Monday 27 October 2014

Purple & Green Stone Bangles with a twist!

I adore the Trollbeads Summer Stones Limited Edition Collection that was released in May 2013.

It was the first "special to me" collection that had been released since I started collecting that I could participate in from Day 1.

I wish I'd been collecting when the LE 2009 Chinese Silvers had their debut!

I went a bit nuts at the time, but even so I've not been adverse to adding a few more pieces here and there, namely a couple more of the African Amethysts that I've since found (yes of course I need 5, who doesn't?!) and an extra Canadian Jade - as out of the 3 I bought originally, one permanently lives on my Winter Beach Bracelet, along with my 2 red mud jaspers come to think of it (hmm could do with extras of these too).

So without further ado, and with extra amethysts and jades in hand, I thew in some Inner Glows (the twist) and voila!

Purple + Green (my two favourite colours) + Stones = Happy Mars

I didn't make these bangles with a view to pairing them with anything else.  However once they were made up I realised there was another bracelet that these might suit; my fabulous Bus Bracelet!

The bonus?  I often forget I'm wearing glow in the dark beads so when the Inner Glows start to do their thing as the night draws in, it never fails to make me giggle.

Do you have a favourite collection or set of beads that you really went to town on?

Thursday 23 October 2014

Bats are just so darn lovely!

Okay so this is a bit of departure for me from the beads and jewellery, after featuring my new Bat lock and charm on my Bats are not just for Halloween Bracelet I came across these two videos on social media... and I just couldn't help but share.

Lil' Drac was orphaned by his mum...

This shows some of the work done by Bat World Sanctuary - I dare you not to find bats cute after this!

Monday 20 October 2014

Trollbeads ~ Autumnal Bangle

Well I couldn't design two bracelets and a necklace without working on a complimentary bangle at the same time.

So the final one of my recent Autumnal themed designs makes use of a wonderful glass unique I found only last month.

It's a simple bubbles bead that has an incredible amber colouring and a "depth of colour" that is simply stunning - it was love at first sight when I saw this bead.

Autumn Bangle

I've paired it with my two artisan faceted carnelian stones and a pair of Trollbeads Trefoil Knots.

I love wearing my bangles with a pair of matching beads flanking a pair of matching silvers and a centre bead, it's a pattern you'll see me repeat time and time again, stones, glass or silver - it's all good as far as I'm concerned!

As you can see the bangle compliments everything else I made in that session; by the way I'm not wearing them like this all at once, this was just a photo I took to show a friend at the time.

I'm always curious as to how other people match, or don't match their jewellery, so do tell!!

Do you match your jewellery, go for complimentary pieces,
big and bold, small and discrete or not given it a second thought?

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Trollbeads ~ Carved Amber & Daisy Bracelet

So, I mentioned there was a second bracelet...

Ever since I first started collecting Trollbeads I'd lusted after the silver and gold Daisy bead, I'd always imagined making a Daisy and Amber bracelet, but I've never quite managed it; the closest I came previously was my Amber & Blue Daisy Bracelet but I've never cracked the all amber one no matter how many times I've tried as I've never been totally happy with the end result.

When I was sat bead playing the other day my eyes strayed to my carved ambers in one box, and some of my faceted ambers from my recently dismantled Trollbeads Amber and Amethyst Bracelet in another; noting the similar colours and sizes an idea began to form.

Trollbeads Carved Amber beads are my all time favourite ambers,
paired here with one of my all time favourite silver and gold beads.

Carved Ambers L-R: Fish, Scarab, Turtle, Rose, Fish, Ladybugs

My special 3 Ladybug bead (normally there are 4 smaller ones carved)

It required some tweaking but I'm really pleased with the end result, and as you can see there is a mix'n'match element to both bracelets.

Double stacked Amber & Halloween Bracelets

I'm always curious about how the design process works for other people, so...

Has there been a design you've had in your imagination that's eluded you in practice?
Do you keep trying, give up completely or wait for inspiration to strike?

Thursday 9 October 2014

Trollbeads ~ Lotus Top Fantasy Necklace

Having made my delicious new bracelet featuring the Bats lock and charm I was on a roll... next up was Trollbeads Lotus Top from the new 2014 Fall Collection.

Both sides of Trollbeads Lotus Top

Again Lotus Top was on my wish list from the start, it's designed to cup a bead snugly on one side, so it has a front or top to the bead and conversely a back or bottom side.  Of course I wanted two of them; however budget constraints led to buying one for now and I was keen to use it in a combination.

I always thought it would make a lovely end cap, top or bottom, for the Fantasy Necklaces as it mirrors the design on the top of the Onyx Drop, which is how I've decided to use it on it's first outing.

Trollbeads new Lotus Top silver charm used as an end cap

Having made two new bracelets (yes there's another one still to come) I wanted a necklace that would compliment these and fit in with my "nod to Halloween" theme; which is really just an Autumnal theme but shhhh don't tell anyone!

The obvious choice of silver pendant was the amazing Trolltree, paired with the lovely Saffron Facet beads from the 2013 Fall Collection from Trollbeads.  Simple but very effective!

I love this necklace and despite having had these two beads for over a year I've never worn them with my Trolltree pendant before - I bought two each of both the Saffron and the Masala Facets from the 2013 Fall Collection and they've been used extensively ever since.

Spooky Bats lock, Sleep Bat charm & Lotus Top.
my picks from the new collections
paired with the Facet Glass Beads from the Fall Collection 2013

What have been your best buys... 
What are the pieces you wear time and time again?

Saturday 4 October 2014

Trollbeads ~ Bats are not just for Halloween!

I love when Halloween comes around each year, not because I'm a big fan of Halloween, but because jewellery brands start considering featuring Bats, Skulls and other lovely ideas that I enjoy wearing all year round.

Trollbeads recent Halloween release was no exception, designed by Jenke Gorter, the small release featured a Spooky Bats Lock, a Sleeping Bat charm and Happy Bats earrings which are designed to fit on the Trollbeads earring hooks.

Trollbeads Halloween Collection 2014

I love bats, about 9 years ago my best friend used to live a few streets away from me in an upstairs flat in an old property, he had bats living nearby and at night we used to sit in his living room with all the lights off and watch them fly past - beautiful creatures!

I'd been debating what to get from the new collections and Bats were definitely on my wish list, cue an opportunity to shop in the way I love best, and one Bat lock and one Bat charm made their way from wish list to my house in one fell swoop (or by postman if you insist on being literal).

My first impressions were that both the lock and the charm are very small but beautifully detailed. 

For some reason I'd imagined that the charm would be larger, probably because I'd been thinking of it more as a dangle than a charm, but in my opinion it sits somewhere between the two ideals.  On a bracelet it works well without overpowering the design and it is *very* versatile.

Sleeping Bat Charm

It's a total credit to Jenke's design that I bought the lock new.  Already owing 16 locks (blimey I'd not counted them up for while) I never *need* a lock, so they often get overlooked when I'm prioritising purchases no matter how much I like them.  I make and break bracelets all the time so I *always* have spare locks available and they often get bumped to the bottom of my wish lists - I then normally pick up the ones I like in sales or preloved... long after they've been released.  This is a lock that's worth breaking my own rules for!

Spooky Bats Lock

I wanted to make a bracelet that tips it's hat to Halloween, without being an in your face Halloween design, and, as I've been finding myself making more and more symmetrical designs recently, I wanted it to be cohesive but one that's not an exact mirror image of itself.

When I came to pick out potential beads from my box, I went for greens and oranges with some blacks and realised that I now have a huge amount of beads that could be used, this actually made it more tricky and the bracelet went through a lot of variations before I was totally satisfied with the result.  I wasn't happy with my choices until I started to focus on a 1+1 design; alternating glass and silver beads.

Clockwise from Lock: Spooky Bats Lock, Artisan Safety Chain,
Stopper, Black Spinel Tassel, Aqua Edge Triangle,
World Trollbeads Day Bead, Onyx, Mushrooms Family, Masala Facet,
Chinese Snake, Macrow Stone, Cells, TB unique, Skeleton Spirit,
Masala Facet, Sleeping Bat, Macrow Stone, Ohm Beads -Love Hurts,
Netherlands World Tour Orange, Snake, Onyx,
World Trollbeads Day Bead, Green Prism, Stopper.

Having tweaked it considerably, I now think I might have made another keeper!

What do you think to the Halloween Collection?
Are you Batty for Bats; think they are just for Halloween;
or do you wish they'd fly away?