching the silver beads and lock so the agates really are the feature, looking back I think the 2013 version looked a bit busy.

Blue Agate Bracelet in March 2014

I'm constantly fascinated by bracelet design; if I had to rank these 3 in order of my preferences now, I'd put 2014 at the top, then 2012 in second place and relegate 2013 to third!

I'm curious as to how other people approach bracelet design, I know I'm unusual in that I make and break most of my bracelets on a regular basis (it's a rare bracelet that escapes my create / destroy / create cycle) but I know most of my own bead friends and people I meet seem to keep permanent bracelet designs together, and although they might make the occasional tweak with a different bead every now and then, the basis of the bracelet rarely changes.

I would love to hear from you about what you do and how you approach designing your own bracelets.

Are you a "permanent don't touch it" or a "permanent but tweak" - or are you a "make and break" like me or something completely different?  If you're just starting out, or thinking about it, what would you like to do?


  1. Love the Wisdom in your 2014 version! That and the stars do an excellent job of tying the silvers to the stones :)

    I thought I'd be a permanent maker, but I've turned into more of a make and break-er over the last six months or so. Even the one permanent bracelet that I had has been apart more than it has been together as I keep "borrowing" beads from it to use in my temporary combinations. But, like you, I do keep pictures of the combinations that I like if I wanted to put them back together again in the future. So far, my Winter blues/whites is the only one I have recreated one year to the next and this year I didn't have it together nearly as long as I thought I would (perhaps because I tired of Winter much earlier this year :D).

    1. Thanks Tracy. Cool! Another make and break person :)

      My main exception is I usually have some kind of amber bracelet made up at any given time but I do change it around, currently it's the amber and amethyst version from the blog!

      I know what you mean about Winter, I'm currently really enjoying the bit of sun we're having in the UK, it's not that warm but it's definitely nice and bright. I have tomorrow off work so I'm hoping it stays that way so we can enjoy it :)

      Mars xx

  2. I could do with dipping into your bead box! It's hard to tell from pictures the exact shades but could you do like an ombre necklace with these?

    I'm publishing a couple of fantasy necklace articles this week and no matter how much I try, I can't manage a really good ombre necklace :( I've actually tried one with the pink versions of these stones but I don't have the right variation in colour :(

    Everytime I see your African Amethysts do I get jealous! <3

    1. It's quite possible, I have some *very* blue ones and some quite pale and some inbetween, when this gets dismantled I will string them in a line for you :) I also won't tell you about the 5th amethyst that's winging it's way to me either as that would be far too cruel ;)

      The thing I kept trying for ages but really couldn't get to work with my own beads was doing a troll snake where you go from one colour to another and curl them around... no matter how hard I tried it always looked a complete mess - but I tried for ages as I wanted to do a blog photo of one, I think it's because I had way too many patterned beads at the time. Now I have more "blocky" colours I should probably give it another go, but not for a while as I just found the whole process far too frustrating.

      I've finally got myself a silver necklace, currently it's got Naughty Dragon sitting on it but one day I'm going to attempt something with all those zodiac stars I have... so many ideas so little time!

      Mars xx


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