Thursday 27 November 2014

Trollbeads Wave of Dreams Bangle

Trollbeads Wave of Dreams was released as part of the Fall Collection 2012.

I think I was on a bit of a roll for using beads that I feel guilty at keeping in the bead box for far too long!  It did help that last month I picked up a particularly gorgeous unique that happens to compliment both Wave of Dreams and a unique I picked up last year.  Throw in a pair of zodiac stars and voila!

Do you have a particularly fine example of a production bead
that you've neglected in your bead box?

Monday 24 November 2014

My Strange Obsession in Bracelet Form

Well after writing about collecting random Trollbead Harlequin beads I felt really guilty about not making a bracelet with them, so one night last week I sat down to change that.

I tried to balance out the colours and arrange the beads where the largest and plumpest were towards the centre and the smaller ones towards the ends.

I went for an alternative glass and silver pattern using some of my smallest silvers, in order to use all my harlequins I needed to squeeze a total of 21 beads onto the bracelet and a 17cm bracelet usually only holds 17-19 beads.

I'm not 100% sure about my red harlequin bead as I think it stands out a little bit too much, but I was really surprised about how well the other colours have blended together, it's also cleared more than a little room in my bead box... time to buy some more beads perhaps?

What do you think I should do with my red harlequin?
Leave it in? Buy another to replace it?
Take it out and use bigger silvers? Stick it on a bangle?!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Charity Raffle to win Trollbeads Ultimate Collector's Case!

In case you missed the wonderful news - Jeffries Fine Jewellers are holding a Charity Raffle for Sparkle (a children's charity) with the prize being the Trollbeads Ultimate Collector's Case!

Charity Raffle to win a Trollbeads Ultimate Collector's Case!!

Raffle Tickets cost just £5 each, you can buy them here and as many as you like for more chances to win, as all the proceeds (bar the PayPal fees charged by PayPal) are going to the children's charity Sparkle.

Jeffries are selling the Raffle Tickets from now all the way through December and the draw itself will be on Christmas Eve and the winner will be announced Christmas Day on their Facebook page and their website.

All details plus the terms and conditions are also on their newly launched website - there's only one drawback...

If you win, you need to either pick this beauty up from the shop, or they will ship it to a UK address, but sadly they cannot ship internationally due to the size and weight.

This case is literally the last one to leave Trollbeads UK HQ, so you're also buying a raffle ticket for the chance to win a little bit of Trollbeads UK history!

Unfortunately the case was slightly damaged whilst in transit to Jeffries, I'm told it's only minor damage on one side but obviously they couldn't swap it for an undamaged one as there aren't any more left to swap it with!

If you've not got an address in the UK, or simply wish to make a donation to Sparkle (there is no minimum amount needed; £1 is just as fab as it all adds up), there is also a button on the Charity Event page for that too if you can spare the change.

Well I've already bought my first raffle ticket; I'd love to win this!

What do you think of the Ultimate Collector's Case?
If you love beads; I'm curious... how do you store yours currently?

Monday 17 November 2014

Trollbeads Retailer Event ~ Saturday 29th November - Newport, South Wales (UK)

Lucky Trollbead Fans could be heading to South Wales in less than 2 weeks for Jeffries Winter Wonderland Event held at their store in Newport, South Wales on Saturday 29th November.

If you're thinking of going the shop is within walking distance from the train station, which is on the main train line so there are fairly decent connections if you don't mind travelling.

For those who do make the trip there will be prize draws, festive fun, a free white jewellery box for any purchase over £150 (as long as stocks last - get there early to secure), promotions, museum beads and a large selection of unique and production beads plus the chance of some free gifts AND there will be fizz and nibbles!!

Sadly I won't be able to go.  It's not my boiler this time that's stopping me, but my day job, as I'll be doing a lot of travelling myself over the next few weeks and unfortunately none of my trips are taking me in the right direction!  

Charity Raffle for Sparkle 

If you can't attend this lovely event (and live in the UK), there still might be a treat in store for you!  Jeffries are hoping to raise lots of money for the local children's charity Sparkle by holding a raffle with the prize being... the Ultimate Collector's Case - Schmuckvitrine!

Raffle Tickets are £5 each and you can buy them here, all details plus the terms and conditions are on their website, the draw will be on Christmas Eve and the winner announced on Christmas Day - there's only one drawback...

If you win you need to either pick this beauty up from the shop, or they will ship it to a UK address, but sadly they cannot ship internationally due to the size and weight.

Charity Raffle to win a Trollbeads Ultimate Collector's Case!!

I'm told this case is no longer being made, and it is literally the last one to leave Trollbeads UK HQ!

Unfortunately it was slightly damaged whilst in transit to Jeffries, I'm told it's only minor damage on one side but obviously they couldn't swap it for an undamaged one as there aren't any more left to swap it with!!

If you would like to make a donation to Sparkle regardless of where you live, there is also a button on the Charity Event page for that too, there's no minimum (or maximum) donation, so if you've a spare £1, it all goes to a good cause!

I can't go to the event but I've already bought my own ticket for the draw!

Will you be going to the event; or donating to Sparkle; or
buying a raffle ticket for the Schmuckvitrine? Or maybe all 3?!

Friday 14 November 2014

Freaky Friday ~ My Strange Obsession - Harlequins

I bought my first Harlequin unique very early on; mostly because I was trying to match some netural coloured beads I had, and the brown and white swirly pattern seemed to work!

Slowly over the years I seem to have added to this with more harlequin beads.  What's so odd about that you may be wondering?  Lots of people collect specific patterns or styles of beads...

Well the weird thing is that I rarely use them - I seem to be hoarding them for something; only I'm not sure what?

My latest harlequins were from a clearance sale, I do seem to have a random complusion if I like the colours* to pick them up as I meander along my bead buying path.

*There are a lot of fugly sorry strangely coloured harlequin beads out there that I avoid, but one person's fugly strangely coloured is another person's dream bead.

Now that there are a lot more of them I can see a harlequin bracelet happening at some point; I still don't know why I'm buying them in the first place though!

Any strange bead buying confessions you'd like to get off your chest?
Or am I the only one?!

Monday 10 November 2014

Share a Christmas Card 2014 (Updated)

In the 2013 Share a Christmas Card event 15,122 cards were registered with the Trollbeads official website as being received by fellow trollbead fans around the world.

Last year was the second time I took part.  I decided to make my own cards and these are the photos I used in 2012 and 2013.  It's up to you, you can make your own, use regular cards, use post cards and even use the free cards you can pick up at Trollbeads stores around the world.

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!

The 2014 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 if you preregister and the earlier you join in and send your cards the more chance you have to be entered for the prize draws that take place throughout December 2014.

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.  You can of course stop at 5.  However in previous years it's been possible to register for a further 5 addresses so you can send/receive 10 cards in total.

UPDATED: To register to send and receive 10 cards, you can sign in after your first 5 addresses have been sent, and if you click on the "Participate" button again you will get another email with a further 5 addresses bringing your total to 10 addresses - just don't forget you'll have 2 emails!

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 2014. 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.

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. (Updated with links)

If you've never heard of this event before, greetings from 2013 can be read here and 2013 prize winners and their prizes can be seen here.  Last year 7 of my 10 cards were registered on the website and I received 6 out of 10 in return.

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

Will you be taking part this year?
If you were lucky enough to win a Trollbead prize,
what would be your favourite seasonal piece?

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Beadmaker Bead Tales

"If you could have a bead made just for you...
what would it be and what would you do with it?"

Beaverbrooks and Trollbeads UK asked attendees the first question in person... and Curling Stones was waiting in the wings to find out what happened after the event!


"Beaverbrooks staff were excited to have a beadmaker on site and our group all chose to have the same style bead made, but in different colours. 

My bead being made - photo by Angela

Mine is black with gold dust and I actually opted for this bead after seeing it on the wrist of one of the ladies from TB UK, I thought it worked well."

Photo by Angela

Angela has an incredible collection of beads and I think her choice of beadmaker bead certainly matches the rest of her collection very well!


"I was so excited to have the opportunity of getting a bead made for me.  Especially  as it gave me the chance to create something unique to remind me of a very special occasion, my eldest son's wedding.

The choice of colour was an easy one as I needed the bead to go on the bracelet I was putting together to match my wedding outfit.  So off I went armed with a sample swatch of the colour of my dress in the hope my wish could be fulfilled. I was in luck, I could see amongst the bead maker's rods one that looked perfect.

However on chatting to the talented lady she told me she had had a few problems when working with this colour on a previous bead. It was producing dirty blackish marks in the glass and she didn't know why and was reluctant to use it.   I think she saw the disappointment in my face and came up with a solution.....she would add glitter to disguise them! 

My bead - photo by Tracy

The dots were then added to the top to symbolise 'stepping stones ' to the next stage of his life, hopefully on a path of never ending happiness. 

I left the shop a very happy lady."

All Photos by Tracy

Although I already knew why Tracy had chosen to have this bead made, I still got a warm cosy feeling when I read about the meaning...

Amanda Mac

"Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have several beads made for me by Georgina Black, the Trollbeads UK lampworker who has now returned to Canada.  Georgina was replaced by Sue, and this was to be her very first bead for me, as I didn't get a beadmaker slot at the last UK Trollbeads Convention in 2013, when Sue started.

I was in a bit of a lime phase over the summer... you can also see one of my other beadmaker beads in the photo below - the black flower on lime - which was designed by me and made by Georgina, and so I decided after much debate with trollie friends that I wanted a white armadillo with lime lines  (We spend hours beforehand debating our choices!). 

My Summer Lime Phase - photo by Amanda Mac

However, when I got to Beaverbrooks for the event and saw some of the beads Sue had made earlier for the staff, I decided to go for a lime and gold splodge bead instead!  A bit like the Oranje Boven only in lime.

As usual it was great fun seeing one's bead being made...

My bead being made - photo by Amanda Mac

...and even better to see the finished result.

Photos by Amanda Mac

When the bead arrived back after being cored in Denmark, I found that it was a lovely fresh apple green colour instead of lime.  I didn't mind at all because the colour is beautiful, and I know that colours can be difficult to get right with lampworking. 

I am playing around with combos at the moment (most of my bracelets are permanent) and I seem to be making a purple and fresh green combo at the moment...

New combo - photo by Amanda Mac

I know that my friends had similar designs made in different colours, and they are great beads too! 

Thank you, Sue and Beaverbrooks!"


"I laughed when I read Amanda's "We spend hours beforehand debating our choices!" - so did I, on the day itself I was still struggling with my choices and not knowing what glass rods Sue had with her (so I couldn't choose in person), I sent a few suggestions down to Bristol and deliberately didn't ask which one was made so that it would be a surprise when it arrived.  I love surprises!

Finally I got the message that all the beads had been cored and returned, and in mid-June I waited for my bead to arrive!  Having just got back from my holiday and also having just seen my bus for the first time, to say I was a bit excited was an understatement; what an amazing week that was!

So which design had Sue chosen to make?  Purple translucent bead with glitter in it!  I love purple and I'm always on the look out for deeper purples, so I was pleased to add another to my collection!

What did I do with my bead?  Well I've actually been wearing it ever since on a very special bracelet, nestled within the In Your Heart Charm... on my Bus Bracelet!

Although I had no idea what to expect when I was throwing ideas out into the ether for my bead, I couldn't have been more delighted with what I received and the timing of it coming.  

It's the perfect purple to match my bus and the gold glitter really reminds me of the wooden interior, especially how it looks when the light catches it in the late afternoon/early evening sun."


"My bead from the Beadmaker Event was a purple wave, I was a bit surprised as I was expecting a green wave in a purple bead...

My Beadmaker Bead - Photos by Alan

Bracelet by Carol - Photo by Alan

Now it's in my bracelet combination I'm actually happier it's not purple and green!"

I really like what Carol has done with her bead, I think she's chosen such lovely beads to make this bracelet and I adore the combination; beautiful!  P.s. I think it would also go very well in my bus bracelet!


My beadmaker bead - photo by Helen

"This is my bead, it turned out to be a deeper red than I was expecting but I was really pleased with it, it's my red boven!

Sunset - bracelet and photo by Helen

I was originally intending to put it on another bracelet, but when it arrived it really did look like it was especially made for this bracelet, so I took out the original focal bead and now my beadmaker bead takes pride of place."

I'm not normally one for darker red beads (I've been having a bright red phase myself) but I think I've fallen a little bit in love with Helen's bead, it's not a colour I've seen a lot of but I adore it!


Now most of you won't know (and Adam probably wouldn't remember) but he was actually the member of the Beaverbrooks Cribbs Causeway team who sold me 3 beads back in August 2012!  We had a really lovely chat about his (then) recent trip to Trollbeads UK Headquarters which I had just read about; I felt like I was talking to Trollbeads royalty!

Adam's Beadmaker bead - photo by Beaverbrooks

"Adam choose to have this bead made to compliment his bracelet which is mostly made up of beads of his favourite colour "Blue".  The orange was implemented due to him visiting Amsterdam and having an orange bead to commemorate his holiday, so he asked for some orange to be added.

The outcome was this amazing whirlwind of orange and blue.  Who would have thought it would come out so beautiful!"  Sara


Even the shop had a bead made!  

Beaverbrooks beadmaker bead! Photo by Beaverbrooks
"This bead is in the Beaverbrooks colours, purple, grey and white!" Sara

I like that the shop has had a bead made... especially as I'm the woman who made a bracelet to represent her bus!  I wonder who gets to wear this one or if everyone has to take it in turns?! 

I knew there was a question I forgot to ask!

I personally loved seeing and hearing about everyone's beads and designs, I'm so nosy curious!  I love this part of my job at Curling Stones and I hope you've enjoyed reading about them!

Big thanks again to the Beaverbrooks Team, Sue, Trollbeads UK and Angela, Tracy, Amanda, Carol, Helen, Adam and Sara (representing Beaverbrooks) for sharing their photos and stories - fabulous beads and bracelets!

Out of all the beads you could have made for yourself;
if there were no restrictions at all...
What would you choose?

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Beaverbrooks and Trollbeads Beadmaker Event ~ Bristol 8th May 2014

As I watched my old failing systems being dismantled and saw some good old fashioned problem solving plumbing at work, others were making their steady way to Bristol for Beaverbrooks first Beadmaker Event.

Photo courtesy of Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce

Covering an event whilst not actually being there creates an interesting set of problems to overcome, aspiring to be as inventive as my wonderful plumber, I set about the task of how to bring this event to life!

I always love the storytelling element to Curling Stones, so this is how we shall start... tell me your story I asked the Beaverbrooks Team at Cribbs Causeway... What was going on behind the scenes?
The team said "Our biggest challenge we thought about before the event was the size of our store; it is very small and we wanted to ensure that everyone could have quality time to see the beads and soak up the atmosphere."
Debby (the Manager) added "I felt excited, as we had never done anything like this before and we wanted to ensure it went well and everyone enjoyed it!"

 Photos by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
"On the day itself we got to the store early to ensure we were prepared and ready for whatever the day was going to bring us.  An hour before the event, Trollbeads fans were patiently waiting and peeking to see what was in store for them.  Most of all people wanted to be first to have the opportunity to have a bead made in front of them."

Photos by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce

I have to say that this was the part that excited me the most, there have been a few select beadmaker events since I started collecting, but I've never had the chance to go to one... nor was I this time either despite my lovely invitation... curse my boilers!

However the team at Beaverbrooks and Trollbeads were simply amazing in that regard; as although I couldn't go on the day, they arranged for Sue to make me a lovely bead as if I had attended in person!

Photo by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
The Beaverbrooks Team continues with the story "Once we opened, there was a real buzz around the store. Everyone raced to be greeted by our team who had goody bags, prosecco and cupcakes ready for them to enjoy whilst they prepared to dive into the exclusive collections which we kept secret." 

Photos by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce

Look what I spotted... it's a good job for my bead budget that I wasn't there, or my plumber may not have been paid the following week!!  P.S. I must also steal the hand model's rings... when she's not looking of course, do you think she'd notice?!

Photo by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
Beaverbrooks Team remarked "The passion for Trollbeads between our customers and our team was electric.  Plus we have the pleasure of having the lovely Trollbeads UK team here to help and add to the passion."
Photo by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
"...but this wasn't all, we also had lots of giveaways and competitions, so the lucky ones were surprised to leave with a free unique bead!"
Lauren (Retail Consultant) added "There was an awesome vibe, the enthusiasm and passion were contagious!" 
"Everyone was mesmerised by the skill of Sue's bead making, and the fine details and intricacy she could create, including us.  You'd often find a few people day dreaming whilst watching her in action."

Photos by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
"Time goes fast when your having fun!" 
"This is certainly what happened on the day.  Before we knew it, we were drawing the event to a close and were all talking about how much fun we had during the day." 
I asked the Beaverbrooks team what feedback they got from their customers on the day; I'd seen the chatter on the forums and pages and knew that the reaction from everyone I "knew" had been really good.  The team collected some of the feedback and shared what they had been told on the day:
"You have exceeded our expectations" 
"We have really really enjoyed it, it's well organised and lots of fun elements to it, well done Beaverbrooks" 
"We have been shopping in this store for years and this is a real treat" 
"Wow... free bead? Really?" 
"When's the next one?"
By this stage I was almost wishing I had delayed my boiler work as I still can't quite believe I missed out on this!

Being ever curious I asked the question in a few places about what people thought of the event who were there.  This is what they told me.

Photo by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
"I was so excited to have the opportunity of getting a bead made for me.  I left the shop a very happy lady" Tracy
"Some of us met in Cribbs for the beadmaker event in May although not all of “our group” were able to attend due to work etc, as it was on a Thursday. 
We love visiting Beaverbrooks, the staff are brilliant and we are always assured of a great event.  I felt that there was a very supportive presence from Trollbeads UK Headquarters and I would say, from my perspective, that the event was a success."   Angela
"Over the years, I have been lucky enough to have several beads made for me... so I decided after much debate with trollie friends what I wanted, we spent hours beforehand debating our choices! 
However, when I got to Beaverbrooks for the event I changed my mind... as usual it was great fun seeing one's bead being made!"   Amanda Mac
So were there any final thoughts from the Beaverbrooks Cribbs Team?

Photos by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce
"The most important part for us... making our customers happy!  We are as passionate about our customers as we are about Trollbeads, and to hear that our customers really enjoyed it was the most rewarding feeling.

The key to our success was the Beaverbrooks and Trollbeads UK relationship.  We share similar values as companies and were able to unite as one to pull off what was a very memorable event."  Sara & the Beaverbrooks Cribbs team
From all that I heard, and read, and saw from the day and beyond, it seemed to be classed as a big success by all who went, and as much as I love sitting here typing this in a lovely warm centrally heated house... I still secretly wish I'd been able to go!

Photo by Beaverbrooks - Please do not reproduce

Well done Beaverbrooks and Trollbeads UK!

What do you think of Beadmaker Events?
Have you attended previous ones?
What did you have made, and where is it now? 

If you want to read even more about this Beadmaker Event. I will be revealing some of the beads that were made on the blog tomorrow, same time, same place!